politico: Page 2
Marco Rubio is the Republican former Speaker of the Florida Assembly who - together with fellow Republican Charlie Crist - will be running for Senate; Rubio is running as a conservative against the more RINO Crist. Rubio's immigration stance isn't entirely clear; some have claimed that he helped block some anti-illegal immigration bills in Florida.
What kind of 28-page strategy memo outlining how the GOP should handle healthcare would avoid mentioning the immigration angle? Why, none other than the one just released by Frank Luntz. You can download a copy of the PDF from politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0509/The_full_Luntz.html (the link at that page isn't marked as a PDF).
Earlier today, Barack Obama conducted an online townhall meeting in which part of the time was spend answering questions that had been submitted to and voted up at whitehouse.gov/openforquestions. Sheryl Gay Stolberg of the New York Times has a run-down here. The problems with the system he used are covered in the popular voting systems summary, including a brief description of a better way to do things.
As predicted, the questions were weak. However, on the plus side the mainstream media or at least the online version of same appears to be catching on to the flaws in the voting system that was used, with John Ward Anderson of The Politico offering "Pot-related questions deluge W.H." (politico.com/news/stories/0309/20526.html). Likewise, Michael Scherer from Time Magazine offers this very good round-up of the "top" questions.
The wastoids from NORML can't figure out how to ask one good question and concentrate on pushing that to the top, but by making obvious to anyone how such systems can be abused they might lead us to using better voting systems for future efforts. (And, their incessant bombarding of such efforts and comments on MSM articles is sure to backfire.)
And, the uber-hack Ben Smith offers "Ensuring a friendly audience for online town hall" (politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0309/Ensuring_a_friendly_audience_for_online_town_hall.html):
...The event should not be mistaken, however, for a perfect reflection of the concerns of the American people, or even of American Internet users, for two reasons... One is perhaps unavoidable, and perfectly fair: Well organized groups, like advocates for the decriminalization of marijuana, can push their desired questions to the top. (Is the most important budget question really, "With over 1 out of 30 Americans controlled by the penal system, why not legalize, control, and tax marijuana to change the failed war on drugs into a money making, money saving boost to the economy? Do we really need that many victimless criminals?")... The second is deliberate: The Democratic National Committee blasted out the link to the Open for Questions website yesterday afternoon to Organizing for America's list, reportedly to include about 14 million people. It's reasonable to assume that those Obama supporters make up a high percentage of the participants.
Well, duh. See the link to the better way to do things above.
UPDATE: In retrospect, sending an email to NORML letting them know I discussed them was a bad idea. Apparently another symptom is tone-deafness. Also, there's a full transcript of the event here.
If you trust the reporting of Ben Smith of the Politico, I hope to change your mind. He offers "Culture of conspiracy: The Birthers" (link), which is just the latest in his attempt to smear those who have questions about where Barack Obama was born and whether he's eligible to be president. And, this excerpt contains a blatant lie:
A quick reality check, before we dive in: The challenges to Obama's eligibility have no grounding in evidence. Courts across the country have summarily rejected the movement's theory - that Obama can't be a citizen because his father wasn't - as a misreading of U.S. law; and Hawaii officials, along with contemporary birth announcements, affirm that Obama was in fact born in Honolulu in 1961.
The last bit is completely false:
1. Those "contemporary birth announcements" do not list where Obama was born or in which hospital (see the first item here). They only list the supposed address of his parents. No one has ever documented who placed the ads, and they aren't proof of anything.
2. Hawaii officials never "affirm[ed] that Obama was in fact born in Honolulu". Read their statement, which says nothing about where Obama was born. And, when I asked them to confirm Ben Smith's assumptions, they refused.
See the Obama citizenship summary for much more.
The bottom line is that Ben Smith of the Politico is a brazen liar.
3/16/09 UPDATE: Ben Smith lied again, saying (politico.com/news/stories/0309/20033.html):
Obama has actually produced a copy of his Hawaii birth certificate, and it has been certified by the state of Hawaii.
1. He only "produced" it to FactCheck, and the same page where they have pictures of the cert - pictures that they later compressed and removed EXIF data from - contains the blatant lie that Hawaii verified where Obama was born.
2. The state of Hawaii never "certified" that picture. They only said they have a cert on file. The picture and what they have on file may be different.
The baseless Obama citizenship rumor is back, based on an attempt by its purveyors request that the Supreme Court get to the bottom of the case.
The "rumor" isn't "baseless", despite what Ben Smith would have you believe: the fact remains that Obama simply has not proven where exactly he was born. In the paragraph above, Smith links to the October 31, 2008 article he wrote "Cover this! Inside the nastiest ’08 rumors" (link). In addition to mocking Obama's opponents, Smith says:
...there's lots of evidence that Obama was born in the United States, and none that he wasn't. The campaign handed over an official copy of his short-form birth certificate - the standard document produced by the Hawaii Department of Health - to Factcheck.org. And Poliltico has confirmed the authenticity of a contemporaneous announcement of his birth in the Honolulu Advertiser.
How do we know it was "official"? Are the Obama-friendly FactCheck document experts as well? And, the announcement only listed the address of Obama's parents and did not list where he was born.
"Latinos push for Cabinet posts": NCLR, MALDEF, NALEO trying to embed supporters in Obama administration - 11/07/08
The ethnic boosting "reporter" Gebe Martinez of the Politico offers "Latinos push for Cabinet posts" (link). Here's the quota bit:
Weeks before Barack Obama won the presidency, he met privately in Washington with his former Democratic rival, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, and Latino political leaders who had fervently backed her bid.Then, she says that Latinos pushed Obama over the top; I'll wait for a reliable source.
The cards were laid upon the table, according to one of the participants. The Hispanic leaders said they expected at least two Latinos to be named to an Obama Cabinet — meeting the standard set by President-elect Bill Clinton in 1992 — but preferred three. Of course, they also wanted sub-Cabinet-level posts.
...Cecilia Munoz, vice president of National Council of La Raza, said, “It’s a foregone conclusion that we should be at the table for policy debates and in a position of authority, " because Hispanics are affected by major issues facing all voters. Latinos will be prominent in an Obama administration "just as we would be in any administration moving forward," she added.
...Any diminishment of the Hispanic presence in today's society and politics "would be a colossal mistake," said Arturo Vargas, executive director of National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. "Latinos have demonstrated they can have an impact."
...Before the election, two dozen groups that make up the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda turned over to Obama and John McCain policy recommendations that included adding more Hispanics to the federal workforce, increasing Hispanic political appointments and naming more Latinos to the federal bench.
The coalition will be collecting resumes to submit to Obama's transition team. "It behooves us to not just suggest that the administration hire Latinos. We need to also provide good candidates," said Peter Zamora of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
NALEO's Vargas worries that, early on, the only names usually mentioned for possible appointment to the Obama administration are New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Obama's Hispanic adviser Federico Pena — two Democrats who previously served in the Clinton administration.
...[Raul Yzaguirre] said he and others addressed that issue frankly with Obama at their meeting several weeks ago. "We said, ‘Look, if you are going to see us as late-comers, that's not going to work. If you see us as partners from here on, we will have a good relationship.' And he said he welcomed our support," Yzaguirre said...
"They want us to forget the insults we've put up with, the intolerance," the television ad's announcer says in Spanish as a picture of Rush Limbaugh appears onscreen with quotes of him saying, "Mexicans are stupid and unqualified" and "Shut your mouth or get out."This isn't the first time that Obama smeared Limbaugh, and there's much to discuss about this ad. First let's deal with the misleading Rush quotes. The first quote is actually from 1993 (link):
"They made us feel marginalized in a country we love so much," the ad continues. "John McCain and his Republican friends have two faces. One that says lies just to get our vote and another, even worse, that continues the failed policies of George Bush that put special interests ahead of working families."
[The radio ad goes on:] "Don't forget that John McCain abandoned us rather than confront the leaders of the Republican Party. Many of us were born here, and others came to work and achieve a better life for their families -- not to commit crimes or drain the system like many of John McCain's friends claim. Let's not be fooled by political tricks from John McCain and the Republicans. Vote so they respect us. Vote for a change."
"If you are unskilled and uneducated, your job is going south. Skilled workers, educated people are going to do fine 'cause those are the kinds of jobs NAFTA is going to create. If we are going to start rewarding no skills and stupid people, I'm serious, let the unskilled jobs that take absolutely no knowledge whatsoever to do -- let stupid and unskilled Mexicans do that work."The Obama campaign misquoted Rush by omitting the context; the context certainly doesn't show Rush in a good light, but it's far different from what the Obama campaign is trying to do: pretend that Rush said that all Mexicans are "stupid and unqualified". The BHO campaign is lying.
The second quote is just as bad; it was actually from a satire in which Rush proposed a series of draconian immigration laws, only to reveal at the end that those were the actual laws of the Mexican government (link). "Shut your mouth or get out" was actually his distillation of one of Mexico's laws; see for instance this example of meddling foreigners being ejected from Mexico. For video of Rush's satire, see this.
And, the first quote referred to "Mexicans" in the sense of "Mexican citizens who live in Mexico". Democrats frequently have trouble understanding the fact that (according to our laws), Mexicans can't vote in U.S. elections. Only U.S. citizens can, including those of Mexican descent. Certainly, those U.S. citizens of Mexican descent will sympathize with actual Mexicans, but some in the former camp look down on, say, illegal aliens. Obviously, to the BHO campaign there's little difference between an actual Mexican and a U.S. citizen of Mexican descent.
And, of course, some segment of immigrants do come here to engage in criminal behavior, and all those in the U.S. receive a wide range of public benefits. Those who are low-wage workers - the great majority of illegal aliens from Mexico - do take more than they pay in. And, the crimes committed by immigrants would not occur if they weren't here in the first place. As is their habit, the BHO campaign is trying to shut down a discussion of vital matters rather than having an open debate.
As for who's helping Barack Obama spread his lies:
* The first link is to an Ed O'Keefe post at the Washington Post. Needless to say, he just passes the ad on without doing what I did: spend a few minutes searching. Please write the WaPo and ask them to stop helping BHO lie: ombudsman *at* washpost.com
* Ben Smith of the Politico likewise can't be bothered to do even basic research; he also refers to the largely non-existent "anti-Immigration wing of the Republican Party": politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0908/Obama_vs_Rush_en_Espanol.html
* Mark Silva of the Chicago Tribune (mdsilva *at* tribune.com) also can't be bothered to do simple searches: swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2008/09/limbaugh_latinos_tv_ad_wars.html
* Eric Kleefeld is yet another searchophobe: tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/09/obama_spanishlanguage_ad_ties.php
UPDATE: Rush comments on this here; he also calls Obama a liar who took Rush's quotes out of context.
UPDATE 2: The end is nigh! Worthless hack Jake Tapper fact-checks the ad and the BHO campaign's response to his concerns, finishing by saying "the Obama campaign has crossed a line into misleading the viewers of its new TV ad" (blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/09/from-the-fact-1.html).
* Mori Dinauer passes along the lies (prospect.org/csnc/blogs/tapped_archive?month=09&year=2008&base_name=lightning_round_fiorina_gets_w)
* Jeralyn Merritt does the same, only worse (talkleft.com/story/2008/9/17/172619/529)
* Alex Koppelman comes close, but does including Rush's objections to the ad (letters.salon.com/politics/war_room/2008/09/17/obama_limbaugh/view).
* Eunice Moscoso of the Austin American Statesman does provide the McCain camp response to the ad (defending their previous support of amnesty, a support that continues) but fails to note that the BHO campaign lied. A comment I left has not been approved (link)
* Nick Timiraos of the Wall Street Journal includes some of the response from Limbaugh here, but also downplays the extent to which the BHO campaign took the quotes out of context. A quote I left was deleted; I left it again and that might be deleted as well.
* Beltway lightweight Ana Marie Cox links to the Tapper piece, but fails to note that taking quotes out of context was involved, only saying "An ad attempts to tie McCain to some particularly unpleasant Republicanness [in this case, a closed borders approach to immigration], but it turns out McCain was not at all associated with that particular nastiness." (link)
* Kathleen Hennessey of the Associated Press discusses a BHO campaign stop and works this in as well: One [BHO] commercial airing in Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado links McCain to comments apparently hostile to immigrants made by conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh. (link)
UPDATE 4: Even a day after Jake Tapper called the ad misleading, others are valiantly struggling with the truth.
* Tim Gaynor of Reuters offers "Controversial Obama ad revives immigration issue". He includes the muted response from McCain and correctly points out that, at the end of day, BHO and McCain are basically on the same page on this issue. However, Gayner completely fails to point out the problems with the quotes. A comment I left was not approved. (link).
* "shovelhood" shows the level of thinking at DailyKos by noting that Rush says the quotes were taken out of context... then using other quotes in an attempt to show that Rush is a racist and without dealing with the quotes in the ad. Whether that's an intentional attempt at distraction or an issue with the thinking processes of "shovelhood" isn't clear. Some commenters don't care about the ad being misleading, but a couple do seem to expres qualms about the BHO campaign lying (dailykos.com/story/2008/9/18/154144/680/122/602969).
UPDATE 5: Ed O'Keefe at the Washington Post - the blogger who first started promoting BHO's lying ad - offers a bit of a non-correction correction in "McCain Camp Decries Obama Spanish Ads" (link), which links to both Rush's comments and those from Tapper. I suppose the latter were key; when another member of the "club" points out that you've promoted a lying ad you just have to admit defeat.
UPDATE 6: The end is nigher! In an editorial, the New York Times says "Mr. Obama's retaliatory ad, also in Spanish, was just as fraudulent. It slimed Mr. McCain as a friend and full-bore ally of restrictionists like Rush Limbaugh, even though Mr. Limbaugh has long attacked Mr. McCain's immigration moderation. It quotes Mr. Limbaugh as calling all Mexicans stupid and ordering them to "shut your mouth or get out," which he never did.".
UPDATE 7: Rush offers "Obama Is Stoking Racial Antagonism" here. This has provoked a new round of those willing to lie for Obama at any cost to whatever reputations they had.
* Digby (digbysblog.blogspot.com/2008/09/black-kettle-by-digby-limbaugh-is-so.html) offers "Black Kettle". It uses the "shovelhood" technique (see above) without even acknowledging the bit about the BHO campaign taking quotes out of context. The quote she provides as a distraction from the original lies is probably taken out of context as well.
* Jonathan Stein from MoJo links to the Rush piece, and continues to take his second quote out of context. (link) Unbelievable? No, just in line with his previous "thinking".
* Adam Serwer first admits that the quotes were taken out of context and that' was "stupid". Then, he launches into the "shovelhood" technique (link).
UPDATE 8: Joe Klein offers "Take It Down, Barack" (link). Klein is such an obsequious hack that even Jake Tapper calling BHO out wasn't enough. It took a far greater authority to spur him to action: "The New York Times editorial board--once again calling a lie a lie--slams both McCain and Obama for their Spanish-language ads about immigration policy. I've given up any hope of McCain running an honest campaign, but if Obama really wants to present an honorable alternative to McCain's non-stop sleaze, he should take down his immigration ad immediately."
UPDATE 9 (9/22/08): * Mark Silva of the Chicago Tribune (mdsilva *at* tribune.com) - even after all the above - continues trying to help BHO lie (swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2008/09/john_mccain_immigration_reform.html) by saying "McCain's Democratic rival, Sen. Barack Obama, has been going after McCain lately on immigration -- attempting to tag the Republican with radio's Rush Limbaugh and intolerant words that the talk show host has had for immigrants in Spanish-language ads airing in hotly contested Western states."
Jerome Corsi has recently released a book highly critical of BHO called "Obama Nation". Needless to say, the usual suspects are up in arms. But, representing perhaps more the corrupt establishment in general than BHO fans in particular, Kenneth Vogel of The Politico offers the smear piece "Wild theories of 'Obama Nation' author" (politico .
Just started watching, and so far both questions CNN has gone to the audience for had major issues.
First, the claim that the questioner was racially profiled is just that: a claim, not a fact.