Dept. of Congressional Oversight:
We always love when articles on the Middle East bemoan the fact that societies here are infiltrated with conspiratorial thinking, as though the US was a paradise of rationality…
In our first story, the spawn of some rightwing cranks infiltrated the US Muslim advocacy organization CAIR, then wrote a book about it. The conclusion: CAIR runs a typical DC lobbying/PR operation. But of course that didn’t stop a group of public diplomacy-minded House Republicans from attempting to use the book to gear up a witch-hunt against Muslim hill staffers.
Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma, is trying to cut off funding for political science, on grounds that fancy research is unnecessary when people can just watch CNN or Fox news (or even read blogs, if they really want to become experts on politics). Anonymous hill staffers told TBE that Coburn wants to divert funding to the hard sciences, specifically research into robotics. His vision, they said, is to create an robot that can be programmed with updatable Republican talking points and perhaps the complete works of Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, rendering Republican legislators of Coburn’s ilk redundant, and saving hardworking US taxpayers from the burden of funding their salaries, copious staffs and government-funded healthcare.
BBC Xtra podcast on class and music in Egypt (Arabic).