“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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And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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