Day: July 22, 2010

Alvin Greene’s Military Records Show Inability To ‘Express Thoughts Clearly’ And Other Stumbles

This is no surprise, since we’ve seen Mr. Greene’s delivery of a speech recently.  His earlier interviews indicated the same.  Yet, I would say that many politicians in the house and senate have the same impediment, so Mr. Greene will be in good company, should he beat Mr. DeMint(ed).

Huffington Post

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Surprise U.S. Senate nominee Alvin Greene frequently mentions his 13 years of military service, but records obtained Thursday by The Associated Press show that the veteran who has called himself an “American hero” was considered a lackluster service member at best.

The records, which document his superiors’ decisions to pass over Greene for promotion, cite mistakes as severe as improperly uploading sensitive intelligence information to a military server, and as basic as an overall inability to clearly express his thoughts and perform basic tasks.

Greene, 32, won a surprise victory in the June 8 Democratic primary. Greene handily defeated Vic Rawl, a former lawmaker and judge who had been considered an easy win by the party establishment.    Continue reading…

Up to that point, Greene had done no visible campaigning and had no website, fundraising or staff.

In the weeks since, Greene has given a series of awkward interviews to reporters clamoring for more information on the unemployed man who lives in Manning with his ailing father. In one interview, he suggested that the state’s economy could be improved by making and selling action figures depicting him in his uniform. On Sunday, Greene gave his first public speech, a 6 1/2-minute recitation of his previous comments and commitment to jobs and education. He now has a website and says he has raised less than $1,000.

Greene has often mentioned his military service, saying he first came up with the idea to seek political office while serving in Korea. But the veteran has also refused to go into detail about his service, merely saying he won numerous decorations and left the military honorably but involuntarily.

Worst Week in Washington: The Nominees!

The Fix – Chris Cillizza

The firing and attempted rehiring of a mid-level U.S. Department of Agriculture employee named Shirley Sherrod has dominated the world of politics this week — drowning out President Obama‘s signing of financial regulatory reform and the Senate’s passage of unemployment benefit extensions.

It’s hard to imagine then that the Fix’s “Worst Week in Washington” winner won’t come from one of the many people who left the Sherrod incident looking — to put it nicely — horrible.

There’s Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack who pushed Sherrod out Monday, doubled down on that decision by Tuesday and by Wednesday was desperately trying to contact her to offer her a new position within the department.

Or Andrew Breitbart, the conservative journalist who started it all when he posted an edited tape of Sherrod’s remarks that told less than the full story.

Or even Obama himself who took a beating from liberals for his administration’s willingness to immediately cave to the pressure put on it by Breitbart before examining all the facts. (Make sure to read Mike Shear’s piece on the differing approach Obama has adopted to these tempests in teapots as president versus how he handled them on the campaign trail.)

So, whose it going to be? One of that trio or someone or something entirely unrelated to the USDA imbroglio?

Offer your thoughts in the comments section below. We’ll unveil the winner in our live video chat Friday morning at 10:30 a.m.

Gulf Oil Efforts SUSPENDED: BP Shuts Down Well Work Due To Bad Weather

Huffington Post

ON THE GULF OF MEXICO (AP) — A tropical depression racing toward the Gulf of Mexico Thursday increased pressure on BP and the U.S. government to decide whether to evacuate dozens of ships at the site of the ruptured oil well.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said a cluster of thunderstorms in the Bahamas formed into a tropical depression Thursday morning. Forecast tracks show it moving into the eastern and central Gulf in the next several days, Hurricane Specialist Michael Brennan said.

Work on plugging the well is at a standstill just days before the expected completion of a relief tunnel to permanently throttle the free-flowing crude.

Worse yet, the government’s spill chief said foul weather could require reopening the cap that has contained the oil for nearly a week, allowing oil to gush into the sea again for days while engineers wait out the storm.

“This is necessarily going to be a judgment call,” said retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, who was waiting to see how the storm developed before deciding whether to order any of the ships to leave.   Continue reading…

Keith Olbermann Special Comment on Sherrod: ‘A Reputation Assassinated’ ’24-Hour Parade of Feces’

This was Keith Olbermann’s best comment to date! 

I admire KO and Rachel for their dedication to truth and factual information with excellent analysis.

Part 1

Part 2

 

Transcript

On the 15th of October, 1894, a fervently patriotic, almost jingoistic French man stepped into the office of the Minister of War, in Paris. He had been told he was simply attending a review and he was still not suspicious even as another man slammed a hand on his shoulder and arrested him for treason. Just 82 days later he was convicted, stripped of his military rank, sentenced to life imprisonment, and sent to a fortress in Guiana.

He was, of course, utterly and totally innocent. All of the evidence against him had been fabricated, some of it literally stitched together, with the parts that would have exonerated him, edited out.

But religious fervor and xenophobia had gripped his country, and his ethnic group was in the minority, at a time when the majority was trying to paint that minority as evil and subversive and bigoted beyond all reason against the majority.

Those in government who knew his innocence stayed silent in a foolish and ill-fated attempt to govern on behalf of all of the people, even the irrational and the hateful and the prejudiced. Those in the press who did not grab at the circulation and the profits, that the hatred and the scapegoating would bring them, were literally chased out of the country.

Thus would it be just under five years before the man was pardoned, nearly eleven before he was fully exonerated and restored to active service. His name, of course, was Captain Alfred Dreyfus, and the fortress in Guiana was Devil’s Island.

Well we need to congratulate ourselves. How far we have come!We can pull a Dreyfus faster than the French could in 1894. Eighty-two days until they sent him to Devil’s Island? We did it to Shirley Sherrod in 48 hours.

We — the howling fools of the far right, the stand-aside pathetic bureaucrats of the Department of Agriculture, the whole of the cowering media, this network included, the whole of the government, this self-defeatingly above-it-all president, included.

It is a merciful by-product of the swiftness with which we can ruin somebody’s life, that the real truth will also emerge at nearly the same lightning-speed. But, no matter how much of a stretch it is to compare Shirley Sherrod to Alfred Dreyfus, mistake it not: Shirley Sherrod has been to her own Devil’s Island, and thanks to the perpetual fraud machine that is Fox News, and the scum that is this assassin Breitbart, there will be a portion of this country – the mindless, the hateful, the reactionary, the racist – to whom she is forever convicted and ever imprisoned.

I have sat behind this desk for seven years and pushed back at these counterfeit journalists, as a man might stand at the shore and try to push back the tide. I have been branded an ideologue and a profiteer and a mirror of image of that which I assail. I have said it in every way I could think of, and been told I have been over-the-top because I have mocked and shouted and repeated.

And today the proof lies in front of you, bleeding: the reputation of Shirley Sherrod, a woman who 24 years ago saw and overcame the vengeance in her own heart and achieved the kind of true greatness the rest of us can only hope we might express for one moment in the whole of our lives. Assassinated by Fox News! Assassinated by that scum Breitbart! Assassinated by all their meager-brained imitators on other channels and other sites, their limp fellow travelers who never asked questions first, but simply shot, and shot, and shot, and shot and laughed!

on the Left.have been enabled. Our society has not bought into the premise of this 24-hour parade of feces dressed up as news just because of a clever marketing plan. The assassins of the Right Breitbart and the scum AilesBut this evil has not become institutionalized just because of the hard, soul-less work of Rupert Murdoch and Roger

What you see on Fox News, what you read on Right Wing websites… is a manipulation. Not just of a story, not just on behalf of a political philosophy. Manipulation of a society, its intentional redirection from reality and progress, to a paranoid delusion and the fomenting of hatred of Americans by Americans. And nearly every last word of it is never, in any tangible sense, true. Ask Shirley Sherrod.

, stripped of all context, rearranged, fabricated, and falsified, to do so.filleted edited, must be reality to make the racist seem benevolent, and to convict the benevolent as racist — even if her words the manipulation of, only to inflame. It is a political guillotine. It is informLet me make this utterly clear: What you see on Fox News, what you read on Right Wing websites, is the utter and complete perversion of journalism, and it can have no place in a civilized society. It is words crashed together, never to

The legitimate media didn’t first look at the whole videotape. We didn’t first ask if the doctored clip perverted by the scum Breitbart didn’t seem to be leading up to a “however.” We didn’t, even today, when even this network let this pornographer of propaganda Breitbart come on and spew his lies and his venom and his fraudulent self-defense like a quack doctor attending a life-or-death surgery, we didn’t once…consider the source.

- snip -

But you must, at long last, Sir, come to terms with the fact that while you have spent these first 18 months and one day of your presidency bending over backwards for those others, they have spent this time insisting you are not actually president, or you are a communist, or you are bent on destroying whatever is starring this week in the paranoid fantasies churned out by Fox News and the farcical Breitbart.

If only for the arrogance of the irony – that this Crusade to prove you a foreign influence is led by an Australian named Murdoch and his sons who pretend to be British, and his second largest shareholder Prince Alwaleed bin Talal al-Saud of Saudi Arabia — you, Sir, must stand up to this attack on you, and on this nation. Their game-plan is transparent:

They can strand together all the forces of anti-black racism in this country, direct them at you and all for which you and this nation stand, and convince the great unwashed and unthinking out there that not only are they not racists, but you, you Barack Obama, and Van Jones, and Shirley Sherrod, you are the real racists, and so in opposing you they are not expressing the worst vestige of our past, but are actually standing up against it.

As you stay silent and neutral and everybody’s President, they are gradually convincing racists that they are civil rights leaders and you are Police Chief Bull Connor. And then some idiot at Fox news barks, and your people throw an honorable public servant under the nearest bus, just for the sake of ‘decisive action’ and the correct way to respond in this atmosphere.

Mr. President, please stop trying to act, every minute, like some noble, neutral figure, chairing a government of equal and dispassionate minds, and contemplative scholars. It is a freaking war out here, and the imagined consensus you seek is years in the future, if ever it is to be re-discovered.

This false consensus has gotten us only the crucifixion of Van Jones, and a racist gold-shilling buffoon speaking from the Lincoln Memorial on the 47th Anniversary of Dr. King’s speech, and now it has gotten us Shirley Sherrod. And your answer is to note a “disservice” and an “injustice.”

Sir, get a copy of the Michael Douglas movie “The American President.” When you get to the line where he says “I was so busy keeping my job, I forgot to do my job” — hit the rewind button. Twenty times. “Fired up?” “Fired up?” Anybody? Anybody? Lastly. Ms. Sherrod?

I’ve got no business speaking on behalf of the people of the United States, that’s the President’s job. But frankly I don’t know why he hasn’t done this yet, so I’m going to.

We all would like to apologize to you, and ask you to return to work. Or if they want to make you Secretary of Agriculture, or especially White House Deputy Chief of Staff. The President could use somebody like you in there. Tonight!, know what “decisive action” is and “how to respond in this atmosphere.”

But mostly I want to thank you for being, honorably, quietly, and until these last few days, anonymously, such an outstanding American. Long ago, there was harm done to you and you responded as nearly all of us would. And one day, 24 years ago, you realized that you were not ending that harm, you were just passing it along through vengeance and blindness. And you stopped. You stopped not with fanfare nor with self-aggrandizing tears nor in publicized rehab nor on a political stage.

You just stopped and you re-joined the righteous who occupy every corner of our great nation, and indeed every corner of our politics. And even in this hour of undeserved trial and abuse, in your ‘Devil’s Island of the mind,’ you have maintained your dignity and your honor.

Only one of us in all of this, from the mountebanks to the presidential advisors to the unchallenging reporters, only one of us in all this, has done her job correctly. You, Ms. Sherrod

Big Falsehoods: An updated guide to Andrew Breitbart’s lies, smears, and distortions

 I have to share this MMA piece on Andrew Breitbart’s lies, smears and distortions.  What a disgusting bottom-feeder.

Media Matters

Following the dissolution of Andrew Breitbart’s smear of former Obama administration official Shirley Sherrod, Media Matters provides an updated look at how his sensationalist stories have been based on speculation, gross distortions, and outright falsehoods.

The “video evidence” of Shirley Sherrod’s “racism” (NEW)

 “Nationwide ACORN child prostitution investigation” (UPDATED)

Breitbart-promoted O’Keefe Census tape features selective editing (NEW)

Breitbart-promoted video falsely accuses Democrats of reconciliation hypocrisy (NEW)

Wild accusations over Gladney case

 Breitbart’s websites make baseless claim that NEA engaged in lawbreaking

 Bertha Lewis’ nonexistent White House visit

The Maoist Christmas tree ornaments

The ACORN “document dump”

False claims of community organizers “praying” to Obama

 

The “video evidence” of Shirley Sherrod’s “racism”

Breitbart released heavily edited video purporting to provide “proof” of Obama admin official’s “racism.” In a July 19 BigGovernment.com post — headlined “Video Proof: The NAACP Awards Racism — 2010″ — Breitbart purported to provide “video evidence of racism coming from a federal appointee and NAACP award recipient.” The heavily edited video clip Breitbart posted shows Shirley Sherrod, then the USDA Georgia Director of Rural Development, speaking at an NAACP Freedom Fund dinner in Georgia, and stating that she didn’t give a “white farmer” the “full force of what I could do” because “I was struggling with the fact that so many black people have lost their farmland, and here I was faced with having to help a white person save their land.” Breitbart characterized Sherrod’s comments as herdescrib[ing] how she racially discriminates against a white farmer.” Full video vindicates Sherrod, destroys Breitbart’s accusations of racism. On July 20, the NAACP posted the full video of Sherrod’s remarks, exposing how the clip Breitbart posted had taken Sherrod out of context. The heavily edited clip included her statements that she initially did not help the farmer, but removed her statements indicating that she ultimately did help him save his farm and learned that “it’s not just about black people, it’s about poor people.”

 Continue reading…