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Tea Party Patriots, ForAmerica mostly ignore immigration for futile anti-Obamacare effort ("Exempt America" tour) - 08/22/13

The Congressional townhall events of August were a perfect time to block comprehensive immigration reform (aka amnesty), yet few have showed up so far. The reaction to amnesty in 2013 is much more muted than it was in 2007.

Why Megan Garber isn't credible (The Atlantic, racist tweets) - 11/09/12

Is Megan Garber - a staff writer at The Atlantic - a credible source? Let's take a brief look and find out.

She offers "Where America's Racist Tweets Come From" [1] in which she hypes a "study" by "Floating Sheep" (!) mapping supposed racist tweets issued after Barack Obama's reelection. The study is flawed for two main reasons:

Ask The Atlantic evades a tough immigration question (Garance Franke-Ruta, amnesty) - 09/14/12

Earlier today, Garance Franke Ruta of The Atlantic conducted a live chat and continually evaded my attempts to ask about the negative impact that Obama's amnesty will have on struggling American workers.

Beth Reinhard misleads about immigration (The Atlantic, National Journal) - 01/23/12

Beth Reinhard writes about immigration and other matters for both The Atlantic and National Journal (and formerly the Miami Herald).

Here are four fairly recent comments I've left on her entries at the first two locations:

Why Ta-Nehisi Coates isn't credible (banned by The Atlantic) - 07/28/10

Ta Nehisi Coates of The Atlantic has a habit of banning those who disagree with him or show how he's wrong, and that means that what he writes can't be trusted: he's disabled fact-checking. Instead of engaging those who disagree and trying to present a counter-argument he's more interested in creating an echo chamber of those who agree with him.

Nicole Allan /The Atlantic misleads about immigration, Tancredo - 07/26/10

Here are two comments I left on recent blog posts by Nicole Allan of The Atlantic discussing her misleading about immigration matters. Please send a tweet @MarcAmbinder with your thoughts:

1. Left here:

Katherine Mangu-Ward doesn't think jobs in America are more valuable than jobs in China - 06/24/10

Megan McArdle of The Atlantic is on her honeymoon, leaving her blog in the hands of libertarians even more extremist and lunatic than she is [1]. One of those is Katherine Mangu Ward of Reason Magazine who, referring to a U.S. ironing board factory that was propped up with tariffs, says [2]:

Econ 101 aside, though, there's a more compelling moral reason to condemn this kind of tariff that should help break deadlocks like Matt's: Jobs lost at home are usually jobs created elsewhere, typically in poorer countries. If anything, jobs are likely to be gained when an industry moves to China, where more aspects of the manufacturing and assembly process are done by hand. They just won't be created here. If that's your focus, you have to make the case that American jobs are intrinsically better or more valuable than Chinese jobs.

Libertarians - at least of the Beltway variety - are globalists. They have little or no loyalty to their fellow citizens. For the ideologues among them, their loyalty is to their aberrant ideology and their skewed vision of the market. For others, it's simply to whoever cuts their checks such as the Koch family. Note that even some libertarians call Mangu-Ward on her statement, but try finding a libertarian leader doing the same.

Lee Sherman of Mint cowardly gives in to illegal immigration supporters (Timothy Lee, Megan McArdle, Dave Weigel, Ezra Klein, Max Read) - 06/18/10

Over the past couple of days, the illegal immigration-supporting establishment's junior league flexed their muscles, trying to get the site Mint dot com to delete a post giving statistics about the negative impacts of immigration. And, they won, with Mint editor Lee Sherman (also of Intuit) completely caving with what must be one of the most cowardly apologies ever.

Ron Paul was right: Federal Reserve had involvement in Watergate, money sent to Saddam Hussein (Ben Bernanke) - 02/25/10

Yesterday, Rep. Ron Paul quizzed Ben Bernanke of the Federal Reserve about that group's involvement in relation to Watergate and to the funding of Saddam Hussein of Iraq (video: peekURL.com/vqxfnme ). Bernanke called that questioning "absolutely bizarre", and several sources (some listed below) joined in.

As it turns out, the Fed in fact did have some sort of involvement with both Watergate and with money that was sent to Saddam, as documented in the book "Deception and Abuse at the Fed: Henry B. Gonzalez Battles Alan Greenspan's Bank" (link). From the blurb:

...Robert Auerbach, a former [U.S. House of Representatives] banking committee investigator, recounts major instances of Fed mismanagement and abuse of power that were exposed by Rep. Gonzalez, including: * Blocking Congress and the public from holding powerful Fed officials accountable by falsely declaring--for 17 years--it had no transcripts of its meetings; * Manipulating the stock and bond markets in 1994 under cover of a preemptive strike against inflation; * Allowing $5.5 billion to be sent to Saddam Hussein from a small Atlanta branch of a foreign bank--the result of faulty bank examination practices by the Fed; * Stonewalling Congressional investigations and misleading the Washington Post about the $6,300 found on the Watergate burglars. Auerbach provides documentation of these and other abuses at the Fed, which confirms Rep. Gonzalez's belief that no government agency should be allowed to operate with the secrecy and independence in which the Federal Reserve has shrouded itself. Auerbach concludes with recommendations for specific, broad-ranging reforms that will make the Fed accountable to the government and the people of the United States.

See also hnn.us/blogs/entries/123737.html and this.

Here are some of those who reflexively supported Bernanke without doing even a little bit of research. The reader is encouraged to add more in comments. Unless otherwise noted, all of the following mock Paul in one way or other, none of them even hint that the Fed was in fact involved in some ways with both issues, and none of them have corrections at post time:

* AllahPundit hotair.com/archives/2010/02/24/ron-paul-grills-bernanke-
wasnt-the-fed-involved-with-saddam-and-in-watergate (no correction at post time)

* Sudeep Reddy of the Wall Street Journal
blogs.wsj.com/economics/2010/02/24/
ron-paul-on-watergate-saddam-hussein-and-the-federal-reserve/

* NPR npr.org/blogs/money/2010/02/
ron_paul_ben_bernanke_and_wate.html

* Heather Horn of The Atlantic theatlanticwire.com/opinions/view/opinion/
Happy-Hour-Vid-Ron-Paul-Sees-Feds-Hand-in-Watergate-Saddam-Hussein-2641

* Elizabeth MacDonald of Fox News' business channel:
emac.blogs.foxbusiness.com/2010/02/24/prof-bernanke-instructs-congress-again

* Jordan Fabian of The Hill doesn't mock Paul but also doesn't provide background: thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/
83517-bernanke-calls-ron-pauls-allegations-absolutely-bizarre

* Huffington Post huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/24/ben-bernanke-snaps-at-ron_n_474874.html (Note that one of their contributors posted a link to the book at huffingtonpost.com/j-bradley-jansen/bizarre-bernanke_b_475230.html)

Please add more in comments.

UPDATE: Paul has read into the Congressional Record a statement he received from Auerbach (link):

I thank Congressman Ron Paul for bringing to the public’s attention the Federal Reserve coverup of the source of the Watergate burglars’ source of funding and the defective audit by the Federal Reserve of the bank that transferred $5.5 billion from the U.S. government to Saddam Hussein in the 1980s. Congressman Paul directed these comments to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke at the House Financial Services Hearing February 24, 2010. I question Chairman Bernanke’s dismissive response...

Politifact "Lie of the Year" misleads (Angie Drobnic Holan; Sarah Palin's "death panels") - 12/19/09

Politifact has named Sarah Palin's claim about there being "death panels" in Obama healthcare as their lie of the year; it was the top "lie" selected by both their editors and their readers.

Going Rogue: Andrew Sullivan pretends he didn't "run" with the Sarah Palin pregnancy story - 11/20/09

In her book "Going Rogue", Sarah Palin claims that The Atlantic (meaning Andrew Sullivan) "ran" with the disgusting story claiming that Trig Palin was actually the son of her daughter. Sullivan takes umbrage at her claim, saying that he never "ran" with the story but simply asked questions.

Lindsey Graham slams Glenn Beck; "Birthers" are "crazy" (The Atlantic's First Draft of History) - 10/01/09

The Atlantic is conducting a corporate-sponsored series of interviews they call the "First Draft of History". Me, I call them EstablishmentHackapaooza. Earlier today, one segment featured Sen. Lindsay Graham being interviewed by Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic (firstdraftofhistory.theatlantic.com/analysis/graham_the_loyal_opposition.php). As could be expected, Graham wasn't exactly challenged on the various things he said.

McCain campaign - not Palin - came up with "palling around"; Schmidt regrets largely true ad - 07/10/09

Marc Ambinder has an advance copy (link) of a book about the 2008 elections from Dan Balz and Haynes Johnson, and it might contain a good number of behind-the-scenes tidbits.

For instance, one of the mistakes that Sarah Palin made was to claim that Barack Obama was "palling around" with Bill Ayers.

Except, it was Nicolle Wallace of the McCain campaign - and not Palin - that came up with the "palling around" bit.

That allowed the mainstream media to mislead about the relationship between the two, dismissing that relationship by pointing out that they weren't close friends and using that distraction to cover up the series of past links between them. See the contemporaneous coverage of the article from Scott Shane of the New York Times. Despite the fact that that article tried to cover up the relationship, Wallace wrote the following:

"Governor and Team: rick [Davis], Steve [Schmidt] and I suggest the following attack from the new york times. If you are comfortable, please deliver the attack as written. Please do not make any changes to the below without approval from steve or myself because precision is crucial in our ability to introduce this."

Actual "precision" would have involved pointing out that they had a series of affiliations and that the NYT wasn't telling the whole truth about that. Wallace's idea of "precision" hurt Palin and the McCain campaign.

Further, Ambinder says:

At a post-campaign discussion I attended a few months ago, Schmidt said that he regrets two attacks: an ad linking Obama with an Illinois sex-ed program and the decision to go after Obama's friendship with Ayers.

The Illinois sex-ed ad - the one Schmidt regrets - was largely true.

Republicans that Obama administration listens to include McCain, Schwarzenegger, and Mel Martinez (on immigration) - 06/10/09

From our "For What It's Worth" department, Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic offers "The Six Top Republicans Obama Listens To" [1]. He doesn't provide a source for his information, but it could happen. Especially since all those listed are RINOs.

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

HuffPost, The Atlantic, LGF, Gawker, Sullivan, C&L, & more spread smear video (Glenn Beck, "burn the books") - 04/12/09

The attached video is a local meetup for Glenn Beck's "912 Project" and features someone who's probably genuine giving an anti-Communism and partly paranoid rant. However, near the five minute mark, a lady's voice is heard shouting out "burn the books". She's then challenged by a male attendee who asks her whether she's serious; she replies that yes she is.

Marc Ambinder pretends Obama's citizenship isn't a "legit" topic - 12/03/08

Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic - a blogger who tries to pretend that he's a real reporter - offers "Discourse Watch: Obama's Citizenship A Legit Topic?" (link) in which he falsely states that questions over where exactly Barack Obama was born are "specious" and have "been convincingly refuted". At his post, the last bit links to Snopes, which is not a reliable source.

In fact, where exactly Barack Obama was born has not been definitively proven. Ambinder might want it to be in the U.S., but that's simply wishful thinking. Statements from Obama himself are not proof, since he might not even know. JPEGs on websites - especially one run by an organization that receives money from a foundation that also funded an organization led by Obama - are not definitive proof. In fact, Obama has studiously avoided providing even basic information about his past, including not just his vault birth certificate but also his college applications and other documentation.

It is simply false to state that we definitively know where Obama was born. And, Ambinder is simply an establishment hack who wants to substitute what might be a useful fiction for the truth.

He also goes further:

Today, the Townhall.com spotlight [an advertising supplement] features a fundraising plea from a foundation [the United States Justice Foundation, link] that wants to prove, in court, that Barack Obama wasn't born in the United States and is therefore ineligible to be president and therefore wants to do a whole lot of bad things involving amnesty, illegal aliens and the United Nations.

Hack that he is, Ambinder didn't include the whole ad, but presumably the "bad things" refers to ending birthright citizenship, something that is certainly a valid topic for discussion. And, presumably they want to block amnesty, something that is not a "bad thing" but which is supported by millions of Americans, and would be supported by a vast majority if they weren't constantly lied to by hacks like Ambinder.

UPDATE: No matter what I do, trackbacks I send to Ambinder's entries never show up. This site should have sent an automatic ping, I clicked the link twice in an attempt to invoke auto-discovery, and I twice got a success message from some PHP code I wrote to use a trackback class. It's almost like Ambinder doesn't have the guts to approve trackbacks that show how much of a hack he is.

UPDATE 2: He offers a follow-up called "Beating The Dead Donkey: Your Next President Is Eligible For His Job" [1]. I haven't verified the rest of it, but the following is a lie:

Well, his birth certificate is valid, for one thing; it's survived scrutiny and has been sanctioned as valid by the legal authority empowered to sanction such things. A conspiracy to cover this up is -- would be -- preposterous.

Once again: the state of Hawaii has not "sanctioned" his cert, they've only said it's on file. "Sanctioning" it - i.e., validating it - would be illegal without Obama's permission, something that he has not given.

[1] 8/24/10 UPDATE: The Donkey link above appears to have disappeared; it was originally at
marcambinder.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/12/_citizen_yes_but_not.php. An excerpt is here.

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

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

NAU apologists - 11/24/06

[List below updated 12/11/07]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3/22/07 UPDATE:
* Ezra of People for the American Way's Right Wing Watch says, among other things (rightwingwatch.org/2007/03/phyllis_schlafl_2.html):

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

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

6/27/07 UPDATE:
* Joshua Holland, staff writer for Alternet, joins the list with "Debunking the North American Union Conspiracy Theory" (alternet.org/audits/54184). He can't even get past the second paragraph without violating Godwin's Rule:

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

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

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

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

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

* In early August 2007, Stephen Colbert had a little bit of "fun": youtube.com/watch?v=Ookak1IQJ3U

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

* The Fox News "all stars" (Fred Barnes, Juan Williams, and Charles Krauthammer with host Brit Hume) play the Bush quote and then have a bit of fun here: youtube.com/watch?v=TT4tBvRDy38 Krauthammer whitewashes the Bilderberg conferences, saying that he went to one. He compares those who think the NAU is possible to those who believe that Elvis is still alive. Barnes and Williams join in with the "fun". Just because these three idiots say people aren't pushing for it shouldn't be taken as proof that it is being pushed, but...

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

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

12/03/07 UPDATE: Gretel Kovach of Newsweek offers a very weak debunking attempt of the NAFTA Superhighway and the NAU in "Highway To Hell?" (newsweek.com/id/73372). That's linked to by the Washington Post's "Fact Checker", Michael Dobbs (blog.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2007/12/a_superhighway_to_nowhere.html), who offers his own weak attempt. And, on 11/30/07, Stephen Braun of the Los Angeles Times offered "Paul believes in threat of North American superhighway" (link). It's similar to the WaPo's "Fact Checker" article, including a Stephen Colbert "joke". And:

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

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

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