Tag Archives: right-wing

“California lets illegals vote!” A typical story from the Right’s misinformation machine.

Summary: The Right-wing misinformation machine is both effective and profitable. However implausible its products, they meet the need of conservatives. Here is a typical example — the exciting news that California has made it easier for illegals to vote!

GOP sunrise

GOP sunrise, from “Right Truth” website.


Which side lies the most, Left or Right? I would like to know. But I believe the Right makes more money doing so from their high-traffic and often professional news services and websites. They produce a stream of fact, exaggerations, misinformation, and outright falsehoods. These keep the people on the right excited, generating clicks. And clicks are money. Here is an example of how they work.

On 11 October 2015 California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB60. Conservatives went into a frenzy. “Jerry Brown Signs Bill That Could Let Illegal Aliens Vote” by William Bigelow at Breitbart. Fox News ran a series of shows (It will “Provide Shelter For Illegals To Vote”). Their analyst Andrew Napolitano (retired NJ judge):  “if you are an illegal alien in California, get a driver’s license, register to vote, you can vote in local, state, and federal elections in California and those votes count” (video here).

The far-right websites went hysterical. “Illegals in California Could Decide Election” by Brendan Kirby at Lifezette. “California Allows Non-Citizens to Vote, Which is Illegal, So Every California Vote should be Disqualified” at Eagle Rising. Google shows scores, perhaps hundreds, of these.

This is, of course, bogus. It’s astonishing that anyone believes it. But probably millions of Americans do, conditioned by years of conservative “news” to believe implausible things. The bill states that a driver licenses of an illegal “does not establish eligibility for employment, voter registration, or public benefits.'” See for yourself.

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The GOP convention has done its job. Here are some highlights.

Summary: The Republican convention has served us well by showing us what we will get if we pull the level for GOP candidates on November 8. Here are some of the highlights.

Republican National Convention 2016 Logo

(1) GOP plans to build a New America

50 Shockingly Extreme Right-Wing Proposals in the 2016 Republican Party Platform” by Steven Rosenfeld / AlterNet, 18 July 2016 — “What Trump, a GOP Congress and GOP-appointed Supreme Court would do to America.” A cornucopia for corporations and the 1%; a horror show for the rest of us. Here is the full platform.

  • Tax cuts for the rich. Cut government salaries and benefits.
  • Dramatically increase Pentagon budget. Cancel Iran nuclear treaty and expand nuclear arsenal.
  • Deregulate the banks. Stop consumer protection. Start repealing environmental laws. Start shrinking unions and union labor. No change in federal minimum wage. Give internet service providers monopolies. Privatize government services to “fight poverty”. Replace traditional public schools with privatized options. Privatize student loans instead of lowering interest rates.
  • Appoint anti-choice, anti-LGBT, and anti-Obamacare justices. Make Christianity a national religion. Loosen gun controls nationwide. Pass an anti-choice constitutional amendment. Allow states to shut down abortion Clinics. Oppose stem cell scientific research. Replace sex education with abstinence-only approaches.
  • Loosen campaign finance loopholes and dark money. Repeal Obamacare. Privatize Medicare. Turn Medicaid, the poor’s health plan, over to states. No increasing Social Security benefits by taxing the rich. …

(2) Trump plans a purge if he wins

Governor Christie, who leads Trump’s transition team, told dozens of donors at the GOP convention that they were drawing up a list of federal government employees appointed by Obama to fire if Trump wins. Christie also said that “One of the things I have suggested to Donald is that we have to immediately ask the Republican Congress to change the civil service laws. Because if they do, it will make it a lot easier to fire those people”. Reuters reported this on the basis of a recording and accounts from two attendees.

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Populism arises amidst American workers abandoned by both Left & Right

Summary: Populism has arisen from the lower middle class, Americans abandoned not just by the Right (owned by the 1%) but the Left as well. Populists are the swing vote in modern elections. Who they choose to ally with might create a coalition that rules for another generation. It was the Left in the New Deal. And now? Either way, populism will last beyond Campaign 2016.

Fork in the road

Decline of the middle class in America

This report by Gallup shows the fracturing of the middle class, as they are slowly ground down. We’re near the historic moment when more Americans identify as “working and lower class” than “middle class” — a milestone in the Right’s long project to reverse the New Deal. This shows the force powering the political fires now ignited. We’re just discussing what form it will take.

Americans are considerably less likely now than they were in 2008 and years prior to identify themselves as middle class or upper-middle class, while the percentage putting themselves in the working or lower class has risen. Currently, 51% of Americans say they are middle class or upper-middle class, while 48% say they are lower class or working class. In multiple surveys conducted from 2000 through 2008, an average of more than 60% of Americans identified as middle or upper-middle class.

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Garry Wills explains The Triumph of the Hard Right

Summary: As America drifts into control by the Right through the “bottoms up” movement the Left has so longed dreamed of, many of our brightest minds describe with clarity and urgency what is happened. Such as in this review by Garry Wills of a powerful new book by E. J. Dionne. Whatever happens, we cannot say we were not warned.

“Every nation has the government it deserves.”
— Joseph de Maistre (lawyer, diplomat, philosopher), Letter #76 dated 13 August 1811, published in Lettres et Opuscules.

“Sooner or later, everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences.”
— attributed to Robert Louis Stevenson.

The Triumph of the Hard Right

By Garry Wills

New York Review of Books, 11 February 2016
Posted with their generous permission.

Review of Why the Right Went Wrong: Conservatism from Goldwater to the Tea Party and Beyond by E.J. Dionne Jr.


Everybody told everybody early in this year’s presidential campaign (during what was called Trump Summer) that we had never seen anything so sinisterly or hilariously (take your choice) new. But Trump Summer was supposed to mellow into Sane Autumn, and it failed to — and early winter was no saner. People paid to worry in public tumbled over one another in asking what had gone wrong with our politics. Even the chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, joined the worriers. After Mitt Romney lost in 2012, he set up what he called the Growth and Opportunity Project, to reach those who had not voted Republican — young people, women, Latinos, and African-Americans.

But its report, once filed, had no effect on the crowded Republican field of candidates in the 2016 race, who followed Donald Trump’s early lead as he treated women and immigrants as equal-opportunity objects of scorn. Now the public worriers were yearning for the “good old days” when there were such things as moderate Republicans. What happened to them?

The current Republican extremism has been attributed to the rise of Tea Party members or sympathizers. Deadlock in Congress is blamed on Republicans’ fear of being “primaryed” unless they move ever more rightward. Endless and feckless votes to repeal Obamacare were motivated less by any hope of ending the program than by a desire to be on record as opposing it, again and again, to avoid the dreaded label RINO (Republican in Name Only).

E.J. Dionne knows that Republican intransigence was not born yesterday, and he has the credentials for saying it because this dependably intelligent liberal tells us, in his new book, that he began as a young Goldwaterite — like Hillary Clinton (or like me). He knows that his abandoned faith sounded themes that have perdured right down to our day. In the 1950s there were many outlets for right-wing discontent — including H.L. Hunt’s Lifeline, Human Events, The Dan Smoot Report, the Fulton Lewis radio show, Willis Carto’s Liberty Lobby, the Manion Forum. In 1955, William F. Buckley founded National Review to give some order and literary polish to this cacophonous jumble. But his magazine had a small audience at the outset. Its basic message would reach a far wider audience through a widely popular book, The Conscience of a Conservative, ghostwritten for Barry Goldwater by Buckley’s brother-in-law (and his coauthor for McCarthy and His Enemies), L. Brent Bozell.

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Stratfor: France’s State of Fear and Its Swing to the Right

Summary: The shift to the right is happening across the West. Here Stratfor looks at France, whose leaders have learned from America’s elites to exploit their people’s fears after a crisis to push through security laws and shift the political spectrum to the right. They compare its current political turmoil with France’s troubled relations with its Right.


France’s State of Fear and Swing to the Right

Stratfor, 15 January 2016


  • France in 2016 will be characterized by President Francois Hollande’s attempts to cope with a country that is shifting politically to the right while leading a leftist administration.
  • In pursuit of the right-wing vote, Hollande will take a hard line on the Middle East and restrict civil liberties at home. However, he will also increase government spending in an attempt to reduce unemployment levels before the 2017 election.
  • This will ultimately be an uphill struggle, and the 2017 election will most likely come down to the center-right Republicans and the far-right National Front.


Two months after the Paris terrorist attacks, French President Francois Hollande is seeking to expand the emergency powers he invoked in November 2015. France’s state of emergency gave the government the authority to search houses without a warrant and restrict the right to peaceful assembly, all without judicial oversight. Hollande is now looking to change the French Constitution to extend the scope of these emergency powers.

However, his proposed changes also contain a more controversial alteration: They would permit France to strip French nationality from citizens who are found guilty of terrorist offenses. In its earlier forms, this law would have applied only to offenders with dual nationality status, but more recent statements from French ministers imply that it could also apply to French citizens who have just one passport, leaving them stateless. Such a shift would represent a sharp change in direction for France, bringing up painful memories of the denaturalization of Jews in Vichy France during World War II. The proposed change also reflects a major political shift to the right as the country’s 2017 election looms ever closer.

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