Fox News and other conservative media are calling a new proposal to protect waterways "one of the biggest land grabs" ever that will give a government agency "control of all private property." The rule, which could help protect the drinking water of 117 million Americans, would only resolve which bodies of water are protected from pollution under the current jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act.
On March 25, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a draft proposal to clarify which bodies of water are under the protection of the Clean Water Act (CWA), to "increase CWA program predictability and consistency." The new rule, proposed jointly with the Army Corps of Engineers, follows research showing that streams, wetlands, and other relatively small bodies of water "are connected to and have important effects on downstream waters," so they necessitate protection from pollution under the Act as it stands today.
Conservative media, claiming that the EPA is overextending its reach, are forecasting drastic consequences that simply aren't true. Examiner.com accused the government agency of "veritable land theft" by "expanding government control," and predicted that "it won't be far for the EPA to declare control over any land that gets wet or is rained upon." Breitbart called it "one of the biggest land grabs by the federal government ever perpetrated on the American public." And on the March 26 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends First, co-host Heather Childers introduced the rule by saying "It's not your land -- The EPA's latest move that gives them control of all private property." Childers went on to assert that the clarification "could be one of the biggest private property grabs in history, according to Republicans. The EPA wants control of all bodies of water, no matter how small, even if they're on private property."
The right-wing media have seized on an eight-second video clip of Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) to claim he called the Constitution "silly." In fact, McDermott was criticizing Republicans for not focusing on "job creation" in favor of doing "silly" things like reading the Constitution on the House floor.
Right-wing blogs have been promoting a rumor that "highly trained killers" from a Mexican drug gang have "invade[d]" the United States, taking over two ranches near the Mexico-U.S. border in Laredo, Texas, but law enforcement agencies in the area have flatly denied the rumor.
The Laredo Morning Times reported that law enforcement officials had been "bombarded" with calls about the rumor but that "officials with the Laredo Police Department, Webb County Sheriff's Department and Border Patrol said they knew nothing about such an incident, while Erik Vasys, an FBI spokesman in San Antonio, said the agency does not comment on rumors."
Some conservative blogs have acknowledged that the story appears to be bogus, but others are standing by it.
After Wall Street Journal writer John Fund told a crowd at a David Horowitz Freedom Center forum that Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) were planning on introducing legislation that would lead to universal voter registration, the claim was repeated by numerous right-wing media outlets despite the fact that Fund provided no evidence for his claim. After Frank wrote a letter to Fund denying that he was introducing such legislation, Fund retracted his statement that Frank was pushing any such legislation.
Yesterday, "San Diego County Political Buzz Examiner" Kimberly Dvorak posted an Examiner.com article claiming that the Congressional Research Service (CRS) "took the President to task over his weekly radio address that claimed to expel myths in the health care bill." Dvorak, in support of her case, came armed with a couple of quotes purportedly from the CRS:
"There is just one problem: his (the President) statements don't match the facts," CRS said.
The President's address began with a "false claim that illegal immigrants will not [sic] get health insurance under reform." CRS reports that there are numerous loopholes in the House legislation will offer benefits to illegal aliens.
Pretty harsh stuff. But let's take a step back for a moment. Anyone who knows anything about the CRS would immediately grow suspicious at the idea that that organization would produce a sentence along the lines of: "There is just one problem: his (the President) statements don't match the facts." CRS reports, for all their informative value, are drier than white toast packed in silica gel. Just take a look at this excerpt from a recent report on Chile's economic model:
The existing prudential regulatory and oversight system has so far limited these types of mistakes from being repeated and is credited with helping maintain the health of the banking sector during the global financial crisis. It continues to update regulations to stay current with a dynamic and innovative industry so as to balance competitiveness with prudence. The result, in 2009 Chile has one of the most stable banking systems among emerging market countries, as evidenced by its capacity to withstand external shocks related to the global recession and international credit contraction.
So what has happened? Has the CRS taken on a new edgier tone? Is a rogue CRS researcher inserting punchy language into the final copies of these otherwise stodgy reports? As it turns out, the quote isn't from the CRS at all, but rather from an August 25 press release from Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX):
President Obama on Saturday continued the hard sell for the Democrats' healthcare scheme with a radio address that purported to expel myths associated with the bill. There is just one problem: his statements don't match the facts.
But wait -- there's more! The second quote that Dvorak attributes to the CRS -- the "false claim that illegal immigrants will not [sic] get health insurance under reform" -- was also from Smith's press release, but in addition to misattributing the quote, she altered it to change its meaning. Smith's press release was actually quoting President Obama's August 22 address:
The President's radio address started by calling it a "false claim that illegal immigrants will get health insurance under reform." But his statements are contradicted by fact. A new report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) validates that numerous loopholes may allow illegal immigrants to benefit under the bill.
Dvorak took that quote from President Obama's radio address, inserted the word "not" into it, and then claimed it was actually from a CRS report refuting President Obama's radio address. That's shockingly dishonest, and it would be interesting to hear from Examiner.com's editors how it was that all this managed to slip by them.
Following the military's job listing for the position of "INTERNMENT / RESETTLEMENT SPECIALIST," conservatives have pushed the conspiracy theory that the Obama administration is planning to "round up American citizens" into "internment camps." However, the military under both President Bush and President Obama has regularly referred to "internment" and "resettlement" while discussing "detainees" and "enemy prisoners of war," and one prominent conservative blog has even debunked the theory, referring to the job listing as "completely innocuous."
"Infectious diseases are now spreading geographically much faster than at any time in history. Human immigration and unlimited transport cause it."
World Health Organization
The current Swine flu spreading across Mexico provides Americans a glimpse of their future if mass immigration from third world countries continues into the United States.
It stems from cultural habits that cannot be changed once they migrate over U.S. borders. Third world people lack personal hygiene, collective health habits and educational understandings of how their personal actions promote disease transmission.
If you travel into the third world such as Mexico, Central and South America, you will notice that while visiting a bathroom you discover a box for used toilet paper in the corner and no soap or paper towels at the lavatory.
The sewage systems cannot handle toilet paper so it is a habit to throw it into the box provided which lures flies and cockroaches. Additionally, few third world people wash their hands after bathroom use. Today, in California, Florida and Illinois, and spreading to other states across the nation, recent arrivals are so accustomed to throwing their used toilet paper into boxes, they discard it into trashcans. Whether they work at the counter or chop tomatoes with unwashed hands, thousands carry head lice, leprosy, tuberculosis and hepatitis A, B, and C.
An Examiner.com article falsely characterized President Obama's health-care reform proposal as a "nationalized health care plan." Obama has not proposed a "nationalized health care plan" either as a candidate or as president.