Friday, October 24, 2008

It's A Hoax

Ashley Todd has confessed to faking the story of her assault:

Ashley Todd -- who has a backward letter "B" scratched into her right cheek -- confessed to faking the story and will be charged with filing a false report, Assistant Police Chief Maurita Bryant said at a news conference Friday.

Todd, of College Station, Texas, admitted there was no robbery or attacker and said she had prior mental health problems, according to Bryant.

It's not yet clear whether Todd's face was mutilated by her, or if she had somebody else do it, because a police report states that she told them she can't remember.

It's clear that this woman has real mental issues, and ought to get the help she needs. It's a good thing that this was settled so quickly, but quite revolting that it happened at all. I initially believed the story, but after checking elsewhere, I also had doubts about the story. The media outlets, and the shameless partisans on both sides have made fools of themselves yet again. Matt Drudge has proved himself to be nothing more than a hack.

My friend Pat, over at Stubborn Facts, gives the clearest wisdom of the day on this:

Had Drudge not posted this story, nobody would have heard about it, on the national level, until it was vetted for a few days and the police had an opportunity to do their job. But because you, Matt, decided to drive some traffic to your site and post a screaming headline to inflame people on both sides of the aisle (for different reasons), we have yet another distraction to prevent us from engaging in a serious discussion about the relative merits of John McCain and Barack Obama. That the media has made plenty of pro-Obama distortions and leapt to conclusions way too fast that make McCain supporters look bad is not a good reason for McCain supporters to do the same thing. The wide-spread reporting of the "kill him!" that never happened doesn't mean we need wide-spread reporting of claimed insanities by the other side. We need the media to do its job responsibly all the way around.

True dat. If this had been a true attack it would be evidence that some crazy people exist in this world. The fact that it's a hoax is evidence that some crazy people exist in this world.

"...simply a pathetic attempt to further her need to remain in the public eye at the expense of demonstrably innocent individuals."

Crystal Mangum, the accuser in the Duke non-rape case is writing a book. The lacrosse players' families and attorneys are not amused:

Seligmann's father, Phil Seligmann, called Mangum's comments "simply a pathetic attempt to further her need to remain in the public eye at the expense of demonstrably innocent individuals."

"Her incoherent passages are not based on facts but are quite simply false ramblings," Seligmann said in a statement. "She ignores all of the verifiable facts of the case.

"No crime of any kind took place involving Ms. Mangum or any member of the Duke men's lacrosse team. We are presently evaluating all available legal options. If Ms. Mangum and those associated with her continue to slander Reade, we will have no choice and will not hesitate to utilize these options," he said.

There's more:

"If Crystal Mangum truly wants to heal, get on with her life and have others learn from her experiences, she would admit her lies and the damage they did," Joseph Cheshire said in an e-mail. "The fact that she will not do that makes all of her motives and self-possessed desire to explain herself another lie. This is about money and lies. Pure and simple."

As I see it, this woman falsely accused three innocent men of rape, and did real damage. She could've faced charges for her actions, but the prosecutors thought that she had mental problems, and spared her. The thing is, when you get a reprieve like that, you retreat from the limelight, and rebuild your life. You don't write a book about it, and try to make some money off of it. Colossally bad form.

Can you say backlash?

HT: Althouse

Right-Wing Douchebaggery Round Up, 10/24/08

First off, here's Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) expressing concern about whether Obama has anti-American views, followed by her calling for a press investigation into supposed anti-American politicians. When caught, she then denies the whole thing, and blames it all on Chris Matthews. Via TPM:

As stated, Bachmann is taking a big hit for this, and the former Republican Governor of Minnesota has endorsed Obama over this.

Next, there's this one, from Rep. Robin Hayes (R-NC):

Of course, he also tried to deny he said it, but there's that pesky audio again. Lastly, there's this one from GOP hack Brad Blakeman:

Forgive the source (it's MSNBC, I know) but Blakeman's words are what they are. I'll also point out again that Obama flipping on public financing is not something you want to bring up too much, but going after him for visiting his ailing grandmother is a new class of low.

Just wanted to share those, and point out how amazing it is that people from either side still try and deny making the statements they make, in the age of YouTube.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

"And Biden is the foreign-policy gravitas on the Democratic ticket, so his comments are actually even more disconcerting."

Kirsten Powers, on the double standard over Biden's gaffes, versus Sarah Palin's:

There were a few exceptions. On MSNBC's "Morning Joe," co-host Mika Brzezinski flipped incredulously through the papers, expressing shock at the lack of coverage of Biden's remarks. Guest Dan Rather admitted that if Palin had said it, the media would be going nuts.

So what gives?

The stock answer is: "It's just Biden being Biden." We all know how smart he is about foreign policy, so it's not the same as when Sarah Palin says something that seems off.

Yet, when Biden asserted incorrectly in the vice-presidential debate that the United States "drove Hezbollah out of Lebanon," nobody in the US media shrieked. (It was, however, covered with derision in the Middle East.) Or when he confused his history by claiming FDR calmed the nation during the Depression by going on TV, the press didn't take it as evidence that he's clueless.

Indeed. Michael Totten brought the Lebanon gaffe up, and let's not forget Biden's constitutional flub. I'm for Obama at this point, but I've got to call 'em as I see 'em, and frankly, the bias at work here is blatant, and disquieting.

HT: Althouse, who offers this up, which I agree with:

Even those who support Obama -- not all, but some -- are getting nauseated by the press bias. And it's not just the bias. I'm really queasy about that future Biden is foreseeing. He has access to all sorts of reports of threats that we can't be told. It's as if he's taunting us with his inside knowledge. There will be -- what? -- attacks? And is Obama already planning to respond in ways that they know will dismay us? Tell us more. Is it about Israel?

I don't think one needs to oppose Obama to be vexed by the pro-Obama bias in the press. In fact, as I've argued elsewhere, it gives a lot of the attacks on Obama more legitimacy than they would have otherwise, because when attacks on Obama are rejected by most of the public, it is seen by many as a left-wing media conspiracy, even when it's not, because a lot of the press is basically in the tank for Obama.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

About Sarah Palin's SNL Performance...

Alec Baldwin, on Palin's SNL appearance:

Saturday Night Live is a comedy show. It's not Meet the Press. It doesn't "ask the tough questions" or "set the agenda." It attempts, with varying degrees of success, to make people laugh. That's it. Whether they skewer and savage people in order to do so, they don't care. When you come on a show like that, you are prepared in advance to get worked over. Palin knew that. Palin came on to be a good sport. And she was. She was polite, gracious. (More so than some of the famous actors who come through there, believe me.)

However, I assume that, like Meet the Press, SNL feels an obligation to offer their special forum to any and all public figures and officials who are current. Headline making. And in SNL's case, would make for a hit show. Several people decried SNL for giving her a spot on the show. You're kidding, right? The woman is the Vice Presidential nominee of one of the two major parties in this country. Don't put her on SNL? With all of her exposure and the Tina Fey performance? What reality are you in?

Uh-huh. Spot on.

HT: Simon

"The problem with Gov. Palin is not that she lacks experience. It's that she quite plainly lacks intellectual curiosity."

Christopher Hitchens, on the weaknesses of Sarah Palin:

Nor is it snobbish, let alone sexist, to express doubts about someone who, as late as March 2007, could tell Alaska Business Monthly, "I've been so focused on state government, I haven't really focused much on the war in Iraq. I heard on the news about the new deployments, and while I support our president, Condoleezza Rice and the administration, I want to know that we have an exit plan in place." This statement deserves to be called mindless, because, first, it is made up of stale and received and overheard bits and bobs from everyday media babble and, second, because you cannot really coherently say that you support both the administration and an "exit plan." The same vaguely cunning wish to have everything both ways is to be found in her suggestion that both evolution and creationism be taught in our schools. In one way, this seems fair enough—if the Scopes trial is taught in history class, then the views of William Jennings Bryan and those of Clarence Darrow and H.L. Mencken must necessarily be given equal time.

Some predictable religion-bashing sprinkled in, but read the whole thing.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Far-Right Anti-Muslim Cranks Make A Scene at A McCain Rally,

and sensible, moderate McCain supporters strike back:

Good work by Daniel Zubari, and the McCainacs who stood up to the crank, and not only recognized the threat to decency and civil discourse in this country, but to their own candidate's electoral chances. Those knuckle-dragging know nothings claim to be pro-McCain, but as the decent McCain supporters asked, are they trying to sabotage the campaign?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"It therefore seems to me that the Republican Party has invited not just defeat but discredit this year"

Christopher Hitchens endorses Obama:

It therefore seems to me that the Republican Party has invited not just defeat but discredit this year, and that both its nominees for the highest offices in the land should be decisively repudiated, along with any senators, congressmen, and governors who endorse them.

I used to call myself a single-issue voter on the essential question of defending civilization against its terrorist enemies and their totalitarian protectors, and on that "issue" I hope I can continue to expose and oppose any ambiguity. Obama is greatly overrated in my opinion, but the Obama-Biden ticket is not a capitulationist one, even if it does accept the support of the surrender faction, and it does show some signs of being able and willing to profit from experience. With McCain, the "experience" is subject to sharply diminishing returns, as is the rest of him, and with Palin the very word itself is a sick joke. One only wishes that the election could be over now and a proper and dignified verdict rendered, so as to spare democracy and civility the degradation to which they look like being subjected in the remaining days of a low, dishonest campaign.

I think he's a bit unfair to Palin in some respects, but I think he may be on to something. Read the whole thing.

HT: Althouse

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Britain's Just Not What It Used To Be, Is It?

You know, Rich Horton of the Iconic Midwest, and I, don't see eye to eye on Obama, among other things, but let it never be said that he's not worth reading. Here's a doubtless ill-reported story that ought to make you cringe, unless you're an anti-semite:

So now Israelis are "nasty.

"Hmm...we don't normally label democratic states as "nasty regimes." I wonder what makes Israel different?

Oh.....thats right. It's full of Jews.

No....there's no anti-Semitism to see here.(In case you were wondering, the occasion for such a comment by the Labour MP was the supposed temerity of the British government to criticize a new Iranian law mandating death for "apostasy" from Islam. Nice, eh?)

Hnnh. Quite revolting. I started really becoming concerned that the powers-that-be in British society were well on they way to embracing totalitarianism a while ago, but it really is worse than I thought.

Seeing Through The Fog

My political dispositions ought to be well known by now, so I don't think I need to bring them up again, but I did want to briefly address the recent revelations in the much-discussed so-caled Troopergate scandal. One of the big problems with the Palinsanity that ensued in the weeks following her announcement as Veep, besides the general sleaziness of many of the attacks, was the problem of crying wolf, that Simon dealt with earlier.

Let me say that I still like Sarah Palin (although my opinion of her has diminished somewhat), and yet I've always had concerns about some of her policy positions, and certain aspects of her record. Surely, even the most committed Palinites have to recognize that there are valid criticisms that can be made about her. Many press outlets, and various anti-Palin outfits have made such fools of themselves over the past few weeks, that when legit stories come up, they are treated with an amount of skepticism they otherwise wouldn't be.

In case you didn't know, a 263-page report was released by Alaska lawmakers investigating the scandal, that basically accuses Palin of abusing her power, in firing Mike Wooten. The McCain-Palin camp has called it a partisan witch hunt, and have issued a "clarification," that they assume will put the issue to rest. The thing is, I'm not at all prepared to call it a witch hunt run by pro-Obama partisans, just because Palin says it's a witch hunt. I agree with Ann, that even Palin fans ought not dismiss this outright.

First off, let me clear two things up right away: I am not saying that this report is valid, or that Palin did in fact abuse her power. It should be noted that as the Governor she has the perogative to fire Wooten, for basically any reason, so there's no criminality involved here. However, there is an alleged issue of credibility at play.

The point is, with the MSM's predispositions regarding Palin, and the aforementioned history of unfair attacks, Palin can cry "partisan witch hunt" with much more credibility than she would've had otherwise, because there was (and in certain quarters still is) a partisan witch hunt going on. People are more inclined to believe she's the victim of unfair attacks, even when she's not, and the media's reputation becomes so damaged that everything that comes out, is treated with a grain of salt. Everything.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Much Has Been Said Of The Anger That Will Be On Display if Obama Loses,

but for my money, and I may be the only one here to think this way, considering recent events, I'm concerned about the anger that we'll see if he wins.