The Truth Warpers – Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Florida Gubernatorial Candidate Rick Scott and Sarah Palin

Lying in Washington: how it’s done

This is a little bit of inside baseball, but it’s instructive about the modus operandi of the collection of sociopaths now calling itself the Congressional Republican Party.

Four days ago, Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona got himself some ink and electrons (517 stories that Google News knows about) by making an explosive charge: not only was President Obama deliberately neglecting border security in order to hold that issue “hostage” to comprehensive immigration reform, but that Obama had said so himself in a meeting with Kyl.

“The problem is, he said, if we secure the border, then you all won’t have any reason to support comprehensive immigration reform,” Kyl said, as the crowd in the room gasped loudly. “In other words, they’re holding it hostage.”

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) had to be telling the truth because Laura Ingraham, Brian Kilmeade, Steve Doocy, Lou Dobbs, the splendorous Charles Krauthammer and other strangers to actual truth, assured America, without a hint of irony that Kyl could not tell a lie – Right-wing media vouch for Kyl’s honesty despite his history of false claims. Now Kyl is backing off his claim. The same claim about Obama and immigration conservatives assured everyone was fact, Sen. Jon Kyl ‘taken a bit out of context’ … by Jon Kyl

And today, Kyl is backing down:

Kyl tells us that the comments were “taken a bit out of context,” and that the “they” he was referring to was the Left, “the president’s base,” and not the administration.

Basically what we have is Jon Kyl claiming that Jon Kyl’s words were taken out of context by Jon Kyl.

There is no reason to believe this new version of the story has any more truthiness than the first version. More here – KYL STARTS WALKING BACK BOGUS CLAIM….

Medicare Fraud’s Rick Scott Leading in Florida Gov. Race

Gov. Rick Scott?

The healthcare industry has been good To Rick Scott.

The former head of Columbia /HCA, Rick Scott hopes to become the next governor of Florida.

Scott is leading Attorney General Bill McCollum in a poll released today, by a margin of 44 to 31 percent.

The Quinnipiac University poll also finds that Scott leads Democrat, Alex Sink, the state’s Chief Financial Officer.

Who is Rick Scott?

For one thing he is a millionaire (some say billionaire) thanks to his health care companies. He has never held public office and is hoping to cash in on his record as a businessman.

But that’s the problem too.

In his television ads, Scott, 57, addresses the controversial past of Columbia/HCA. When he was chief executive, the hospital chain committed among the largest Medicare and Medicaid fraud in history and paid $1.7 billion in fines after Scott left.

Scott  was also involved in a statewide chain of walk-in clinics, Solantic where he had an official discrimination policy – white folks with no accents preferred. Scott is the preferred choice of the tea smokers. they are voting for him because apparently corruption and racism are facets of what they consider good government. Such behavior, conservatives believe, should be rewarded with high office. Conservatives esteem these traits to such a degree they are willing to over look billions in corruption, but also that Scott has profited from stimulus – Recovery Act – money, Do As I Say Now, Not As I Did: Rick Scott Benefited From Stimulus He Slams. Amazing how much the concepts of honor and integrity of the tea nuts lines up so well with the honor and integrity of plain old conservatives.

I recently mentioned Thomas Sowell’s gutter mouth piece comparing the voluntary escrow account President Obama asked BP to set up for the Gulf Coast to the rise of Nazism. With the benefit of having time to reflect on that remarkable piece of hacktacular journalism Sarah Palin finds she approves –  Sarah Palin Endorses Op-Ed Comparing Obama To Hitler, Suggesting BP Escrow Fund Could Lead To Nazi-Like Dictatorship

On Friday, Sarah Palin took to Twitter to direct her followers to read a recent op-ed from conservative columnist Thomas Sowell that compares President Obama to Hitler and warns that establishing a BP escrow fund could lead to further embrace of Nazi-like dictatorial powers.

“GOP: Don’t let the lamestream media suck you into “they’re defending BP over Gulf spill victims” bs,” Palin wrote. “This is about the rule of law vs. an unconstitutional power grab. Read Thomas Sowell’s article.”

Let’s not be suckered into believing BP’s rig explosion will end up costing the Gulf Coast billions in business revenue? Let’s not be suckered into believing the spill is completely BP’s fault – BP’s Partner in Gulf Well Anadarko Petroleum says “BP’s behavior and actions likely represent gross negligence or willful misconduct.” Once again the United States of America owes Palin a debt of gratitude for allowing us a glimpse of her knowledge and razor-sharp insights into the Constitution, morality, history and matters of national urgency.

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Gears of a Clock wallpaper

Gears of a Clock wallpaper

‘Team America’ Makes Things Worse

Do you know how you can tell that Stanley McChrystal is an honorable man? Because within hours of learning about the Rolling Stone piece that ultimately sealed his fate as commander in Afghanistan, he took responsibility for what he and his aides were quoted as saying and apologized. He didn’t equivocate. He didn’t blame reporter Michael Hastings. He didn’t throw his staff under the bus. And he didn’t downplay what he had done. His first instinct was the instinct of an honorable man. That’s how you can tell, when everything is stripped away, who McChrystal is at his core.

The people around him, who jokingly refer to themselves as “Team America,” need to follow their commander’s intent. Because here they go, days after the final reckoning, to Washington Post reporters to anonymously slime Hastings as unscrupulous. It’s pathetic how flimsy their case is: I was a factchecker for two publications, and no factchecker is obliged to inform a source about the slant of a piece.

People should remember what General McChrystal did after the Rolling Stone story broke. It is incredibly rare in public life for people to screw-up, admit it and apologize. McChrystal went even further in admitting he compromised the mission. We have a sex criminal named David Vitter(R-LA) still in office – though he did fire his sex criminal aid. South Carolina Governor Sanford who billed tax payers for part of the costs to rendezvous with his mistress. Republicans who deny all responsibility for trashing the economy – even complaining about being blamed. The best thing Team America could do is let it go. They’re spoiling the memory of a class act and besides, they’re wrong on the merits – Weak, Unnamed sources in the Pentagon are going after Rolling Stone.

This is bullshit. Journalism is not a game of Red Light/Green Light. There doesn’t have to be “evidence” that the comments were made on the record because it doesn’t work that way. If someone requests something to be off the record and the reporter uses it, that’s a violation, but the subject doesn’t have to say something’s on the record for it to be used. I would say that goes double for embedded journalists.

I would also point out to the “officials” in the Pentagon that Army policy on this issue is explicit. As the Army Public Affairs Handbook puts it (pdf link):

Before beginning the interview, collect your thoughts, remind yourself of the ground rules, and remember there is no such thing as “off the record.” (Bold in the original.)

The handbook also has a message for the staffers who couldn’t keep their mouths in check.

Set the ground rules with the reporter. Tell him you can talk about what your unit does, and its mission, minus details that compromise OPSEC. Remind him not to ask you to speculate about the future or answer questions outside your area of responsibility. (Stay in your lane).

In this Ezra Klein piece about David Weigel he also speaks to the modern age of communication and assuming things about privacy. On Journolist, and Dave Weigel

But over the years, Journolist grew, and as it grew, its relative exclusivity became more infamous, and its conversations became porous. The leaks never bothered me, though. What I didn’t expect was that a member of the list, or someone given access by a member of the list, would trawl through the archives to assemble a dossier of quotes from one particular member and then release them to an interested media outlet to embarrass him. But that’s what happened to David Weigel. Private e-mails were twisted into a public story.

In a column about Stanley McChrystal today, David Brooks talks about the union of electronic text, unheralded transparency, 24/7 media and a culture that has not yet settled on new rules for what is, and isn’t, private, and what is, and isn’t, newsworthy. “The exposure ethos, with its relentless emphasis on destroying privacy and exposing impurities, has chased good people from public life, undermined public faith in institutions and elevated the trivial over the important,” he writes.

There’s a lot of faux-intimacy on the Web. Readers like that intimacy, or at least some of them do. But it’s dangerous. A newspaper column is public, and writers treat it as such. So too is a blog. But Twitter? It’s public, but it feels, somehow, looser, safer. Facebook is less public than Twitter, and feels even more intimate. A private e-mail list is not public, but it is electronically archived text, and it is protected only by a password field and the good will of the members. It’s easy to talk as if it’s private without considering the possibility, unlikely as it is, that it will one day become public, and that some ambitious gossip reporters will dig through it for an exposure story. And because that possibility doesn’t feel fully real, people still talk like it’s private and then get burned if it goes public.

Weigel got a bad deal, but considering that he was at WaPo and was a conservative willing to tell the truth conservatives, he had to know that the granite counter-top watchers would be out to get him. Insult Sludge Drudge? What was he thinking. Toilet Training and Jeffrey Goldberg

Dave Weigel is leaving The Washington Post over private e-mails mocking conservative figures. I find it really extraordinary that a news organization would let such a talented reporter go not because of any kind of professional misconduct but because someone leaked private correspondence in a deliberate effort to make Weigel look bad. If no one in The Washington Post newsroom has ever made a contemptuous joke about Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton, I’ll eat my laptop with mambo sauce. On second thought, never mind — calling Hillary Clinton a bitch as part of The Washington Post’s journalistic product is not grounds for firing at The Washington Post.

Of all the reactions to Weigel leaving the Post, I found Jeffrey Goldberg’s to be the most revealing:

I gave my friend the answer he already knew: The sad truth is that the Washington Post, in its general desperation for page views, now hires people who came up in journalism without much adult supervision, and without the proper amount of toilet-training. This little episode today is proof of this. But it is also proof that some people at the Post (where I worked, briefly, 20 years ago) still know the difference between acceptable behavior and unacceptable behavior, and that maybe this episode will lead to the reimposition of some level of standards.

This is an extraordinary statement from someone who touted a nonexistent link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda.

Weigel’s departure has given the Right the opportunity to drag out the flea ridden canard the WaPo is a hot bed of liberalism. This is the same WaPo where torture aficionado Marc Thiessen writes. He does not just do rabidly partisan, Thiessen’s lies are printed with regularity and are unchecked by any editor concerned about the paper’s veracity. Bill Kristol also camps out at WaPo. Where Bill  continues the discombobulation of reality that he had perpetuated at the NYT, The Weakly Standard and Fox News.