the nation

The Nation magazine

Far-left magazine that "Helps the Power" instead of being like lefties of old and "Fighting the Power". That might be explained by the fact that their editor and publisher is Katrina vanden Heuvel, a member of the CFR (Council on Foreign Relations).

The Nation spent a year investigating Lou Dobbs, after he'd lost his CNN spot and after he'd changed his immigration position to be more like theirs. The most they came up with was that he'd contracted with a company that might have hired a few illegal aliens. What they won't do is follow the real money: immigration banks. Instead, they promote policies that would harm regular Americans while profiting the elite.

Instead of "Questioning Authority" as lefties of old did, they were involved in a scheme to solicit puffball questions for Obama.

They've also attempted to debunk the North American Union scheme - a scheme promoted by the CFR of which vanden Heuvel is a member - over the objections of their readers (see the 8/13/07 UPDATE at that link).

Last modified Dec 1, 2010
Discussed in (click each link for the full post):

Immigration and the Council on Foreign Relations - 10/12/10

There's a list of supposed members of the Council on Foreign Relations here, including both famous and non-famous names. Can anyone find any public figures on that list who oppose illegal immigration (for real) or who even support reducing legal immigration? If so, please leave a comment.

In the meantime, here are some of their members who are on the wrong side; this list will be updated with new names occasionally:

The Nation amnesty editorial lies, smears, promotes anti-American policy (Lou Dobbs) - 10/08/10

Day Two of the Lou Dobbs Saga continues, with The Nation offering the editorial "Make It Legal" (thenation.com/article/155228/make-it-legal). I'll show below why you can't trust The Nation and how their editorial lies, smears, and promotes bad, anti-American policy.

In the first paragraph they falsely state that Meg Whitman's campaign "has at times been vehemently anti-immigrant" which begs the question which universe they live in. Opposing illegal immigration isn't "anti-immigrant", and moreover Whitman hasn't opposed illegal immigration to a great extent as discussed at the last link. Whitman has tried to ignore immigration, she opposes the new Arizona law and Proposition 187 (see her Spanish-language billboards), and she's bent over backwards to pander to Hispanics. Her two strongest positions are opposing letting illegal aliens into some colleges and taking a "secure the border first, then we'll discuss amnesty" position ("When there are no more illegal immigrants coming across the border then the border is secure. And once we have that then we can talk about what the right thing to do is." here). Neither of those are tough, and the latter contradicts her earlier support for a "path to legalization". No one is going to find Whitman taking a tough stance on illegal immigration, much less being "anti-immigrant" as the Nation claims.

Moving on:

Now Lou Dobbs, the former CNN host who made his name with nightly rants against "illegal aliens" and their "illegal employers," joins Whitman's ranks. It turns out that Dobbs has employed at least five undocumented workers in recent years through his landscaping and horse stable contractors. Like Whitman, who may have received a Social Security no-match letter and knew Diaz was unable to travel outside the country, Dobbs and his champion horse-riding daughter, Hillary, must have been in deep denial. The landscaping and horse grooming trades depend heavily on undocumented workers. One immigrant who tended the gardens at a Dobbs estate said the landscaping contractor who employed him never pushed for a "good Social Security number." Dobbs told his gardener to call him "Luis." Whitman described Diaz as "a friend of our family." Yet there appears to have been a tacit understanding in these friendly relationships: some things would not be discussed.

The above is sleazy innuendo and in a legal sense Dobbs didn't "employ" anyone through anyone else as the Nation states; that appears to be an attempt to mislead people into thinking that Dobbs was the employer when that's not the case. In some cases, those who are contractors are in fact full-time employees and the government can force them to be reclassified as such (see this), but that doesn't apply in this case as at least the landscapers were only on Dobbs' property for short periods and no doubt did work for others. Further, just because someone speaks Spanish doesn't mean they're here illegally as the Nation implies. The last sentence is sleazy mind-reading.

Then, we have an outright lie:

With the investigative report in this issue by Isabel Macdonald, we are not out merely to play a game of gotcha. Of course Whitman and Dobbs are hypocrites: they have called publicly for tougher enforcement of immigration laws, claiming it is necessary to protect American workers and their wages, while privately refusing fair pay and humane treatment to their own immigrant workers, who were too afraid of getting caught in the enforcement net to stand up for their rights. Instead they were left working extra hours off the clock (Whitman's maid) or earning poverty wages (Dobbs's gardeners). But the more important revelation here is that undocumented workers are so thoroughly woven into the fabric of our economy that even two professional immigrant-bashers found it difficult to avoid relying on their labor.

Whitman's housekeeper was in fact her "worker". However, the supposed illegal aliens from the Nation article are not Dobbs' "workers"; the Nation lies two times in the paragraph above. Further, neither Whitman nor Dobbs are "immigrant-bashers", and as discussed above Whitman is weak on the immigration issue. As for the "rights" of the supposed illegal aliens from the article, there's nothing I can see alleging a violation of actual rights; if there were, the Nation would surely have contacted government authorities. In fact, the Nation is seeking to confer extra-legal rights to foreign citizens who are here illegally.

As for hypocrisy, that's a weak charge that's one step up from an ad hominem, and one question raised by the paragraph above is whether the Nation really cares about "protect[ing] American workers and their wages". If there were no illegal aliens in the U.S., wouldn't those workers the Nation discusses be working for higher wages under better conditions? Why isn't The Nation supporting that, and instead they're enabling even more illegal immigration? The Nation won't support immigration enforcement now; can anyone see them supporting enforcement later, as there are even more illegal aliens in the U.S. lowering U.S. wages and working standards? Large numbers of low-skilled U.S. workers are in competition with illegal aliens, and The Nation is taking the side of illegal aliens.

Then, they mislead about what Dobbs wants:

On any given day, we've all probably eaten fruit harvested by undocumented workers or meat they butchered. These workers also make possible the lifestyles enjoyed by wealthy Americans like Dobbs and Whitman, with their estates and grounds and stables. How these millions of workers could be extracted from their jobs and deported without causing massive disruption not only to their lives but to the entire economy defies the imagination. Yet this is what Dobbs demands with his call for ever tougher enforcement.

One might expect The Nation to oppose the wealthy using cheap, illegal labor rather than American workers working for good wages under good conditions. Instead, they're promoting the opposite, just as strongly as corporate tool Tamar Jacoby. As discussed at the last link, "[currently a] meatpacker makes roughly $10 an hour, which is the same wage paid in 1980", due to an influx of cheap and illegal foreign labor. The Nation isn't opposing that: they're supporting and promoting it.

Further, The Nation is lying about Dobbs' position: he's never supported mass deportations, and in January of this year he admitted that he supports amnesty, guest workers, and chain migration. Hasn't The Nation been paying attention? Dobbs is now more on their side than mine.

One way to solve this that neither The Nation nor the current version of Dobbs would like is attrition, where we ramp-up enforcement and reduce benefits to illegal aliens, causing many to leave. Around a million illegal aliens have in fact left the U.S. due to no doubt to the economic downturn, and that number could be increased with attrition. Over time, large numbers of illegal aliens would leave and their jobs filled by American workers working for better wages under better conditions. Since that would take place over time, there would be little disruption and that would also spur development of, for instance, newer and better crop-picking machinery and the like. And, that would also be better policy for sending countries. Many countries are to a certain extent satellites of the U.S. due to their reliance on remittances (money sent home by foreign citizens in the U.S.) Massive immigration to the U.S. turns parts of Mexico into ghost towns at the same time as it enriches their corrupt elite and also deprives Mexico of energetic citizens who might press the Mexican government for reform.

Where is The Nation in all of this? On the side of corrupt employers and corrupt foreign governments.

Then:

Despite its populist veneer, the anti-immigration hysteria fomented by Dobbs and his ilk pits American workers against immigrants for the benefit of the corporate class. The United Farm Workers recently called the bluff of those who accuse immigrants of job-stealing with their Take Our Jobs campaign, in which US workers were invited to join them in their backbreaking toil—and found very few takers (aside from Stephen Colbert).

Dobbs didn't before and certainly doesn't now foment such "hysteria". And, those who are helping the "corporate class" are The Nation themselves: their policies would provide the "corporate class" with a ready supply of cheap and most likely illegal labor. It's The Nation that opposes immigration enforcement and that would - even if millions of current illegal aliens are legalized - allow the "corporate class" to encourage the importation of even more illegal labor. The Nation won't stand against the "corporate class" now, and they won't stand against them later. Instead, as they're doing now, they'll help them while trying to hide behind a veneer of pretending to oppose them.

As for the Take Our Jobs campaign, it's not surprising that The Nation would support it as it's an anti-American, pro-abuse plan that ran down American workers as the same time as it promoted abusive working conditions. The Nation has a great deal of trouble being on the right side of anything.

Finally:

If immigrants had a straightforward path to legalization, they could step out of the shadows of the US economy and stand with American workers to demand decent treatment for all. That might make it slightly more expensive for Lou Dobbs to maintain his multimillion-dollar properties - but it's a price he ought to pay.

1. They're using the living in the shadows canard, as has almost every other corrupt supporter of massive immigration from Barack Obama to George W Bush (and including the aforementioned Tamar Jacoby).

2. Their obsession with Dobbs continues; he appears to have really gotten to them despite the fact that he's now mostly on their same side. And, their last swipe at him is just a sleazy ad hominem: most likely Dobbs could and wouldn't mind paying more for his landscaping and the like. The real issue is the sales job that The Nation is trying to make to the rest of us, promoting as they do above cheap illegal labor picking fruit or processing meat. The Nation is using Dobbs as a scapegoat to promote policies that, once again, would benefit the "corporate class" they claim to oppose.

3. Finally, The Nation is using the immigration wage floor talking point; see the link for a description of what that it and why it's wrong. The Nation would add new competition for millions of low-wage American workers and at the same time spur even more illegal immigration, thereby negatively affecting even more low-wage American workers.

For example, let's say that we follow The Nation's prescription and legalize 10 million illegal aliens. Some segment of them will leave low-wage jobs (such as fruit picking) for higher-wage jobs (such as cashiering). Illegal aliens can only do certain categories of jobs; under The Nation's plan, the newly-legalized could do any job for which they're qualified [1]. That will lower wages for previously higher-wage jobs, driving large numbers of Americans out of work. That will also leave a gap at the very lowest end of the wage scale: fruit pickers and so on. What will happen then? The same thing that's happening now: corrupt businesses will in effect pay off politicians to look the other way on illegal immigration just as they do now. And, The Nation will do then the same thing they do now: provide cover for that by opposing immigration enforcement. The Nation won't support immigration enforcement now; what makes anyone think that The Nation would support enforcement later?

If you think The Nation supports good policies and American workers, think again: they're part of the problem. Don't help them.

And, if anyone disagrees with anything in this post or has any questions, feel free to leave a comment.

[1] One way around that is the AgJOBS way, which involves a form of indentured servitude: it would keep the newly-legalized on the farm for a few years if they wanted to be able to get on the "path to citizenship". That's the plan that Stephen Colbert supported before Congress, the one that's proposed by "Take Our Jobs". Instead of opposing a form of indentured servitude, The Nation supports it.

Isabel MacDonald admits Lou Dobbs didn't hire illegal aliens (The Nation) - 10/07/10

Earlier today, The Nation released an article called "Lou Dobbs, American Hypocrite" (link) by independent "journalist" Isabel MacDonald of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting.

It's been taken by most to say that Dobbs employed or hired illegal aliens, when in fact a close reading shows she doesn't make that claim. In fact, there's no evidence in the article that he actually hired or employed illegal aliens: they were employed by others who did work for Dobbs or with whom Dobbs had a services contract. Thus, anyone who says that Dobbs hired or employed illegal aliens is at least making an unsupported claim and in some cases may be intentionally lying. (This is similar to past false stories about Mitt Romney and Tom Tancredo.)

Dobbs denies any such claims here. Further, Dobbs had MacDonald on his radio program earlier today (audio if it becomes available) and she admitted that she has no proof that he hired illegal aliens. Dobbs eviscerated her and showed just how much of a "reporter" she is.

And, Roy Beck of Numbers USA has this to say (link):

I had a few quick minutes to read it before going on the radio show to comment. But it immediately looked to me like the alleged illegal workers had been hired by a company with which Dobbs had contracted. That is, they had not been hired by Dobbs himself.

This was basically confirmed on the radio show when Macdonald said it isn't clear that Dobbs ever actually hired any of the workers who have told Macdonald that they are "undocumented" but have worked at Dobb's farm.

I made the point that it appears Dobbs has done nothing illegal. In fact, federal law basically prohibits people like you, me and Dobbs from asking workers about their legal status if they have been hired by an outside company.

So, if someone claims that Dobbs hired illegal aliens, send them this link and demand a correction.

The above isn't a defense of Lou Dobbs; see the link. Rather, this is yet another example of how you can't trust the illegal immigration-supporting establishment: they'll say most anything to protect their quest for money and power. They also have a great ability to get stories like this out there, with many willing to play along and few willing to ask questions.

Those who'll benefit from stories like this are corrupt banks, businesses, politicians, and countries. Someone like Isabel MacDonald might think she's "Fighting The Power", when all she's doing is helping "The Power" make more money and obtain more power.

UPDATE: An interview with Dobbs, MacDonald, and Lawrence ODonnell is at http://peekURL.com/v5f1lv4 at which MacDonald says:

I will grant you that I don't have evidence that you directly, knowingly employed any undocumented worker. All I'm saying is that they labored on your property.

She also, of course, accuses him of hypocrisy. It's also clear from the video that they're attacking someone who's more on their side than on mine: Dobbs and MacDonald both generally support comprehensive immigration reform, aka amnesty.

UPDATE: And, here's how The Nation supports bad, anti-American policy.

Eric Alterman on "F*cking Nascar retards" who he didn't have to listen to after McCain loss - 07/21/10

On November 7, 2008, shortly after Barack Obama won the election, Laura Rozen of Politico began a thread on the private Journolist mailing list asking others to name those who they were "grateful we no longer have to listen to".

Huffington Post "correction": deletes one bogus Limbaugh quote, but not both (Huberman, Nation Books) UPDATED: both quotes gone - 10/15/09

As has been in the news recently, Rush Limbaugh has been attacked for various quotes he's made, and some sources have gone as far as attacking him using bogus quotes. One of those completely bogus quotes concerned James Earl Ray and was discussed here back in June.

Now, the Huffington Post - apparently in response to this blog post - has issued a non-correction correction to a 2006 post containing the bogus quote. That HuffPost post was from Jack Huberman and was a promotion for his book "101 People Who Are REALLY Screwing America (and Bernard Goldberg is Only #73" (published by The Nation Books). Not only is it not a real correction, but they only deleted one of the bogus quotes dealing with slavery, and did not delete the bogus James Earl Ray quote. The page huffingtonpost.com/jack-huberman/rush-limbaugh-is-still-sc_b_24724.html now has this prepended:

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this post contained quotes attributed to Rush Limbaugh, which Limbaugh has since denied making. As is our policy when a fact in a blog post is called into question, we gave its author 24 hours to substantiate the quote. Since he has not been able to do so, the quotes have been deleted from the post.

I saved a copy of the page and took a screengrab, and only the slavery quote was deleted, not the Ray one. If that changes an update will be provided.

UPDATE: They've now deleted the Ray quote too.

Amanda Terkel of ThinkProgress' despicable smear of Sean Hannity - 06/24/09

In a post about white supremacist radio host Hal Turner being arrested by the FBI earlier today for making threats against judges, Amanda Terkel of ThinkProgress (run by the Center for American Progress) says (thinkprogress.org/2009/06/24/hal-turner-arrest/):

As the Nation has pointed out, Turner has ties to Fox News’ Sean Hannity. In fact, Hannity has “offered his top-rated radio show as a regular forum for Turner’s occasionally racist, always over-the-top rants.” Hannity would also reportedly offer Turner “encouragement” to overcome his cocaine habit and “homosexual leanings.”

Bolding added. For the truth about this matter, see this March 2008 post. Note also that both uses of "has" above (especially the second) falsely imply a current and continuing relationship. The "reportedly" bit is based on uncorroborated statements by Turner himself. Even a hack like Jason Linkins of the Huffington Post has provided some sort of a clarification on his post, pointing out that Hannity's radio producer has noted a series of holes in Turner's account (choose "HuffPost's picks" on the comments popup at huffingtonpost.com/2008/03/23/sean-hannity-confronted-o_n_92961.html and do a find for PhilBoyceWABC). Note also that the original report on this was from Max Blumenthal, not exactly a credible source. Even some readers of the Nation point out how bad Blumenthal's report was (thenation.com/bletters/20050620/blumenthal).

UPDATE: Terkel has posted an update:

In 2008, Hannity tried to claim that he had never heard of Turner, but eventually said that he had "banned" him from his show 10 years ago.

That links to [1]. Perhaps Terkel could explain why the body of her post still falsely implies a continuing relationship.

[1] newshounds.us/2008/03/20/
hannity_denies_past_association_with_white_supremacist_but_evidence_suggests_otherwise.php

WikiQuote's bogus, circular smear of Rush Limbaugh (Jack Huberman; James Earl Ray quote) - 06/17/09

Wikiquote - affiliated with Wikipedia - is using as a source for an almost assuredly bogus and highly inflammatory Rush Limbaugh quote a book that was published 10 months after the unattributed quote was added to the same Wikiquote page.

The 06:01, 20 July 2005 revision of en.wikiquote.org/w/index.php?title=Rush_Limbaugh (by someone using the IP address 69.64.213.146, more at [1]) was the first appearance in the entry of this supposed Rush quote:

You know who deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor? James Earl Ray [the confessed assassin of Martin Luther King]. We miss you, James. Godspeed.

No source was provided, but a "source" would be forthcoming just 10 months later. The book "101 People Who Are Really Screwing America" by Jack Huberman (published by The Nation on May 23, 2006) contains that quote and is used on the current version of the Wikiquote page as the source.

In other words, an unattributed quote that appeared out of nowhere was then published in a book ten months later. Now, the only source of the quote that Wikiquote provides is... the very same book.

Note that the date of the supposed quote was first given as 2/21/03. Just three minutes later, the same IP address changed the date to 4/23/98. Note also that the quote is currently in a "Disputed" section, but the same IP address was at least until recently still actively editing that entry and has moved it out into the main part of the page at least twice. In fact, the 00:22, 10 December 2008 edit by that same IP address includes this note:

The book claims Limbaugh as a primary source for over thirty quotes. Therefore, the book uses a primary source. Vidiot, please review defs of "primary" and "secondary."

Circularity!

See this for more on how the bogus quote was spread. Among those using the bogus quote were Rachel Maddow (link). Others are listed here.

The book page containing the quote is here. Amazon's page on the book, listing the publication date, is here. The copyright date is listed inside the book as 2006. And, in a June 3, 2006 entry on the Huffington Post, the author himself referred to it as his "just-published book" (huffingtonpost.com/jack-huberman/whos-screwing-america-bat_b_22140.html).

In the book, Huberman lists several quotes, saying that many of them "come from just the short period that Media Matters monitored", providing as a footnote May 2, 2004's "Meet the New Rush, Same as the Old Rush" (mediamatters.org/research/200405020008). The Ray quote doesn't appear on that page, and no other source or specific date is provided in that section of Huberman's book.

6/20/09 UPDATE: I haven't received a reply to either email I sent to The Nation asking about this. Maybe if enough people asked them they might respond: nationbooks.org/p/contact_us

10/13/09 UPDATE: The update above was mistakenly given as a "2/20/09 UPDATE"; that was a typo and the update was actually posted on 6/20/09. I never heard back from The Nation.

10/15/09 UPDATE: See also this post discussing why this matters and related issues, and note also that the Huffington Post has issued a non-correction correction.

[1] The IP address might now be banned at Wikiquote. It might be a dynamic address, but that doesn't seem likely. A person using the name "michelleknows" used the same IP to post three messages at a forum; her user page is at forums.s2smagazine.com/member.php?s=e9403090394eaf26f99ec5bc853bfad7&u=13499
"Melissa & Rob" posted a message using that IP address to disc.yourwebapps.com/discussion.cgi?disc=222664;article=6520;title=Ludwig%27s%20Doodles%20Chat however, they might have been using that IP address as a proxy server; the originating IP is different.

John Nichols /The Nation pushes bogus flu pandemic preparedness issue; distraction from Obama admin, Dem failures - 04/27/09

John Nichols of The Nation offers "GOP Know-Nothings Fought Pandemic Preparedness" (link). Sens. Arlen Spector and Susan Collins fought the addition of around $900 million for flu pandemic preparedness to the stimulus plan. Now, Nichols is disreputably trying to tie that into the current possible flu crisis, and he's getting some help from his friends (link).

Yet, the issue is bogus for various reasons: neither Spector nor Collins oppose spending on preparedness, they just didn't want it in a bill that was supposedly about stimulating the economy rather than just about everything the Dems and Congress in general want to spend money on. There are general spending bills and narrowly-focused bills available for such purposes. Further, even as he bashes them, Ryan Powers of ThinkProgress quotes Collins and Spectors - both more friends of the Democrats than not - as in favor of spending money on preparedness. [1]

Compare their comments to this February 8 quote from Charles Schumer (link):

"All those little porky things that the House put in, the money for the [National] Mall or the sexually transmitted diseases or the flu pandemic, they're all out."

A slightly low-ball question for a Dem would involve reading that quote, getting the Dem to condemn it, and then pointing out who said it.

There might also be fiscal year and related funding issues here: even if money for preparedness had been in the stimulus bill, how much of it would have been disbursed by now? That would be a good question to ask someone pushing this line. And, those familiar with accounting issues might want to look into whether the current funding flows for preparedness are meeting the needs of the agencies involved.

And, if flu preparedness was such a vital issue to the Democrats - David Obey is presented as an oracle when it was much more likely that no such pandemic would surface - why weren't they banging on the table night and day demanding an emergency bill? That would be a good question to ask them: why didn't you raise this issue until now, why not two weeks ago when an emergency bill could have been rushed through?

Another good question to ask is why isn't Janet Napolitano willing to greatly ramp up border security to prevent sick people - including those who are infected but not visibly sick - crossing our borders legally or illegally? Why wasn't the Obama administration closely monitoring the situation in Mexico from near the very start?

UPDATE: Collins says through her spokeswoman (link):

...Senator Collins has led hearings on pandemic flu preparedness, worked on “bioshield” legislation and funding, and helped strengthen our nation’s preparedness for a pandemic flu... Claims that she is opposed to increased funding for pandemic flu research are blatantly false and politically motivated. In fact, in December 2008, Senator Collins joined in a letter to Senate leaders requesting a $905 million increase for the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund at the Department of Health and Human Services... There is no evidence that federal efforts to address the swine flu outbreak have been hampered by a lack of funds.

Why "Ask the President" will ask Obama worthless questions (Ari Melber, The Nation, WashTimes) - 03/22/09

The Nation, the Washington Times, and the Personal Democracy Forum are behind a new effort to solicit questions for Barack Obama from the general public: communitycounts.com/obama

Anyone can submit questions and then vote for their favorites. The "best" questions might then be asked of him at a White House press conference. If you want Obama to be really pressed on very tough questions - the type the MSM refuses to ask - this is not going to give you what you want. However, if you want Obama to only be presented with puffball questions including those he's already answered, then you should cheer this latest effort. So, it's either a sham or a blessing depending on your position on the role of the press; if your reference point is Pravda, start cheering now.

See the popular voting systems summary for past examples of other shams - including those perpetrated by those behind the current effort - and for a description of a better way to do things.

And, believe it or not, it gets even worse. Over to Ari Melber of The Nation introducing the plan in "The People's Press Conference" (thenation.com/doc/20090406/melber):

After public voting, the coalition will select and send a credentialed journalist to attend the next presidential press conference, ready to choose from the list of the most popular citizen questions. (This journalist would focus only on these questions from citizens and would not reduce the time available for the standing pool of White House reporters.) The precise question will not be announced in advance, though the choices will obviously be public. At the press conference, the journalist can choose from the top questions, prioritizing a topic that is substantive, factual and that has not already been addressed by the president... This assumes, of course, that President Obama agrees to participate...

So, after all the voting, the question that's asked will be filtered by the journalist (would that be you, Ari?) And, all of that is pending Obama's approval.

The way around all of these issues is to choose the questions as described at the summary link above, and then have someone go to Obama's public appearances and ask him the toughest questions whether he approves or not. That's the only way to make sure that he's asked actual tough questions.

UPDATE: The Nation (web version) published a letter to the editor I wrote them about this. Enjoy my left-friendly, more formal voice: thenation.com/bletters

Max Blumenthal/David Neiwert smear Sarah Palin (true guilt-by-association, bad reporting) - 10/09/08

Max Blumenthal - last seen here spinning a fantastic tale - joins with Mr. "white supremacist under every bed" himself, David Neiwert, to offer a smear called "Meet Sarah Palin's radical right-wing pals" (link). Their report was partly funded by the "Nation Institute Investigative Fund", which isn't getting its money's worth.

In this campaign we've heard a lot about guilt-by-association, but most have been using that phrase incorrectly. Thanks to the two authors, we finally have a real example of guilt-by-association. It's also tremendously bad reporting because - besides apparently trying to get a comment from the Palin camp - they don't appear to have interviewed anyone with an opposing point of view. Instead, they base their entire report on the (probably) inflated recollections of Alaska Independence Party gadabout Mark Chryson, combined with the self-interested comments of Palin's local enemies (former Democratic mayor of Wasilla John Stein, a friend of his, and the former head of the City Council, someone who's presumably not friends with Palin).

Consider, for instance, this:

Indeed, Chryson boasted that he and his allies urged Palin to focus her campaign on slashing character-based attacks. For instance, Chryson advised Palin to paint Stein as a sexist who had told her "to just sit there and look pretty" while she served on Wasilla's City Council. Though Palin never made this accusation, her 1996 campaign for mayor was the most negative Wasilla residents had ever witnessed.

Assuming for the moment that her campaign was that negative, there's no evidence that Chryson had a hand in her decision to conduct such a campaign. And, they even provide one example of her not following his advice.

Out of the entire three-page article, there's only one paragraph that might objectively indicate some close relationship between Palin and those linked to the AIP or those that the authors consider "extremists":

Palin attempted to pay back her newfound pals during her first City Council meeting as mayor. In that meeting, on Oct. 14, 1996, she appointed [John Stoll] to one of the City Council's two newly vacant seats. But Palin was blocked by the single vote of then-Councilman Nick Carney, who had endured countless rancorous confrontations with Stoll and considered him a "violent" influence on local politics. Though Palin considered consulting attorneys about finding another means of placing Stoll on the council, she was ultimately forced to back down and accept a compromise candidate.

I might have missed it, but they don't indicate that Stoll is a member of the AIP. They only say that he's 'a John Birch Society activist known in the Mat-Su Valley as "Black Helicopter Steve"'. Does everyone call him that, or is that just a smear from his enemies? Is there another explanation for her trying to name Stoll to the Council besides her trying to mainstream the AIP? Oddly enough, the "reporters" don't go into that.

They follow the above with yet another attempt to try to portray a firing of a local official as politically motivated. In this case it's John Cooper, the former museum director of the town.

In small towns like this there are always warring factions and different interpretations of events, and without living there it's not possible to differentiate between facts and fancy. Obviously, that doesn't concern Blumenthal and Neiwert, their only goal was to piece together a smear.

Influence on both sides of the border - 07/03/08

"Influence on both sides of the border/Activists' political power is rising in Chicago and their homeland, as they seek reforms through marches and money"/Antonio Olivo and Oscar Avila/Chicago Tribune/[[April 6, 2007]]/

NAFTAGate 2: Barack Obama backs off NAFTA opposition, admits being deceptive - 06/18/08

From this:
In an interview with Fortune to be featured in the magazine's upcoming issue, the presumptive Democratic nominee backed off his harshest attacks on the free trade agreement and indicated he didn't want to unilaterally reopen negotiations on NAFTA.

"Sometimes during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified," he conceded, after I reminded him that he had called NAFTA "devastating" and "a big mistake"...

Does that mean his rhetoric was overheated and amplified? "Politicians are always guilty of that, and I don't exempt myself," he answered...
In other words, he was intentionally being misleading about his position on the trade deal. This shouldn't be surprising considering the first round of NAFTAGate, and also considering that BHO supports Bush's SPP.gov, aka "NAFTA on Steroids". He even spoke in code when coming out for that secretive and highly questionable Bush trade scheme. The fact that BHO supports Bush's SPP has, as far as I know, never been mentioned by anyone except me and Obama.

Related to BHO's latest admission, The Nation's John Nichols isn't happy (thenation.com/blogs/thebeat/330911), but he also offers this questionable bit:
If Obama takes the economic issue that white working-class voters best understand off the table, he creates a huge opening for McCain in states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.
If he'd said "one of the... issues", that would be correct. However, illegal immigration is a related issue that probably resonates more loudly, but it's one that The Nation supports.

Rick Perlstein misleads about John McCain immigration position - 04/07/08

In The Nation, author Rick Perlstein offers "All Aboard the McCain Express" (link), which includes the following:

...McCain's bowing down before the conservative holy grail of super-harsh enforcement-first immigration reform...

In actual fact, McCain's position would be, should all be said and done, the same as Barack Obama's and Hillary Clinton's. The only differences are that he supposedly wants the border to be certified as secure first, something that would probably be done by the four border state governors, all of whom are cheap labor hacks. And, after it was certified/"certified", McCain would push amnesty. He's backed away from his previous bill, but that's only because it was a failure and its egregiously bad provisions became known. Note that trying to portray McCain as a hardliner is a DNC tactic. Note also that the "conservative holy grail" would be oppose amnesty (by any name), something that McCain has refused to do.

And, a corollary to Perlstein's comment is that "liberals" apparently have issues with the responsible step of securing our borders; does anyone think he wouldn't refer to "reform"-mandated border enforcement as "super-harsh" as well?

Others misleading about McCain include Eric Hananoki of Media Matters, Joel Achenbach, Bennett Roth, Elisabeth Bumiller and John Broder, and Ron Claiborne and Peter Canellos.

Pueblo Sin Fronteras - 10/03/07

From their site somosunpueblo.com: "Our campaign has the support of the Governor of Illinois (Rod Blagojevich) and a broad base of Illinois elected officials, religious and civic leaders. We have made a campaign so that the nation might know that the "immigration debate" is about real, human families, and their struggle to stay together."

Executive director is Emma Lozano.

Immigration activist living at church sends son to L.A. conference

UNIFY AND FOCUS OUR MOVEMENT NOW - 07/02/07

Undated document from Pueblo Sin Fronteras

link: somosunpueblo.com/Unify_and_Focus.html

UNIFY AND FOCUS OUR MOVEMENT NOW !

Emma Lozano, presidente Pueblo sin Fronteras

Elvira Arellano, presidente La Familia Latina Unida

Barack Obama at May 1 Chicago march - 04/28/07

The story "Protesters renew their call for Immigration rights" appears to be from the [[May 1, 2006]] Chicago Tribune and from Antonio Olivo and Oscar Avila ( link).

Latino Leaders Protest Rahm Emanuel - 02/26/07

[[Progressive Democrats of America]]//[[February 26th, 2007]]/ link

This is a press release printed/reprinted at their site:

Latino Leaders Protest In Front of the Most Powerful Democrat in the Nation today, Rahm Emanuel

To Request an Immediate Moratorium on the Deportations

Immigrants at crossroads - 02/24/07

Stakes are high for legalization campaign/Chicago Tribune/Oscar Avila and Michael Martinez/[[May 1, 2006]]/ link or link

Pro immigration groups seek formal political power - 02/23/07

Chicago Tribune/Oscar Avila and Antonio Olivo/[[August 14, 2006]]/formerly at chicagotribune.com/news/local/northwest/chi-0608140113aug14,1,5158964.story?coll=chi-newslocalnorthwest-hed&ctrack=1&cset=true

Groups Call for 'A Day Without an Immigrant' - 02/21/07

[[Selene Rivera]]/[[Eastern Group Publications]]/[[April 15, 2006]]/ link

Activists with the March 25th Coalition, organizers of the massive immigration rights protest which took place in Los Angeles two weeks ago, are now calling for an economic boycott to take place next month. (note: May 1 marches)

Hundreds Meet to Launch New Immigrant Rights Alliance - 02/20/07

Socialist Action/Jason Cain & Wayne McElyea/September 2006/ link

Reveals that "a number of delegates" to the National Immigrant Rights Strategy Convention had "close ties" to Mexico's PRD party. Rep. Luis Gutierrez - a member of the U.S. Democratic Party - attended and spoke at that convention.

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.

Immigration: What's next? - 10/07/06

Kristin Markway/Medill News Service(in the NWITimes)/[[October 1, 2006]]/ link

Immigration experts from across the nation met Wednesday ([[September 27, 2006]]) in Chicago and praised Illinois as one of the "most progressive" states for immigration policies.

However, they said, there are serious problems with other state and national immigration laws.

Immigrant rights group calls for boycott - 10/07/06

Evelyn Holmes/ABC7(WLS)/[[September 30, 2006]]/ link

A local group fighting for immigrant rights is calling for a boycott of two nationally known companies. Dunkin Donuts and Applebee's are accused of discriminating against immigrant workers whose names don't match their social security numbers.