CNS Pushes Bogus 'Real Unemployment Rate' Topic: Free Congress Foundation
A Nov. 2 CNSNews.com article by Matt Cover carries the headline "Real Unemployment Rate 14.6 Percent in October" and claims:
The so-called real unemployment rate fell slightly in October, going from 14.7 percent to 14.6 percent, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday.
This rate is a more comprehensive picture of those who are unemployed or underemployed.
In fact, the U-6 rate Cover is referring to is not an "unemployment" rate, real or otherwise -- as Cover himself admits, it also includes those employed part time who want full-time work.
While Cover insists the U-6 rate "is considered a more comprehensive measure of the employment pictures," even the conservative Heritage Foundation admits the the "chief utility" of the U-6 rate is "shock value," and that " the significance of the U-5 and U-6 numbers is far from clear -- and surely not as great as many commentators recklessly suggest."
Weyrich Falsely Suggests Catholic Criticism of Pelosi Isn't Partisan Topic: Free Congress Foundation
In a Sept. 9 column printed at CNSNews.com, Paul Weyrich stated that "a group of [Nancy] Pelosi’s fellow House Members" wrote a letter criticizing her claim that "the Catholic Church has not been able to agree when life begins." Weyrich added: "While partisan differences are typical of doing business in the House, it is highly unusual for Members to deliver such a pointed attack on another Member’s version of her religion."
Nowhere does Weyrich note that all 19 House members who signed the letter to Pelosi are Republicans, which undercuts Weyrich's suggestion that the letter wasn't borne of "partisan differences."
Where Are They Now? Topic: Free Congress Foundation
Back in 2005, we detailed how conservatives who complained there wasn't enough obstruction of President Clinton's judicial nominees were quick to complain about obstruction of President Bush's nominees. One of those critics was John Nowacki, former head of the Free Congress Foundation's Center for Law and Democracy, who left in late 2003 to take a position as senior counsel in the Justice Department's public affairs office.
Turns out he's been quite busy over there. The Chicago Tribune reported in May 2007 that Nowacki was helping to "shape the department's widely criticized response" to the controversial firings of several federal prosecutors for what appeared to be partisan reasons, adding "Nowacki worked closely with [former DOJ official Monica] Goodling to track the progress of congressional investigations and helped fashion testimony by top Justice Department officials, according to records released in the inquiry. That testimony is under review by departmental watchdogs trying to determine if Justice Department authorities intentionally misled Congress."
Now, a new inspector general's report asserting that Goodling "routinely broke the law by conducting political litmus tests on candidates for jobs as immigration judges and line prosecutors" offers a role for Nowacki as well. From the Washington Post:
Investigators cited discrepancies in information provided by Goodling, Sampson and former press aide John Nowacki, who, like Goodling, received his law degree from Regent University, founded by television evangelist Pat Robertson. But they stopped short of concluding that the conduct rose to the level of a criminal violation.
An earlier version of the Post story noted that Nowacki was "on assignment in Iraq." What the heck is Nowacki doing in Iraq, and who is he "on assignment" for?
Weyrich Repeats Misleading Attack on Bible Textbook Topic: Free Congress Foundation
A July 29 column by Paul Weyrich, reprinted at Newsmax, repeats a misleading attack on the Bible Literacy Project and its textbook "The Bible And Its Influence." As we noted, WorldNetDaily's Bob Unruh wrote an attack on the book in April, based almost entirely on accusations made by Alabama state senator Scott Beason. WND also published a column by Beason, which Weyrich cites (and apparently based his column on).
Weyrich fails to mention that WND also published a response to Beason by Bible Literacy Project general editor Cullen Schippe, who counters many of Beason's claims, pointing out that they are "are deeply misinformed and contain falsehoods and misleading, out-of-context statements." For instance, both Beason and Weyrich overly focus on one consultant for the book, Charles Haynes. But as Schippe pointed out, Haynes was just one of 40 reviewers of the book.
Further, like Unruh and WND, Weyrich failed to mention Beason's status as an adviser for a competing Bible cuirriculum, as Schippe also pointed out.
Weyrich said he "endorsed the [Bible Literacy] Project," then added: "Now that I have been made aware of what this Project is really about, thanks to Sen. Beason, I hereby withdraw my endorsement. Once again liberals stole what began as a worthwhile initiative. This is worse than public schools without God." Weyrich might want to try getting the actual facts before bailing out.
For years America has drifted away from assimilation, which has become an unspeakable word among the cultural elite. Instead, we are told that we must recognize and celebrate the diversity of various groups without demanding any compromise from them. This has hurt immigrants more than anyone else because many have become isolated in cultural ghettos without a proper command of English, the American political and legal systems or American history and culture.
What we need to do is return the debate to the topic of assimilation, of learning to speak English, of the value of becoming a citizen, and of pride in a country that provides immigrants from around the world with more opportunities for success than any other country on earth.
A return to assimilation and a coherent culture will not begin until we put our own house in order. We cannot expect others to respect us when many Americans themselves are ashamed of their country.
Weyrich's column was immediately proven to be a sham by a May 13 Washington Post article:
Immigrants of the past quarter-century have been assimilating in the United States at a notably faster rate than did previous generations, according to a study released today.
In general, the longer an immigrant lives in the United States, the more characteristics of native citizens he or she tends to take on, said Jacob L. Vigdor, a professor at Duke University and author of the study. During periods of intense immigration, such as from 1870 to 1920, or during the immigration wave that began in the 1970s, new arrivals tend to drag down the average assimilation index of the foreign-born population as a whole.
The report found, however, that the speed with which new arrivals take on native-born traits has increased since the 1990s. As a result, even though the foreign population doubled during that period, the newcomers did not drive down the overall assimilation index of the foreign-born population. Instead, it held relatively steady from 1990 to 2006.
"This is something unprecedented in U.S. history," Vigdor said. "It shows that the nation's capacity to assimilate new immigrants is strong."
A possible explanation, Vigdor said, was that the economic expansion of the 1990s created more job opportunities at all levels, speeding the economic integration of immigrants. It could also be that because today's immigrants begin at such a low starting point, "it's easier to make progress to the next level up" of integration than it would be if the immigrant had to improve on an already high level of integration.
Oops! Will Weyrich respond to this study or retract his now-proven-wrong column? We shall see.
Weyrich Repeats False Pelosi Claims Topic: Free Congress Foundation
A Feb. 13 column by the Free Congress Foundation's Paul Weyrich (reprinted at NewsMax) repeats the discredited claim that Nancy Pelosi asked for a large, luxurious jet to fly to California and back.
"The Washington Times broke the story that the Speaker was demanding a 747 with seating for 40, a middle compartment with a bed and a desk for, in this case, whoever is the host," Weyrich wrote. But the Times' claim has never been substantiated on the record; in fact, the House Sergeant at Arms, not Pelosi, requested a plane that would be able to fly nonstop from Washington to San Francisco.
Weyrich also wrote:
Given that Ms. Pelosi is two heartbeats from the Presidency, I felt perhaps her request was not unreasonable. That is, until I learned the following: the plane former Speaker Hastert used is capable of flying 3,700 nautical miles without refueling. That is well beyond the requirement for a San Francisco to Washington D.C flight. No, that wasn’t good enough. She wanted the larger aircraft.
Weyrich then complained: "Her people attacked the messenger for breaking the story. The Washington Times, you see, is right-wing trash." The problem here is not that the Washington Times is "right-wing trash"; it's that it's incorrect, unsubstantiated trash.
Further, nowhere does Weyrich acknowledge that the White House took Pelosi's side on this issue; press secretary Tony Snow said that she needs an Air Force plane to travel between Washington and her home district for security reasons.
After the 1998 election, with its razor-thin victory for Republicans in the House of Representatives, a dozen conservatives informed the Republican Leadership that they would not vote for Gingrich as Speaker under any circumstance. That was when Tom DeLay and others in the GOP Leadership told Gingrich that the ball game was over.
In fact, Republicans lost five seats in the House in 1998 -- hardly a "razor-thin victory."
The liberals have the three major broadcast networks; they have PBS; they have CNN, MSNBC and Bloomberg on cable; they have the powerful voices of THE WASHINGTON POST, LOS ANGELES TIMES and NEW YORK TIMES. We have the Fox News Channel (which only seeks to present both sides and is not outright conservative) and talk radio.
-- Paul Weyrich, Free Congress Foundation commmentary, Sept. 26.
Misleading Claim on Judicial Nominations Topic: Free Congress Foundation
A May 15 commentary by the Free Congress Foundation's Marion Edwyn Harrison, Esq. (repeated at Accuracy in Media) claims that the federal judiciary "is approaching - some would say, is in the midst of - a crisis," in part because "[t]here are 30 vacancies, 10 appellate and 20 trial."
But as ConWebWatch has pointed out, when the number of federal judicial vacancies was more than 60 in the final years of the Clinton administration, the FCF saw no emergency; one FCF commentary dismissed the number of vacancies as "only 63."
Ann Coulter: Anarchist, Not Conservative Topic: Free Congress Foundation
"I take second place to no one in denouncing these kinds of threats. People who advocate killing Justices because they profoundly disagree with them are not conservatives. They are anarchists." -- Paul Weyrich, March 22 column.
So, Mr. Weyrich, may we put two and two together regarding your statement and Ann Coulter's wish to see John Paul Stevens poisoned?
Weyrich Whoppers Topic: Free Congress Foundation
A March 10 column by the Free Congress Foundation's Paul Weyrich (reprinted at Accuracy in Media), which waxes rhapsodic about the Republican Study Committee and its budget-slashing "alternative" federal budget proposal, makes a few dubious claims that Weyrich himself counters.
Weyrich claims that "this budget is not designed to mollify special interests." That's false; given that Weyrich's own description of what the budget does -- "[l]iberal favorites, such as Title X Family Planning and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, would be eliminated" as would "subsidies for certain Indian tribes to the Legal Services Corporation," while it would also "leave intact the Bush Administration pro-growth tax policy" -- it sounds like a lot of conservative special interests are being mollified here.
Weyrich also adds that "the Departments of Commerce, Energy and Education are so restructured that the case could be made that under this budget those agencies would be, for practical purposes, abolished." Another conservative special interest being served.
Another false claim is in Weyrich's headline, "A Realistic Budget From A Realistic Steering Committee." Well, read Weyrich's history of the RSC, with which he kicks off his column, hints at something different. As Weyrich, one of its creators, tells it, the RSC was created as a "counterpart" to the Democratic Study Group, which he called a "caucus of Democratic liberals which continually pulled their party to the left." So, by definition, the RSC is designed to pull Republicans to the right. This self-defined extremism is "responsible"?
ABA Recommendations Suddenly Meaningful Again Topic: Free Congress Foundation
Has the Free Congress Foundation changed its mind about the American Bar Association's recommendations on judicial candidates?
The FCF used to be opposed to attaching any importance to ABA recommendations. As Tom Jipping, then-director of the FCF's Center for Law and Democracy, wrote in a March 2001 FCF commentary, "the quality of the ABA's work on such matters is even more suspect." He added:
Having the playing field unequal, with the ABA enjoying a huge advantage over everyone else, was accomplishing something the political left found very important. Could it be that the ABA's input produced not just objective information about candidates' competence but subjective information about candidates' politics?
Likewise no Senator has responded meaningfully to the fact that the American Bar Association ("ABA") Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary unanimously accorded Judge [Samuel] Alito its highest rating: "Well Qualified."
Thus, the ABA Committee clearly conferred its highest approbation upon Judge Alito's nomination by evaluating his merits - not his personal views, the positions he took on behalf of clients, his practicing Roman Catholicism or his allegedly dangerous conservatism.
Let's dispense with the mindless and often vicious negativism and, as the ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary did, consider the nominee's merits.
New Article: Bashing Judges, Then and Now Topic: Free Congress Foundation
Conservative rhetoric against Clinton's judicial nominees clashes with conservative rhetoric in favor of Bush's judicial nominees. Read it.