Another Day, Another RNC Fail: RNC To Hold Fundraiser At Blackwater Compound

That’s the same Blackwater which has been accused of murder, illegal weapons smuggling, bribery, fraud (including using taxpayer money to buy strippers and prostitutes) and stealing weapons from the US military, among many other serious crimes.

You know that if the DNC held a fundraiser at, say, an ACORN office then heads would roll, careers would end and the right-wing media would launch a massive weeks-long national outcry.

And yet, almost nobody in the media is making a fuss over the RNC getting into bed with Blackwater.

And to think, ACORN was only accused of was giving bad tax advice.

Double standards much?

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BREAKING: Undercover ACORN Filmmaker Arrested (UPDATED X3)

Remember James O’Keefe, the conservative activist who filmed those dubious undercover videos at various ACORN offices?

Well, he was just arrested by the FBI, apparently in an attempt to bug the offices of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA):

James O’Keefe, the conservative filmmaker who was behind the undercover operations that lead to the ACORN scandal last year, has been arrested with three others for allegedly trying to bug the New Orleans office of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), the Times-Picayune is reporting.

[…]

FBI Special Agent Steven Rayes alleges that O’Keefe aided and abetted two others, Joseph Basel and Robert Flanagan, who dressed up as employees of a telephone company and attempted to interfere with the office’s telephone system.

[Emphasis mine]

So, apparently James O’Keefe is so concerned about government corruption that he had his friends dress up like telephone company employees and tried to illegally wiretap a United States Senator.

Remember, O’Keefe’s ACORN investigation broke a number of anti-wiretapping laws, so it looks like this publicity stunt is simply an extension of his lawbreaking MO.

The right touted James O’Keefe as a conservative anti-corruption crusader, but he’s looking more and more like a common criminal.

(Or maybe like a reality TV star, willing to go to any length for the limelight. O’Keefe should team up with Balloon boy’s dad–that is, whenever they’re both out of jail).

UPDATE: Andrew Breitbart, who was instrumental in publicizing O’Keefe’s dubious ACORN videos, had this to say:

I need to find information on this. I’m out of the loop on this. I will make my determination then on when to comment.

TPM’s headline for that piece was ‘More Liddy Than Woodward & Bernstein?’

Yeah, that’s what we on the left have been saying for a while now–and it’s about time O’Keefe’s underhanded tactics caught up with him.

UPDATE II: Read the FBI affidavit here.

UPDATE III: There might be more here than meets the eye–Jonathan Turley reports that one of the people arrested with O’Keefe, Robert Flanagan, is the son of William J. Flanagan, who is the Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana.

It’s kind of  a big deal when the son of a US Attorney is arrested trying to wiretap the office of a United States Senator.

BREAKING: Second Investigaton Finds That ACORN Broke No Laws (UPDATED)

A little more than two weeks after the Harshbarger commission concluded that ACORN broke no laws , another investigation–this time by the Congressional Research Service–came to the same conclusion:

A Congressional Research Service report commissioned by the House Judiciary Committee says ACORN hasn’t violated any federal regulations the last five years.

The report, released by Judiciary Chairman John Conyers’ (D-Mich.) staff Tuesday evening, also reports that the undercover filmmakers that allegedly caught employees of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now breaking the law may have violated state law in their filming operation.

[Emphasis mine]

So not only did ACORN not break any laws, but the conservative filmmakers who went undercover to try and find ACORN breaking the law actually broke the law themselves.

And isn’t it funny how the so-called liberal media breathlessly covered those undercover ACORN tapes, yet have given almost no coverage to the two investigations which found that the community organizing group did nothing illegal? Or to the fact that the undercover filmmakers themselves seem to have broken a number of wiretapping laws across several states?

Then again, I guess that double standard shouldn’t be surprising–just look at how much coverage ACORN’s bad tax advice has received in comparison to, say, Blackwater’s murder charges, illegal arms smuggling and bribery using taxpayer money.

For some inexplicable reason, some taxpayer-funded organizations seem to be held to a higher standard than others–giving bad tax advice warrants wall-to-wall coverage while murder, arms smuggling and bribery is barely worth mentioning.

Priorities!

UPDATE: Congress rushed to cut off funding to ACORN in the wake of their possibly-fabricated scandal.

So when are they going to do the same for Blackwater (now known as Xe)?

A Xe official told the Commission on Wartime Contracting Friday that the company has contracts for security as well as for training Afghan police and a “drug interdiction unit.” Xe is also in the running for more work in Afghanistan. The comments of Xe Vice President Fred Roitz were first reported by the Virginia Pilot.

[…]

Xe also is one of five pre-qualified companies competing for a new Defense Department contract to train the Afghan national police.

[Emphasis mine]

Was The ACORN Scandal A Fabrication?

Last week, investigators released their report on the ACORN scandal.  They found that the community organizing group broke no laws in dealing with the undercover filmmakers.

We already knew that the filmmakers did a fair bit of editing before they made their videos public. But now it appears that they did much more than merely cut and paste the most  salacious bits together.

According to the investigator’s report, some of the audio in the videos turns out to have been dubbed, meaning that we don’t know what the ACORN employees were agreeing to since we don’t know what the undercover filmmakers were actually asking them.

Plus, exculpatory content that may have ameliorated the appearance of scandal was apparently left on the cutting-room floor.

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BREAKING: Investigator: ACORN Broke No Laws

Some not-so-surprising news this morning:

An internal investigation of the community-organizing group ACORN found no pattern of intentional, illegal conduct by ACORN staffers on undercover videos shot by conservative critics of the group.

[…]

The videos of ACORN staffers offering advice to a woman and a man posing as a prostitute and her boyfriend triggered a firestorm of criticism this fall, with some ACORN employees appearing willing to support illegal schemes involving tax advice, misuse of public funds and illegal trafficking in children.

The videos “feed the impression that ACORN believes it is above the law,” stated the Harshbarger report, intended as an independent examination of the issues.

We did not find a pattern of intentional, illegal conduct by ACORN staff involved; in fact, no action, illegal or otherwise, was ever taken by any ACORN employee on behalf of the videographers,” Harshbarger said in a statement. “Instead, the videos represent the byproduct of ACORN’s longstanding management weaknesses, including a lack of training, a lack of procedures and a lack of on-site supervision.”

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Right-Wing Insanity

This is just crazy:

The new national poll from Public Policy Polling (D) has an astonishing number about paranoia among the GOP base: Republicans do not think President Obama actually won the 2008 election — instead, ACORN stole it.

[…]

The poll asked this question: “Do you think that Barack Obama legitimately won the Presidential election last year, or do you think that ACORN stole it for him?” The overall top-line is legitimately won 62%, ACORN stole it 26%.

Among Republicans, however, only 27% say Obama actually won the race, with 52% — an outright majority — saying that ACORN stole it, and 21% are undecided. Among McCain voters, the breakdown is 31%-49%-20%. By comparison, independents weigh in at 72%-18%-10%, and Democrats are 86%-9%-4%.

[Emphasis mine]

You read that right–a majority of Republicans believe Barack Obama did not legitimately win the 2008 election. They believe that, instead, the community organizing group ACORN stole it for him. Nearly twice as many Republicans believe the election was stolen than believe Obama legitimately won.

Remember, Obama won 2008 in a landslide–he won 53% to 46%, 365 electoral votes to McCain’s 173. For ACORN to have stolen the election, they would have had to manufacture more than 9.5 million votes–Obama’s national margin of victory. ACORN would have had to flip FL, OH, IN, NC, VA, NM, and IA from Republican to Democratic (those being the closest blue states which, combined, gave Obama an electoral vote majority).

I know the right is trying to make ACORN out into some kind of all-powerful left-wing boogeyman, but they’re just a community organizing group, and not a particularly well-funded one at that.

ACORN has received slightly more than $50 million in federal funds in the past 15 years, which averages out to slightly more than $66,000 per state per year–certainly not enough to build a national apparatus capable of stealing 9.5 million votes and 7 swing states.

Maybe this poll is horribly inaccurate, but if it isn’t than the GOP has gone off the deep end. Perhaps this kind of unhinged, off-the-wall craziness is why only 20% of Americans identify themselves as Republican.

Blackwater Accused Of Covering Up Murder Using Taxpayer Dollars (UPDATED)

Infamous military contractor Blackwater Worldwide (also known as Blackwater USA and now Xe) has previously been accused of corruption, murder and illegal arms smuggling.

Well, now you can add bribery to that list:

Top executives at Blackwater Worldwide authorized secret payments of about $1 million to Iraqi officials that were intended to silence their criticism and buy their support after a September 2007 episode in which Blackwater security guards fatally shot 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad, according to former company officials.

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