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Why "Contract for the American Dream" is a sham (Van Jones, MoveOn, Rebuild the Dream) - 08/10/11

Van Jones, MoveOn, and a host of other groups [1] have teamed up to offer the "Contract for the American Dream", which consists of "10 Critical Steps to Get Our Economy Back on Track" (contract.rebuildthedream.com).

Dennis Welch, Kos, Amanda Terkel, Steve Benen, Ben Smith, Ben Frumin smear Jan Brewer over quote - 06/02/10

Arizona governor Jan Brewer is threatening to cost powerful people money and power through actions such as signing that state's new anti-illegal immigration law. Their lower-level hacks are currently swinging into action, deliberately misinterpreting a quote Brewer made in a disreputable attempt to claim that she inflated her father's war record [UPDATE: Statement from Brewer below]. Some are listed below, and if you find others please leave a comment.

During World War 2, Brewer's father worked at a Navy munitions depot in Nevada; he died in 1955 as a result of lung disease from that job. Brewer made the quote that's being misinterpreted in an interview with the Arizona Republic (link) where she spoke about the names she's been called:

"The Nazi comments . . . they are awful... Knowing that my father died fighting the Nazi regime in Germany, that I lost him when I was 11 because of that . . . and then to have them call me Hitler's daughter. It hurts. It's ugliness beyond anything I've ever experienced."

If Noam Chomsky were here, he might point out that there are various ways to interpret that quote, such as "died [as a later result of] fighting the Nazi regime in Germany", or "died fighting the Nazi regime [which was located] in Germany". In order to obtain the result that illegal immigration supporters want you to obtain, you're going to need to forget about very basic math: if she meant to say he died during World War 2, the youngest she could be is 76. No one in their right mind would think she's 76. If she were trying to lie, she would have adjusted her age downward in the quote to "when I was one years old". Further, in a speech a few months ago she described the backstory (link):

The governor's father did fight the Nazis and support the war effort, but he did it here at a munitions plant in the United States, not as a soldier in the European theater.

Brewer recounted the story of her father's war service during a March breakfast speech in the East Valley, saying that “Wilford Drinkwine believed his country needed him during World War II.”

In that speech, Brewer recalled how that belief prompted Drinkwine to move his family to the Nevada desert to take a job at the country's largest Navy munitions depot. She was born a year or two later; her father succumbed to lung disease before she was a teenager.

“Years of breathing poisonous fumes around harsh chemicals finally took his life,” Brewer said in that speech. “Wilford Drinkwine was my father. I was 11 years old.”

Those smearing Brewer include the following. None of the following attempt to explain how - if one is to buy their interpretation of her comments - Brewer would be claiming to be at least 76 years old. None except the first reference the fact that she's told the accurate story in past instances:

* Dennis Welch of the Arizona Guardian
He appears to be the originator of the smear, and his article starts with: "Gov. Jan Brewer said in a recent interview that her father died fighting Nazis in Germany. In fact, the death of Wilford Drinkwine came 10 years after World War II had ended." That's then followed by:

"She wasn't embellishing the story at all," [Paul Senseman, the governor's spokesman] said Tuesday. "You're reading something into this that isn't there."

He added that the governor has been very clear in the past about how her father died. Drinkwine was on full medical disability at the time of his death, Senseman said.

In a 2008 interview with the Republic, Brewer said her family was forced to move to California shortly before his death because of his health problems.

Brewer, 65, recounts similar stories in other media interviews and recent speeches.

Dennis Welch knew about what she's said about her background in the past, but choose to deliberately misinterpret her quote instead.

* Kos of DailyKos
He refers to the "Latino ethnic cleansing law" and says, "Ah yes, claiming her father died fighting Nazis in Germany should, in no way, be construed as implying that her father died fighting Nazis in Germany." Needless to say, he's deliberately misinterpreting her quote.

* Steve Benen of Washington Monthly
His post is entitled "WHEN REPUBLICANS LIE ABOUT RELATIVES' SERVICE RECORDS" and he references and parrots Kos: "I'm confused. When Brewer said her "father died fighting the Nazi regime in Germany," that wasn't intended to mean that her father was an American soldier in Germany during the Nazi regime?"
As with the others, what he claims she said is simply his misinterpretation.

* Amanda Terkel of ThinkProgress
She says:

While comparisons equating Brewer with Nazis are over the top and not constructive, Brewer’s anecdote doesn’t really stack up. The Arizona Guardian reports that in fact, “the death of Wilford Drinkwine came 10 years after World War II had ended. During the war, Drinkwine worked as a civilian supervisor for a naval munitions depot in Hawthorne, Nev. He died of lung disease in 1955 in California.” Brewer’s spokesman justified the governor’s statement, claiming Drinkwine “eventually died from the toxic fumes he inhaled” while working at the factory. (HT: Markos)

Of course, what doesn't "stack up" is Terkel's interpretation of Brewer's quote. The spokesman's comment isn't a "justification", it's an explanation.

* Ben Smith of the Politico
He links the AZ Republic interview and the Arizona Guardian story, but fails to do any more reporting than any of the others listed who are open about being partisans.

* Ben Frumin of TalkingPointsMemo
His post, which isn't as bad as some others, does include this:

It seems entirely possible that Brewer simply meant that her father died of an illness that was a direct cause of his employment at a wartime munitions factor.

UPDATE: Brewer has released a statement (link):

"My father, Wilford Drinkwine, moved our family before I was born from Minnesota to Nevada to work at the Hawthorne Ammunition Depot in Western Nevada at the outset of World War II. He passed away when I was 11 years old. His death came after a long and painful battle with lung disease, contracted following years of exposure to hazardous chemicals and toxic fumes while working as a civil servant at the base.

"I loved my father and was proud to hear him tell me that he was doing his part to help fight the Nazis in Germany. It's a similar story that I have heard from countless people from my parent's generation -- from women who worked in the factories to other family friends I met growing up near the depot. My father and mother instilled in me an understanding that many of those defenders of freedom who lost their lives in World War II never set foot on the battlefield.

"Even in the end, when my dad struggled for breath, he never regretted serving his country, helping free Europe from Hitler's grip. I have proudly recounted his story in many places for many years. My father's patriotism and sacrifice needs no embellishment."

Misleading Lake Research, America's Voice immigration poll (DailyKos) - 05/25/10

Another day, another misleading immigration poll. This one is from Lake Research for Frank Sharry's America's Voice. It's promoted by Kos of DailyKos at [1]. And, one wonders what the game is: why promote misleading polls when all they do is give a false sense that something's popular when it isn't? Since many of the consumers of the poll will be on Kos' side, why is he trying to mislead them? Or, is it just that he can't figure out how the poll is misleading?

The only question we need to look at is this, which got a whopping 78% of support:

Now I'd like to read you a description of comprehensive immigration reform: Under this proposal, the federal government would strengthen border security and crack down on employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants. Illegal immigrants currently living in the United States would be required to register with the federal government, undergo criminal background checks, pay taxes, learn English, and go to the back of the line for U.S. citizenship. Do you support or oppose Congress passing comprehensive immigration reform?

1. That question doesn't clearly tell respondents that any illegal alien who passed their background check and the rest would be able to eventually get U.S. citizenship; it's ambiguous. If they'd said "Illegal immigrants currently living in the United States would be required to register with the federal government... and then would be able to go to the back of the line for U.S. citizenship" it might be a bit clearer, but they're still front-loading the punitive steps and hiding the pay-off for corrupt politicians and businesses at the end. Would they have asked something like, "In order to get U.S. citizenship, illegal immigrants currently living in the United States would be required to register with the federal government, undergo criminal background checks, pay taxes, learn English, and go to the back of the line"? Maybe they should try an A/B test; most likely the second wouldn't fare as well since they would then be front-loading something most people probably don't want.

2. As with all the other immigration polls, they don't outline the downsides of comprehensive immigration reform, some of which are listed at that link. Can anyone imagine them asking whether someone would support "reform" despite the fact that - among many other negative consequences - it would give even more power inside the U.S. to the Mexican government? Or, consider this: "Illegal immigrants currently living in the United States would be required to register with the federal government... and then would be able to go to the back of the line for U.S. citizenship. And, all of this would occur despite the fact that it would give a pass to decades of politicians supporting, enabling, or ignoring massive illegal immigration and decades of businesses knowingly profiting from illegal activity." What percentages would Kos get for that?

[1] dailykos.com/storyonly/2010/5/25/869838/

Experts: how bogus is the Daily Kos/Research 2000 Poll? (oversamples 60+, males, southerners?) - 02/02/10

DailyKos and Research 2000 have a new poll of Republicans out (link) that's (unfortunately) best summarized by the Dave Weigel headline "Poll: Many Republicans Believe Obama is Racist Socialist Who Was Elected by ACORN" (link). The problem with DailyKos' attempt to make the GOP is that they appear to have oversampled those over 60 years of age, males, and southerners, skewing the results. I'm not a polling expert so I might be wrong, but here's the demographics and if anyone can shed some light on this leave a comment:

MEN 1125 56%
WOMEN 878 44%
WHITE 1787 89%
OTHER/REF 216 11%
18-29 178 9%
30-44 418 21%
45-59 664 33%
60+ 743 37%
NE 217 11%
SOUTH 846 42%
MW 437 22%
WEST 503 25%

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:

Drop Dobbs: illegal activity-supporting racial power groups and far-left want Lou Dobbs off CNN - 09/17/09

A coalition of illegal immigration-supporting far-left and/or racial power groups has launched a campaign called "Drop Dobbs" to get advertisers to pull their ads from CNN's Lou Dobbs show (dropdobbs.com, mediamatters.org/blog/200909150031): "...The effort aims to let companies know that their continued financial support of CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight makes them complicit in the hate speech and wild conspiracy theories that he promotes..."

Campaigns like this - following on the heels of the somewhat successful similar campaign against Glenn Beck - stand a greater chance of success given the fact that Dobbs' ratings aren't as high as they once were. What you can do about this is raise awareness about the groups involved and cut them off from support, both financial and ideological.

For instance, help organize a campaign against bills that would fund the NCLR. Or, do something as simple (but too difficult for some) as leaving comments at blog and news postings by or discussing the groups; those comments should have the goal of discrediting those groups or their supporters.

See the following links to the names of the groups involved for our coverage of each group:

* National Council of La Raza (funds extremists, gave award to someone who'd proposed genocide)
* League of United Latin American Citizens (CA chapter thinks U.S.-Mexico border might be invalid)
* Southern Poverty Law Center (misled about hate crime statistics)
* Media Matters for America
* Frank Sharry
* Reform Immigration for America
* Center for New Community
* Hispanic Institute (see below)
* Dolores Huerta Foundation (promoted demographic hegemony, hatred against Republicans)
* National Hispanic Media Coalition
* National Puerto Rican Coalition
* New Democratic Network
* Netroots Nation (from Dailykos and others)
* Voto Latino

UPDATE: Janet Murguia of the NCLR says, among other things (huffingtonpost.com/janet-murguia/join-nclr-and-the-drop-do_b_290584.html):

For two years, I have tried working behind the scenes with CNN to bring some fairness to the relentless bias of CNN programming due to Dobbs' show... The Drop Dobbs coalition is compiling a list of those advertisers supporting the Lou Dobbs show and will be reaching out to educate them about this issue. We recognize that many advertisers may be unaware that FAIR has been designated as a hate group, so we are contacting those companies before publicly releasing the list. However, unless and until Dobbs and CNN disassociate themselves from this hate group, we will be asking advertisers to withhold their support...

UPDATE 2: See also the similar group "Enough is Enough!". Communications for that are being handled by a DNC official; it would be interesting to know to what extent if any the Obama administration is involved in either group. Could someone (perhaps Judicial Watch) file some FOIA requests?

The Hispanic Institute's board is at thehispanicinstitute.net/about/boardofdirectors. In addition to one board member who was with the National Association of Realtors, another is quite interesting:

Sarah Palin resigning as Alaskan governor; what supporters can do - 07/03/09

Earlier today, Sarah Palin made the shocking announcement that she will be resigning as governor of Alaska (link). Unlike probably everyone else, I'm not going to bother speculating on her reasons, but instead on what her supporters can do.

Dennis Roddy /Pittsburgh PG, SPLC, LGF, HotAir, Kos use tragedy to smear opponents - 04/05/09

Dennis Roddy of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette offers "Suspect in officers' shooting was into conspiracy theories" (link) about the recent shooting of three police officers in Pittsburgh by an obviously deranged 22-year-old. He takes advantage of that tragedy to smear his or his paper's opponents:

Mr. Poplawski's view of guns and personal freedom took a turn toward the fringes of American politics. With Mr. Perkovic, he appeared to share a belief that the government was controlled from unseen forces, that troops were being shipped home from the Mideast to police the citizenry here, and that Jews secretly ran the country.

...Believing most media were covering up important events, Mr. Poplawski turned to a far-right conspiracy Web site run by Alex Jones, a self-described documentarian with roots going back to the extremist militia movement of the early 1990s.

He was also a member of Stormfront. Ergo, in Roddy's mind, Alex Jones = Stormfront. And, whatever Jones' ideology, I don't think "far-right" is accurate. And, while Jones is "out there" a good part of the time, he's also had a couple scoops about things that sounded loony but which turned out later to be true.

Regarding the troops, see December's "20,000 U.S. military troops to help with "homeland security" in U.S. by 2011", which links to a Washington Post article about such a scheme. That was also discussed in September; the Army Times and the underlying documents included the possibility of using troops for crowd control.

One of the shooter's friends alludes to media bias regarding the MSM not covering states recently declaring sovereignty with the implication that there is no such bias. There's a round-up here from the Christian Science Monitor; Google News wasn't exactly filled with similar MSM articles. A smaller paper covered the movement in Pennsylvania here, a story that I couldn't locate at the Post-Gazette's site.

In case you think Roddy is just presenting facts without attempting to smear, he continues with this:

"For some time now there has been a pretty good connection between being sucked into this conspiracy world and propagating violence," said Heidi Beirich, director of research at the Southern Poverty Law Center and an expert on political extremists. She called Mr. Poplawski's act, "a classic example of what happens when you start buying all this conspiracy stuff."

Meanwhile, over at HotAir, one of their staffers links to the Little Green Footballs entry [1] with the title "Surprise: Pittsburgh cop-killer was anti-semitic, white supremacist, Alex Jones fan".

Over to Ed Morrissey at the same site (hotair.com/archives/2009/04/05/kos-conservatives-like-to-shoot-cops):

Those who would use such horrifying tragedies to smear their political opponents are completely unworthy of engagement, and utterly despicable to boot, regardless of which side they’re on.

[1] littlegreenfootballs.com/article/

UPDATE: Also, as discussed at the last HotAir link, Kos said on twitter that "Conservatives, apparently, prefer to talk "revolution" and shoot cops." He may have just been "joking".

UPDATE 2: The Anti Defamation League has also gotten involved in the smear; that and the other issues above are answered in "Poplawski Smear Debunked: Cop Killer Held Opposing Views To Infowars" (link).

UPDATE 3: Both RawStory and a DailyKos blogger have retracted Alex Jones-related smears (link). However, Sean Hamill of the New York Times and Eric Boehlert of Media Matters for America continue the smear (link, link).

H.R. 645: "National emergency centers" at military bases (FEMA, Alcee Hastings) - 01/28/09

Rep. Alcee Hastings has introduced H.R. 645, the "National Emergency Centers Establishment Act". It would establish at least six of those centers in each of the FEMA regions throughout the U.S., prefering closed military bases if possible. The supposed purpose appears to be in case of a Katrina-style situtation or a terrorist attack. Another purpose might be as detention centers for illegal aliens. And, another might be as detention centers for rioting U.S. citizens unhappy with the representation they've been getting. While the latter possibility is reduced somewhat by the sponsor, the language is quite broad. Here are the purposes:

(1) to provide temporary housing, medical, and humanitarian assistance to individuals and families dislocated due to an emergency or major disaster;

(2) to provide centralized locations for the purposes of training and ensuring the coordination of Federal, State, and local first responders;

(3) to provide centralized locations to improve the coordination of preparedness, response, and recovery efforts of government, private, and not-for-profit entities and faith-based organizations; and

(4) to meet other appropriate needs, as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security.

Paul Joseph Watson oversells this (link); "ppl can fly" and his friends at DailyKos actually make some slight sense for a change, although they aren't alarmed enough and instead concentrate on making sure that the pillows will be fluffed at the centers (dailykos.com/story/2009/1/28/4037/79980).

Shock: Michael Chertoff used cleaning company that employed illegal aliens - 12/10/08

Michael Hsu of the Washington Post offers the latest in that newspaper's attempt to undercut our laws: "Cleaning Firm Used Illegal Workers at Chertoff Home", link. The Maryland cleaning service used by Michael Chertoff of the Department of Homeland Security has been fined almost $23,000 for failing to check the IDs of its workers, some of whom were illegal aliens. The Secret Service checked the IDs of the workers who visited Chez Chertoff, but those didn't involve immigration checks. Which is pretty stupid, but unless I missed it there's no indication that any of those who cleaned Chertoff's house were illegal aliens (see the update), despite what the title might say. And, through Russ Knocke (more on him below), Chertoff says he was assured that all the workers were illegal and he "fired" (more properly cancelled the contract with) the company when their problems became known.

So, despite the fact that there really isn't much to this story, expect some of those who support illegal immigration and who are too stupid to have been following along for the past eight years to present this as an example of some sort of Bush administration hypocrisy, pretending that Bush and they aren't on the same side. Then, they'll segue into a push for "comprehensive immigration reform".

However, they'll be too late, since that's part of what the article is all about. Not only does the cleaning company owner come out in support of CIR, and not only is that the subtext of the article, but perennial DHS hack Russ Knocke says:

"This matter illustrates the need for comprehensive immigration reform and the importance of effective tools for companies to determine the lawful status of their workforce."

UPDATE: The article says the owner was fined $22,880 after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigators said he failed to check identification and work documents and fill out required I-9 verification forms for employees, five of whom he said were part of crews sent to Chertoff's home and whom ICE told him to fire because they were undocumented, so I suppose that some of those working Chez Chertoff were illegal aliens.

And, right on cue come those who don't realize that Chertoff and Bush are on their side:

Kos gets one thing right: the rightwing blogosphere is mostly just inept chatter - 11/19/08

There's a first for everything, and subcomandante Markos Moulitsas Zuniga - the Kos in DailyKos - has finally got one thing right. From the article "Right-wing bloggers see their chance" (link):

While conservative bloggers talk about making a difference for their party, they have yet to back up their talk with action, said Markos Moulitsas, the founder of the liberal Daily Kos blog. Moulitsas, also a columnist for The Hill, boasts about how the liberal netroots got Howard Dean elected as Democratic Party chairman, raised millions of dollars for victorious candidates and created a "partisan message machine" to push back against conservative media on talk radio and cable television. That made the Democratic Party's establishment take them seriously, Moulitsas said.

"The conservative bloggers' efforts might grow into something more meaningful over time, but as of right now, all I see is a lot of chatter," he said. "And if there's one thing the right doesn't lack, it's punditry. They can talk up a storm."

He's right on target with that, and for a tangible example see the nearly complete lack of response to my highly effective plan to defeat Obama. Rather than helping push that, Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit concentrated on sending people to Amazon, and the Pajamas Media with which he's associated concentrated on talking head shows featuring worthless minor pundits.

If you want to do something, write to the rightwing bloggers that you read and suggest that they actually do something for a change.

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


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:

* 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:

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.

Lil' fascists: Barack Obama supporters on Jerome Corsi's detention in Kenya - 10/07/08

It used to be that "liberals" would strongly oppose corrupt foreign governments "losing" paperwork in order to stifle speech. However, when things like that are done in support of Barack Obama, their response is a bit different. Here are some instances of those discussing the detention in Kenya of Jerome Corsi, author of the anti-BHO book Obama Nation. Think of these as a preview of how his supporters will act should he become president:

Dana Milbank/WaPo's dangerous smear of Sarah Palin, supporters - 10/06/08

Unctuous liar Dana Milbank - last discussed here in May regarding him misleading for Barack Obama - is back with an even more disgusting smear. This one a) portrays Sarah Palin supporters as bloodthirsty yahoos, b) tries to give the impression that Palin doesn't renounce bloodthirsty yahoos, and c) most importantly, raises the specter of Barack Obama being assassinated by a Palin supporter.

Discussing a speech today in Florida ("In Fla., Palin Goes for the Rough Stuff as Audience Boos Obama", link), he first downplays Barack Obama's links to Bill Ayers ("[m]any independent observers say Palin's allegations are a stretch; Obama served on a Chicago charitable board with Ayers, now an education professor, and has condemned his past activities"). Then:
"Now it turns out, one of his earliest supporters is a man named Bill Ayers," Palin said.

"Boooo!" said the crowd.

"And, according to the New York Times, he was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that, quote, 'launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol,'" she continued.

"Boooo!" the crowd repeated.

"Kill him!" proposed one man in the audience.

Palin went on to say that "Obama held one of the first meetings of his political career in Bill Ayers's living room, and they've worked together on various projects in Chicago." Here, Palin began to connect the dots...
1. There's no indication that Palin heard the "one man in the audience". Even if she did, she can't be responsible for what others shout out. Milbank doesn't say whether she heard him, leaving that up to the reader's fevered imagination.

2. Milbank is trying to portray Palin's audience as composed of yahoos, when similar call and response happens at most political rallies, especially those conducted by Obama.

3. Milbank almost certainly knew that some people would think that the "one man in the audience" was referring to Obama, causing some to smear the GOP, Palin supporters, and any other Obama opponents and also introducing an even more vile component to the campaign than both campaigns - but especially Obama's - have done so far.

The last point is bolstered by at least two widely-read "liberals" intentionally or unintentionally taking the comment in that sense. Josh Micah Marshall pretends he doesn't know who the shout was referring to ("Who They Are, What They're About", talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/222324.php, discussed in a demagogic way at http://www.patterico.com/2008/10/06/josh-marshall-is-a-liar), as does Jeralyn Merritt ('Palin Ignores Supporter Who Yells "Kill Him" After She Insults Obama', talkleft.com/story/2008/10/6/22537/3821).

UPDATE: Milbank's despicable smear spreads to the HuffPost, with Jeffrey Feldman saying "McCain Campaign Amplifies Violent Rhetoric, GOP Crowds Threaten Obama's Life" (huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-feldman/is-palin-trying-to-incite_b_132534.html) and Nico Pitney and Seth Colter Walls offering 'Obama Hatred On Display Again At Palin Rally, Supporter Screams "Treason!"' (huffingtonpost.com/2008/10/07/obama-hatred-on-display-a_n_132572.html). Both reference Milbank's article.

UPDATE 2: Another Milbank reference hits Daily Kos' front page, this from "BarbinMD" at dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/10/7/12422/0539/654/622785

UPDATE 3: There's a discussion of Milbank's smear here including a round-up of others who took his smear and ran with it. That also discusses two other MSM reports from the same rally that described a much more placid event than Milbank's invention.

Are you scared of Barack Obama's followers yet? (kids singing video) - 09/30/08

Please compare these two videos of children singing to their leader. If you aren't scared of Barack Obama and his followers now, it might just change your mind [SEE THE UPDATES; 'SING FOR CHANGE' REMOVED THE ORIGINAL VIDEO]:

Sarah Palin rape kit smear: chronology (Mary Pemberton/AP, DailyKos, Americablog, Eric Croft, Obama campaign) - 09/29/08

Since around September 8, various sites and news organizations have tried to push the smear that Sarah Palin knowingly charged victims in Wasilla, Alaska for rape kits, and that her city stood alone in that practice. As it turns out, those claims are false (link). How did this start? A chronology is here [1], and an amplification is below.

One of the "hidden hands" behind the smear appears to be Alaskan Democrats, such as former Democratic state representative Eric Croft, quoted in the AP story on 9/11 and the CNN story on 9/23. The Obama campaign apparently first got involved around 9/15, although they knew about it as early as 9/12 after the 9/11 AP story. Whether they were involved before will probably never be known, absent obtaining emails to bloggers.


5/23/2000: the local Frontiersman paper published this article.

9/01/08: this blog post mentions it, but that doesn't appear to have been noticed by anyone else so its role as the origin of the smear is doubtful.

9/03/08: the blog "Indiscriminate and Arbitrary Deliberation" run by "George" mentions it here. He had only joined Blogger in August, and his other blog covers cooking pies (link). He doesn't appear to get much traffic, he appears to be a Dennis Kucinich fan, and he appears to be "writing above his pay grade". His sidebar links to some leftwing sites and presumably he also comments there. Perhaps this could be the origin of the smear.

9/08/08: this was the day the Frontiersman story "broke" across blogs. The first mention might have been at a site run by wannabe comic Dave Anthony (link). That was apparently posted at 4pm PST. It was picked up by Americablog [2] at 5pm PST and then at 6pm PST by "Steven R" at DailyKos [3] and then by "Jo Fish" at FDL [4]. Other sites involved were Op Edna [5] and Dave Harding at ProgressOhio [6].

9/09/08: it was picked up by Eric Schmeltzer at the Huffington Post [7].

9/11/08: Mary Pemberton of the Associated Press moved the smear from bloggers to major newspapers, offering this:

Former Democratic Rep. Eric Croft, who sponsored that bill, said he was disappointed that simply asking the Wasilla police department to stop didn't work. Croft said he doubts she was unaware of the practice.

9/12/08: Joe Sudbay of Americablog said this [8]:

Listened to the Obama campaign press conference call this morning. The very first question from a reporter is why the campaign hasn't highlighted the rape kit story. The reporter said, every time I tell someone that story they look at me like I said there is no Santa Claus... Obama campaign chief spokesman Bill Burton's response... "We're familiar with it. Saw the AP story. We are familiar with it."

If anyone knows which "reporter" it was that was trying to devise smears for the BHO campaign, please leave a comment.

9/15/08: the Barack Obama campaign began looking for a rape victim to appear in a TV ad (link).

Kiersten Steward, director of public policy at the Family Violence Prevention Fund, served as a conduit between the campaign and victims and women's advocates... though she never was told about the nature of the commercial, [victims advocate Mikele Shelton-Knight] said she thought that the focus of the ad may be about the practice in Wasilla, Alaska, to charge rape victims to pay for their own exams... Shelton-Knight said Palin should not be criticized for having governed a city with such a law as they were quite common until recent years... Alaska didn't pass a bill until 2000 requiring state and local law endorcement to pay for the exams. And Shelton-Knight said it wasn't until lobbying by her and others that Virginia last year put the financial burden on localities. Many states still charge victims for the cost of the exam.

9/21/08: Chicago writer Anne K. Ream offers "Fault lines in feminism" (link), continuing the smear.

9/23/08: Jessica Yellin of CNN offers "Palin's town charged women for rape exams" (link). From the second link in this post:

[Despite Croft's other claims] Farther down in the story, CNN does reveal that there are no records and no proof that Palin ever even knew about this charging the victim policy. CNN also finally mentions that Wasilla wasn't the only town in Alaska that had this policy.

9/24/08: FactCheck raises questions about the smear (link), and says:

Eric Croft, a former Alaska state representative who sponsored the 2000 legislation, told CNN that "I find it hard to believe that for six months a small town, a police chief, would lead the fight against a statewide piece of legislation receiving unanimous support and the mayor not know about it." But Croft, a Democrat, says he does not recall discussing the issue with Palin at the time.

9/25/08: the New York Times' "Editorial Observer" Dorothy Samuels continues the smear in "Wasilla Watch: Sarah Palin and the Rape Kits" (link). Eric Croft makes an appearance there as well.

10/01/08: Even after all of the above, the Boston Globe editorial "Wasilla made rape victims pay" continues the lies (link).

[1] Same article here:
[2] americablog.com/2008/09/wasilla-charged-rape-victims-for-their.html
[3] That post got 395 Diggs: dailykos.com/story/2008/9/8/20552/56258/308/591588
[4] firedoglake.com/2008/09/08/norquists-bathtub
[5] That post got 144 Diggs: opedna.com/2008/09/08/
[6] progressohio.org/page/community/post/daveharding/CHRJ
[7] huffingtonpost.com/eric-schmeltzer/palins-wasilla-to-rape-vi_b_125047.html
[8] americablog.com/2008/09/its-about-rape-kits-stupid.html

Barack Obama lies about Rush Limbaugh in Spanish-language ads - 09/17/08

The Barack Obama campaign has a new Spanish-language ad that features racial demagoguery and a distortion of Rush Limbaugh quotes. You can see the ad here:
"They want us to forget the insults we've put up with, the intolerance," the television ad's announcer says in Spanish as a picture of Rush Limbaugh appears onscreen with quotes of him saying, "Mexicans are stupid and unqualified" and "Shut your mouth or get out."

"They made us feel marginalized in a country we love so much," the ad continues. "John McCain and his Republican friends have two faces. One that says lies just to get our vote and another, even worse, that continues the failed policies of George Bush that put special interests ahead of working families."

[The radio ad goes on:] "Don't forget that John McCain abandoned us rather than confront the leaders of the Republican Party. Many of us were born here, and others came to work and achieve a better life for their families -- not to commit crimes or drain the system like many of John McCain's friends claim. Let's not be fooled by political tricks from John McCain and the Republicans. Vote so they respect us. Vote for a change."
This isn't the first time that Obama smeared Limbaugh, and there's much to discuss about this ad. First let's deal with the misleading Rush quotes. The first quote is actually from 1993 (link):
"If you are unskilled and uneducated, your job is going south. Skilled workers, educated people are going to do fine 'cause those are the kinds of jobs NAFTA is going to create. If we are going to start rewarding no skills and stupid people, I'm serious, let the unskilled jobs that take absolutely no knowledge whatsoever to do -- let stupid and unskilled Mexicans do that work."
The Obama campaign misquoted Rush by omitting the context; the context certainly doesn't show Rush in a good light, but it's far different from what the Obama campaign is trying to do: pretend that Rush said that all Mexicans are "stupid and unqualified". The BHO campaign is lying.

The second quote is just as bad; it was actually from a satire in which Rush proposed a series of draconian immigration laws, only to reveal at the end that those were the actual laws of the Mexican government (link). "Shut your mouth or get out" was actually his distillation of one of Mexico's laws; see for instance this example of meddling foreigners being ejected from Mexico. For video of Rush's satire, see this.

And, the first quote referred to "Mexicans" in the sense of "Mexican citizens who live in Mexico". Democrats frequently have trouble understanding the fact that (according to our laws), Mexicans can't vote in U.S. elections. Only U.S. citizens can, including those of Mexican descent. Certainly, those U.S. citizens of Mexican descent will sympathize with actual Mexicans, but some in the former camp look down on, say, illegal aliens. Obviously, to the BHO campaign there's little difference between an actual Mexican and a U.S. citizen of Mexican descent.

And, of course, some segment of immigrants do come here to engage in criminal behavior, and all those in the U.S. receive a wide range of public benefits. Those who are low-wage workers - the great majority of illegal aliens from Mexico - do take more than they pay in. And, the crimes committed by immigrants would not occur if they weren't here in the first place. As is their habit, the BHO campaign is trying to shut down a discussion of vital matters rather than having an open debate.

As for who's helping Barack Obama spread his lies:

* The first link is to an Ed O'Keefe post at the Washington Post. Needless to say, he just passes the ad on without doing what I did: spend a few minutes searching. Please write the WaPo and ask them to stop helping BHO lie: ombudsman *at* washpost.com

* Ben Smith of the Politico likewise can't be bothered to do even basic research; he also refers to the largely non-existent "anti-Immigration wing of the Republican Party": politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0908/Obama_vs_Rush_en_Espanol.html

* Mark Silva of the Chicago Tribune (mdsilva *at* tribune.com) also can't be bothered to do simple searches: swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2008/09/limbaugh_latinos_tv_ad_wars.html

* Eric Kleefeld is yet another searchophobe: tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/09/obama_spanishlanguage_ad_ties.php

UPDATE: Rush comments on this here; he also calls Obama a liar who took Rush's quotes out of context.

UPDATE 2: The end is nigh! Worthless hack Jake Tapper fact-checks the ad and the BHO campaign's response to his concerns, finishing by saying "the Obama campaign has crossed a line into misleading the viewers of its new TV ad" (blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/09/from-the-fact-1.html).

* Mori Dinauer passes along the lies (prospect.org/csnc/blogs/tapped_archive?month=09&year=2008&base_name=lightning_round_fiorina_gets_w)
* Jeralyn Merritt does the same, only worse (talkleft.com/story/2008/9/17/172619/529)
* Alex Koppelman comes close, but does including Rush's objections to the ad (letters.salon.com/politics/war_room/2008/09/17/obama_limbaugh/view).

* Eunice Moscoso of the Austin American Statesman does provide the McCain camp response to the ad (defending their previous support of amnesty, a support that continues) but fails to note that the BHO campaign lied. A comment I left has not been approved (link)

* Nick Timiraos of the Wall Street Journal includes some of the response from Limbaugh here, but also downplays the extent to which the BHO campaign took the quotes out of context. A quote I left was deleted; I left it again and that might be deleted as well.

* Beltway lightweight Ana Marie Cox links to the Tapper piece, but fails to note that taking quotes out of context was involved, only saying "An ad attempts to tie McCain to some particularly unpleasant Republicanness [in this case, a closed borders approach to immigration], but it turns out McCain was not at all associated with that particular nastiness." (link)

* Kathleen Hennessey of the Associated Press discusses a BHO campaign stop and works this in as well: One [BHO] commercial airing in Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado links McCain to comments apparently hostile to immigrants made by conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh. (link)

UPDATE 4: Even a day after Jake Tapper called the ad misleading, others are valiantly struggling with the truth.

* Tim Gaynor of Reuters offers "Controversial Obama ad revives immigration issue". He includes the muted response from McCain and correctly points out that, at the end of day, BHO and McCain are basically on the same page on this issue. However, Gayner completely fails to point out the problems with the quotes. A comment I left was not approved. (link).

* "shovelhood" shows the level of thinking at DailyKos by noting that Rush says the quotes were taken out of context... then using other quotes in an attempt to show that Rush is a racist and without dealing with the quotes in the ad. Whether that's an intentional attempt at distraction or an issue with the thinking processes of "shovelhood" isn't clear. Some commenters don't care about the ad being misleading, but a couple do seem to expres qualms about the BHO campaign lying (dailykos.com/story/2008/9/18/154144/680/122/602969).

UPDATE 5: Ed O'Keefe at the Washington Post - the blogger who first started promoting BHO's lying ad - offers a bit of a non-correction correction in "McCain Camp Decries Obama Spanish Ads" (link), which links to both Rush's comments and those from Tapper. I suppose the latter were key; when another member of the "club" points out that you've promoted a lying ad you just have to admit defeat.

UPDATE 6: The end is nigher! In an editorial, the New York Times says "Mr. Obama's retaliatory ad, also in Spanish, was just as fraudulent. It slimed Mr. McCain as a friend and full-bore ally of restrictionists like Rush Limbaugh, even though Mr. Limbaugh has long attacked Mr. McCain's immigration moderation. It quotes Mr. Limbaugh as calling all Mexicans stupid and ordering them to "shut your mouth or get out," which he never did.".

UPDATE 7: Rush offers "Obama Is Stoking Racial Antagonism" here. This has provoked a new round of those willing to lie for Obama at any cost to whatever reputations they had.

* Digby (digbysblog.blogspot.com/2008/09/black-kettle-by-digby-limbaugh-is-so.html) offers "Black Kettle". It uses the "shovelhood" technique (see above) without even acknowledging the bit about the BHO campaign taking quotes out of context. The quote she provides as a distraction from the original lies is probably taken out of context as well.

* Jonathan Stein from MoJo links to the Rush piece, and continues to take his second quote out of context. (link) Unbelievable? No, just in line with his previous "thinking".

* Adam Serwer first admits that the quotes were taken out of context and that' was "stupid". Then, he launches into the "shovelhood" technique (link).

UPDATE 8: Joe Klein offers "Take It Down, Barack" (link). Klein is such an obsequious hack that even Jake Tapper calling BHO out wasn't enough. It took a far greater authority to spur him to action: "The New York Times editorial board--once again calling a lie a lie--slams both McCain and Obama for their Spanish-language ads about immigration policy. I've given up any hope of McCain running an honest campaign, but if Obama really wants to present an honorable alternative to McCain's non-stop sleaze, he should take down his immigration ad immediately."

UPDATE 9 (9/22/08): * Mark Silva of the Chicago Tribune (mdsilva *at* tribune.com) - even after all the above - continues trying to help BHO lie (swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2008/09/john_mccain_immigration_reform.html) by saying "McCain's Democratic rival, Sen. Barack Obama, has been going after McCain lately on immigration -- attempting to tag the Republican with radio's Rush Limbaugh and intolerant words that the talk show host has had for immigrants in Spanish-language ads airing in hotly contested Western states."

Washington Post: America's finest source for bad reporting (Palin "slashed" funds story) - 09/02/08

The Washington Post recently published a blog post about Sarah Palin (in their words) "slash[ing]" funds to a non-profit group. Except, what they got from the state of Alaska alone was over three times what they got from all government sources combined in 2006. Let's take a look at the WaPo's "downstream", the three-eyed fish who gobble up what the WaPo sludges out.

DailyKos' Netroots Nation has Mexican government-linked group - 07/15/08

All rightthinking comrades will be in Austin, Texas this weekend for DailyKos' Netroots Nation, a convention formerly known as YearlyKos.

A search of the site shows just one session relating to immigration, called nutrootsily enough "How to Win the Immigration Debate and Beat Back ICE's Emerging Police State" (netrootsnation.org/node/864). Put on your diving cap and try to follow their logic:

With Congress held hostage to a vocal minority of hard-line immigration restrictionists stirred up by right-wing websites and talk-radio, the Bush administration has launched a series of showy "crack-downs" that have divided working families and transferred billions into the hands of well-connected DHS contractors, but done nothing to reform a deeply dysfunctional immigration system. We can do better.

Actually, the ones holding Congress at bay are the citizens; left to their own devices Congress would have easily passed amnesty. The contractors bit makes some partial sense, even if I imagine their numbers are off a bit. However, the people who've played a major role in the Bush administration putting on a show are those who support illegal immigration, including DailyKos and others on their side. If they would simply support the enforcement of our laws then there'd be no need for things such as the fence. Likewise, it's those who promote disorder - such as DailyKos and other "liberals" - who make it easy for those whose goal is power over others to push "police state"-style proposals.

As for the presenters at that session:
* Marisa Trevino of the blog Latina Lista
* Joshua Holland of Alternet
* "Duke 1676" of the blog Migra Matters
* Jackie Mahendra of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

The last group is headed by someone linked to the Mexican government. What's a Kos convention without a little collaboration?

On a general note, they also have "identity" caucusi (netrootsnation.org/agenda-2008?topic=identity), including those for African Americans, Asian American Pacific Islanders, Latinos, and Women. Oddly enough, there aren't ones for Whites or Men, for some strange reason. All have the same generic description:

Connect with like-minded folks and talk with others from your community in our identity, issue and regional caucuses.

And, what would the Nutroots Nation be without those who are only known to bloggers, with book signings by notables such as Cliff Schecter, Matt Yglesias, and Amanda Marcotte.

If you register now, you can save 10% if you use the special code GUSHALL at checkout.

Seven reasons Kos (DailyKos) can't be trusted on immigration (+Quinnipiac University poll) - 03/27/08

Can you trust Kos of DailyKos (Markos Moulitsas Zuniga) on immigration? No, you can't. For some of the reasons why, take a look at "The big immigration backlash in Connecticut" (dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/3/27/113830/115).

1. He fails to note that, before working for the city of New Haven, Kica Matos headed a group that is/was working with the Mexican government to pass out Matricula Consular cards in that city. As with New Haven's cards, the MC cards let illegal aliens open bank accounts and the like. The bottom line in this case is the bottom line: that makes it easier for illegal aliens to send money home to Mexico and also allows banks to profit from money that was earned illegally.

2. He fails to note that the mayor of New Haven, John DeStefano, may have a financial interest in a local bank that would accept the New Haven ID cards.

3. The timing of the raid was certainly interesting and warrants more research. However, per the DHS (see the following NYT article), the planning had started months before the raid.

4. Kos fails to note that the New York Times article he links to ("Arrests of 31 in U.S. Sweep Bring Fear in New Haven" by Jennifer Medina, link) is heavily biased; the photo from that article was featured here.

5. The upper levels of the DHS may have intended there to be a "backlash". As with Kos, the Bush administration is a strong supporter of illegal immigration and Chertoff has hinted at conducting show raids in order to inflame the left and push for an amnesty. Kos doesn't mention that possibility.

6. Kos fails to recognize huge problems with a recent Quinnipiac University poll in Connecticut (link), which asked:

What do you think should happen to most illegal immigrants working in the United States - Should they be offered a chance to apply for citizenship, OR Should they be allowed to stay as temporary workers, OR Should they be deported to the country they came from?

There are several problems with that question. For instance, it leaves off another option of simply enforcing our laws and causing illegal aliens to self-deport. The first choice is also extremely ambiguous: when should they be offered that chance? While they're living here? After they return home for a while (see the Pence and similar schemes)? After having returned to their home countries voluntarily but not as part of a particular amnesty scheme? And, the poll also fails to note all the ramifications of the various options, such as the role the first two would play in leading to more illegal immigration.

7. Kos says "The vast majority of the public isn't interested in what Lou Dobbs, Fox News, the federal government, and Rahm Emanuel are selling." Obviously, he's extremely confused. During the big push for amnesty - the one that was blocked by the American public - Fox News was largely silent. Lou Dobbs seems to support some form of attrition rather than the mass deportations possibly (once again, it's ambiguous) implied by the last poll choice. And, of course, the Bush administration is as much a strong supporter of illegal immigration as Kos. I guess that's so difficult for him to admit that he has to lie.

BONUS REASON #8: The poll refers to "illegal immigrants working in the United States", but that certainly doesn't include all illegal aliens. Perhaps millions of illegal aliens are non-working children, spouses, or other family members, with some percentage being unemployed and some other percentage being career criminals and the like. All or most of those would have been amnestied by various past immigration "reform" schemes. Needless to say, Kos doesn't call Quinnipiac on yet another issue with their poll.

Ramos/Compean: who's on the Bush administration's side? - 02/08/07

I have a feeling that it won't be too very long before even more truth comes out about the case of the two Border Patrol agents (Ramos/Compean) who strongly appear to have been railroaded by their own government. So, let's take a look at the short, select list of some of those who've supported the Bush administration's side of things:

Kos: I'm a "Libertarian Democrat" - 06/07/06

Subcommandante Markos "Kos" Zuniga has finally nailed down his exact political orientation: he's a "Libertarian Democrat". Now, that doesn't mean that he embraces the full lunatic/libertarian agenda, nor does it mean that the lunatics/libertarians have embraced the Lunatic World of Kos. However, as for the latter, we can pretend. And, be assured that I will every chance I get. (Ex.: "A libertarian? You mean, like DailyKos?")

Kos/Krempasky: support free speech online! - 03/09/06

Markos Moulitsas Zuniga (DailyKos) and Michael Krempasky (RedState) have sent a letter (dailykos . com/story/2006/3/9/9134/22058) to Congress urging them to support H.R. 1606, the Online Freedom of Speech Act.

They can't ban all of us - 04/02/03

A few days ago, I was banned from leaving comments at DailyKos. Since he hasn't responded to my email, I don't know the exact reason, but I can surmise it has something to do with the comments to this post (dailykos . com/archives/002198.html).

That post features a picture of a (supposed) Iraq girl injured by U.S. missiles in Baghdad. Kos claims that the picture comes from "the Al Jazeera."