NRA's Ted Nugent Goes On Racially Charged Ferguson Rant Targeting "Black Klansmen"

National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent reacted to the decision of a Missouri grand jury to not indict police officer Darren Wilson by attacking "black klansmen" and claiming "millions" of African-Americans "slaughter" each other "every day." The grand jury was considering whether Wilson should be charged with a crime over his fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown on August 9 in Ferguson, Missouri. In a November 24 post on Facebook, Nugent, who is a columnist for several conservative websites, offered "lessons from Ferguson," writing, "Don't let your kids growup to be thugs who think they can steal, assault & attack cops as a way of life & badge of black (dis)honor. Don't preach your racist bullshit 'no justice no peace' as blabbered by Obama's racist Czar Al Not So Sharpton & their black klansmen." He also wrote, "dont claim that 'black lives matter' when you ignore the millions you abort & slaughter each & every day by other blacks," and concluded, "So quit killin each other you fuckin idiots. Drive safely":

Posted by on 25 November 2014 | 9:09 am

Mike Huckabee's Latest Fox Appearances Confirm He Needs To Go

After the Washington Post reported on the numerous steps Mike Huckabee is taking towards mounting a presidential run, Fox News announced that it was "evaluating his current status" as a contributor and planning to meet with him when he returned from an overseas trip. But Huckabee has returned from the trip and is back on-air at the network, hosting GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson's lobbyist to promote Adelson's "top" issue. While Huckabee continues to use Fox News to bolster his political ambitions, the network has not offered a public update on his employment. In a November 12 profile of Huckabee, Washington Post reporters Tom Hamburger and Robert Costa laid out the various ways Huckabee and his associates are gearing up for a potential presidential run. According to the Post, Huckabee and his team have been courting donors and GOP insiders, scheduling campaign planning meetings, and looking for a campaign headquarters. Costa and Hamburger highlighted the "finesse" needed by Huckabee and his team to avoid losing his Fox News show, which Huckabee and his allies have repeatedly cited as important in keeping him visible to voters. According to "Republicans familiar with Huckabee's efforts," the Fox host designed his new political group "to allow him to retain his Fox News contract, since the group is not overtly political."  After the Post story was published, Media Matters called for Huckabee's suspension, citing the fact that the network had recently cut ties with Ben Carson -- another contributor who was publicly considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination -- and pointing out that Huckabee by any reasonable standard had provided just as much (if not more) evidence that he planned to enter the race.

Posted by on 25 November 2014 | 8:44 am

Memo To The Media: GOP Intel Committee Report Is Just The Latest To Debunk Right-Wing Benghazi Myths

On November 21, the Republican-led House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released the findings of its investigation into the September 2012 attacks on two U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, debunking many right-wing media myths about the attacks. Despite the fact that this is just the latest of several reports that clear Obama administration officials of any wrongdoing, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) reappointed Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) to lead a special committee in furtherance of the right-wing Benghazi hoax.House Committee On Intelligence Report Debunks Right-Wing Media's Benghazi Hoax House Committee On Intelligence Concludes No Cover Up, No Stand Down Order In Benghazi Attack. The Republican-led House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) released the findings of a nearly two year-long investigative report into the September 2012 attacks on two U.S. facilities in Benghazi. This report, like many before it, debunked right-wing media's myths about the attacks, concluding that there was no intelligence failure prior to the attacks, no stand down order was issued during attacks, and the administration's initial talking points about the attacks were based on the Central Intelligence Agency's assessment at the time, as the administration has long maintained. [Media Matters, 11/21/14] Despite Latest Report, House Speaker Reappoints Rep. Gowdy To Chair House Select Committee On Benghazi And Continue Investigations John Boehner Reappoints Gowdy To Chair House Benghazi Select Committee. House Speaker John Boehner announced that he will reappoint Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) as Chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, noting that he looks forward "to the definitive report Chairman Gowdy and the Select Committee will present to the American people," claiming there are still "far too many questions about what happened that night." [Speaker Boehner's Press Office, 11/24/14] Several Bipartisan And Independent Reviews Have Debunked Right-Wing Claims About Benghazi Bipartisan U.S. Senate Select Committee On Intelligence Found No Cover Up, No Stand Down Order. The U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released a report in January about the 2012 Benghazi attacks that dispelled many right-wing Benghazi conspiracy theories. The investigation found no evidence of an Obama administration cover up, and debunked many right-wing conspiracy theories about the attacks. The review determined there was no effort by the administration to alter their talking points for political purposes, no evidence of a stand down order given to responding units during the attack, and there was no effort by the Obama administration to cover up or alter facts about the attacks. [Review Of The Terrorist Attacks On U.S. Facilities In Benghazi, Libya, September 11-12, 2012, U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 1/15/14] [Media Matters, 1/15/14] [Media Matters, 5/7/14] Republican-Led House Armed Services Committee Report Concluded No Stand Down Order Issued To Military. On February 11, the House Armed Services Committee released a report on its investigation into the Benghazi attacks, which concluded that "There was no 'stand down' order issued to U.S. military personnel in Tripoli who sought to join the fight in Benghazi." As The Washington Post explained, the report further determined that "no U.S. military assets could have arrived in Benghazi in time to affect the outcome of the attack, according to committee staff members who briefed reporters on the report." [Media Matters, 2/11/14] State Department's Independent Accountability Review Board For Benghazi Found No Evidence Of A Cover Up. The independent Accountability Review Board's investigation into the 2012 Benghazi attacks found no evidence that the Obama administration or the intelligence community withheld necessary information or acted with political motivations, contrary to the myths pushed by GOP lawmakers and right-wing media. [State Department, 12/19/12] [Media Matters, 9/16/14] State Department Office Of The Inspector General Found The Accountability Review Board's Benghazi Investigation Operated "As Intended" And "Without Bias." The State Department Office of the Inspector General (IG) issued results of its investigation into the Benghazi Accountability Review Board's (ARB) Benghazi probe and found that the process worked as intended -- "independently and without bias - to identify vulnerabilities in the Department of state's security programs." This finding contradicted myths pushed by GOP lawmakers, including Darrell Issa, who falsely alleged the ARB was "anything but an independent investigation." [U.S. State Department Office Of the Inspector General, Special Review of the Accountability Review Board Process, 9/13] [Media Matters, 9/27/13]

Posted by on 25 November 2014 | 5:51 am

Right-Wing Media Defend Maine's EBT Photo ID Requirement To Hype SNAP Fraud Myths

Right-wing media have championed photo ID requirements on EBT cards for Maine residents who receive food stamp benefits, claiming high levels of waste and fraud. But in reality, Maine's SNAP program is not rampant with fraud and such photo identification measures have proved inefficient in other states.Maine Implements SNAP Photo ID Requirements Bangor Daily News: Maine Implements "Rule Requiring Photo Identification On State-Issued Welfare Benefit Cards. According to a July 30 report from the Bangor Daily News, "nearly all of the roughly 223,000 active EBT cards circulating in Maine" will have to be reissued to include a photo of the recipient on the card. The News noted that "Republican Gov. Paul LePage has been a staunch proponent of the photo ID requirement for EBT cardholders," and he claimed that the policy is needed to deter fraud. [Bangor Daily News, 6/30/14] Right-Wing Media Use Maine EBT Photo ID Measures To Push Myth Of SNAP Fraud Fox's Kilmeade: Maine Is Requiring Photo ID For Food Stamp Benefits Because The State Is "Spending Too Much Money" On "Ineligible People." During the November 25 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Brian Kilmeade hosted National Review's Jillian Melchior to discuss the state's efforts at "welfare reform." Evidencing the need for the measures by claiming that the state was "spending too much money" on food stamps for "ineligible people," Kilmeade asked "what's the problem here?" Melchoir claimed that public benefits fraud was a "huge problem" and that the photo identification requirement is just "a common sense measure." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 11/25/14] National Review's Melchior: Gov. LePage's Photo ID Measures Allowed State To "Cut Back On Fraud Abuse." In an October 17 post, National Review's Jillian Melchoir praised Maine Governor Paul LePage's actions, claiming that his EBT photo identification measures have allowed the state to "cut back on fraud abuse" totaling "$3.7 million a year." [National Review Online, 10/17/14] But SNAP Fraud Remains Low In Maine And Nationwide Department Of Health And Human Services Official: SNAP Fraud Rate Of Less Than 1 Percent In Maine Is "Likely About The Same" As Rest Of The Country. According to a February 2013 article from the Portland Press Herald, the $3.7 million a year of fraud in the state is "likely about the same" amount of fraud as experienced nationwide, or about 1 percent: The request was one anti-fraud measure proposed by Gov. Paul LePage. Federal officials have estimated the level of welfare fraud nationwide at 1 percent of the $75 billion program, $750 million a year. The level of fraud in Maine is likely about the same, amounting to about $3.7 million a year in a $372 million program, said DHHS spokesman John Martins. [Portland Press Herald, 2/15/14] USDA: SNAP Fraud Rates Have "Dropped Dramatically" Over "Last Two Decades." According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the rate of program fraud, or trafficking rates, have "dropped dramatically" over "the last two decades, from about 4 cents on the dollar in 1993, to about 1 cent in 2006-08 (most recent data available)." [U.S. Department of Agriculture, accessed 11/25/14] Furthermore, EBT Photo ID Programs Have Proved Inefficient In Other States  Tennessee Department Of Human Services: Other States' EBT Photo ID Requirements Have Had High Costs And Little Impact On Fraud. According to a January report from the Tennessee Department of Human Services which examined, implemented and proposed photo identification requirements for EBT programs, most states saw high associated costs and little impact on fraud. The report noted that states such as New York "determined that photographs on EBT cards did not deter fraud," and in Missouri "mandating photographs on EBT cards did not generate enough savings for the program to be continued." [Tennessee Department Of Human Services, 1/15/14] Bangor Daily News: Other Photo ID EBT Programs "Failed As A Fraud Deterrent." According to a May 9 editorial by Maine's Bangor Daily News, other states which have implemented photo identification measures attached to their EBT programs have seen little fraud deterrent and have been met with high costs: In the Bay State, which started implementing its requirement at the end of 2013, the photo requirement doesn't even apply to about half of the state's EBT cards. More than 45 percent of the state's households that receive food stamp benefits have members who are elderly or disabled. Massachusetts estimates it will spend $5 million-$7 million to fully implement its photo requirement for EBT cards and $4.4 million annually on an ongoing basis. Yet the state has already found the photo requirement to be a wasteful use of public resources meant to help low-income people escape poverty. In 2004, Republican Gov. Mitt Romney's administration terminated a previous EBT photo requirement that took effect in the late 1990s after determining it resulted in no savings for taxpayers, carried high administrative costs and failed as a fraud deterrent. In Missouri, a state audit came to the same conclusion in 2001, and that state has nixed its photo rule. [Bangor Daily News, 5/9/14]

Posted by on 25 November 2014 | 5:38 am

Fox Guest Accuses Obama Of Encouraging Violence In Ferguson

From the November 25 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:Previously: Conservative Media's Latest Ill-Advised Hero Is Sheriff Who Warned Of Second American Revolution NRA's Ted Nugent Goes On Racially Charged Ferguson Rant Targeting "Black Klansmen" Fox's Bolling: Obama Synchronized Immigration Action With Ferguson Grand Jury Decision To Distract Public

Posted by on 25 November 2014 | 4:31 am

Conservative Media Cite Widely Discredited Research To Falsely Claim Immigration Executive Action Will Cost $2 Trillion

Right-wing media outlets hyped widely discredited research from the Heritage Foundation to push the myth that President Obama's executive actions on immigration will cost the U.S. economy more than $2 trillion in federal benefits paid to those undocumented immigrants whose deportations are deferred. But Obama's exercise of prosecutorial discretion on behalf of certain undocumented parents of U.S. Citizens and lawful permanent residents does not confer federal means-tested benefits and economists report that allowing more immigrants to legally work will raise revenues and boost the economy. Obama Announces Executive Action On Immigration Obama's Executive Action On Immigration Will Protect Some From Deportation And Give Them Access To Work Permits. In a November 20 speech, Obama announced a plan to temporarily offer deportation relief to as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants and allow some to gain legal employment: OBAMA: First, we'll build on our progress at the border with additional resources for our law enforcement personnel so that they can stem the flow of illegal crossings, and speed the return of those who do cross over. Second, I'll make it easier and faster for high-skilled immigrants, graduates, and entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to our economy, as so many business leaders have proposed. Third, we'll take steps to deal responsibly with the millions of undocumented immigrants who already live in our country. [...] So we're going to offer the following deal: If you've been in America for more than five years; if you have children who are American citizens or legal residents; if you register, pass a criminal background check, and you're willing to pay your fair share of taxes -- you'll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily without fear of deportation. You can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. That's what this deal is. [, 11/20/14] Conservative Media Promote Heritage Foundation Claim That Executive Action Will Cost $2 Trillion In Benefits The Daily Caller: "Obama's Amnesty For Four Million Illegal Immigrants Will Cost Americans About $2 Trillion, Or Roughly $40 Billion A Year."  During a November 23 interview with Heritage Foundation's Robert Rector, The Daily Caller cited Rector's research that purported that Obama's immigration action will cost American taxpayers $2 trillion in government support for low-income residents. From the Daily Caller: President Barack Obama's amnesty for four million illegal immigrants will cost Americans about $2 trillion, or roughly $40 billion a year for the next five decades. [...] The $2 trillion cost is driven by the federal government's support for all poor people, says Robert Rector, a budget analyst at the Heritage Foundation. Rector explained that, on average, the illegal immigrants benefiting from the amnesty have a 10th grade education. That low education ensures they can't earn enough money, or pay enough taxes, to pay for the many benefits they'll get if they progress from temporary residents to legal residents and then to citizens, Rector said. [The Daily Caller, 11/23/14] Mark Levin: "Sucker" Taxpayers Will Cover Cost Of Benefits For Immigrants. On the November 24 edition of his show, Conservative radio host Mark Levin claimed that the immigrants who will gain deportation relief from the executive action are too poorly educated to support themselves and will rely on taxpayer-funded benefits to make ends meet. He added: LEVIN: Rector explained that on average, illegal aliens benefitting from the amnesty have a tenth grade education. And that low education ensures they can't earn enough money or pay enough taxes to pay for the many benefits they'll get if they progress from temporary residents to legal residents and, of course, eventually, citizens. So, he says they pay in about $13,000 dollars per year -- get about $50,000, each household, in benefits. So, who makes up that $30,000? You do, sucker! You make it up. That's the whole point. And that's the whole damn problem. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Mark Levin Show, 11/24/14]   Breitbart: "Robert Rector: Amnestied Illegal Immigrants To Cost Taxpayers $2 Trillion." Breitbart echoed Rector's research to argue that immigrants were "granted amnesty" by Obama's actions, which "will likely cost taxpayers $2 trillion": The undocumented immigrants granted amnesty by President Barack Obama's executive orders will likely cost taxpayers $2 trillion, according to Heritage Foundation poverty expert Robert Rector. "The net cost -- which is total benefits minus total benefits paid in -- of the amnesty recipients I estimate will be around $2 trillion over the course of their lifetime," Rector explained in an interview with Breitbart News Monday. He added that the calculation is based on the assumption that 4 million undocumented immigrants will participate and they will live, on average, 50 years. According to Rector -- who has published extensively on welfare, poverty, and immigration -- the cost has two components: The first is the potential to access Social Security and Medicare, given amnestied undocumented immigrants' ability to obtain work permits and Social Security Numbers. [Breitbart, 11/24/14] Fox Host Bill Hemmer: Price Of Immigration Plan Is "$2 Trillion." On the November 24 edition of Fox's America's Newsroom, co-host Bill Hemmer reported that, according to the Heritage Foundation, the president's immigration actions will cost "$2 trillion dollars." Appearing as a guest, Fox Business host Stuart Varney explained that Heritage found that the "cost of giving amnesty to 4 million people is $40 billion a year."  [Fox News, America's Newsroom, 11/25/14] The $2 Trillion Claim Comes From Heritage's 2013 Immigration Study... "Rector Draws His Estimate From A May 2013 Analysis He Completed For Heritage." The Daily Caller explained that its numbers were drawn from the Heritage Foundation's May 2013 immigration study.  [The Daily Caller, 11/23/14] ... Which Has Been Widely Recognized As "Not Credible" Conservative Economist Stephen Moore: "Almost All Economists Disagree" With Heritage's Claim That Immigrants Harm Economy. On Fox's America's Newsroom, former Wall Street Journal editorial board member and Fox News contributor Stephen Moore, who now serves as Heritage's chief economist, said the study "leaves the impression" that "immigrants are a cost to the economy. That is one thing almost all economists disagree with, that we are very much benefitted by being a nation of immigrants." [Fox News, America's Newsroom, 5/6/13; Talking Points Memo, 1/23/14] Wash. Post's Dylan Matthews: "The Heritage Numbers Simply Are Not Credible." According to The Washington Post's Dylan Matthews, Heritage's estimate leaves out several important factors in determining the cost of immigration reform: [The Heritage Foundation's Robert] Rector and [Jason] Richwine are certainly correct that making currently ineligible immigrants eligible for means-tested benefits and retirement entitlements has a real budgetary cost. But in the long run, we know that immigration is a net economic boon, and in particular for immigrants, which reduces their fiscal cost and increases our ability to pay for what benefits they do receive. And the best study we have on the fiscal effects of immigration reform, from the CBO, finds the impact to be minimal or positive. Pay attention to that study. Pay attention to whatever score the CBO puts out of the Gang of 8 bill. But the Heritage numbers simply are not credible. [The Washington Post, 5/6/13] Cato Institute's Alex Nowrasteh: Heritage Report Leads To "A Massive Underestimation Of The Economic Benefits Of Immigration And Diminishing Estimated Tax Revenue." According to the Cato Institute's Alex Nowrasteh, the Heritage Foundation's 2013 study underestimates the positive impact of immigration reform on the economy and doesn't even score the specific immigration proposal in the Senate: The new Heritage report is still depressingly static, leading to a massive underestimation of the economic benefits of immigration and diminishing estimated tax revenue.  It explicitly refuses to consider the GDP growth and economic productivity gains from immigration reform--factors that increase native-born American incomes. An overlooked flaw is that the study doesn't even score the specific immigration reform proposal in the Senate.  Its flawed methodology and lack of relevancy to the current immigration reform proposal relegate this study to irrelevancy. [Cato Institute, 5/7/13] AEI's James Pethokoukis: Heritage Study "Fails To Capture Indirect But Important Economic Impacts Of Immigration." According to a blog post by American Enterprise Institute (AEI) columnist James Pethokoukis, the Heritage study fails to take into account the economic benefits of immigration: The study, however, fails to capture indirect but important economic impacts of immigration such as increasing economic activity or positively affecting American employment. Both of those would lead to higher tax revenues and reduced transfer payments. Surely every effort should be given to factoring in such dynamic impacts of immigration reform. The Heritage study says, for instance, that "taxes and benefits must be viewed holistically." So, too, immigration overall. Big policy changes don't exist in a vacuum, isolated from the rest of the economy. Not making these added calculations raises red flags as to the study's completeness. What about studies of US states that find economic contributions of low-skill immigrants "dwarf their fiscal costs." Another example: Heritage claims "that unlawful immigration appears to depress the wages of low-skill US-born and lawful immigrant workers by 10 percent, or $2,300, per year." Yet other highly regarded research finds wage gains at all education levels for US-born workers. Is immigration reform that potentially expands the population of less-skilled individuals a smart economic policy or not? It's impossible to draw a reasonable conclusion based only on the Heritage study. [American Enterprise Institute, 5/6/13] Heritage's Flawed Study Assumes That Obama's Plan Will Make Undocumented Immigrants Eligible For Disability Benefits, Food Stamps, Welfare Heritage's Rector Bases His Claim On Assumption That Immigrants Will Receive Benefits From Social Security, Food Stamps, Medicare, And More. The Daily Caller notes that Rector derives his $2 trillion estimate by assuming full "amnesty," which would affect three times as many people, would cost $6.3 trillion, roughly three times more.  His original assessment assumed that the immigrants would receive benefits from a wide range of government programs, including: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Supplemental Insurance for Needy Families, unemployment insurance, Earned Income Tax Credit (also known as food stamps), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (commonly called Welfare), Supplemental Security Income (disability insurance). [The Daily Caller, 11/23/14; The Heritage Foundation, 5/6/13] But Obama's Action Does Not Give Undocumented Immigrants Access To Disability Benefits, Food Stamps, Welfare Associated Press: Under Obama's Plan, Undocumented Immigrants "Are Not Eligible For Food Stamps, Federal Welfare Benefits Or Disability Benefits. The Associated Press reported that "Officials said the eligible immigrants would not be entitled to federal benefits -- including [Affordable Care Act] health care tax credits -- under Obama's plan." Immigrants whose deportations are deferred also remain ineligible for "food stamps, federal welfare benefits or disability benefits" : The beneficiaries of Obama's new executive action would be treated in the same manner as those immigrants who were shielded from deportation in his 2012 directive, according to one official who discussed the limits of Obama's action on the condition of anonymity, lacking authority to speak on the record at this point. Those young immigrants covered by the 2012 action can obtain work permits but are not eligible for food stamps, federal welfare benefits or disability benefits under the Supplemental Security Income program. They also are ineligible for tax credits under Obama's health care law, though they can buy health coverage at full price on the exchanges created by the law. They may be eligible for public benefits provided by some states. [Associated Press, 11/19/14] NBC News: Deferred Action Immigrants "Won't Be Able To Enjoy Many State And Federal Benefits." NBC reported that "recipients will be able to live in the U.S. lawfully but will not have legal status." This means that they will be allowed to "live, work and attend school without the fear of being deported but won't be able to enjoy many state and federal benefits." [NBC News, 11/21/14] Huffington Post: "Millions of Immigrants Are Asked To Pay Taxes, But Won't Receive Federal Benefits." The Huffington Post reported that Obama's immigration order will grant millions of undocumented immigrants temporary administrative relief and ask them to pay taxes, but will still be ineligible for federal benefits: On Thursday, President Barack Obama granted millions of undocumented immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens or permanent residents and have lived in the U.S. for at least five years the right to work and pay taxes. They don't, however, have the right to receive federal benefits, including subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid coverage and food stamps. [The Huffington Post, 11/21/14] In Fact, The Decision Is Likely To Help The Economy And Increase Federal Tax Revenue... Politico: Undocumented Immigrants' Tax Contributions Will "More Than Make Up For" Federal Tax Credits They Receive. Politico explained that while some of the immigrants affected will likely qualify for tax credits that benefit the working poor, their overall tax contributions will "more than make up for the credits the government pays to them." Politico also cited economics professor Madeline Zavodny, who said that immigrants' wages typically rise when they are able to work legally, which she, explained "would also mean more taxes." [Politico, 11/20/14] Center For American Progress: Tax Revenue Would Increase If Immigrants Who Have Been In The U.S. For More Than 5 Years Worked Legally. A report from the Center for American Progress (CAP) found that letting undocumented immigrants work legally would increase tax revenue by $6.1 billion in payroll taxes in the next year and would contribute a total of $45 billion over five years.  From CAP (emphasis original): Expanding the Deferred Action program would immediately yield billions of dollars in tax revenues, while increasing wages and job security for all Americans. Allowing low-priority unauthorized immigrants who have been in the country for five years to apply for deferred action -- a temporary work permit and deferral of deportation -- would mean that they could earn higher average wages and protection from exploitation. This would have a significant impact on the U.S. economy, yielding $6.1 billion in payroll tax revenue in the first year and increasing gains of up to $45 billion over the next five years. [Center for American Progress, 10/23/14] Center For American Progress: Failing To Offer Protections "Is Not Revenue Neutral." CAP also found that decreasing deportations would carry economic benefits and lower government spending (emphasis original): Maintaining the status quo is not revenue neutral. With only one-third of unauthorized immigrants working in the formal economy and contributing about $12 billion in payroll taxes each year, the United States loses around $20 billion in payroll tax revenue annually. This lost revenue would go a long way toward funding the retirement of Americans across the country. The United States spends more on immigration and border enforcement annually than the annual gross domestic product of 80 countries. In fact, the United States now spends $3.5 billion more on immigration and border enforcement -- a total of nearly $18 billion per year -- than it does on all other federal law enforcement combined. A self-deportation regime would cost our economy trillions of dollars. If all undocumented immigrants in the country were deported or "self-deported" -- meaning they choose to leave the country because life is too difficult -- the United States' cumulative GDP would suffer a hit of $2.6 trillion over 10 years. Mass deportation of the undocumented immigrant population would cost billions of dollars. Deporting the entire undocumented population would cost $285 billion over a five-year period, including continued border and interior enforcement efforts. For that price, we could hire more than 1 million new public high school teachers and pay their salaries for five years. It costs taxpayers more than $20,000 to carry out the deportation of a single individual. Apprehending, detaining, processing, and transporting one individual in the deportation process cost $23,482 in fiscal year 2008. [Center for American Progress, 10/23/14]

Posted by on 25 November 2014 | 3:24 am

MSNBC's Chris Hayes Tells Media Matters Radio It's An "Open Question" How Influential Conservative Media Will Be On GOP

From the November 22 edition of SiriusXM's Media Matters Radio:Previously: Fox News' Erickson Tells Republicans To Shut Down The Government Limbaugh Credits Fox News For Giving GOP "Permission" To Talk About Impeachment Limbaugh: The Government "Damn Well Needs To Be Shut Down" To Block Executive Action On Immigration

Posted by on 24 November 2014 | 10:23 am

Media Lessons From The Benghazi Charade

The calling cards of anger and denial have been on display since Friday afternoon when the House Intelligence Committee, led by Republican Rep. Mike Rogers, released the findings of its two-year investigation into the 2012 terror attack in Benghazi. Becoming the sixth government inquiry to come to a similar conclusion, the report found nothing to support the allegations behind Fox News' ongoing Benghazi witch-hunt. And that's where the anger and denial came in. Appearing on CNN, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who has staked his professional reputation on the endless claim of an elaborate White House cover-up, flashed irritation when he denounced the House report as being "full of crap." Meanwhile, Fox News contributor Stephen Hayes did his best to deflate the supposedly "deeply flawed" Republican report: I'd caution against reaching firm conclusions based on the #Benghazi report issued by the House Intel cmte. It's deeply flawed. -- Stephen Hayes (@stephenfhayes) November 22, 2014 For Benghazi conspiracy disciples, unanswered questions always remain as long as devotees say so, and as long as the answers provided by government (and Republican-led investigations) don't match up their conspiracy narrative. But apparently if the seventh investigation finds wrongdoing on the part of the administration, that's the one that will really matter? Sorry Fox News, but six strikes and you're out. Still, Benghazi Truthers, like Joel Pollak at Breitbart, soldiered on, claiming the exhaustive House report was no big deal [emphasis added]: The House committee, chaired by Republican Mike Rogers (R-MI), found that there was no intelligence failure leading up to the attack, and that the CIA and military personnel present did the best they could. The crucial new finding is that there was no "stand down" order, as some there have claimed, and that no further military resources were available. The three points Pollack mentioned that were debunked by the House report represented almost the entire basis of the "scandal" crusade. They were easily the inspiration for hundreds of Fox News programming hours over the last two years, and likely thousands of hours of talk radio attacks on Obama, Hillary Clinton and anyone connected to the administration. (Note that Fox aired 100 segments on the "stand down" allegation alone during its evening programs in the 20 months following the attack.) While Breitbart and other right-wing media players gallantly tried to play defense (it's just a flesh wound), Fox News simply went into denial as the cable news channel essentially turned a blind eye to the story: Fox News Sunday completely ignored the topic. But it wasn't just Fox News Sunday. CBS' Face The Nation and ABC's This Week also ignored news about the latest Benghazi debunking; a Republican debunking no less. There was something fitting about those two omissions, considering CBS and ABC likely suffered the two worst Benghazi-related black eyes within the mainstream media when their reporters, Lara Logan and Jonathan Karl respectively, flew too close to the far-right flame and got very badly burned. (Note to reporters: When your sources have to make stuff up about Benghazi, it's a pretty good indication the 'scandal' is lacking.) And don't forget how Logan played ball with at least one vociferous Benghazi critic behind the scenes while putting her fatally flawed 60 Minutes report together. According to a May report in New York magazine, Logan met with Sen. Graham, who helped shape the Benghazi story. Then when the 60 Minutes segment aired he immediately cheered it on, calling it a "death blow" to the White House and announced he'd block every White House appointee until he got more answers about Benghazi. In other words, the Benghazi lessons to be learned here aren't only for Fox News. Media Matters has spent the better part of two years detailing how Beltway reporters, producers and pundits who should've known better have played along with the contrived conspiracy talking points about the Democratic president and a far-reaching cover-up. (Is Benghazi to Obama what Whitewater was to Bill Clinton?)

Posted by on 24 November 2014 | 10:08 am

Fox Clings To Benghazi "Stand Down" Hoax After GOP Report Finds No Such Order Was Given

From the November 24 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom:Previously:  Fox News Sunday Ignored Congressional Report Debunking Benghazi Myths CNN Media Critic: Fox News Kept Its Audience "Largely In The Dark" About New Report That Undermines Benghazi Hoax Network Sunday Shows Largely Ignore House Report Debunking Prominent Benghazi Myths

Posted by on 24 November 2014 | 9:09 am

Fox Hosts Rudy Giuliani, Defends Former NYC Mayor's Claims About "Black-On-Black Violence"

From the November 24 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:Related: Giuliani Explodes Over Black Crime: Wouldn't Need White Cops 'If You Weren't Killing Each Other' Previously: Fox's Bolling: Obama Synchronized Immigration Action With Ferguson Grand Jury Decision To Distract Public Limbaugh: Civil Rights Leaders Like Rep. John Lewis Want To "Reenact Selma" In Ferguson, MO Right-Wing Media's Fears About Stop-And-Frisk Did Not Come True

Posted by on 24 November 2014 | 7:29 am

Fox Hosts Refuse To Accept Findings Of GOP Report Debunking Right-Wing Media's Benghazi Hoax

From the November 24 edition of Fox News' The Five:Previously: GOP-Led Report Debunks Right-Wing Media's Benghazi Hoax Media Lessons From The Benghazi Charade Fox Clings To Benghazi "Stand Down" Hoax After GOP Report Finds No Such Order Was Given

Posted by on 24 November 2014 | 5:11 am

Washington Post 's Glenn Kessler Stands By Discredited Immigration Fact Check

Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler is standing by his blog claiming that the White House had erred in citing President George H.W. Bush's immigration data -- despite evidence discrediting his conclusions. In his November 24 piece for The Washington Post's Fact Checker blog, Glenn Kessler examined claims that President George H.W. Bush used an executive action to protect 1.5 million undocumented immigrants. Kessler described the figure as a "round-ed up estimate" that the media adopted because many of the applicants included people who were not eligible to be legalized at the time due to pending applications or appeals. Kessler concluded that the White House had "seized on a single news report" to take the opportunity to highlight higher numbers and that even the Federal Immigration Commissioner, Gene McNary, claimed not to be factual. Huffington Post politics and immigration reporter Elise Foley responded to Kessler's blog by pointing to congressional testimony from McNary from 1989 in which McNary affirmed that 1.5 million undocumented immigrants were covered by the policy. Kessler updated his blog to note the discovery of McNary's testimony but failed to offer an apology or retraction for his oversights, instead doubling-down on his conclusions: Update: in light of the discovery of McNary's testimony, we will assess whether this should be reduced to Three Pinocchios. In any case, the actual impact was far less than suggested in administration statements Media outlets have since latched onto Kessler's piece as evidence that the Obama administration's citation of the number was inaccurate. The Washington Post's Charles Lane described the post's conclusions as "devastating," and Fox News' Chris Stirewalt used it to claim that President Obama was wrong in using the numbers as "a centerpiece" of his argument for an executive action on immigration.

Posted by on 24 November 2014 | 3:38 am

Mark Levin's Rant Against Fusion's Jorge Ramos Claims He Has A "Thick, Broken English Accent"

From the November 21 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Mark Levin Show:Previously: Mark Levin: Rep. Luis Gutiérrez And Labor Sec. Thomas Perez Are "Ethno-Thugs" Levin: Immigration Reform Bill Is A "Disgusting Disgrace" Mark Levin Predicts Obama Executive Action On Immigration Would Be "The Greatest Act Of Despotism" Since

Posted by on 24 November 2014 | 1:13 am's Attack On Al Franken Confuses Time Warner With Time Warner Cable

Right-wing website incorrectly reported that Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) has received donations from Time Warner Cable to accuse the senator of hypocrisy in advocating for net neutrality. In fact, the donations in question have come from media corporation and separate entity Time Warner.'s Minnesota bureau reported that Franken has received $33,450 from Time Warner Cable lobbyists since 2009, painting him as a hypocrite for supporting net neutrality as a result: U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., has made his name in the latter part of his first term as a crusader for net neutrality and a huge critic of billion-dollar mergers of multimedia companies. And while his ire has been focused on Comcast, the nation's second largest media conglomerate, he's been raking in cash from competitor Time Warner Cable, the third-largest, according to profits. Since 2009, Franken has raised $33,450 from lobbyists from TWC, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit dedicated to tracking political spending. The Center for Responsive Politics reveals, however, that those donations came from Time Warner, an entirely separate company. Time Warner is a media corporation that owns HBO, Castle Rock Entertainment, and Warner Bros., among other content producers. Time Warner Cable Inc. is a cable and telecommunications company. Franken has extensively denounced Time Warner Cable's proposed merger with Comcast, the largest cable and internet provider in the country. Image at top via Flickr user John Taylor using a Creative Commons License.

Posted by on 24 November 2014 | 1:04 am

Fox News Sunday Ignored Congressional Report Debunking Benghazi Myths

Fox News Sunday ignored a new report from the GOP-led House Intelligence Committee that debunked many of the myths that Fox News has spent the last two years promoting. On November 21, the Republican-led House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released its report on the September 2012 attacks on two U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya. Similar to the many preceding investigations into the attacks -- including the Accountability Review Board and the bipartisan U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence -- the report found that no stand down order was issued during the attacks, there was no intelligence failure leading up to the attack, and that the talking points the administration used in the days following the attacks were based on the CIA's best assessment at the time. The November 23 edition of Fox News Sunday did not inform viewers of the report's findings. This stands in stark contrast to Fox's longstanding campaign to promote myths about the attacks. Fox has been a tireless promoter of nearly every facet of the Benghazi hoax. In the 20 months following the attacks, Fox ran over 1,100 segments on Benghazi and hosted Republicans at a rate of 30:1 over Democrats to discuss the issue. Meanwhile, the network has routinely ignored and downplayed evidence refuting its conspiracy theories. CNN media critic Brian Stelter noted that other Fox programs only provided cursory coverage of the report on the night of its release and that Fox never mentioned it the following day. According to Stelter (emphasis added): STELTER: Boy, has Fox News spent a lot of time over the past two years focused on the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, and I mean a lot of time. [...] But when a new Benghazi report came out on Friday, there was hardly a peep, and maybe that's because the report, which was Republican led, it was by the House Intelligence committee, debunks many of the myths that have run rampant on Fox News and in conservative media circles. [...] So I have to wonder: will Fox will stop aggressively pushing its theories about Benghazi? Probably not. With its audience largely in the dark about the latest findings, the myths may, and perhaps will, live on. On the November 23 edition of Fox News' own MediaBuzz, host Howard Kurtz noted that it only received "brief" coverage on Fox and that the results of the two-year long investigation "deserved more coverage from all news outlets."

Posted by on 23 November 2014 | 4:02 am