Patterico's Pontifications


Debunking Some Emerging ACORN Liberal Myths

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:36 pm

This post debunks several liberal myths about ACORN that have emerged in recent weeks — many from Eric Boehlert of Media Matters and Brad Friedman.


Liberal Myth: James O’Keefe did not pretend to be a pimp inside ACORN. Instead, he merely presented himself as Hannah Giles’s boyfriend, trying to help her escape from an abusive pimp.

Examples of the spreading of the myth:

Eric Boehlert:

O’Keefe pretended to be an aspiring pol, not pimp, in first ACORN vid.

Amanda Marcotte at Pandagon:

The video implies that the advice about the 13-year-olds was given with the intent of helping a pimp control them. This doesn’t fit the circumstances. In fact, it appears that what happened was that employees were responding to requests on how to get young girls out of sex work, not keep them in.

Brad Friedman:

After not hearing from New York Times Public Editor Clark Hoyt for nearly a week — during which I’d sent him more and more indisputable evidence that Andrew Breitbart employee James O’Keefe never played his infamous “pimp” character in the offices of ACORN — he responded with a couple of blistering charges.

Brad Friedman again:

Though he can, perhaps, be forgiven there, given that Harshbarger’s report had not yet come out confirming that O’Keefe neither dressed as a pimp, nor represented himself as such. Rather, O’Keefe told ACORN workers that he was a college student considering a run for Congress someday, and was hoping to help the prostitute actually escape from an abusive pimp.

(Bold is mine, italics are Friedman’s.)


[O’Keefe] had dressed like a nice, young, preppie fellow, just trying to help this unfortunate young white girl caught in a bad situation in order to gain the ACORN workers’ trust and compassion. He used his stereotypical innocent, youthful, studiously upstanding looks to create a false impression with the ACORN workers and then turned around and filmed some bogus footage of him dressed in a ridiculous pimp costume to give a false impression to the mostly white audience. It was a very clever way to use racial stereotypes on both groups to get what he wanted.

Dave Johnson at the Huffington Post:

In fact, O’Keefe was NOT “dressed as a pimp.” He represented himself as a candidate for Congress who was trying to help women who were being exploited. He then doctored the resulting videotapes to make it appear that ACORN acted improperly.

Fact: James O’Keefe posed as a pimp. He repeatedly told ACORN employees that he was setting up a house where Giles and underage girls would turn tricks, and give the proceeds to O’Keefe, who planned to use them for a future Congressional campaign.

Let’s take the Baltimore transcript — which is the first ACORN video, and therefore the one where Boehlert denies that O’Keefe pretended to be a pimp. Among other things, we see this:

Tonja: so the type of business okay … the type of business of service you provide let me make sure there is a code for it okay

O’Keefe: A code for prostitution?

Tonja: Well, yeah I have to have a name and a code number.

and this:

Tonja: they under sixteen so you don’t worry about that, but on the other part of the form you can use them as a dependents because they live in your house they are under 16 and they are living in your house. Well you live in a boat but because you are taking care of them so you can use them as a dependent

O’Keefe: What if they are going to be making money because they are performing tricks too

Tonja: but if they making money and they are underage then you shouldn’t be letting anybody know anyway


O’Keefe: we want to use a lot of the money that we are getting

Shira: you don’t want to use all of it

O’Keefe: No I am saying we want to use a lot of the cash for my campaign

Similarly, at ACORN D.C., O’Keefe and Giles talk about setting up a house for Giles and several El Salvadorian girls who will be working for him. Giles says she will take the money and give it to O’Keefe, who says he is running for a local election. The ACORN worker tells O’Keefe to distance himself from the house of women of the night that Giles will be running because he is in political stuff and the revelation will be bad for him if people learn about the house of prostitution. Here are some quotes from the transcript which (like all ACORN transcripts) is supported by unedited audio:

James: So, I can be the one who ah, I have documentation right? So, I can, I can be the one basically put up the house for it and she can perform tricks in the house.

Acorn 3: Yep.

James: Okay, and well all those girls too? All those, there’s like 10 girls? There’s 10 El Salvadorians.

. . . .

Acorn 4: If you but the home, you have no knowledge of what’s goin on in that home. He’s just [garble] the landlord.
I. I t, say that again.

Acorn 3: You have no knowledge of whats goin on you just the landlord.

Acorn 4: You have no knowledge of what’s goin on, I’m just keeping it real – your just the landlord.

James: I’m just the landlord.

Acorn 4: You’re just the landlord.

James: But, but, but…

Acorn 3: We know she’s your girl friend, but we’re talking about your career. How far you trying to go?

James: I’m using the money that she’s getting, you know what I mean?

Acorn 3: Okay. But you don’t know where its coming from.

Hannah: It’s cash.

James: I, I, I personally know where its coming from.

Acorn 3: Right, but when the police ask you – you don’t know where its coming from – that’s what we’re trying to tell you

James: Alright.

Acorn 3: We’re looking out for you.

. . . .

Hannah: And I want him to be successful and why I’m working so hard and bringing these girls in so when he does run for office he has unlimited funds.

San Bernardino:

O’Keefe: . . . we wanna set up sort of like a business to do this type of thing and

Theresa (ACORN): A prostitution business?

O’Keefe: That’s right.

. . .

Hannah (Eden): um I’m kinda familiar with that in Miami, but I also the guy that I’m supposed to be working for here just got a shipment or 12 El Salvadorian girls.

Theresa (Acorn): Oh, really?

Hannah (Eden): They’re between the ages of 12 years old and 15, and if I can, which I think I because I do have some sort of relationship with them.

Theresa (Acorn): Mmm hmm

Hannah (Eden): in the brief time I’ve come in contact. Would like to take them away from him . . . and use them for me, for myself and also to keep so they don’t have to be subjected to a man . . . who is abusive

. . . .

James: So basically we want . . . a house to put them in and we have been trying to go through the other authorities but they have been unhelpful with us because of, you know . . . they just you know they don’t wanna deal with these sex sex girls coming in performing sex they think we don’t wanna have anything to do with that.

. . . .

O’Keefe: But, one of the things I was one of the things we also wanna do um one of my goals you asked you asked do you know how you wanna do this, I think one of the goals is not only can Eden protect some of these 13, 14, 15 year-old girls

Theresa (ACORN) Yeah.

O’Keefe: coming over from El Salvador. In addition to protecting them and getting their feet on the ground so that they can you know perform the tricks and you know learn the how LA prostitution scene is I was also wanting to um use some of the this is very lucrative and potentially we can use a lot of the money we’re getting from the underaged girls from El Salvador and use some of the money for campaign one day

. . . .

O’Keefe: We’re bringing these girls from overseas.

Hannah (Eden) Well, they’re here.

O’Keefe: But, we are gonna take a part of the profit and I intend to use the profit

Theresa (ACORN): Right.

O’Keefe: From the tricks the girls perform

Theresa (ACORN): Right.

O’Keefe: To fund my political campaign.

Theresa (ACORN): Right.

The videos go on and on like that.

Friedman, Boehlert, and others have glommed on to the fact that O’Keefe did not wear his pimp outfit inside ACORN. Pointing to various ambiguous statements or failures to correct others, they have argued that Breitbart and O’Keefe deliberately tried to suggest otherwise. Friedman and Boehlert have yet to explain how O’Keefe supposedly sought to advance this misdirection by showing himself walking into ACORN in a shirt and slacks — in the first few seconds of the very first video released to the public.

I have challenged Boehlert to say clearly whether O’Keefe ever posed as a pimp at ACORN. The offer stands at $200 simply to take a clear and unequivocal position, one way or another. It would take only 10 words and he could collect $200. Yet he won’t do it. Could it be that, if he admits O’Keefe posed as a pimp, he would no longer be able to insinuate that he didn’t by focusing on O’Keefe’s manner of dress?


Liberal Myth: An “independent report” by a former Attorney General from Massachusetts establishes that the videos have been doctored in a misleading fashion. O’Keefe overdubbed voices to make it appear that ACORN employees were responding to one question, when in fact they were responding to a very different question.

Examples of the spreading of the myth:

Brad Friedman:

You may also not have known that while both independent reports, the other one by the Co micsngressional Research Service [PDF], found no criminal wrong doing by ACORN, they did find that O’Keefe likely the broke the law in at least two states by secretly recording the videos which had voice-overs deceptively edited into them later, “in some cases substantially,” according to Harshbarger’s report, so that it was “difficult to determine the questions to which ACORN employees are responding.”

Amanda Marcotte at Pandagon:

Boehlert and Brad Friedman have written exhaustively on how misleading the videos were, how they were heavily edited to make it look like employees were answering questions they weren’t actually asked (it seems that a lot of the “tax evasion” stuff was created in editing—employees seem to be talking about strategies to escape an abusive pimp).

Dave Johnson at the Huffington Post:

The investigation offered conclusive evidence that the videos were doctored and that voiceovers were used to make it appear people were saying things they did not say.

Eric Boehlert:

Harshbarger also shed light on the controversial videos, noting that portions had been “substantially” edited, including some voice overdubbing. And because O’Keefe and Breitbart refuse to let any outside observers — including journalists — view the full collection of unedited tapes, it’s impossible to tell just how significantly the tapes were manipulated prior to their release.

Fact: The report is by a paid ACORN consultant who did not allege misleading voiceovers, who did not interview the ACORN employees in the videos, who admits that his evidence is secondhand, and who never acknowledges the existence of unedited audio.

Harshbarger did not say the videos were doctored to make ACORN look bad. His report said there were edits and narrative voiceovers — just like in any documentary. It did not say those edits and narrative voiceovers were misleading. Here is the quote from paid ACORN consultant Harshbarger:

The unedited videos have never been made public. The videos that have been released appear to have been edited, in some cases substantially, including the insertion of a substitute voiceover for significant portions of Mr. O’Keefe’s and Ms. Giles’s comments, which makes it difficult to determine the questions to which ACORN employees are responding. A comparison of the publicly available transcripts to the released videos confirms that large portions of the original video have been omitted from the released versions.

Several questions leap to mind. Isn’t a “substitute voiceover” a standard documentary tactic? The narrator narrates while subjects are shown speaking.

Read Harshbarger’s quote again. Even though he is a shill, he is not claiming that O’Keefe substituted voiceovers in a deceptive manner to make it appear that people are saying things they didn’t say. That is just made up by the liberal bloggers.

In addition, in every case where I have seen a voiceover by O’Keefe, the unedited audio backs up what he claims is being said.

It is not “impossible” to tell what questions ACORN workers are responding to, as Boehlert claims. (Or “difficult” as shill Harshbarger claims.) The full unedited audio is available at You can listen to the unedited audio, compare it to the videos, and hear for yourself that O’Keefe did not overdub voices in a deceptive or misleading way.

For some odd reason, Harshbarger declines to mention the fact that unedited audio is available as to each ACORN visit as to which there is a transcript. Listening to the unedited audio would make it VERY EASY to determine whether there was any misleading editing or overdubbing.

You know: if you actually cared. As opposed to being out to make cheap political points.

Indeed, they used two separate microphones, as this video reveals:

(Watch beginning at around 4:40). How did they match up two separate strands of audio, if they were doing clever edits?

Friedman has flatly lied about this. In a letter to Clark Hoyt, he says: “While we can’t know if the text transcripts O’Keefe released were accurate, since he refuses to release the audio tape . . .” Friedman knows the full audio is available, as I told him this on a radio show and we discussed it at length — before he wrote Hoyt.

Eric Boehlert has linked Friedman’s post but did not lift a finger to correct Friedman. Remember: Boehlert has repeatedly claimed that O’Keefe “lied” or committed a “hoax” because he did not correct Steve Doocy’s claim about his manner of dress at ACORN. By Boehlert’s logic, Boehlert has himself engaged in a hoax, by endorsing Friedman’s post but failing to correct Friedman’s falsehood.

What’s more, Harshbarger was hardly conducting an independent investigation. He was a consultant paid by ACORN — as independent as a researcher paid by a tobacco company who finds no link between cigarettes and lung cancer.

According to the New York Times, Harshbarger “comes from the liberal, Democratic side of the political divide.”

And he didn’t interview any of the ACORN employees that appeared in the tapes.

We did not interview the employees captured on video, since we were satisfied there was no question that the visits occurred and the comments were made. . . . Hence, all our knowledge about the videos is largely circumstantial and secondhand.

Oh, well, then. You’re paid by ACORN and you didn’t interview the primary people. You want to raise questions about possibly deceptive editing — yet justify your failure to interview the principals by saying you are “satisfied there was no question that the visits occurred and the comments were made.”

Yup, no credibility issue there!


Liberal Myth: ACORN employees never advised O’Keefe and Giles to avoid paying taxes. They simply tried to help the two pay their taxes.

Examples of the spreading of the myth:

Brad Friedman:

None of the workers they spoke with who had tried to help them had advised “evading taxes” as the wingnut crew would have you believe .. .

Friedman, in a letter to Clark Hoyt:

Your contentions are clearly (and understandably) biased by the videos which offer a very different picture from what actually happened in those offices, according to the transcripts. I’ll not continue this already long email by detailing specifics of how, except to say that, contrary to what I read as your impressions, in every office the workers advised the pair that they must legally pay their taxes (not hide the income as you suggest), no matter where it comes from.


In fact, in every ACORN office seen in the Breitbart/O’Keefe vidoes [sic] — as understood only by reviewing the text transcripts, since the videos are so purposely misleading on this point — ACORN employees advised that Giles must pay taxes, even if the income was gained through illegal prostitution. No ACORN employee ever advised the pair to “avoid paying taxes” as so many who fell for the hoax have described.


*Correction: I originally wrote that ACORN workers provided advice on how a prostitute could avoid paying her taxes. That’s incorrect, and I regret the error.

Amanda Marcotte at Pandagon:

Boehlert and Brad Friedman have written exhaustively on how misleading the videos were, how they were heavily edited to make it look like employees were answering questions they weren’t actually asked (it seems that a lot of the “tax evasion” stuff was created in editing—employees seem to be talking about strategies to escape an abusive pimp).

Fact: ACORN employees advised Giles and O’Keefe on strategies to evade taxes.

Let’s go to the Baltimore transcript again:

Tonja: No you have to pay taxes on the money you make

O’Keefe: Is there any way around that though

Tonja: Yeah don’t file them and you continue doing cash

Or San Bernardino:

James: What about the money situation like the eh if I wanna use some of this money for my political campaign. How can, how can I start thinking about this long term so that I don’t get caught with the Feds or something like that?

Theresa (ACORN): Okay. I think- in my business it it was mostly cash.

James: Okay.

Theresa (ACORN): Alright. It’s a cash business

Hannah (Eden): That’s what we’re doing

Theresa (ACORN): So you only claim enough to you you can’t

. . . .

Theresa (ACORN): do you? Yea yea well and and we at that time I made 15 grand and they made ten and thats a lot of money for a week, well for six days,

Hannah (Eden): no kidding

Theresa (ACORN): and that was paid up front in cash

James: did you declare it all?

Theresa (ACORN): I didn’t declare a dime no—It’s cash


Liberal Myth: Hannah Giles and James O’Keefe did not represent Giles as a prostitute in Philadelphia.

Examples of the spreading of the myth:

Brad Friedman:

In the video (seen at right), Russell explains what happened when O’Keefe and his partner Hannah Giles — seen dressed similarly to a prostitute in the edited videos from other cities where O’Keefe carried out his campaign — came in for an interview in her office. “They never said that she [Giles] was a prostitute, and he was not dressed in any usually flashy manner,” Russell explains.

Fact: A video shows that Giles was identified as a prostitute.

Indeed, the released video shows that ACORN worker Katherine Conway Russell went on TV and lied about a) whether prostitution had been mentioned; b) whether Giles and O’Keefe were kicked out; and c) whether she gave any help to Giles and O’Keefe.

Friedman is aware of this. I told him about it on a radio show hosted by Larry O’Connor. He has failed to correct the falsehood.

These are just some of the myths, and just some of the evidence. I spend the time compiling it because I am sick of seeing history rewritten.

UPDATE: More here.

Summers: Ignore February’s Jobless Numbers

Filed under: Government,Obama — DRJ @ 11:34 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

White House economic adviser Larry Summers explains why Americans should ignore February’s jobless numbers:

“White House economic adviser Larry Summers said on Monday winter blizzards were likely to distort U.S. February jobless figures, which are due to be released on Friday.

“The blizzards that affected much of the country during the last month are likely to distort the statistics. So it’s going to be very important … to look past whatever the next figures are to gauge the underlying trends,” Summers said in an interview with CNBC, according to a transcript.”

This almost certainly means the numbers are bad or, as Obama’s adoring media describes it: “unexpected.”


AP: A Glimmer of Hope in the House for ObamaCare

Filed under: Health Care,Obama,Politics — DRJ @ 11:30 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

According to an AP survey, there may be at least 9 House members willing to switch their prior “No” votes to support ObamaCare:

“The House version of health care passed 220-215 in November, with 39 Democrats voting against it. Since then, defections, resignations and a death have taken away yes votes.

With four House seats now vacant, Pelosi would need 216 votes to approve the Senate-passed version, which replaces the jettisoned House bill. That’s exactly the number she has now if no other members switch their votes.

In interviews with the AP, at least nine of the 39 Democrats – or their spokesmen – either declined to state their positions or said they were undecided about the revised legislation, making them likely targets for intense wooing by Pelosi and Obama. Three of them – Brian Baird of Washington, Bart Gordon of Tennessee and John Tanner of Tennessee – are not seeking re-election this fall.

The others are Rick Boucher of Virginia, Suzanne Kosmas of Florida, Frank Kratovil of Maryland, Michael McMahon of New York, Scott Murphy of New York and Glenn Nye of Virginia. Several lawmakers’ offices did not reply to the AP queries.”

The initial AP report said there were ten possible converts but later reports cast doubt on the 10th:

“Rep. Walt Minnick of Idaho will not change his vote from no, his spokesman, Dean Ferguson, said Monday night. Minnick had declined to state a position when contacted earlier by the AP.”

The Democrats believe there will be defections among the 216 who previously voted “Yes.” In addition, President Obama is making another effort to appear bipartisan:

“Obama’s announcement on Wednesday is expected to be a freshened blueprint of what he wants to see in a final health care bill, updated with ideas that at least have the fingerprints of Republicans.

The plan will replace the one Obama posted one week ago, but will not be written in legislative language.

Obama’s move underscores his ever-growing role in shaping what he hopes will be a far-reaching revision to the nation’s health care system, a goal that has eluded other presidents dating to Theodore Roosevelt.

Politically, it would also allow him to say that he was listening to Republicans at his ballyhooed bipartisan summit last week and that he has since responded by including more areas of common ground.”

Pelosi has described Obama’s newest plan as a much smaller proposal than the original House bill.


The Best Path to Renewable Energy

Filed under: Government — DRJ @ 9:53 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Texas had an energy problem Sunday — too much wind power:

“With strong breezes blowing early Sunday afternoon in West Texas, wind-power generation hit a record 6,242 megawatts on the Electric Reliability Council of Texas’ [ERCOT] grid, which serves most of the state.

The wind generation peaked at 12:54 p.m., representing an exceptionally high 22 percent of demand at that time, ERCOT spokeswoman Dottie Roark said Monday. Most of the wind facilities are in West Texas and the Panhandle.

Roy Blackshear, manager of the AEP Desert Sky Wind Farm near Iraan in Pecos County, a 107-turbine, 160.5-megawatt facility, said he was “really surprised” to see that wind’s share of the power load hit 22 percent.

“It proves we’re going to be able to use renewables effectively. … It’s huge,” he said of the growing capability of generation from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.
After the wind generation soared Sunday, ERCOT curtailed it because the supply of electricity outstripped the capacity of lines to move the power to urban areas such as Dallas-Fort Worth.

“We have more wind [generation] built in the west than can be accommodated on the existing transmission lines,” Roark said. That’s why ERCOT is overseeing a huge $5 billion project to build more lines from wind farms to the state’s metropolitan areas, she said.”

Unlike the rest of the nation, Texas has its own power grid and is reluctant to part with it for several reasons, including to avoid federal government regulation:

Since roughly 1935, the majority of Texas utilities have opted to isolate themselves from interstate connection and thus from federal regulation over rates, terms and conditions of electrical transmission. Managed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), they now provide more than 85 percent of the state’s electrical load, covering 75 percent of its land area. For utilities, that makes energy a straightforward market to do business in, and it allows them to be more nimble and innovative with new energy sources. It also vastly expedites the process for renewable energy developers that want to plug in to state transmission lines.

“If you go to either of the other two grids you’ve got to get 20-something state utility commissions to agree on something,” B.J. Stanbery, the founder of the Austin-based solar manufacturer HelioVolt, says. “In Texas, we’ve only got one to persuade. Now, that’s a big benefit.” As a result, Texas has, in very short order, erected enough wind turbines to become the national leader in wind-energy production — by a wide margin. If it were a country, Texas would rank sixth in wind power. With a semiconductor industry already based in Austin, Texas could do the same with solar, according to community leader Brewster McCracken. “The fact that we have a major technology center and we’re not on the federal grid means that if we decide to lead, we’re well positioned to lead,” he says.”

Texas produces and consumes more electricity than any other state, accounting for more than one-tenth of total U.S. energy use. Energy efficiency has lowered per capita residential use to pre-1965 levels, and 50% of all energy is used in industry compared to a national average of 32%. Texas is taking an all of the above approach to energy including wind power:

“The new listings, based on 2008 year-end numbers, show Texas leading in wind capacity and largest wind farms installed, Minnesota and Iowa both generating over 7% of their electricity from wind, and Indiana as the state with the fastest growth in wind on a percentage basis.”

The Obama Administration wants regulation and government subsidies to pave the way to renewable energy. As Texas illustrates, decreased regulation and market incentives may be the better path.


Hoyer: We May Have to Raise Taxes

Filed under: Economics,Government — DRJ @ 7:28 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) admitted today that Congress may have to raise taxes to pay down the deficit:

Tax increases may be necessary to rein in $12 trillion in federal debt, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Monday.

Hoyer emphasized the need to reform Social Security and Medicare, but he also made it clear that raising taxes will have to be on the table.

“No one likes raising revenue, and understandably so,” Hoyer said in an address at the Brookings Institution. “But if you’re going to buy, you need to pay.

“If need be, I am hopeful that both parties will agree to look at revenues as part of the solution — not as a gateway to higher spending, but as part of a compromise that cuts spending and balances the budget,” he added.”

It wasn’t everyday Americans who insisted on “buying” (with enormous bailouts) institutions like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, investment firms, General Motors, and Chrysler. If Congress wants to spend money, it should figure out how to pay for it first.

So how much will taxes go up?

“To hit the deficit target relying only on tax increases on the rich, as identified by Obama, the income tax rates for those earning more than $250,000 would have to be increased to more than 70 percent, Williams and his colleagues Rosanne Altshuler and Katherine Lim wrote in a Tax Policy Center paper released last month.”

There won’t be many rich people left at this rate.


Hasan Returning to Fort Hood

Filed under: Terrorism — DRJ @ 6:01 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Fort Hood shooting suspect Nidal Hasan is moving from a San Antonio hospital to a Fort Hood-area jail:

“The Army psychiatrist charged in the worst mass shooting on a U.S. military base will soon be moved to a county jail near Fort Hood after four months in a military hospital, his attorney and jail officials said Monday.

Maj. Nidal Hasan, who is paralyzed, is to be transferred to the Bell County Jail and will be housed in a cell in the medical unit, said jail administrator Bob Patterson.

“We’re prepared to handle inmates with medical needs,” Patterson said, declining to elaborate or comment on whether special security measures would be taken.”

Hasan’s attorney wanted him moved to Fort Hood but the Army base does not have jail facilities that can also provide for Hasan’s medical needs.


Britain vs the Falklands, Again

Filed under: International,Obama — DRJ @ 1:21 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Obama Administration may have finally found a crisis it can mediate — Britain vs the Falklands:

“U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is offering to help Argentina and Britain resolve a festering dispute over a vast swath of the southern Atlantic Ocean where Britain has begun drilling for oil.

Clinton said Monday the two countries should agree themselves over the sovereignty of the British-administered Falkland Islands that are claimed by Argentina, which refers to them as Las Malvinas.

But she said the U.S. was willing to facilitate such an effort.”

Recently, the Obama Administration stunned Britain by refusing to take sides in the debate. This follows early Obama Administration snubs of Britain when it returned Churchill’s bust, gave useless DVDs to PM Gordon Brown and refused to hold a press conference for the British press.

Obama doesn’t seem to like Britain so if I were a British leader, I’d tell the Americans “No thanks.”


ObamaCare and the Nanny State

Filed under: Government,Health Care,Obama — DRJ @ 1:10 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Tom Maguire comments on President Obama’s health care summit anecdote (at the link) about his problems with car insurance:

“So what does this anecdote from the Great Communicator tells us? Well, it might tell us he is as dumb as a bag of rocks for not understanding the difference between liability and collision insurance.

But let’s give him the benefit if the doubt! I am trying to think like a Lib here, so bear with me – the moral of the story seems to be that even Barack Obama, future editor of the Harvard Law Review and President of the United States, found simple insurance decisions utterly mystifying and had no idea what he had actually purchased.
Well. If even Obama can be duped by greedy insurers into saving his money and taking a sensible risk, what hope do the rest of us have? Surely we need these new health insurance mandates to make sure both that we buy policies and that the policies we buy have everything we need, not just everything we (stupidly think we) want.

This is classic, generic Democratic paternalism – people can’t be trusted to make their own decisions and they certainly should not be expected to endure the consequences of those decisions.

Young Barack should never have been allowed to buy liability-only insurance that didn’t cover damage to his junker. Barack, Nancy and Harry will protect us from our own deplorable decision making on the health care front.”

I think there is a corollary to this and that is many people are willing to be protected. Some people — most often the young, single parents and elders — want government to look out for them. Life is uncertain and they worry they don’t have the skills, energy or time to handle its challenges.

There was a time when that’s what family and friends were for but, in today’s world, government is everyone’s new best friend.


Friedman Admits He and Boehlert Tried to Hoax Public; Still Won’t Correct

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:04 am

This post is an exercise in hoisting liberals on their own petards.

Regular readers will remember that Brad Friedman wrote, in a letter to NYT Public Editor Clark Hoyt:

While we can’t know if the text transcripts O’Keefe released were accurate, since he refuses to release the audio tape . . .

In fact, as Friedman well knows, the full unedited audio of every visit for which there is a transcript is available at Big Government. I told Friedman this repeatedly when we appeared on the radio together.

Applying Brad Friedman’s standards to himself, this is a “lie.” After all, he has repeatedly accused James O’Keefe of “lying” about his dress at ACORN — while citing nothing more than O’Keefe’s failure to correct Steve Doocy on a TV show. O’Keefe’s own videos show how he was dressed at ACORN, yet Friedman accuses O’Keefe of trying to hide what O’Keefe himself included in his videos.

If we apply Friedman’s own standards to himself, he is a liar and a hoaxster. He may claim it was merely a mistake, but why should Friedman get the benefit of a doubt he refuses to extend to O’Keefe or Breitbart?

Applying Eric Boehlert’s standards to himself, he is part of this hoax as well. Eric Boehlert has linked Friedman’s post but did not lift a finger to correct Friedman. By Boehlert’s own standards, that makes him part of the hoax.

After all, Boehlert has repeatedly claimed that O’Keefe “lied” or committed a “hoax” merely because O’Keefe did not correct Steve Doocy’s claim about his manner of dress at ACORN.

If we apply Boehlert’s standards to himself, Boehlert has lied about whether the unedited ACORN audio is available.

Friedman himself has now admitted his and Boehlert’s hoax, when he left a comment at this blog yesterday claiming his reference to the lack of unedited “audio” was “obviously a typo meant to refer to ‘video’ tape.”

Applying Friedman’s own standards to himself, this is an admission that he lied and engaged in a hoax. After all, Friedman has now confirmed the facts that I am using to call him a liar and hoaxster. By Friedman’s own standards, that means he has “admitted” being a liar and hoaxster.

After all, Friedman is the guy who wrote a post titled “Giles Admits O’Keefe, Breitbart ACORN ‘Pimp’ Story was a Lie: ‘That Was B-Roll, Purely B-Roll’.” Of course, Giles never opined that O’Keefe or Breitbart had lied; that was Friedman’s wording. But to Friedman, the mere fact that Giles acknowledged facts that Friedman was using to paint O’Keefe and Breitbart as liars means that she “admitted” that they lied.

If we apply Friedman’s standards to himself, he has “admitted” that he and Boehlert have engaged in a hoax designed to destroy O’Keefe and Breitbart with falsehoods.

Not to mention, he’s also lying about his falsehood being a “typo.” Look it up, Brad. It’s not a typo. The letters for “video” are not particularly close to the letters for “audio.” I think you meant “mistake.” By your standards, this is another one of your “lies.”

And also, your post remains uncorrected. Which kinda makes it seem like you don’t care about corrections. Ironic, since that is the fault you attribute to Clark Hoyt.

Word of the Friedman/Boehlert “no ACORN audio” hoax is starting to spread among respected bloggers. Instapundit got the ball rolling with a link last night, and the links will no doubt continue to roll in today.

It’s Day Two of the Friedman/Boehlert ACORN Hoax.

How long will they keep it up?!?!?!?!?!

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