Embellishing a CNN Fact Check

I am reprinting a CNN fact check here to add a bit of a point to it. As for the errors reported, yes, the Biden campaign should be more disciplined than this. There is, however, a however, however.

Washington (CNN) Former Vice President Joe Biden made false claims in a Sunday speech in which he urged Senate Republicans to let the winner of the presidential election fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday.

We’re still poring over the transcript of Biden’s address in Philadelphia, but here are two initial fact checks.

The Trump campaign’s demand for a list
Biden argued that it would be inappropriate for him to release a list of prospective Supreme Court nominees, as Trump did during the 2016 campaign and did again this month.

Biden also claimed that the Trump campaign had not asked him to release such a list until after Ginsburg died.

“We can’t keep rewriting history, scrambling norms, ignoring our cherished system of checks and balances. That includes this whole business of releasing a list of potential nominees that I would put forward. They’re now saying, after they — after Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away, they said, ‘Biden should release his list.’ It’s no wonder the Trump campaign asked that I release the list only after she passed away. It’s a game for them. It’s a play to gin up emotions and anger,” he said.

Facts First: This is just wrong. The Trump campaign and Trump himself had repeatedly said prior to Ginsburg’s death that Biden should release a list of prospective Supreme Court nominees.
When Trump released his latest list on September 9, the Trump campaign’s statement said in its title that “Biden must do the same.” The campaign repeated the demand for a Biden list in a statement on September 17, the day before Ginsburg died.

Trump had previously issued the same demand himself. In an August 24 speech at the Republican National Convention, Trump said, “I’m demanding, actually, a list: let Biden put up a list of the judges he’s going to appoint.” And in a June 22 interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Trump said, “You ought to ask a guy like a Biden or ask his campaign: give a list of judges, see where they stand on pro-life, see where they stand on it.”

It is completely inappropriate for the Preznit of these Untied States to preemptively release a list of potential justices. It is doubly inappropriate, bullying, and horrible for the opposition candidate to dare his challenger into doing so. The vetting process for this office should be nuanced, careful, and thoughtful. More important, it should be untainted. One does not achieve this result by posting one’s list on a corkboard like some glee club casting process. This is an occasion calling for some reserve, some diplomacy. Just ask Dubya George Bush how important the vetting process is in selecting a Supreme. Or just walk up to him and do the old pretend like you’re sneezing thing and shout “Harriet Miers” and see what his scrunchy little war-criminal face does, and please get a picture of it for me before the Secret Service takes you out back to break your kneecaps.

You don’t dangle out a list. It’s wrong and stupid, and fact-checking Biden’s misstatement, which I concede was also wrong and stupid, without mentioning that this is wrong and stupid is wrong and stupid.

CNN also wrote this:

Supreme Court dates
To bolster his case that the Senate should wait to confirm the next justice, Biden said: “By the way, there’s no court session between now and the end of this election.”
Facts First: Biden’s claim is simply inaccurate. The court’s next session is scheduled to begin on October 5, nearly a month before Election Day on November 3.

Fine. Fuggit. How about “we’re gonna have a vaccine soon,” or “it’s just gonna go away,” or “it’s gonna get cool sooner?” There are lies, and then there are huge pits dug into the ground just waiting to suck your body and your soul into the phantom zone as ether and burnt moss.

But both sides are just the same.

Weird Equivalency and Another Thing

I woke up this morning as I often do, with a recorded Randi Rhodes show playing. And there was the caller who was, and I am not kidding, insisting that there is some equivalency between how Prudence Palin ended her career as governor of Alaska and how Janet Napolitano ended her career as governor of Arizona.

Let’s review. Napolitano left the governor’s office to serve the President as head of Homeland Security. Palin left the governor’s office to have a reality television show and to be on Fox “News.”

I gotta give the guy credit. Even after this was pointed out to him by one Randi Rhodes, he managed to stick with this absurd position. What a piece of work.

Here’s another though that strikes me in my morning daze: If the Democrats were smart or had any balls, or even if they were in the habit of coming to the aid of one of their own when they’re being ambushed, they would immediately mount hearings looking into security issues with the nation’s social media networks. Get the issue on TV and out there, call Mr. Weiner to testify and laud him as an unfairly-maligned hero for bringing this issue to light. This guy could be mayor of New York City for crissake. It’s time to circle the wagons for him.

A Slip Of The Tang

Here at the imaginary think-tank the Serious Poo-Poo Institute of Technology, the latest story regarding Prudence Palin somewhat reminds us of yet another presidential gaffe made some 30 years ago:

MAX FRANKEL, New York Times: Mr. President, I’d like to explore a little more deeply our relationship with the Russians… Our allies in France and Italy are now flirting with Communism. We’ve recognized the permanent Communist regime in East Germany. We’ve virtually signed, in Helsinki, an agreement that the Russians have dominance in Eastern Europe…

PRESIDENT FORD: I’m glad you raised it, Mr. Frankel. In the case of Helsinki, 35 nations signed an agreement, including the secretary of state for the Vatican – I can’t under any circumstances believe that the – His Holiness, the Pope would agree by signing that agreement that the thirty-five nations have turned over to the Warsaw Pact nations the domination of the – Eastern Europe. It just isn’t true… There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe and there never will be under a Ford administration.

MR. FRANKEL: I’m sorry, I – could I just follow – did I understand you to say, sir, that the Russians are not using Eastern Europe as their own sphere of influence in occupying most of the countries there and making sure with their troops that it’s a Communist zone?

PRESIDENT FORD: I don’t believe, – Mr. Frankel that – the Yugoslavians consider themselves dominated by the Soviet Union. I don’t believe that the Rumanians consider themselves dominated by the Soviet Union. I don’t believe that the Poles consider themselves dominated by the Soviet Union.

Now, for those readers who lack the historical context to grok this, we should explain that Ford’s statement was not just factually incorrect. It was downright bizarre. Americans had watched the Soviet Union dominate Eastern Europe for a decade—500,000 troops worth in Czechoslovakia in 1968, in fact.

Ford has since explained his statement like this:

There is no question I did not adequately explain what I was thinking. I felt very strongly that regardless of the number of Soviet armored divisions in Poland, the Russians would never dominate the Polish spirit. That’s what I should have said. I simply left out the fact that, at that time in 1976, the Russians had about 10 to 15 divisions in Poland.

At the time, though, this singular response was so utterly bizarre and seemed to reflect such an unfamiliarity with global politics on the incumbent’s part that it deflated Ford’s surge in the polls, and Jimmy Carter was elected the 39th President of the United States.

Prudence Palin characterizes her statement that said that we’ve “gotta stand by our North Korean allies” as a slip of the tongue, and, of course, she blames the media. I’m not buying it, of course.

I’m not buying it because it’s already well-documented that A) Prudence Palin is, generally, an ignoramus. B) That, during the 2008 campaign, she had to be taught simple facts regarding history. And that, C) One of the facts she had trouble keeping straight was regarding North and South Korea.

I’m not being an elitist snob here folks. Knowing the difference between the Koreas and which one is the godless commie one that starves its own people so they can have an army and which one we still invest 28,500 troops defending, to me, that’s the price of admission, not just for being the Preznit, but for being a decent American. When “our North Korean allies” rolls off of your tongue, you admit that this bit of data about the world has not yet been imprinted into your brain DNA like your times tables and your Grandma’s home phone number. Once again, for the umpteenth time, Prudence Palin has copped to being a drooling idiot.

And yet, and yet, she may still very well become President of the United States.

Holy cow has this country gone to crap.

I Am Not Making This Up

Oh, the analogies. The analogies.

Cops: 5 Attacked Man With Flag Pole in Wantagh

By Timothy Bolger on November 4th, 2010

Five men, including a father and two sons, were arrested for allegedly beating a Wantagh gas station worker with American flags on Tuesday night.

Nassau County police said an employee at OK Gas Station on Wantagh Avenue was kicked and punched about the face and head and struck over the head with two flag poles at 7:33 p.m.

The alleged attack occurred after an earlier confrontation with another station employee. An officer was interviewing one of the employees about the prior assault when the suspects returned, ignored the officer’s orders to stay outside of the station’s store, then turned on a second victim who was pumping gas, police said.

Who Has Put This Pubic Hair On My Blog?

Here’s one thing that’s got to be noted, I think, regarding the recent dust-up between Gin Thomas and Anita Hill.

As you will recall, the wife of U.S. Justice and Alleged Porn Freak Clarence Thomas called Anita Hill and asked her this, as quoted in a previous post here at KIAV:

Good morning, Anita Hill, it’s Ginny Thomas, I just wanted to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband. So give it some thought and certainly pray about this and come to understand why you did what you did. Okay have a good day.

Thing is, this request does what conservatwats are fond of doing: It ignores what actually happened.

Anita Hill didn’t jog up to Capitol Hill in her stilettos screaming WAIT! WAIT! HE’S A PORN FREAK AND A SEXUAL HARASSOR! WAAAAAAAAIT!

Here’s the timeline from the New York Times of yore (Oct. 7, 1991):

The accusations were first reported today by Newsday and National Public Radio. NPR said Professor Hill had first made them to the Judiciary Committee the week of Sept. 10, while members of the panel were questioning Judge Thomas in public hearings.

In an interview broadcast this morning on NPR, Professor Hill said she had initially decided that she would not tell the committee of her accusations but changed her mind as the hearings were about to begin because she felt she had an obligation to tell what she believed to be true. “Here is a person who is in charge of protecting rights of women and other groups in the workplace and he is using his position of power for personal gain for one thing,” she said. “And he did it in a very ugly and intimidating way.”

Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Delaware Democrat who heads the Judiciary Committee, said in a statement today that when Ms. Hill first contacted the committee, on Sept. 12, she insisted that her name not be used and that Judge Thomas not be told of her allegations. He said this effectively tied the committee’s hands.

Only on Sept. 23, Mr. Biden said, did she agree to allow the Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate the allegations. The report was finished by Sept. 25, he said, and all committee members were notified of it by the next day. On Sept. 27, the committee deadlocked 7 to 7 on the nomination.

Anita Hill was reluctant to testify. She was on the fence for some time about whether or not to testify. As Time Magazine of yore stated:

It was hard to imagine two more unlikely or reluctant witnesses.

I think that Gin Thomas’ voicemail indicates that Hill testified out of sheer vindictiveness and eager spite. I think her reported reluctance to testify signals otherwise: No way no how would Anita Hill have come forward, I think, if she didn’t think it was important.

Important, how? Remember, Hill was no slouch. Yale Law, class of 1980. D.C. Bar the same year. Assistant secretary in the DOE by 1981. Hill was a smart, motivated woman, a character who strikes me as the type to whom this kind of thing mattered. They’ve nominated WHO to be a United States Justice? That creep?

I think there are other things to assess when debating the credibility of these various players. Remember, there was a book written about Anita Hill, called The Real Anita Hill. Its author, David Brock, has since recanted the entire project and now does work for Media Matters for America. An entire book smearing Anita Hill was so egregious that its own author recanted it and changed his entire ideological bent based on its horribleness.

Then there are a few other externalities. Like the four witnesses who testified on Hill’s behalf at the hearing. Like that Thomas himself fell on the old “high-tech lynching” saw rather than just allowing his denials to stand on their own. And, oh yes, there’s this: Clarence Thomas is a male.

Which do I find more believable, that a male human being is capable of acting like a complete hog, or that an attractive female ivy-leaguer who makes it to a major federal department job by age 24 is delusional enough to make up conversations her boss forced her to have about penis?

Sure, Gin, you’re owed an apology. And I’m Long Dong Silver.

The Constitution Is A Marxist Screed

Apparently, the Constitution of these Untied States of America is a Marxist screed.

Didja know that?

Delaware candidate for Senate Prudence O’Donnell does.

During her debate with Democrat Chris Coons, she said this. She actually said this.

So when you look at [Coons’] position on things like raising taxes, which is one of the tenets of Marxism, not supporting eliminating the death tax, which is a tenet of Marxism—I would argue that there are more people who support my Catholic faith than his Marxist beliefs.

First of all, why is the estate tax an issue in this election at all, besides that Republigoats like to allow horseshit to pour out of their mouths? There is no estate tax. You morons killed it as one of your tactics toward leading this country to the glorious global corporate serfdom that you can’t wait to have us all indentured to. THERE IS NO ESTATE TAX! SHUT UP!

Second of all, one of the first things the United States Constitution does is to establish a method of taxation. It’s like the FOURTH THING the document mentions; it says: “First we’re gonna count ya, then we’re gonna tax ya.” Apparently, that wasn’t clear enough, though, so in 1913, Congress revisited it via Constitutional amendment, so now the thing says “No, really. We’re gonna tax ya. We’re gonna tax what ya earn. Capiche?”

So, O’Donnell apparently believes that the Constitution is a Marxist screed.

You reckon someone who thinks that ought to be a Senator?

English MF, Do You Speak It?

First, let’s get the silliness of the week out of the way: Last week, America was transfixed on the “issue” of whether or not a community cultural center would be built in a certain neighborhood in NYC; this week, America is transfixed on the notion that a candidate for senator said once on television that she might have cast a circle. I for one am more concerned that any American who was reared and educated in America speaking American English thinks that the phrase is “dabbled into” than I am about this moron’s incorrect portrayal of today’s pagan religions. I still say to anyone who whines about English as a second language that perhaps we should look into teaching it and using it more effectively as a first language, and perhaps we should start with the likes of this moron in Delaware and her sister-in-arms Prudence Palin. English, MF, do you speak it?

Though the candidacy of Christine O’Donnell raises questions beyond that and how the hell this woman thinks a person’s brain fits into the noggin of a mouse. Rabble-rousers Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington are filing complaints with the Delaware U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Federal Election Commission, claiming that O’Donnell has been fond of living off of campaign money. Listen to CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan call it like she sees it:

“Christine O’Donnell is clearly a criminal, and like any crook she should be prosecuted. Ms. O’Donnell has spent years embezzling money from her campaign to cover her personal expenses. Republicans and Democrats don’t agree on much these days, but both sides should agree on one point: thieves belong in jail, not the United States Senate.”

Well. That’s a statement a bit cloying in its naivete, but okay. Regardless, it is interesting that Republigoats in Delaware saw fit to run a candidate who has allegedly paid rent with campaign contributions. What a schnorrer.

Meanwhile, I’m reading the paper today, and the headlines ain’t good, folks. 2010 is now officially the deadliest year for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, and this story contrasts with a heartbreaking story about some unintended consequences of our illegal and immoral incursion in to Iraq, the official bastardization of hundreds of children there.

IN BAQUBAH, IRAQ Zahraa is a rambunctious toddler. She still sucks on a pacifier, and her mother dresses her in pink. But according to the government, she does not exist.

The daughter of an al-Qaeda in Iraq militant who forced her mother into marriage and motherhood, then disappeared, Zahraa is one of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of children whose births amid the anarchy and insurgent violence of Iraq were never legally recorded.

Without the paperwork to prove that she is the child of an Iraqi man and that her parents were joined in a legitimate marriage before her birth, Zahraa and others like her have no rights as Iraqi citizens, legal experts say. They do not have birth certificates, passports or national identification cards and will be unable to go to school or hold a government job.

Sad. Sad, and stupid. Talk about a breeding ground for terrorists. Yep, I think that THAT MORON Gorge W. Busch’s Iraq war will be the gift that keeps on giving. Am hoping that the current preznit isn’t all that serious about this stupid war and is actually angling to GTFO.

That is all.

Rock Bottom

Hi. We’re back. No, we weren’t down. We were just laying low because Terry Jones was threatening to burn us.

Actually, yes, the site was down yesterday. Sorry about that. Dreamhost had to fsck.

So. I knew the day would come. Knew it, knew it, knew it. Knew the day would come when one of these superstitious bastards took a stand so radical and so stupid that even the likes of Prudence Palin and Haley Barbour would think it was crazy. Leave it to some stupid preacher to come up with something as asinine as to burn a pile of holy books on September Eleventh.

Thing is, though, he’s not just a stupid preacher. This guy was DRUMMED OUT OF HIS OWN CONGREGATION in Germany for being too fucking crazy. Which makes me wonder…

Who’s investigating Terry Jones?

Who’s to say that the Taliban didn’t get to the guy while he was in Germany? Maybe scrub his brain a little? Suggest that he oughtta go back to America and do something really stupid like burn a pile of holy books and give the Taliban a really good excuse to go all crusades on our asses? Could Terry Jones be some sort of Manchurian Douchebag?

Regardless. There are a few interesting things to notice regarding this foolish escapade.

One, I think the federal government is going to have no choice but to go all Waco on these a-holes, and I hope they do. It’s only a significant show of force on the part of the federal government that will win hearts and minds. Freedom of speech my ass. This is incitement, and Uncle Sam would be well within his rights to squash it outright. Where’s Janet Reno when ya need her, hmmmm?

Two, I think it’s very interesting how even these conservagoat idiots are condemning this act. Hey. Assholes. WHERE DO YOU THINK THIS MORON GOT THE IDEA? He got it from you, Prudence, and your whole hate-filled bunch of tea-bagging scumbags. Unless, of course, my wild theory about the Taliban whispering in his ear actually turns out to be the thing.