newsweek: Page 1
Luis Gutierrez: "I have only one loyalty, and that's to the immigrant community" (+the Hispanic MLK; Sharry; Munoz; Jacoby) - 11/30/10
Arian Campo Flores of Newsweek offers a puffball article about U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez called "Keeping Obama to His Word" . Rather than calling him on his clear ethnic nationalism or his many questionable statements and actions (see his name's link), Campo-Flores concentrates on whether Gutierrez' aggressive tactics are a liability or not for getting comprehensive immigration reform (amnesty) and the anti-American DREAM Act. Campos-Flores is such an amnesty-supporting hack that he uses the phrase "law-abiding illegal immigrants".
And, in the article Gutierrez says this:
I have only one loyalty, and that's to the immigrant community.
That's, of course, not accurate. In addition to his private loyalties, Gutierrez is loyal to Puerto Rico, his ethnicity, and maybe payday lenders too. However, whether he's loyal to veterans or to other Americans who aren't Hispanic isn't clear.
In addition to letting yet another questionable Gutierrez quote go unchallenged, Campo-Flores seems to have run through his amnesty-supporting Rolodex to get quotes about the supposed U.S. Representative.
"He's as close as the Latino community has to a Martin Luther King figure," says Frank Sharry, founder of the pro-immigrant group America’s Voice. ...Cecilia Munoz, a White House point person on immigration, calls Gutierrez “an important moral voice” and says that he and the president “are on the same side of the issue." ...He "transformed what had been a narrow policy issue into a litmus-test identity issue for Hispanics, and that made the debate a whole different ball game," says Tamar Jacoby, president of ImmigrationWorks USA, a coalition of business groups that rely on immigrant labor. Gutierrez is "incredibly effective at what he does … [But] there's part of me that always gets a little worried about identity politics."
Obama gives INTERPOL immunity from U.S. law; Constitution doesn't apply; precursor to ICC? - 12/28/09
On December 17, Barack Obama signed "Executive Order -- Amending Executive Order 12425"  which lifts Ronald Reagan-era limitation on how the international police force INTERPOL can operate inside the U.S. From Andrew McCarthy of National Review (link):
Interpol's property and assets are no longer subject to search and confiscation, and its archives are now considered inviolable. This international police force (whose U.S. headquarters is in the Justice Department in Washington) will be unrestrained by the U.S. Constitution and American law while it operates in the United States and affects both Americans and American interests outside the United States... ...Why would we elevate an international police force above American law? Why would we immunize an international police force from the limitations that constrain the FBI and other American law-enforcement agencies? Why is it suddenly necessary to have, within the Justice Department, a repository for stashing government files which, therefore, will be beyond the ability of Congress, American law-enforcement, the media, and the American people to scrutinize?
this immunity and protection - and elevation above the US Constitution - afforded INTERPOL is likely a precursor to the White House subjecting the United States under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC). INTERPOL provides a significant enforcement function for the ICC, just as our FBI provides a significant function for our Department of Justice.
12/30/09 UPDATE: Orin Kerr of the Volokh Conspiracy isn't worried about this:
However, he also admits that he isn't familiar with these topics; he asks for those more knowledgable to weigh in in comments, and I didn't see anyone like that.
And, Jake Tapper of ABC News throws cold water on this here, quoting a "counterterrorism official from the Bush years" as saying "Conservatives can't have it both ways... You can't be complaining about the hypothetical abdication of US jurisdiction at the same time you're complaining the Obama administration is not being tough enough on national security." Not exactly reassuring, especially if Tapper's unnamed source is Richard Clarke, someone not of high integrity.
1/12/10 UPDATE: The National Rifle Association - more credible than the above on issues like this - says there's nothing to worry about (link). However, Michael Isikoff of Newsweek says the same, offering a standard establishment mocking rebuttal of a Chuck Norris column about this issue (link).
Newsweek "Most Overblown Fears" of decade include immigration and globalization (Ilan Stavans, Tom Friedman) - 11/22/09
Newsweek has released a list of the top 10 "Most Overblown Fears" of the decade, and most of the items are things most people have already forgotten about. However, two things on the list are those that the corrupt elites would dearly love to be overblown fears: immigration and globalization.
For the first, "Mexican-born immigrant" Ilan Stavans of Amherst College runs-down his adopted country, engages in various fallacies, and fails to offer any sort of counter-argument to his opponents' claims (2010.newsweek.com/top-10/most-overblown-fears/immigrants.html):
Are immigrants stealing our jobs? Are they overcrowding our schools, hospitals, and prisons, ruining our language and endangering our children? Such questions have always been with us, but they gained a hostile edge in the 1930s, when the so-called Third World— the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Oceania—replaced Europe as the place where the vast majority of immigrants came from. With a different color skin, different tongues, and different customs, the new breed of immigrant stretched the nation’s idea of a melting pot, and met with sometimes hateful resistance that continues to this day. (As a Mexican-born immigrant, I should know.) But in resisting us, the country is resisting its future. Our uniqueness is based on our openness "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free," says Lady Liberty, borrowing a line from Emma Lazarus. Our power is based on an ability to attract the world’s best and the brightest. But do we still give newcomers a chance to prove their worth? Judging by the hostile reaction to immigrants during the past decade, America has replaced its compassionate, welcoming smile and open arms with a menacing bark. “Get away, leave me alone, I live by and for myself and don’t need you,” Lady Liberty says now. People still dream of coming to America because this is the land of freedom, equality, and justice. Yet those very principles have not been evident recently. As a result, we have begun to undermine the very foundation on which we stand.
1. He's conflating all forms of immigration, the various types of legal and the illegal. A valid discussion should break them out by status, country of origin, and other factors.
2. Illegal aliens and other low-wage immigrants are indeed driving down wages for low-wage U.S. workers and they are indeed taking jobs that Americans could and should be doing. In Stavans' case, Amherst College can only employ so many academics, and if they chose him instead of a more qualified American, then I guess we've got another example.
3. A poem that was later tacked on to the Statue of Liberty is not, as far as I know, the rule of law. It's a poem; the many others using this same hoary talking point will be listed on the Lazarus fallacy page.
4. He says all of the above ignoring the fact that we currently have one of the highest immigration rates in the world; we currently admit over 1,000,000 people each year.
5. For the rest, see the immigration tradition fallacy page.
The other "overblown" fear - globalization - is discussed by Thomas Friedman of the New York Times (2010.newsweek.com/top-10/most-overblown-fears/globalization.html). Showing how he's wrong is left as an exercise.
Sharon Begley of Newsweek offers "The Five Biggest Lies in the Health Care Debate" (link), which contains a section discussing whether illegal aliens could receive healthcare under the House bill. Unlike FactCheck, she doesn't outright mislead and say they won't be able to get it, but she misleads nonetheless:
Illegal immigrants will get free health insurance.
The House bill doesn't give anyone free health care (though under a 1986 law illegals who can't pay do get free emergency care now, courtesy of all us premium paying customers or of hospitals that have to eat the cost). Will they be eligible for subsidies to buy health insurance? The House bill says that "individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States" will not be allowed to receive subsidies.
The claim that taxpayers will wind up subsidizing health insurance for illegal immigrants has its origins in the defeat of an amendment, offered in July by Republican Rep. Dean Heller of Nevada, to require those enrolling in a public plan or seeking subsidies to purchase private insurance to have their citizenship verified. Flecksoflife.com claimed on July 19 that "HC [health care] will be provided 2 all non US citizens, illegal or otherwise." Rep. Steve King of Iowa spread the claim in a USA Today op-ed on Aug. 20, calling the explicit prohibition on such coverage "functionally meaningless" absent mandatory citizenship checks, and it's now gone viral. Can we say that none of the estimated 11.9 million illegal immigrants will ever wangle insurance subsidies through identity fraud, pretending to be a citizen? You can't prove a negative, but experts say that Medicare—the closest thing to the proposals in the House bill—has no such problem.
1. In an article supposedly about lies, she's admitting the possibility that illegal aliens will be able to receive coverage. However, she's restricting it to the case of those pretending to be citizens. There may turn out to be cases where - as many government agencies like to say - they don't inquire about someone's status.
2. She doesn't mention the CRS report confirming that illegal aliens would be able to access benefits under the House bill. Google says her story was published two days ago, and the CRS report was made public at least four days ago.
3. She might have determined it on her own, but the reference to Flecksoflife.com was also made by FactCheck on August 28; see this for the details. How much of her other coverage (if any) originated at the less-than-credible FactCheck?
4. It's a strawman to hang an argument on the use of "free" in the "myth".
[List below updated 12/11/07]
"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.
* Ezra of People for the American Way's Right Wing Watch says, among other things (rightwingwatch.org/2007/03/phyllis_schlafl_2.html):
...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".
* Joshua Holland, staff writer for Alternet, joins the list with "Debunking the North American Union Conspiracy Theory" (alternet.org/audits/54184). 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.
* 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].
* 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": youtube.com/watch?v=Ookak1IQJ3U
* 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: youtube.com/watch?v=TT4tBvRDy38 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...
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?" (newsweek.com/id/73372). That's linked to by the Washington Post's "Fact Checker", Michael Dobbs (blog.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2007/12/a_superhighway_to_nowhere.html), 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.