Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The latest on the Biden hoax: It's the "Whitey Tape" all over again

The truth is coming out, and just like some previous political hoaxes, it's biting folks in the ass.

Tommy Christopher at Political Machine gets to the heart of the matter, saying: There is No "Ashley Biden Cocaine Tape":

"There are glaringly obvious reasons to believe this thing is a fake. There are clear reasons why this story should never have been reported, and once it had been, why the only appropriate response would be to point that out.

But the fact that has been buried in all of these stories is that the tape, or at least an authenticatable original, does not exist. What does exist cannot be described as an "Ashley Biden" tape of any kind. That should have been the end of it, at least for the New York Post, the only one of the 3 bidders pretending to have journalistic standards"

Of course, that isn't what's happening... Those initially pushing it are either sticking by their guns, or pretending their evil twin, Skippy was the one who made that blog post excoriating Ashley, the VP, and/or all Dems with this story over the weekend.

Meanwhile, here are the facts about this story, from Tommy Christopher's blog post linked above:
* The video shooter's (hereafter referred to as "Deuche Bagilow") attorney told the NY Post that he destroyed the original. He didn't just tape over it with a Jerry Springer episode, he drilled a hole in the camera's hard drive and threw it into a lake. This claim defies credibility. Why would you destroy the original of something you had made a copy of? Well, you might claim to have done that if you didn't want anyone to ask to see the original.
That fact alone ends this. There is absolutely no way to authenticate the tape, so there was no point in having these outlets watch it. Still, let's look at the rest of it.

* Deuche Bagilow also claims he tried to sell another Ashley Biden tape in August, during the heat of the Presidential race, but could find no takers. Either that tape was as convincing as "Nailin' Paylin," or this was a lie designed to give the sellers a fallback reason to accept a lower bid.

* Deuche's lawyers claimed to have turned down a $250,000 offer. Given the preceding claim, this seems unlikely.

* Deuche's lawyers lied to the Post, telling them the subject of the video was aware of the camera. Deuche's former lawyer now cites this as one of the reasons he quit.

* All 3 "firsthand" accounts of viewing the tape bizarrely contradict each other. The Radar reporter said the subject used a rolled-up dollar bill to snort the white powder, while the Post claimed it was a "red straw." The Enquirer reported being there, but then only quoted Radar's reporter, giving no account of their own.

Radar reported the tape as being from a hidden camera, while the Post reported that Deuche's lawyers told them that the subject acknowleges the camera on a different part of the tape.

Radar reported the subject as "clearly resembling" Biden, while the Post said she "appeared to resemble" Biden. The Enquirer wouldn't make any characterization.

* None of the outlets that saw the tape were willing to bid on it, yet happily exploited it despite this.

* Deuche's lawyers claimed that Ashley Biden was under Secret Service protection, but had her dad call them off because they were blocking her driveway.

* Finally, here's a fun fact: Deuche's lawyer was once involved in a lawsuit over the rules of kickball. Seriously.

But this is my favorite part. As I hoped for yesterday, the ass who started this could face jail time himself, because he bought the cocaine, placed the hidden camera, and tried to entrap his "friend." It was all a set-up. Fuck him. Fuck his spiritual sister, Ashley Todd, and fuck Larry Johnson, "No Quarter," and those Republicans and "PUMA"s, all of whom lied, lied, lied in the name of political partisanship. May they all get what they deserve.

Angie Harmon plays the race card

Who the hell called Angie Harmon a racist for disagreeing with President Obama?

While she intimates that this is some kinda trend in her life, several people have searched high and low, and no one has found a single reference to Angie Harmon and racism--except for the ones she created herself by making this baseless public statement, and of course all of the right wing bloggers (google for many more) who've picked it up and run with it.

I'm not saying there are no Con/Republican or liberal racists. Of course there are, and it is legitimate to say the folks who spread the Obama as monkey meme, or the Watermelon White House gag behave like racists. (For the record, I think the NY Post cartoon was racially insensitive, but not intentionally so... That cartoonist just didn't think it through...) I'm certain there are those on the right who can point to libs saying racist things, or being racially insensitive. And, I'm certain there are some on the opposing team who allege racism where none exists, as well as some who allege racism where little to none is present or intended.

Every criticism of Obama is not racist, and every reply to that criticism isn't an accusation of racism, either... I fear that Angie and her friends on the right are somewhere between being the Cons who cried wolf and the ladies who doth protest too much. Don't allege that it happens; give examples of it happening, and let people judge for themselves where the racism is... ...and isn't.

(And, don't forget about my earlier post suggesting that we not generalize about groups of people based on the acts of a few of 'em. Whether or not Angie Harmon is a racist, it says nothing about all actresses, pretty women, brunettes, or Republicans. And whether or not Al Sharpton calls one/some/any Republicans racists, it says nothing about all reverends, older black guys, black-to-grey-haired folks, or Democrats.)

Also blogging: The Silent Cries Of Racism! Huh? I Can’t Hear Anything., Actress Angie Harmon Claims On Fox News She Is Tired Of Being Called A “Racist” When She Disagrees With President Obama? | THE GUN TOTING LIBERAL™, Shakesville: Quote of The Day, memeorandum

Monday, March 30, 2009

Dirtbag Media, Dirtbag Bloggers

Anyone who uses the child of a politician to attack that politician is a dirtbag.

There are no excuses.

Those who are dirtbags know who they are (and we do, too).

If muttering unproven allegations and rumors that may or not ever prove true is all you have, you're just not needed. (And kids, it's a question of class, not of political persuasion. There are dirtbags of this sort all along the political spectrum.)

So instead of talking about the dirtbags, let's highlight the folks showing a little class.

Hot Air - Just leave it alone: Ed Morrissey has the right idea, but predictably, most of those commenting on his post do not.

Politicians kids SHOULD be left off limits, even in this case | Fire Andrea Mitchell!: As unpleasant as this person appears to be, s/he's right, this time.

Is Ashley Biden's alleged cocaine video a smear or scam? | The Dish Rag | Los Angeles Times: This gossip reporter is asking the right questions, both about privacy in general, and about this tape in particular, which has quickly risen on wingnut blogs, and is now unravelling faster than another recent story pushed by the wingnut media/blogesphere. Anybody remember our friend Ashley Todd, the "backward B girl"? Same rush to sell it to the gullible minions, same growing inconsistencies coming to light... I hope that the clown promoting this can and will be prosecuted, should it turn out to be another right-wing hoax with intent to do harm. (Anybody else think he may have a McCain bumper-sticker on his car, just like miss Todd?)

Much as I hate to have to admit it, Rupert Murdoch deserves credit for not purchasing and running with the increasingly bogus looking story.

Joe Biden's Daughter Isn't Fair Game - Political Machine - Politics Blog, Opinion and Analysis - AOL News: Article good, comments bad. (Nothin' like situational ethics... Either it's ok when it happens to Palin's kids and Biden's kids, or it's wrong when it happens to Palin's kids and Biden's kids. If you bitched before, you shouldn't be applauding now... ...but many are...)

((And yes, I suppose I could've been a better person and spoken up for Palin's kids, rather than just ignoring those stories, but there is a difference between doing harm and doing nothing. I have nothing against those on the right ignoring this story, either. My saying nothing about the Bristol, Trig, Bush twins, or Nicole stories doesn't mean I cannot offer kudos to those who speak up against such behavior toward the kids of politicians, or disappointment and disgust for those who choose to propagate stories that do little but hurt people who never asked to be in the partisan spotlight. Perhaps next time, I will be among those who speaks up when it is a Republican wife or kid being slimed by leftwing dirtbags. Contrary to what the commenters to some of these sites seem to think, ethics are not made of rubber. You cannot bend them to fit the situation.))

I'll update as more facts (or reporters / blogs deserving of praise) come to my attention.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tired of the stupidity

Is it too much to ask that we (and they, themselves) give our representatives--and the American people--enough time to read all the bills that come before them in final form before the votes, and then to hold them accountable for having done so?

Every representative who votes on a bill they haven't read is a moron, and if there's one thing we need, it's fewer damned morons in elected office.

Read The Bill from Sunlight Foundation on Vimeo.

Is 72 hours enough? I don't know, but it is better than nothing... Imagine if every bill had to be given to the House/Senate clerk in final form, and posted online for the American people and the news media to read for at least 72 hours before voting could begin on them, and that every change restarted the 72 hour clock... Think of all the foolish bullshit that we might've avoided over the years...

This thing Dodd snuck out of the bailout bill is (or should be) a friggin' crime, but while I'm pissed at Dodd, I have no sympathy for all the people from both parties claiming they had no idea it was changed... They are assholes all, and if they can't be bothered to read the friggin' laws before passing them, they have no business being in congress... (Perhaps we need to raise the taxes on their salaries to 90% or so, until they actually do their jobs.)

We need more sunshine all over the legislative process. I'd ultimately like to see bills posted online, with names attached to every earmark or other change to every bill, updated within 24 hours of every change (on 3/15/09 @ 7:45 AM Senator Dodd struck the following line from S:177 "... ..." and replaced it with "... ...". The following 6 senators/conferees agreed to the change "... ..."; the following 4 were opposed "... ..."). I realize that may be a pipe dream since, no matter which party is in charge, secrecy and "It wasn't me" is the name of the game... ...but at the very least, we should never again hear the words "I didn't know that was in the bill I voted for/against. I didn't read the bill." That cannot be too much to ask...

Bracket of Evil

This should be interesting...

Have you ever wondered who would win in a face-off between Karl Rove and Rush Limbaugh? Sarah Palin and Joe Lieberman? Ann Coulter and Blackwater?

Now, you can do more than wonder. You can help decide who wins - in a Bracket of Evil.

CREDO is trying to figure out who's the most evil person (or organization) in American politics. I just voted for my picks in categories like Media, Government, and Maverick, and you should too! Just head to:

Bracket of Evil

Happy bracketing!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer: The Extended Interview

Jim Cramer and Jon Stewart went toe-to-toe last night. But you didn't see everything. Much of the interview had to be cut for time. But this is the internet, where all we have is time. So, here now, is the complete interview.

Follow the links and watch the whole thing. Perhaps it's his outsider "non-reporter" status, but Jon Stewart gets to the heart of issues more thoroughly than most "real" news reporters. He's not Tim Russert, but sometimes I wonder whether, in terms of confronting hypocrisy anyway, he isn't the closest thing we have we have right now. "Roll the tape."

Memeorandum has links to the 3 part series of videos, and to many other posted reports and opinions.

read more | digg story

Beck: People ‘Pushed To The Wall’ By ‘Political Correctness’ Launch Spree Killings

Matthew Yglesias on Glenn Beck

There was a remarkable segment on Glen Beck’s show yesterday, thankfully captured by Matt Corley in which Beck was basically outlining his view that the reason you see spree killings like the one in Alabama is that conservatives are so deranged, and so racist, that when people point out that they’re being racist they can’t help but fly into a psychotic rage and commit multiple murders. Really:

BECK: But as I’m listening to him. I’m thinking about the American people that feel disenfranchised right now. That feel like nobody’s hearing their voice. The government isn’t hearing their voice. Even if you call, they don’t listen to you on both sides. If you’re a conservative, you’re called a racist. You want to starve children.


BECK: Yada yada yada. And every time they do speak out, they’re shut down by political correctness. How do you not have those people turn into that guy?

O’REILLY: Well, look, nobody, even if they’re frustrated, is going to hurt another human being unless they’re mentally ill. I think.

BECK: I think pushed to the wall, you don’t think people get pushed to the wall?

See it here:

Combine this with Beck's earlier thoughts on the looming apocalypse and the worst case scenarios that may result--like anarchy in America, for which many Beck type crazies are already planning, apparently--and we have a pretty good case that Beck himself is calling out--& perhaps begging--for help and intervention.

How long before Mr. Beck himself feels "pushed to the wall," and creates his own self-prophesied tragedy, incites someone else to do so with these nutty lowbrow rantings, like fellow wingnut Bernie Goldberg did in TN, or starts his own little right-wing terrorist militia compound deep in the woods, readying he and his followers for the coming anarchic (if not post-apocalyptic) America?

Related discussions on Beck's unique understanding of spree killers and killing here.
More on Beck's Worst Case Scenarios here.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Take Government out of the Marriage Business: A better reconciliation on Gay Marriage

We owe thanks to gay marriage supporter Jonathan Rausch and gay marriage opponent David Blankenhorn, the joint authors of a widely circulated New York Times piece which steered the polarized dialogue toward more civil waters.

While the Rausch/Blankenhorn proposal had some merit, in the end it leaves homosexuals with a lesser version of "marriage." While they get most of the rights and privileges as heterosexual folks, their relationship gets a different name, lest anyone think they're in a "real" marriage.

Sam Singer offers another proposal, one that is being discussed by a few more people everyday... Rather than fighting over whether or not to allow homosexuals to use the term "Marriage," why doesn't the state stop using the term "marriage" in laws designed to grant rights and privileges to anyone, and instead base the granting of rights and privileges on the term "civil union," or "domestic partnership"?

If it’s a grand bargain we’re after, consider an alternative federal law prohibiting states from attaching legal significance to an individual’s marital status. The law would define “marital status” narrowly to include an individual’s relationship with a significant other as recognized by a religious organization. Likewise, the law would define “marriage” as the spiritual union of two individuals. Under this regime, legal benefits or obligations which traditionally flow from marital status would do so no longer. Instead, states could recognize and regulate healthy, stable interpersonal relationships by way of civil union, provided they do so equally and on a secular basis. Left for churches and other religious organizations are the religious and moral dimensions of “marriage.” Religious organizations will have autonomy over those aspects of matrimony in which they claim historical or divine province. That is, churches would be left to govern the sacred principles associated with the institution, and to ordain whichever marriages they see fit without fear of legal repercussion.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Apparently, Ms. Bachmann, Rush "be da man."

Can any Republican representative break free of Rush's gravitational pull?

Spokesman for Boehner Calls Rush a "Boogeyman." Will He Apologize Too?:

"Antonia Ferrier, a spokeswoman for House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), said Gibbs was trying to create a distraction by responding to Limbaugh.

'What we are seeing is a desperate attempt by Democrats to distract attention away from a multi-trillion dollar spending spree taking place in Washington,' Ferrier said. 'Creating a boogeyman to change the subject does nothing to alter the fact that there are 9,000 earmarks in the omnibus spending bill, that the economic stimulus bill contained no Republican input or that their budget would increase taxes on all Americans.'

So now Rush Limbaugh is a BOOGEYMAN? Perhaps we'll be hearing Antonia Ferrier or John Boehner apologizing to Rush now?"

Advice for the GOP: don't mess with Rush

Let the word go forth from this time and place to Republicans everywhere: Rush Limbaugh, the ideological Mother Superior of contemporary conservatism, is not to be crossed. First, he earned the mewling supplication of Congressman Phil "Georgia Peach" Gingrey. That began when Gingrey criticized Rush's inflammatory locutions as unhelpful, not having to "do what's best for your people and your party." In response to a "high volume of calls and correspondence to his office," Congressman Gingrey phoned Mr. Limbaugh in "regret" to apologize for saying so.

Now, the microphone-toting unofficial head of the GOP has managed to get its official head to kiss the ring as well. This weekend, Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele derided Limbaugh as "incendiary" and "ugly." Late Monday, Chairman Steele withdrew criticisms of Rush he made over the weekend calling them "inarticulate." This follows closely on the heels of Limbaugh's Monday broadcast, where he derided Steele as being "obsessed with seeing to it President Obama succeeds."

While the Republican party still has a leadership apparatus comprised of elected officials, it's pretty clear just who is actually running the show. If Limbaugh manages to squeeze an apology out of Congressman Boehner, the debate is over - the GOP will be the party of the untouchable, unimpeachable Chairman Rush. And then things will really get nasty.

The chastised Steele will probably be permitted to stay on as RNC "leader," but the lesson is clear: Attention--and more importantly deference--to the great Rush Limbaugh, the true head & heart of the Republican Party, must be paid. And isn't that classic of the totalitarian right. This Michael Steele, like Gingrey before him, spoke the truth, until Rush and the dittohead hordes that worship at his alter practically lynched them both and forced each of them to beg forgiveness. And when Bohner's aide does to -- which is immanent, judging by the speed with which the last two Rushpublicans fell to their knees before the sweaty ton o' fun that can control some Cons like ventriloquist dummies -- it could prove to be be the final nail in the Republican coffin for a good long while.

“I think that our leadership, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, are taking the right approach. I mean, it’s easy if you’re Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh or even sometimes Newt Gingrich to stand back and throw bricks. You don’t have to try to do what’s best for your people and your party. You know you’re just on these talk shows and you’re living well and plus you stir up a bit of controversy and gin the base and that sort of that thing. But when it comes to true leadership, not that these people couldn’t be or wouldn’t be good leaders, they’re not in that position of John Boehner or Mitch McConnell." - Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), 1/27/09

"Rush, thank you so much. I thank you for the opportunity. Of course, it's not exactly the way I wanted to come on, but I appreciate you giving me the opportunity. Mainly, I want to express to you and all your listeners my very sincere regret for those comments I made yesterday to Politico. Basically the intent of my words to them was to discuss the unique position of congressional Republicans and our leadership, particularly John Boehner and Mitch McConnell. I clearly ended up putting my foot in my mouth on some of those comments (laughs) and I just wanted to tell you, Rush, and -- and all our conservative giants who help us so much to maintain our base and grow it and get back this majority that I regret those stupid comments." - Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), 1/28/09

"I don’t want him [Obama] to fail. Anybody who wants him to fail is an idiot, because it means we’re all in trouble." - Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC), 2/25/09

“The governor was not referring to anyone” in particular." - Joel Sawyer, Sanford’s Communications Director, 2/25/09
"Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. Rush Limbaugh—his whole thing is entertainment. Yes, it's incendiary. Yes, it's ugly." - Michael Steel, RNC chairman, 3/1/09

“My intent was not to go after Rush – I have enormous respect for Rush Limbaugh” - Michael Steel, RNC chairman, 3/2/09