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Headless bodies and other immigration tall tales in Arizona

The Arizona governor, seemingly determined to repel every last tourist dollar from her pariah state, has sounded a new alarm about border violence. “Our law enforcement agencies have found bodies in the desert either buried or just lying out there that have been beheaded,” she announced on local television.

Ay, caramba! Those dark-skinned foreigners are now severing the heads of fair-haired Americans? Maybe they’re also scalping them or shrinking them or putting them on a spike.

But those in fear of losing parts north of the neckline can relax. There’s not a follicle of evidence to support Brewer’s claim.

Milbank notes FBI statistics show violent crime in Arizona has  not increased or decreased in ten years. John McCain(R-AZ) and of course Rush Limbaugh seemed obvious to those facts when mentioned by President Obama in a speech. Hey man you’re messing with our wing-nut narrative where headless bodies and shrill demagoguery are much more interesting than the truth. This was to be expected. Conservatives can whip up all the fauz outrage they like about the deficit, but that just reminds everyone that Republicans sucked at running the economy. The old cultural hot button issues do not carry the kind of shock and awe value they once did. Let’s make bizarre xenophobic claims and run on them as a platform. We could have an honest debate about illegal immigration. To be in this country illegally is not a good thing. After everyone agrees that we’re a nation of laws and something should be done we have to get past the lies and talk about the estimated $285 billion dollars it would cost to track down, process and deport all illegal aliens which come from every corner of the world, not just Mexico. Compare that to the extension of unemployment insurance of $38 billion. Which should be the bigger priority at a time of so much economic misery for so many people. Bush 43 tried to reach a consensus and compromise about one issue. Immigration reform. It was perhaps the only time when right-wing pundits and bloggers ganged up against him. If the guy who took right-wing fringe ideology to new heights of extreme can’t get a compromise it is doubtful Obama could propose any solution that would please even half  of the far Right. There is no $285 billion to spend. So maybe we could do the ear plug manufacturers a favor and just buy some American made plugs that would shield us from the never ending shrill.

The newest immigration myth – Fox Minister of Propaganda Steve Doocy still misinformed –and misinforming — about AZ law. The Arizona law is just like an immigration law on the books in Rhode Island, except, there is no law like Arizona’s in Rhode Island. John McCain and Fox hack Steve Doocy aside there are very likely citizens of Arizona who have good intentions. They’re against illegal immigration, jay walking and shop lifting. Just because they have good intentions does not mean they’re correct  on the Constitutional issues in question or the morality of the law – Ariz. immigration law ushers in Jose Crow era

As a result of Jim Crow laws and being born suspects, African-Americans are all too familiar with the consequences of “reasonable suspicion.” My father and those of his generation dealt with the obstinacy of an elected class determined to keep discrimination enshrined in statute. Sadly, with the passage of this anti-Fourth Amendment legislation in Arizona, it appears a similar elected class is determined to pass on that experience to a new generation of Americans. After decades of progress, it is painful to see a state put discrimination back into place with a new twist on old laws — ushering us into the Jose Crow era.

Masquerading as a fix to our broken immigration system, Arizona’s law sacrifices the liberties we have worked so hard to gain and protect. Under Arizona’s stringent anti-immigrant law, a person’s ethnicity and culture makes him or her “reasonably suspicious,” thereby eroding the constitutional rights of certain U.S. citizens and legal residents. Americans whose families have lived in Arizona for generations will have their citizenship questioned based on their “reasonably suspicious” physical appearance.

Why the Obama-is-a-socialist poll isn’t surprising – 55 percent of likely voters in this year’s elections think their president is a socialist

Of course, this only accounts for a few extra points. As the poll shows, even when the pool is broadened, the number of voters who describe their president as a socialist is quite high. But maybe this has always been the case? The right has been screaming about Obama’s “socialism” since the summer of 2008 (at least) — long before he was elected, long before he was sworn in, and long before he signed a single piece of legislation. In other words, the right reached its conclusion before there was any evidence. (This is the “thinking with my gut” mentality that Stephen Colbert likes to mock.)

It seems like they over sampled far right likely voters. The Christan Science Monitor looked into this socialism bunk last week – Is Obama a socialist? What does the evidence say?

What Mr. Johns, Mr. Gingrich, and others brandishing the “socialist” s-word are really complaining of is a return to the policies of John Maynard Keynes, the English economist who advocated vigorous government involvement in the economy, from regulation to pump priming, says labor historian Peter Rachleff of Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn.

Socialism suggests getting rid of capitalism altogether,” says Dr. Rachleff. “Mr. Obama is not within a million miles of an ideology like that.”

For what it’s worth, socialists deny that Obama is one of them – and even seem a bit insulted by the suggestion.

“I have been making a living telling people Obama is not a socialist,” says Frank Llewellyn, national director of the Democratic Socialists of America. “It’s frustrating to see people using our brand to criticize programs that have nothing to do with our brand and are not even working.”

I’ve seen one of the viral e-mails the Right is circulation on another blog(sorry forgot the link). One of the reasons i forgot to keep the link was the e-mail – while from a far right web site – simply echoed the same factless BS passed around by what passes for mainstream GOP politicos like Gingrich. Newt states the easily debunked lie that President Obama sent government agents into AIG’s offices to take it over. AIG was bailed out and taken over during the Bush administration. Newt and others claim the government took over GM. We the tax payers bailed them( a process started by Bush) out and the government thus took part owner ship as collateral against the loan. An ages old practice of capitalism. One assumes Newt would have taken a promissory note from GM and said have a nice day, spend wisely. If the tea nut definition of socialism is that nebulous then the Bush/Republican Medicare Part D drug legislation was a socialistic pact with the pharmaceutical industry as was outsourcing contracts to Blackwater and Halliburton.

The CSM article is unlikely to have much effect. Less than have of Republicans believe president Obama was born in the U.S. In 2006 a Harris poll showed that half the U.S. believed Iraq did have WMD ( never had and never found). In a Time/CNN poll done in 1997, 80% believe that the government is hiding the existence of extraterrestrial life forms. People believe lots of things that are either false or highly unlikely. The Right in particular seems to thrive on beliefs as opposed to knowledge. We’re all human and that trend is not exclusive to conservatives, but as Governor of Arizona Brewer, Rand Paul’s conspiracy theory about the U.S. and European Union, what state Minnesota’ representative Tom Emmer believes or feels he knows about business and senatorial candidate Sharron Angle believes about government forcing rape victims to carry their pregnancies to term all demonstrate is conservatives would be lost without their beliefs. One of the difficulties in running against conservatives for political office or debating them is getting past the pure unadulterated bull they believe in. They tend to govern badly because they want to, but also because they’re generally guided by the delusions which dance in their heads and those of their supporters.