Yep, more Kenneth Gladney fiction from a right-wing crowd that simply will not stop making stuff up about a long-forgotten St. Louis incident that for some reason has been elevated into right-wing folklore, facts be damned. (For background see here, here, here, and here.)
But here's the latest: Breitbart and his "journalism" site Big Government, along with Glenn Beck and his trusty legal analyst Judge Napolitano, all suggest that hate crime charges ought to be brought against the union "thugs" who are charged with beating up Kenneth Gladney outside a town hall health care forum in August.
They're the same SEIU reps who last week were charged by St. Louis prosecutors with "misdemeanor ordinance violations," even though Breitbart and his fervent fiction writers had been claiming for months that Gladney had been savagely beaten and kicked and dragged around by the union "thugs" who were under direct orders from the White House to beat people up. (I kid you not.)
County officials didn't see it that way and instead slapped the SEIU union reps with very light charges. So now, Breitbart and company insist Gladney was the victim of a hate crime. Of course, nobody has been charged with that offense, but Big Government and Glenn Beck don't care because they have proof a hate crime was committed!
The proof? On that August night Gladney told police that one of the union reps, just prior to hitting him, said, "What kind of nigger are you"? (Gladney is black.)
According to Beck and Breitbart and Judge Napolitano, that means Gladney was the victim of a "hate crime." (See below.) After all, here's the legal definition that's most often used to describe the crime [emphasis added]:
A hate crime is usually defined by state law as one that involves threats, harassment, or physical harm and is motivated by prejudice against someone's race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation or physical or mental disability.
In this case, the right-wing claim is that the union rep in question was prejudiced against Gladney's race.
A compelling case, right? Except here's the part the amateur Perry Mason's always leave out of their sudden (and previously well-hidden) desire to see hate crimes prosecuted: the union rep charged with hitting Gladney -- the same union rep who allegedly called Gladney a "nigger" -- is also black. His name is Elston McCowan.
Meaning, Gladney, a black man, was allegedly punched by McCowan, a black man, and now Breitbart and Beck want prosecutors to file hate-crime charges because McCowan was prejudiced against Gladney's race; because McCowan's assault was driven by his hatred of Gladney's race. That, despite the fact that Gladney and McCowan share the same race.
I'm no legal eagle, but I'm pretty sure I know why prosecutors didn't file hate crime charges in this case.
UPDATED: Breitbart sure does have a tough time trying to decipher the law.
UPDATED: Breitbart's star witness, a far-right ideologue who earlier told his Gladney tale on Breitbart's Big Government site, has now changed his story about what happened that night in St. Louis. Suddenly the witness did not see Gladney get punched in the face. Gee, think lawyers for the charged union reps will make a big deal about that when it's time to adjudicate the case?
From WorldNetDaily editor and CEO Joseph Farah's December 1 column:
Imagine any previous president appointing an "anti-Semitism czar" who blames Israel in its fight for survival in the roughest neighborhood in the world as not the victim of anti-Semitism but the cause of at least some of it.
That's what happened last week when Barack Obama, the man who doesn't believe Jews in Israel have an inherent right to build and repair homes and offices, appointed Hannah Rosenthal to this newly created post.
"I'll tell you point-blank: I have two grown daughters, and I didn't think that my kids were going to have to deal with some of the same anti-Semitism that I did as the daughter of Holocaust survivors," Rosenthal said. "It's a scary time, with people losing the ability to differentiate between a Jew, any Jew, and what's going on in Israel."
How would you interpret that statement?
Here's how I would explain it: "It's wrong to condemn Jews per se, but attacking the one and only Jewish state, home to half the Jewish population, isolated as it might be among a world of Jew-haters, is fair game."
What else should we expect from Obama?
This is the president who publicly supports ethnic cleansing in the Middle East against Jews - not just in Gaza, not just in Judea and Samaria, not just in East Jerusalem, but in solidly Jewish neighborhoods of the capital of the Jewish state never before placed on the table for negotiations with the Jew-haters who demand a "Palestinian state" free of all Jews.
It would seem if you were sincere about fighting the worst kind of anti-Semitism in the world today you would be working for the removal of Barack Obama from office, not promoting his policies.
But Hannah Rosenthal is beguiled by Obama's demands for Israel to lay down and be carved up by those whose history of political involvement places them as the political disciples of Adolf Hitler's Nazis.
Now Obama has appointed an "anti-Semitism czar" who believes even Israel's most appeasement-oriented leaders were warmongers.
I admit I never expected any president to name an "anti-Semitism czar." Yet, I kind of expected that if one were ever named, the purpose would be to fight anti-Semitism, not spread it.
From a December 1 New York Times blog post:
Lou Dobbs, who is likely to make a decision about his post-CNN career this month, has held talks with the business news network CNBC in recent weeks, two people with knowledge of the discussions say.
Mr. Dobbs, a free agent whose exit from CNN last month prompted speculation about plans for a political bid, could conceivably host a prime time program for CNBC. He could also become a commentator for the business news network.
The people who spoke about the talks requested anonymity because they were not authorized by their employers to speak about it.
What other message are viewers supposed to take away from the fact that Rupert Murdoch's Fox TV, after refusing to air President Obama's primetime address to Congress in September about health care reform, has decided it will air Obama's primetime address tonight about future U.S. plans for the war in Afghanistan?
This is just amazing. Will Murdoch's Fox TV now decide, based on the topic being addressed, whether it will grant the President of the United States access to its airwaves?
There are so few defections among A-list bloggers, so few examples of prominent writers walking away from their side of the fight, that it's worth pondering this post from Little Green Footballs. Once a proud attack colleague of Michelle Malkin's during the Bush year, LGF has been making plain for some time now its growing disdain for the right-wing blogosphere and what LGF sees as its increasingly bankrupt view on politics, as well its hateful and unhinged response to the Obama administration. Now the LGF blogger details the reasons why he was forced to abandon the movement.
It will be interesting to see what kind of response LGF's declaration gets from his former colleagues. To date, they've mostly dealt with his defection by hurling insults LGF's way, which of course, only confirms what LGF has been saying about the right-wing blogosphere and its lack of substance.
It's also interesting to note that another A-list blogger, Rick Moran at Right Wing Nut House, has also made plain his growing disgust with the hate-filled, far-right blogosphere. (Note to Politico's John Harris, three will make a trend!)
For LGF, the reasons he parted ways with the right revolve around its support for "fascists," "bigotry," "religious fanaticism," "anti-science craziness," "homophobic bigotry," 'anti-government lunacy," "hate speech," "conspiracy theories," "anti-Islamic bigotry, and "hatred for President Obama."
Yep, that's today's right-wing blogosphere.
Eighty advertisers have reportedly dropped their ads from Glenn Beck's Fox News program since he called President Obama a "racist" who has a "deep-seated hatred of white people." Here are his November 30 sponsors, in the order they appeared:
Newsweek's Jon Meacham argues that Dick Cheney should run for president in 2012. There's so much wrong with Meacham's thinking, it's hard to know where to start. But let's try the beginning:
I think we should be taking the possibility of a Dick Cheney bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 more seriously, for a run would be good for the Republicans and good for the country. (The sound you just heard in the background was liberal readers spitting out their lattes.)
Really? We're still on this liberals-drink-lattes crap? Yawn.
Back to Meacham:
Why? Because Cheney is a man of conviction, has a record on which he can be judged, and whatever the result, there could be no ambiguity about the will of the people.
Right there, in his third sentence, Jon Meacham gave away his little game: He seeks to suggest that there is currently "ambiguity" about the will of the people. That two straight elections in which the Democrats kicked the Republicans' butts -- so much so that Barack Obama carried Indiana and North Carolina -- were somehow ambiguous and don't count. That Barack Obama isn't really a legitimate president, because he didn't have to defeat Dick Cheney to get the job.
This is stupid and dangerous.
The best way to settle arguments is by having what we used to call full and frank exchanges about the issues, and then voting.
A) Not really and B) We've actually had a few of those voting things recently, despite what Meacham seems to think. And we'll have a few more in the future, with or without Dick Cheney.
One of the problems with governance since the election of Bill Clinton has been the resolute refusal of the opposition party (the GOP from 1993 to 2001, the Democrats from 2001 to 2009, and now the GOP again in the Obama years) to concede that the president, by virtue of his victory, has a mandate to take the country in a given direction.
Right. I remember the Democrats being so convinced that President Bush wasn't legitimate and didn't have a mandate that they filibustered his 2001 tax cuts (which were significantly larger than those he campaigned on) and his education bill and tried to impeach him as soon as they got the opportunity and ... Oh. Wait. Never mind. That didn't happen. None of it did. Jon Meacham's both-sides-are-guilty paint-by-numbers approach to column-writing is nothing but a lie.
Also: Meacham's complaints about "the opposition party" refusing to concede that "the president, by virtue of his victory, has a mandate" to govern are a little odd coming so soon after Meacham refused to concede that President Obama, by virtue of his victory, has a mandate to govern.
A Cheney victory would mean that America preferred a vigorous unilateralism to President Obama's unapologetic multilateralism, and vice versa.
Well, no, that isn't really what elections mean. And if it was ... Well, again, we just had two straight elections in which the results were pretty damn unambiguous, no matter how badly Meacham wants to pretend otherwise.
Back to Meacham (skipping ahead a bit):
A campaign would also give us an occasion that history denied us in 2008: an opportunity to adjudicate the George W. Bush years in a direct way. As John McCain pointed out in the fall of 2008, he is not Bush. Nor is Cheney, but the former vice president would make the case for the harder-line elements of the Bush world view.
Well, actually, the direct way to "adjudicate" the George W. Bush years would be to, you know, put people on trial for crimes they committed during those years. An election eight years after the fact is an awfully indirect way to adjudicate anything.
Anyway, here's the basic problem: Meacham simultaneously downplays the importance of elections in determining the will of the people (by pretending that the "thumpin'" Bush took in 2006 and Barack Obama's convincing 2008 victory were meaningless) and overstates it (by pretending that the Obama-Cheney Steel Cage Death Match of his schoolboy dreams would forever remove any ambiguity.)
There is, then one impressive thing about Meacham's column: He manages to be completely wrong in two opposite directions simultaneously.
Maybe you thought the crazy Birthers over at WorldNetDaily had given up on their nutty campaign to prove that Barack Obama isn't really president, or whatever it is they're after, and dedicated their full attention to peddling silly get-rich-quick schemes. Nope:
Yeah, uh ... Good luck with that, fellas.
Last week, Washington Post reporter Perry Bacon suggested GOP Sen. George Voinovich would vote against health care reform because he is a "strong fiscal conservative." As I noted at the time, that's an odd use of the label "fiscal conservative," given that health care reform would, according to the Congressional Budget Office, reduce the deficit.
Well, today, a Post reader asked Bacon about that:
I didn't understand you last week: Perry, in last week's chat there was a strange back-and-forth & wondered if you might clarify it for us today? Here goes:
"Arlington, VA: Of all the Senators, only Voinowich of Ohio, a Republican, did not vote. As he voted on other legislation that day, could the non-vote indicate that he might be supportive of the health care bill?
Perry Bacon Jr.: I'm pretty sure he will be a no, he's retiring, but known as a strong fiscal conservative."
But the CBO says the Senate health care bill would actually - reduce - the deficit, so why does being a "strong fiscal conservative" make Voinovich likely to vote - against - legislation that would reduce the deficit.
Do you really think a strong "fiscal conservative" has any business voting against deficit-reducing health care reform measures?
washingtonpost.com: Post Politics: Senate brings health-care bill to floor
Perry Bacon Jr.: I suspect Voinovich will say the bill costs almost $1 trillion a year* and shouldn't be passed. This is the GOP view of the bill. I will let everyone define fiscal conservative on their own.
Oh, come on. Perry Bacon introduced the phrase "fiscal conservative" to the discussion, offering it up as a reason why someone would vote against the bill. And now he says everyone can define it for themselves? What an absurd cop-out.
Bacon owns the phrase. He should tell us what he meant by it, and explain why fiscal conservatives oppose things that reduce the deficit (and, in doing so, consider what that says about fiscal conservatives' anti-deficit rhetoric), or he should simply say that he screwed up and shouldn't have used the phrase. But he can't use the label as an explanation for Voinovich's vote, then pretend it isn't his responsibility to define the label.
* As Bacon later acknowledged, "$1 trillion a year" is obviously false.