politico

politico: Page 1

Discussed in (click each link for the full post):

TheDream.US: Don Graham, Gates, Bloomberg, Norquist turn their backs on American students (scholarships for illegal aliens) - 02/04/14

Former Washington Post CEO Don Graham has launched TheDream . US [1] to give 1000 scholarships worth $25,000 each to illegal aliens admitted to the DACA program.

Jose DelReal makes Politico immigration coverage even worse - 01/21/14

Politico's immigration coverage is already very bad, but their reporter Jose DelReal is apparently working at making it even worse.

For example, DelReal [1] offers "States boost immigration action" ( peekURL.com/zSymrNd ) which contains this:

Amnesty fans cheer GOP, Teaparty mostly ignoring immigration to oppose Obamacare (NumbersUSA, Tea Party "Patriots") - 08/20/13

Jim Avila and Serena Marshall of ABC News enthusiastically offer "Obamacare Backlash Leaves Room for Immigration Reform to Breathe" ( peekURL.com/zbj9LXn ). It covers how those who should be opposing amnesty are either AWOL yet again, or aren't doing things correctly.

NumbersUSA, Steve King, Teaparty Patriots assist amnesty with weak immigration rally - 08/13/13

Yesterday, Numbers USA, Steve King, and the Tea Parties "Patriots" held an immigration rally in Richmond, Virginia that ended up helping those who favor an amnesty for illegal aliens.

What Darren Samuelsohn won't tell you (Politico, Sierra Club, immigration) - 06/02/13

Darren Samuelsohn of Politico offers a generally worthless three-screen article named "Greens move to heal immigration reform rift" ( ). What he's not telling you after this except (bolding added):

Environmentalists are getting off the sidelines and backing immigration reform - but it wasn't easy.

How CBS immigration poll misleads (legalization, amnesty, Cirilli, Mataconis, Moran) - 01/29/13

If I said we should require all illegal aliens to leave, what would you say? I'd imagine most people would laugh and say, "how? Illegal aliens shouldn't be here in the first place. It's not like we could wave a magic wand and 'require' them to leave."

And, that explains why a new immigration poll from CBS News misleads (link).

Joe Scarborough is very wrong about the Tea Party - 10/22/12

For an unknown reason, Joe Scarborough of MSNBC offers "The truth about the tea party" (link). Scarborough's version of the truth needs a lot of work. For my extensive coverage of their movement and why they should be vigorously opposed, see Tea Parties.

Alexander Burns thinks a mainstream immigration stance is "hard-line" (Wil Cardon, Arizona, Jeff Flake) - 04/10/12

Alexander Burns of Politico offers (link) a textbook example of how the establishment media presents a mainstream, pro-American immigration position as "hard-line". At the same time, Burns presents the corrupt position of Rep.

Glenn Thrush is a shameless hack: Part 1 (Politico, Romney, Mankiw) - 03/20/12

Mitt Romney economic advisor Greg Mankiw posted a dumb joke about deporting seniors to his personal blog; see the clipping he posted below.

Of this, Glenn Thrush of the Politico says the following (link), thus ushering in the first part of what might be a long series of posts showing how much of a hack Thrush is:

Herman Cain scandal revealed: corruption and incompetence (Politico, Tea Parties) - 11/01/11

In this post I'll reveal the dirty little secrets of the Herman Cain scandal. As you might have heard, that presidential candidate is accused of some form of sexual harassment of colleagues at one of his past jobs, and the latest news is that one of the alleged victims wants to step forward and tell her side of the story (link).

Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, Limbaugh, Hannity paid to promote FreedomWorks, AFP, Heritage (Koch, immigration) - 06/18/11

Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity are paid large amounts of money to promote groups like FreedomWorks, Americans for Prosperity, and the Heritage Foundation.

Jake Sherman shows again why The Politico isn't a legitimate source (Newt Gingrich, Tiffany's) UPDATED - 05/17/11

[See 5/25/11 UPDATE below]

Jake Sherman provides yet more evidence that The Politico isn't a legitimate news source in "Newt Gingrich owed six figures to Tiffany's (link), which starts with this:

Newt Gingrich, a fiscal conservative? Not when it comes to Tiffany’s.

In 2005 and 2006, the former House speaker turned presidential candidate carried as much as $500,000 in debt to the premier jewelry company, according to financial disclosures filed with the Clerk of the House of Representatives.

Obviously, I'm not a Newt Gingrich fan. However, Sherman's article doesn't even rise to the National Inquirer level:

1. There's no indication at all of any sort of impropriety. As the article admits, Gingrich retired in 1999 and his wife (whose disclosure form listed the debt) "was employed by the House Agriculture Committee until 2007". As far as I know, Tiffany's jewelry and agriculture have few common bonds; it's not like ag subsidies are offered to diamond growers.

2. So, unless Jake Sherman can find some sort of link, this is a purely personal matter. It does reveal that Gingrich was living the high life, but then again so do most people with large amounts of money. Politicians' private lives should be off limits unless there's some sort of link to their policies. The media should be discussing politicians' policies and public actions, showing the ways they're wrong, and trying to encourage better policy.

3. Gingrich's spending habits (or those of his wife) have absolutely nothing to do with fiscal conservative policies: Sherman is engaging in a logical fallacy. Gingrich could throw $100 bills out the windows of his Hummer, while still promoting fiscal conservative policies with no contradiction whatsoever. What Gingrich does in his private life has no bearing on what's best for the country as a whole. It's very easy to make valid, logical arguments against fiscal conservatism, yet opponents of it generally act like, for instance, Rachel Maddow or others who are even less persuasive and credible.

If Jake Sherman were a real reporter and not just a Jerry Springer wannabe, he'd do something like call Newt Gingrich on his immigration position.

UPDATE: Jake Sherman isn't alone. For instance, Eric Kleefeld of TalkingPointsMemo offers a post based on Sherman's "work" here. It's so paint-by-the-numbers that you know Kleefeld is only doing it because - like Sherman - he's just a hack.

5/25/11 UPDATE: There might actually be something here, although the comments about Sherman still stand because he didn't look into that angle. The "credit card" with Tiffany's was actually interest-free; their normal credit card charges interest at a 21% annual rate. However, they also extend interest-free loans to top clients and Gingrich says he took advantage of an interest-free first year that they gave to anyone else (link). At the same time, contrary to what I said above, there might be a link between the Committee Gingrich's wife sat on and Tiffany's line of business (link):

Filings by Tiffany’s lobbyist, Cassidy & Co., and other government records show that the firm’s spending on “mining law and mine permitting-related issues” in Congress, as well as the Forest Service, the Interior Department, and Interior’s Bureau of Land Management shot up sharply between during the period when Callista Gingrich was chief clerk at the House Agriculture Committee...

The Forest Service, which comes under the committee’s jurisdiction, oversees mining, including silver mining, in federal forests.

Silver, of course, is a big part of Tiffany & Co.’s business.

Byron Tau misleads about Obama certificate issue (Politico) - 04/28/11

Byron Tau is about as truthful as his Politico colleague Ben Smith, meaning not much. The latest example is provided in "Hawaii's blunders fueled birthers" (politico.com/news/stories/0411/53842_Page2.html). Why the following from the article is misleading will be explained below:

One month before the presidential election, then-state Department of Health Director Chiyome Fukino — a Republican appointee — put out a statement asserting that the state “has Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures.”

Upon parsing her statement closely, birthers noted that she said that the state had the certificate - not that he was a natural-born citizen. This interpretation was fueled by the false rumor that Hawaii, at the time of Obama's birth, issued birth certificates to foreign nationals.

Tau makes it sound like it would have been impossible for Obama to both have an "original birth certificate on record [in Hawaii]" and have been born outside the U.S. That's not the case [1].

In fact, Obama could have an "original birth certificate on record [in Hawaii]" and have been born outside the U.S. if he'd taken advantage of Hawaii Revised Statutes S. 338-17.8. That law allows those born in other states or other countries to get valid Hawaiian birth certificates.

Does the fact that that law was passed in 1982 exonerate Byron Tau? No, because the law was clearly meant to be retroactive. The law referred to those born in the "Territory" of Hawaii, an entity that had dissolved in 1959. It was open to use by those born before 1982, whether when Hawaii was a state or a territory.

On a minor note, it was nine months between statements by Chiyome Fukino, not eight as Tau states.

On a less minor note, Tau discusses Hawaii's "Birther bill" without knowing, disclosing, or caring that it covered all requests for state information, not just those relating to the "Birther" issue. It used to be that reporters cared about attempts to limmit government transparency, but backing up Obama is a much higher priority for them.

Contact @ByronTau with your thoughts.

-----------
[1] The above focuses on 338-17.8, but there's also a famous example of Hawaii issuing a "Certificate of Hawaii Birth" to someone who was born outside Hawaii. Sun Yat-sen was actually born in China but was able to obtain "proof" he was born in Hawaii (image: link).

Ben Smith and Byron Tau can't tell the truth about Obama certificate ("Birthers", Politico) - 04/22/11

If you've seen the Ben Smith posts, you know he's repeatedly lied about the indisputable facts of the Obama citizenship issue. He continues lying today in "Birtherism: Where it all began" (link) which contains a series of false or misleading statements about the indisputable facts of this issue. This time around he's got some help from his Politico colleague Byron Tau.

1. They write "[The Obama campaign] posted Obama’s certificate of live birth on their “Fight the Smears” website and gave a copy to the liberal website Daily Kos." The picture in question is not a certificate; it says right at the top it's a "Certification of Live Birth" ("COLB"). Smith, as with Anderson Cooper, John King, and several others is intentionally trying to mislead. Instead of referring to the certification by that name, Smith is using "certificate" in order to confuse people into thinking it's the same as what most people think of when they hear the term "birth certificate".

2. They write:

FactCheck.org, the non-partisan website, was allowed to examine the physical copy of the birth certificate in August 2008, and concluded it was real, that it had a raised seal, a signature and met all the State Department criteria for proof of citizenship. Combined with the state’s recognition that the record was real - and contemporary newspaper announcements of Obama’s birth, submitted by the hospitals - they concluded that he was a natural born citizen... Hawaii has repeatedly confirmed the document’s authenticity

a) FactCheck is not a credible source; see the link. Their main article about this issue contains a big lie and they edited the pictures of the COLB after initially posting them without noting that they'd edited them.

b) Ben Smith's claim that the announcements were "submitted by the hospitals" has not been proven. No one has provided any evidence that the announcements in question would only indicate a Hawaiian birth and would only have come from a Hawaiian hospital where Obama was born. The closest Obama supporters have come is the imaginings of people (a newspaper editor and Janice Okubo) who weren't working at the newspaper or the Hawaii Department of Health respectively when the announcements appeared. If Ben Smith has any conclusive evidence - not just imaginings by those who weren't around then - that those announcements would only indicate a Hawaiian birth, he should post it. He won't because he has no such conclusive evidence.

c) The phrases "the state’s recognition that the record was real" and "Hawaii has repeatedly confirmed the document’s authenticity" are intentionally misleading. The state of Hawaii has never authenticated the pictures on Obama's site or on FactCheck. Chiyome Fukino did recently say that the picture matches what's on file, but I'm not predisposed to believe her considering her record and the sales job she attempted in the rest of the interview in question. The state of Hawaii did say around the time that FactCheck posted the pictures that "Obama’s original birth certificate [is] on record in accordance with state policies and procedures". However, as indicated above, they've never verified that what they have on file matches what's in the pictures on Obama's site or on FactCheck. Ben Smith is trying to make his readers think that the state of Hawaii verified the pictures on Obama's site or on FactCheck, when that never happened.

3. Ben Smith and Byron Tau write:

The website World Net Daily, for instance, has written that “Hawaii at the time of Obama’s birth allowed births that took place in foreign countries to be registered in Hawaii.” This is true, but such a birth certificate would show the actual foreign place of birth instead of listing – as Obama’s does - Honolulu.

How exactly do we know that? Once again: the state of Hawaii has not confirmed that the pictures on Obama's and FactCheck's sites matches what they have on file. It's very unlikely that Obama would have tampered with the picture on his site, but it can't be ruled out especially due to all the lies from reporters surrounding this issue, the smear campaign conducted against those who have questions, and the fact that Obama just isn't that credible (see Obama misleads). What the picture says can't be assumed to be the same as what if anything Hawaii has on file says. Ben Smith and Byron Tau are intentionally trying to mislead.

4. Smith and Tau also repeat the "time travel canard" as used by FactCheck, a sign that someone is trying to mislead. They also falsely pretend that Obama would somehow be prevented from releasing his long-form birth certificate if he wanted to.

I realize the above might be confusing to those who are casual observers of this issue, many of whom have been trained to dismiss any critical discussion as crazy. If you've been so trained, please start with one of the points above and then compare what Ben Smith says to the facts. If you approach that with an open mind, you'll see that he's lying or misleading.

And, of course, none of the above means that Obama was born outside Hawaii; I think it's highly likely he was born there. However, he hasn't proved it conclusively. And, hacks like Ben Smith and Byron Tau are liars. Please don't fall for their lies.

Rightwing wants to stoop to MMFA, CAP level (opposition research, SHOCK!, hypocrisy...) - 04/03/11

Kenneth Vogel of the Politico reports (link) that conservatives are trying to offer their own alternatives to opposition research groups like Media Matters for America and the

Ben Smith keeps lying about Obama certificate issue, two years later - 04/01/11

Over two years ago I posted Ben Smith /Politico keeps lying about Obama certificate issue. Now, over two years later, Smith is still lying about the basic, indisputable facts of the matter.

At [1] he says:

Obama has, as has been reported for years, released the document. Hawaii officials have verified it. The conspiracy theory is crazy. And, having been held at bay by the Republican Establishment for three years, it's now bleeding in.

That is factually incorrect: it's a lie and Ben Smith is trying to fool gullible people who won't take the time to do research. The facts of the matter are that Hawaii refuses to verify the COLB picture that Obama posted on his website.

One single Hawaiian official has said he was born there and she previously said she and another official had seen "Obama’s original birth certificate on record". Everything former Hawaii governor Linda Lingle has said was based on that (and she lied when reprising what others had said). Current governor Neil Abercrombie said he'd found a "recording of the birth" that was "written down" but then refused to produce anything.

At no time has a Hawaii official authenticated or "verified" the picture shown on Obama's site. Ben Smith is, as he's always done, lying to you.

[1] politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0411/Trumps_shadow.html

Ben Smith finally does real reporting on the Birth Certificate (Donald Trump's that is) - 03/28/11

Ben Smith of the Politico is finally doing real reporting on an issue about the Birth Certificate. No, not whatever Birth Certificate Barack Obama has: Ben Smith has a habit of lying about that.

Rather, Smith's real reporting involves looking into a certificate of some kind that Donald Trump posted after engaging in "Birther theorizing" (politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0311/
Trump_fails_to_produce_birth_certificate.html):

But after several New York City-based readers contacted POLITICO's Maggie Haberman, her call to city officials revealed that an actual birth certificate, which is issued by the Department of Health, would have the agency's seal and also a signature of the city registrar - neither of which the Trump document has. Officials said the city Health Department is the "sole issuing authority" of official birth certificates in New York, and that the document would clearly say so, and "city officials said it's not an official document."

Compare that to the link above as well as this other example of Ben Smith lying about the "Birther" issue.

It's only GOP and teaparty leader incompetence that keeps Smith employed.

Amnesty author Mike Pence for president? Dick Armey, Club for Growth, others hype him (UPDATE: he's out) - 01/21/11

Back in 2006, Indiana Congressman Mike Pence proposed his own "compromise" amnesty plan. He may have gotten the idea for that plan from a proposal by billionaire heiress Helen Krieble, and also in 2006, Krieble, Pence, and Dick Armey of Freedomworks appeared at an event to promote comprehensive immigration reform.

The latest bad idea from their general camp is to try to draft Pence to run for president. Those backing the idea include Armey, Chris Chocola of the Club for Growth (known around here as the "Club for Profits at Any Price"), former Rep. Jim Ryun, and Brent Bozell.

Per Armey:

“What I see across the board, especially with the party activists, the energetic people, is a sharp division between those personalities you would call ‘old news’ personalities and newcomers... And almost anybody, if you said, ‘who will be on the field for the presidential sweepstakes from the Republican side,’ all the names you would name today - (Newt Gingrich), (Mike Huckabee), Sarah Palin and (Mitt Romney) - these are all old news names and, quite frankly, I don’t think they have much of a chance.”

While Jonathan Martin and Kasie Hunt of the Politico try to claim (link) that the appeal to Armey and Chocola is due to the claim that Pence "is viewed as a politician who would actually govern as a social and fiscal conservative" and that the "Draft Pence coalition can be best described as a group of insiders that prefers outsiders - and especially those focused on social issues like abortion and gay rights".

It's more likely that Armey and others in the "Profits at Any Price" school don't really care all that much about social issues; the tea parties - a group more or less controlled by Armey, the Koch family, and other "fiscal conservatives" - have deliberately avoided social issues. Rather, Armey et al see Pence as a salable commodity who'd be "good for business" (if you know what I mean).

1/29/11 UPDATE: Pence has decided against running for president. Whether he'll run for something else isn't yet known.

DHS uses Giffords shooting to push loose borders political agenda (Jared Lee Loughner, American Renaissance) - 01/09/11

[IMPORTANT UPDATE: AmRen has been cleared, and Fox's memo wasn't even from the DHS. See the updates below.]

The Department of Homeland Security and various media sources are using the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords by Jared Lee Loughner as an opportunity to try to smear opponents of illegal immigration, focusing on the higher-level white racial separatist group American Renaissance (DHS memo at [1], report at [2]). Not only do they get that group's ideas wrong, but they mislead about what was in Loughner's videos and what appears to have been on his MySpace page.

From the memo at [1]:

no direct connection - but strong suspicion is being directed at AmRen / American Renaissance. Suspect is possibly linked to this group. (through videos posted on his myspace and YouTube account.). The group’s ideology is anti government, anti immigration, anti ZOG (Zionist Occupational Government), anti Semitic.

I didn't see Loughner's MySpace page, which has since been taken down. There's a supposed picture of it here, with nothing I can see about AmRen. I watched (and saved) his Youtube videos and there was nothing in there about AmRen. Further, AmRen responds here:

American Renaissance condemns violence in the strongest possible terms, and nothing that has ever appeared in it pages could be interpreted as countenancing it.

AR is not anti-government, anti-Semitic, or anti-ZOG, as is clear from the 20 years of back issues that are posted on our website. The expression “ZOG” has never appeared in the pages of AR, and we have has always welcomed Jewish participation in our work. Many of the speakers at American Renaissance conferences have been Jewish.

Not only did the memo get their ideas wrong, but Google shows just eight other pages mentioning Giffords at their site; none of those focus on her or contain any questionable mentions of her.

This latest smear is of a piece with the DHS' rightwing extremists report, something that they were even criticized for by Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson. In this case, you don't have to be an AmRen supporter to oppose smears of them, especially when done to push a loose borders agenda.

The DHS has always been a highly political agency, whether under George W Bush or under Barack Obama, and the goal of their leadership is the same under both: look like they're doing their job while - at least when it comes to immigration - trying not to do the job they should be doing.

The entry point of the smear was a blog posting by Greta van Susteren of Fox News [1]. A later Fox News report [3] subtly changes the provenance of the memo, and an Associated Press report by Eileen Sullivan refers not to the memo but an anonymous source [4].

1/10/11 UPDATE: From Greg Sargent of the Washington Post (link):

a DHS official tells me that the department has not established any such possibility [as outlined in the memo], undercutting what appears to be the primary basis for this claim...

But DHS has not officially provided any such information to any law enforcement officials, the DHS official says.

"We have not established any such possible link," the official says...

The official cautions it's conceivable that a law enforcement official got unofficial info from a DHS official somewhere along the lines of what Fox reported. But he emphasizes that DHS has not even concluded in any official way that even the possibility of such ties exists. The official adds that it wouldn't be DHS's place to reach any such conclusion in the first place, since the FBI is leading the investigation.

1/11/11 UPDATE 1: On the ninth (before Sargent's post above), Patrik Jonsson of the Christian Science Monitor offered "American Renaissance: Was Jared Lee Loughner tied to anti-immigrant group?" (link). While it includes AmRen's denial and a "hate" monitor questioning whether there could be a link, the article also smears by asking the titular question and not, for instance, by questioning the DHS over what they were thinking.

David Greenberg of The New Republic links (link) to the article with the following, reaching a conclusion that even Jonsson was unwilling to make:

Jared Lee Loughner, is reported to have admired Mein Kampf and claimed ties to the anti-Semitic hate group called American Renaissance.

If he had claimed such ties, we certainly would have heard about it; Greenberg apparently can't read.

1/11/11 UPDATE 2: AmRen has been cleared and Fox's memo wasn't even from the DHS. From this:

David Denlinger, commander of the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center acknowledged that the document came from his agency, but contained errors and overstated the link between Jared Loughner, the 22-year-old charged with shooting Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others outside a Tucson supermarket, and American Renaissance.

“I do have no reason to believe in anything that we did that (Loughner) had any direct connection or was being directed by American Renaissance,” Denlinger, an Arizona state police major, told POLITICO Tuesday.

The ACTIC - also known as the "Arizona Fusion Center" is per azactic.gov "a joint effort between the Department of Public Safety, Arizona Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation and other participating agencies".

There's much more about this at the link above; while past reports from Kenneth Vogel of The Politico have shown bias, he seems to have done a good job with this report.

ADDED: See also
* FAQ: Is Jared Lee Loughner linked to Tea Party, conservatives, or libertarians? (Gabrielle Giffords shooting)
* Jared Loughner: anti-Bush, pro-small government? Intellectually dishonest Tea Party defenders
* Claims by Tea Party enablers that Pima Sheriff Dupnik could have stopped Loughner are false
* Loughner's "Genocide school" video
* Friend's claim that Loughner wasn't political is two years out of date
* Jared Loughner's AboveTopSecret postings show no clear political slant
* Glenn Reynolds denies Tea Party's history of intimidation
* first post on Gabrielle Giffords shooting

-------------
[1] From this:

Below is a note from my FNC colleague Jennifer Griffin: (by the way, the fact that my blogs focus on Congresswoman Giffords in no way is meant to take away from the other victims and their families. The tragedy is immeasurable and words inadequate.)
----

Per Griffin

This is an internal memo obtained by Fox News put out by DHS compiling facts known so far about the case - new - shooter's mother worked for Pima board of supervisers and the suspected anti-Semitic motivation of the shooter.

MEMO:
"The investigation has been taken over by the FBI, and is being run through the Tucson Command Post. Here's what can be confirmed at this time (1800 hrs)... * Gabrielle Giffords Is in ICU.* Federal judge John Roll is deceased. He did rule on a 32 million dollar civil rights lawsuit in February, 2010. That ruling brought death threats to Roll and his family, and for a time he was given a protection detail.* 6 deaths attributed to the shooting. 19 total people hit by gunfire.* suspect’s mother works for the Pima County Board of Supervisors* the suspect has multiple arrests ... But no criminal record? Intervention by someone?* no direct connection - but strong suspicion is being directed at AmRen / American Renaissance. Suspect is possibly linked to this group. (through videos posted on his myspace and YouTube account.). The group’s ideology is anti government, anti immigration, anti ZOG (Zionist Occupational Government), anti Semitic. Gabrielle Gifford is the first Jewish female elected to such a high position in the US government. She was also opposite this group’s ideology when it came to immigration debate.* DHS have a list of names and dates of birth of all victims.* the ACTIC is still playing a major role in the investigation... Computer forensics is cleaning up the surveillance videos, and images from around the scene, and involved in the investigation - working together, was MCSO, DPS, Phoenix PD, ICE, and of course the FBI. It did just come in from the command post, that the federal judge was Not originally scheduled to attend the meeting, according to wife. She stated that he received a phone call about an hour before and was invited to attend. Wrong place - wrong time. For the planning side, there are impromptu memorials popping up all over the state, but the largest one is downtown phoenix, at the capital."

[2] politico.com/news/stories/0111/47308.html by Maggie Haberman of the Politico.

A Department of Homeland Security memo quoted by Fox News says the agency is looking into whether Loughner is “possibly linked” to the fanatical group American Renaissance... The group promotes views that are “anti-government, anti-immigration, anti-ZOG (Zionist Occupation Government), anti-Semitic,” the memo says... Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the target of Loughner’s firing frenzy, is “the first Jewish female elected to such a high position in the U.S. government. She was also opposite the group’s ideology when it came to immigration debate,” according the memo.

Haberman even works in a quote from Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center who, to his slight credit, admits that Taylor isn't anti-Semitic.

[3] A newer report by Fox (link) only refers to the memo as a "law enforcement memo based on information provided by the Department of Homeland Security".

[4] From this:

An official familiar with the Arizona shooting investigation said Sunday that local authorities are looking at a possible connection between accused gunman Jared Loughner and an online group known for white supremacist, anti-immigrant rhetoric.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation, said local authorities were examining the American Renaissance website for possible motives for Saturday's shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz.

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, several others shot; Palin, Tea Party candidate - 01/08/11

UPDATES BELOW

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and several others were shot earlier today and there are conflicting reports on whether she and others were killed. Per this:

The gunman, who may have come from inside the Safeway, walked up and shot Gifford in the head first, "point blank". According to [an eyewitness, Steven Rayle], who is a former ER doctor, Gifford was able to move her hands after being shot... After shooting Gifford, the gunman opened fire indiscriminately for a few seconds, firing 20-30 rounds and hitting a number of people, including a kid no older than 10 years old... The gunman was young, mid-to-late 20s, white, clean-shaven with short hair and wearing dark clothing and said nothing during the shooting or while being held down, although he struggled at first. He was "not particularly well-dressed"; he didn't look like a businessman, but more of a "fringe character," Rayle said.

There are certainly many possible motivations, and just one of the many is that the shooter is affiliated with the tea parties or libertarians movements. Both of those groups haven't shied away from painting their opponents in the worst terms possible and engaging in apocalyptic language. Sometimes that's included implied violence, such as in the two following graphics.

The first is from Sarah Palin's website and shows several Congressmen's districts in what appear to be gun crosshairs. Palin has since removed this from her site.

In March, Giffords spoke out about a window being broken at her office and various death threats, saying (link):

"Sarah Palin has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district and when people do that, they’ve gotta realize there are consequences to that action."

The second is from Giffords' former opponent, Jesse Kelly announcing a June 12, 2010 campaign event:

"Get on Target for Victory in November
Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office
Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly"

Once again: this might be completely unrelated to the teaparties, to Palin, or to politics at all. However, the atmosphere of implied violence that the teaparties have helped create is not helpful to those who want to oppose the far-left in constructive ways such as with the question authority plan.

1pm UPDATE: The Associated Press reports that the suspect's name is Jared Laughner.

1:12pm UPDATE: The suspect's name might actually be Jared Lee Loughner.

1:25pm UPDATE: The video below appears to be from the suspect (cached in case it's deleted). In it he says:

You don't have to accept the federalist laws... read the United States of America's Constitution to apprehend all of the current treasonous laws... I can't trust the current government because of the ratifications: The government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar... No! I won't pay debt with a currency that's not backed by gold and silver... No! I won't trust in God!

3:15pm UPDATE: @caitieparker claims she "went to high school, college, & was in a band with the gunman". I was skeptical because she initially spelled his name "Laughner", but she now says "it's loughner just checked my year book". She also says (in successive tweets):

He was a political radical & met Giffords once before in '07, asked her a question & he told me she was "stupid & unintelligent"
he was a pot head & into rock like Hendrix,The Doors, Anti-Flag. I haven't seen him in person since '07 in a sign language class
As I knew him he was left wing, quite liberal. & oddly obsessed with the 2012 prophecy
he had a lot of friends until he got alcohol poisoning in '06, & dropped out of school. Mainly loner very philosophical.
more left [wing]. I haven't seen him since '07 though. He became very reclusive.
I haven't seen him since '07. Then, he was left wing.

1/9/11 UPDATE: Doctors are optimistic that Giffords will recover, however six other people are dead. The gunman had a second magazine that jammed; otherwise it might be even worse.

Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security is using this as an opportunity to try to smear opponents of illegal immigration, stupidly focusing on the higher-level white racial separatist group American Renaissance (Maggie Haberman, Politico, link).

A Department of Homeland Security memo quoted by Fox News says the agency is looking into whether Loughner is “possibly linked” to the fanatical group American Renaissance... The group promotes views that are “anti-government, anti-immigration, anti-ZOG (Zionist Occupation Government), anti-Semitic,” the memo says... Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the target of Loughner’s firing frenzy, is “the first Jewish female elected to such a high position in the U.S. government. She was also opposite the group’s ideology when it came to immigration debate,” according the memo.

Haberman even works in a quote from Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Meanwhile, from this:

Jared Taylor called DHS' views "scurrilous" and took especial issue with the reference to his group being "anti-ZOG."

"That is complete nonsense," he said. "I have absolutely no idea what DHS is talking about. We have never used the term 'ZOG.' We have never thought in those terms. If this is the level of research we are getting from DHS, then Heaven help us."

Taylor, who earned a BA in philosophy from Yale in 1973 and a master's degree in international economics from the prestigious Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris ("Paris Institute of Political Studies," in English) in 1978, says he had never heard of Loughner until yesterday. Taylor says he checked his organization's records going back twenty years and Loughner never subscribed to AmRen's publications.

Taylor says he also has no indication that Loughner ever attended any of AmRen's events, all of which have been held on the East Coast.

I'm not that familiar with AmRen, but any ties Loughner had would probably be to libertarian-oriented groups on the far fringes. The DHS is just showing yet again how incompetent they are.

Also, Giffords' announcement of the event is here. She doesn't mention anyone else who'd be attending, and cops have said that she was the target. One of those killed was Judge John Roll who was involved in immigration issues (including deciding against rancher Roger Barnett, link). Death threats were made against Roll over that, but at least at this time it doesn't appear that it was public information that he was going to be at the event.

1/9/11 UPDATE 2: AmRen responds here:

American Renaissance condemns violence in the strongest possible terms, and nothing that has ever appeared in it pages could be interpreted as countenancing it.

AR is not anti-government, anti-Semitic, or anti-ZOG, as is clear from the 20 years of back issues that are posted on our website. The expression “ZOG” has never appeared in the pages of AR, and we have has always welcomed Jewish participation in our work. Many of the speakers at American Renaissance conferences have been Jewish.

Google shows just eight other pages mentioning her at their site and none focus on her or contain any questionable mentions of her.

1/9/11 UPDATE 3: Loughner's first Youtube video was uploaded on November 22, 2010. That's the anniversary of the JFK assassination; whether it's just a coincidence isn't known.

And, Giffords' Youtube account (youtube.com/user/giffords2) has just two subscriptions, one to Rep. Ike Skelton and the other to Loughner. Image attached. How exactly that happened is not clear.

ADDED: See also
* FAQ: Is Jared Lee Loughner linked to Tea Party, conservatives, or libertarians? (Gabrielle Giffords shooting)
* Jared Loughner: anti-Bush, pro-small government? Intellectually dishonest Tea Party defenders
* Claims by Tea Party enablers that Pima Sheriff Dupnik could have stopped Loughner are false
* Loughner's "Genocide school" video
* Friend's claim that Loughner wasn't political is two years out of date
* Jared Loughner's AboveTopSecret postings show no clear political slant
* Arizona state Fusion Center uses Giffords shooting to smear American Renaissance)
* Glenn Reynolds denies Tea Party's history of intimidation

Lamar Smith might be weak on immigration (GOP DREAM Act?) - 12/24/10

Carrie Budoff Brown of Politico offers "Lamar Smith avoids hard line on immigration" [1]. Because we're dealing with definitions of those who aren't trustworthy (such as Brown), it's difficult to tell whether Smith will be weak on immigration matters or whether he just won't support nonsensical "boob bait for Bubba" policies.

Smith's first two hearings as head of the House Judiciary Committee will be about eVerify. However:

At the same time, he downplayed the key planks in the conservative immigration agenda... He won’t say when his committee plans to tackle birthright citizenship, the policy of granting citizenship to every child born in the country. He doesn’t want to talk about whether he will pursue reducing the level of legal immigration, family migration or work visas - all at the top of the wish list for anti-illegal-immigration advocates... “That is later on in this Congress; that is not our initial focus,” Smith said. “We don’t have any specific plans now in the early months to move on these issues. The focus is on creating jobs and protecting jobs.”

In the current environment, it isn't really possible to restrict birthright citizenship to those who have at least one citizen parent. Much groundwork would need to be done, specifically involving discrediting those groups that would oppose such a move. Few people with megaphones have shown any ability at discrediting groups like the American Civil Liberties Union. Further, restricting birthright citizenship, at least when proposed by those like Lindsey Graham, is just a political ploy.

Legal immigration is a different matter and is less prone to being emotionalized because those involved aren't physically present in the U.S. There is, however, a lot of money from those like Microsoft involved. It wouldn't be good for Smith to be weak on that, especially since the rationale the GOP appears to be using is to help with unemployment.

Quotes:
* Steven Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies:

“If he is not willing to do it - there is a lot of public support for reducing legal immigration - he is going to find he will be pressured on that issue"... Camarota said he believes Smith is enough of a dealmaker that he might even consider a modified DREAM Act legalizing young immigrants, if it was coupled with a cut in legal immigration and stronger enforcement — although pro-immigrant advocates would be all but certain to dismiss it as a bad deal.

* Alfonso Aguilar

"People like to really vilify Lamar Smith, but he is not Tom Tancredo... He is someone who will not push legislation if he thinks it doesn’t have the wide support of the American people."

* Frank Sharry:

“He is a very disciplined politician, but he is also very ideological. He is very smart at having lots of smallish-looking measures that add up to a whole lot of harsh enforcement."

* Rep. Steve King:

"I read the Pledge to America. It wasn’t particularly moving... So, OK, they decided not to write the treatise that I would have on immigration. It wouldn’t be the first time that I worked on an agenda that wasn’t laid out for me. I can deal with that."

* Roy Beck of Numbers USA:

"We think there are a lot of issues in the Internet world that people get really excited about, and in many ways, it is a side show,” Beck said, referring specifically to cutting off benefits for illegal immigrants. “It is not as important as one thing, which is taking away the jobs. So if Lamar Smith is going to focus on keeping illegal aliens out of the jobs, that is more important than all the illegal immigration stuff put together."

[1] politico.com/news/stories/1210/46774.html

Kasie Hunt lies about Obama certificate issue - 09/27/10

For an example of why you can't trust the reporting of Kasie Hunt or of the Politico in general, consider the article "Candidate trips on birther issue" [1]. The article is designed to enforce rightthinking about the Obama citizenship issue and in it Hunt makes this false statement:

Obama has been dogged by questions about his citizenship despite producing a birth certificate that proves he was born in Hawaii.

1. The picture she's referring to is of a Certification of Live Birth (i.e., a short-form COLB), which isn't the same as a long-form Certificate. While Hawaii has changed the names recently in an apparent attempt to cover for Obama, at the time and in the recent past, a Certification and a Certificate are not the same thing. It says right at the top what it is.

2. Obama hasn't "produc[ed]" anything beyond a picture on a webpage. A picture of an item and the item itself are sometimes not the same thing. The picture in question has not been verified by the issuing agency or anyone else.

3. The certification or the other forms of evidence provided are not definitive proof. They support Obama's claims, and there's no credible evidence that he was born elsewhere, but all of that isn't proof. It is proof to those who are not impartial observers and who are willing to give Obama the benefit of the doubt. It's also proof to the Beltway and various low-level hacks; they think that them simply declaring something to be proven makes it so.

4. As I have to state when covering this issue, the above isn't claiming that we know that Obama was or wasn't born in Hawaii, simply that he hasn't proven his case despite those like Kasie Hunt pretending he has. For a longer discussion, here's why this issue is vitally important.

[1] politico.com/news/stories/0910/42677.html
Kasie Hunt and the Politico are trying to discourage "anti-social" (as it's termed in other countries) behavior by congressional candidate Tim Walberg of Michigan who said of whether Obama was born in the U.S. and whether he's a Muslim: "You know, I don't know. I really don't know. We don't have enough information about this president. He was never given a job interview that was complete," Walberg answered. "But that's not the issue now. He is president. Right now we need to make sure that he doesn't remain as president, whether he's an American, a Muslim, a Christian, you name it." He later issued a statement saying, "I take President Obama at his word that he is a Christian and was born here in America... Now, it's time that we focus on the real issues facing this country."

Misleading Politico immigration poll, spun by Mark Penn - 08/16/10

The Politico has released a poll [1] that asked people to choose from the following two choices (graphic with results below). The second choice is mostly clear-cut, but the first choice - to the extent it makes any sense at all - is open to multiple interpretations. Taken together, the poll question and the results are mostly meaningless:

Q. Which is closest to your views regarding immigration reform?
1. Congress needs to pass comprehensive immigration law guidelines now.
2. Congress should take no action and allow states to pass restrictions on illegal immigration.

Amnesty is usually called comprehensive immigration reform, except in cases like the above where pollsters are trying to mislead people. What exactly do "immigration reform" and "comprehensive immigration law guidelines" mean to the various people who took the poll? Some polls spell out what comprehensive immigration reform would consist of, even if they omit its downsides. The choice above leaves it up to the respondents' imaginations.

Who, you might ask, could be behind such a misleading poll choice? Why, none other than former Bill Clinton pollster Mark Penn; the poll was conducted by his company. And, to accompany the poll and to mislead about it, he offers "Surprising demand for immigration reform" [2]

Fifty-nine percent of the general population wants to see action on meaningful reform, and so do 76 percent of D.C. elites. More notable in today’s partisan climate is that reform gets the nod from Democrats and independents in equal measure (61 percent of both think Congress should "pass comprehensive immigration law guidelines now") and that 59 percent of Republicans agree as well.

The word "meaningful" only appears in his article, not in the question. And, who knows whether respondents wanted something "meaningful" or something more limited? Further, whether respondents actually "agree" with one another is doubtful since the poll question left open what exactly it was referring to. No doubt most "D.C. elites" are aligned, but the same can't be said of those outside the Beltway.

[1] Currently at politico.com/polls/power-and-the-people
[2] politico.com/news/stories/0810/41037.html

Chris Christie supports immigration "reform" (aka amnesty) - 06/30/10

The latest GOP/conservative savior is New Jersey governor Chris Christie, despite the fact that what he supports would increase spending and reduce the GOP's power. In a recent interview [1], he implied opposition to the new immigration law in Arizona and came out in support of comprehensive immigration reform, aka amnesty. The latter would lead to millions new Democrats joining the voter rolls and would lead to even more illegal immigration and even more spending. From [1]:

On the hot-button topic of immigration reform, he said he has long declined to “demagogue” the issue as a former U.S. Attorney, because “I come from law enforcement and it’s not an easy issue.”

But he did intimate that he thinks stringent state-by-state laws – such as in Arizona – are the wrong approach, and added, “I think President Obama doesn’t do this at his own risk because it’s affecting the economy in the country…to me, I think the president’s really gotta show the leadership on this.”

“This is a federal problem, it’s gotta have a federal fix,” he said. “I’m not really comfortable with state law enforcement having a big role.”

He said that without border security, enforcement of existing laws and a “clear” path to legalization for immigrants, there would never be a fix.

The "clear" path is amnesty. See also Is U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie a corruption supporter? (downplays illegal immigration then "clarifies" remarks).

UPDATE: Ben Smith provides a longer excerpt at [2]:

"What I support is making sure that the federal government [plays] each and every one of its roles: Securing the border, enforcing immigration laws, and having an orderly process -- whatever that process is -- for people to gain citizenship."

He added: "It's a very easy issue to demagogue and I'm just not going to participate in that."

Christie said more resources -- specifically, "money" -- were needed to support federal law enforcement and border security, along with "having a clear understandable law that people can follow."

"Until you have both of those...you're not going to fix the problem," he said.

Christie also said he thinks state and local law enforcement don't have appropriate training to enforce immigration laws, and that it can distract from their overriding goal of keeping the public safe.

Obviously, there's much to quiz him on, just starting with his secure the border and safe legal orderly rhetoric. It's too bad there were no real reporters around to walk him through what he supports.

[1] politico.com/news/stories/0610/39208.html The "reporters" were Ben Smith and Maggie Haberman and, while we're informed what they and Christie had for breakfast, neither of them bothered to call Christie on the downsides of amnesty.
[2] politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0610/Christie_on_immigration.html

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."

Obama devastates GOP "arguments" live on TV (House Republican retreat) - 01/30/10

Barack Obama appeared at a nationally-televised House Republican retreat in Baltimore yesterday at which several leading Republicans asked him questions which he then handled with ease. He "p0wned" them so badly that Fox News cut away from the coverage twenty minutes before it ended. What the House members asked were weak, open-ended question or simply requests. They weren't adversarial questions designed to reveal flaws in his policies or statements. Because of that, they allowed him to say things like this:

And the notion that I would somehow resist doing something that cost half as much but would produce twice as many jobs -- why would I resist that? I wouldn't. I mean, that's my point, is that -- I am not an ideologue. I'm not. It doesn't make sense if somebody could tell me, "You could do this cheaper and get increased results," that I wouldn't say, "Great." ...The problem is, I couldn't find credible economists who would back up the claims that you just made.

He also shined them on: "Here's what I'm going to do, Mike: What I'm going to do is I'm going to take a look at what you guys are proposing" and referenced those who say tea parties types of things: "But if you were to listen to the debate, and, frankly, how some of you went after this bill, you'd think that this thing was some Bolshevik plot."

For your entertainment, the transcript is here, video is here and here, and see Marc Ambinder's take here and a Politico report here.

This incident shows a structural problem the GOP has: their leaders are great at cashing checks, but not so great at representing the interests of the American public. They aren't going to change, so if you want to oppose Obama in a smart and effective way you'll have to do it yourself. See the question authority page for a plan (note especially that the questioner has to be experienced), and here's our guide to asking politicians tough questions.

Claim: McCain called Republicans against massive immigration "a**holes" (McCain denies) - 01/11/10

This passage is from the new book Game Change by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann. Bear in mind that a John McCain spokeswoman denies that McCain ever said such a thing, and Lindsey Graham didn't repond to Ben Smith's request for comment [1]:

[McCain aides John] Weaver and [Mark] Salter begged McCain to ease up. He was already the face of the Iraq surge. Now he was becoming the face of what opponents called “amnesty.” Just tone down the rhetoric, his advisers pleaded.

McCain refused. He was disgusted by republicans in Congress and talk radio gasbags such as rush Limbaugh who bashed immigrants. “They’re going to destroy the fucking party,” he would say.

As McCain’s town hall meetings devolved into shouting matches over immigration, the candidate let his frustration show through. He called Lindsey Graham in despair. Listen to these people, McCain said. Why would I want to be the leader of a party of such a**holes?

[1] politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0110/
McCain_aide_denies_party_of_aholes_line.html

John Harris of Politico protects Obama from the stories he doesn't want told - 11/30/09

Apparently attempting to reach a Joe Klein level of sycophancy and faux-insider chatter, John Harris of The Politico offers "7 stories Barack Obama doesn't want told" (politico.com/news/stories/1109/29993.html).

Glenn Thrush lies about Lou Dobbs (leprosy; possible presidential run) - 11/23/09

Speaking with reporters earlier today, Lou Dobbs mentioned as an aside that he was considering a presidential run. Over to low-level establishment hack Glenn Thrush of the Politico who simply reads what's on the card he's been handed (politico.com/blogs/glennthrush/1109/
Dobbs_2012_presidential_run_not_crazy.html):

Dobbs has become a prime target of Hispanic groups for his fire-breathing pronouncements about illegal immigration - including a discredited claim that Mexicans were bringing leprosy across the border.

First, simply supporting enforcement of our immigration laws isn't "fire-breathing". More importantly, Thrush is lying about the circumstances of the leprosy issue. Mexicans and others are indeed bringing leprosy and other diseases across the border, and that's especially true of illegal aliens since they obviously aren't given health screenings. It's absurd that anyone would claim that what's happening isn't happening, but that's what you get from low-grade pseudo-journalists like Thrush. See, for just one example, the report at [1].

"Enough is Enough!" anti-Lou Dobbs campaign from Democracia Ahora (DNC link, Obama too?; Bendixen) - 09/18/09

In addition to the Drop Dobbs campaign, another group is starting their own push in an attempt to silence Lou Dobbs. This group has links to the Obama administration and the Democrats that are slightly closer than the other, and given that Obama lied about Lou Dobbs during the election, it would be interesting to know the degree to which there's any coordination.

The campaign is from Democracia Ahora - run by Jorge Mursuli - and is called "Enough is Enough!" (TellCNNEnoughisEnough.com). They commisioned Sergio Bendixen's firm to conduct what amounts to an extraordinarily biased push-poll of 100 Hispanic leaders about Dobbs; it hasn't been released but for an example of their intellectual integrity here's one of the questions from the Politico report by Carol Lee (link):

"Many Hispanics are offended by the news content of Lou Dobbs’ show and regard him as a demagogue who is helping to create a negative image of Hispanics. Do you agree or disagree with this assessment?"

Those who took part in the poll - almost assuredly among the 90% who agreed with the preceding question - include Sen. Bob Menendez, Dan Restrepo (a member of President Obama’s National Security Council, who Democracia Ahora says was interviewed while he was a director for the Americas Project at Center for American Progress), and Reps. Raul Grijalva and Lucille Roybal Allard.

And:

Communications for "Enough is Enough!" are being handled by another Miami-based firm, Balsera Communications, which is run by Freddy Balsera, who coordinated Hispanic media for the Obama campaign and is co-chair of the Democratic National Committee’s National Hispanic Leadership Council.

Note also this ironic bit:

“We’re asking CNN, the alleged ‘most trusted name in news,’ to really hold Lou Dobbs to the journalistic standards he should be held to,” said Jorge Mursuli, president of Democracia Ahora, who expressed frustration with Dobbs’ reports that immigration contributed to thousands of new reported cases of leprosy and of a ‘superhighway’ from Mexico to Canada.

In April 2008, Barack Obama seemed to confirm the NAFTA superhighway, so maybe Mursuli would like to conduct a campaign against him.

Maybe John Richardson of Esquire should try some real reporting (Ben Smith, HotAir, Orly Taitz) - 08/12/09

The campaign by the Beltway establishment to discredit anyone who dares questions the official story of Barack Obama's past rolls on as John Richardson of Esquire offers "What Really Happens When You Demand the President Produce His Birth Certificate?" [1].

Maybe Kathryn McGarr and the Politico should try real reporting for a change - 08/07/09

Kathryn McGarr is/was a grad student at the Columbia Journalism School now working in some capacity at the Politico.

"Operation Embarrass Your Congressman": OK, but better questions please - 08/02/09

Like human ancestors emerging from the primordial ooze, the tea parties might be growing a brain. Someone who appears part of that overall movement has started a new campaign called "Operation Embarrass Your Congressman" (link) which is highly similar to my two-and-a-half year old plan outlined in the question authority summary.

Glenn Thrush implies most Republicans are racists, including those not buying Politico's lies; help discredit him - 07/31/09

Glenn Thrush of the Politico says:

Shocker poll from Kos/Research2000 today... A whopping 58 percent of Republicans either think Barack Obama wasn't born in the US (28 percent) or aren't sure (30 percent). A mere 42 percent think he was... When do we start a serious dialog about the Birther movement being a proxy for racism that is unacceptable to articulate in more direct terms?

The GOP and those linked to it including major bloggers will probably ignore this, or they'll further try to distance themselves from the "Birthers", or they'll do other moronic things. I don't know exactly how they'll show their incompetence, but I know they will once again show they're incompetent.

The smart thing to do is for others to work to discredit Glenn Thrush. I have - without any help from anyone else - worked to discredit Ben Smith. I've shown how he's a liar and I've pointed that fact out to others in his comments threads and elsewhere. Unfortunately, I can't do everything so it would be great if others could chip in a little time to monitor Glenn Thrush's coverage and point out his lies to his readers.

John Aravosis of AmericaBlog confuses the GOP with Amazon.com, hilarity ensues (Chris Frates) - 07/16/09

The GOP has a new web application called the "Obama Card" at gop.com/obamacard. You search for terms and it shows you how much they'll cost you on your "Card". It didn't work for me the two times I tried it, but it appears to be yet another cheap stunt from the GOP; their time would be better spent on, for instance, showing how their opponents are wrong.

Speaking of that, John Aravosis of AmericaBlog offers "RNC Web site promoting anti-Semitic, anti-Latino, and pornographic literature" (link) in which he details several searches he did for items at their "store", some of which brought up salacious or troubling material. What he fails to note is that they're apparently simply bringing in results from Amazon.com, and the images and books shown are from Amazon.com. Instead of being able to understand that, he's trying to blame the results on the GOP.

For instance, he makes a big deal about a search for "jew" bringing up a book called "The Jews And Their Lies". What he didn't realize is that when you do a search for the same term at Amazon.com, that's the first result. Aravosis also didn't bother to do a basic search to see that the author of that book is someone a few people might have heard of, Martin Luther.

You can buy political books from a page on this site and you're encouraged to do so since a portion of the proceeds are used to keep this site on the air. Should I be responsible for what comes up in a search? Will anyone who runs a similar site that displays results from Amazon have to spend their days filtering out the tens of thousands of possibly offensive material?

UPDATE: Chris Frates of the Politico joins in the virtual book burning with "RNC pulls game selling offensive items" (politico.com/news/stories/0709/25069.html). While, unlike AmericaBlog, he points out that the books were coming from Amazon, he doesn't point out that the author of the book listed above was Martin Luther. Nor does he point out that a book called "The Latino Threat" is the second search result for "latino" in Amazon books and is actually a pro-massive immigration tome. He simply ripped and read from AmericaBlog and cleaned it up a bit.

UPDATE 2: The following comment at "The Political Carniva" was deleted (thepoliticalcarnival.blogspot.com/2009/07/family-values-rnc-web-site-promoting.html):

Can you trust the "Political Carnival"? Click here and find out.

Obama, ADL, SPLC, Phil Gordon, Catherine Herridge, Shep Smith, Joan Walsh, Chris Matthews, others try to exploit shooting at Holocaust Museum - 06/11/09

Here are just some of those trying to use yesterday's shooting at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC to score political points:

* Barack Obama says: "This outrageous act reminds us that we must remain vigilant against anti-Semitism and prejudice in all its forms". That sounds good, until one remembers things like Rev. Jeremiah Wright, "bitter cling", his campaign's constant attempts to race-bait, his smears of Lou Dobbs and Rush Limbaugh, and how he'd deal with "hate" (see #14).

* Josh Gerstein of the Politico in "Attacks validate DHS report, some say" (link). He quotes the Southern Poverty Law Center's Mark Potok: "I think this latest round of killing once again shows how ridiculous the criticism from the right of the Department of Homeland Security report was. That whole brouhaha was absurd... Rush Limbaugh and John Boehner can go on until the end of time about how [the report] was an attack on conservatives, but in reality it was a perfectly sober assessment of what was going on out there." That report was even criticized by Bennie Thompson. Gerstein also quotes the Anti Defamation League's Deborah Lauter: "We felt the DHS report was pretty right on... Clearly the election of Obama, the current financial crisis, and the discussion of immigration reform - those things have certainly fueled the right wing extremist movement in this country….There are clear indications that the rhetoric is manifesting. We hope it's not the tip of the iceberg.”

* Catherine Herridge and Shepard Smith on Fox News: link.

* Joan Walsh of Salon.com and Chris Matthews: link.

* Phoenix mayor Phil Gordon sinks even further, engaging in McCarthyite tactics against Sheriff Joe Arpaio: link.

UPDATE: A list of others who've tried to exploit this tragedy is in "Holocaust Museum Shooter: Christian-Hating Socialist" (link). It includes this:

A review of his lengthy associations reveals Von Brunn hardly fits the stereotype of a Religious Right, GOP precinct captain. He denounced the Christian faith as a dastardly Jewish conspiracy, a “HOAX” invented by the Apostle Paul to “DESTROY ROMAN CULTURE” from within by undermining its pagan virility. (All screaming capitalization and grammatical errors in this piece appear in the original.) Like others on the racist fringe, the shooter proclaimed clearly: "SOCIALISM, represents the future of the West."

Extensive quotes are provided to show those aren't being taken out of context.

Obama administration briefs Bilderberg group on foreign and economic policy - 05/26/09

No, really. Bilderberg - a group that just a few short years ago was presented by the MSM as a tinfoil hat topic - has gone mainstream. Kenneth Vogel of the Politico - seen here "debunking" some "myths" in order to assist the Barack Obama campaign - offers "Obama officials gave Bilderberg briefings" (politico.com/news/stories/0509/22957.html):

A handful of high-ranking Obama administration officials this month delivered private briefings at the annual invitation-only conference held by an elite international organization known as the Bilderberg group.

The closed meeting of some of the most powerful business, media and political leaders in North America and Western Europe heard from top Obama diplomats James Steinberg and Richard Holbrooke, who detailed the administration’s foreign policy, while economic adviser Paul Volcker, chairman of President Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, also gave a presentation at the heavily guarded seaside resort in Greece that hosted the event...

...But any suggestion that Bilderberg is secretly anointing world leaders or plotting global policy is the provenance of “the black helicopter crowd,” the attendee of this year’s conference told POLITICO...

In five years they'll probably be using hacks like Vogel to say the opposite.

Sonia Sotomayor: affirmative action nominee for Supreme Court? Close to far-left Puerto Rico extremists? - 05/26/09

[SEE THE UPDATES]

Judge Sonia Sotomayor is Barack Obama's choice to replace David Souter on the US Supreme Court. Weak GOP talking points are here; Peter Baker and Jeff Zeleny (remember him?) have the New York Times' take here.

Was she selected only because of her outstanding grasp of legal issues? Or, was at least part of the selection due to the fact that she's a woman and a Hispanic? Were there more qualified possibilities who didn't happen to fit the politically-friendly uniform? If so, then she is indeed an affirmative action pick, despite the many attempts to claim otherwise we'll be treated to in the months to come. See the quotes at [1].

Expect the Democrats and their helpers to try to present any opposition to her as anti-Hispanic, just as they constantly played the race card before the election. Three examples at [2]. Note that many MSM reporters and politicians will, either through ignorance or simple dishonesty, fail to note that most Hispanics in the U.S. are Mexican-American, and pan-Hispanic ethnic nationalism will only go so far with most.

It will be interesting to see whether some interesting quotes will come to light; here's one:

Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences, a possibility I abhor less or discount less than my colleague Judge Cedarbaum, our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging.

And, one thing the MSM won't look into - and the GOP won't discuss - is whether she's an extremist or not. To what extent does she agree with Luis Gutierrez and Nydia Velazquez, both of whom are former U.S. leaders of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party? Sotomayer is a former member of the far-left, illegal immigration-supporting PRLDEF; did she say or do anything interesting while a member? With Mexican-American leaders it's easy for me to tell their level of support for reconquista sentiments; I'm not familiar with Puerto Rican issues, and it's probably going to be difficult to find anyone to give the straight scoop on her position on issues like sovereignty.

UPDATE: Regarding that possible extremism, we're getting there. From this:

After launching a public campaign to force Princeton University to hire faculty and administrators of "Puerto Rican or Chicano heritage," Sotomayor finally got her way. But she wasn't finished complaining. Despite being appointed to a student advisory board that would counsel the University on the hiring of a "minority dean," Sotomayor was ultimately unsatisfied by the appointment of Luis Garcia as Associate Dean of Student Affairs in September 1974. Sotomayor had a litany of complaints ranging from the manner in which the advisory board was selected to the manner in which the candidate was selected.

See also this.

Meanwhile, this says:

her legal theses included Race in the American Classroom, and Undying Injustice: American "Exceptionalism" and Permanent Bigotry, and Deadly Obsession: American Gun Culture. In this text, the student Sotomayor explained that the Second Amendment to the Constitution did not actually afford individual citizens the right to bear arms, but only duly conferred organizations, like the military. Instead of making guns illegal, she argues that they have been illegal for individuals to own since the passing of the Bill of Rights.

However: that quote is supposedly from americannews.com, a site that appears to have only existed as a parked domain for several years. Consider the last quote a hoax or at least inflation of some kind until a source is provided. UPDATE: The last post has a "satire" tag; I don't think it was there when this was posted but my assumptions were correct. If you ever run across that site again, please ignore them.

UPDATE 2: Video of some of her questionable statements is here.

The pro-life side weighs in here; see also this petition. However, in at least this case she apparently ruled against the pro-choice side; if there are other cases please leave a comment.

For her position on the second amendment, someone please summarize this; there might be something interesting in that.

Back in 1978, she dropped out of the running for a law firm job and filed a complaint after being asked whether he heritage had "culturally deprived" her (link).

Per this, as a District judge she ordered a "$10,000 fine to someone who pleads guilty to a federal charge of sharing in more than $200,000 in kickbacks".

Back to extremism, Michael Fletcher says:

Latino legal activists applauded Sotomayor's appointment. "This is a historic moment," said Cesar Perales, executive director of LatinoJustice PRLDEF, a New York-based civil rights group, where Sotomayor once served as a board member. "This is the most important Hispanic appointment that has been made in this country's history. It is a recognition that we are coming of age, that we can be one of nine wise people on the Supreme Court, making decisions that affect everyone in this country." ...During her years on the organization's board during the 1980s, the organization, then known as the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, focused its efforts on the creation of majority-Hispanic voting districts and the defense of bilingual education programs.

There's more on the PRLDEF here, specifically relating to their campaign against Bush nominee Miguel Estrada.

UPDATE 3: From this: Three of the five majority opinions written by Judge Sotomayor for the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals and reviewed by the Supreme Court were reversed...

George Will offers "Identity Justice" (link) and the Wall Street Journal offers the editorial "The 'Empathy' Nominee/Is Sonia Sotomayor judically superior to 'a white male'?" (link).

UPDATE 4: At least as of 2000, Sotomayor was a member of the National Council of La Raza. See the link for much more on that far-left group that continually supports illegal activity.

Michael Steele: Obama wasn't vetted because of his race (Ali Frick /ThinkProgress, Ben Smith, Marc Ambinder) - 05/22/09

Guest hosting for Bill Bennett earlier today, Michael Steele said the following:

The problem that we have with this president is that we don’t know [Obama]. He was not vetted, folks. … He was not vetted, because the press fell in love with the black man running for the office. “Oh gee, wouldn’t it be neat to do that? Gee, wouldn’t it make all of our liberal guilt just go away? We can continue to ride around in our limousines and feel so lucky to live in an America with a black president.” Okay that’s wonderful, great scenario, nice backdrop. But what does he stand for? What does he believe? … So we don’t know. We just don’t know.

Apparently, we're supposed to be Shocked! and Outraged! by him stating something that is correct to a good extent. At least, that's what Ali Frick of ThinkProgress wants us to think (link). Except, as could be expected from that source, all he can do is engage in a logical fallacy by saying it's "striking" that Steele would say such a thing after some sources said that same thing about him. Frick fails to address Steele's argument by, for instance, providing examples of the mainstream media vetting Barack Obama. To deny that they gave Obama a pass with almost everything he said during the campaign is to deny reallity. Not all of that was due to his race; part was due to the fact that he was a Democrat. However, there were several people highlighting how electing a black president would per se be good thing for the U.S.

And, what starts at the leftwing, George Soros-funded ThinkProgress trickles down to lying hack Ben Smith at the Politico who links to their post at "Your Friday Steele" [1], saying:

What happens on Fridays: Michael Steele guest hosts Bill Bennett's radio show; young staffers at Media Matters and the Center for American Progress listen and compete for the most entertaining sound byte.

And, it's a regular hackfest as Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic raises issues with Steele's "civility" [2] then says:

I still know a few Clinton advisers who would, in their heart of hearts, agree with this.

In other words, he's more interested in being political correct and not telling the truth then looking into how and why the mainstream media completely failed to vet Obama.

[1] politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0509/Your_Friday_Steele.html
[2] politics.theatlantic.com/2009/05/a_lesson_in_civility_from_michael_steele.php

Pages