“Friends of Hamas”: World’s Dumbest Front Group?

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Apparently I missed the news that the latest right-wing conspiracy theory about Chuck Hagel is that he once received funding from an organization called “Friends of Hamas.” If you have a room temperature IQ, your first thought is that this is a distinctly unlikely name for a terrorist front group, sort of like the Third International trying to launder rubles into the hands of closeted communist sympathizers via a group called “Friends of Joe Stalin.” Probably not going to work.

But Dave Weigel, bless his hardworking heart, actually dug into this just to make sure. This is why he’s one of my favorite bloggers, though I worry sometimes about how long he can keep this up before his brain turns to tapioca. In any case, the answer seems to be just what you think it is: there’s no such group; the rumors appear to be just flatly made up; and they were first reported by (of course) Ben Shapiro. After that, all the usual suspects just decided to pile on because—well, because, why not? If it doesn’t work, they’ll just decide Hagel took money from “Friends of Pedophiles” or something.

Really, you can just say anything these days, can’t you? If you’re a conservative, anyway.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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