ThinkProgress.org is a juvenile blog run by the Center for American Progress; think of a grade school version of Media Matters for America. Virtually every post at their site contains one or more misleading statements or logical fallacies. Sometimes they outright lie, other times they simply smear. Part of that appears to be unintentional; their writers are unable to figure out how they're wrong. Those writers include Lee Fang, Ali Frick, Ryan Powers, Matt Corley, and Marie Diamond. A past contributor was Amanda Terkel; she now works for the Huffington Post.
The answer to the titular question is, of course, "no".
John Hinderaker presents: "David Koch, Friend to Mankind" (formaldehyde, ineffectiveness) - 03/05/11
'Hi! My name is John Hinderaker from Powerline. You might remember me from such filmstrips as "Asbestos: America's Ever-Vigilant Fireman" and "Ladybugs: America's Least-Recognized Pest". Well, today I'm here to present "A Philanthropist Advances the Cause of Science, the New York Times Doesn't" (link) about David Koch of the Koch family. But, first I want to tell you about a wonderful substance called formaldehyde...'
1. At the link, John Hinderaker says, "David Koch is one of the world's great philanthropists". That's almost as funny as Hinderaker's 2005 Bush quote . While Koch has certainly spent a large amount of money on various forms of giving, but on balance the picture becomes a bit more murky. Koch Industries provides valuable products and services to millions of people and keeps large numbers of people gainfully employed. At the same time, they also contribute to the pollution problem in the U.S. and the "free market principles" those linked to them advocate make things worse in the U.S. Whether what he does is on balance better for society than, for instance, George Soros isn't clear.
2. In an article criticizing a New York Times article by Michael Cooper ("Cancer Research Before Activism, Billionaire Conservative Donor Says", link), Hinderaker only mentions the reporter's name twice. Compare what I concentrate on. And, in a hidden way that I won't specify, Hinderaker also helps the NYT in a way that I don't. And, that follows Hinderaker having some slight success by concentrating on the reporter (see the "principles" link above). Critiquing individual reporters is a good way to encourage better coverage. It's mostly a good thing that Hinderaker isn't willing to do that for the most part, because whether we want a liberal bias to be replaced by a doctrinaire GOP bias isn't clear.
3. Hinderaker says:
A commenter on one of my posts said he was disappointed to see me spending my time rebutting the uninformed kids at Think Progress. I was sympathetic to his point, and it isn't something we usually do.
Compare that to how I do things: I've got 58 posts about ThinkProgress going back to 2006. I've got 19 posts about Andrea Nill alone, and 78 posts about the Center for American Progress stretching back to 2005. And, there might be even more posts about them that haven't been tagged yet. As much as Hinderaker would like to pretend that they're beneath such an elevated personage as he, they have far more influence than he does. And, he might not need to stoop to criticizing them if he had retailed my past discussions of them in an attempt to force them to provide better coverage.
4. Hinderaker discusses the debate over whether formaldehyde is a carcinogen and comes out in favor of making decisions based on real science. However, even that discussion is slanted towards what's good for corporations rather than for society as a whole and he also says this:
If the EPA over-regulates any chemical based on faulty science, with the effect that the cost of products that include that substance increases, those increased costs are not borne primarily by companies like Georgia-Pacific. Rather, they are passed on to consumers.
Of course, what Hinderaker misses is the fact that many corporations greatly enjoy to "socialize the costs and privatize the profits". In this case, that would consist of profiting from a chemical and at the same time as passing the costs of that chemical - such as later remediation or the costs of cancer treatment - on to others or on to the U.S. as a whole. As with the question of whether Koch is a "great philanthropist", Hinderaker isn't factoring everything involved into the equation.
 From powerlineblog.com/archives/2005/07/011024.php
It must be very strange to be President Bush. A man of extraordinary vision and brilliance approaching to genius, he can't get anyone to notice. He is like a great painter or musician who is ahead of his time, and who unveils one masterpiece after another to a reception that, when not bored, is hostile.
Hyperbolic? Well, maybe. But consider Bush's latest master stroke: the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate...
Yet another example of Teaparty being useful idiots for the Koch brothers? (Madison union protests) - 02/19/11
Are the tea parties useful idiots for an attempt by the billionaire Koch family to fight unionization in order to increase their profits? The latest example of the Koch family pushing an agenda that helps their bottom line and getting help from the teapartiers in that endeavor comes from the protests between public sector unions and Republican governor Scott Walker in Madison, Wisconsin. I haven't been closely following the issue, but at the very least it's clear that the Kochs are attempting to take advantage of the issue to push their agenda. And, pushing that agenda would help the bottom line of their energy and resources empire.
The Kochs helped elect Walker , and their Americans for Prosperity has now created a site to support him and opposing at the least collective bargaining by public sector unions. However, it might also be an attempt to oppose collective bargaining in general . Meanwhile, the Kochs have a financial interest in reducing labor costs in Wisconsin (as they do in other states) .
Today, the tea parties held a counter-protest featuring luminaries such as Andrew Breitbart ( National Review interview: peekurl.com/v9LhdhK ), Gateway Pundit, and Herman Cain ( peekURL.com/vhZ64cs ). Meanwhile, Glenn Reynolds is going all out (instapundit.com/115329, instapundit.com/115324, instapundit.com/115278 and probably more).
On the one hand, unions are somewhat of a negative force in the U.S. because most of them support illegal immigration, with groups like the Service Employees International Union getting a good part of their dues from money that was earned illegally. The SEIU even paid someone linked to the Mexican government to organize immigration marches inside the U.S. And, allies of the unions also support mass/illegal immigration. And, excessive demands by public sector unions might in fact lead to budget shortfalls.
On the other hand, the billionaire Koch brothers are at the least taking advantage of this issue to push an agenda that would help their bottom line. And, the teapartiers are being useful idiots for them. And, the same types of people who harp on public sector unions in regards to California's problems (while ignoring the impact of the massive immigration they support on the state) are now involved in the Madison counterprotests.
So, there doesn't appear to be a good way out on this issue. The last thing we should want is a victory for the teaparties and their Koch stringpullers. But, another last thing we should want is for a victory by Barack Obama and groups that support illegal immigration.
UPDATE: Via this, part of gov. Walker's "Budget Repair Bill" (PDF link, excerpt at ) would allow Wisconsin state energy assets ("heating, cooling, and power plants") to be sold to private companies or their operations transfered to private companies. Surely it's a coincidence that the Koch family is in the energy business and that the sales would be done "with or without solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best interest of the state".
UPDATE 2: Yet another questionable, possibly Koch-friendly action by Walker happened last month (link):
A plan to spend $100 million on a boiler that would burn plant-based fuels at UW-Madison's Charter Street power plant was axed Thursday by Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch... Cullen Werwie, a spokesman for Gov. Scott Walker, said Huebsch halted spending on the boiler based on Walker's wishes... According to a 2008 university study, converting the plant to burn biofuel was the most expensive of the options considered and would be about twice as expensive as using other coal-burning technologies or natural gas... University officials credited the strong support of former Gov. Jim Doyle for the plan to burn biofuels. Doyle and state environmentalists praised the switch to biofuels because such fuels can be grown in Wisconsin and would, in the long run, be more reliable and less expensive than natural gas, which must be purchased and piped in from out of state.
The source for the claim that biofuels would save money long-term isn't given, but at least from that article it doesn't sound like Walker was taking exception to that claim. Instead, it at least sounds like he was being penny wise and pound foolish. And, coincidence or not, the Kochs are in the natural gas business and even have a pipeline network in Wisconsin. Hopefully someone will ask him for an explanation.
UPDATE 3: Instead of pressing Walker for an explanation, dim Democrat/union supporters are doing what they tend to do: play games. The latest example is Ian Murphy from the Buffalo Beast (free weekly) calling Walker and pretending to be David Koch from the Koch family (link). On the call, Walker says nothing in any way incriminating; the call (unless Walker was waiting for the "secret code" or knew it was a prank) makes clear that Walker had not been previously coordinating with the Kochs. And, the idea that a politician would rush to take a call from a major donor is only shocking to those who are completely naive.
The stupidity highlight of the call is this:
[A Walker assistant] was eager to help. “I was really hoping to talk directly to Scott,” I said. He said that could be arranged and that I should just leave my number. I explained to Gilkes, “My goddamn maid, Maria, put my phone in the washer. I’d have her deported, but she works for next to nothing.” Gilkes found this amusing. “I’m calling from the VOID—with the VOID, or whatever it’s called. You know, the Snype!”
If I said that, it would be with the recognition that the Kochs fund loose borders groups and support mass immigration. However, Ian Murphy doesn't have that excuse: it's doubtful whether he knows that the Dems/far-left/unions and the Kochs support the same basic immigration policy.
 Per this:
According to Wisconsin campaign finance filings, Walker's gubernatorial campaign received $43,000 from the Koch Industries PAC during the 2010 election. That donation was his campaign's second-highest, behind $43,125 in contributions from housing and realtor groups in Wisconsin... The [Koch] PAC gave $1 million to the Republican Governors Association, which in turn spent $65,000 on independent expenditures to support Walker. The RGA also spent a whopping $3.4 million on TV ads and mailers attacking Walker's opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett...
...Walker's plan to eviscerate collective bargaining rights for public employees is right out of the Koch brothers' playbook. Koch-backed groups like Americans for Prosperity, the Cato Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and the Reason Foundation (see Reason Magazine) have long taken a very antagonistic view toward public-sector unions. Several of these groups have urged the eradication of these unions. The Kochs also invited (PDF) Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, an anti-union outfit, to a June 2010 confab in Aspen, Colorado; Mix said in a recent interview that he supports Governor Walker's collective-bargaining bill. In Wisconsin, this conservative, anti-union view is being placed into action by lawmakers in sync with the deep-pocketed donors who helped them obtain power. (Walker also opposes the state's Clean Energy Job Act, which would compel the state to increase its use of alternative energy.) At this moment - even with the Wisconsin uprising unresolved - the Koch brothers' investment in Walker appears to be paying off.
 AFP created standwithwalker.com, which just redirects to americansforprosperity.org/walker. The petition there says:
Union dues should be voluntary, and the state should not be in the business of collecting them. Union certification should require a secret ballot. Collective bargaining should not be used to force extravagant pension and health benefits that cripple state budgets... These common-sense reforms have made the union bosses desperate to disrupt Wisconsin government and overturn an election. They must not be allowed to succeed. In fact, every state should adopt Governor Scott Walker's common sense reforms.
Koch owns a coal company subsidiary with facilities in Green Bay, Manitowoc, Ashland and Sheboygan; six timber plants throughout the state; and a large network of pipelines in Wisconsin. While Koch controls much of the infrastructure in the state, they have laid off workers to boost profits. At a time when Koch Industries owners David and Charles Koch awarded themselves an extra $11 billion of income from the company, Koch slashed jobs at their Green Bay plant
16.896 Sale or contractual operation of state−owned heating, cooling, and power plants. (1) Notwithstanding ss. 13.48 (14) (am) and 16.705 (1), the department may sell any state−owned heating, cooling, and power plant or may contract with a private entity for the operation of any such plant, with or without solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best interest of the state. Notwithstanding ss. 196.49 and 196.80, no approval or certification of the public service commission is necessary for a public utility to purchase, or contract for the operation of, such a plant, and any such purchase is considered to be in the public interest and to comply with the criteria for certification of a project under s. 196.49 (3) (b).
About eight months ago, a congressional candidate conducted an overt publicity stunt, asking why a public meeting wasn't being started with the Pledge of Allegiance. Now, something similar is playing out - perhaps spontaneously or perhaps covertly - involving the congressional campaign of Joe Walsh of Illinois, who's running against Melissa Bean. Spontaneous or not, the latest incident has the hallmarks of a "boob bait for Bubba" GOTV propaganda effort, and that's heightened because one of those involved is Glenn Reynolds .
First, I'd like to ask you to read this post about "Allez Java". Then, compare that to this Don Surber post: link. Aside from the French locution, aren't they very similar? The post Surber links to is here. And, as a capper, a Joe Walsh video where he takes advantage of the Pledge incident is at http://peekURL.com/vbxj1xy That has a description of "The League of Women Voters hosted a candidate forum featuring Joe Walsh & Melissa Bean running for the 8th Congressional District in Illinois. The League of Women voters got schooled on what it means to be an American".
At this point hopefully you're asking yourself why a pompous, posturing goof like Joe Walsh is questioning the patriotism of the League of Women Voters. They're a leftwing group masquerading as non-partisan and they support amnesty, but that doesn't mean they aren't patriotic. It's valid to question the patriotism of some of those at the other meeting earlier this year, but that's because they obviously have divided loyalties. The same isn't true of the LWV as a whole. It's also valid to question whether Walsh knew the LWV didn't plan on having a Pledge, and whether the person in the audience is a shill who works or volunteers for his campaign. It would also be good journalism for the three sources of this story - including Surber, who works for a regional newspaper - to get the moderator's side of things.
And, one aspect of real patriotism is realizing that Americans have different opinions about various topics. Those in the tea parties orbit take the opposite position: they lie and smear, they put symbolism over substance (causing them to think George W Bush is more a patriot than those who didn't allow 14% of Mexico's working-age population to move to the U.S.), they claim that anyone who disagrees with them is a socialist, they engage in other forms of red-baiting, and they use the "patriot" label as if the rest of us aren't.
And, all to support an agenda that, were voters informed of everything it entails, would be rejected by the vast majority of Americans. Some patriots.
UPDATE: From this:
[Illinois LWV Executive Director Jan Czarnik] said someone is not a better American just by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance... “It's a phony patriotism issue is what it is,” she said. “They must think it helps their campaign.”
She's not helping herself by putting things that way rather than making the points above. Also, the Walsh campaign claims they had nothing to do with the audience member who asked for the Pledge, and a Walsh supporter has come forward claiming to be that audience member. We also learn that none of the campaigns requested the Pledge beforehand, and as can be seen on the video Walsh doesn't request it at the start of the debate. Using his own standards, should we question his patriotism? No, because we don't want to do things his way.
UPDATE 2: Updated to spell "propaganda" right. Doh!
We wanted to look at the moderator, Kathy Tate-Bradish, from the League of Women Voters. Oh, she sounds so neutral and everything. I mean, she’s even neutral on the Pledge, apparently — just a typical woman voter trying to get the truth out. No, not so much — not so much... She is on fire for Obama. She is a big-time Obama supporter. In fact, so much so, she’s part of his Organizing for America arm. Hmm. She’s even hosted campaign event in her home in 2007, part of her post on OFA’s, Organizing for America Web site, "Hope Action Change."
Mary Schaafsma, the issues and advocacy coordinator for the Illinois League, told ThinkProgress this afternoon that the only reason Tate-Bradish resisted reciting the Pledge was because it had not been included in the debate format, which the candidates had agreed to ahead of time, noting that the League has been doing candiate forums and debates like the one Beck highlighted "for decades." She also said that following the threats, the League locked the doors to its Chicago offices for several days and alerted the building management of the possible threat. “I’ve been working in politics and nonprofits for a long long time and I never seen this level and pitch of vitriol,” she said.
 He links to Surber's post at pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/108375
Koch family, U.S. Chamber, businesses met to plan strategy (+Glenn Beck, tea parties, "mobilize citizens for November") - 10/20/10
Twice each year, the Koch family conducts strategy meetings with corporate and thought leaders to plan how to advance their "free market" ideology. ThinkProgress has the guest list and program for their June 2010 meeting (in Aspen), and, while immigration isn't mentioned, many of the known attendees are on the wrong side.
I don't normally recommend anything at ThinkProgress, but in this case I'll suggest taking a look at their post and downloading the PDF.
The participants in Aspen dined under the stars at the top of the gondola run on Aspen Mountain, and listened to Glenn Beck of Fox News in a session titled, “Is America on the Road to Serfdom?” (The title refers to a classic of Austrian economic thought that informs libertarian ideology, popularized by Mr. Beck on his show.)The participants included some of the nation’s wealthiest families and biggest names in finance: private equity and hedge fund executives like John Childs, Cliff Asness, Steve Schwarzman and Ken Griffin; Phil Anschutz, the entertainment and media mogul ranked by Forbes as the 34th-richest person in the country; Rich DeVos, the co-founder of Amway; Steve Bechtel of the giant construction firm; and Kenneth Langone of Home Depot... The group also included longtime Republican donors and officials, including Foster Friess, Fred Malek and former Attorney General Edwin Meese III... Participants listened to presentations from the (US Chamber of Commerce), as well as people who played leading roles in John McCain’s presidential campaign in 2008, like Nancy Pfotenhauer and Annie Dickerson, who also runs a foundation for Paul Singer, a hedge fund executive who like the Kochs is active in promoting libertarian causes.
Malek currently raises funds for Karl Rove.
There's also a tea parties link: one of the June sessions was called "Mobilizing Citizens for November" ("Is there a chance this fall to elect leaders who are more strongly committed to liberty and prosperity? This session will further assess the landscape and offer a strategic plan to educate voters on the importance of economic freedom.") The hosts were Sean Noble (@snoble37), Karl Crow of Themis, Mark Mix of National Right to Work, and Tim Phillips of Americans for Prosperity. AFP has been a very active "facilitator" of the teaparty movement.
Those who spoke at the June meeting include Peter Schiff (bad on immigration), Stephen Moore (ditto}, and Michael Barone (ditto). Others are: Ramesh Ponnuru; Phil Kerpen and Jeff Crank of AFP; Peter Wallison and Arthur Brooks of the American Enterprise Institute, Russ Roberts and Veronique de Rugy of the Mercatus Center (associated with George Mason University; see the link); Gretchen Hamel; Charles Krauthammer; and Tim Carney of the Washington Examiner.
Those listed as attending past meetings include Haley Barbour (bad on immigration), John Stossel (ditto), Mike Pence (ditto), Bobby Jindal, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Rush Limbaugh, Jim DeMint, Tom Coburn, Paul Ryan, and Tom Price.
Obviously, there's nothing wrong or that sinister about the Kochs holding meetings like these. And, George Soros and associates no doubt hold similar meetings with those on their side. However, just as Soros' loose borders policies no doubt "informs" the immigration policies that those who receive his money offer, the same is probably true of the Kochs' loose borders policies. Aside from DeMint, there are few above who might be considered "border hawks", and some of those listed are quite bad on that issue.
And, of course, this provides yet more evidence of how those in the supposedly grassroots tea parties movement are doing the bidding of the very rich, even if the teapartiers have been bamboozled into thinking otherwise.
The ad appears to be vaguely referencing the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act which Reid attached to the defense reauthorization bill last month as an amendment. The DREAM Act wouldn’t give undocumented students special tuition rates, but it would eliminate a federal provision that penalizes states that provide in-state tuition without regard to immigration status. Angle’s ad doesn’t mention that it would also allow certain undocumented immigrant youth who were brought to the U.S. by their parents at a young age to eventually obtain legal permanent status by enlisting in the military or attending a university. A June 2010 national poll of 1,008 adults revealed that 70 percent of voters support the DREAM Act, across party lines.
1. As I stated at the Angle ad link, she should have run it by NumbersUSA or some other group first, because, unfortunately, Nill is correct in a technical sense: the DREAM Act itself wouldn't give "special tuition rates".
2. However, where Nill is misleading is with that same Orwellian sentence containing "special tuition rates". Federal law currently says that states can't give illegal aliens a rate that they don't give to citizens . The DREAM Act would do away with that, letting states give illegal aliens a better rate than citizens. The bill itself wouldn't give illegal aliens a better rate, it would just allow states to do that with impunity. What she says above is like saying, "this bill wouldn't raise the speed limit, it would just eliminate the speed limit and let people go as fast as they want". Needless to say, giving illegal aliens a better rate than citizens is openly anti-American and shows how little loyalty those Americans who support the DREAM Act have to their fellow citizens.
3. Nill doesn't tell her readers that the "federal provision that penalizes states" has not ever as far as I know been enforced; see this, which references this. The reason for that is federal corruption: those running the Department of Homeland Security are too corrupt to enforce the laws they're required to enforce.
4. The "poll" she mentions (from First Focus) was more of an advocacy poll designed to obtain a skewed result, and the poll question misleads about the DREAM Act. No respectable polling organization would ever ask such a blatantly biased question; most would try to hide it better. Take a look at the incredibly biased question that was asked at . That question includes, "To earn legal status, students must have come to the U.S. when they were very young." In fact, the DREAM Act that Harry Reid was pushing would be open to those who claimed they came here at 15 years or younger. Does anyone think 15 years of age is "very young"?
 Title 8, Chapter 14, Sec. 1623, link:
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an alien who is not lawfully present in the United States shall not be eligible on the basis of residence within a State (or a political subdivision) for any postsecondary education benefit unless a citizen or national of the United States is eligible for such a benefit (in no less an amount, duration, and scope) without regard to whether the citizen or national is such a resident.
Rupert Murdoch of Fox News testified before Congress today in support of comprehensive immigration reform (aka amnesty) and in support of massive immigration in general. And, two studies he used to buttress his argument are from the leftwing, Obama-linked Center for American Progress.
News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch said he supports amnesty for “law abiding” illegal immigrants because as legal residents they can help the nation’s economy by adding to “our tax base.” He also said he supports securing the border to prevent more illegal immigrants from entering the United States.
Most illegal aliens are low-skilled workers, meaning they couldn't help that much and in most cases would end up costing more (see the 1997 NAS study, not yet discussed here). And, as with most others who are weak on or supporters of amnesty, he throws out the secure the border bone.
"While supporting complete and proper closure of all our borders to future illegal immigrants, our partnership (the Partnership for a New American Economy) advocates reform that gives a path to citizenship for responsible, law-abiding immigrants who are in the U.S. today without proper authority..."
It is nonsense to talk of expelling 12 million people,” testified Murdoch. “Not only is it impractical, it is cost prohibitive."
Murdoch cited a study that gauged “the price of mass deportation at $285 billion over five years,” which amounts to $57 billion per year, adding that “there are better ways to spend our money.”
“A full path to legalization--requiring unauthorized immigrants to register, undergo a security check, pay taxes and learn English--would bring these immigrants out of a shadow economy and add to our tax base,” said Murdoch.
He continued, “According to one study, a path to legalization would contribute an estimated $1.5 trillion to the Gross Domestic Product over 10 years.”
1. In the first paragraph he's advocating for amnesty.
2. In the second paragraph, he's engaging in the deportations false choice fallacy.
3. The study referenced in the third paragraph is a study from the Center for American Progress that uses a highly flawed methodology to arrive at that figure.
4. In the fourth paragraph, he uses the living in the shadows canard and also doesn't reveal the huge flaws in comprehensive immigration reform. Those include the background checks either taking somewhere between five to ten years or those checks being cursory at best. And, once again, the great majority of newly-legalized illegal aliens would owe little taxes and some might even get a tax refund of some kind.
5. The last paragraph references another flawed Center for American Progress study.
You'd think that relying on two bogus CAP studies would be enough to earn him a break from his new friends, yet Andrea Nill of ThinkProgress writes this (thinkprogress.org/2010/09/30/murdoch-immigration-fox):
Earlier this year, Murdoch indicated that the media should be involved in the push for comprehensive immigration reform. However, Fox News employees don’t seem to agree. The Wonk Room shows that more than any other network, Fox News has repeatedly and consistently advocated against immigration reform and referred to Murdoch's proposal as "amnesty."
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) called Murdoch out on the blatant contradiction later in the hearing, pointing out, "it does not appear that what you are talking and the way you are discussing it is the way it is discussed on Fox." Murdoch defended his position and his network:
I'm not really that shocked that Nill or Waters would be in favor of Murdoch turning Fox into a propaganda outlet for amnesty. I am, however, just a little shocked that they'd be so overt about it.
And, obviously, the fact that those Murdoch is promoting and helping have no use for him unless he agrees with them 100% probably flew right over his head; he was too distracted by the dollar signs from the fantasy he's promoting.
Earlier today, a gunman took hostages at the Discovery Channel building; the situation has been resolved. We discourage using the actions of someone who's most likely insane to score political points.
Tea party leaders, complaining about NAACP "racist" charge, call Obama's policies "socialist" - 07/14/10
Yesterday, I discussed how if you object to the NAACP playing the race card, the tea partiers aren't your friends. As if to provide a real world example, Jenny Beth Martin and Mark Meckler of the so-called "Tea Party Patriots" offer "On being labeled as 'racist'" (link):
A clear pattern of behavior has emerged over the last 16 months. According to liberals, if you disagree with their thinking, and if you disagree with the Obama administration, you are not only wrong, you are a "racist."... ...At its most simple, [the NAACP resolution] is a direct attack on the First Amendment rights of millions of Americans... ...It seems that anyone who disagrees with the far left, socialist policies of Barack Obama and the current administration is subject to the heavy hand of the race card.
1. When claiming to be called a false name, it's generally not a good idea to call others false names. While some in the Obama orbit are indeed far-left, his policies don't really fit that description. And, those policies certainly aren't "socialist". If Obama is socialist, one wonders what those who want him to move further left are, SuperSocialists?
2. The First Amendment claim is questionable since the NAACP isn't the government. They're certainly at least in favor with the Obama administration - Michelle Obama spoke before they voted on their resolution - but they aren't the government.
They also make this outrageous claim:
According to recent polling, more than 49 million people are active members of the tea party movement (Winston Group, April 1, 2010).
You can view that poll here, and the word "active" doesn't appear in it; the question asked was, "Do you consider yourself a part of the tea party movement?" The idea that 49 million people would be active members of their movement is more than a bit ludicrous. Note also that the poll was taken February 22-23 which was a month before the infamous healthcare vote where teapartiers allegedly spat on and called representatives names (in the case of Barney Frank that's been confirmed, in the other cases it hasn't). Due to those incidents as well as their obvious failure, the tea parties have been on the decline since then, and then in May and June the Koch family and Dick Armey of Freedomworks distanced themselves from the movement.
Note also the smear in the very name of their group, implying that those who aren't members of their movement aren't "Patriots".
ADDED: Note that the first link in this post refers to "counter-productive activities such as endlessly repeating the smears [and] endlessly denying they're racists" which they're doing in this case. They don't have the abilities to handle things in more effective ways but instead just reinforce the "teapartiers = racists" meme. No doubt their opponents are beyond themselves with joy that the teapartiers keep bringing it up; it allows those like ThinkProgress to make videos like the one at thinkprogress.org/2010/07/14/tea-party-racism. Despite the fact that at least one of those shown on the video is probably a plant and despite the fact that the last frame (with the t-shirt) was a failed attempt at irony (the back says "I'm a racist because I support the Constitution" or similar), the teapartiers won't be able to do anything about it.
If you want to see those like ThinkProgress discredited, the tea partiers are just getting in your way.
7/15/10 UPDATE: One of the ThinkProgress clips was from 2006; they've posted a new version of the video without that clip and some in the teaparties point out that there are still problems with other segments on the clip:
The teapartiers did have a short-term impact on ThinkProgress, but the former group won't remember it and the latter group will just keep doing what they've been doing.
Dennis Welch, Kos, Amanda Terkel, Steve Benen, Ben Smith, Ben Frumin smear Jan Brewer over quote - 06/02/10
Arizona governor Jan Brewer is threatening to cost powerful people money and power through actions such as signing that state's new anti-illegal immigration law. Their lower-level hacks are currently swinging into action, deliberately misinterpreting a quote Brewer made in a disreputable attempt to claim that she inflated her father's war record [UPDATE: Statement from Brewer below]. Some are listed below, and if you find others please leave a comment.
During World War 2, Brewer's father worked at a Navy munitions depot in Nevada; he died in 1955 as a result of lung disease from that job. Brewer made the quote that's being misinterpreted in an interview with the Arizona Republic (link) where she spoke about the names she's been called:
"The Nazi comments . . . they are awful... Knowing that my father died fighting the Nazi regime in Germany, that I lost him when I was 11 because of that . . . and then to have them call me Hitler's daughter. It hurts. It's ugliness beyond anything I've ever experienced."
If Noam Chomsky were here, he might point out that there are various ways to interpret that quote, such as "died [as a later result of] fighting the Nazi regime in Germany", or "died fighting the Nazi regime [which was located] in Germany". In order to obtain the result that illegal immigration supporters want you to obtain, you're going to need to forget about very basic math: if she meant to say he died during World War 2, the youngest she could be is 76. No one in their right mind would think she's 76. If she were trying to lie, she would have adjusted her age downward in the quote to "when I was one years old". Further, in a speech a few months ago she described the backstory (link):
The governor's father did fight the Nazis and support the war effort, but he did it here at a munitions plant in the United States, not as a soldier in the European theater.
Brewer recounted the story of her father's war service during a March breakfast speech in the East Valley, saying that “Wilford Drinkwine believed his country needed him during World War II.”
In that speech, Brewer recalled how that belief prompted Drinkwine to move his family to the Nevada desert to take a job at the country's largest Navy munitions depot. She was born a year or two later; her father succumbed to lung disease before she was a teenager.
“Years of breathing poisonous fumes around harsh chemicals finally took his life,” Brewer said in that speech. “Wilford Drinkwine was my father. I was 11 years old.”
Those smearing Brewer include the following. None of the following attempt to explain how - if one is to buy their interpretation of her comments - Brewer would be claiming to be at least 76 years old. None except the first reference the fact that she's told the accurate story in past instances:
* Dennis Welch of the Arizona Guardian
He appears to be the originator of the smear, and his article starts with: "Gov. Jan Brewer said in a recent interview that her father died fighting Nazis in Germany. In fact, the death of Wilford Drinkwine came 10 years after World War II had ended." That's then followed by:
"She wasn't embellishing the story at all," [Paul Senseman, the governor's spokesman] said Tuesday. "You're reading something into this that isn't there."
He added that the governor has been very clear in the past about how her father died. Drinkwine was on full medical disability at the time of his death, Senseman said.
In a 2008 interview with the Republic, Brewer said her family was forced to move to California shortly before his death because of his health problems.
Brewer, 65, recounts similar stories in other media interviews and recent speeches.
Dennis Welch knew about what she's said about her background in the past, but choose to deliberately misinterpret her quote instead.
* Kos of DailyKos
He refers to the "Latino ethnic cleansing law" and says, "Ah yes, claiming her father died fighting Nazis in Germany should, in no way, be construed as implying that her father died fighting Nazis in Germany." Needless to say, he's deliberately misinterpreting her quote.
* Steve Benen of Washington Monthly
His post is entitled "WHEN REPUBLICANS LIE ABOUT RELATIVES' SERVICE RECORDS" and he references and parrots Kos: "I'm confused. When Brewer said her "father died fighting the Nazi regime in Germany," that wasn't intended to mean that her father was an American soldier in Germany during the Nazi regime?"
As with the others, what he claims she said is simply his misinterpretation.
While comparisons equating Brewer with Nazis are over the top and not constructive, Brewer’s anecdote doesn’t really stack up. The Arizona Guardian reports that in fact, “the death of Wilford Drinkwine came 10 years after World War II had ended. During the war, Drinkwine worked as a civilian supervisor for a naval munitions depot in Hawthorne, Nev. He died of lung disease in 1955 in California.” Brewer’s spokesman justified the governor’s statement, claiming Drinkwine “eventually died from the toxic fumes he inhaled” while working at the factory. (HT: Markos)
Of course, what doesn't "stack up" is Terkel's interpretation of Brewer's quote. The spokesman's comment isn't a "justification", it's an explanation.
* Ben Smith of the Politico
He links the AZ Republic interview and the Arizona Guardian story, but fails to do any more reporting than any of the others listed who are open about being partisans.
* Ben Frumin of TalkingPointsMemo
His post, which isn't as bad as some others, does include this:
It seems entirely possible that Brewer simply meant that her father died of an illness that was a direct cause of his employment at a wartime munitions factor.
UPDATE: Brewer has released a statement (link):
"My father, Wilford Drinkwine, moved our family before I was born from Minnesota to Nevada to work at the Hawthorne Ammunition Depot in Western Nevada at the outset of World War II. He passed away when I was 11 years old. His death came after a long and painful battle with lung disease, contracted following years of exposure to hazardous chemicals and toxic fumes while working as a civil servant at the base.
"I loved my father and was proud to hear him tell me that he was doing his part to help fight the Nazis in Germany. It's a similar story that I have heard from countless people from my parent's generation -- from women who worked in the factories to other family friends I met growing up near the depot. My father and mother instilled in me an understanding that many of those defenders of freedom who lost their lives in World War II never set foot on the battlefield.
"Even in the end, when my dad struggled for breath, he never regretted serving his country, helping free Europe from Hitler's grip. I have proudly recounted his story in many places for many years. My father's patriotism and sacrifice needs no embellishment."
From this (bolding added):
Immigrant-rights groups sought to tap some of the "tea party" thunder Thursday by using the anti-tax-and-spending movement's nationwide protests to argue illegal immigrants must be legalized because they are eager to pay their full taxes... "Here there are people who don't want to pay taxes, and we're saying there are all these people who want to carry the load and we don't allow them to," said Mary Moreno, a spokeswoman for the Center for Community Change. She led a delegation that delivered five boxes of blank tax forms to a Capitol Hill office as a symbol of all the tax money left uncollected because illegal immigrants have not been legalized... "Oh man. How do they come up with this? They won't be real Americans if they love taxes," said Rep. Steve King, an Iowa Republican who rallied with the tea partiers later in the day... He said the IRS won’t turn down any extra revenue from illegal immigrants who want to pay it now, but also doubted legalization would be a good deal for American taxpayers...
King is wrong on both accounts. The truth is that an overwhelming majority of Americans recognize the need to do their part in contributing to the nation’s welfare in the form of taxes. Eighty percent of Americans support maintaining spending levels on domestic programs such as education, health care, and Social Security over lowering taxes. Moreover, a new New York Times/CBS News poll finds that most Americans, 62 percent, regard the income taxes they personally pay as fair, regardless of political partisanship, ideology, or income level.
While King is definitely an anti-tax maven, his quote above was almost certainly meant at least partly in jest, along the lines of complaining about lines at the DMV. Obviously, that possibility flew over Nill's head, resulting in her linking to various immigration economics pseudo-studies that fail to take into account all the costs of comprehensive immigration reform.
Roy Beck of Numbers USA attended yesterday's pro-illegal immigration march, and you can watch the reception he received on the video at peekURL.com/v41a4yc which is also attached right or below. On the video, persons dressed as mimes surrounded him as he attempted to speak to the camera and blew whistles at him in an attempt to shut him up. Not only that, but from their posting about the day's events (link):
After threatening Roy, the mimes were ordered by Park Police to remain between 7th and 14th streets. Then they huddled and one ran to Park Police claiming one of Roy's African American bodyguards had assaulted her. Park Police were forced to investigate and arrest the bodyguard pending investigation. You have seen the videos folks, the same ones we will provide to the police to clear this situation. Both Chad and Roy have been shoved, bumped, whistled and screamed at, etc. yet have not pushed back.
While at least one of those involved was wearing a Service Employees International Union shirt, the bit with the mimes was organized by the Center for New Community. In the video, Beck holds up a card from the CNC's far-left, anti-white "Imagine2050" campaign; the card says:
"Bigots are here to debate immigration/make like a mime/don't debate anti-immigrant trolls"
The mimes and their handlers are, not to put too fine a point on it, fascists. They don't support the American system of debate but instead seek to silence those who disagree. Needless to say, this is how the far-left operates throughout the U.S., whether they're disrupting public meetings, seeking to criminalize speech, or relatively minor things like referring to mainstream rightwing radio as "hate radio". And, of course, many bloggers on both the right and the left have a war against "trolls", where they too seek to silence those who disagree.
While it's good that Beck showed up for their event and may have shown some who aren't familiar with this issue who the other side is, attending street protests is largely a worthless endeavor. The much more effective way to do things is - of course - outlined on the question authority page.
UPDATE: Andrea Nill of ThinkProgress has the mimes' side of things at
thinkprogress.org/2010/03/22/roy-beck-numbersusa. One of the mimes who pressed charges is Lena Graber, who may be the same person who's a policy associate at the National Immigration Forum, a considered-mainstream group (http://www.immigrationforum.org/about/staff). While some of the things she says might cause a finder of fact to assume the bodyguard is in the wrong, other things cast a great deal of doubt on her statements. Namely, Nill says: "Graber explains that she and four other mimes followed Beck and his crew around for four hours in an effort to prevent Beck from picking a fight with demonstrators..." Obviously, Beck wasn't going to "pick a fight" with anyone; he's not a thug like they are.
Then, Nill says:
Another witness who did not want to be named confirmed Graber’s account and described the mimes’ behavior as “completely whimsical in nature — never threatening.” Both Graber and the witness confirmed that the "hateful whistles" were actually just small plastic whistles in the shape of a soccer ball.
What they were doing is trying to intimidate Beck and silence him; watch the video. They're little fascists, just like all the other little fascists throughout history in spirit if not in deed. The others, of course, went well beyond whistles, but it's not hard at all to see those like Lena Graber going further if given the chance. And, Andrea Nill is enabling their behavior.
In May, 2008, Barack Obama smeared Lou Dobbs and Rush Limbaugh, falsely claiming that hate crimes against Hispanics had "doubled" the year before. In fact, they only went up 7.8%. Not only that, but they've decreased as a percentage of the Hispanic population between 1995 and 2006.
Given that, you might not expect Andrea Nill of ThinkProgress to write the following, unless you were familiar with that site and her work. In that case, you - like me - would realize just how truth-challenged both she and the others associated with that site are. Referring to a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center (perhaps more on that later), she writes (thinkprogress.org/2010/03/03/dobbs-splc-hate-groups):
While campaigning in 2008, Obama himself accused Dobbs of "ginning things up" to such an extent that hate crimes against Latinos soared.
The last sentence links links to the contemporaneous Huffington Post report at huffingtonpost.com/2008/05/23/
obama-rush-limbaugh-lou-d_n_103315.html which, of course, doesn't even hint at how much Obama was lying.
If Nill had even a smidgen of intellectual honesty she would note that Obama lied. As it is, I strongly suspect that her use of "soared" instead of what Obama said ("doubled") is an outright attempt to deceive her readers but at the same time not raise red flags by repeating something so obviously false.
Disingenuous Lou Dobbs now wants amnesty, guest workers, chain migration ("comprehensive immigration reform") - 01/08/10
Appearing on last night's Bill OReilly show on Fox News, Lou Dobbs made it clear that he does support amnesty, euphemistically called comprehensive immigration reform. Not only that, but he supports guest workers and chain migration. The only question he has is how many would be legalized and how many family members those legalized would be able to bring to the U.S. Since he referenced legalizing 9 million people (3 times 3 million on the video), he wants to legalize the great majority of illegal aliens in the U.S. On those topics, he's even worse than O'Reilly. Partial transcript below, video attached and at peekURL.com/vxcpalc (UPDATE: a longer video is at peekURL.com/v2q76xe ).
Dobbs' earlier statements were somewhat ambiguous, but now it's clear, and the question becomes whether this is something he thought of on his own or whether others changed his mind, such as with the promise of supporting a possible run for office. For those of a conspiratorial nature, this might also be due to threats or the incident where a shot was fired at his house.
And, this is an incredibly bad position to take considering that millions of Americans are out of work and amnesty will probably not be successful (although it can't be ruled out). If he was going to come out in support of the corrupt establishment, why not stay at CNN? Does he want back in to the corrupt establishment's good graces?
If he does run for office I probably won't be supporting him, but at the same time his critics continue to be even worse. So, one has to be careful to not help them when discussing him.
I had no idea of the greater class structure that existed at the time in the urban northeastern United States. That is another one of the blessings I believe I had growing up a poor kid out west.
There aren't twenty million illegal immigrants because of a choice made by the voting electorate of the country. There are twenty million illegal immigrants in this country because a good part of the establishment made a decision to exploit labor.
Every trade agreement that has been written is devastating to the interests of working people. This is not protectionism. This is simple decency and common sense. If that is no longer part of the impulse and the imperative of the elites of this country, what the hell are we becoming? [Note: this site agrees]
Corporate America has a responsibility to its stakeholders, and those stakeholders include the nation that makes it possible. [Note: ditto]
I happen to believe that affirmative action over the course of the past forty years has been an entirely appropriate response, not because of race but because of economics. If that's the only way to get to it, then God bless - let's get to it. [Note: is he high?]
It's all about the cost of labor, isn't it?
The people who said they didn't want government involved in their markets and industries, they were the first people to scream like children when confronted with the economic crisis. [Note: this site strongly agrees; the tea parties are useful idiots for those screaming.]
I'm actually pro-immigrant. There's not a restrictionist bone in my body. [Note: obviously, this site strongly disagrees]
I ask a question, and I am attacked from the extreme Left as a quote-unquote birther. I mean, what the hell is that? When you can create a controversy by asking what seems to me still a perfectly commonsense question? It has been used in the extreme Left to create a toxicity that is just unbelievable. [note: for the facts, see our extensive coverage of the Obama certificate issue]
The partial transcript from ThinkProgress follows; initially I thought they had omitted exculpatory details but as it turns out what they omitted was just as bad as the rest:
Hilda Solis puts interests of immigrants, illegal aliens ahead of U.S. workers, sounds just like George Bush - 12/17/09
Various sources  have recently called for moratoriums on various kinds of immigration and increased immigration enforcement in order to free up jobs for Americans. (Note: I tried to shame the Center for American Progress over this issue way back in March, but I didn't get any help with it).
In response to the recent calls, Hilda Solis of the Department of Labor has shown that - while she's probably interested in workers in general - she has little concern for putting the interests of American workers ahead of the interests of illegal aliens and legal immigrants. Not only that, but in so doing she said something that George W Bush or Michael Chertoff could have said. Speaking at CAP, she said the following which the reader is encouraged to read in the voices of either Bush or Chertoff (video here, writeup thinkprogress.org/2009/12/17/solis-moratorium):
I think we’d have a big shortage of workers out there and I think as we move through this decade, we’re going to see people retiring from different types of jobs…so who is going to help fill those positions?
You would probably see towns shutting down, communities shutting down. You’d see second and third industries being affected – restaurant industries, service sectors industries where immigrants tend to work and be found. It would also impact the current ability to put food on your table because if you don’t have a certain number of people out there doing jobs that others wouldn’t want to do, then how are we going to provide the sustenance we need for all our American families?
March's open letter (link above) and the question I wanted Janet Napolitano to be asked at CAP are designed to discredit that organization and the administration officials who put the interests of illegal aliens ahead of the interests of U.S. citizens. It's unfortunate that despite promoting both in various forums I was unable to get any help with either.
In response [to a protest discouraging participation in the Census], the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO) has started using the Bible to target religious Latinos with a different message: What would Jesus do?
NALEO is handing out posters that illustrate the arrival of Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem. NALEO explains that the Gospel of Luke indicates that the reason Jesus was born in Bethlehem is because Joseph and Mary were fulfilling their civic duty by returning to the town to be counted by the Roman census. A poster printed by NALEO reads: “This is how Jesus was born, Joseph and Mary participated in the Census.” Nick Kimball, spokesman at the Commerce Department (which oversees the Census Bureau), said that the government played no role in creating the posters.
NALEO has at least one, albeit minor link to the Mexican government, and the reason they want as many Latinos to participate in the Census is obvious: they want to obtain even more race-based political power. And, they're twisting religion to their corrupt ends.
Andrea Nill of ThinkProgress offers "Report: CNBC Was Considering Hiring Dobbs Until Latino Groups Pushed Back" (thinkprogress.org/2009/12/05/dobbs-cnbc-nogales). Neither she nor those in her general sphere are that credible and would want to inflate their power as much as possible, so take this with a large grain of salt:
(National Hispanic Media Coalition) President Alex Nogales told ThinkProgress today that CNBC was in fact talking with (Lou Dobbs) and that his hiring was, at least in part, thwarted by the same coalition of Latino, civil rights, and media-watchdog groups that successfully campaigned to get Dobbs off CNN airwaves...
When the New York Times reported that CNBC was in negotiations with Dobbs, many of these same civil rights groups chose to similarly and quickly pressure CNBC. The groups, in a letter, warned CNBC that such a move “would be a clear demonstration that CNBC is willing to use its airwaves to promote hate.” They “respectfully” requested the network “refrain” from hiring Dobbs.
Nogales says he reached out with the groups’ concerns to Executive Vice President of Diversity for NBC Universal, Paula Madison, and informed her that his group had signed the letter and she should expect all the major Latino civil rights advocacy organizations and their allies to do the same. Nogales brought up the $30 billion pending deal between Comcast and General Electric on the acquisition of NBC Universal, pointing out that an ugly public battle would not be in NBC’s best interest. According to Nogales, he received a call one hour later from Mark Hoffman, President of CNBC, extending his sincere apologies and assuring Nogales that CNBC would not be offering Dobbs a job. Nogales says that CNBC was in fact talking with Dobbs, though it was unclear whether the two parties had reached an accord before Hoffman contacted him.
She then quotes Nogales crowing "we’re showing our power by collaborating with other groups and putting pressure on networks to do the right business thing".
This proves my point about how Dobbs supporters should approach his recent supposed flip-flop. Turning on him helps those racial power groups that want to keep the other side's views off the air.
Last night, Arizona State University held a "First Amendment Forum" with sheriff Joe Arpaio being questioned about his relationship to the media and immigration by a professor and two others from that school. The event was interrupted by far-left protesters who began singing parody lyrics of Bohemian Rhapsody, causing the panelists including Arpaio to leave one-by-one. The Dean of the school says (link):
"They didn’t shout down Sheriff Arpaio... They shouted down three top-flight journalists who were trying to question him. My personal opinion? I think that’s dumb."
The lyrics of their parody song are here, and they're quite dumb too. They racialize immigration enforcement, complain about NAFTA while their "solution" would make the situation for those in the U.S. and Mexico worse, and basically support open borders.
And, for more dumb, Amanda Terkel of ThinkProgress links to video and the lyrics (thinkprogress.org/2009/12/01/arpaio-protest) but fails to note what the Dean says about the incident. And, considering that this is red meat for their visitors and she's not pointing out that interrupting such events is a dumb thing to do, it's not unfair to assume that she supports such interruptions at "First Amendment Forums" just as long as they break the far-left way.
Disclosure documents show that tea parties organizer, head of FreedomWorks, and former Rep. Dick Armey lobbied in regards to the stimulus plan. The documents don't indicate what the lobbying consisted of, but there's certainly a fair possibility that he wasn't lobbying to reduce the amount of the stimulus.
Andrea Nill of Think Progress smears Joe Arpaio, gives false impression using bogus quote - 10/05/09
According to the Phoenix News Times, (Sheriff Joe Arpaio) appeared on KTAR 92.3 FM’s Jay Lawrence Show last night vowing to continue operating his "Hispanic-hunting dragnets," even if it means driving undocumented immigrants back across the border himself:
That's followed by a quote from Arpaio, and if you're like me you probably thought "Hispanic-hunting dragnets" might be a quote from Arpaio as well. Whether Nill meant to give that impression or not, it's false. That quote is the characterization of Arpaio's 287g street sweeps as given at  by an Arpaio opponent. Based on the title of Nill's post and her past statements I'm leaning towards the possibility that she was trying to fool her readers into thinking Arpaio had said that. Note also that she's lying about what Arpaio says he intends to do; at  he says "I'll bring 'em [illegal aliens] myself to the border". In Nill's title that's morphed into him deporting them; those aren't necessarily the same thing.
Immigration Policy Ctr: U.S. lost Olympic Games bid due to "anti-visitor policy", "broken immigration system" - 10/02/09
Today's "Tie Every Current Event to Your Agenda No Matter How Tenuously" award goes to the Immigration Policy Center, which blames the failure of the U.S. to bring the Olympics home to Chicago on our immigration policies (link). Per a press release:
"A litany of voices have been warning for years that the U.S. is slowly adopting an anti-visitor policy that is harming business, higher education and families... Stories in the press and report after report have all highlighted how our broken immigration system is hampering our nation's ability to attract the best and the brightest and stay competitive with other nations around the world."
1. There indeed has been some sort of tightening of visa requirements in order to reduce the possibility of terrorists jetting in, however, any idea that Obama wouldn't have made sure that as many people as possible could travel to Chicago is absurd.
2. The system is broken canard and the rest aren't usually used for issues relating to tourism but for actual immigrants (and illegal aliens); the IPC is repurposing it for their argument (such as it is) or just has it as a macro.
UPDATE: This story has also spread to other supporters of massive/illegal immigration, and it appears to have started at least in the MSM with Michelle Higgins of the New York Times with this oft-quoted passage (link):
Syed Shahid Ali, an I.O.C. member from Pakistan, in the question-and-answer session following Chicago’s official presentation, pointed out that entering the United States can be "a rather harrowing experience."
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.
The American Petroleum Institute is starting a new astroturf movement called "Energy Citizens": rallies in "about 20 states" designed to:
"put a human face on the impacts of unsound energy policy and to aim a loud message at those states' U.S. Senators to avoid the mistakes embodied in the House climate bill and the Obama Administration’s tax increases on our industry."
If you've been following our tea parties coverage, you're probably thinking: "corporate astroturf? Call in the tea partiers!" And, in fact, FreedomWorks did call them in to the Houston rally. However, those inside the meeting apparently didn't want to rub shoulders with the hoi polloi and turned them away, as you can see on the attached video. Bear in mind that the source is Public Citizen via ThinkProgress , so there's the possibility that it was faked up. However, that appears to be slight. While some will no doubt laugh at them for being useful idiots (OK, I admit it), it's mostly just pathetic. If the oil companies (or FreedomWorks' funders, or the Koch family) want a crowd, at the least try to get some money out of it. That's what it's all about, right?
CAP promotes benefits of states, politicians profiting from illegal immigration (Census, Andrea Nill) - 08/10/09
Andrea Nill of the Center for American Progress offers "Why Counting Undocumented Immigrants In The 2010 Census Counts For A Lot" (wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2009/08/10/immigration-census-bureau), a through-the-looking-glass post listing all the wonderful ways that states and localities can make out like bandits from counting illegal aliens in the Census and using their population in apportioning Congressional representation:
...the census serves many other purposes, namely the allocation of scarce federal resources for states and localities. Census data is used to distribute federal funding and Community Development Block Grants that benefit all residents. In a recently released report, the Drum Major Institute (DMI) shows that not counting undocumented immigrants would lead to inaccurate demographic information and result in costly mistakes in infrastructure, education, and healthcare planning...
The National Council of La Raza bills itself as "the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States" who works through "its network of nearly 300 affiliated community-based organizations."
Among these affiliates are several chapters of the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan) who La Raza helps fund. Aztlan is what radical "Mechistas"—as they refer to themselves on La Raza’s website—call the American Southwest, which they claim still belongs to Mexico. Their slogan is "Por La Raza todo, Fuera de La Raza nada" meaning "For The Race everything, outside the Race nothing." One chapter says on La Raza’s site that their mission is "empowerment of our gente and the liberation of Aztlan."
La Raza receives tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to set up charter schools like the Aztlan Academy of Tucson where they fly the Mexican Flag, but not the American Flag and teach students "Aztec Math."
See the link for some of his citations, and the "liberation of Aztlan" group is promoted at lideres.nclr.org/content/groups/detail/2308. In addition to that call, they also include the MEChA logo of an eagle holding a stick of dynamite and a war club. See also lideres.nclr.org/content/article/detail/1743 where they promote someone who joined a Brown Berets group while in the sixth grade; they're even more extreme than MEChA. And, right there on the right in that section: the logos of some of the NCLR's corporate sponsors: Allstate, Best Buy, MetLife, and Sodexo. Note also that the NCLR claims not to support separatism at nclr.org/section/separatist. So much for that.