Patterico's Pontifications


Clark Hoyt Responds re Brad Friedman’s Great “Pimp Hoax” Hoax

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:12 pm

Brad Friedman is going to be so upset.

For literally weeks now, he has been crusading for the New York Times to correct a trivial detail about the ACORN videos. And he has been trying to argue — as dishonestly as he knows how — that this trivial detail somehow undermines the whole ugly ACORN mess uncovered by Hannah Giles and James O’Keefe.

Well, it turns out that Clark Hoyt agrees on the trivial detail, but understands that the bigger picture is not undermined:

Acorn’s supporters appear to hope that the whole story will fall apart over the issue of what O’Keefe wore: if that was wrong, everything else must be wrong. The record does not support them. If O’Keefe did not dress as a pimp, he clearly presented himself as one: a fellow trying to set up a woman — sometimes along with under-age girls — in a house where they would work as prostitutes. In Washington, he said the prostitution was to finance his future in politics. A worker for Acorn Housing, an allied group, warned him to stay away from the brothel lest someone “get wind that you got a house and that your girlfriend is over there running a house of women of the night. You will not have a career.”

He said that in many more places than Washington, but Hoyt has the essence of it right. Yes, the New York Times botched a trivial detail about the videos: whether O’Keefe was dressed as a pimp inside the ACORN offices. Yes, their defense was pathetic.

And no, Brad Friedman and Eric Boehlert, none of it matters to the essence of the story in the slightest. Back to Hoyt:

[T]he most damning words match the transcripts and the audio, and do not seem out of context. Harshbarger’s report to Acorn found no “pattern of illegal conduct” by its employees. But, he told me: “They said what they said. There’s no way to make this look good.”

Well, sure there is, Mr. Harshbarger. It’s just that you have to lie to do it.

Friedman has been doing that for weeks. You just have to open up your imagination.

UPDATE: Friedman puts on his brave face and tries to declare victory, here. He “proves” that O’Keefe did not pose as a pimp by citing every instance of the word “pimp” and showing that O’Keefe was referring to someone else. Friedman thus does his usual sleight of hand where he wishes away the wall of evidence that O’Keefe said he sought to set up a house for Giles and underage girls to turn tricks and give him the proceeds for his Congressional campaign.

Unlike Friedman’s gullible readers, Hoyt has actually familiarized himself with the source evidence. He has read the transcripts and listened to the unedited audio, and Hoyt thus understands that the edited videos did not misrepresent the context of the most damning quotes from ACORN workers.

This is why Hoyt previously referred to Friedman as someone with a “political agenda” whose characterization of what happened on the ACORN videos is “not credible.”

Friedman will probably use Hoyt’s article as a springboard for another 3 weeks of whining, petitioning, and incessant yapping about this non-issue. Yap, yap, yap, yap, yap. The main thing that separates Friedman from an annoying barking dog is that dogs don’t know how to lie.

Live Chat

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:31 pm

UPDATE: It’s time for the chat.

The usual instructions: You see the chat window below? Look at the bottom. Enter your name or pseudonym where it says “Your name.” Enter your comment in the second window just under that, and hit send. I will have to approve your comment before it appears, but I’m online right now, and will approve most comments within a minute. Usually within seconds.

IMPORTANT: Note the buttons at the bottom. You will probably want to turn off “autoscroll.” It bothers a lot of people.

Original post, pre-update, below:

So check back in a while if you’re interested. I’ll probably do it in this space, unless other posts appear here in the interim.

Last Call — Health Care Sale Ends Tonight (Updated)

Filed under: Health Care,Obama — DRJ @ 5:17 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Tonight’s the night the White House plans to buy off the anti-abortion holdouts:

“Senior Dem staffer says abortion/executive order deliberations will take place tonight at the White House.

Stupak won’t be there… Dem staffer says “this still isn’t nailed down.”

Allahpundit says the pro-choice lobby is okay with this so I’m not optimistic.

EDIT: On the other hand, the House Rules Committee was still meeting at 7PM EST. The Daily Caller says the Committee’s deliberations were being interrupted by the noise of anti-health care protesters.


UPDATE — Interesting comments by Rep. Paul Ryan:

“I then talked to Paul Ryan, who looked exhausted. Ryan is one of the few Republican lawmakers still trying to make a case against the bill even though most people at this point are only focused on whether Democrats will have the votes to pass it. But Ryan got some of the Democrats on the Rules Committee pretty riled up today during debate.

I asked him if he was frustrated that the bill looked poised to pass Sunday.

“I think it’s a big, big mistake to put this into law. I mean I really do. So that’s frustrating. This is the biggest social policy in 40 years. I think it’s going to be a fiscal explosion and nightmare. I think it’s going to hurt the economy. And we could have done a better job. So yeah, that’s frustrating,” he said.

“Its ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ I just think people are living in a fantasy world if they think that this can be afforded, if they don’t think that this will lead to systematic rationing of health care,” Ryan said.

He mentioned that he was surprised that Democrats had managed to get this far, after looking down and out in January after the loss of Ted Kennedy’s senate seat in Massachusetts.

“I think they’ve just kept their Democrats in a cocoon in Washington and they’re just pounding them with reinforcing messages, and they’re not stepping outside of this town and just looking at the big picture, and just looking at reality. And I think they’re gonna really regret doing this,” he said.

And he added one shot at Blue Dog Democrats who voted against the bill in November but who have flipped to support it.

“Blue Dogs don’t exist any more, as far as I’m concerned. They don’t exist anymore,” he said. “Nobody who calls themselves a Blue Dog and votes for this can ever call themselves a Blue Dog Democrat ever again.”

In a 9:20 PM update, Jon Ward at the The Daily Caller confirms the House will vote on the Senate bill first and then the Reconciliation bill. Keep checking here for Ward’s updates as he reports from Congress.

N Iowa Upsets Kansas (Updated)

Filed under: Sports — DRJ @ 3:54 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Here’s a shocker: Northern Iowa upset Kansas 69-67.


UPDATE: The upsets continue as #11 Washington beat #3 New Mexico.

ACORN on the Verge of Bankruptcy

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 3:48 pm

It’s a tiny flicker of good news among the crushing weight of impending doom.

I’m delinquent in posting about this news, which comes via the New York Times:

The community organizing group Acorn, battered politically from the right and suffering from mismanagement along with a severe loss of government and other funds, is on the verge of filing for bankruptcy, officials of the group said Friday.

I have been severely behind on my series of posts refuting the lies of Brad Friedman & Co., and you can blame a crushing workload for that. I’d try finishing them this weekend, but I’m still weighed down with work, and anyway it would all be overshadowed by this looming disaster where the government is going to take over 1/6 of the economy. I’m having a hard time concentrating on a pissant like Brad Friedman.

Anyway, the point is, all his lies don’t seem to be doing much for ACORN. So maybe my input isn’t needed anyway.

Democrats: Rules, Shmules

Filed under: Government — DRJ @ 2:30 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings: “When the deal goes down, all this talk about rules … We make them up as we go along.”

Article 1, Section 5 of the Constitution says “each House may determine the rules of its proceedings.” Apparently the 110th Congress has decided on no rules.

Among other committee assignments, Hastings serves as the Democrats’ Senior Member on the Committee on Rules and the Chairman of the Legislative & Budget Process Subcommittee. Louise Slaughter, author of the Slaughter Solution, is the Chairwoman of the House Committee on Rules.


Liz Carpenter Dead at 89

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 2:27 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Former Lady Bird Johnson Press Secretary Liz Carpenter has died in Austin. Carpenter played a little-known role in American history:

“Though Liz Carpenter and laughter went hand in hand, she was passionate about politics and played an important role in it. She penned the words President Lyndon Johnson as he took the oath of office aboard Air Force One after the Kennedy assassination.

“On that bad awful day in Dallas — I was the only writer aboard at that time. It just came to me, it just came to me that statement and I think God handed it to me because it just came so easily. It’s a sad time for all people. We’ve suffered a loss that cannot be weighed,” she said.”

Carpenter wrote, “This is a sad time for all people. We have suffered a loss that cannot be weighed. For me, it is a deep, personal tragedy. I know the world shares the sorrow that Mrs. Kennedy and her family bear. I will do my best; that is all I can do. I ask for your help and God’s.

She also had a good sense of humor:

“I went to Washington in 1942 with my journalism degree in hand and my virtue intact — and I still have a journalism degree.”



What’s Good For Obama

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 2:15 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius admits to a curious choice of basketball trash talk regarding President Obama:

“President Obama’s health secretary, who pressured her boss into choosing her hometown team to win it all at the NCAA tournament this year, admits she “talks trash all the time,” as the president put it in an ESPN interview this week.

“Well, I gave him a lot of grief,” Kathleen Sebelius said, of her chiding of then-Sen. Obama for his choice of the University of North Carolina Tar Heels to win the men’s national basketball championship in 2008, over her University of Kansas Jayhawks.

“I told him that I didn’t think it had anything to do with his basketball knowledge. I thought he was pandering to the North Carolina voters, because the primary had not yet occurred,” Sebelius said.”

Even one of his own Cabinet members thinks Obama panders, suggesting no one should believe what he says. That reinforces my belief that Obama wants Democrats to pass health care for him and not because it’s good for America.


Breaking: WaPo Says House to Reject Slaughter Strategy

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:17 am

Via Hot Air. With the related news that the deal with Stupak has fallen apart, this all means that they’re either in big trouble, or sitting so pretty that they don’t need to resort to tricks and deals. I’m afraid it means the latter:

House leaders have decided to take a separate vote on the Senate health-care bill, rejecting an earlier, much-criticized strategy that would have permitted them to “deem” the unpopular measure passed without an explicit vote.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said Saturday that the House would take three votes Sunday: first, on a resolution that will set the terms of debate; second, on a package of amendments to the Senate bill that have been demanded by House members; and third, on the Senate bill itself.

Van Hollen, who has been working on the issue with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), said House leaders concluded that that order — approving the amendments before approving the Senate bill — makes clear that the House intends to modify the Senate bill and not approve the Senate bill itself.

“Our objective all along was to make it clear that the House is amending the Senate bill, and we found another way of accomplishing that,” Van Hollen said in an interview.

Sorry, guys. You have to accept the Senate bill as is. Sure, you can propose some changes and hope they will be passed. Spin it any way you like. But you have to swallow the pill.

I fear that the House is ready to do just that.

The short-term political gain we’ll get from this isn’t worth it, folks. As I already said, this is a fundamental restructuring of the way the government relates to our economy. I have stood against this from Day One, and there is no silver lining in hopes of big gains in 2010 unless those gains will reverse this legislation. And we all know that huge government programs like this never get reversed.

It seems we’re screwed. All we can do is fight while there’s still time. If you have an undecided Congressman, now would be a good time to make a phone call.

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