Tag Archives: Doug Powers

Wait, Wait, Don’t Film Me

James O’Keefe:

Project Veritas’ latest investigation focuses on the publically-funded media organization, National Public Radio.  PV investigative reporters, Shaughn Adeleye and Simon Templar posed as members of the Muslim Action Education Center, a non-existent group with a goal to “spread the acceptance of Sharia across the world.”

Matthew Boyle at the Daily Caller:

A man who appears to be a National Public Radio senior executive, Ron Schiller, has been captured on camera savaging conservatives and the Tea Party movement.

“The current Republican Party, particularly the Tea Party, is fanatically involved in people’s personal lives and very fundamental Christian – I wouldn’t even call it Christian. It’s this weird evangelical kind of move,” declared Schiller, the head of NPR’s nonprofit foundation, who last week announced his departure for the Aspen Institute.

In a new video released Tuesday morning by conservative filmmaker James O’Keefe, Schiller and Betsy Liley, NPR’s director of institutional giving, are seen meeting with two men who, unbeknownst to the NPR executives, are posing as members of a Muslim Brotherhood front group. The men, who identified themselves as Ibrahim Kasaam and Amir Malik from the fictitious Muslim Education Action Center (MEAC) Trust, met with Schiller and Liley at Café Milano, a well-known Georgetown restaurant, and explained their desire to give up to $5 million to NPR because, “the Zionist coverage is quite substantial elsewhere.”

On the tapes, Schiller wastes little time before attacking conservatives. The Republican Party, Schiller says, has been “hijacked by this group.” The man posing as Malik finishes the sentence by adding, “the radical, racist, Islamaphobic, Tea Party people.” Schiller agrees and intensifies the criticism, saying that the Tea Party people aren’t “just Islamaphobic, but really xenophobic, I mean basically they are, they believe in sort of white, middle-America gun-toting. I mean, it’s scary. They’re seriously racist, racist people.”

John Hinderaker at Powerline:

Check out this stunning video, shot undercover by two associates of James O’Keefe. The two posed as representatives of an organization founded by the Muslim Brotherhood that is trying “to spread acceptance of Sharia across the world.” That, plus their expressed interest in making a $5 million donation to NPR, got them a meeting at a Georgetown restaurant with Ron Schiller, the outgoing head of NPR’s nonprofit foundation, and Betsy Liley, NPR’s director of institutional giving.

Hugh Hewitt:

I asked my booking producer to put in a request for NPR’s Vivian Schiller to appear on today’s program.  Her staff first demanded to know what we wanted to talk about and then, after being told it was her speech yesterday, tunred us down and cited Schiller’s travel schedule.

Of course NPR executives don’t want to face other than their Beltway journalist pals asking softball questions. And that was before this tape surfaced.  Incredible. (The subject of the undercover film is Ronald J. Schiller, whom the Aspen Institute just announced as a big new hire.)

If the GOP House leadership leaves one dime in the CPB’s account, it will be to their shame and it will not be forgotten by the base anymore than a failure to defund Planned parenthood will be forgiven.  The majority of Americans are fed up with feeding the hard left interest groups in this country, no matter how nice their bump music or how self-satisfied and insular their hard-left leadership.

Ann Althouse:

The pranksters were trying to trap Schiller into sounding anti-Jewish or anti-Israel, and I would defend Schiller for what he said in response to that prodding. What does look really bad, though, is his virulent hostility toward social conservatives and his twisted image of the people in the Tea Party movement. What’s completely predictable — we’re familiar with NPR — is the preening self-love of the liberal who’s so sure he and his people are the smart ones. Not smart enough not to get pranked, though.

Remember when Scott Walker got pranked the other day by a phone call purporting to be from David Koch? His opponents couldn’t get enough of calling him stupid for that, and even though he said nothing inconsistent with his public talking points and seemed the same as he is in public, they fine-tooth-combed his remarks to find little things they could blow up and portray as evil. Forget empathy and fairness — use whatever you find as brutally as you can.

Now here’s this choice new material from Schiller, giving conservatives the chance to punch back twice as hard (to use the old Obama WH motto).

Ed Morrissey:

Maybe I’m getting inured to this kind of thing, but for me the big screaming headline from the latest James O’Keefe undercover video isn’t that high-ranking NPR executive Ron Schiller bashes conservatives, Republicans, and the Tea Party as “white, gun-toting … xenophobic … seriously racist people.” The big news for me comes when Schiller, who thinks he’s meeting with representatives from the fictitious Muslim Education Action Center (MEAC) to discuss a $5 million donation to NPR to help MEAC “spread Sharia worldwide,” that NPR would do better without federal funding.  Just before this, Schiller tells the two undercover reporters that federal funding only accounts for 10% of their direct funding, but a sudden end to subsidies for public broadcasting would close a number of their stations, which gives a little more clearer explanation of their financial dependence on taxpayers.

Nick Gillespie at Reason:

I agree with HotAir’s Ed Morrissey that the most-interesting takeaway from the latest vid from James O’Keefe (he of ACORN fame) is that Ron Schiller of the NPR Foundation suggests that the media operation would be better off without taxpayer subsidies. I suspect many if not most Reason.com readers will disagree with much of what Schiller and his colleague say, but they don’t come off so bad.

Coincidentally, NPR just put out this: Davis Rehm, NPR’s senior vice president of marketing, communications and external relations, has released this statement: “Mr. Schiller announced last week that he is leaving NPR for another job.”

Too bad the Muslim Education Action Center Trust is a fake organization — Schiller would have made a perfect spokesman for them.

Unbiased bonus from the same video: Climate change deniers compared to birthers and flat earthers.

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Filed under Conservative Movement, Mainstream, Politics

Is It Gadhafi? Gaddafi? Quadaffi?

Al-Jazeera live blog

Scott Lucas at Enduring America

Doug Powers:

The situation in Libya with Gaddafi continues to deteriorate:

Deep rifts opened in Moammar Gadhafi’s regime, with Libyan government officials at home and abroad resigning, air force pilots defecting and a bloody crackdown on protest in the capital of Tripoli, where cars and buildings were burned. Gadhafi went on state TV early Tuesday to attempt to show he was still in charge.

Amid reports that Gadhafi fled Tripoli for Venezuela and an inevitable power lunch with Sean Penn, Quadaffi chose an unusual setting to reassure Libya that he was still in the country and in charge. He appeared in a car wearing a Cousin Eddy hat holding an umbrella and speaking into a microphone swiped from Bob Barker

Aaron Worthing at Patterico:

And Haaretz has this account, claiming that Gaddafi is barricaded in his compound:

A Libyan opposition activist and a Tripoli resident say the streets of a restive district in the Libyan capital are littered with the bodies of scores of protesters shot dead by security forces loyal to longtime leader Muammar Gadhafi, who is reported to be barricaded in his compound in the city.

Mohammed Ali…

(Must…  resist…  urge…  to make boxing joke…)

…of the Libyan Salvation Front and the resident say Tripoli’s inhabitants are hunkering down at home Tuesday after the killings and warnings by forces loyal to Gadhafi that anyone on the streets would be shot.

Ali, reached in Dubai, and the Tripoli resident say forces loyal to Gadhafi shot at ambulances and some protesters were left bleeding to death. The resident spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

Western media are largely barred from Libya and the report couldn’t be independently confirmed.

As they say read the whole thing.  I am not pleased with that kind of sourcing, but I suspect it’s going to be hard to get reliable accounts of what happened for the next few days.

Meanwhile the New Yorker is already writing the epitaph of the regime.  Mmm, I hope I am wrong on this, but that strikes me as jumping the gun.  Yes, Gaddafi looks like he is in serious trouble, but it is possible to kill your way out of a thing like this, if your military is sufficiently loyal.

In related news, the National Editor’s Union has issued a statement calling for the ouster of the dictator, if only because no one can figure out how to spell his name.  (Yes, that is a joke.)

Bruce McQuain:

Not a good week for authoritarians it appears.  Of course be careful what you wish for – while we may see one crop of authoritarians shunted to the side, there is no indication that anything other than a different type of authoritarian regime would replace it in many of these places.  Change is definitely in the air.  But whether that’s finally a “good thing” remains to be seen.

Marc Lynch at Foreign Policy:

The unfolding situation in Libya has been horrible to behold. No matter how many times we warn that dictators will do what they must to stay in power, it is still shocking to see the images of brutalized civilians which have been flooding al-Jazeera and circulating on the internet. We should not be fooled by Libya’s geographic proximity to Egypt and Tunisia, or guided by the debates over how the United States could best help a peaceful protest movement achieve democratic change. The appropriate comparison is Bosnia or Kosovo, or even Rwanda where a massacre is unfolding on live television and the world is challenged to act. It is time for the United States, NATO, the United Nations and the Arab League to act forcefully to try to prevent the already bloody situation from degenerating into something much worse.

By acting, I mean a response sufficiently forceful and direct to deter or prevent the Libyan regime from using its military resources to butcher its opponents. I have already seen reports that NATO has sternly warned Libya against further violence against its people. Making that credible could mean the declaration and enforcement of a no-fly zone over Libya, presumably by NATO, to prevent the use of military aircraft against the protestors. It could also mean a clear declaration that members of the regime and military will be held individually responsible for any future deaths. The U.S. should call for an urgent, immediate Security Council meeting and push for a strong resolution condeming Libya’s use of violence and authorizing targeted sanctions against the regime. Such steps could stand a chance of reversing the course of a rapidly deteriorating situation. An effective international response could not only save many Libyan lives, it might also send a powerful warning to other Arab leaders who might contemplate following suit against their own protest movements.

Aziz Poonawalla:

The Arab Street did not need the US in Egypt, but in LIbya it is a different story entirely. Reports suggest that Gaddafi’s forces have already used heavy equipment and aircraft weapons against protestors. Al Arabiya sources say that bombing of Benghazi will commence tonight – or any minute, since we are half a day behind the Middle East, night is already falling there. And there are even some reports via Twitter sources that the Libyan navy is firing on shore targets.

Earlier, it was reported that a group of Libyan Air Force officers had defected to Malta. It turns out that they were already on a mission to Benghazi and disengaged at 500 feet. Unlike in Egypt, where the military refused orders to fire upon the civlians, these air force officers are in the minority – Libya is killing its own people.

It’s rare for me to advocate something as direct as a military action – but a no-fly zone is something we must as a nation do, and do immediately, if we are to do anything to help bring about a new golden age of democracy in the Middle East. After Egypt, all Arab leaders feared their people; after Libya, the people will again fear their tyrants. All the progress will be lost, all the potential will be wasted.

This is the moment that must be seized. And only we can do it.

I am about to depart Cairo after five great days here spent conducting interviews and gathering “atmospherics” in post-Mubarak Egypt. I want to thank my employers for allowing me to take an extra five days off work to do this research as well as Issandr el-Amrani and his wife for being such generous hosts. I also want to thank Elijah Zarwan and many other people who have shared their expertise but would prefer to remain anonymous. I got to visit with my old friend Charles Levinson before he ran to the border, and let me continue to recommend both his coverage and that of his colleagues at the Wall Street Journal for what has been, in my observations at least, the best newspaper coverage to emerge out of these events. (al-Jazeera and CNN’s Ben Wedeman, meanwhile, continue to set the standard for television journalism.)

Like all of you, I have been horrified to see the images and reports coming out of Libya. Some of the images have been truly shocking, as has been the behavior of the evil Libyan regime.

But I am already reading calls for the United States and its allies to intervene in Libya, and I think we should all take a step back and first ask four questions:

1. Will an international intervention make things better, or worse?

2. If worse, do nothing. If better, who should be a part of this intervention?

3. Should the United States lead the intervention?

4. If so, what should we do?

All too often in humanitarian emergencies or conflicts, we skip ahead to Question 4 without first answering the first three questions. Let us not make that mistake this time. (Because I don’t myself even know the answer to Question 1.)

Doug Mataconis:

Frankly, I’m conflicted on this one. The crackdown on protesters is horrible but, unless is spills over international borders, I’m not sure that foreign intervention is either appropriate or justifiable. In either case, I certainly don’t think that unilateral American action would be appropriate, especially since it would seem to play right into the “foreign influence” meme that the Gaddafi family has been trying to tag the protests with over the past several days. In the end, how this turns out is going to have to be in the hands of  the Libyan people.

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C For Crazy

Robert Stacy McCain at The American Spectator:

A gunman who opened fire during a Florida school board meeting before apparently committing suicide left a “testament” on his Facebook page that blamed the “wealthy” for his crime.

Clay Duke, 56, pulled a pistol during a Tuesday school board meeting in Panama City, Fla., and fired several shots, according to press accounts. A security officer for the school system shot and wounded Duke, who then fatally shot himself, police told reporters.

Before pulling the gun, Duke used a can of red spray-paint to make the letter “V” inside a circle on a wall of the meeting room. This was evidently a reference to the 2006 movie V for Vendetta, in which a character uses terrorist tactics to fight an oppressive government. While holding board members and the superintendent at gunpoint, Duke complained that his wife had been fired by the school system.

Ed Morrissey:

Mediaite questions both the decision to air the shooting spree at a Florida school board meeting and its reporting of the incident, but haven’t we passed the point of taste several years ago? It’s been at least that long since cable news networks started breathlessly covering high-speed police chases that have no relation to national news; locally, LA stations carried an infamous bank takeover live while police officers got shot more than a decade ago.

As it turns out, while CNN warns of “graphic images,” the only actual gunshot wound occurs off screen, as the gunman missed hitting anyone but got killed by a security guard — which did occur on camera. Glenn Davis says that the “graphic images” warning was more about “gluing eyeballs,” but considering the fact that the clip shows a man getting shot, it seems like a reasonable and fair warning to give, even if it’s not particularly gory

Jonathon Seidl at The Blaze:

Clay Duke, the man who opened fire on a Florida school board Tuesday, posted a “last testament” on Facebook decrying the wealthy and linking to a slew of progressive sites including theprogressivemind.info and MediaMatters.org.

The chilling Facebook statement, posted under the “About Clay” section, talks about being born poor and how the rich “take turns fleecing us”:

My Testament: Some people (the government sponsored media) will say I was evil, a monster (V)… no… I was just born poor in a country where the Wealthy manipulate, use, abuse, and economically enslave 95% of the population. Rich Republicans, Rich Democrats… same-same… rich… they take turns fleecing us… our few dollars… pyramiding the wealth for themselves. The 95%… the us, in US of A, are the neo slaves of the Global South. Our Masters, the Wealthy, do, as they like to us…

In addition to the note, Duke also includes a reference to class warfare:

“There’s class warfare, all right, but its my class, the rich class that’s making war and we’re winning”
– Warren Buffet

And then issues a call to rise up, which seems to be from a poem titled “The Mask of Anarchy”:

Rise like lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number.
Shake your chains to earth like dew.
Which in sleep has fallen on you.
Ye are many – they are few.

Besides the writings, Duke also includes an exhaustive list of links under the quote “You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!” The page includes a link dedicated to Wikileaks, another to a progressive 9/11 truther site, and even Media Matters

Nick Gillespie at Reason:

His favorite quotation? “You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!”

Doug Powers:

What motivated him? Yes, his wife recently lost her job, but lots of people are losing their jobs without trying to kill innocent people.

Even absent any further details, you can be certain he wasn’t a Tea Party member or right-wing talk radio aficionado, or this would be all over the network news by now:

Clay Duke, the man who opened fire on a Florida school board Tuesday, posted a “last testament” on Facebook decrying the wealthy and linking to a slew of progressive sites including theprogressivemind.info and MediaMatters.org.

The chilling Facebook statement, posted under the “About Clay” section, talks about being born poor and how the rich “take turns fleecing us”:

Replace those sites with “Glenn Beck,” “Tea Party” or “Fox News” and you’d be looking at the lead story on all the nightly newscasts, with the actual shooting as a mere backdrop.

So who’s to blame for this shooting and suicide? Media Matters? Bernie Sanders? No — Clay Duke is to blame (I refuse to shed my “personal responsibility” streak as tempting as it can be at times).

Meanwhile, as Media Matters is still busy trumpeting how dangerous Glenn Beck’s “violent rhetoric” is, there’s not a mention on their site of the media that Clay Duke considered worthy of following. Some media just don’t matter when it comes to these things.

Weasel Zippers:

Meanwhile, we are all still waiting for the Extremism and Radicalization Branch, Homeland Environment Threat Analysis Division of the Department of Homeland Security to release its report titled “Rightwing Leftwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.”

(Guess we shouldn’t be holding our breath on that.)

Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit:

It’s past the time that Media Matters apologize for its hate speech.

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Well, It’s Not Anatomically Possible To Do That To Tea

Ben Smith at Politico:

Last summer, Democrats argued that the tea party movement was the AstroTurf creation of corporate groups. Now that the grass-roots conservative resurgence has emerged as a clear force on the right, the left is making a different case: that tea parties are simply the enemy.

To that end, the Agenda Project, a new, progressive group with roots in New York’s fundraising scene and a goal of strengthening the progressive movement, has launched the “F*ck Tea” project, which is aimed, the group’s founder Erica Payne wrote in an e-mail this morning, “to dismiss the tea party and promote the progressive cause.”

“”We will be launching new products in the next several months to help people all over the country F*ck Tea,” Payne told POLITICO. “Products like a Glenn Beck Bowl Buddy (Beck B Scrubbin) and others are perfect holiday gifts or just a great way to say, ‘I love you and our country’ to your spouse, friend or family.”

Payne, a veteran consultant to progressive groups, is a co-founder of the Democracy Alliance, the low-profile group of liberal mega-donors who helped build the Center for American Progress and other new organizations that grew in the Bush years.

Jim Treacher at The Daily Caller:

Our own Alex Pappas talked to Payne:

“When you look at their world view, somebody has to say f—k that. That’s not the right direction to go at,” she said in an interview.

The effort, Payne said, is meant to make people “stop a minute, and really look at the ideas” of the Tea Parties. While she said she sympathizes with what has motivated many conservative activists, ”I just think their solutions are fundamentally wrong.”

They must be, if a world-stopping genius like Erica Payne disagrees with them.

At least these idiots are being open about their hate now. Remember the Coffee Party? You probably don’t, but they made a half-hearted effort to sound reasonable and conciliatory, and it just came off as false. This is the way to go, Tea Party-haters. Better to just be up front about it and admit you’re a bunch of f*ckheads.

P.S. An NBC/WSJ poll shows: Public favors Tea Party over top Dems. Of course, that was before they saw these brilliant t-shirts!

Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit:

The left launches Coffee Party, Cocoa Party, One Nation, “F*ck Tea” to counter conservative Tea Party.

First the left introduced the Coffee Party.
Then they introduced the Cocoa Party.
Then last month the left came out with yet another astroturfed group to counter the tea party… “One Nation.”
Now it’s the “F*ck tea” movement.

You know, I enjoy a clever turn of phrase as well as the next guy – an imaginative and witty answer to some question, etc.

This is just the left being the left.  And, of course, when it comes to their favorite ox being gored by the right, they’ll somehow manage to talk about “class and respect” with a straight face.

Amazing.

18 months ago they were the toast of the town, bringing “hope and change”.  Now they’ve self-destructed and are back to their old rude and crude selves.  How “progressive”.

Doug Powers at Michelle Malkin’s place:

If you’re a Tea Partier, take the same shirt and print “Profanity is a lazy and feeble mind attempting to express itself forcefully” underneath this well reasoned argument (or over it, better yet) and you’re good to go for the next rally.

There’s no t-shirt that can be sold between now and November that will change the fact that the Tea Party is viewed more favorably than Reid and Pelosi.

Dan Riehl:

Just as with their forever failing talk radio efforts, progressives just don’t get it. America does not like ugly. And that is precisely what progressivism always resorts to in the end. It’s also part of the reason the majority of Americans will forever reject them. Thank God they are as stupid and ugly as they are – and I don’t mean just the feminists you have to chew off a limb to get out from under in the morning. Okay, that doesn’t really happen to me, not since I stopped drinking, anyway. Heh!

Dan Spencer at Redstate:

As most RedStaters understand, the Tea Party is a popular grass roots movement of Americans so offended by the efforts Obama and his leftwing supporters to lurch the country far to the left that they have taken to politics. They are as mad as hell and aren’t going to take it any more. Because of this the Tea Party movement is perceived as a threat to those pushing Obama’s extremist agenda.

As they did when threatened by the elevation of Governor Sarah Palin to the national stage, Democrats have resorted to demonization to attempt to discredit the Tea Party movement and remove the threat.

The Democrats failed efforts to disparage the movement have included:

  • Attempts to paint the Tea Party Movement as racist.

Having miserably failed in all these efforts the Liberal/Progressive Democrats now try another despicable campaign — this desperate “f*ck” the Tea Party Movement campaign.

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Let’s Play A Game Of MSM Musical Chairs

Elise Viebeck at The Hill:

The White House Correspondents Association voted unanimously Sunday afternoon to move Fox News to the front row of the White House briefing room.

The seating change was prompted by the resignation of veteran UPI reporter Helen Thomas.

According to Ed Henry, the senior White House correspondent for CNN and member of the WHCA board, the Associated Press will move to the front-row middle seat formerly occupied by Thomas.

Fox News will replace the AP in its former seat, also in the front row, and NPR, which lobbied for Thomas’ seat along with Fox and Bloomberg News, will take Fox’s former seat in the second row.

Michael Calderone at Yahoo:

The idea of moving the AP—which normally gets the first question at presidential press conferences—was under discussion in recent years, long before Thomas retired. Bloomberg remains in the second row, while NPR moves up from the third row to Fox’s current seat.

Several news organizations also petitioned to get regular seats in the briefing room (or keep their current seats).

The Financial Times will now get a regular seat, while U.S News & World Report—a news organization that has been scaled back in recent years—lost its seat. The foreign press pool also now gets its own seat.

In addition, Politico and American Urban Radio Networks moved up to the third row. The Washington Times, which has cut back significantly in the past year, moves from the third to fourth row.

Glynnis MacNicol at Mediaite:

Update: Fox is apparently pleased with the decision. From Bill Sammon, Vice President of News and Washington Managing Editor, FOX News: “We are pleased with the decision of the White House Correspondents’ Association and look forward to working with our colleagues in the front row and the rest of the James S. Brady briefing room.”‬‪

Update again: Major Garrett twitters: Those of us who will sit in the front owe a debt to Jim Angle, Carl Cameron, Bret Baier and network that supported them.

Ed Morrissey:

Congratulations to Garrett and Fox News.

Doug Powers at Michelle Malkin’s place:

Imagine how close Fox News would be if they weren’t an “illegitimate news organization” — they’d be sitting on Robert Gibbs’ podium. Clearly the White House Correspondents Association respects the ratings strength of Fox News — either that or the WHCA has a “racist Tea Partier” streak a mile wide.

Is it too much to hope for that Major Garrett will call in sick on Fox’s first day in front and to fill in for him they’ll hire Andrew Breitbart as a temp? I thought so.

Meanwhile, even though Helen Thomas might be out of the front row in the briefing room, money is being raised to put a statue of her in the front row of the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn (pic of Helen with statue here). I keep one just like it in my attic because it seems to do a good job of scaring the bats away.

John Cole:

Who cares about these people. It isn’t like any news has ever been broken in the briefing room.

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Rage Against The C-SPAN Camera Machine

Rage Against The C-SPAN Camera Machine

Jillian Rayfield at TPM:

The House was debating a bill last night that would provide up to $7.4 billion in health care aid to rescue and recovery workers who have faced health problems since their work in the wake of the September 11 attacks. The bill ultimately failed to get the needed two-thirds majority, 255-159, and Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) was not happy about it. Not one bit.

In a rant that lasted for almost two minutes, a hopping mad Weiner railed against “cowardly” Republicans who claimed they were voting against the bill because of “procedure.” Weiner spat: “It’s Republicans wrapping their arms around Republicans, rather than doing the right thing on behalf of the heroes!”

Weiner attacked those who “stand up and say, ‘Oh, if only we had a different process we’d vote yes.’ You vote yes if you believe yes! You vote in favor of something if you believe it’s the right thing! If you believe it’s the wrong thing, you vote no!”

“It is a shame! A shame,” he exclaimed.

Doug Powers at Michelle Malkin’s place:

Yesterday, New York Rep. Anthony Weiner tried to channel Nikita Khrushchev minus the shoe and even some of the dignity, believe it or not. These outbursts aren’t rarities for Weiner, but this hissy fit was especially ‘roid-ragey.

[…]

Democrats are starting to make the Taiwanese Parliament look passive.

Update: Rush discusses the spitting mad Weiner in greater detail.

Peter Wehner at Commentary:

Here’s a clip of Representative Anthony Weiner losing his cool. It’s just the kind of civilized discourse and thoughtful engagement with the issues that the public is thirsting for.

I suppose Representative Weiner could be excused for his outburst; perhaps he just read the latest Fox News/Opinion Dynamics Poll, which Jennifer highlighted earlier today. It shows extremely bad disapproval numbers for Obama on the three issues that are shaping up to be the most important of the mid-term elections: The economy (59 percent), the deficit (65 percent), and health care (55 percent). It also shows Republicans with a double-digit lead on the generic Congressional ballot, which is something I can’t recall having occurred before.

It’s also possible that Representative Weiner had just perused the recent Pew survey, which, among other things, shows that 56 percent of Independents see the Democratic Party as more liberal than they themselves are, compared to only 39 percent who see the Republican Party as more conservative than they are. (h/t: William Galston)

It’s also possible that Mr. Weiner just read the results of the most recent CNN poll, which shows. …

Oh, well, you get the point. These are tough, depressing days for liberals and for liberalism. In both Congress and among the commentariat, heads are beginning to explode. They know what awaits them. And be prepared: it’s only going to get worse as they get more desperate.

Tom Bevan at Real Clear Politics:

Anthony Weiner does his best Al Pacino imitation. For what it’s worth, I applaud the Congressman’s passion

Michael C. Moynihan at Reason:

I suppose someone should post this video of Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) in full meltdown mode, lighting into Republicans and Blue Dogs opposing the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. He’s already being praised from the usual quarters (what calculated passion!), though it seems to me that the Right Honorable Gentleman from Brooklyn might want a refill of his Thorazine

Wonkette:

Haha, he cares about his country and likes calling Republicans on their bullshit sometimes. Yeah, that is probably not going to work, but it is entertaining! The bill in question would have provided $7.4 billion in heath care benefits to 9/11 recovery workers, but it failed. Republicans said they voted against it because of “procedure,” according to Weiner’s tirade, and we always listen to people who are yelling, so let’s assume that is the whole story there. Later, Weiner was on Fox News and yelled at Rep. Peter King through the camera, even though King was standing behind him.

UPDATE: Anthony Weiner at NYT

Jerry Remmers at The Moderate Voice

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How Much Lesbian Bondage Will Seven Million Dollars Buy?

Ralph Hallow at The Washington Times:

The Republican National Committee failed to report more than $7 million in debt to the Federal Election Commission in recent months – a move that made its bottom line appear healthier than it is heading into the midterm elections and that also raises the prospect of a hefty fine.

In a memo to RNC budget committee members, RNC Treasurer Randy Pullen on Tuesday accused Chairman Michael S. Steele and his chief of staff, Michael Leavitt, of trying to conceal the information from him by ordering staff not to communicate with the treasurer – a charge RNC officials deny.

Mr. Pullen told the members that he had discovered $3.3 million in debt from April and $3.8 million from May, which he said had led him to file erroneous reports with the FEC. He amended the FEC filings Tuesday.

Campaign-finance analysts said that simply misreporting fundraising numbers to the FEC can lead to millions of dollars in fines and that criminal charges can be levied if the actions are suspected to be intentional.

“This is significant because the civil penalties could mean big fines that take a significant bite out of the RNC‘s finances close to the November congressional elections, when state parties need the RNC‘s financial help for their ‘victory’ programs,” said former FEC Commissioner Hans A. von Spakovsky.

Ben Smith at Politico:

MEMORANDUM

To: Members of the Republican National Committee

From: Tom Josefiak, HoltzmanVogel PLLC Michael Toner, Bryan Cave LLP

Date: July 21, 2010

Re: Correction of Misinformation Regarding RNC Debt

As outside counsel to the Republican National Committee, we write this memorandum to address concerns raised by some RNC members based on media stories this morning claiming that the RNC has improperly failed to report $7 million of debt. These reports are extraordinarily misleading. As reflected on the monthly report the RNC filed yesterday, which covers the month of June, the RNC had approximately $2 million in unpaid invoices at the end of the month, which were completely paid in the first half of July. In other words, as reflected on that report, all of this debt – as well as the debt reflected on the amended reports for April and May – has been paid off. Contrary to the hyperbolic claims in the media reports, the RNC has not at any time carried $7 million of debt, and all the debts at issue have been paid.

The RNC seeks to scrupulously comply with all FEC reporting regulations, including those that govern the reporting of debts and obligations. With the arrival of a new Chief of Staff and Finance Director several months ago, the RNC began a thorough review of invoices and contracts to ensure the legitimacy of billings, the extent of services provided in connection with those billings, and the overall fiscal discipline of the Committee. Also at the direction of Chairman Steele, the RNC has conducted a thorough internal procedures review, which has included a careful review of invoices received and paid to further ensure that the RNC’s monthly FEC reports are as comprehensive and accurate as possible. As a result of these efforts, the RNC is confident that these protocols ensure not only that the invoices reflect services actually provided to the RNC but also that the information concerning payments by the RNC is timely and accurately reported.

It is unfortunate that misinformation concerning internal RNC procedures has been somehow disseminated to the media, as the spreading of these inaccuracies operates to the grave detriment of the RNC. Contrary to today’s media accounts, the RNC has been and will remain committed to accurate FEC reporting, transparency, and fiscal discipline with its donors’ money.

Nicole Allan at The Atlantic

Ed Morrissey:

How serious is the problem?  The RNC quickly retained former FEC chair Michael Toner as their attorney, a high-priced move that Hans von Spakowsky — another former FEC commissioner — called “unusual and significant,” according to the Washington Times.  The fines for failing to report debt on time can run into seven figures and could seriously impact the ability of the GOP to support candidates in the waning days of the midterm elections, if immediately imposed.

Perhaps even more disturbing is what prompted Pullen to double-check the books.  The fundraising numbers have fallen well below goals set by the RNC, but the cash on hand figures kept increasing past expectations.  Supposedly this came from better efficiency in operations and cost-cutting, but last month Pullen got suspicious and rechecked invoices, payment for which had slipped significantly.  Pullen claims that Steele attempted to block his access to the data and that Leavitt locked the invoices in his office; Steele denies that charge.

If Pullen’s claims turn out to be true, it’s a potential disaster for the RNC and Republican candidates, and not just because of the restricted cash flow.  The GOP has been arguing that they are the party of fiscal responsibility and reform.  The DNC will have a field day with this story.

Steve Benen:

Right. What makes this story serious is the fact that it has multiple angles, all of them bad news for the RNC. We have (1) the in-fighting among RNC officials, with the chairman going up against his own treasurer; (2) potentially illegal accounting tricks; (3) weak RNC fundraising in advance of a critical election season that necessitated the illegal accounting tricks; (4) another distracting scandal for Steele to deal with, just a few weeks after the last one; and (5) the fact that the controversy itself steps all over the Republican message of fiscal responsibility.

Doug Powers at Michelle Malkin’s place:

Seven million dollars? Sounds like somebody made over 3,500 more trips to Voyeur West Hollywood.

My relationship with the RNC is a little like Al Pacino’s famous line in Godfather III, except in reverse: Just when I thought I was in, they push me back out.

There need to be changes at the top of the RNC chain, and fast. Hand out leather hoods, ball gags and whips as severence pay if need be, but clean house at the top and find somebody able to lead the RNC so the Republicans it supports don’t look stupid and hypocritical when they speak of “fiscal responsibility.”

In a year where the base is motivated and the RNC should be cash heavy heading into an election that will determine the future of the country, they’ve run up a debt and may have tried some bookkeeping sleight of hand to make things look not as bad as they are. Sounds like the kind of thing that has gotten America in deep trouble already, doesn’t it?

The RNC coffers should be overflowing more than the coin tray in the White House’s ice cream cone/cigarette/arugula vending machine, but they’re not. Explanations are in order.

A recent RNC internal report showed that the party’s major donors program was spending $1.09 for every $1 raised. What a great way to convince voters (and major donors for that matter) to give them the keys to DC so they can lead America out of its fiscal hole.

Wonkette:

Can we get Tom Vilsack to fire Michael Steele? Yeah, he doesn’t have any justification for firing Steele either, but this is just getting sad.

Just fire him, Republicans. If you are worried about the black thing, hire Alan Keyes. Certainly he is available. YES, he may be a bit crazy, but you have to at least try somebody else

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