dave weigel

Dave Weigel (Bloomberg, Slate, Washington Post, Washington Independent, Reason Magazine)

Dave Weigel is a supposed journalist who's lied, misled, just made things up, and shown little journalistic integrity. The phrase question authority is not in his vocabulary; where other reporters might be partisan hacks, Weigel is an establishment hack who always takes the side of those with money and power.

The only people Weigel is willing to discomfort are those with no political power: the Larry Sinclairs of the world, militia yahoo t-shirt sellers at tea parties events, and so on. Going after powerless fringe folks endears him to the Beltway establishment and others whose approval he seeks.

Weigel previously wrote a blog for the Washington Post but was banished to Slate after the WaPo discovered that he wasn't the unbiased reporter that they pretended they thought he was. In September 2014 he left Slate for a new Bloomberg news outlet headed by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann.

Before those two stops, he contributed to Reason Magazine, the Washington Independent, and other sites. The first is funded in part by the Koch family. The parent company of the second received funding from a Rockefeller foundation and from George Soros. For an example of his journalistic failings, he's repeatedly misled about the Obama citizenship issue. For an example of him lying about that issue, see this. In early April 2010 he was hired by the Washington Post to run their "Right Now" blog to cover conservatives. In June 2010 he offered to resign and the WaPo accepted after emails he'd sent to the "Journolist" mailing list came to light. Read about that here.

Part of the reason why he continues to mislead about the Obama certificate issue appears to be because he isn't intelligent enough to understand the difference between evidence and proof; part of it appears to be his strong support for Obama; and part of it appears to be that he knows that if he actually looks into the truth about that issue he'd be ostracized by other low-level members of the Beltway establishment.

For another example of his journalistic failings, in January he wrote a post about me on his personal blog. I attempted to respond by signing up and leaving a comment, but he never approved the comment. Here's what David Weigel doesn't want you to see. It's extremely unethical for journalists not to give the right of reply to someone they write about, but that's what David Wiegle did.

In the past, I repeatedly challenged him to simply pick up the phone, call Hawaii, and try to confirm his assumptions. I even provided the questions to ask and the phone number to call. He continually refused. He points out now that he did call Hawaii, but the point is that he didn't do it at the time, and even when he did call he didn't ask the questions - such as those at the link - designed to put them on the spot. Please ask yourself what sort of journalist would repeatedly refuse to do something as simple as picking up the phone, when simply getting an answer to those questions could put the whole matter to rest?

Last modified Sep 2, 2014
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What Koch defenders aren't telling you (Reddit, Reason, Glenn Reynolds, Powerline, Weigel) - 02/24/11

It used to be that only a small number of people had heard about the billionaire Koch family and the "Kochtopus" (those persons and groups funded by or otherwise linked to them). Now, because of the standoff between Wisconsin governor Scott Walker and public employee unions in that state, that's all changed and the Kochs are fast assuming the role that George W Bush played for the Left (and George Soros plays for the right).

Sure as night follows day, various sources are rushing to defend the Kochs. But, oddly enough, all those defenses fail to point out two key items on the Koch's agenda:

1. In the 90s, the Kochs were one of the major forces behind NAFTA (link), and today the Kochtopus advocates for other free trade agreements and for free trade in general. The base of the tea parties might not take too kindly to knowing about that.

2. If the Kochs supporting NAFTA wouldn't make the teaparty base happy, then make sure they never find out that various members of the Kochtopus support loose and even open borders. See the entries on the Cato Institute, Reason Magazine, and Dan Griswold (from CATO) pages for starters. In fact, Griswold was the "inspiration" (per Margaret Spellings) for George W Bush's anti- and un-American guest worker scheme.

Bush wanted to open the U.S. labor market to the world in a massive H1B-style scheme that would have sent formerly middle-class wages closer to world levels, and Spellings specifically named teachers and nurses as those who would have to compete against low-wage workers brought in from abroad.

Nowadays, the Kochtopus' support for loose/open borders no doubt plays a major role in why the teaparties have largely ignored the immigration issue despite how it's more vital and more fundamental than spending and most other issues.

Immigration is also the issue where the leaders of the Democratic Party, the far-left, and union leaders are weakest and could easiest be discredited. In fact, the Service Employees International Union even paid someone linked to the Mexican government to agitate illegal aliens inside the U.S. Yet, no doubt because of the Kochs and those like FreedomWorks (also part of the Kochtopus), the whole wider issue of immigration is off the table.

Here are some of the Koch defenders who've ignored those two issues:

1. Someone using the name "epistemicfail" posted "STOP THE KOCH BROTHERS. They are trying to end the War on Drugs and increase civil liberties" at Reddit (redd . it/frrth). Whether the author is a pothead or someone linked into the "Kochtopus" isn't clear, but I suspect the latter. It's a cute attempt at a bribe, like a lawyer trying to engender support for a criminal by highlighting how they like cats. It's probably just a coincidence, but a former Reason Magazine employee named Julian Sanchez used the phrase "epistemic closure" to refer to closed-minded rightwingers.

2. The Reddit post linked approvingly by Nick Gillespie of Reason Magazine who says, "I don't know who epistemicfail is, but the whole thing is totally worth reading".

3. Doug Mataconis of Outside the Beltway links to both of the above, adding little:
For more on Doug Mataconis, see the link (vulgar language warning).

4. Glenn Reynolds links to Gillespie:

5. John Hinderaker of Powerline hasn't linked to the Reddit piece yet (there's still time). However, he offers several pro-Koch posts in his stock pompous-but-empty style:

A day doesn't go by--hardly an hour goes by--without some new attack being launched against these two lonely libertarians... Why? Simply because they are rich--their company is one of the best-run and most successful in the world--and conservative. The Left is trying to drive them out of politics and, more important, to deter any other people of means from daring to support conservative politicians or causes.

He does have a point about the Left only liking the rich donating to political causes when they're on the liberal side, and he does have a point that people shouldn't be dissuaded from donating to political causes. However, he doesn't point out why everything isn't gravy and why some of his readers shouldn't be so fond of the Koch agenda.

6. Dave Weigel offers his own fan post to the Koch brothers:
He fails to note that he used to work for the Kochtopus' own Reason Magazine, he pretends that concerns about Koch influence only started recently (rather than having existed for decades and involving both the brothers and their father), and, of course, he highlights only the liberal-friendly aspects of the Koch agenda:

They have, for decades, bankrolled libertarian think tanks and programs, and they help put on conferences where conservative ideas are spread. Among the ideas they end up spreading are drug legalization and opposition to the Patriot Act. The Tea Party was the first movement funded in part by the Kochs that really took off.

UPDATE: Powerline gets a reply from the New York Times' Eric Lipton: powerlineblog.com/archives/2011/02/028470.php It boils down to how you define "showdown"; wouldn't trying to restrict union power necessarily involve a confrontation of some kind?

And, others defending the Kochs include:

* Mark Steyn: steynonline.com/content/view/3767

What's happening in Wisconsin is all about money: budgets, shortfalls, obligations, perks, pensions, privileges - and the burdens of the beleaguered productive class that pays for it. In a story awash with money, the Koch brothers are the least of it. They're certainly billionaires, and that's a lot of dough. Of it, what they inject into the political process is little more than a rounding error.

I don't know whether Steyn is part of the Kochtopus, but that "rounding error" certainly seems to have bought the Kochs a lot of friends.

* Sean Parnell (not the Alaska governor) from the Center for Competitive Politics offers a fan post at Washington Examiner (owned by billionaire Philip Anschutz):
Parnell's blub "Sean Parnell is the president of the Center for Competitive Politics, a nonpartisan, nonprofit group dedicated to protecting First Amendment political rights") fails to note that he used to work for the Heartland Institute which is part of, you guessed it, the Kochtopus. There's that rounding error again.

* David Harsanyi offers his own version of the "rounding error" (denverpost.com/opinion/ci_17476151):

The libertarian Kochs are super rich and gave less than $2 million to Republicans in the last election cycle, which mathematically speaking amounts to nothing.

Dave Weigel refers to "Paultards"; Drudge has "emotional problems", should "set himself on fire" - 06/24/10

It looks like someone in the Washington DC junior league has it in for Dave Weigel of the Washington Post, because someone on the private "Journolist" email list (started by Ezra Klein) has released some "interesting" emails that Weigel sent to the list. This is all very much disgustingly Inside The Beltway, but then again please take a look at his name's link, and note also that the post at his personal site where David Weigel wrote about me and then refused to print my comment is still on the first page of Google results for "Lonewacko" (this site's former domain name). So, let's stoop low but just not to his level.

From his not-so-abject apology (link), one of the more piquant emails includes:

"This would be a vastly better world to live in if Matt Drudge decided to handle his emotional problems more responsibly, and set himself on fire."

He apologizes to Drudge, but Drudge seems to have a looong memory so... David Weigle also dishes on Byron York (and apologizes at the link), suggesting that people avoid linking to the Washington Examiner and its "hot hot Byron York scoops". Which he means sarcastically.

And, he also uses the "-tard" slur which I try to avoid. Not because I'm politically correct or because I don't desperately want to use it, but because it's just the classy thing to do. Dave Weiggle thinks different:

"It's all very amusing to me. Two hundred screaming Ron Paul fanatics couldn't get their man into the Fox News New Hampshire GOP debate, but Fox News is pumping around the clock to get Paultard Tea Party people on TV."

To most people, what's above is all that matters. I'd prefer to discredit David Wygle by pointing out how he lies and has questionable journalistic ethics.

UPDATE: Weigel has resigned. For GOP hacks, that's not a good thing, as much as they might have wanted it. He seemed to actually have less influence at the WaPo than he had at his previous jobs. The fact that GOP hacks would celebrate him resigning because he wasn't "fair" enough to them says much about them: they'd prefer yet another RedState-style GOP sycophant rather than anything approaching adversarial journalism. The problem with Weigel was that he was only partially an adversarial journalist and against those on the relatively-powerless fringe; "helping The Power" was always his first concern rather than "fighting The Power". It also speaks to our current situation that he was pushed out because of this, but no one else wants to point out how he lied about the Obama citizenship issue. To the establishment, those lies are acceptable. Those in the "birthers" movement obviously weren't smart and focused enough to take him to task for those lies.

Lee Sherman of Mint cowardly gives in to illegal immigration supporters (Timothy Lee, Megan McArdle, Dave Weigel, Ezra Klein, Max Read) - 06/18/10

Over the past couple of days, the illegal immigration-supporting establishment's junior league flexed their muscles, trying to get the site Mint dot com to delete a post giving statistics about the negative impacts of immigration. And, they won, with Mint editor Lee Sherman (also of Intuit) completely caving with what must be one of the most cowardly apologies ever.

How Crash the Tea Party could be effective (Brendan Steinhauser of Freedomworks knows!) - 04/14/10

As exhaustively detailed at the following link, the tea parties are a massive magnet for massive stupidity. They can't do anything right and the only reason they aren't little more than an embarrassing blip on U.S. political history is because their opponents are only marginally smarter than they are. Instead of trying to intellectually engage the partiers and show how they're wrong, those opponents have engaged in a long series of similarly childish activities, such as calling the partiers names or the like.

The latest example is the "Crash the Tea Party" group (crashtheteaparty.org) which is seeking infiltrators to try to make the partiers look bad by cranking their lunacy up a notch: bringing misspelled signs to rallies, advancing positions that are even more fringe, and so on. One problem with that is that it's lowering debate in the U.S. even more than the partiers are doing. Another problem is that it's difficult for even Pajamas Media to tell the difference between the real partiers and the infiltrators (pjtv.com/?cmd=mpg&mpid=72); everything they say about infiltrators applies to some or many real partiers.

And, yet another problem with the "Crashers" is that it gives the real partiers cover: they can (and will) simply blame loony signs and loony ideas on the infiltrators. The person behind the "Crashers" (Jason Levin, twitter dot com/tpartycrasher, twitter dot com/xenex11) is in effect helping the partiers (he might even be secretly on their side). Even Dave Weigel can figure out that Levin is helping them (link).

Another twist and turn in this disturbing tale is that FreedomWorks - one of the string-pullers for the partiers - knows how they're vulnerable. At the Washington Post article, their Brendan Steinhauser says:

Steinhauser passed on a chance to critique the CrashtheParty strategy of discrediting tea partiers. "I'm not going to suggest what they'd do if they were smart," he said.

OK, so I'll do that:

1. Their opponents could send smart, high-minded people - i.e., not the Max Blumenthal types - to tea party events and meetings and have them engage those present - preferably their leaders - in debate about policy. Those smart people could show how their libertarian-leaning ideology leads to a raft of negative consequences. Videos of the debates could be uploaded to video sharing sites so that Americans who aren't that familiar with the partiers could see what they really support.

2. Their opponents could show why average Americans don't want to be useful idiots for Freedom Works, the Koch family, Grover Norquist, and all the others who are the real leaders of the tea parties. I believe that Rachel Maddow has discussed those who pull the strings on their movement, but based on what I've seen of her I don't think she would do it in a way that would convince those outside her small circle.

3. Their opponents could point out that the leaders of the partiers are lowering debate in the U.S.: instead of encouraging an open debate about policy, those leaders have encouraged their charges to throw tantrums, shout down politicians, and engage in other uncivil and ineffective actions.

4. Their opponents could point out that the leaders of the partiers have completely ignored immigration matters, and could suggest why that might be. Their opponents could use this issue to separate the bulk of the partiers from their corrupt DC and libertarian leaders.

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%

Dave Weigel lies about Lou Dobbs - 11/24/09

At the Washington Independent (parent company funded in part by George Soros and Rockefeller), Dave Weigel offers "Citizen Lou" (washingtonindependent.com/68779/citizen-lou), in which he smears Lou Dobbs and lies about his positions:

What reason is there to believe that Dobbs, a bottom-feeding broadcaster who struggled to draw 800,000 nightly viewers, has a ready pool of voters waiting for him? All I see is a 2006 Rasmussen Reports poll suggesting that a third-party candidate who talked about ending immigration, as Dobbs does, would score 30 percent of the vote. A Dobbs boomlet makes more sense that the truly foolish “Unity 08″ boomlet of 2007, when some retired campaign consultants suggested that some combination of independent-minded politicians should run for office, just because.

1. Weigel says that Dobbs "talk[s] about ending immigration", but Dobbs doesn't do that. If anything, Dobbs is too much of a supporter of legal immigration. Dobbs' position is to oppose illegal immigration and support the legal variety. Weigel is lying.

2. The "Rasmussen Reports poll" in the text goes to this page, which has the full question that generated 30% supporting a third party candidate:

Suppose a third party candidate ran in 2008 and promised to build a barrier along the Mexican border and make enforcement of immigration law his top priority. Would you vote for the Republican, the Democrat, or the third party candidate?

Supporting the third party candidate in that case doesn't equate to "ending immigration", as Weigel implies. That position doesn't foreclose massive legal immigration or guest workers; it would just involve trying to prevent illegal immigration. Weigel managed to get two lies into one sentence.

3. And, of course, there are the de rigueur smears, with Weigel falsely stating that "Dobbs threatens to run on a platform of know-nothingism" and that he's a "bottom-feeding broadcaster".

Weigel has a serious problem with the truth; see his name's link above for more examples of him lying and misleading.

Judge David Carter makes false assumption, rules against Orly Taitz ("Birther" suit) - 10/29/09

Yet another Orly Taitz "Birther" lawsuit has failed; Dave Weigel crows about it here. Leaving aside all the many other factors of this story, judge David Carter of the Central District of California in his ruling (link) made a false assumption that shows either bias or inability to understand the fine points of this issue. He says (bolding added):

More specifically, Plaintiffs allege that the President has not shown that he is a "natural born citizen" of the United States and assert that he should have to establish his citizenship by "clear-and-convincing evidence". Plaintiffs argue that despite the fact that President Obama has produced a birth certificate from the state of Hawaii, there is evidence to show that the President was actually born in Kenya, thus making him ineligible to be President.

In fact, Obama hasn't "produced" anything beyond putting a picture of an alleged Certification of Live Birth on his web site. Further, it's not a "birth certificate", it's a "COLB". Ask yourself: would the judge give you the same leeway? If you were appearing before him and had to provide a document, would he accept a picture on a website in lieu of the actual document? Wouldn't he require the document to be authenticated by the issuing agency? Not only has Obama just shown a picture instead of the apparent underlying document, but Hawaii has not authenticated that picture. The judge is giving Obama a great deal of the benefit of the doubt, calling into question his integrity or his ability to understand that sometimes an alleged picture of an object and the object itself are different.

UPDATE: Despite what you might read in the comments, Hawaii has not authenticated the picture on Obama's site; there's a link right in the post above. They have not "authenticated his birth certificate" either. The most they've done is issue this statement. Note that she doesn't say anything about the picture on Obama's site.

Also, Obama never showed the supposed physical certification to Politifact, and there are several problems with the FactCheck posting on this, including the fact that they were lying to people for about eight months. See the main page at Obama citizenship, and see this page from over a year ago for more issues with the Fact Check posting.

Ask yourself: if this issue is as cut-and-dried as Obama cultists would have you believe, why do those Obama cultists - whether sockpuppets or MSM reporters - have to keep lying about the basic facts of this matter?

Sources for DHS rightwing extremism report: ADL, SPLC, NYT, LAT, Dave Weigel... - 08/12/09

* A large number of links to the Southern Poverty Law Center, including [1]. That SPLC link is misleading for the reasons outlined here and here. That misleading claim made it into DHS's report.

Dave Weigel lies about Obama certificate issue *again* (Rachel Maddow, "Birthers") - 07/23/09

Dave Weigel of the Washington Independent appeared on the Rachel Maddow show to discuss the "Birther" movement a couple days ago; the video is attached. If you trust Weigel's reporting, keep reading because, in addition to being disingenuous, he uttered two major lies.

Dave Weigel misleads about Obama certificate issue, again (Janice Okubo) - 07/17/09

As part of his long-running campaign to mislead people about the Obama citizenship issue, Dave Weigel of the Washington Independent offers "'Birther' Movement Dogs Republicans" [1]. I just got off the phone with one of his sources for the article, and she refused to verify the impression that Weigel's article is trying to make. Weigel is trying to mislead people into believing that the state of Hawaii has verified that the certification of live birth ("COLB") shown on Barack Obama's site and others. Yet, his quote source (Janice Okubo of the state of Hawaii's Department of Health) repeatedly refused to confirm that she had verified that they match and several times indicated that she wasn't qualified to verify that they match.

Here's that section of Weigel's article:

“It’s crazy,” said Janice Okubo, director of communications for the Hawaii Department of Health. “I don’t think anything is ever going to satisfy them.”

Okubo, who said that she gets weekly questions from Obama ‘Birthers’ that are “more like threats,” explained that the certificate of live birth reproduced by Obama’s campaign should have debunked the conspiracy theories. “If you were born in Bali, for example,” Okubo explained, “you could get a certificate from the state of Hawaii saying you were born in Bali. You could not get a certificate saying you were born in Honolulu. The state has to verify a fact like that for it to appear on the certificate. But it’s become very clear that it doesn’t matter what I say. The people who are questioning this bring up all these implausible scenarios. What if the physician lied? What if the state lied? It’s just become an urban legend at this point.”

I repeatedly asked Okubo to confirm that she had verified that what's on file matches what's shown on Obama's sites and others. She repeatedly refused to confirm that, saying that she will leave the interpretation of her remarks (which I read to her) to those reading her remarks. I repeatedly asked her to respond with a "yes" or a "no" as to whether she had verified that there's a match, and she repeatedly responded by noting that she is not the registrar, and that she does not have the authority to verify certificates. Weigel is simply using her quote in order to mislead people into thinking that Hawaii has verified that what's shown on Obama's site matches what Hawaii has on file, when that's not true.

And, obviously, Okubo isn't helping with this matter by giving statements that can be misconstrued and that can be used to mislead people.

UPDATE: In response to the claims that Obama has publicly released his certificate, see thisUPDATE 2: Also, what Weigel refers to above is a "Certification of Live Birth", not a "certificate" as he states.

[1] washingtonindependent.com/51489/birther-movement-picks-up-steam

What Dave Weigel doesn't want you to see - 01/23/09

On January 8, Dave Weigel - formerly of Reason Magazine and now with the Washington Independent and The Economist - wrote a post at his site (link) mocking my efforts to bring to light the Obama citizenship issue. I replied with a comment showing how he's wrong (printed below), but the comment remains in moderation: Weigel is too afraid to approve it because it points out how much of a hack he is.

It's standard journalistic practice to have a "right of reply", allowing those to be or those who have been written about to reply to articles about them. For instance, see this from the BBC. By not approving the comment, David Weigel shows once again that he isn't a real journalist but is simply an establishment hack.

Around here, we don't do things that way. If someone is written about here they can leave a comment and reply at will. If it looks like I might be wrong, I'll do more research. If I'm wrong, I'll print a correction. Dave Weigle doesn't do things that way. And, if Weigel wants to contact Hawaii - as I've repeatedly urged him to do - and get the answers to these questions, I'll happily print any reply he receives.

UPDATE: Weigle leaves a comment, showing his lack of journalistic integrity, how little he knows about this issue, and how much his position is based on faith in Obama. He asks me to explain 'why the COLB lists Obama's "city of birth" as Honolulu.' As described in this mid-October post, that COLB is not proof since it has not been verified. As that post points out, there are several problems with that as evidence, and it also appears on the same page where FactCheck has posted a blatant lie. To accept the COLB as pictured to be valid, one must believe the word of Obama and FactCheck; that's a perfectly valid position, as long as one is careful to note that their determination is based on belief and not on having obtained definitive proof such as the decision of a judge or similar. Further, as the state of Hawaii stated to me and others, they are legally forbidden from verifying the COLB on Obama's site. So, the COLB could be a fake; there's probably very little chance that Obama would be so bold as to do that, but there is that possibility and that possibility will remain out there until such time as he has the COLB verified by a recognized authority. FactCheck is neither a recognized authority, nor are they very credible.

What it boils down to is that Weigel is a hack, not a journalist. He's willing to give Obama a pass, he just isn't willing to admit that he's giving Obama a pass.

The comment I left follows.

Senator David Vitter misleads about Obama certificate issue (and Dave Weigel helps) - 01/08/09

Someone wrote senator David Vitter about the Obama citizenship matter, and his office apparently replied as follows:

"Thank you for contacting me with concerns about President-elect Barack Obama’s citizenship status... I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue... Hawaii state officials have verified that President-elect Obama was born in Honolulu on August 4, 1961, making him a natural born citizen."

Now, please go read the full 10/31/08 statement from those "Hawaii state officials".

As pointed out repeatedly, they only confirm that Obama has a valid cert on file. They did not confirm anything on the cert. They did not verify the cert on BHO's site. And, they most certainly did not verify that he was born in Honolulu. That's a FactCheck invention based on the 10/31 statement.

The Vitter office is on a retreat until Monday, and if I hear back I'll post an update.

The quote above appears in "GOP Senators Give Hope to Anti-Obama Activists" (link) in which Dave Weigel continues misleading about this issue. I've left several comments suggesting that he simply picks up the phone and calls Hawaii - and sent an email to his editor suggesting the same - without Weigel showing any interest in the basic journalistic task of verifying his assumptions.

UPDATE: I had a rather unproductive conversation with Laura McCann, editor of the Washington Independent, about this issue.

Dave Weigel /Slate /Reason Magazine lies about Obama birth certificate issue - 12/04/08

Dave Weigel of Reason Magazine takes to the webpages of Slate to offer "Change They Can Litigate/The fringe movement to keep Barack Obama from becoming president" (link). It contains at least one lie and several misleading statements (I didn't read the whole thing, so there's probably more).

Immigrant assimilation study: low scores for Mexicans; other results mixed (N.C. Aizenman/WaPo, Yglesias, Drezner, Atrios, Weigel) - 05/13/08

N.C. Aizenman of the Washington Post offers "Study Says Foreigners In U.S. Adapt Quickly", an article about a new Manhattan Institute report called "Measuring Immigrant Assimilation", authored by economist Jacob Vigdor of Duke University. He constructed an "assimilation index" based on economic, cultural, and civic assimilation. One of the issues with the index is that it probably doesn't include a question on whether those immigrants subscribe to our laws or whether they think they don't apply to them, and it probably doesn't cover irredentism-related issues. It's also a mixed bag; while the headline of the WaPo article spins it in the way we've come to expect from the WaPo, even N.C. Aizenman offers the following as the third sentence of his article:
The gap between today's foreign-born and native populations remains far wider than it was in the early 1900s and is particularly large in the case of Mexican immigrants, the report said.
And, Howard Husock, vice president for Policy Research at the Manhattan Institute, says:
It turns out there is plenty of assimilation going on. Cubans and Vietnamese, for instance, are economically indistinguishable from natives. Germans are indistinguishable both culturally and economically. Some cities are doing better than others at assimilating newcomers. Houston, where Mexican and Central Americans predominate, has an assimilation index of just 19. New York, where no one group predominates, has a score of 31.

But the most striking finding is much less positive. The current overall assimilation level for all immigrant groups combined, measured on a scale of zero to 100, is, at 28, lower now than it was during the great immigration wave of the early 20th century, when it never went below 32. What’s more, the immigrant group that is by far the largest is also the least assimilated. On the zero-to-100 scale, Mexicans — 11 million emigrated to America between 1980 and 2006 — score only 13.

Although Mexican assimilation does occur, it’s extremely slow. Mexicans who arrived in 1995 started out with Index scores around five — and increased only to around 10 by 2005. In other words, our largest immigrant group arrived with little education and even less knowledge of English, and they have stayed that way for an extended period.
On the same theme, Eunice Moscoso offers "Immigrants less integrated than before, study finds" (link).

Oddly enough, those hacks who support massive and/or illegal immigration only seem to have read the headline of the WaPo piece.

They include David Weigel of Reason Magazine ("The Washington Post reports on a new study revealing the quicker and quicker adaptation of immigrants to American norms."; reason.com/blog/show/126477.html). He's taken to task here.

Someone else weighing in is Duncan Black (aka Atrios) under the title "Paging Lou Dobbs" (eschatonblog.com/2008_05_11_archive.html#7247266138416718020):
Haven't looked at the study myself, so put this in the category of "confirms what I already thought," but as someone who lives in a city which still has plenty of white ethnic enclaves I've long been puzzled by the widespread belief that today's immigrants are somehow "different," aside from the skin color of some of them.
That's not only sleazy race-baiting, but it contains two logical fallacies: he's drawing a false conclusion based on a small sample size (i.e., his limited experiences) and based on past behavior despite the underlying conditions having changed.

Next up is Matt Yglesias, who links approvingly to both the WaPo and Atrios in "Assimilation Then and Now" (matthewyglesias.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/05/assimilation_then_and_now.php).

Last and least at least as far as traffic is concerned, Daniel Drezner takes a content-free swipe at both Lou Dobbs and Mickey Kaus (http://www.danieldrezner.com/archives/003815.html)

UPDATE: Looking at the study (manhattan-institute.org/html/cr_53.htm), here's what "cultural assimilation" means to the author the study:

* Ability to speak English
* Intermarriage (whether an individual’s spouse is native-born)
* Number of children
* Marital status

One will note a few things missing, such as whether they buy in to our laws (or think they don't apply to them) and whether they support our borders (or think they have a Blut und Boden-style right to move anywhere within the Americas).

An intellectually honest index would take those into account. The civic index has similar issues as well, one of which the author acknowledges (military service being a fast-track to citizenship).

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:

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.

EFE admits Goldwater "concentration camps" smear - 06/28/06

Spanish news agency EFE has apologized for its smear of Arizona gubanatorial candidate Don Goldwater. It said he wanted to hold illegal aliens in "concentration camps". Now they say:
EFE Executive Vice President Emillio Sanchez said a freelance writer for the news agency inaccurately described Goldwater's plan.

"Upon further reflection, our investigation has determined that your plan to house illegal prisoners in a tent city is consistent with accepted practices for nonviolent American prisoners in your area," Sanchez said in the letter released Tuesday by Goldwater's campaign.

The letter also acknowledged that the freelance reporter never interviewed Goldwater or any of his staff for the story.
Of course, on June 23 I pointed out that that claim was simply a smear and that the characterization of the camps was coming from the reporter and not from Goldwater.

To help the reader with determining who's credible and who's not, let's take a look at who helped promulgate the smear.

* EFE, of course

* the AP rewrote the EFE story. Much more weight was given to the reporter's characterization than to the note that it was simply a characterization and not a quote. And, considering the weight of the charge, that was not enough.

* Unfortunately, Br'er Drudge posted the smear in red type, without bothering to do a little bit of research.

* All the various papers that printed the AP article, some of which have control over which AP articles they print.

* Jim Kolbe and John McCain, who tripped over themselves to condemn Goldwater

Now, we get to the small-time smearers:

* Dave Weigel at Reason Magazine with "In Your Heart, You Know He's Batshit Insane": How much of this has been hyped by the "Mexican news service"? Apparently not much; Goldwater has said the same thing before. (reason.com/hitandrun/2006/06/in_your_heart_y_1.shtml)

* "Joe in DC" at AmericaBlog: "GOPer proposes forced labor camps for illegal immigrants": Those right wingers...they're thinking has really evolved, hasn't it? Always looking for the solution. (americablog.blogspot.com/2006/06/ goper-proposes-forced-labor-camps-for.html)

* An unnamed contributor to TruthDig hedges a bit, but doesn't bother digging for the truth. (truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/ 20060624_goldwater_jr_calls_for_forced_immigrant_labor_camps)

* AZCongressWatch reprints the article but provides little hedging or analysis. Based on its past entries the reason why is clear.

* Buffalo Pundit offers a report subtitled "El Trabajo Libera" (translation of Arbeit macht frei).

* alabamian.net uses the same phrase.

* Badattitudes' hedging falls a little short: "True, Goldwater is claiming he was quoted out of context, that he was talking about work programs for convicted felons. But he's apparently expressed such sentiments more than once... ...How does this talk of the US melting pot being polluted by immigrants differ from the ideas of the Nazis?"

* And, Man Eegee printed both the original smear and the retraction, but is unapologetic.

You can find various other blogs discussing this - before and after - with this search.

And, note that Goldwater's claim that illegal aliens are "polluting" the "Arizona desert" are based on things like this. Even the Los Angeles Times has noticed:
At Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, 2 1/2 million pounds of garbage [left by illegal border crossers] is scattered through broad valleys and desert arroyos every year
UPDATE: Showing his true sleazy, no-class nature, John McCain is refusing to back down:
"It is critically important that we improve the security of our borders and that we treat people humanely in the process, which I don't believe Mr. Goldwater's proposal, however he characterizes it, does," McCain said in a statement.

Goldwater, the nephew of former Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater, advocates detaining illegal border-crossers in tent-style jails and using them to help build a wall along the state's border with Mexico. The labor would be voluntary, he said, and modeled after work programs and tent-city jails run by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

"This is not an idea that's new," Goldwater said Tuesday. "All we're doing is taking a page out of Sheriff Arpaio's book."
McCain might be supporting EFE's false charge because of a true charge made against him:
In April, Goldwater penned a letter that appeared in The Arizona Republic in which he was critical of the path of immigration reform in Washington, D.C. He asked voters to "send a strong message to President Bush, McCain and Congressmen Jeff Flake and Rick Renzi that we are not going to accept their selling (out) of America."

Days later, Goldwater issued a clarification in which he took back the "selling out" remark, especially with reference to Renzi.
Jim Kolbe is also refusing to back down.