Manhattan Institute

Paranoia-Rama: Gays In Space, Equal Marriage Refugees, And Terrorists In The State Department

RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.

This week, we learn that President Obama and Hillary Clinton are in cahoots with radical Islam, Caitlyn Jenner’s gender transition is a hoax, Ferguson has unleashed a wave of criminals, and gays continue to destroy the nation.

Obama’s Muslim Plot

Conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly explained in an interview with WorldNetDaily this week that President Obama is planning for the U.S. to take in Muslim refugees from war-torn nations such a Syria as part of his plan to wage “war on America,” knowing full well that Syrian refugees seek to “take over the world and establish their caliphate.”

“I don’t think he should let any Muslims in this country,” Schlafly said. “There is no reason why they should come in.” By permitting Muslim refugees to enter the U.S., Schlafly argued, “Obama is trying to absolutely change America by bringing in people who have no sympathy with what Americans believe.”

On her Eagle Forum blog, Schlafly also praised Ann Coulter’s new anti-immigrant screed “Adios America,” thanking Coulter for “alerting Americas to how Obama and the Democrats are destroying the land we love” by “diluting our population” with individuals “who commit all sorts of unspeakable crimes, in particular crimes against very young women and girls.”

Michael Savage joined in on the conspiracy theory, calling Obama a “con man shyster” who is attempting to destroy America by “injecting, like a virus, Muslims from Syria into all-white communities in America.” Obama, according to Savage, has also taken “infected children from Honduras and put them in every school district he could.”

Caitlyn Jenner

Plenty of right-wing activists are upset about Caitlyn Jenner’s transition. But some have looked beyond the headlines to reveal the true conspiracy that’s afoot.

Alex Jones, host of “InfoWars”, hypothesized that Jenner’s announcement was actually just a plot to distract Americans from Obama’s mischievous, scheming ways. Jones declared that he does not “like being force-fed constantly this weird, one agenda. The obsession, it’s got to be from like five, six years, because I cover media, with the trannies and transvestites.”

“What’s behind the agenda?” Jones asked, revealing that the true agenda of the media is to not only distract us from Obama’s civil war but to “make the coolest thing to be” a “tranny or a transvestite” and glorify a “creepy old guy.”

Jones is not alone in his suspicions, as Cliff Kincaid of the conservative group Accuracy In Media wondered in Barbwire if Jenner’s transition was just “a hoax” to promote her upcoming TV show.  Kincaid argued that the greatest threat is to children, criticizing Jenner’s supporters for sending an “extremely damaging” message. Kincaid made sure to warn us that “the nation may not survive, as it becomes a laughingstock before self-destructing or becoming easy pickings for a determined foreign adversary.”

While it may seem like Jenner is simply showing the world her authentic self, Kincaid urged us to question, “Where is the evidence that this is anything but a hoax?”

                                                                                                                                                     

Hillary Clinton And Her Radical Muslim Cronies

The right loves to hate Hillary Clinton, and the latest conspiracy theories paint Clinton as a supporter and friend of “murderous Islamic thugs.” Rick Wiles, host of “Trunews,” spoke to Christopher Farrell of Judicial Watch Tuesday about his group’s claim that the U.S. compound in Benghazi was “arming Al Qaeda” and coordinating arms shipments to Islamic terrorists in Syria. While this connection may force some to then question why Islamic terrorists attacked the Benghazi compound in 2012, this question did not concern Wiles and Farrell.

Wiles compared the end of Gary Hart’s presidential campaign due to a photograph surfacing “of him with a pretty blonde sitting on his lap” to the apparent “murderous Islamic thugs sitting on the lap of Hillary Clinton.”

While a Republican-led investigation by the House Select Committee on Intelligence found Judicial Watch’s allegations about arm ships to Syria to be as credible as Hillary playing Santa with Islamic terrorists, Farrell and Wiles are not the only ones to remain unconvinced.  David Horowitz, a far-right conservative activist, alleged in an interview with Newsmax TV on Tuesday that Hillary Clinton’s aide, Huma Abedin, leaked information to the militants who killed four American diplomats in Benghazi. Clinton “got four people killed in Benghazi,” Horowitz argued. “She, you know, disclosed her private emails to Huma Abedin, a Muslim Brotherhood operative that showed where Ambassador Stephens was all the time, making him a perfect target.”

‘The Ferguson Effect”

Manhattan Institute fellow Heather Mac Donald penned an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal last Friday titled “The New Nationwide Crime Wave” and the effect has been a week of media outlets sounding the alarm. Apparently, the civil unrest that began after the killing of Michael Brown has flooded the country, inspiring widespread crime.

What this theory lacks in nuance it makes up for in cherry-picked statistics that create a misleading image of increased violence and death. Switching between comparing shootings, violent felonies, and gun-related homicides, Mac Donald argued that the U.S. is “in the grips of a hysteria against cops” and that “cops have gotten the message that they should back off policing,” causing the flood gates to open and crime to wash over the nation.

This tsunami of crime, claimed Mac Donald, is the fault of the “mainstream media, the university presidents talking about assaults on blacks and of course the president and former attorney general.”

Anti-Gay Conspiracy Of The Week

This week in anti-gay conspiracies, gay men are exporting sodomy “to the entire universe” and the prospect of gay marriage will destroy America and cause millions to flee and/or demand secession.

Mike Heath, former head of the Maine Family Policy Council and current blogger on BarbWire, warned that the “[gay] virus is spreading rapidly. It won’t be enough to pervert the whole world with this evil anti-family worldview. Since the developed governments of the world aspire to colonizing planets we have to prepare for the export of sodomy to other worlds—to the entire universe!” Referencing the Apostle Paul, Heath pointed out that “you can tell when a nation has become a walking corpse when it has endorsed perverted sex.”

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, in an interview with CNS News, had a similarly dire warning, claiming that a Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality would “literally cause the destruction of our country.” The court is “toying with something that’s like dynamite and will destroy our country,” he said.

If, however, by some stroke of luck America does not blow up following a ruling in favor of marriage equality, WorldNetDaily founder and editor Joseph Farah promises that it would be met by secession and mass emigration. Farah wrote that “we need a Promised Land. We need and Exodus strategy.” He asked if there are “any governors or legislatures out there among the 50 states willing to secede to offer a refuge for the God-fearing?” If governors cannot promise Farah this, he promised us there would be a “pilgrimage by millions of Americans” fleeing marriage equality.

CNS News posted an audio clip of part of the interview:

CNS News posted an audio clip of part of the interview: - See more at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/roy-moore-gay-marriage-will-literally-cause-destruction-our-country#sthash.SG52o5UE.dpuf

Gina Raimondo's Curious Speech at the Manhattan Institute (VIDEO)

Rhode Island Treasurer Gina Raimondo appeared at the Manhattan Institute on Thursday to receive that organization’s Urban Innovator Award. Raimondo was being recognized for her efforts to reform the state’s public pension plans. While Raimando is not the first Democrat to receive the award, her appearance at the right-wing think tank is likely to raise eyebrows back home because of what she said and where she said it.
 
For instance, in response to a question from Charles Brunie – a founder of Oppenheimer Capital and former chairman of the Manhattan Institute – Raimondo seemed to indicate that she’s open to privatizing, or selling outright, state assets. She also suggested that, due to her private sector background, she outworks lawmakers and other public servants and employees at the state house.
 
To be sure, the substance of Raimondo’s speech was the importance of core government services and the need to sustain them financially for future generations. She highlighted Rhode Island’s pension reforms as proof that government can work and closed by arguing that the debate over whether government is too big should be supplanted by a debate over whether government is effective. However, the venue for her speech raises questions.
 
The Manhattan Institute, perhaps best known as the “brain trust” of the Giuliani administration in New York, has a long history of working to privatize, undermine, and cut public schools, social services, and public transportation. These are the very services that Raimondo cited as essential in her life and to all citizens of Rhode Island.
 
More broadly, the Manhattan Institute pushes a right-wing agenda that is only partially obscured by the intellectual veneer it projects on its work. Whether it’s equal rights for gays and lesbians, immigration reform, equality between men and women, or affirmative action for minorities, the Manhattan Institute is working against it. In fact, the think tank’s best known “scholar” is Charles Murray, co-author of the discredited Bell Curve, which claimed a genetic link between race and IQ – e.g. blacks are genetically less intelligent than whites.
 
It is unclear what Raimondo hoped to accomplish by accepting the award. The motivations of the Manhattan Institute, however, are far less opaque. Their aim is to cut government spending on social programs – not to make it more effective – but rather to achieve their utopian free market vision of society. Partnering with a Democrat like Raimondo enables them to put forward a reasonable, bi-partisan face. The day after her speech, no less than the Wall Street Journal editorial page – no fan of Democrats or government – heaped praise on the treasurer for leading the Rhode Island “miracle.”
 
You can watch selected clips below and the full speech on the Manhattan Institute’s Public Sector Inc. website.
 
Intro video featuring Dick Cheney praising the Manhattan Institute’s “fresh thinking”:

Raimondo on getting locked in the state house:

Raimondo Q&A with Charles Brunie:

Raimondo on the importance of government:

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