Questions for politicians and political leaders: Page 2
See the summary for this topic on the main Questions for politicians and political leaders page.
The Administration has repeatedly claimed that its health care reform plan will not cover illegal aliens. The Congressional Research Service recently issued a report contradicting the Administration's position, stating "H.R. 3200 does not contain any restrictions on non-citizens whether legally or illegally present, or in the United States temporarily or permanently participating in the Exchange." Is the Congressional Research Service in error? If so, where is the error?
The problem with that question - as with the other questions on their page and as with most of the other questions that people ask politicians - is that whoever wrote it didn't think through what would happen after it was asked.
In this case, they're asking Obama to comment on something he most likely hasn't read. All he would have to do is (probably truthfully) say that he hasn't read the CRS report, and then say that he'll look into it and reference other language preventing them from getting coverage and then seque into a stock speech. In other words, Obama would be able to easily deflect questions like that.
Now, compare that with the question in the second update here; the original post was in mid-August and the update was sometime around the end of August, meaning that either question could have been asked at one of the townhalls that were occurring at that time.
The question in the update at the last link was designed to box in the person being asked the question, asking them to commit to something that they could promise without having to do research (such as reading the CRS' report) first. That promise could then be held against them if they didn't follow through and could have been, for instance, used in their opponents' advertising. If they didn't follow through, follow-ups could have been asked of them at future townhalls.
In order to hold politicians accountable, you have to think ahead, and the tea parties have shown they aren't capable of that.
Rather than spending time discussing why Fiorina is wrong, I encourage the readers of this site to go to Fund's appearances and ask him about this paragraph:
An issue that will give (Chuck DeVore) some traction in a primary is that Ms. Fiorina says she "probably" would have voted to confirm Sonia Sotomayor, because most presidential Supreme Court nominees who are qualified deserve a presumption of support. One can argue with that position on substantive grounds, but it's probably smart politics in a general election given that California is 37% Hispanic.
The great majority of Hispanics in California are Mexican-American (or Mexican). Puerto Ricans make up only about 10% of U.S. Hispanics, and their percentage is probably higher in New York City than in California. And, while the two groups are Hispanic in the broad sense, the two groups aren't known for being close friends. For an example right from the WSJ's hometown, see September 6, 2003's "Little but Language in Common; Mexicans and Puerto Ricans Quarrel in East Harlem" from the New York Times (link).
Why is Fund assuming that Mexican-Americans would reflexively fall behind a Puerto Rican candidate? In fact, some Mexican-American leaders grumbled about a non-Mexican-American Hispanic being selected and Hispanics were generally in line with everyone else about the nomination. Why is Fund in effect supporting pan-Hispanic nationalism, just as Bill Richardson, Bob Menendez, and the National Council of La Raza do? Wouldn't it be better for the U.S. to oppose pan-ethnic nationalism and thereby take power away from Richardson, Menendez, the NCLR, and all the other far-left racial power advocates and organizations? And, why is Fund suggesting capitulation over the choice of someone who was a member of the NCLR, a board member of the equally far-left PRLDEF, and who showed herself to be highly ethno-centric?
Earlier today, Rep. Michelle Bachmann and a group of hundreds or thousands from the tea parties and related groups "stormed" Capitol Hill in an attempt to block Obama healthcare. That follows a conference call yesterday (link). If they had listened to me, they would have already blocked the plan or at least have eliminated any possible debate over the immigration-related provisions.
Since February 2007 I've been promoting the question authority plan, and in this case I wanted people to go to townhalls and ask tough questions on video about the immigration-related issues of Obamacare. That post is from August 14, 2009 post, right in the middle of townhall season. If any of the tea partiers had asked one of those questions or had otherwise tried to follow my plan, they could have had a major impact on the debate. Instead, all they did - encouraged by their corrupt and/or incompetent leaders - was go to meetings and act like baboons. They ranted, they raved, they threw tantrums like little kids, and at the end of the day they had little impact. And, they're still doing it, thinking that waving loopy signs is a replacement for intellectual debate.
Bachmann appears to be catching on about how to do things, albeit too late. On the conference call she told her followers:
"Don’t bring your pitchforks... bring your video cameras.... I think that will absolutely scare these members of Congress so much that Pelosi will not get the votes and it will kill the bill. I think it could be dead for 10 years. Why won’t we? Why won't we go for broke?"
She appears to at least be grasping at an idea close to mine. The difference however is that I want people to form local groups and assign themselves roles. Some people are better at thinking up questions than others, some are better at publicity than others, some are better at asking questions, and so on. Simply telling people to go videotape, say, Barney Frank isn't going to be that effective because he's a skilled politician who can easily respond to those who aren't also skilled at what they do.
To have an impact, the partiers and others would have to first sit down and think this through; obviously that's difficult for them but they need to do it. Then, with their emotions in check and with their goal in mind, they can follow the plan at the link above and try and have an impact.
Apparently some of the questions at recent townhalls have been about illegal aliens receiving Obama healthcare. Unfortunately, if the report at  is accurate, the questions have been weak and may have actually helped the Democrats rather than revealed what they intend to do. As detailed by Obama himself, the Democrats do intend to give UHC to current illegal aliens by changing their status first.
Recently there's been a series of angry mobs at townhalls designed to promote Obama healthcare (link), and some have devolved into violence. That wasn't difficult to foresee and, while I have no proof, it might have been by design.
But, first of all, if I had my way those who oppose the Democrats health care proposals would have followed through on my two-and-a-half year old question authority plan. If they'd done that, instead of angry rants, the flaws in the Democrats' plan - and the inability of those pushing their plan to plan for contingencies - would have become obvious to millions of people via Youtube and other sites. We could have had a civil debate and raised the level of discourse in the U.S.
Obviously, that didn't square with the game plan. Instead, following the pattern of sending tea bags, the tea parties, a motivational speaker dressed in a powdered wig, and all the other worthless stunts, The Powers That Be decided that encouraging angry mobs was the best option. For instance, Glenn Reynolds encouraged constituents to intimidate politicians back on June 24, saying:
TEA PARTIERS ELSEWHERE TAKE NOTE OF THIS APPROACH: Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY) Runs from Constituents. As Jim Geraghty noted, you can make a big impression by showing up in person at things like congressional district meetings.
Then, just a few days ago but before the violence, he said of an angry mob: "Remember, protest is patriotic!"
The other leaders of the supposed opposition to Obama - such as FreedomWorks - haven't exactly encouraged people to engage in high-level debate but instead have stood by or even encouraged angry mobs. It shouldn't be much of a surprise that Obama supporters - such as the Service Employees International Union - have started to show up in order to "make their voices heard". And, Obama and other Democratic leaders have made some questionable or highly questionable comments.
But, it's not that easy to make hay out of what Obama supporters are saying and doing because his opponents' hands aren't that clean. If they'd just been asking intelligent questions and had then been attacked by union thugs, that would be one thing. Instead, they chose to get angry and get in peoples' faces and the other side has responded in kind if in greater degree. Many or most of those attending the townhalls in opposition to the Democrats' plan might indeed be angry, but that isn't an excuse: those who are leading the supposed opposition to Obama need to channel that anger into productive activities.
And, some of all that might have been by design: some of the leaders of the supposed opposition to Obama might have wanted to provoke union thugs into attacking. It's either that, or they were too dumb to figure out what was bound to happen.
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.
[Note: this site doesn't follow these issues; we'd probably oppose Cap and Trade but we haven't looked into it. This is here for those who follow those issues and who want to do something effective.]
Barack Obama is conducting a town hall on May 14, 2009 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. You can sign up for tickets at whitehouse.gov/newmexicotownhall-5-14 but you have to do it before 5pm today.
Baby steps: Instapundit finally pushing my two year old idea to ask politicians tough questions on video - 04/19/09
Since February 2007, when I attended an Obama rally and unsuccessfully tried to ask him a tough question, I've spent endless hours trying to get others to do something similar with him or other politicians; see the question authority page for the overview and an action plan.
A few days ago, Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois said that the tea parties are "despicable" and "shameful." Now, Glenn Reynolds informs us (pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/76900) that she'll be making an appearance at the Peoria County Democratic Women's May Day Dinner on May 3 (link), saying:
I WONDER IF ANY “TEA PARTY” PROTESTERS WILL SHOW UP?... There were 3,000 Tea Party protesters in Peoria. They might take exception to her calling them despicable and shameful.
If you'd like to do something about this, there are two basic ways to do it:
1. Stand around outside with signs. However, there are several problems with that approach: some of the signs might be loopy and make your protest look bad. And, you're relying on the local media to cover your protest; they may or may not mention it and even if they do it will only be briefly. And, politicians are used to being protested by small groups. Schakowsky isn't going to be overly concerned.
2. Engage Schakowsky in debate in an attempt to make her look bad and have an impact on her political career. If someone can get video of the exchange, it could be uploaded to video sharing sites where large numbers of potential voters can see it; her opponents in future elections might even use it in their ads.
The second choice is by far the smarter and more effective. Far-left groups like ACORN are only capable of holding street protests; the tea partiers can try to rise above that level and engage politicians in an intellectual debate about what those politicians support. To pursue it, see the basic action plan in the question authority summary.
One of the best questions you can ask is the one in the DREAM Act summary; Schakowsky isn't a co-sponsor of the 2009 version, but she did co-sponsor the 2007 version. If she tries to bluff her way out of it by claiming that there's some difference between the 2009 and 2007 versions, point out that both will have the same impact of allowing those former illegal aliens covered under the bill to take college educations away from U.S. citizens.
Another question would be timely, regarding the fact that on May Day 2006 she spoke at an immigration march that was organized by those linked to the Mexican government.
However, I don't suggest asking her about her comments about the tea parties. All that will do is result in a useless back and forth regarding differing opinions. The tea partiers have one take on the protests, Schakowsky has another, and there's no way to resolve that.
I'll be contacting the local tea party organizers letting them know about this better proposal, and if anyone is in the area or knows those who are please send them this page.
On the attached video, Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln responds to citizen input on the SAVE Act and her related push to increase volunteerism. This is part of the Youtube effort called "Senate Hub" in which users submit questions which are then answered by various senators (youtube.com/user/senatehub).
WeAreChange founder and activist Luke Rudkowski was arrested at the Hilton Hotel on Manhattan [March 28] for attempting to question New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg about his refusal to pay for the health care of 9/11 first responders. Rudkowski had Infowars press credentials and a video camera when he was singled out by Bloomberg’s security in the lobby of the hotel located at West 53rd Street and Avenue of the Americas (Sixth Avenue).
My reactions, in order:
2. OK, maybe I shouldn't have said "good", but there's probably something we aren't being told about what he was actually doing.
3. OK, there might be something here but finding that out would require them to provide a coherent and accurate recount of exactly what happened, and they probably aren't capable of that. It's difficult to find any sympathy for a group that engages in disreputable "reporting" such as following behind someone shouting smears at them (link), but if they can actually show that NYC was in the wrong I'll do my best.
UPDATE: From this:
Rudkowski said Bloomberg’s security detail and hotel security claimed he would not leave the hotel. Luke told Jones he asked to leave the premise on numerous occasions and was not allowed to do so.Anthony Verias, who accompanied Rudkowski, told Alex they were victims of a "classic set-up." Verias was assaulted and brought into an office where he was subjected to intimidation and harassment by hotel security and Bloomberg’s plainclothes "goons," as Anthony described them... Luke said fellow WeAreChange activist Manny Valencia was assaulted as he taped Rudkowski’s arrest and his camera was confiscated.
I mostly always trust people who sound like they stepped out of a 40s Jimmy Cagney movie. But, in this case I'm willing to make an exception unless they're able to present their case in a coherent, intellectually honest fashion. I don't think they're capable of that.
On Thursday, March 26 2009, Barack Obama will be holding an online townhall meeting during which he'll answer the most popular user-submitted questions which they're now soliciting at whitehouse.gov/openforquestions
Regional White House Forums on Health Care Reform visiting California, Iowa, MI, NC, VT; ask questions - 03/06/09
Later this month and in April, the Barack Obama administration will be conducting "Regional White House Forums on Health Care Reform" in California, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina and Vermont :
In keeping with the Obama administration’s commitment to a transparent, accountable government, the forums will be an opportunity for Americans from all over the country to voice their concerns and ideas about reforming our health care system... They will be open conversations with everyday Americans, local, state and federal elected officials – both Democrat and Republican -- and senior Obama administration officials. The events will begin with a video recorded by the President, a summary of the findings from the Health Care Community Discussions that took place in December, and an overview of the discussion that took place at the White House Forum on Health Reform.
This would be a very good chance for those who are very familiar with these issues to go ask tough questions designed to point out the flaws in Obama's plans. Or, if you want to make one of Obama's little helpers look very bad, wait for them to say that there are "47 million uninsured Americans" and then point out that they're lying because millions of that number are foreign citizens including illegal aliens.
The schedule hasn't been released yet, but please contact opposition groups in those states and suggest they get their questions ready.
Colorado: discredit Peter Groff over in-state tuition for illegal aliens (bill passes Senate committee) - 03/06/09
Colorado state senator Chris Romer is pushing for that state to give in-state tuition to illegal aliens, and yesterday his bill passed a state senate committee (link). CO senate president Peter Groff is quoted as saying:
"For me, this is a moral issue, that we should not shackle the future of children because of the sins of their fathers."
If you oppose this bill, one of the best ways to fight it is to have an impact on the career of one of the politicians who supports it. And, you can do that by asking either Romer or Groff a very tough question - not a rant - designed to show that they're engaging in false compassion and that they're putting the interests of foreign citizens ahead of the interests of U.S. citizens. Video of their response can then be uploaded to Youtube. If the person's name is put in the title of the video and it gets enough views and high ratings, it will probably end up on the first page of Google search results for their name. And, that will send a message to other state or national legislators who try to take things away from U.S. citizens in order to give them to foreign citizens who are here illegally.
Here's a sample question you can ask:
You support giving in-state tuition to illegal aliens. But, each such discount given to an illegal alien represents one that's taken away from a U.S. citizen. What would you say to a U.S. citizen who can't go to college because of what you support?
If you aren't in Colorado or can't ask either of them that or a similar question, then please promote this plan via forums, local groups, and the like.
Please go to a public appearance of a political leader who supports the stimulus plan and ask them the following question. Feel free to modify it to match your speaking style, and if you can find a quicker way to state this question please leave it in comments:
Obama says that the stimulus bill will save or create millions of jobs. Whatever the exact number, there will still be millions of unemployed Americans, right? Unfortunately, in the final bill, provisions to prevent illegal aliens from receiving jobs were stripped out. That means that every stimulus job that's taken by an illegal alien is one that was in effect taken away from a U.S. citizen. What would you say to a U.S. citizen who can't get a stimulus job because it was taken from them by an illegal alien?
If you want to stop the stimulus plan, the most effective way is to publicly embarrass one of its nationally-known supporters on video by asking them a series of tough, "prosecutorial-style" questions. When uploaded to Youtube and similar sites, that video would get hundreds of thousands or millions of views. It would have an impact on the career of the person who was asked those questions, and it would send a message to the others.
Here are some non-politician-specific questions for Republicans or conservatives regarding amnesty, comprehensive immigration reform, illegal immigration, and so on. More questions will be added to this list over time.
Please go to public appearances by politicians or political leaders, ask them these questions on video, and then upload their response to video sharing sites. Create a flier to be handed out for those who want more information by compiling citations from any links provided below:
Barack Obama's change dot gov has released their responses for the second round of their scam where they encouraged people to submit and vote for questions that Obama would answer (change.gov/newsroom/entry/open_for_questions_round_2_response). As with other popular voting systems, it was designed to fail, with weak questions being voted up while tough questions (such as the ones I submitted) languishing or being voted down (my vote totals at that link).
What might have worked is if people had submitted only a small number of very tough questions and voted those up. Instead, dozens or hundreds of questions on one topic were submitted, with the weakest rising to the top. And, in at least one case, they selected a lower-ranked question than one that they apparently didn't want to answer. While they've redirected change.gov/openforquestions to the response link above, you can see the voting as it was at change.gov/page/content/openforquestions20081229
This time around, they've divided the answers into two parts: top-ranked questions that they already answered, and a video containing their answers to new, supposedly top-ranked questions that they hadn't already answered. Except, they'd already answered those too.
The video (link) consists of future White House press secretary Robert Gibbs answering a series of very weak questions, all of which - surprise! - are related to policies that Obama is pushing. For instance, here's the first one he answers:
What strategies other than bailouts can we employ to keep jobs in America?
Gibbs says that's a very good question, and it is: for him. Because, it allows him to simply launch into a commercial for Obama's stimulus scheme.
Note that the question above came in fourth in the Economy category, right behind this slightly tougher, unanswered question:
Will President Obama, work to remove tax incentives for US corporations, who move their operations over seas?
In the National Security category, a War on Drugs question was at #1; it was a bad question, but they didn't answer it.
The other questions Gibbs answers all give him a chance to launch into stock speeches, including those about No Child Left Behind, transit, universal healthcare, and science. The one about science is incredibly weak; tougher questions were asked in Politburo debates:
How will the Obama administration encourage the future generations of Americans to become the world's leading scientists and engineers?
As Gibbs describes, Obama has a plan! Gibbs even references the fact that he's heard Obama give answers to these issues on the campaign trail.
The only slight news on the video is a question about whether they'll repeal Dont Ask Dont Tell, which Gibbs answers with one word: "yes". Of course, we already knew that: in April 2008, Obama said he'd get rid of it, even if he hedged a bit on the timing in September of that year. Why ask Obama a question he's already answered?
The other section is entitled "Previously Addressed Questions", and that's where they relegate gems such as this from Bob Fertik of democrats.com:
Will you appoint a Special Prosecutor (ideally Patrick Fitzgerald) to independently investigate the gravest crimes of the Bush Administration, including torture and warrantless wiretapping?
They answer with previous quotes from Obama which basically boil down to him hemming and hawing about him looking into the issue. The answer about a Palestinian state is more hemming and hawing; on January 20th we'll hear his thoughts on the matter.
And, the potheads are out of luck again: Obama responds to their latest attempt with the answer he gave them before that he won't legalize marijuana.
The bottom line is that "Open for Questions" was a scam, and you should look very closely at all those who submitted and promoted weak questions. They either knew they were participating in a setup, or they couldn't figure that out. Either way, they aren't doing you or the U.S. much of a service.
Andrew Revkin writes the "dot Earth" blog for the New York Times, and he offers "11 Questions for Obama’s Science Team" (link). As one might expect, all of the questions are to one degree or another variations on, "Comrade Lysenko, tell us of the wonders of your system." About the only slightly tough question concerns ethanol. None of the questions challenge fundamental assumptions or expose flaws in the reasoning of Obama or his science selections.
You support the DREAM Act, a bill that would let illegal aliens take discounted college educations away from U.S. citizens.Alternative ending:
No matter how you do the math or whatever words you want to use, the bottom line is that the DREAM Act would have that effect.
How can you justify taking college discounts away from U.S. citizens in order to give them to foreign citizens who are here illegally? What would you say to a U.S. citizen who can't go to college because of the bill you support?
Aren't you putting the interests of illegal aliens ahead of the interests of U.S. citizens? (Are you unaware who your employers are?)
Please go to a Barack Obama public appearance, ask him one of the following questions (derived from a McCain campaign missive ), get his response on videotape, and then upload that to Youtube. If you can get a "good" answer from him it would have a devastating impact on his campaign.
"Senator Obama: You got over $100,000 in campaign contributions from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and their employees. Did you ever talk to the executives of Fannie and Freddie about the reckless loans they were giving out? That is, could you please list some approximate dates when you discussed those reckless loans made by your contributors' organizations? I don't need exact dates, but just a few off the top of your head. Just some approximate dates, please."
"Senator Obama: You got over $100,000 in campaign contributions from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and their employees. Did you ever talk to the executives of Fannie and Freddie about proposals from Senator McCain dealing with stronger oversight of their operations? That is, could you please list some approximate dates when you discussed that proposed stronger oversight with your contributors or their organizations? I don't need exact dates, but just a few off the top of your head. Just some approximate dates, please."
The source for the donations is here and if anyone asks says it's from the "OpenSecrets.org database and various news reports".
The source for McCain's reforms is the "Congressional Record of May 25, 2006 with John McCain's floor speech relating to the 'Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005'" (link).
Read both of those beforehand and print out several copies of each to give out to interested parties.
For more on my long-running and so far unsuccessful effort to get people to ask Obama tough questions, see this.
 From this:
...Bad mortgages were being backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and it was only a matter of time before a contagion of unsustainable debt began to spread. This corruption was encouraged by Democrats in Congress, and abetted by Senator Obama... the truth is I was the one who called at the time for tighter restrictions on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that could have helped prevent this crisis from happening in the first place... He has received more money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac than any other senator in history, with the exception of the chairman of the committee overseeing them. Did he ever talk to the executives at Fannie and Freddie about these reckless loans? Did he ever discuss with them the stronger oversight I proposed? If Senator Obama is such a champion of financial regulation, why didn’t he support these regulations that could have prevented this crisis in the first place? He won't tell you, but you deserve an answer.
Recently, Matt Yglesias of The Atlantic (matthewyglesias.theatlantic.com) has been posting a daily thread soliciting questions that he'll answer from his visitors ("requests"). I've posted a few comments to those threads without an answer, but that just means I'll keep trying. To be frank, the reason I do that is in the hope that one of these days Matthew Yglesias will let someone at the higher levels of the DNC know that the old lies aren't working any more.
On April 24, 2008 I sent an email to the American Civil Liberties Union's San Diego chapter, directed to their president Kevin Keenan. I listed a few questions I had for them concerning the fact that they're collaborating with the Mexican government to in effect block immigration enforcement. Needless to say, I haven't heard back.
Ask John McCain about his Hispanic outreach director, Juan Hernandez (former Mexican government official) - 01/25/08
"I want the third generation, the seventh generation, I want them all to think 'Mexico first.'"He also said :
"We must not only have a free flow of goods and services, but also start working for a free flow of people."Now, he's working for John McCain.
However, what McCain knows is that no one in the MSM is ever going to question his
So, that means it's up to you. If you want to sink McCain's candidacy, go to his campaign events and read those quotes to him and ask him to renounce them and
More on this here, here, here, and here.
Hernandez was previously Director of the Office for Mexicans Living Abroad until there was apparently some sort of falling out involving him or someone else. That office then became the Institute for Mexicans Abroad, with several of their members involved in pushing Mexico's agenda in the U.S. An Illinois state senator, Democrat Martin Sandoval, even serves on their board while at the same time pretending to serve U.S. interests.
UPDATE: Jerome Corsi offers this:
McCain campaign spokesman Brian Rogers emphasized to WND that Hernandez is "a non-paid volunteer to the campaign, and he does not play a policy role."Let's hope he stands by him a little longer, but even if he throws him overboard you can still ask him what he was thinking.
"Juan works with us to reach out to the Hispanic community to meet with the folks in the various states," Rogers said.
Asked if the McCain campaign has repudiated Hernandez's "Mexico first" declarations, Rogers did not give a direct answer.
UPDATE 2: More on this here.
A roundup of his cable TV greatest hits is here; it includes him promoting a North American security cordon - just not a Union - as well as cheap vegetables. So-far-unwatched videos that might have something are here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. If he says something on those that can be incorporated into an anti-McCain video, please leave a comment.
You can hear his 2001 Nightline quote here.
From 2001 (link):
"I never knew the border as a limitation. I'd be delighted if all of us could come and go between these two marvelous countries," Hernandez, 45, said in a recent interview...From 2002:
"Those who don't like [my activities with the Office and his dual citizenship], I'm sorry. But there are 20 million of us," Hernandez said. "There are 20 million people that have one foot here and one foot there."
...Hernandez has lobbied to make life easier for Mexican migrants in the United States. He has worked to cut the costs of money transfers, helped win lower tuition at Texas state universities and urged U.S. states to loosen restrictions on drivers' licenses [in addition to less controversial proposals]...
Writing in National Review (October 12, 1998) Jorge Amselle (like Linda Chavez, a pro-immigration Latino Republican) warned that, "The Mexican government through its promotion of bilingual education and of dual nationality and voting is actively subverting the assimilative process of Americanization…."UPDATE 3: Someone went to a McCain event and asked him about this; the question wasn't as good as could have been but at least it might have started the ball rolling. And, Mark Krikorian raises the possibility that Hernandez could be stripped of his U.S. citizenship due to working for the Mexican government, and also quotes from the oath that Vicente Fox gave; whether Hernandez' was the same or similar isn't known (link).
Amselle was referring to the official Mexican government policy of acercamiento ("getting closer" or "establishing a bond") to "Mexican communities abroad," meaning both Mexican citizens living in the United States and Mexican Americans who are U.S. citizens. This policy was started by the old PRI regime and has been considerably expanded by Fox. The spirit of this policy is exemplified by Juan Hernandez, a Texas-born Mexican-American dual citizen, who is Fox's cabinet minister for Mexicans Abroad...
...Two years ago, before Fox became president, his current national-security adviser, Adolfo Aguilar Zinser, advocated a policy in which the Mexican government would work politically with the "20 million Mexicans" in the U.S. to advance Mexican "national interests." In El Siglo de Torreon on May 5, 2000, Zinser attacked American attempts to stop illegal immigrants from crossing the border. He declared that "Mexicans are subjected every day to mean-spirited acts and their rights are permanently threatened by ambitious politicians who are hunting for the Anglo vote." After disparaging the "reactionary Senator Jessie Helms," Zinser recommended that Mexico "find allies in the U.S. political system" particularly among "Liberal Democrats, labor unions, civil rights organizations, and social movements."
UPDATE 4: The backstory of Hernandez' office being replaced with the IME is here, including a few more quotes from him.
UPDATE 5: Even as he works for McCain, Hernandez serves on the U.S. Council of Mexico's PAN Party (National Action Party): link, link.
 Let's take John McCain's spokesman at his word that Hernandez is a "non-paid volunteer" to the campaign. Being very precise will also help avoid McCain trying to obfuscate the issue. Note that, as pointed out at the first link in UPDATE 2, Hernandez is a Senior Fellow at the McCain-linked Reform Institute, and I'd imagine he's receiving some money for that. However, if you ask McCain about this craft the question in such a way that he can't raise minor points.
The presidential debates so far have been a mockery of a sham, featuring shallow questions, few follow-ups, and even worse in the case of the last CNN debate.
Please do not choose the following video for the upcoming GOP debates.
If you want to block an illegal alien amnesty, calling Congress is only going to go so far; many of our elected officials just aren't listening. That doesn't mean you shouldn't call, but an additional, even more effective way is to go to campaign appearances and ask tough questions, and then publicize the response. The goal is to discredit politicians and have an impact on their careers. That's something that will get their attention.
Here's one possible question for John McCain:
Dr. Richard Land is the president of the Southern Baptist Convention, and earlier today he appeared with Senator Teddy Kennedy and others at a Washington DC press conference to support immigration "reform" (aka a massive amnesty):
"...We also have a Biblical mandate to act compassionately for those that are in needm, Matthew 25... To love our neighbors as ourselves. Matthew 22. And to do onto others as we would have them do onto us, Matthew chapter 7, verse 12..."
Unlike other "leaders" you have a chance to speak to him one-on-one and tell him how he's wrong: he conducts a radio show each Saturday. I urge everyone to call in and ask him tough questions about what he supports, and let him know about all the aspects of this issue that both he and some of his listeners are no doubt unaware. There's a good chance that a large part of his flock will hear it and he might have to choose between supporting amnesty and being taken seriously by his congregation.
The show is called Richard Land Live! and it's on Saturday from 12pm to 3pm. The call-in number is 888-Faith 56 (888-324-8456). You can listen to the streaming version via links at his site: richardlandlive.com He's got call screeners, so make sure you can weave your question into one of the show's topics or otherwise get past the screener and get on the air.
Then, upload a tape recording of the *broadcast* (not the telephone call) to Youtube, and let's let everyone else know why he's wrong.
UPDATE: The press conference was organized by "Faith in Public Life", and they inform us that in addition to Land those present included "Rev. Sam Rodriguez, Executive Director of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference... Senators Kennedy, Menendez, Graham and Salazar, and Representatives Gutierrez and Flake." There are videos of the confab here: blog.faithinpubliclife.org/2007/03/faith_and_congressional_leader.html
That page has a comments form, and I suggest leaving comments on that and other entries designed to show how they're wrong.
Let Jim Wallis know how he's wrong.
Catholics: ask Joan Rosenhauer some tough questions
Humanitarians: why do you support people falling under trains?
Corrupt, irrational evangelicals supporting illegal immigration
Barack Obama Mania visited near-South Los Angeles earlier today, as the presidential candidate delivered a stock speech before a few hundred supporters at the Rancho Cienega Sports Complex. The speech was held outside in the bleachers of a softball field, and that made it a bit difficult to get a good photo.
Yesterday former Mexican foreign minister Jorge Castaneda spoke as part of the Los Angeles Public Library-associated Zocalo program. I attended (after first going to the library where I thought it would be and then rushing over to the Music Center where it actually was) and was able to ask him whether Mexico had a "Fifth Column" inside the U.S. His answer was somewhat in line with what you'd expect; feel free to skip ahead to read it.
JC discussed the political situation in Latin America and, among many other points, said he thinks there are two forms of leftism there: that represented by Castro, Hugo Chavez, and others, versus the other form represented by Lula, Bachelet, and others. He's not in favor of the former group, but he thinks LA needs more of the latter. (Later on he said, in effect, that it's good that there's a needler like Chavez around, but that no one had really appointed him to the role he fills.)
Then, he moved to the topic of immigration:
* Thinks that Fox's making of immigration "accord" one of his key issues was necessary, not just to get the accord but to prevent a "wall" from being built when Fox first started pushing it. He thinks a "wall" would have been built without Fox taking such a pose.
* Thinks Fox was right about going for an all-inclusive approach (what JC called "the whole enchilada" and what "our" politicians call "comprehensive").
* Thinks it's hypocritical for the U.S. to have its only migration treaty (emphasis on the bilateral nature of treaties) with their "top" enemy Cuba, but not to have one with their "best" friend to the south.
* Thinks the Senate massive amnesty scheme is "good".
* Is "relatively confident" that the "wall"/"fence" (he switched back and forth between those terms, as others do) won't be built.
* Thinks 9/11 gave the Bush administration a pretext to pull back from previous joint statements they'd made with Mexico vis-a-vis immigration.
I asked him about this blurb from 2002:
[Mexico's foreign minister Jorge] Castaneda said Mexican officials will begin rallying unions, churches, universities and Mexican communities... "What's important is that American society sees a possible migratory agreement in a positive light," Castaneda said. "We are already giving instructions to our consulates that they begin propagating militant activities -- if you will -- in their communities."
I mentioned that some of the organizers of the recent immigration marches have links to the Mexican government, and specifically refered to a non-organizer, the ACLU, being part of a group with other groups that have such links. (Later, from the floor, I mentioned that one of his former consuls also organized a march.)
AFAIK, the only paper that published the blurb above was the Houston Chronicle, and it was on the same page as two other blurbs. (The page where it was returns a 404, but you can find it by signing in and searching their archives for parts of the text). However, he refered to something appearing in the New York Times and said that Bush and Powell had been upset about what he said, and Powell had spoken to him about it. Since this was four years ago, he may have been confused over which quote this was.
In any case, he went on to defend the quote, saying that he doesn't think there's a Fifth Column in the U.S. and that he's not aware of any links between the Mexican government and the immigration march organizers. (I made it clear later from the floor that I wasn't saying those organizers were directed by Mexico, only that there were links). He supported Mexico's right to defend their people. He also supports the country of Mexico working with groups in the U.S., and he said that when Powell complained about his statement he told him that "I'm working for you on this matter": by getting such groups involved he could help acheive the "accord" that both Mexico and the U.S. government (just not most of the governed) want.
He thinks attempts to look for a Fifth Column are "barking up the wrong tree". He thinks it's OK for Mexico to be involved with U.S. groups provided it's done in an aboveboard, open, legal fashion. (The only problem is that, because of the corrupt press, such links aren't being publicized.)
Then, he engaged in a tu quoque argument, refering to U.S. meddling in Latin America.
In retrospect, there wasn't really much use in asking this question, aside from the fact that it probably made Andres Martinez a little uncomfortable to have someone mention facts that his newspaper, given its druthers, would rather not mention. As foreign minister, Castaneda was just doing his job. The question above, and many others, need to be asked of our elected officials and find out why they aren't doing their jobs.