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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
arizonaguardian.com/azg/index.php?option=com_content&
view=article&id=2101:brewer&catid=937:campaigns-a-elections-fp
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
dailykos.com/storyonly/2010/6/2/872320/
-AZ-Gov.-Jan-Brewer-lies-...-about-her-fathers-death
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
washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_06/024077.php
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
thinkprogress.org/2010/06/02/brewer-nazis-father
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
politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0610/Brewer_claim_on_fathers_death_draws_scrutiny.html
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
tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/06/
az-gov-my-dad-died-fighting-the-nazis-in-germany-not-quite.php
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/
-Immigration-reform-is-still-hugely-popular

"Demand Question Time": another bipartisan sham (petition, demandquestiontime.com) - 02/03/10

A series of Beltway insiders, bloggers, and journalists have launched an online petition at demandquestiontime.com calling for repeats of the recent question and answer session Barack Obama held with House GOP leaders. In and of itself this isn't such a bad idea, at least from the entertainment standpoint. However, it's a very bad idea to the extent that it will be falsely presented as a real dialogue about vital issues. It's yet another sham, a slightly elevated version of debates held on the Hannity show.

As can be seen by the questions asked at the first event, the GOP isn't about to ask Obama embarrassing questions in a prosecutorial or even adversarial manner. And, there are topics on which he's highly vulnerable - such as immigration - that many in the Republican leadership don't want to discuss either. The GOP just can't be trusted to hold Obama accountable on immigration and a range of other topics. These events wouldn't be as fake as, say, WWE, but they're definitely Beltway-friendly and largely just for show.

The alternative is for those outside the Beltway to follow the question authority plan and use smart, adversarial questions to "cross-examine" political leaders and attempt to discredit them by showing how they've lied, misled, or failed to think their policies through. You aren't going to get anything like that from the "Question Time" events. Note that I've been promoting the question authority plan for just about three years and I've gotten almost no help with it.

Those behind the petition include a whole host of those who have little interest in rocking the boat (link):

supporters include Grover Norquist, Joe Trippi, Mark McKinnon, Ed Morrissey, Ari Melber, Katrina vanden Heuvel... Eli Pariser... Markos Moulitsas (Kos)... Ari Melber, Ana Marie Cox and Nate Silver. The steering committee is made up of Micah Sifry, David Corn, Mike Moffo, Mindy Finn (note: affiliated with Patrick Ruffini), Jon Henke and Glenn Reynolds.

That list is a very, very big clue as to what we're dealing with.

If anyone has heard of Jon Henke of The Next Right be sure and see that link. And, see the Reynolds link above for his past efforts such as encouraging people to swarm politicians and hold bunny ears behind their heads. Before the election I tried to get him and others to promote the question authority plan and he refused. See Morrissey's name for more on him, noting that when he interviewed Mike Huckabee he failed to ask him about immigration, his weakest position.

Note also that some of these same people were involved in other shams such as the Open Debate Coalition and 10 Questions.

Kos: Republicans must do everything Hispanics want or we won't vote for them (Sotomayor) - 08/08/09

The great Kos speaks (dailykos.com/story/2009/8/7/763043/-It-WAS-an-incredible-day-for-Latinos):

We have a wise Latina on the Supreme Court... Pat Buchanan pines for the America of the '50s, but the country has changed, and for the better... And while we Latinos celebrate Associate Justice Sotomayor's accomplishments, we have also take note of who tried to stand in her way... Nine Republicans voted to confirm... [aside from those retiring and the "Maine twins"] That leaves Alexander, Graham, and Lugar as the only other Republicans unwilling to alienate the nation's fastest growing ethnic demographic by casting a symbolic and doomed vote against the Supreme Court nominee with the most judicial experience in our nation's history. Props to them, but it didn't work. Latinos know the score.

He's basically saying Republicans have to do anything that Hispanics want. It's unfortunate that many Republicans buy into the same thing he's selling. (On the plus side, one of those who didn't vote for her is John McCain.)

After the excerpt above, he points out that a DailyKos poll (dailykos.com/weeklypoll/2009/7/30) shows that, when asked how they view the Republican Party, 11% of Latinos are unsure (just 4% are favorable and 85% are unfavorable). He obviously thinks the 11% is too high, and that's despite the fact that several Republicans did vote to (supposedly) give Hispanics what they want by voting for Sotomayor. The implication is that no matter how strongly Republicans pander, unless every single one of them does everything Latinos want, they won't get their votes. The downside of Kos' argument is that some might decide that pandering to those who won't respond isn't worth the effort.

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/
33283_Pittsburgh_Cop-Killer_Was_Conspiracy_Nut_and_Member_of_Stormfront

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).

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.

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

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

Commencing now..

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

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

TROUBLE IN POWER GLUTES PARADISE! Andrew Sullivan says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE POWER GLUTES HAD A MOOD SWING:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Translated from Obamaian, those mean that Palin clearly won.

UPDATE 3: Reuters says:

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

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

Biden might have also gotten his Constitution wrong.

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

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

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

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

Donate a penny for RedState! (needs $25,000 to move from Drupal to Django) - 01/07/08

Our friends at RedState have issued an urgent plea [1] for $25,000 so they can upgrade their site from Drupal to Django. In the spirit of helpfulness, I urge everyone reading this to donate a penny if PayPal allows it. But, only if the transactions costs exceed the amount you donate.

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.