Tea Party and the Right  
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10 Phony Scandals the GOP May Waste Your Tax Dollars Investigating

Get ready for a reprise of the Clinton wars, as House Republicans investigate everyone who's ever walked by the White House.

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Those fears center around the “New Black Panther Party,” a fringe group of racist black nationalists who number in the dozens nationwide. They’ve made scenes at school board meetings and one of the group’s leaders shoved some reporters when he was working security for former Rep. Cynthia McKinney a few years back.

Among the many heinous crimes the hate-filled political theater troupe hasn’t committed, the New Black panthers are most notorious for what the Right considers to be a serious case of voter intimidation. It went down when a single member stood outside a Philadelphia polling place in 2008 with a nightstick (a second member of the group was present as well, but it turned out he was a registered poll watcher).

The problem with the story is that no voters reported being intimidated. The cops escorted the guy away from the polling place and the DoJ sued three members of the group, but it didn’t file criminal charges against the organization or send any of its members to Gitmo. This has outraged many on the Right.

A non-story, except it has everything a Fox News segment producer could want. As Media Matters noted, Murdoch’s crew “hyped the manufactured scandal more than 100 times” during just one six-week period last summer.

The media watchdog also pointed out an interesting fact about the nontroversy: that just about every serious-minded person, including even some “Fox News contributors and Republicans,” dismissed the “Fox-hyped phony scandal.” Media Matters offered a laundry list of right-leaning experts dismissing the case as nothing more than a partisan witch-hunt.

As Politico reported, Abigail Thernstrom, the conservative Republican co-chair of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission (and American Enterprise Institute scholar), called the Republican charges "overheated rhetoric filled with insinuations and unsubstantiated charges."

“This doesn't have to do with the Black Panthers,” she said. “This has to do with their fantasies about how they could use this issue to topple the [Obama] administration. ... My fellow conservatives on the commission had this wild notion they could bring [attorney general] Eric Holder down and really damage the president.”

Now those “fellow conservatives” control the House, so expect to hear more Fox-worthy Republican speeches on the dangers posed by the New Black Panthers than there are actual New Black Panthers.

3. Beating a Dead Acorn

If you think setting up the largest advocate for America’s poor with a cheap, faked video (that the media lapped up with a spoon), passing an un-Constitutional law penalizing it and eventually driving it out of existence under a barrage of innuendo was punishment enough for ACORN’s great crime of trying to register lots of minority voters, you don’t understand how the modern GOP operates.

After all, the organization had already declared bankruptcy when a Republican Rep issued a report earlier this year calling the group an organized crime outfit. That lawmaker was none other than Darrell Issa, who on Election Day told MSNBC that while, sure, jobs are a big deal, "it's very important that we look at ACORN as something that occurred, it was criminal activity and it used government money.”

4. The Unions

Conservatives love to push stories about thuggish and corrupt union organizers for a very simple and straightforward reason: it distracts Americans from the single most important thing they need to know about organized labor, which is that workers who participate in collective bargaining get 28 percent more in wages and benefits and have better health care and more retirement security than their non-union counterparts.

Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck have worked hard to advance the union thugs narrative, holding SEIU, the politically active service workers’ union, in particular contempt.

 
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