The Assignment Desk
I do so much, but I can't do everything. That's where you come in: choose one of these entries and get answers or write up a report and then post it somewhere. If you can move people to help out, post a thread to a forum looking for research assistance.
As the AP reports, Obama is on track to deport fewer illegal aliens than since 2007. This post describes how to use that to discredit some of those who support amnesty.
The Youtube Sockpuppets Project seeks to find out if politicians and other groups are using fake accounts to comment on that site's videos.
The term "sockpuppets" (see the link) refers to fake user accounts designed to mask someone's affiliation, promote something as if it's more popular than it is, and so on. I've long suspected that some comments left on certain political videos were from one person or group controlling several fake accounts.
Last month, Tim Fernholz of GOOD Magazine offered the misleading "Immigrants Don't Take Jobs, They Create Them: Why We Need More Immigration" . It's wrong on several points, but one in particular will be of interest to the readers of that "philanthropic" publication: Fernholz and GOOD are promoting braindraining the Third World and depriving poor countries of the smart people they desperately need.
Media misleads: Rick Perry's in-state tuition for "children of illegal immigrants" was for illegal aliens *themselves* - 10/02/11
It's an extremely rare occurrence when the mainstream media doesn't mislead about immigration. An example in the news lately is the misleading claim that Rick Perry signed a bill that gives in-state tuition to the "children of illegal immigrants" . In fact, the bill was for those who are themselves illegal aliens, irrespective of their parents' status(es). Parents and children can have different immigration statuses.
Over the past week, the internet has been polluted with the "Weinergate" scandal involving Rep. Anthony Weiner. It's a further indictment of rightwing bloggers that they'd spend so much time on this issue rather than on things that actually matter: the policies that Weiner and those like him support. The scandal probably isn't going to affect his career, and at the same time legislation supported by Weiner might end up affecting millions of people.
The city of Bell, California has been in the news lately due to exorbitant salaries that city officials voted to give themselves. Most of those using Bell as an example of failed policies have failed to note that they themselves support failed policies, and those failed policies have played a role in Bell's situation. Two examples will be provided below, and the reader is encouraged to add more in comments.
New Jersey governor Jon Corzine today signed an executive order creating a "Commission on New Americans", a sort of far-left welcome wagon for both legal and illegal immigrants. News report here, order at . This follows last year's recommendation from another panel that advocated for benefits such as in-state tuition (see the DREAM Act) and drivers licenses for illegal aliens. The current order doesn't say anything about immigration status and doesn't include any variants of "illegal" or "undocumented", meaning that it also includes illegal aliens. The Commission will end up enabling and perhaps even encouraging illegal immigration.
Looking into the affiliations of those listed at  is left as an exercise; if you spot anyone interesting please leave a comment. Note also that there are similar efforts in other states; Gil Cedillo wanted to create a similar board in California, Rod Blagojevich created one in Illinois, and Tom Vilsack and Mike Huckabee created similar programs in Iowa and Arkansas.
Back to Corzine's order:
The public members may include representatives from immigrant and immigrant-serving community based organizations, philanthropic organizations, advocacy groups, businesses, including immigrant entrepreneurs, unions, academia, and faith-based organizations... The Commission shall develop a resource guide that will navigate and support the approximately 1.8 million immigrants through the maze of state and local resources that provide targeted services to immigrants, including referrals to nonprofit and faith-based organizations, English language acquisition, citizenship acquisition, accreditation and qualification services, and employment support.
That means that far-left board members will funnel money to far-left groups that support illegal immigration, and it will serve as yet another way for the Democratic Party to build and consolidate their power.
Yet another way to consolidate power is to increase the numbers of persons - such as translators, native speakers working in various professions, and so on - who are beholden to their largess:
The Commission will discuss the implementation of a "holistic statewide policy of immigrant integration and ensure that all state agencies provide services in an efficient and culturally and linguistically competent manner... [by providing] efficient and culturally and linguistically competent services New Jersey will enhance the capacity of its immigrant workforce...
Obama pledges to do everything he can to create jobs; use leverage to get him asked why he won't enforce immigration laws - 10/14/09
Standing at the site of a highway project funded by his economic stimulus plan, President Barack Obama said Wednesday he is committed to exploring all avenues to create jobs.
Obama said his administration is going to keep going until "every single American in this country who's looking for work is going to be able to get the kind of well-paying job that supports their families."
Obama spoke from the top of a large mound of dirt and gravel...
"We're going to continue to explore each and every avenue that I can think of that will lead to job creation and economic growth," he said while standing with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and four construction workers wearing hard hats.
..."We are moving in the right direction," he said.
One way to increase the number of jobs available for Americans would be to enforce our immigration laws, something that - like George W Bush - Obama has little interest in doing. One way to force a change is to have him pressed on that and publicly embarassed about the fact that hundreds of thousands or millions of foreign citizens are taking jobs that Americans could and should be doing.
And, one way to have him questioned is to have MSM reporters do it. Now, certainly, they aren't going to do it willingly; their idea of tough questions is to ask what most "enchants" Obama about his job and the like. However, there is a way to encourage reporters to ask tough questions, and you can see just one example of me trying to do that in the comment I left earlier today here. He's part of the White House press pool, and if half the comments on his entries pointed out what a disservice he was doing to the country eventually Time would be forced to do something, and that might be to have him ask a real question.
If you want to help out, visit MSM sites that discuss issues like unemployment and the stimulus, and call out the reporters for not asking about immigration enforcement. It's a very easy thing to do, but few others want to do it for an unknown reason.
Serge Kovaleski, Jim Rutenberg, William Yardley of NYT lie about Sarah Palin hair thinning (per hairdresser) - 07/19/09
Ask not why I'm writing a post about Sarah Palin's hair thinning. Ask why Serge Kovaleski, Jim Rutenberg, William Yardley, and others from the New York Times wrote an article making that false claim ("Palin’s Long March to a Short-Notice Resignation", link, via this):
Friends worried that she appeared anxious and underweight. Her hair had thinned to the point where she needed emergency help from her hairdresser and close friend, Jessica Steele... “Honestly, I think all of it just broke her heart,” Ms. Steele said in an interview at her beauty parlor in Wasilla, the Beehive.
Unfortunately for the NYT, Steele claims in her Twitter feed that she never said anything of the sort, posting a series of "tweets" like this:
I will continue 2 tell people: I never said Sarah Palin's hair is thinning! The Left is desperate to attack Sarah Palin with stupid lies!!
Note that this is in the citizen journalism tips section because this is an example of how to write posts that have a long-term impact on the mainstream media; the "Conservatives4Palin" writer made a few mistakes in the structure of his post that this post seeks to correct. In case that's not immediately clear, see the other entries at the last page.
This post is also an assignment: find others discussing this non-story and take them to task on your own site or in their comments sections.
FightTheSmears.com - the debunking site that's home to a picture of what is supposedly Barack Obama's COLB as well as the home of at least a couple of lies - is currently offline. The last homepage in Google's cache was from July 7, so it's not clear whether this is just a temporary issue or something permanent. A look through the same cache shows that they were hacked by spammers and those pages were there in May to the end of June, so that might have something to do with it.
Andrea Nill of ThinkProgress offers a discussion of Michael Savage using hyperbole and, rather than admitting that he's correct to a good extent she makes several misleading statements (wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2009/06/23/california-immigration-michael-savage).
Chuck Schumer: Sotomayor is "within the judicial mainstream" on immigration cases; how far off is he? - 06/08/09
Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), chairman of Judiciary’s immigration subcommittee, assigned his staff to analyze how (Sonia Sotomayor) voted in 955 immigration cases in which she has participated throughout her judicial career, with a special focus on cases that involved foreigners trying to win asylum claims in order to remain in the United States.
Of the 848 asylum cases in which Sotomayor has taken part, Schumer’s aides say, she sided with the foreigner over the government in 144 of them, or 17 percent of the time. That percentage, the aides point out, is virtually identical to that of the entire 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, of which she is a member, during a two-year window analyzed as part of a recent article published in the Stanford Law Review by law professors at Temple and Georgetown universities.
Their rulings were unanimous in all but three of the asylum cases. In response to his study, Chuck Shumer says:
"These findings should put to rest any doubts about Judge Sotomayor’s fidelity to the rule of law. Even in immigration cases, which would most test the so-called ‘empathy factor,’ Judge Sotomayor’s record is well within the judicial mainstream."
It would, of course, be helpful if someone could check his work, such as by pulling out a few contentious cases and looking at how she handled them.
Low-wattage radio, TV hosts say dumb things about Mexicans and swine flu; leftwing attacks in order to support illegal activity - 04/30/09
Jason Linkins of the Huffington Post offers "Swine Flu A Mexican Immigrant Conspiracy: Conservative Media (VIDEO)" (huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/30/swine-flu-a-mexican-immig_n_193707.html), linking to a Media Matters for America video apparently containing instances of conservative radio and TV hosts discussing the issue of Mexicans - speci
Former Wall Street Journal publisher Gordon Crovitz offers "We Need an Immigration Stimulus/A recession is exactly when we want innovative outsiders" (link). Bracketed by various absurdities, he offers the following stats:
Companies founded by immigrants include Yahoo, eBay and Google. Half of Silicon Valley start-ups were founded by immigrants, up from 25% a decade ago. Some 40% of patents in the U.S. are awarded to immigrants. A recent study by the Kauffman Foundation found that immigrants are 50% likelier to start businesses than natives.
Someone who supports Americans (in Crovitz' words, a "nativist") might look at those stats and wonder how we could spur entrepreneurship among Americans, such as by making an entrepreneur class some sort of graduation requirement just as other subjects are. Someone of the WSJ's bent might look into taxes that make being an entrepreneur difficult for Americans; someone to the left might suggest some sort of government program. That would be the American approach. You don't need to guess Gordon Krovitz' approach:
ACLU controlling Obama policy? ("Transition Recommendations" wants most immigration enforcement halted, + much more) - 03/17/09
In November, the American Civil Liberties Union released "Actions For Restoring America: Transition Recommendations for President‐Elect Barack Obama" (aclu.org/transition) listing things they wanted him to do the first day, within the first 100 days, and within the first year. Several of their proposals would halt immigration enforcement to a great extent, pending "review".
Colorado: discredit Peter Groff over in-state tuition for illegal aliens (bill passes Senate committee) - 03/06/09
Colorado state senator Chris Romer is pushing for that state to give in-state tuition to illegal aliens, and yesterday his bill passed a state senate committee (link). CO senate president Peter Groff is quoted as saying:
"For me, this is a moral issue, that we should not shackle the future of children because of the sins of their fathers."
If you oppose this bill, one of the best ways to fight it is to have an impact on the career of one of the politicians who supports it. And, you can do that by asking either Romer or Groff a very tough question - not a rant - designed to show that they're engaging in false compassion and that they're putting the interests of foreign citizens ahead of the interests of U.S. citizens. Video of their response can then be uploaded to Youtube. If the person's name is put in the title of the video and it gets enough views and high ratings, it will probably end up on the first page of Google search results for their name. And, that will send a message to other state or national legislators who try to take things away from U.S. citizens in order to give them to foreign citizens who are here illegally.
Here's a sample question you can ask:
You support giving in-state tuition to illegal aliens. But, each such discount given to an illegal alien represents one that's taken away from a U.S. citizen. What would you say to a U.S. citizen who can't go to college because of what you support?
If you aren't in Colorado or can't ask either of them that or a similar question, then please promote this plan via forums, local groups, and the like.
Who or what precipitated the financial crisis? (Soros? China? a setup to elect Obama? Did it just happen?) - 02/10/09
Someone needs to snug their tinfoil hat down tight and try to figure out who or what got us into this financial mess. Did it just happen, or was it a deliberate plan in order to make money or help Obama get elected? Consider the attached video featuring Rep. Paul Kanjorski saying the following:
Wikileaks has obtained hundreds of previously unreleased reports from the Congressional Research Service, Congress' think tank: wikileaks.org/wiki/CRS_reports_by_date
A large part of the stimulus bill will go towards "shovel-ready" infrastructure projects involving heavy construction. And, that's going to require a lot of cement. In 2007, it looks like the U.S. used about 110 million metric tons of portland cement, at the same time as importing almost 23 million metric tons of cement and clinker (Portland Cement Association, link):
About 83% of cement and clinker imported in 2007 came from five major countries: China, Canada, Columbia, Mexico, and the Republic of Korea. Imports from China in 2007 declined to 7.5 million metric tons down 41.0% from 2006 levels
Your assignment: find out how much cement we'd have to import for all those stimulus-related projects, and calculate how much more China will be making off us.
As of last week, hundreds of thousands in Kentucky and others in Arkansas were without power due to ice storms, and dozens have died. While not as major a disaster as Katrina, some have called into question the mainstream media's coverage of the response, wondering whether they would have approached it differently if it had happened during the Bush administration.
Your assignment: compare the government response to past incidents, and compare the MSM's coverage to how they covered past incidents including Katrina and others. And, find out whether Barack Obama has paid as much attention to this issue as he would have had it occurred in a state that voted for him.
First, on January 29, he signed an emergency declaration:
Has he spoken about this since then?
See also (thanks, Insty) January 31's "Many pleading for faster response" (link):
Local officials grew angrier at what they said was a lack of help from the state and the Federal Emergency Management Agency... [Grayson County Emergency Management Director Randell Smith] said FEMA was still a no-show days after the storm...
* "Obama and FEMA Leave Americans to Die in Kentucky"
* "Kentucky freezes; Obama dines on $100 a pound steak"
* Obama Dozed, People Froze!
* Obama: "Let Them Eat Steak"
* The comments here: shadydowns.com/?p=399
Write it up with a timeline showing what was and wasn't done in an attempt to show whether the MSM didn't cover this in a way that they should have. And, make sure and highlight the names of those reporters who didn't do the job they should have done.
There's a discussion of that here, including two videos side-by-side: one from the rightwing side that was deleted by Youtube, and an apparently similar one from the other side that was not. I haven't looked into it, but there are also a series of videos here, some of which may have been deleted by Youtube.
If you believe that FactCheck is telling the truth, here's what you need to do: get the state of Hawaii to clarify their 10/31 statement and/or obtain clarification from a recognized legal scholar.
For instance, you can call Janice Okubo from the Hawaii Department of Health at (808) 586-4442 and ask her one of these:
1. Did the 10/31 statement (or any other official statement from the state government) confirm that Obama was born in Hawaii, as some have assumed?The state of Hawaii refused to answer the first two questions, and that tends to cast a great deal of doubt on those who've assumed that their statement verified where he was born.
2. Did the 10/31 statement (or any other official statement from the state government) confirm that the certificate you have on file matches the one on Obama's website?
3. Is it true that under Hawaii law, Obama's certificate could indicate a non-Hawaii birth and still meet the description given in the 10/31 statement?
3. Could a certificate indicate a non-Hawaii birth and still meet the description given in the 10/31 statement?
For Fact Check to be telling the truth, Hawaii or a legal scholar would have had to answer the first or second questions in the affirmative, or the third or fourth questions in the negative.
Alternatively, feel free to ask a recognized legal scholar to weigh in.
Then, leave a comment here or post online what they tell you.
Obama's top terrorism and intelligence adviser, John O. Brennan, heads a firm (The Analysis Corp) that was cited in March for breaching sensitive files in the State Department's passport office, according to a State Department Inspector General's report released this past July.That would need to be confirmed, and I'm leaving looking into this up to you. There are several links about this here, a recent news report here, a September 2008 news release about one of the cases at justice.gov/opa/pr/2008/September/08-crm-841.html, the original Washington Times news report here, and a Washington Post story from December here.
...During a State Department briefing on March 21, 2008, McCormack confirmed that the contractor had accessed the passport files of presidential candidates Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and John McCain, and that the inspector general had launched an investigation.
Sources who tracked the investigation tell Newsmax that the main target of the breach was the Obama passport file, and that the contractor accessed the file in order to "cauterize" the records of potentially embarrassing information.
Unfortunately, there were several people accessing several records and it's not really clear to me who was working for whom and what they accessed. Note that one case involved what might have been nothing more than credit card fraud, and one of the perpetrators of that confessed and was later shot in Washington DC. It's also an open question whether any of these employees had read/write access to passport files, or whether they were limited to simply reading the information without modifying it. Even though the original WashTimes article mentions that possibility that the records might have been altered, that would need to be confirmed when one knows which systems they accessed.