Patterico's Pontifications


Maddow: O’Keefe HID Important Facts About ACORN!!!! (Patterico Responds: Except That He Didn’t)

Filed under: ACORN/O'Keefe — Patterico @ 8:41 pm

Apparently Rachel Maddow has jumped on the pimp hoax bandwagon. Here is the beginning of Raw Story’s wildly misleading summary of Maddow’s wildly pointless diatribe:

When conservative activists James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles released tapes last fall purporting to show ACORN employees advising them on how to set up a child prostitution ring, it resulted in widespread praise for their intrepid journalism and a Congressional defunding of the anti-poverty group. But it is now becoming clear to all but their most fervent supporters that the O’Keefe “expose” was deliberately misleading.

“If you were a member of Congress and you voted to defund ACORN because of the outrage portrayed in these tapes,” MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow proclaimed on Tuesday, “you were had.”

Last week, California Attorney Gerneral Jerry Brown released some of O’Keefe’s raw footage, which he obtained as part of an agreement not to prosecute O’Keefe for violating state privacy laws. Maddow reviewed several of the most severe distortions revealed by the footage, starting with O’Keefe’s claim that he was wearing his outrageous pimp outfit when he visited the ACORN offices.

I am unaware of any such claim. I know O’Keefe has been faulted, with some justice, for failing to contradict a Fox News yakker who made that claim in his presence. I’m inclined to go easy on him for that, because I think it’s easy to criticize people for on-the-fly decisions (especially decisions not to act) made while facing a nationwide audience on TV. In any event, a failure to contradict is not a “claim.”

Now, some yahoos like Maddow have tried to argue that O’Keefe tried to hide the fact that he was wearing normal clothes in ACORN offices. Here is a screenshot from the very seconds of the very first video O’Keefe ever released:

Hiding in Plain Sight

The accompanying voiceover:

Scenario: a young woman pretending to be a prostitute and a man pretending to run for Congress one day walk into ACORN’s Baltimore Headquarters . . .

Remember, the Rachel Maddows of the world maintain that O’Keefe hid the fact that was actually wearing normal clothing, and pretended to be someone running for Congress. Click the link, watch the first 20 seconds of the ACORN video, and marvel at the fact that Rachel Maddow claims O’Keefe was trying to hide these facts. He hid his normal mode of dress and his character’s future Congressional campaign about as well as Maddow hides her leftism.

About as well as Jackie Mason hides his Jewish heritage.

About as well as [give us your comparison below in the comments].

As for the other Big Revelations from Maddow and company, I have but one question: what is revealed on the unedited videos released by Jerry Brown that we didn’t know from the unedited audio that has been available since Day One?

If you need me, I’ll be over here . . . listening to the crickets chirping.

Possible Shoe-Bomber on DC-Denver Flight

Filed under: Air Security,Terrorism — DRJ @ 7:39 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Via Ace’s Gabriel Malor, Malkin and the Daily Beast:

“Federal air marshals restrained a man who attempted to light his shoes on fire aboard a United Airlines plane headed from Washington, D.C., to Denver Wednesday night. An explosives team headed to the airport to examine the scene, and though they’re unsure whether the man actually had any explosives, they believe the incident was an attempt at a “shoe bomb.” Authorities said the suspect was Mohammed al Modadi, a diplomat at the Qatar embassy in Washington. The FBI told ABC News that al Modadi had diplomatic immunity as the third secretary and vice-consul. Two fighter jets were scrambled from Buckley Air Force Base to accompany United Flight 663, a Boeing 757, as it flew the last 40 miles of its flight to Denver. (It landed safely and was directed to a remote location at the airport.)”

This ABC News report quotes federal sources that say the suspect attempted to “light his shoes on fire”.

H/T S.


American Gimme-ism

Filed under: Economics,Health Care — DRJ @ 11:47 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Are we becoming a nation of “Give Me” Americans?

“Questions reflecting confusion have flooded insurance companies, doctors’ offices, human resources departments and business groups.

“They’re saying, ‘Where do we get the free Obama care, and how do I sign up for that?’ ” said Carrie McLean, a licensed agent for The California-based company sells coverage from 185 health insurance carriers in 50 states.

McLean said the call center had been inundated by uninsured consumers who were hoping that the overhaul would translate into instant, affordable coverage.”

Almost half of us don’t pay federal income taxes and many receive more than they pay:

“About 47 percent will pay no federal income taxes at all for 2009. Either their incomes were too low, or they qualified for enough credits, deductions and exemptions to eliminate their liability.
The bottom 40 percent, on average, make a profit from the federal income tax, meaning they get more money in tax credits than they would otherwise owe in taxes. For those people, the government sends them a payment.

“We have 50 percent of people who are getting something for nothing,” said Curtis Dubay, senior tax policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation.”

Free people should depend primarily on themselves, not their governments, if they want to stay free.


A Central Texas Jury Trial

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 10:01 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

This week, a Waco, Texas, jury will hear an aggravated assault case involving a country music singer-songwriter:

“Lawyers in acclaimed country music singer and songwriter Billy Joe Shaver’s aggravated assault trial selected a jury Tuesday at the end of a daylong session in which prospective jurors were asked their thoughts on self-defense, mean drunks and how Shaver’s celebrity could affect their verdict.

Many of the 45 McLennan County residents considered for the panel said they had never heard of Shaver, a Texas Country Music Hall of Fame member whose songs have been covered by the likes of Bob Dylan, Waylon Jennings and Elvis Presley.

“Until yesterday, I didn’t know who you are, and I couldn’t care less,” one female prospective juror told Shaver while being questioned by prosecutor Mark Parker.”

Shaver is accused of shooting Billy Bryant Coker, 53, outside a bar in Lorena, a small town south of Waco. Shaver admits he shot Coker but claims it was in self-defense:

“The longtime Waco resident contends that he acted in self-defense the night of the shooting, Dick DeGuerin, one of his lawyers, told the jury.

“There’s not going to be any question that Billy Joe Shaver shot Billy Coker,” DeGuerin told the jury panel. “The question you are going to have to answer is whether he did it in self-defense.”

DeGuerin, who is from Houston and is one of the state’s top criminal defense lawyers, drew repeated laughs during his questioning, which he made as much about himself as about Shaver or the prospective jurors’ ability to be fair.

DeGuerin told the panel that he represents former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and has had several famous former clients, including U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. He said that he and three associates are not charging Shaver for their work.”

DeGuerin also said he doesn’t like Dick Cheney, and I’m curious how that will play in Waco. In addition, while the shooting may not be in dispute, the circumstances surrounding it are:

“A police affidavit said that Shaver shot Coker in the cheek with a pistol after both men had stepped outside Papa Joe’s Texas Saloon on March 31, 2007.

Shaver has said he acted in self-defense after Coker brandished a knife.

Several witnesses quoted in a police affidavit said the shooting was unprovoked. A witness said Shaver followed Coker outside and asked, “Where do you want it?” before firing, according to the affidavit.”

Sounds like the makings of a good song but read the linked article to get the full flavor. It describes connections between Shaver’s former wife and Coker’s cousin — connections that typically happen only in fiction and small towns.

Finally, during voir dire, DeGuerin asked the jury to share stories about mean drunks they’ve known. (DeGuerin apparently plans to make mean drunks an issue in Shaver’s defense.) The article says 13 jurors shared their mean drunk stories. I would have paid to hear that voir dire … and maybe the trial, too.


WWII and Pan Am’s Pacific Clipper

Filed under: War — DRJ @ 9:04 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Pan Am’s Pacific Clipper flew 31,500 miles in the first month after Pearl Harbor in a race to get home:

From a New York Times movie review:

“A World War II adventure that follows a crew of 11 as they attempt to fly a revolutionary aircraft back to American soil before it is captured by Axis forces. Pearl Harbor has just been bombed, and halfway across the world a new Boeing B-314 has just dropped off a group of passengers in New Zealand. Realizing just how dangerous it could be for enemy forces to come into possession of the United States’ most technologically advanced aircraft, a hastily assembled crew is assigned the task of traveling to New Zealand and piloting the plane to safety …”

The movie’s release has apparently been delayed until 2011.



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