A couple of times in the past I’ve written about what I call the conservative circle of scam, the way so many people on the right are so adept at fleecing each other. Here’s a piece about high-priced consultants milking the Koch brothers for everything they can get, and here’s one about my favorite story, the way that, in 2012, Dick Morris played ordinary people who wanted to see Barack Obama driven from office (he solicited donations to a super PAC for that purpose, laundered the money just a bit, and apparently kept most of it for himself without ever spending any of it on defeating Obama). The essence of the circle of scam is that everybody gets rich at some stage of the game, with the exception of the rank-and-file conservatives who fuel it all with their votes, their eyeballs, and their money.

Today there are two new media stories showing that the circle of scam is humming along nicely. The first comes from Michael Calderone at Huffington Post, who reports on an interesting relationship between Sean Hannity and the Tea Party Patriots. Here’s how it works: TPP is a sponsor of Hannity’s radio show. Then Hannity appears in TPP’s fundraising appeals, and some of the money generated inevitably goes back to Hannity’s radio show. Then Hannity goes on his Fox News show and talks about the terrific work the Tea Party Patriots are doing…

The second story comes from Kenneth Vogel and Mackenzie Weinger of Politico, who report that it isn’t just Hannity. A bunch of conservative media figures are in on the action, none gaining more than Glenn Beck, who has been paid an astounding $6 million by the Tea Party group FreedomWorks in recent years to promote its efforts.

Reblogged from smdxn

First, this entire incident speaks to the continued power of right-wing mythology. For many of the protesters, this isn’t about a rogue rancher as much as it’s a stand against “tyranny” personified in Barack Obama and his administration.

Second, it won’t happen, but right-wing media ought to be condemned for their role in fanning the flames of this standoff. After years of decrying Obama’s “lawlessness” and hyperventilating over faux scandals, it’s galling to watch conservatives applaud actual lawbreaking and violent threats to federal officials.

Finally, I can’t help but wonder how conservatives would react if these were black farmers—or black anyone—defending “their” land against federal officials. Would Fox News applaud black militiamen aiming their guns at white bureaucrats?

Somehow, given the degree to which right-wing media traffic in racial paranoia, I think we’d be looking at a different situation if the Bundy Ranch belonged to a bunch of black people. And as someone who closely follows the regular incidents of lethal police violence against blacks and Latinos, I also wonder whether law enforcement would be as tepid against a group of armed African-Americans. Judging from past events, I’m not so sure.

Reblogged from dendroica

This Week’s Model And now, a few vintage Raquel Gibson shots to spruce up the place…