andrew sullivan

andrew sullivan: Page 1

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Going Rogue: Andrew Sullivan pretends he didn't "run" with the Sarah Palin pregnancy story - 11/20/09

In her book "Going Rogue", Sarah Palin claims that The Atlantic (meaning Andrew Sullivan) "ran" with the disgusting story claiming that Trig Palin was actually the son of her daughter. Sullivan takes umbrage at her claim, saying that he never "ran" with the story but simply asked questions.

Liberals cheer racism, repudiation of U.S. sovereignty at tea party protest by Nick Espinosa (Daniel Tencer) - 11/16/09

Daniel Tencer of RawStory offers "Tea partiers punk’d into supporting removal of white people from US" (rawstory.com/2009/11/tea-partiers-punked-white-people video at peekURL.com/v5h3vrp). Both the underlying story and his treatment of it are explicitly anti-American:

Andrew Sullivan lies, misleads, smears: Hawaii never "vouched for" the COLB pictured on Obama's site - 08/09/09

Andrew Sullivan offers "Obama still isn’t president in the south/Denying the leader’s American birth is just another form of racism" (link). There are other smears besides those in the title, but I'll leave looking at those to the reader. Instead, I'll just concentrate on how he's lying and misleading about this issue:

There are notices in two local papers and the certification of birth is filed in the state of Hawaii’s records.

The announcements didn't list where or in what hospital he was born and no one has proved that they could have only come from a birth hospital and would only indicate a birth in Hawaii. No one knows who placed those announcements; it could even have been the grandparents in case of a custody battle or simply to prove U.S. citizenship. That doesn't mean they planted the announcements, it just means that's a possibility.

Once I’d seen the short-form certificate online, verified by independent journalists and vouched for by state authorities, I was, too.

State authorities have never "vouched for" the picture shown on Obama's site or on FactCheck, as a Hawaii state spokeswoman points out at the link.

The only people outside the Obama camp who we know have seen the cert are from FactCheck, and those from their group who saw it were their (per them) "representatives" and "staffers", not "independent journalists" as Sullivan states. Further, FactCheck is not a credible organization; in fact, their main page about this issue outrageously lied to their visitors for over eight months.

Some, like me, didn’t understand the Hawaiian intricacies at first: we thought there was a single long-form certificate that could resolve the question. But, as FactCheck notes: “The Hawaii Department of Health’s birth record request form does not give the option to request a photocopy of your long-form birth certificate, but their short form has enough information to be acceptable to the State Department.” So Obama did all he could to make this go away.

Obama hasn't done all he could "to make this go away". If you look at the legal requests that were made of him, they included things like his school records and the like (see a list from one case here). He could have released a non-onerous subset of those type of records and, since Hawaii still has his original paperwork on file, he could have them release that if he wanted to. It's ludicrous that those who aren't cult members would take a picture on a web page as proof of citizenship.

I left a variant of the above as a comment on the article, and if the Times UK doesn't print a correction please send them emails asking them to do so.

UPDATE: A full day after I posted a comment on the article, the Times still hasn't approved it. Please send this link to online.editor *at* timesonline.co.uk

Sleazy Andrew Sullivan tries to implicate Bill O'Reilly in George Tiller shooting - 05/31/09

Abortion doctor George Tiller was killed earlier today in Wichita, Kansas. In response, Andrew Sullivan offers "O'Reilly's Target Shot Dead In Church" [1] in which he tries to lay the blame for the as-yet-unknown killer's actions on Bill OReilly. Showing his intense interest in the truth, he links to and quotes Wikipedia [2]

On Friday, November 3, 2006, Bill O'Reilly featured an exclusive segment on his show, The O'Reilly Factor, saying that he has an "inside source" with official clinic documentation indicating that George Tiller performs late-term abortions to alleviate "temporary depression" in the pregnant woman.[12] According to reporting data provided to the Kansas Board of Healing Arts for the year 1998, all of the post-viable partial-birth (dilation and extraction) abortion procedures performed in Kansas during that year were performed because "the attending physician believe[d] that continuing the pregnancy [would] constitute a substantial and irreversible impairment of the patient's mental function."[13] Tiller responded to O'Reilly's statements by demanding an investigation into the "inside source" through which the information was leaked, suggesting that Phill Kline, then the Kansas Attorney General, was responsible. Kline denied the charge.

Bolding added. He also links to this July 15, 2008 segment from the O'Reilly Factor in which Jesse Watters confronted governor Kathleen Sibelius. The transcript of that is here. They also discussed him in 2007 and 2006, but the latest mention of him on that show appears to have been over ten months ago. And, of course, O'Reilly never advocated violence against him in any way. And, whether it was good journalism or bad journalism, O'Reilly was engaging in journalism in the Wikipedia quote above; Watters was engaged in journalism; and O'Reilly was making perfectly legitimate commentary. And, no doubt in the intervening months there have been dozens of MSM stories about him.

I hesitate to call this the most disreputable thing Sullivan has ever said, partially because I'm not familiar with everything he's said and there might be something worse. However, he never went as far as accusing Sarah Palin of inciting murder, so this might in fact be very close to a low point for Sullivan.

[1] andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/05/a-far-right-assassination.html
[2] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Tiller#The_O.27Reilly_Factor_controversy

HuffPost, The Atlantic, LGF, Gawker, Sullivan, C&L, & more spread smear video (Glenn Beck, "burn the books") - 04/12/09

The attached video is a local meetup for Glenn Beck's "912 Project" and features someone who's probably genuine giving an anti-Communism and partly paranoid rant. However, near the five minute mark, a lady's voice is heard shouting out "burn the books". She's then challenged by a male attendee who asks her whether she's serious; she replies that yes she is.

Andrew Sullivan calls on Obama to release his birth certificate - 02/23/09

In a move that might help the MSM further unjustly discredit all those who want the truth about the Obama citizenship issue (see that link for our extensive, completely fact-based coverage), Andrew Sullivan now says (andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/02/first-keyes-now.html):

...I see absolutely no reason why Obama himself should not release the actual original document and provide it to the press. The president of the United States, like anyone else in public life, has no "right to privacy" in a matter like this, and there's absolutely no good reason why he should refuse to give the press every conceivable piece of evidence at his disposal to clear up even paranoid conspiracy theories about his birth and eligibility to be president.

A couple of points:
1. He links to the Los Angeles Times blog post (latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2008/06/obama-birth.html) reposting the same picture of Obama's supposed birth certificate as is available on Obama's FightTheSmears site and says that's convinced him. He doesn't note that FightTheSmears did things like omit an interior sentence of someone's quote - without providing ellipses - in order to smear them. He doesn't note all the other issues with Obama's websites disappearing things. He also doesn't note that anyone can put a picture on a website, and that a picture on a website is not proof of anything.

2. It's not enough for Obama to simply release the "original document", and the "original document" has different meanings. Is it a certified "long form" certificate, or the "certification of live birth" as pictured on his website? And, once release it has to be verified by the issuing agency since reporters aren't document experts and they're going to say whatever Obama tells them to say anyway.

UPDATE: To be precise, it's a "Certification of Live Birth", not a "Certificate of Live Birth".

New smear: Palin didn't know Africa was a continent or the three countries in NAFTA - 11/05/08

[IMPORTANT UPDATE BELOW]

An unnamed John McCain aide supposedly told Carl Cameron of Fox News - a tool if there ever was one - that Sarah Palin didn't know that Africa was a continent instead of a country. The aide also told him that she didn't know which countries were in NAFTA. Needless to say, this comes on the heels of a long line of smears against Palin, and it's almost assuredly a smear as well. She obviously knows about Canada, and she also obviously knows about Mexico. There's the slight possibility that she thought that some of the countries that are in Central America were in North America, but that probably isn't likely either. So, this doesn't even pass very basic scrutiny.

For those just dropping by, there's probably almost no chance that the allegations are true and someone is playing a game.

Unfortunately, it might be an effective smear because of the foundation that the mainstream media laid in order to help Obama become president; many of the things you "know" about Palin are actually lies planted by the Obama campaign and/or the mainstream media (as if they were that separate).

See this for the transcript of the interview, this or this for some thoughts on the palace intrigue aspects (noting that the second is just speculation), and this for the video.

What's especially worrisome about this from the standpoint of an informed electorate is that, at the same time that this smear is spreading, Obama supports a Bush trade scheme known as "NAFTA Plus" (the Security and Prosperity Partnership, spp.gov) that might be a precursor to joining the three countries of North America.

When coming out in support of that Bush trade scheme, Obama spoke in code. And, I have yet to see someone besides me and Obama himself discussing the fact that he supports that scheme. His editorial supporting Bush's scheme appeared in the Dallas Morning News, but no one else wants to discuss what he supports.

The visitor should decide which is more important: a smear, or a secretive Bush trade scheme. Then, take those pushing the smear to task. And, note that those calling Palin dumb are actually the dumb ones: they can't figure out that this is clearly a planted smear and they're just being useful idiots.

~~ Who's helping spread the smear? ~~

* The Huffington Post (of course) has it at huffingtonpost.com/2008/11/05/palin-didnt-know-africa-i_n_141653.html, and that has over 2200 Diggs (of course)

* Andrew Sullivan has completely bought it without any reservations whatsoever: andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/11/the-odd-truths.html
Can you trust anyone who'd be so gullible?

* Faiz Shakir of ThinkProgress also completely buys it:
thinkprogress.org/2008/11/05/palin-africa-continent/

* However, in a report oddly similar to the one from HotAir linked above, ksh01 of DailyKos implicitly throws some cold water on this by discussing the palace intrigue aspects:
dailykos.com/story/2008/11/5/194551/287/976/651932

10/20/09 UPDATE: The full story is still not known, but it appears that a real McCain staffer said the things listed above to Carl Cameron. Then, a prankster tried to glom onto the story, pretending that he was that staffer. However, at this point in time it appears that the prankster wasn't the one who told Cameron the things listed above.

This quotes him as saying it was "senior McCain staff" who "put this out", and from this:

The pranksters behind [Martin Eisenstadt] acknowledge that he was not, through them, the anonymous source of the Palin leak. He just claimed falsely that he was the leaker--and they say they have no reason to cast doubt on the original story. For its part, Fox News Channel continues to stand behind its story.

Does Andrew Sullivan support accountability for Barack Obama too? - 10/05/08

Sully links to this video of Margaret Thatcher being grilled by a regular citizen during the Falklands War as, of course, a way to criticize Sarah Palin:

The horrifying sequestering of Sarah Palin from a press conference and anything like this kind of public interrogation is a scandal.

Of course, what Sully fails to note is that Barack Obama has been "sequestered" since he started running for president around two years ago. That's the main scandal: the front-runner for president of the U.S. has only very rarely been asked slightly tough questions, has never to my knowledge been called to his face on even just one of his lies, and as far as I know not a single "reporter" has tried to hold him accountable for the hugely obvious flaws in his policies. Instead, the mainstream media has repeatedly lied on his behalf and, when they weren't doing that has thrown him extremely puffball questions. The one or two times when "reporters" came close to doing their jobs, he didn't respond too well (asked about Rezko, answers some questions, flees room; March 4, 2008; link).

I am absolutely positive that Andrew Sullivan is intellectually honest and doesn't want to suffer from cognitive dissonance. So, I am absolutely positive that Sully will use his platform to urge "reporters" to finally call BHO on his lies, his misleading and incomplete statements, and the glaring flaws in his policies and get an answer from him.

Anything less would reveal Sully to be nothing more than a delusional, obsequious toady, so I have no doubt he'll rush to take the media and Barack Obama to task. I also look forward to Sully urging his readers to go out and ask Obama all the questions that the MSM has so far failed to ask him.

Let Sully's new rallying cry be: 'End Obama's "sequestration"!'

P.S. Sully also presents the video as a lesson "to remind American voters what a real democracy sounds like". Thanks! We Yanks certainly do appreciate a foreign citizen - someone who isn't able to vote in our elections but is trying to influence them - telling us what to do and reminding us of the errors of our ways.

UPDATE: I sent a trackback and several hours later it hasn't appeared. There are certainly innocent explanations for that, such as Sully never bothering to check incoming pings, a technical problem, etc. Or, he realizes as much as everyone else does that if he allowed people to talk back to him he'd be quickly discredited. (Note: past attempts to send pings using the Wizbang online version failed, so I wrote a little snippet of code to use this. It said the ping had succeeded.)

Justin Rood/ABC News misleads about Sarah Palin divestment from Sudan - 10/03/08

Followers of the MSM's attempt to destroy Sarah Palin have probably noticed a trend: the MSM reports something that's false or misleading and uses the "recollections" of a Democratic politician from Alaska as their authority on the matter. That's then picked up by the blogs and amplified, until such time as a new smear is ready.

Thus it is that Justin Rood of ABC News offers "Record Refutes Palin's Sudan Claim/Palin Administration Against Sudan Divestment Before It Was For It, Documents Show" (link). The main quote source in the article is Alaskan Democratic politician Les Gara, who's also the "validator" for a highly misleading "fact check" from the Barack Obama campaign: factcheck.barackobama.com/factcheck/2008/10/02/debate_reality_check_palin_wro_1.php

That BHO page says "Palin's administration was complicit in killing Darfur divestment bill" and provides a few quotes in support of that claim. However, the BHO campaign "forgets" to point out that Palin later supported the bill when it was reintroduced in the next session.

Taking his cues from the BHO campaign, ABC's Rood says:
In Thursday's debate, Palin said she had advocated the state divest from Sudan. "When I and others in the legislature found out that we had some millions of dollars [of Permanent Fund investments] in Sudan, we called for divestment through legislation of those dollars," Palin said.

But a search of news clips and transcripts from the time do not turn up an instance in which Palin mentioned the Sudanese crisis or concerns about Alaska's investments tied to the ruling regime. Moreover, Palin's administration openly opposed the bill, and stated its opposition in a public hearing on the measure.
Rood himself and the subhead both admit that the most that can be said is that she (i.e., her administration) were against it to begin with for one reason or other. There are only two angles for an honest reporter: why was her administration was against it initially, and does her statement above imply some sort of immediate action rather than allowing for initial opposition. Rood is trying to give the impression that she was outright lying about supporting divestment, something that this April 03, 2008 article shows to be false (link):
Gov. Sarah Palin's administration signaled support Tuesday for the Legislature to order the divestment of Alaska's public funds from Sudan, where thousands of people have died in the Darfur region.

Department of Revenue Commissioner Patrick Galvin endorsed a bill promoting divestment in Sudan at a hearing before the Senate State Affairs Committee.
Also, the bill that ABC discusses was sponsored by Democrat Les Gara and Republican Bob Lynn. The latter couldn't be reached, but Gara is quite eager to pin blame on Palin and lays it on thick:
"At the last minute they showed up" and supported the divestment effort, Gara said. But by then the legislative session was almost over, and there wasn't enough time to get it passed.
Rood's timeline appears to place that "early this year". Yet, the Alaskan legislature began its session on January 15 (link), and according to this, state senator Hollis French was to co-sponsor a new version of the bill. Rood's timeline is obviously off.

For the details, one possibility would be to contact "Save Darfur Anchorage"; if she were the sticking point I'm sure they would have covered it (link). When a Chinese company that invests in the Sudan (Sinopec) wanted a major state contract (link,link) and was rejected for one reason or other, they took her to task for not publicly rejecting that company over Darfur (link); they also met with her over divestment in December 2007 (link).

And, concerning Sinopec, this December 7, 2007 report says:
Alaska Revenue Commissioner Pat Galvin said concerns about either exports or alleged human-rights violations could be valid considerations during the months-long review process of the gas project proposals.
Galvin is also quoted at some of the previous links as a representative of the Palin administration dealing with divestment.

~ Who's pushing the smear ~
* Needless to say, someone else is buying it and trying to resell it: andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/10/the-odd-lies--2.html. He calls that a "lie", when in fact Sully is the liar.
* Martin Kaste of NPR fails to point out that she later supported divestment: npr.org/blogs/politics/2008/10/palins_budget.html
* Americablog does the same: americablog.com/2008/10/sarah-palins-18-lies-tonight.html That same list was posted by Lowell (raisingkaine.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=16416), this site (yestodemocracy.com/yes_to_democracy_no_to_pu/2008/10/sarah-palins-18.html), and a large number of other blogs and forums. Some don't have a link back, and the ones that do link back to Americablog. However, the list screams "sent from the BHO campaign".
* Americablog again, with John Aravosis quoting only the "good parts" of the ABC piece, the ones that don't mention that the Palin administration later came out in support of divestiture: americablog.com/2008/10/abc-palin-lied-last-night-about.html

Sarah Palin/Joe Biden vice presidential debate live coverage 10/2/08 - 10/02/08

Summary: Palin "won", in that she held her own, which was much better than the MSM and the "pundits" expected (and hoped). She didn't eviscerate Biden (even though she got in a subtle dig against Michelle Obama), but simply by being able to match him she hasn't doomed the McCain campaign and her folksy ways probably helped a good deal. She's also shown herself not to be the monster that the MSM has tried to portray her as.

Commencing now..

Biden implies that madrassas aren't schools. I'm sure he knows, but...

Palin had a "good conversation" with Henry Kissinger. Oh my. Was David Rockefeller there too?

TROUBLE IN POWER GLUTES PARADISE! Andrew Sullivan says:

Palin has very little substance but is killing him stylistically. And Biden sounds very liberal. He's throwing this debate away so far... Biden is just foundering... Biden is just dreadful...

Palin points out that she isn't a DC insider; points out that she withdrew state money from a fund that had invested in the Sudan...

CNN's "uncommitted" Ohio voters sure seem to like everything Biden says. In fact, they just redlined when Biden was speaking, and plummeted just as Palin was starting to speak. It picked up again, and it hasn't redlined during a later Biden speech. However, it's not like CNN is above doing things like I suspect they're doing with those "uncommitted" voters... Oddly enough, afterwards several of those "uncommitted voters indicated that the debate had helped them make up their minds. Nervous but gap-toothed Becky Mock was the only one who'd decided to vote for McCain. How incredibly odd that there'd be so many crypto-Obama supporters among CNN's pool of "uncommitted" voters!

Joe Biden spends a lot of time at Home Depot. Most days you can find him in the lumber department, just shootin' the breeze...

"Oh, Joe, there you go again!" Biden laughs at himself...

Palin's specialities will be energy and "working with special needs children", all under the watchful eye of John McCain...

Biden says Dick Cheney has been the most dangerous VP in history. He's probably right, but he said it like he expected a laugh from other DC insiders, only realizing that wasn't who he was speaking to DC insiders...

Inner thought: Is America ready to elect a vice president who talks like a Canadian?

The ticket of "Drastic Change to the Left" and "No Change in 35 Years"...

Biden's house is his total investment? Someone double-check...

Was Biden cracking up or cracking up? Someone get him a Ricola...

McCain voted against "My Heat" program for seniors to allow them to heat their homes? The only search for that brought up a program in England. Is Biden in the right country? [SEE UPDATE 4]

Sarah Palin says she's always been proud to be an American, and so has McCain (and, by implication, she's referring to Michelle Obama's statements and, well, pretty much everything BHO says...)

THE POWER GLUTES HAD A MOOD SWING:

10.23 pm. I'm changing my mind about this debate. Biden is now cleaning up... 10.29 pm. She's just whirring now... 10.30 pm. Biden's sobriety and authority and call for fundamental change is both reasonable and solid. It will resonate, I think...

P.S. Why is Campbell Brown's leg in the foreground on CNN's coverage? I'm sure it's not just eye candy or anything!

UPDATE: A commenter says this unconfirmed bit at meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/10/media_bias.php:

Media not covering Biden's Lebanon gaffe... First he said Hezbollah was kicked out of Lebanon... Biden's suggestion of moving Nato forces into Lebanon is not practical... Nato is seen as a puppet of the U.S in the middle east and that idea of moving nato into lebanon has long been rejected... Sounds like a good idea but the UN blue hats are the only thing the shia in Lebanon will agree to... This was discussed two years ago and Nato and Hezbollah were both against it.

UPDATE 2: Nine out of ten sockpuppets/BHO supporters posing as "reporters" agree: Biden won the debate (despite unmentioned gaffes). They agree that Palin held her own, but she didn't really answer any of the questions. Plus, she got the name of Gen. David D. McKiernan wrong; she said McClellan, presumably having a minor mix-up with the Civil War general. Oh, my. How will Ahmedinejad respect her now?

Kos says (dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/10/2/21471/4403/39/618299) "So who won? Who cares. Nothing happened to change the dynamics of this race." Sully, whose mood swings have temporarily stablized, says (andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/10/the-bottom-line.html) "The campaign's trajectory remains unaltered."

Translated from Obamaian, those mean that Palin clearly won.

UPDATE 3: Reuters says:

Biden, who is known for his verbal miscues, managed to only have one major gaffe, apparently erroneously referring to Hezbollah instead of Syria when he talked about the United States and France coming to the aid of Lebanon... "When we kicked — along with France, we kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon, I said, and Barack said, 'Move NATO forces in there. Fill the vacuum, because if you don't know — if you don't, Hezbollah will control it,'" Biden said.

However, whether the issue in the first update is another gaffe remains open.

Biden might have also gotten his Constitution wrong.

And, straight outta the McCain campaign comes a list of 14 alleged Biden lies (link).

UPDATE 4: Biden was refering to the LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program) program above, not "My Heat". There are a lot of pages taking him to task for voting against increased for that program and it took a while to find this McCain quote:

"Of course I favor increases in LIHEAP or whatever is necessary to help people meet literally incredible challenges this winter. I have always supported whatever is necessary to help those who can't care for themselves." But he said with spending "out of control," such programs should be paid for rather than add to the deficit.

UPDATE 5: There's more on the Lebanon bit at americanthinker.com/blog/2008/10/and_now_the_mother_of_all_bide.html. FactCheck says they both got things wrong here. Fact-checking them is left as an exercise. And, there are eight more Biden "Errors/Lies/Hallucinations" other than those from the McCain campaign here. That points out that the Katie's Restaurant Biden mentioned in his "I'm one of you" speech shut down in the 80s, changing names and owners. Only recently was it reopened as Wings to Go at Katies. He might have meant to refer to a different restaurant, or maybe all the time he spends hanging out in the lumber department at Home Depot has warped his mind.

Intellectually dishonest James Kirchick - 01/08/08

James Kirchick of the New Republic - home of the odious Jason Zengerle - offers "Angry White Man/The bigoted past of Ron Paul", an attempt by the Beltway establishment to sink his candidacy by revealing excerpts from his old newsletters. Apparently much or all of it was ghostwritten, and the campaign tries to portray him as a (per Kirchick) "naive, absentee overseer, with minimal knowledge of what his underlings were doing on his behalf". To a good extent that doesn't wash, and many of the quotes provided are indeed very questionable in and of themselves. (The Ron Paul campaign responds to the TNR piece here. See also the response from Thomas DiLorenzo (not Lew Rockwell as previously stated), in which he implies he might sue Kirchik for libel; the article implies that DiLorenzo is a neo-Confederate due to a conference he spoke at, when the conference actually dealt with the pre-Civil War northern secessionist movement.)

However, other quotes from the TNR piece beg for context, and others are craftily spun in order to make Paul look as bad as possible. Consider this:

That same year [1990], citing a Christian-right fringe publication, an item suggested that "the AIDS patient" should not be allowed to eat in restaurants and that "AIDS can be transmitted by saliva," which is false.

There are at least three things wrong with that.

1. Per the Red Cross (link):

There are no known cases of saliva by itself spreading HIV... However, because there could be a risk of blood contact during prolonged open-mouth kissing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends against doing this with a partner who has HIV.

So, outright calling it "false" isn't exactly honest, not that TNR has much familiarity with that concept.

2. In 1990, how many studies had been done on transmission via saliva? In 1990 - when the excerpt was written - was it still a very open question? [UPDATE: a search of the contemporaneous NYT and medical literature at pubmed.gov shows mixed results, with some saying it could be transmitted via saliva and some saying it's very unlikely; one HIV+ person was convicted of attempted murder after biting someone.]

3. Just because someone "cites" something doesn't mean that they agree with it.

Did Kirchick make a "mistake"? Or was he intentionally trying to deceive by confusing what we (mostly) know now with what was known in 1990?

Kirchick goes on:

The newsletters are chock-full of shopworn conspiracies, reflecting Paul's obsession with the "industrial-banking-political elite" and promoting his distrust of a federally regulated monetary system utilizing paper bills. They contain frequent and bristling references to the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission, and the Council on Foreign Relations--organizations that conspiracy theorists have long accused of seeking world domination. In 1978, a newsletter blamed David Rockefeller, the Trilateral Commission, and "fascist-oriented, international banking and business interests" for the Panama Canal Treaty, which it called "one of the saddest events in the history of the United States."

I guess that reasonable people can disagree on whether the CFR and other Rockefeller-linked groups are just friendly social groups or whether they do attempt to run matters, but I suggest being very suspicious of hacks who try to claim the former. As for the Treaty, consider this:

...the White House in late 1977 directed the well-connected former chairman of the finance committee of the Democratic National Committee,
S. Lee Kling, to set up the "Committee of Americans for the Canal Treaties, Inc." (COACT). To anyone not aware of Kling's past or his mandate from the White House, COACT seemed like a grass­roots, nonpartisan effort on behalf of the treaties... the list of COACT members in­cluded David Rockefeller (chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank)...

DR was also there in 1999 when Carter officially handed the Canal over (link), and he has a link to the co-negotiator of the treaty (link).

And:

What's more, Paul's connections to extremism go beyond the newsletters. He has given extensive interviews to the magazine of the John Birch Society, and has frequently been a guest of Alex Jones, a radio host and perhaps the most famous conspiracy theorist in America.

Being interviewed by someone doesn't mean you agree with everything they say. And, while Alex Jones is a bit of a showman and does have some far-out-there ideas, others are not. And, unlike someone like Kirchick, he's willing to buck the establishment.

Note also this email he sent to a RP supporter a few weeks ago:

I don't think Ron Paul is a homophobe; I'm just cynical and enjoy getting supporters of political candidates riled up. If you were a Giuliani guy I'd have called him a fascist.

The recipient goes on to call Kirchick a "muckraker, a charlatan, and a hypocrite"; as for the part about "dishonoring" TNR with his presence, I'd say he fits right in.

UPDATE: John Gibson of Fox News did a radio interview with Kurchik here. It contains this absolutely incredible statement:

"When someone mentions the Trilaterial Commission in nefarious terms, you know that they're a little kooky... ...The Bilderbergers, that's a real out there conspiracy theory..."

Then, he pretended that Bohemian Grove was just a "men's social club in Northern California".

This guy is a complete establishment suck-up and apologist. While some of the theories about those groups are indeed out there, pretending they're just happy friendly social groups is something that no one who isn't just trying to suck-up should engage in. Also, he appears to be a fan of Rudy Giuliani; at the last link Rudy gives an award to David Rockefeller and mentions all the groups with which he's been associated, including the CFR and the Bilderbergers.

TNR has released some scanned copies of the newsletters here. I'm going to leave it to others to look through all of them but the first one in the "Conspiracies" section is from 1978 - well before some of RP's supporters were born - and it contains highlighted sections that apparently we're supposed to shocked at, such the fact that David Rockefeller is linked to politicians and the news media or that the true owners of the Panama Canal are not just the supposed owners. So? Another one in that section, a solicitation letter, is so over the top that I'm almost positive that Ron Paul himself didn't write it, and I don't think too many politician write their own solicitation letters.

UPDATE 2: This has got to be a joke. Little Green Footballs - added as a show of support to this site's "blogroll" after some incident a few years ago and just now removed - offers "Ron Paul's Personal Details in Racist Newsletter" (link). Apparently the fact that whoever wrote a paragraph knew that Ron Paul had grandchildren strongly implies that the author was Paul himself and not a surrogate.

UPDATE 3: Andrew Sullivan - someone who wouldn't last more than a week as a pundit if he allowed open comments - flees the ship for USS McCain:

After the awful news about Ron Paul's ugly, repellent past newsletters, I find myself rooting again for the man who was my second choice.

UPDATE 4: Via this guy in the comment at http://volokh.com/posts/1199830642.shtml#311903 consider this from their documents page:

A 1989 newsletter compares Salman Rushdie to Ernst Zundel, a Canadian Holocaust-denier.

The 1989 PDF (link) only "compares" their cases and points out liberal hypocrisy, calling out TNR by name (probably why they highlighted it; bolding added):

Would the New Republic, which has been sickenly pompous on Rushdie and in its hymns to secular humanism, defend things it would find heretical? The answer is no. This liberal magazine has past defended Canada's "anti-hate" law, which was used to fine and jail a Canadian author, Ernst Zundel, who questioned the historical reality of the Holocaust. Liberal newspapers like the Washington Post and the Boston Globe have also praised the Canadian law and this prosecution. I'll believe Establishment liberals are really committed to free speech when I see Norman Mailer and his cohorts wearing "I am Ernst Zundel" buttons and holding readings of his works. I personally am offended by writings advocating fascism, socialism, Communism, and other forms of special-interest big government. Many people understandably find Zundel's writings offensive. But his case is no different in principle from Rushdie's except that Zundel is poor and in jail, and Rushdie is rich and protected.

Bonnie Erbe/Michael Barone on U.S. Attorneys being fired - 03/08/07

Earlier today, the blogosphere was rocked with the news that alpha particles from Mars had penetrated Michael Barone's thick skull, forcing him to say:

The emerging scandal surrounding the dismissals of eight former U.S. attorneys should signify to American voters the depth, breadth, and permeation of corruption in the Bush administration.

Sully was stunned, but now says:

A reader alerts me that it might have been a hacker's work. It's not listed on his blog's full posts. I'm checking into it. In the meantime, I've taken it down. I'll keep you posted, as it were.

In fact, Barone sent him an email denying any involvement in the matter, and Sully's investigative reporting skills now have him saying: I was duped by a hacker.

By now, the reader has figured out what this is about: it wasn't a Barone post, it was a post by Bonnie Erbe, who is not a hacker. It was just a technical glitch. The original URL now redirects to a URL at Erbe's USNews blog.

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The childlike Dave Weigel - 08/22/06

David Weigel of Reason is guest posting at Andrew Sullivan's blog and offers a discussion of Pat Buchanan's latest book that's even dumber than that that Sully would have provided.
Can anyone point me to the border towns where democracy has collapsed, supplanted by Latin American-style caudillos?
We can come close: "Mexican drug cartels take over U.S. cities", colonias, "Task force targets cross-border violence", "Combating Southwest border violence" (and as pointed out below, Maywood CA)
Have Arizona, California, and the rest of the Southwest become less American or less loyal?
Apparently he missed all those Mexican flags when all those hundreds of thousands of foreign citizens were marching in our streets demanding rights to which they aren't entitled, and all those politicians who act more like Mexican agents than elected U.S. representatives.
Restrictionists are too quick to compare America's immigration with that of Europe or of collapsed empires of the past. But it's a false comparison between, say, Muslim immigrants who settle in Rotterdam and refuse to integrate with Dutch society, and Mexican immigrants who go to Catholic mass and long to become American citizens.
What an idiotic comment. Why does he bring up issues that no one is complaining about, other than that he's either trying to religion-bait or he has no clue about this issue?

A hypothetical that is probably beyond the capabilities of Weigel, Sully, Reason Magazine, or all the rest was provided in the previous entry. It is truly pathetic that so many so-called pundits are simply not serious about such a vital issue. UPDATE: He prints a letter from a reader here:
...there is a very real undercurrent to the present political Chicano advocacy groups that believe (and are teaching their progeny) the notion that since the American southwest was stolen from Mexico, they have a right to the land including repatriating at a future date. Many of them understand the slow political process required to leverage our democracy to accomplish it. But make no mistake: repopulating the southwest and registering voters for this eventuality is the first step.

There are places in California where if you don't speak Spanish, you're SOL as far as communication goes. I have lived in SoCal for thirty years and this wasn't the case in these places 20 years ago. Take the LA suburb of Maywood, CA, (hardly a "border town"). According to the March 29, 2006 CBS Evening News, more than 50% of the city's population are illegal aliens, and the mayor has declared that the city will refuse to cooperate with any enforcement of U.S. immigration law, declaring the city a "haven for Illegals. This mayor and his city council were swept into office during last November's election. My God, they even demanded that all city proceedings be held in Spanish when they were debating this declaration last April!
Weigel is making a fool out of himself and by extension Andrew Sullivan.