Patterico's Pontifications

9/17/2009

L.A. Times Buries (And Hides) Worst Facts of ACORN Scandal

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 9:04 pm

Well, well. Just look at how the L.A. Times is characterizing the myriad revelations of rampant criminal conduct by ACORN. You guessed it: it’s portrayed as a conservative thing:

Trying to dodge a building conservative firestorm, the House and Senate made clear Thursday that the community-based nonprofit organization ACORN was persona non grata on Capitol Hill.

. . . .

Congress’ actions were the strongest statement yet that the advocacy group, which conservatives accused of voter fraud in the 2008 presidential election, has become politically radioactive for Democrats.

Gee, why are those damn conservatives so upset? It takes until paragraph five to get this much out of Times editors:

Video made public earlier this month that featured ACORN workers giving advice on how to evade the law is the latest subject of conservative criticism.

Oh, well, if it’s just conservative criticism, then it must be bogus.

By the way, why isn’t this the headline? “ACORN workers caught on tape giving advice on how to evade the law”? Why is that not in the lede? And it takes until the paragraph seventeen to give some of the lurid details:

The most serious blow to ACORN’s reputation, however, may have come this month when video surfaced showing two employees in the group’s Baltimore office advising two actors who were posing as a prostitute and pimp on tax evasion and fraud. The duo are conservative filmmakers who have targeted ACORN offices nationwide.

Oh, well, if they’re conservative filmmakers, then it must be bogus.

So: mentioning that illegal activity is involved comes in paragraph five, and the revelation that a pimp is involved comes in paragraph seventeen. And which paragraph tells Times readers that the illegal actions that ACORN workers eagerly worked to cover up include trafficking in child prostitutes aged 13 to 15? For that little tidbit, you have to read all the way down to paragraph fuck you L.A. Times readers because you don’t even need to know that part at all.

Can we agree that this constitutes hiding the worst of it?

So remember: opposing pimping out underaged prostitutes is a conservative thing.

So says the L.A. Times.

UPDATE: The newspaper has replaced the original version of the story with a slightly reworded version at the same Web address. I had a feeling they might do this, so I saved the original version here. The new version is not much different; the first mention of ACORN’s illegal activity comes at paragraph four instead of five, the mention of prostitution and pimping comes at paragraph fifteen instead of seventeen, and the mention of underage prostitutes is still located at paragraph nowhere.

Old and Frank Obama Video on Whether Health Care Reform Will Lead to Tax Hikes

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:37 pm

Too bad he’s not this honest nowadays:

Health Care for Illegal Immigrants

Filed under: Health Care,Immigration,Obama — DRJ @ 7:15 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

President Obama doesn’t want Hispanics to worry about whether health care reform will insure illegal immigrants, because immigration reform will make that worry moot:

“The President, speaking at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Wednesday evening, said that the health care “debate underscores the necessity of passing comprehensive immigration reform and resolving the issue of 12 million undocumented people living and working in this country.”

White House spokesman Nicholas Shapiro, while he did not speak to the specifics of what the President’s plan for immigration reform will include, said, “The President has previously supported legislation which would require undocumented immigrants who meet a series of requirements (pay taxes, learn English, clean criminal record, pay a fine) to become legal residents and ultimately citizens.”

Under the President’s proposed health care plan, legal residents would have access to government health care.”

The Obama Administration reportedly wants to pursue immigration reform early next year, presumably because Obama has discovered how easy it is to fool, I mean, govern Americans.

– DRJ

House Votes on Student Loans and ACORN

Filed under: Education,Government — DRJ @ 1:19 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Via Hot Air, the House has voted to defund ACORN:

The fallout continues from the undercover videos taken at ACORN offices across the country. The House has followed the lead of the Senate in voting to cut off funds to ACORN, this time in the Student Loans Bill. The final vote was a solidly bipartisan 345-75.”

Big Government has the full text. The Instapundit wonders if President Obama will sign a bill defunding ACORN.

The Hot Air link also explains changes in the law that will effectively nationalize student loans.

– DRJ

IAEA Agrees: Iran Has the Bomb

Filed under: International,Obama — DRJ @ 11:25 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

The International Atomic Energy Agency agrees Iran likely has the bomb and is making progress on being able to deliver it:

“The [IAEA] document says Iran has “sufficient information” to build a bomb. It says Iran is likely to “overcome problems” on developing a delivery system.”

As a candidate, Barack Obama hoped he could convince Iran to disarm. If that doesn’t work — and it won’t — the Administration’s answer is containment and, at best, another cold war.

– DRJ

Louisiana AG Investigates ACORN?

Filed under: Crime,Government — DRJ @ 11:01 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

BigGovernment.com has published one page of what it says are several subpoenas from the Louisiana Attorney General to Wade Rathke, President of ACORN INTERNATIONAL served last month. The posted subpoena concerns a Louisiana investigation of ACORN and Citizen’s Consulting, Inc, a company that provides bookkeeping and related services to ACORN. The subpoena seeks documents relating to unpaid taxes, tax liens, and other matters including “the theft of funds by Dale Rathke.”

Dale Rathke is the brother of ACORN President Wade Rathke and ACORN has been described as the Rathke family business. In 1999-2000, Dale Rathke reportedly embezzled almost $1M from ACORN and the Points of Light Institute. A whistleblower revealed the embezzlement in 2008 and it was reported in this New York Times article:

“A whistle-blower forced Acorn to disclose the embezzlement, which involved the brother of the organization’s founder, Wade Rathke.

The brother, Dale Rathke, embezzled nearly $1 million from Acorn and affiliated charitable organizations in 1999 and 2000, Acorn officials said, but a small group of executives decided to keep the information from almost all of the group’s board members and not to alert law enforcement.
***
The amount Dale Rathke embezzled, $948,607.50, was carried as a loan on the books of Citizens Consulting Inc., which provides bookkeeping, accounting and other financial management services to Acorn and many of its affiliated entities.

Wade Rathke said the organization had signed a restitution agreement with his brother in which his family agreed to repay the amount embezzled in exchange for confidentiality.

Wade Rathke stepped down as Acorn’s chief organizer on June 2, the same day his brother left, but he remains chief organizer for Acorn International L.L.C.

He said the decision to keep the matter secret was not made to protect his brother but because word of the embezzlement would have put a “weapon” into the hands of enemies of Acorn, a liberal group that is a frequent target of conservatives who object to its often strident advocacy on behalf of low- and moderate-income families and workers.”

Interestingly, Wiki has no information on its Dale Rathke page but there is an entry for Wade Rathke, who it says lives in New Orleans, LA. Presumably the Louisiana investigation results in part from the fact ACORN’s records indicate it is headquartered in New Orleans and the Rathkes live there, although the status of the investigation is not clear.

Since the subpoena specifically mentions tax liens, this November 2008 Capital Research Center report seems on point:

“Ironically, ACORN and its affiliates, all reliable cheerleaders for higher taxes, are longtime tax deadbeats. A search of public records found more than 200 federal, state,
and local tax liens adding up to more than $3.7 million
that are associated with groups that share ACORN’s address on Elysian Fields Avenue in New Orleans.
***
It is unclear what kinds of taxes ACORN and its affiliates failed to pay, but because almost all ACORN affiliates are exempted from paying most or all taxes, it seems likely
that the liens were issued for non-payment of employees’ payroll taxes. If so, this would be ironic because payroll taxes fund the social and wealth-distribution programs that
ACORN so staunchly supports.”

In addition, at least 20 states are reportedly investigating ACORN’s activities in the wake of the recent BigGovernment videos.

– DRJ

Obama Cancels European Missile Shield (Updated x2)

Filed under: International,Obama — DRJ @ 9:26 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

President Barack Obama has canceled the Eastern European missile shield system:

“The missile defense system, planned under the Bush administration, was to have been built in the Czech Republic and Poland. The proposed system was pitched as a way to fend off potential attacks from Iran but it became a major irritant in relations with Russia, with whom the Obama administration is now negotiating a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.

“We have updated our intelligence assessment of Iran’s missile programs, which emphasizes the threat posed by Iran’s short and medium-range missiles, which are capable of reaching Europe,” Obama said in a brief announcement from the White House.

“This new ballistic missile defense program will best address the threat posed by Iran’s ongoing ballistic missile defense program,” he added.
***
The decision comes as the Obama administration has been seeking closer ties with Moscow and as Russian President Dmitry Medvedev prepares to visit the United States next week for the U.N. General Assembly and the Group of 20 nations economic summit. “

As Sen. Lindsey Graham correctly says (even a stopped clock is right sometimes), this will “scare the crap” out of Poland and the Czech Republic. Senator Jon Kyl criticized the decision as Obama caving to Russia:

“The decision announced today by the administration is dangerous and short-sighted,” the Arizona Republican said. “Not only does this decision leave America vulnerable to the growing Iranian long-range missile threat, it also turns back the clock to the days of the Cold War, when Eastern Europe was considered the domain of Russia. This will be a bitter disappointment, indeed, even a warning to the people of Eastern Europe.”

Obama continues his quest to distance America from its democratic allies and embrace international thugs. At this point, free nations would be foolish to trust Obama.

– DRJ

UPDATE: Fred Thompson weighs in (audio link). Thompson thinks this is all about currying favor with Russia, who he believes is only interested in reasserting its influence in the region. Thompson says our NATO allies must be “flabbergasted” and “afraid” because “in one fell swoop” they learned they can’t depend on America or its word. This policy confounds our allies and encourages our enemies, he said, and it should be the other way around.

UPDATE 2: Don’t miss Dan Collins’ detailed post on this topic. H/T Bob Reed.


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