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    Think Progress Tag

    We have not written a lot in recent years about Think Progress, the left-wing website owned by the Center for American Progress. But back in the day, in the earlier years of Legal Insurrection, we wrote a lot about Think Progress and its efforts to smear the Tea Party as racist and violent. Think Progress led an obsessive campaign to demonize the Koch brothers and Andrew Breitbart. The false claim that Sarah Palin's electoral map was connected to Jared Loughner's shooting of Gabby Giffords was spread with the early help of Think Progress blogger Matthew Yglesias.

    While you were focused on the midterm elections, the Kavanaugh hearings, and other media firestorms, a coalition of left-wing activist groups, including some that actively attack conservatives, has moved forward with efforts to get big tech companies to censor online speech. The problem of big tech companies acting as speech gatekeepers has been a focus here for a long time. What starts with calls to censor "Nazis"and "White Supremacists" inevitably morphs into broader attempts to censor anyone who is right of center or deemed to have expressed politically incorrect views.

    President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Iowa Governor Terry Branstad as Ambassador to China, who has a strong relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Ian Millhiser at Think Progress took a shot at the decision because, you know, no matter what Trump does the liberals will hate it. Millhiser responded to Trump's pick by saying that the governor from a "landlocked state full of white people" does not know enough about China. Let's tell him a bit about Iowa and China's relationship!

    Keith Ellison, Democratic Congressman from Minnesota, is the favorite to become Chair of the Democratic National Committee. He has the support of big names like Chuck Schumer, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Harry Reid, among others. Yet for years there have been questions about Ellison's past association with Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, as well as his association with anti-Israel groups. We touched upon Ellison's background in two recent posts: Scott Johnson of Power Line, who is based in Minnesota, has been following the career of Ellison for a decade. Scott talked about some of what he has learned about Ellison in a recent radio interview, Ten Years On The Ellison Case:

    On Christmas Day 2011, as part of our "Open" post, we noted the following:
    What a bunch of kill joys, How to Discuss Climate Change With Your Uncle During the Holidays (because after racist relatives, climate change deniers are the biggest problem at family Christmas dinners).
    The advice was from a guest contributor at Think Progress: http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/12/24/391548/discuss-climate-change-holidays/ Of the several pieces of advice, I liked this coaching on how to bolster your own credibility, because nothing says "genuine" like a preplanned strategy to bolster your own credibilty:

    Hillary is supposed to announce her presidential run at 3 p.m. Eastern today. In the run up, the notorious Clinton smear machine already is lashing out at critics. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, a progressive, made a reasonable statement that he wanted to hear more about her vision before he formally endorsed her: The response for Democratic operative Hillary Rosen (who famously disparaged Ann Romney), was a not too thinly veiled threat. Meanwhile, Hillary critics are being smeared as sexist by Democratic operatives at Think Progress and Media Matters:

    We have addressed Koch Derangement Syndrome before.  One of the most obsessive purveyors was Think Progress. Now Rachel Maddow has caught the bug, and it's eating away at her reputation as the intellectual giant, ahem, of MSNBC. She's come undone. The short version is that Maddow went all in claiming the Koch brothers were behind a Florida law requiring drug testing for welfare recipients.  Except that it wasn't true, and her explanation was lacking in logic or credibility. The logic is so convoluted it's hard to summarize.  Basically it involved participation by the Florida Foundation for Government Accountability (“FFGA”) in the State Policy Network (SPN), to which the Kochs contributed about $40,000 over several years.   FFGA defended the drug testing law.  Maddow blamed the Kochs. (Video here) This was the worst form of guilt by association -- that some group involved in an issue was a participant in a larger group to which the Kochs contributed.

    Stephen Jimenez is the author of "The Book of Matt," a book that calls into question the deeply ingrained narrative that the murder of Matthew Shepard was an anti-gay hate crime. The extensively researched book reveals that the Shepard anti-gay hate crime narrative may be all wrong. Jimenez, who is gay himself, has been praised by prominent gay rights activists, including Andrew Sullivan.  In response to the new information, Sullivan has even called the narrative "a politically convenient myth" deployed to "raise gobs of money and pass unnecessary laws." Stephen Jimenez: Meth And The Murder Of Matthew Shepard from The Dish on Vimeo. On Monday, The New York Post's Andrea Peyser lauded Jimenez for shedding light on "an uncomfortable truth":
     Jimenez unearthed a story that few people wanted to hear. And it calls into question everything you think you know about the life and death of one of the leading icons of our age.
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