Teabuggergate: there’s more

Lots more.

The ugly little tale of Teabuggergate is starting to unravel, and ooh-la-la!  now it starts to get interesting.   The 4 little douchebags who got caught in the middle of what appears to be an attempt to tamper with a US Senator’s phone line have some connections to some very deep pockets:  the Leadership Institute, The Family Research Council and  Focus on the Family to name a few.  Take it away, Keith:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Those involved in abortion rights might be familiar with the Leadership Institute because that’s who bankrolls Lila Rose, the female James O’Keefe who targets Planned Parenthood.  Interestingly, one of the Leadership Institute’s past students is James Guckert aka “Jeff Gannon”, the fake White House “reporter” who moonlighted as a $200 an hour male escort and operator of gay porn sites. (Still another former student is Congressman Joe “You Lie!” Wilson.)  Whatever else it might claim to be, the Leadership Institute is ass-deep in slime, specializing in the training and financing of right-wingnuts in dirty trick campaigns and the thwarting of democracy.

Can’t wait til the pigeons start chirping!

22 Responses to “Teabuggergate: there’s more”


  1. 1 Rob F Thursday, January 28, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    This scandal looks like something I’d expect to see in a mystery novel, not real life.

  2. 2 Niles Thursday, January 28, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    Now, you *know* that if most of the GOP stuff was written in a mystery novel without some of the rl shit to back it up, editors at publishing houses would be gently asking for something a bit more reality based.

    How many years has it been that even progressives have been saying “no way, that just can’t be true.”? Until it got to the point where they’re saying “if it’s GOPers, and it smells like complete lack of brain cells and/or ethics, it’s true.”

    Truth is always stranger than fiction. That prorogue protest movement for one. Who’d believe that would have gotten underway a mere month ago?

  3. 3 Scary Fundamentalist Friday, January 29, 2010 at 7:58 am

    “thwarting of democracy”

    Explain?

  4. 4 Cornelius T.Zen Friday, January 29, 2010 at 8:21 am

    Good morrow, all!
    For anyone unclear on the subject:
    Dirty tricks like these are a means to intimidate the other side into silence and inactivity. If you can smear ACORN, or anyone supporting health care reform, into appearing anything less than perfect, or somehow diminish their credibility, you have played the game well, without offering anything of value to support your own side.
    Not to make too subtle a point of it, but Joe Mccarthy failed utterly to make his own case. The number of *known* active Communists in the State Department, or any government department for that matter, varied so much, without any written corroboration, that eventually, he lost all credibility. The wolf never showed up.
    “Thwarting democracy” in this case, means, operating in complete contempt of the electorate, you know, those stupid, gullible, moronic folks who actually showed up to vote, and, in their own stupid, gullible, moronic way, did not vote the *right* people into office, and therefore, whatever mandate they produced can be dismissed, or, somehow, discredited.
    Nobody is entitled to political influence. It has to be earned, and it has to be earned every day. The job is one in which responsibility is much more important than privilege. These Watergate Wannabes will have their day in court, and their puppet masters must be revealed.
    Can you say, *busted*? – CTZen

  5. 5 Scary Fundamentalist Friday, January 29, 2010 at 8:38 am

    “Operate in complete contempt of the electorate”

    Like ramming through a health care bill that a clear majority of Americans reject? Of course a mandate can be discredited – otherwise Nixon wouldn’t have had to step down.

    And how did O’Keefe not “make the case” of ACORN facilitating tax fraud and human smuggling?

  6. 6 Cornelius T.Zen Friday, January 29, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Good morrow, all!
    SF: How do you *know* a “clear majority” of Americans reject the health care bill? Have they read it? Do they understand it? Do they prefer the status quo, and, if so, why? The Bolsheviks and Nazis got their way, not because they were right, not because they were the majority, but because they shouted down anyone who opposed them, or supported any philosophy with which they disagreed. They were not the wisest, nor the most representative voices of their day, merely the loudest. Loud does not mean right. You might shout me down, but you will not shut me up in the process. Somebody had to shoot Martin Luther King, and even that did not silence him.
    It’s not up to some junior G. Gordon Liddy to make the case that ACORN broke the law. It is up to the Justice Department to do that. The white male propertied Christians of Merka are getting loud, because they’re getting scared. The sun is setting on their day of entitlement, and they’re scared of the dark – literally. There are things in the dark — like women, blacks and latinos, all of whom scare the pubics off these poor, oppressed, under-represented God-fearing righteous souls.
    Maybe they’re right to fear God, because, just maybe, God is telling them, “I don’t play favorites.”
    When that big bejesus meteorite hit the Gulf of Mexico, it wiped out the dinosaurs, who had ruled the world for 165 million years. The dinosaurs were big, and scary, and loud, and now, they’re gone. The biggest lesson of history is, simply, we do not learn from history.
    Evolution happens – CTZen

  7. 7 Scary Fundamentalist Friday, January 29, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Okay. Ignoring the racist rant in the second half of your post, basically your argument is:

    If the electorate is polling the way I want, it’s democracy.

    If the electorate is not polling the way I want, that’s only because they’re uninformed and listening to the loudmouths.

    I didn’t say ACORN broke a law. I said O’Keefe made a convincing case that ACORN was facilitating tax fraud and human trafficking. By your definition, Nixon didn’t break any law – he was pardoned by Ford.

    Oh, and by the way, the Nazis got their way by winning a democratic election.

  8. 8 JJ Friday, January 29, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Rob F – Popcorn! 😆

  9. 9 JJ Friday, January 29, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Niles – To be fair, I think corruption runs deep on both sides of the aisle but it’s the GOP who perfected the art of ratfucking their opponents with “dirty tricks” operations like this one, push polls etc. So I’d agree that they’ve got an edge when it comes to being ethically bankrupt.

    To be sure there are still guys like John McCain (who even I would have considered voting for a few years ago if I was eligible), but they’re increasingly succumbing to the purity purge. As that happens, the tone of politics is degraded.

    The anti-prorogue thing was pretty amazing, who’da thought something that started on facebook could get such traction?

  10. 10 JJ Friday, January 29, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    Scary

    “thwarting of democracy”

    Explain?

    A little hyperbole on my part, but that’s how I view this kind of dirty trick operation.

    These guys were trying to make a story happen, whether there really was one or not, then publicize it and deliberately misinform the public. So in a sense it does thwart the democratic process… or at least skews it… when people make their electoral decisions based on misinformation.

    If O’Keefe et al were Democrats, and trying to do this to David Vitter’s office, I would feel the same way. It stinks.

  11. 11 JJ Friday, January 29, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    CTZen

    their puppet masters must be revealed.

    Given that none of these guys look like they could even do a 1-week bit in a county jug standing on their heads, I expect they’ll be singing their lungs out as soon as they realize they’re looking at serious pen time.

    Popcorn’s on, it’s schadenfreude flavoured.

  12. 12 JJ Friday, January 29, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    scary

    Like ramming through a health care bill that a clear majority of Americans reject?

    Interestingly, a few months ago when the plan included a public option, a clear majority favoured it and wanted it to pass. It was only after it went through the arduous sausage-making process in the Senate and was torn to bits that it lost favour with progressives, which is what caused the overall approval of the plan to drop.

    And how did O’Keefe not “make the case” of ACORN facilitating tax fraud and human smuggling?

    Until we see what was left on the cutting room floor, IMO they haven’t made a case for anything other than an ACORN worker who was not too bright. Weak tea at best. I understand ACORN was absolved of any legal wrongdoing, and they have a lawsuit pending against O’Keefe. I hope they hammer him.

    EDIT: I just noticed your Rasmussen link, thanks. Polls are funny things — here’s one that says the majority backed the public option, and on the same page there’s a link to another one that says the majority are against “healthcare reform”.

    At any rate, you’re right that at this point in time probably the majority are opposed to the Senate bill, and with good reason. It sucks. But it is still better than what they’ve currently got going.

  13. 13 Scary Fundamentalist Friday, January 29, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    JJ:

    I’d like to think that I’m intelligent enough to see through someone “trying to make a story happen”. I’d also like to think that the electorate, in general, isn’t so stupid that we need to spoon-feed them the correct information in order to ensure democracy. Usually, fabrications and misinformation don’t gain much traction when society is characterized by free speech and vigorous debate from all sides.

    A free press, not necessarily an accurate one, is what is essential to democracy. O’Keefe is no more thwarting democracy than Beck and Olbermann do on a nightly basis.

    Hey, I don’t disagree with you. This does stink – it’s a felony. But investigative journalism is generally characterized by borderline criminality, no? These guys took it way too far.

  14. 14 Scary Fundamentalist Friday, January 29, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    JJ: (Response to 12:49 post)

    I don’t doubt that Americans want health care reform. I don’t doubt that they favour some sort of a public option. They clearly don’t want this health care reform. But that’s another subject for another day…

    The ACORN vids, snipped as they might be, are pretty conclusive that several employees engaged in wrongful conduct – ACORN even agreed and sacked said employees. And, as I mentioned above, this is not about what the Justice Department deems is right or wrong; it’s about making a case before the court of public opinion (as opposed to shouting and misinformation). Going solely by the Justice Department, Nixon had nothing to do with Watergate.

  15. 15 JJ Friday, January 29, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Scary

    Usually, fabrications and misinformation don’t gain much traction when society is characterized by free speech and vigorous debate from all sides.

    One would hope. One of the greatest things about free speech is that it tempers the ideological excesses on every side of an issue.

    But not everyone is honest in how they engage, and it can be destructive. Look at how much traction “death panels” got — that’s what I mean by people being misinformed. Not that they’re dumb, most people are smart enough to figure things out, but sometimes they can be manipulated by emotionally-charged statements like the one about Baby Trigg standing before the Death Panel. Geez, even I felt bad for a few seconds when I read that 😯

    A free press, not necessarily an accurate one, is what is essential to democracy. O’Keefe is no more thwarting democracy than Beck and Olbermann do on a nightly basis.

    Point taken, but I don’t agree that this is proper investigative journalism at all. Beck and Olbermann don’t go out and misrepresent themselves, make tapes of it and edit out the stuff that doesn’t fit their agenda. They are who they are.

  16. 16 JJ Friday, January 29, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    scary

    They clearly don’t want this health care reform.

    Agreed, 100%. There was even a “kill the bill” campaign from the left.

    I think those in favour of passing it are in a panic that if they don’t get *something* done on healthcare, it’s a dead issue for another 20 years. I’m a little torn on it because it really is kind of a rotten bill in so many ways, and I don’t think they can be trusted to “fix” it once it’s passed, but it would cover people who can’t currently get coverage.

    As far as ACORN goes, the fired employees probably did screw up, but it looked to me like it was more out of stupidity than mendacity. And it cast the whole organization in that suspicious light, which just isn’t true. As the guy on Countdown pointed out, one office called the cops on Superfly but that footage was edited out. Proper investigative journalism would have shown the responses from all the offices they hit.

  17. 17 Scary Fundamentalist Friday, January 29, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Emotive propaganda is one of the oldest tricks in the book. It’s used by virtually everyone, including advertisers, politicians, and ideologues. It is especially rampant since the advent of mass media and the internet. The best we can do is insist, through selective patronage of our revenue-generating eyeballs, that those personae and media outlets who strive to be “fair and balanced” avoid such banalities. Just saw one the other day, in which the Globe and Mail ran the headline, “Harper to seize control of the Senate”.

    As the guy on Countdown pointed out, one office called the cops on Superfly but that footage was edited out.

    Whether it was edited out or not, the truth came out either way; personally I heard about that one a while ago. The first time I saw any of the vids, I immediately assumed that they, just like Lila Rose, likely hit dozens of outlets and are only publicizing the most egregious ones. To me, one (or more, I think I heard of a few other offices who turfed them outright) ACORN employee who acted responsibly doesn’t absolve half a dozen who acted with obvious moral, if not criminal, misconduct. If you can speculate on the moral compasses of Operation Rescue personnel, I don’t think I’m far off to make assumptions of the ethical culture in ACORN on the basis of several bad apples.

  18. 18 Scary Fundamentalist Friday, January 29, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Speaking of reporting etiquette…

  19. 19 JJ Friday, January 29, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    scary

    If you can speculate on the moral compasses of Operation Rescue personnel, I don’t think I’m far off to make assumptions of the ethical culture in ACORN on the basis of several bad apples.

    Well put, that’s only fair.

    Thanks for the vid too, that was good. I just finished watching some news that featured most of those little gimmicks. Damn!

  20. 20 Bina Saturday, January 30, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    Yo, Scary Fundie: Go back to school. The Nazis did NOT get into power through any democratic election…

    http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-hitlerdemo.htm

    Nice attempt to Hitler-smear Obama, though. And you called Cornelius racist? Shame on you.

    In other news, guess what: the ACORN stunt was really an Epic Fail, but you’d never know it from Wingnut Doucheboy’s video:

    http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/pagespage/2009/09/how-acorn-sting-got-stung.html

    and

    http://www.acorn.org/fileadmin/HomePageNews/2009Dec/Video_Transcript_Analysis_withExcperts.pdf

    Looks like his pimp act was not only unconvincing (stupid costume much?), he didn’t actually trick ACORN staffers into revealing ANYTHING incriminating. They even told him to pay taxes! How ’bout them apples?

  21. 21 Scary Fundamentalist Monday, February 1, 2010 at 8:27 am

    Bina:

    Your first error: You can re-define democracy however you want to invalidate any election or government. Hitler came to power through a legal process after a free and fair election. By the definition of democracy in the link you provide, America is not a democracy either.

    Your second error: I did not make any attempt to link Obama with Hitler. Where in the world did you get that from? Cornelius brought up Hitler, I responded.

    I called Cornelius racist because he equated whites with entitlement and said they are frightened by blacks and Hispanics. Since racism is the equation of status or attributes on the basis of race, that’s a textbook example.

    Even if some idiot violated Godwin’s law and tried to conflate Hitler with Obama, how is that racist to begin with?

    The rest are lame excuses from ACORN in full damage control. As I said earlier, nobody without a modicum of intelligence would, upon first viewing these tapes, take them at face value; of course they’re being edited and snipped within an ideological frame. But when you get down to the meat of the issue, there are serious allegations within them that cannot be ignored. Your links raise issues about the periphery without discrediting the central allegations. Once again, if ACORN staffers didn’t do anything wrong, then why were they fired?

  22. 22 Cornelius T.Zen Tuesday, February 2, 2010 at 8:32 am

    Good morrow, all!
    Scary Dude: Is it racism to point out the facts, or have I simply committed the crime of belaboring the obvious? White men have made a habit of denigrating women, and slaughtering non-white indigenous peoples, throughout history. Why do you suppose they did that? Maybe it’s because they could, and “get away” with it. My background is mixed Slavic and Celtic, and my ancestors led interesting lives in dealing with imperialistic peoples, such as the British, the Turks, the Poles and the Russians.
    Interesting thing to remember: white Europeans founded a country, in which they could own black Africans, slaughter red Indians, displace brown Mexicans, and, eventually, bomb the shit out of yellow Asians. And it’s racist to remind anyone that this is true. I’ll keep that in mind.
    Uppity R Us – CTZen


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