matt yglesias

Matt Yglesias of Slate

Morally-challenged "liberal" blogger who puts partisanship well ahead of simple humanity. Shortly after Andrew Breitbart passed away, Matt Yglesias tweeted this [1]:

Conventions around dead people are ridiculous. The world outlook is slightly improved with @AndrewBrietbart dead.

Yglesias currently covering economics at Slate. That's despite (or because of) the fact that at least when it comes to immigration and economics he's completely intellectually dishonest: he fails to acknowledge all the costs of the massive and illegal immigration he supports. For specific examples, see the dozens of comments I've left at his sites over the years, and for a more general discussion see immigration economics. Yglesias doesn't even understand the concept of finite resources.

Yglesias was formerly at the Center for American Progress and before then at The Atlantic. Note that his name is spelled with a "y" and not as "Matt Iglesias".

[1] twitter dot com/mattyglesias/status/175240732045619200

Last modified Mar 1, 2012
Discussed in (click each link for the full post):

Conservatives lack competence to stop the "Knockout Game" - 11/21/13

In the "Knockout Game", a victim is knocked unconscious in a surprise attack. Most or all of the perpetrators are blacks and usually working in a group; most or all of the victims have been non-blacks. Victims have included the political class such as Matt Yglesias and Rep Grace Meng.

Michael Savage calls for "nationalist party" with a "charismatic leader"; globalists respond - 01/06/13

Speaking on the Aaron Klein radio show earlier today, radio host Michael Savage said among other things this:

"We need a nationalist party in the United States of America... [the Tea Partiers] need to restructure their party. They need a charismatic leader, which they don’t have... When you say Tea Party no one knows who the leader is because there is no leader,” he said. “No man has stepped forward who can lead that party."

Some notes:

Even Matt Yglesias realizes immigration amnesty would harm the GOP - 11/08/12

What is it that Matt Yglesias of Slate can see that GOP leaders can't? Not much: neither are that perspicacious.

Matt Yglesias' crazy libertarian immigration plan would harm hundreds of millions of people - 10/05/12

Over at Slate, Matt Yglesias continues to offer crazy, libertarians-influenced immigration ideas. His latest idea thinks big: what he's proposing would harm hundreds of millions - perhaps billions - of people around the world.

Matt Yglesias' low level of concern for American (high-tech) workers - 09/22/12

We already knew that Matt Yglesias of Slate has little concern for lower-skilled American workers [1].

But, lest there be any doubt, he doesn't have much concern for high-tech American workers either.

He writes ( ):

Clueless: Matt Yglesias can't see difference between immigration and internal migration - 08/23/12

Slate's Matt Yglesias - known around here as Tom Friedman Jr. - offers "How Come Nobody Thinks Stopping People From Moving To Chicago Would Create Jobs?" ( ):

Matt Yglesias thinks "Offshoring Is Fine" - 07/17/12

Matt Yglesias of Slate continues his slow, shallow descent into becoming Tom Friedman Jr. with "Offshoring Is Fine" [1].

Matt Yglesias' crooked, libertarian, cheap serf labor scheme (immigration, Slate, DREAM Act) - 06/20/12

I'm more (traditionally) liberal on immigration than Matt Yglesias of Slate: I want to raise wages and working conditions, while Yglesias peddles libertarian concepts designed to reduce wages and working conditions.

CAP wants to run the U.S. and can't even make a workable website - 05/31/11

The Center for American Progress has redesigned their website, and it's far worse than what it was before. I don't usually comment on technical matters here, but there's a political angle: CAP is deeply linked into the Obama administration and they want to control policy. At the same time, they can't even put together a website that works.

Matt Yglesias supports taking toys from needy U.S. children; unable to understand limited resources - 12/01/09

Two Houston charities are requiring proof of citizenship before giving out donated toys to needy children; the story is here.

About this, Matt Yglesias says (link):

I think there are pretty good pragmatic reasons to think that democratic governments should consider themselves primarily responsible for the welfare of their citizens rather than for the welfare of humanity at large...

I’m not sure what sense it makes to say that “the point” isn’t “to punish the children” since the method chosen is the punishment of children.

Meanwhile grant that it’s “the parents’ responsibility” that the family may be in the United States without legal permission. Suppose the parents had committed a crime that’s even more serious than moving across an international boundary without permission in order to do work in exchange for money (hard to imagine a more serious offense, I know). What if they’d, I dunno, broken into people’s homes and stolen jewelry and now they’re in jail. Is the Salvation Army going to say that their kids shouldn’t have toys to play with? What sense does that make?

Since MattY is a Harvard University grad, I've illustrated the problem in a way that he can understand; see the image. The problem is that there are too few toys and too many needy children. Unless one lives in a fantasy world where there are an endless number of toys, that means that some kids are going to be left out. And, that also means that any toys that are given to illegal aliens will be toys that were in effect taken away from U.S. citizens.

In other words, Matthew Yglesias is supporting taking toys from needy U.S. children in order to give them to foreign citizens who are here illegally.

If MattY knew anything about these issues, he'd suggest discouraging illegal immigration in order to reduce the problems. Instead, his employer, the Center for American Progress, supports comprehensive immigration reform, something that would lead to even more illegal immigration and make the problem worse. In the meantime, he could call on the Mexican government to take care of their own kids.

The fact that he's not doing that, and the fact that he can't figure out the problem of limited resources, shows just how flawed his thinking is, especially on the immigration issue.

Marin Cogan/TNR's massive Fairness Doctrine strawman - 11/20/08

Marin Cogan of the New Republic offers "Bum Rush/Obama's secret plan to muzzle talk radio. Very, very secret." ( The supposed "reporter-researcher" looks for evidence that the Democrats want to bring back the Fairness Doctrine and can't find it. She therefore concludes that the Democrats don't want to try to muzzle rightwing talk radio.

Did James Glassman/State Department mock Sarah Palin? - 10/03/08

An anonymous commenter at says:
James Glassman, the Undersecretay of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, was just introduced on C-Span at the National Press Club. As he approached the speaker's platform he said: "Thank you Donna. May I call you Donna?" Then he went immediately into "a shout out" to the school his daughter(s) go to. I thought those were pretty amusing considering he was in front of such a staid institution.

Stephen Bainbridge, Matt Yglesias embarrass themselves in support of illegal immigration (minorities, bailout) - 09/28/08

A few days ago, Michelle Malkin offered "Illegal immigration and the mortgage mess" (link).

Now, if there's one thing that the corrupt on both the right and the left can agree on it's that illegal immigration is the best thing since 8ulova watches.

Thus it is that UCLA Professor Stephen Bainbridge [1] offers "They Make You Embarrassed to be a Conservative" in which he ironically embarrasses himself (link):

...the raving of people like Malkin and Krikorian [2] should be taking place in a padded room in Arkham Asylum not in the public discourse... Put simply, the freezing up of the credit markets doesn’t have anything to do with either affirmative action or illegal immigration, and people who believe it does are on a par with the conspiracy theorists who think fluoridation is a Chicom plot... When you look at the data, it’s true that minorities are slightly over-represented in the sub-prime mortgage market...

In the above, the word "data" is linked to this PDF file, and that's the only data he provides. That PDF says:

Our sample was drawn from a population of borrowers originating mortgages between January 1996 and June 1997

In other words, Bainbridge is basing his smears on data that's over a decade old.

Needless to say, simply relying on someone else who relied on faulty data wasn't enough for Matt Yglesias, he needed to race bait and smear those who, unlike him, support our laws [3]:

This is one of these wingnut talking points that I can't even begin to unpack in a coherent argument, but white supremacist sentiment has always been an important element of the modern conservative movement so it's not surprising to see it rear its head even in odd contexts.

While I haven't looked into illegal immigration's links to the mortgage bailout, I will point out that many banks are eager to lend to illegal aliens. In fact, the FDIC was working with the Mexican consulate to give home loans to illegal aliens. See also this, this, this, this, and this. The issue of the "unbanked" - including dissembling by Bill Clinton and Arnold Schwarzenegger - is related.

UPDATE: Steven Bainbridge deleted two comments pointing out how he was misleading.

[1] Bainbridge is such an idiot, he said "I like it, let's do it" about Bush's original "guest" worker scam.
[2] Bainbridge is misunderstanding a Corner post from Mark Krikorian, and probably doing so intentionally. I saw the update where Krikorian explained what he (pretty obviously) meant but can't locate it presently.

Jonathan Martin/Politico: please try real reporting for a change ("Holtz-Eakin: McCain helped create BlackBerry") - 09/16/08

Jonathan Martin of the Politico is a sickening hack who's a complete failure as a reporter. His latest "scoop" is falsely titled "Holtz-Eakin: McCain helped create BlackBerry" (link).

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.

Paul Kane/WaPo's reporting skills are on par with DailyKos (Sarah Palin veto) - 09/02/08

[See the updates, it gets a lot worse: what Paul Kane describes as a "slash[ing]" of funds to a non-profit was over a threefold increase from all the government funds they received in 2006.]

Paul Kane of the Washington Post should consider a career as a DailyKos diarist, as he offers "Palin Slashed Funding for Teen Moms" (link):
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee who revealed Monday that her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant, earlier this year used her line-item veto to slash funding for a state program benefiting teen mothers in need of a place to live.

After the legislature passed a spending bill in April, Palin went through the measure reducing and eliminating funds for programs she opposed. Inking her initials on the legislation -- "SP" -- Palin reduced funding for Covenant House Alaska by more than 20 percent, cutting funds from $5 million to $3.9 million. Covenant House is a mix of programs and shelters for troubled youths, including Passage House, which is a transitional home for teenage mothers.
As for why he should consider joining DailyKos instead, Kane didn't endeavor to find out why she did that. And, of course, there are many explanations.

One explanation is that Palin is a sociopath who wants teen moms to suffer. However, I believe that explanation can be discarded.

So, we have to search further, and notably, Kane didn't contact the campaign for an explanation. Perhaps she believes that private rather than state monies should be used? Perhaps, if that's the reason, her beliefs are correct; did Kane endeavor to find out whether that could be correct? Perhaps she thought it would discourage teen pregnancies? Perhaps she doesn't come with the set of assumptions Kane obviously has that there must be a state program for everything? Perhaps she has evidence that Covenant House misspends money? Perhaps there are other programs available? All those possibilities Kane does not even broach.

Please contact the WaPo's ombudsman: ombudsman *at*

UPDATE: It's even worse than I suspected. According to their site (, "Approximately 90% of our funding comes from the generous donations of friends like you". And, according to this state document (PDF link), they were only to get $155,000 in 2007. It's not clear whether that was their only source of state funding, and their executive director wasn't available.

UPDATE 2: The $3.9 million was part of a grant for a facilities expansion; see this PDF (you might need to change the extension to "PDF" after downloading).

And, Covenant House's IRS Form 990 (link) shows the funds that Paul Kane describes as "slashed" was over a threefold increase from the government funds they received from all sources in 2006 (FY2006 ending 12/31/06). In 2006, they received:

Contributions $1,667,796
Government Grants $1,194,788
Program Services $0
Investments $67,947
Special Events $271,980
Sales $0
Other $11,139
Total Revenue $3,213,650

Note that they also get money from the feds, including on the facilities expansion.

Please use the address above to send a message to the WaPo about their "reporting".

UPDATE 3: This post earlier said it was "almost a fourfold", but I changed it to "over a threefold" to be mathematically precise. Also, there's a round-up of those sites that simply followed the WaPo's lead without even considering they might be wrong here.

UPDATE 4: A comment (not the post) at corrects Matt Yglesias with this (
If you bother looking at the documents, you can see that one program, the Alaska Challenge Youth Academy Program is included in the budget for 2007 but not in 2008. This accounts for nearly all of the discrepancy. You could also see, with a simple search, that the same program is still funded in 2008 (pdf), just on a separate program sheet (in fact, funding was increased, by the governor, by about 50%).
UPDATE 5: Even NPR - NPR! - corrected their pile-on of the story (link):
After Brian, one of our astute readers, questioned the veracity of this article, we did some additional digging. It turns out the Washington Post got this one wrong. We called the Covenant House Alaska and, according to Executive Director Deirdre Cronin, the program's operating budget was not in fact reduced. She writes in a press release: "Our $3.9 million appropriation is directed toward a multi-year capital project and it is our understanding that the state simply opted to phase in its support for this project over several years, rather than all at once in the current budget year." Thanks, Brian. We stand corrected.

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" ( 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 (, 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.

Questions for Matt Yglesias - 06/21/08

Recently, Matt Yglesias of The Atlantic ( has been posting a daily thread soliciting questions that he'll answer from his visitors ("requests"). I've posted a few comments to those threads without an answer, but that just means I'll keep trying. To be frank, the reason I do that is in the hope that one of these days Matthew Yglesias will let someone at the higher levels of the DNC know that the old lies aren't working any more.

Paul Waldman wins the BOSA! (Barack Obama Sycophant Award) - 06/19/08

Congratulations to Paul Waldman of Media Matters for America, who's just now won the BOSA, also known as the Barack Obama Sycophant Award, the Toady, the Yglesias, and other names too numerous to mention!

Last seen here calling the NAFTA Superhighway a myth and then admitting that it exists in one form, Waldman contributes to the American Prospect's TAPPED. BOSA judges "tapped" the following excerpt from this post as one of the reasons for the award. Referring to BHO, Waldman says:

He has always presented himself as the embodiment of what we all want America to be: inclusive, future-oriented, moving beyond our differences to embrace what binds us together. So patriotic talk isn’t something he has recently embraced, it’s actually at the heart of his narrative, which has been consistent from day one.

Now, that's sycophancy!

But, the judges also awarded him the Smithers Tassle to go with the main award for the article "McCain's Desperate Debate Gambit":

John McCain knows his campaign is in trouble, and so he's trying to pressure Barack Obama into a long series of town hall meetings. But speeches are the real way the president appeals to the public.

That whole participatory democracy thing where we press our politicians on their lies was getting so old. Much better to just sit there and listen to Barack Obama read a script someone else has written rather than trying to ask him about his frequent lies and misleading statements.

It will be difficult for others to achieve the level of sheer sycophantic slaggishness that Waldman has, but many others will surely try in the near future.

Obama Oregon rally was preceded by free concert from Portland band The Decemberists - 05/20/08

Some forms of MSM deception are so gross you have to wonder why they'd put their reputations on the line. I guess they're playing a numbers game, assuming that they'll be able to fool many more people than learn the truth.

Today's egregious example involves the big Obama rally in Portland, Oregon on May 18 which supposedly somewhere around 75,000 people attended. What many or most news sources forgot to tell you was that his appearance was preceded by a free, 45-minute concert from the local indy band The Decemberists; for comparison purposes their most-viewed videos on Youtube have 407,110; 177,447; and 141,218 views. And, here's a video from the event itself: link.

Details on this here and here:

If you want to do something about this, search for news reports on the rally that didn't mention who was the opening act. Then, contact their public editors or just call up the reporter directly and ask them why they didn't reveal that material fact. The same can be done with bloggers, simply by leaving a comment.

UPDATE: To make it clearer, I'm not suggesting that everyone was there because of the band. I'm suggesting that their appearance - as well as the fact that it was a sunny day - played a role. And, the MSM as well as others who discussed the rally should have disclosed that their apperance did play a role.

IT'S GETTING CROWDED UNDER THE BUS UPDATE: The Decembrists join Obama's grandmother, Reverend Wright, and a host of others under the bus as "liberals" are now trying to claim that the band could only, in the words of one of those commenting, draw a crowd of 750. For an example, let's turn to paid hack Matt Yglesias (

By now you've heard all about Barack Obama's radical pastor and secret Allah-worship, but Jim Geraghty's got the scoop about Obama's secret association with Portland-based indie rock bands. Yes, that's right, the Decemberists played Obama's 75,000 person rally. Quoth Geraghty, "I'm sure Obama would draw a big crowd either way, but wasn't that worth mentioning in the coverage?" Now Jason Linkins argues that "as the Decemberists are a modestly successful indie outfit, more apt to perform at venues such as the 1,200-person capacity 9:30 Club, it would be more accurate to suggest that the promise of an Obama rally is a great inducement to come see the Decemberists, rather than the reverse." Linkins misses the point, of course, that the Decemberists are popular enough to often play the 9:30 Club on consecutive nights so you can see that Obamamania's all hype.

Now, let's roll back the clock to October 11, 2006 (

Fans of the Decemberists will by no means be disappointed by their new offering The Crane Wife. Non-fans, on the other hand, probably won't find anything to turn their views around. For my part, I'm a fan. It's schtick, but it's good schtick.

That's followed by 18 comments from various kinds of fans. Now, obviously, MattY doesn't have much influence, but someone like Atrios does get a lot of traffic. And, in fact, almost 4800 views of their most popular video are due to him, who promoted them at these links:

So, once again, they only played a minor part in the turnout, but they did play a part and it should have been mentioned.

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."; He's taken to task here.

Someone else weighing in is Duncan Black (aka Atrios) under the title "Paging Lou Dobbs" (
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" (

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 (

UPDATE: Looking at the study (, 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).

Matt Yglesias, Ross Douthat, and Marc Ambinder at... The Table - 12/19/07

This video of the premiere edition of The Atlantic's entry into vlogging is just too funny for words. I was laughing so hard at the intro music plus the hosts turning to the camera that I was unable to listen to the rest (probably for the best).

Democrats: soft on terrorist infiltration - 11/13/07

Based on the response to Rep. Tom Tancredo's ad about terrorism, one thing is clear: the nutroots/netroots (like Crooks and Liars, Raw Story, etc.), supposed mainstream bloggers/pundits (like Matt Yglesias), and the MSM just don't take border security that seriously. Some Democratic politicians might not go that far, and some might truly support border security, but most of them - including the top-tier Democratic candidates - simply talk a good game.

Hopefully Frank Luntz or similar is working on rhetoric that would expose this abject failure to protect the U.S. and that could be used by various candidates when it applies. In the meantime, here's my first attempt:

The Democrats just don't see terrorist infiltration of the U.S. as an important issue and would prefer to concentrate on more important things.

It needs a bit of clean-up; I use "important" twice.

Could Matt Yglesias be any more of a dude? - 04/30/07

As in "dude ranch":


Brooks Brothers suit jacket turns out not to go so well with hiking.

Leaving the Great Liberal Northeast for seemingly the first time, pundit Matt Yglesias recently traveled to Taos, New Mexico. I spent a fair amount of time typing out an unheeded comment suggesting that he travel further south and visit Las Cruces, El Paso, and Carlsbad and also that he take a hike at the White Sands National Monument. It's a good thing he didn't take my advice: he probably would have done it in a tuxedo.

In a show of solidarity with, you know, everyone else, he says "Middle America goes on vacation". And, he titles a picture of someone with a baby carrier "Ambitious" ("This woman was actually carrying her daughter on her back throughout a mile-long trail.") First, a mile is nothing, especially since it appears to have been a ranger-led nature trail for tourists and thus probably wasn't in the least bit difficult. On a serious note, one wonders how someone who's such a dude could comment on matters affecting the Southwest such as massive immigration.

Tips for John Edwards re: $400 hair cut - 04/22/07

John Edwards recently got two haircuts for the exorbitant price of $400 each, and tried to bill the campaign for them. Various "liberals" are now aghast at the coverage that this matter has received, particularly that from Maureen Dowd. For instance, this.

In an attempt to reach out, let me offer some of the talking points the Edwards campaign could use to defuse the situation. Expect to see Amanda Marcotte or similar offering these on CNN and FOX any moment now:

NAU apologists - 11/24/06

[List below updated 12/11/07]

Recently, Rep. Tom Tancredo was quoted as saying this:

"People have to understand what we're talking about here. The president of the United States is an internationalist... He is going to do what he can to create a place where the idea of America is just that – it's an idea. It's not an actual place defined by borders. I mean this is where this guy is really going... I know this is dramatic – or maybe somebody would say overly dramatic – but I'm telling you, that everything I see leads me to believe that this whole idea of the North American Union, it's not something that just is written about by right-wing fringe kooks. It is something in the head of the president of the United States, the president of Mexico, I think the prime minister of Canada buys into it... And they would just tell you, 'Well, sure, it's a natural thing. It's part of the great globalization ... of the economy.' They assume it's a natural, evolutionary event that's going to occur here. I hope they're wrong and I'm going to try my best to make sure they're wrong. But I'm telling you the tide is great. The tide is moving in their direction. We have to say that."

This has resulted in various people calling Tancredo names or disputing that such a plan is underway. And, some of them dispute that such a plan exists, but then say that such an idea isn't so bad after all. While it's certainly possible to disagree with Tancredo's assessment, all of the comments I've seen involve some form of name-calling and none of them discuss the issue on its merits. In some cases this might be actual pro-NAU propaganda, in others it might be due to opposition to Tancredo's support for our immigration laws, in others it might be a knee-jerk defense of Bush, and in some it might be due to the fact that many bloggers aren't, shall we say, that good at research and analysis.

* Judd Legum of Think Progress says: "You might think the right would immediately repudiate this kind of conspiracy theory. You'd be wrong." As could be expected from that site, most of the comments are name-calling. Some however support the NAU concept.

* Steve Benen of The Carpetbagger says: "Now, far be it for me to defend the president against an unhinged attack from a far-right lawmaker, but does anyone seriously believe that the Bush White House wants to dissolve U.S. borders altogether?" At least two out of five comments, while calling names, provide facts on the SPP.

* "AllahPundit" says: "Oh Lord... We get e-mails from those people all the time. We... do not publish them... Update: HotAir commenters (most of them) agree: Tancredo’s a prophet whose only crime is seeing too clearly the nefarious machinations towards one-world government that are happening under our very noses!" (HotAir is run by Michelle Malkin; the first post I made to her immigration blog concerned the SPP. Her position on this matter isn't known.)

* "Captain Ed" (who isn't a real captain) says: "Tom Tancredo reminds people today why he will forever remain a fringe element in American politics... This is absurd. George Bush may not have responded very well to immigration concerns from his base, but he's done more than his father, Bill Clinton, and even Ronald Reagan in bolstering border security. Tancredo is engaging in mindless demagoguery with these doomsday descriptions, and moving closer to the realms of paranoia." Most of those commenting disagree.

* John Podhoretz says: "I speculate in my book, Can She Be Stopped?, that Tancredo will run as a third-party candidate in 2008. Sounds like he'd be perfect to top Lyndon LaRouche's ticket. If you are serious about the importance of immigration restriction, you'd best be looking for a leader who hasn't chosen to place himself beyond the political fringe."

* Mark Steyn says: "Chances of an EU-style sovereignty pooling arrangement in North America? Zero per cent – whatever Tom Tancredo and the CFR say."

* SeeDubya from Junkyard Blog mockingly refers to "internationalist conspiracy", "sweet, sweet New World Order", "Illuminati endgame", and pretends that the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board supports U.S. sovereignty.

* MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy calls Tancredo various names such as "barking moonbat".

* Alexander McClure at Wizbang Politics says: "...I hope the White House throws all of its resources into this race to make sure that Tancredo also goes into retirement. He is an embarrasment to the party."

* John Hawkins at Right Wing News had a debate with Jerome Corsi on the topic. While Hawkins is not a Bush apologist in the Captain Ed/RedState/BlogsForBush mold, he is on the wrong side of this issue.

* "Appalacian Scribe" John Norris Brown says: "Why anyone gives this nutcase credibility is beyond me."

* Ragnar Danneskjold at the Jawa Report says: One would think that a U.S. Congressman would realize that any statement that starts with "I know this is dramatic" and proceeds to defend the ideas of "right-wing fringe kooks" is pretty unlikely to go anywhere good.

3/22/07 UPDATE:
* Ezra of People for the American Way's Right Wing Watch says, among other things (

...the Eagle Forum published a list of questions for its supporters to ask candidates on the trail, ranging from Schlafly's theory of "supremacist judges" to the John Birch-esque "North American Union." She says her plan is working, according to "Swift Vet" co-author and fellow "North American Union" enthusiast Jerome Corsi...

A few links are included in that excerpt, including one linking the first "North American Union" to Wikipedia's entry on "black helicopters".

6/27/07 UPDATE:
* Joshua Holland, staff writer for Alternet, joins the list with "Debunking the North American Union Conspiracy Theory" ( He can't even get past the second paragraph without violating Godwin's Rule:

The North American Union story is an offspring of the John Birch Society right, with its attendant xenophobia and paranoia. It comes complete with a shadowy international cabal intent on stabbing decent, hard-working Americans in the back -- Dolchstoss!

He mentions the Council of Canadians, without mentioning that they're a leftwing group and thus tend to disprove his contention that the NAU "story" is just a rightwing issue. And, he mentions some of the "dots" making up the NAU "story", but he just can't connect them.

8/13/07 UPDATE:
* Chris Hayes of The Nation offers "The NAFTA Superhighway" and says that highway is fictional. Some of the letters say he's full of it, with one claiming that Katrina vanden Heuvel is a member of the CFR [11/05/10 UPDATE: Katrina vanden Heuvel is indeed a member of the CFR].

* Matt Yglesias links approvingly to his article in the post "The Highway That Wasn't There".

* Both join Vice President Dick Cheney in claiming there's no such highway.

* In early August 2007, Stephen Colbert had a little bit of "fun":

8/24/07 UPDATE:
* Seattle Times columnist Bruce Ramsey offers "Bet your bottom amero that U.S. sovereignty is safe". He bases his conclusion that there's no plan to create a NAU by asking... "the government's chief negotiator on trade, Susan Schwab". She tells him it's just an "urban legend". And, he believes what she says. The JBS - mentioned in his piece - responds here.

* The Fox News "all stars" (Fred Barnes, Juan Williams, and Charles Krauthammer with host Brit Hume) play the Bush quote and then have a bit of fun here: Krauthammer whitewashes the Bilderberg conferences, saying that he went to one. He compares those who think the NAU is possible to those who believe that Elvis is still alive. Barnes and Williams join in with the "fun". Just because these three idiots say people aren't pushing for it shouldn't be taken as proof that it is being pushed, but...

9/15/07 UPDATE:
* Richard Reeb at the Claremont Institute offers the post "We've Got Our Nut Jobs Too/Right Wing Conspiracy Theory".

11/27/07 UPDATE: Drake Bennett of the Boston Globe offers "The amero conspiracy": ...The NAU may be the quintessential conspiracy theory for our time, according to scholars studying what the historian Richard Hofstadter famously called the "paranoid style" in American politics. The theory elegantly weaves old fears and new realities into one coherent and all-encompassing plan... [etc. etc.]...

12/03/07 UPDATE: Gretel Kovach of Newsweek offers a very weak debunking attempt of the NAFTA Superhighway and the NAU in "Highway To Hell?" ( That's linked to by the Washington Post's "Fact Checker", Michael Dobbs (, who offers his own weak attempt. And, on 11/30/07, Stephen Braun of the Los Angeles Times offered "Paul believes in threat of North American superhighway" (link). It's similar to the WaPo's "Fact Checker" article, including a Stephen Colbert "joke". And:

Federal and state highway and trade officials and transportation consultants reacted Thursday with befuddlement and amusement. The fearsome secret international highway project Paul described does not exist, they said... ...the Trilateral Commission [is] an enduring bugaboo of conspiracy theorists... As alarms about NAFTA's illusory highway have spread across the Web, the issue's whiff of paranoia has ignited sparks of humor... [Colbert "joke"]

12/09/07 UPDATE: Matt Stearns of McClatchy Newspapers offers his own "debunking".

12/11/07 UPDATE: The SPLC has also tried to cast doubts on these schemes.

Could our collective memories have erasers? - 12/27/04


Thanks to Betsy's Page, I learned that Hugh Hewitt's yet-to-be-published book Blog is climbing the Amazon sale ranks, breaking the Top 1000 and then the Top 500 today. I received a recent draft of the book last week and finished it...

Good for you!

UPDATE: Also, thanks to Hugh for including Blogs For Bush in his "must visit at least weekly" list!

Intrigued, I clicked over to Hugh's site. Unfortunately, it's not as bad as I'd hoped:

A year ago you had probably not heard of Powerline, KerrySpot, INDC Journal, BlogsforBush, the Belmont Club, LGF, Jeff Jarvis, RadioBlogger, One Hand Clapping, Shot in the Dark, Beldar, RatherBiased, Professor Bainbridge, VodkaPundit, TriGeekDreams, Scrappleface, Bill Hobbes, Blackfive, RedState, Matt Yglesias, Kevin Drum, RightWingNews, JohnMarkReynolds, PoliPundit, The Fourth Rail, StonesCryOut, CadetHappy, BrainShavings, Al Mohler, Betsy's Page, Smash, Patrick Ruffini, Captain's Quarters, Wizbang... (This is my "must visit at least weekly" list, along with others named above or below.)

I've never heard of a few of those, and, except for a few of the rest I think we'd all be better off if most of them would just go rest on their laurels.

Howard Dean <b>can</b> win! - 06/09/03

Via this post comes this post which says:

After I attended the Howard Dean meetup this week... at The Metro, a gay bar in the Castro. I... signed up to volunteer... to do "outreach" activites, including, apparently, going to gay bars and talking to people about Dean. Well... a genuine excuse to [go] up to strange guys without having to worry about an opening line.

Good luck, but I don't think it's going to work unless someone is either crazy, drugged, or otherwise already fairly pro-Dean.

However, as my own form of outreach, I herewith present something that just might work:

"Hello, I'm Stacy, and welcome to Fry's!"

"Hi Stacy... say, can you tell me where the CDRs are?"

"They're on aisle 6A."

"Thanks. [Looks at Stacy's tan, chuckles.] Do they sell tanning beds here too?"

"No, that's a beach tan!"

"Really. What's your favorite beach, Stacy?"

"Oh, I like Trancas."

"Really. I bet you sometimes find yourself daydreaming about being at Trancas while you're working here at Fry's, don't you?"

"Well, yeah, sometimes."

"What would it be like if you were at the beach right now? Can you imagine walking along the shoreline, putting down your towel, and feeling the cool sand under you? You kick back and relax. Can you hear the waves gently crashing on the shore, Stacy?

There's a wave... there's another wave crashing...

You lie back, and completely relax. Feel a warm breeze gently waft over your body, Stacy... all your cares drift away on the breeze... feel your cares drift away... hear my voice blending with the rhythm of the waves... you relax more and more... you have no cares... you are completely and totally relaxed... clear your mind completely... the choice is clear... you are completely relaxed... vote for Dean... relax... no cares... vote for Dean..."

Fry's is an electronics chain in California and other states. It's famous for lacking knowledgable or polite salespersons. It's a great place to window-shop before buying something off the net.

Since I don't go to the beach, I don't know where Trancas is, somewhere in Malibu or something.

I coined "transnational progressivism" too - 04/09/03

[Update: the Michael Ratner mentioned below is also trying to use the ICC "as a tool to restrain American military power" as described here and here.]

Several lefties are mad with glee over their discovery of errors in a National Review article ("Liberate the universities") about something called "transnational progressivism."

First, they say there's no such thing as a "transnational progressivism" movement. And, more importantly, they point out that the author mistakenly believes that Princeton University has a law school.

As I pointed out in the comments to the post linked above, some professors and others "[envisage] an international political monolith with which to replace America" as the article states. For an example, see the piece "Could U.N. use military force on U.S.?":

Could the U.N. use military force to prevent the United States and Britain from waging war on Iraq without a Security Council mandate?

Some anti-war groups are urging the world body to invoke a little-known convention that allows the General Assembly to step in when the Security Council is at an impasse in the face of a "threat to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression."

The willingness by the U.S. and Britain to go to war with Iraq without Security Council authorization is the kind of threat the U.N. had in mind when it passed Resolution 377 in 1950, said Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights (link), a human-rights group in New York City.

In a position paper, Ratner wrote that by invoking the resolution, called "Uniting for Peace," the "General Assembly can meet within 24 hours to consider such a matter, and can recommend collective measures to U.N. members including the use of armed forces to 'maintain or restore international peace and security.'"...

As far as the statement "Within such a regime the key political unit would not be the individual citizen who voluntarily associates with fellow citizens but the racial, ethnic, or gender group into which one is born," that should ring some bells. Multiculturalism, "corporate pluralism," etc.