Category Archives: Corruption

Midnight, Linda

Dissection of the Obama campaign has begun in full earnest.  I mostly skip this analytical stuff.  The ones that paint a gloomy GOP picture are worrisome, and the ones that paint a rosy GOP picture tempt you to count chickens before they are hatched, and that’s worrisome, too.

As far as I can tell, the Dems have lurched from one comedic disaster to the next:  War on Women, War on Rich No-Good Ann Romney, War On People Who Tie Dog Kennels To Car Roofs, War on Involuntary Haircuts, War on the Bain Of Our Existence . . . are there any others?

Unfortunately, my opinion is not a good gauge of the public-at-large.  I can never figure out what people are thinking.  And I’ve been real curious about the public-at-large lately, because of emails like this one, with the name “Sarah Jessica Parker” in the “from” box:

Linda –
It’s my honor to invite you to take part in an event I’m hosting at my home with the President and First Lady on June 14th.
If you can make a donation of any amount today, you’ll be automatically entered to win two tickets to New York to join us.
Just before Election Day in 2008, I went to an Obama campaign office in New York and called some undecided voters.
I believed then, as I do now, that if we all chipped in and did our part, we would not only make history, but create meaningful change that so many Americans needed.
For me, this election is even more important than 2008.
As a woman, a mother, and an entrepreneur, I need to believe our country can be a place where everyone has a fair shot at success.
This November’s election will determine whether we get to keep moving forward, or if we’re forced to go back to policies that ask people like my middle-class family in Ohio to carry the burden — while people like me, who don’t need tax breaks, get extra help. . . .
I hope you’ll help me welcome President Obama and the First Lady to New York.
It should be fabulous.
Donate $3 or whatever you can to be automatically entered to win:
https://donate.barackobama.com/Night-in-New-York
Hope to see you there,
Sarah Jessica”

I am terribly curious:  how successful is an email like this?  Does it actually work?  It must, because with just two email subscriptions–Organizing for America, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee–I sure get a lot of emails.  Heck, two more popped up since I started this post–one from Rep. Pelosi and once from VP Biden.

Joe Biden’s subject box is eyebrow-raising:  “Midnight, Linda.”

“This is Barack’s last campaign.
If you’re planning to chip in before November, we’d both appreciate if you do so today.
Make a donation before the deadline at midnight your time.”

Nancy Pelosi’s missive is less creepy, at least:

“The news reports over the last few days have been all about Republicans’ money being from Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers.  Now, all eyes are on our response. We’re just 1,121 donors away from a record-breaking 100,000 supporters in the month of May standing behind President Obama for a Democratic Majority.  Will you contribute $3 or more before tonight’s midnight FEC deadline to help us reach a new all-time record?  Your donation will be triple-matched . . . “

The Obama campaign is smart, right?  They wouldn’t send so many emails out if it didn’t work, right?

Right?  Lots of speculation abounds on the competency of the Obama campaign.

I poked around for opinions on these emails specifically, but I didn’t find much.  Some fluff piece over at NPR.

In order to more fairly assess these emails, I have just signed up for updates from the Romney campaign and from the National Republican Congressional Committee.  If he starts filling up my inbox with similar spam, I’ll post about it.  No emails yet, but there is this:  Grab A Bite With Mitt contest.

Who started all this contest stuff?  Who decided that turning the presidential election into some sort of lottery ball machine is a good idea?

I understand that a large number of single, small-time donors gives bragging rights:  I’ve got the will of the people behind my campaign.  Back in 2008, the Obama’s loose campaign contribution methods made him look more “small-donor funded” than he really was:

“Although an unusually high percentage (49%) of Obama’s funds came in discrete contributions of $200 or less, only 26% of his money . . . came from donors whose total contributions aggregated to $200 or less.  Obama’s 26% compares to 25% for George W. Bush in 2004, 20% for John Kerry in 2004, 21% for John McCain in 2008, 13% for Hillary Clinton in 2008, and 38% for Howard Dean in 2004.”

So maybe that’s what these emails are all about:  the groundwork for creating the appearance of having real grassroots support, rather than, you know, actually trying to increase grassroots support.

Who, after all, is going to get all fired up for the Obama campaign, thanks to his inbox filling up weekly with gems like this:

“Linda –
One thing to know about me is that I don’t really sugarcoat things.
Luckily, this offer doesn’t need it.
Make a donation of $3 or whatever you can to help President Obama and Democrats facing tough races across the country this year, and be automatically entered for the chance to spend a night on the town with the President and President Clinton in New York City.
Don’t worry about travel, airfare, or accommodations for you and whoever you choose to bring with you — we’ve got it covered.
The event’s less than two weeks from now. We’re drawing the winner at midnight tonight.
https://my.democrats.org/Two-Presidents-and-You
And if you win, I promise — you’ll love it.
Thanks, and good luck,
Debbie
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz”

Ooh, she promises!

Here’s another good one.  I’ve always wanted to host a foreign exchange student, and these folks are sure foreign to me:

“Linda –
This summer, hundreds of field organizers and volunteers will join our organization here in Virginia to register voters and talk to our friends and neighbors . . . .  Some of these organizers will be new to the Commonwealth, and a lot of them will come on short notice.  They’ll uproot their lives because they know the stakes in this election, and they know how important it is for us to win Virginia this November.  I know that you do, too, so I’m asking for your help — although not in the usual way.

If you have an extra bedroom or a foldout couch, would you be willing to host a supporter for the summer? . . .

I know this is a big favor to ask, but as someone who has stayed with supporters before, I can tell you that it means a lot to the folks you host, and it will make a real difference as we build our grassroots organization here in Virginia.

If you can, you should sign up today to host an organizer or volunteer. We’ll be in touch soon with the details:  http://va.barackobama.com/Host-an-Organizer-in-Virginia

Thank you, and stay tuned.
Ashley
Ashley Baia Virginia Field Director Organizing for America”

Do you think they’ll get any takers?  If the campaign were going well, why would they need to ship “grassroots” supporters in from out of state?

So maybe that’s what these emails are all about:  the Obama campaign is getting a bit desperate about fundraising.

Recently, Ran sagely advised that this whole saga with Kimberlin is a sign of the left’s implosion:

“What we’re observing are the ripples at the surface of desperate struggles deep in the cesspool. The “Progressive” wing of the Left are chupped as Hell that the radicals – Obama, Van Jones & Co. cranked the frog pot too fast, too far and blew the lid off.  No patience, no guile these amateurs.  The frogs are hopping mad.”

Perhaps the torrent of goofy, ineffective spam in my inbox is just more ripples, evidence of the struggles deep within the Democratic Party.  What do you think?

I’ll conclude with a must-click.  My post research uncovered one gem of an article:  “Subject Lines of Obama Campaign Emails That Sound Like a Stalker Wrote Them.”

“Midnight, Linda,” could be added to that list.

Blog About Brett Kimberlin Day #BrettKimberlin

It’s “post about Brett Kimberlinday.  Most of my posts are pulled rather spontaneously and inartfully from my nether regions and published on the same day.  This time, I actually started research the day before, thinking I’d get a fuller picture and maybe even a new nugget of info.

So I started with a Google list of Kimberlin court cases, which Bryan Preston provided via Lee Stranahan.  Then I did a Google search of my own, eliminating the last month in order to find older information on Mr. Kimberlin.

Yeaahh.

Uh, this situation is beyond convoluted.  Only one fact seems clear:  Brett Kimberlin is a Very Bad Actor.  This fact shines through the morass of mysterious internet “cloak-and-dagger,” “cat-and-mouse,” or “troll-and-billy-goat-gruff” activity that occurred before Patterico was ever involved.

Apparently, a connection may exist between Brett Kimberlin and the “swatting” of Mike Stack (one of the first folks to retweet the WeinerGate photo).  Also, Kimberlin may be tied to the website “Raw Story.”

And also a hippo.

Forgive my flippancy; this is serious stuff.  I’m only making light of my own confusion.  The way this guy likes to destroy lives is no laughing matter.

The details of how he came to be entangled with Patrick Frey (Patterico), Aaron Walker (Worthing), Mandy Nagy (Liberty Chick) and a dude named Socrates, well they are making my eyes swim.  And I haven’t even gotten to Walker’s megapost yet!

So I’m going to defer to these people at these links, if you would like to see a bigger picture.  I will stick to enumerating why I call Brett Kimberlin a Very Bad Actor.  Then I’ll sit back and see if he tries to sue me or some such.

1.  Bombing

2.  Lying

3.  Serial suing

4.  Threatening

5.  Making a living off progressive donations for bad music composition.  Or maybe I should thank him for that.

Finally, here’s some highlights from Brett Kimberlin’s legal career, as delineated in the Google scholar link above.

  1. A 1985 challenge to the withholding of records by the Department of the Treasury and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.  Mr. Kimberlin wanted information that included a list of telephone numbers.  The appellate court concluded that info would constitute “an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.”  The court explained, “The record fails to reflect any benefit which would accrue to the public from disclosure of this document and Kimberlin’s self-serving assertions of government wrongdoing and coverup do not rise to the level of justifying disclosure.”
  2. A 1986 appeal of the dismissal of his Privacy Act violation claim.  Apparently, it was not okay for his prison case manager (Leddy) to tell his probation officer (Gahl) that Kimberlin was sending money outside the prison from his commissary account.  Okey-dokey.  The dismissal of the case was affirmed, and the court noted, “Kimberlin’s claim to a property interest is totally lacking in merit.”
  3. In 1993, Kimberlin appealed the district court’s dismissal of his second petition . . . alleging that “respondent, United States Parole Commission . . .  violated his due process rights by vindictively redetermining his parole release date . . . .”  In particular, the court found that “As for Kimberlin’s allegations about Vice President Quayle supposedly creating an appearance of political vindictiveness in the Commission’s decisions, the district court correctly concluded that Kimberlin, not the Commission, created this appearance. He has neither proven nor alleged that the Commission’s decisions were actually influenced in any way by his statements about the Vice President — indeed, Kimberlin’s counsel did not mention Quayle during oral argument. In the absence of proof or an allegation of actual vindictiveness, no lawful basis exists to set aside the Commission’s sentence . . . .” (emphasis mine)
  4. Also in 1993, Kimberlin alleged that “Quinlan and Miller, in their individual capacities, conspired to violate and in fact violated Kimberlin’s rights under the first and fifth amendments to the United States Constitution by denying him, respectively, access to the press and due process of law . . . .”  The court noted in this case, “In sum, Kimberlin relies only on inference and weak circumstantial evidence, notably the timing of events, to support his claim of unconstitutional detention by Quinlan and Miller; he has produced no direct evidence of unconstitutional motive for any of his detentions as required . . . .”
  5. In Kimberlin v. Dewalt, 12 F. Supp. 2d 487 (1998), Kimberlin challenged the revocation of his parole.  The court denied Kimberlin’s challenge, stating that “Clearly a ‘rational basis’ exists for requiring petitioner to pay a civil debt to his crime victim. Petitioner has a lengthy criminal history. Despite his high earnings, he failed to show any good faith by paying his crime victim.  To permit petitioner to profit from his crimes (by receiving royalties from book sales) without also requiring compensation to his victim would clearly promote public disrespect for the law . . . .”
  6. Finally, in 2003, Kimberlin challenged the prohibition of federal inmates from possessing electric or electronic musical instruments (other than for religious purposes).  The district court’s decision to dismiss the case was affirmed.

Well there you go.  That’s Brett Kimberlin, best I can tell.

Oh, and by the way.  I’ve learned something new about Stacy McCain:  he’s a white supremacist!  So sayeth some chick named Wendy Gittleson, because the Southern Poverty Law Center says so!

Amazing, how the smear machine just keeps plugging along . . . .

UPDATE:  That Innocuous Girl has featured a few of Brett Kimberlin’s Best Musical Hits, do go check it out.  I especially love this review she found:

“Indeed, Kimberlin is such a talented songwriter, both musically and lyrically, that he can pull off what so many other well-intentioned performers are unable to. His songs are creative, intelligent, witty, and poignant, while retaining the musical qualities that make great rock songs – energy, melody and power. Moreover, he has a Motzartian ability to write entire songs on the spot –”a gift from God,” he says . . . .”

Motzartian, snort.

UPDATE 2:  The Blaze has a great rundown of Brett Kimberlin’s lawless career.

UPDATE 3:  The additional info that Patrick Frey has released is spine-chilling.  Look at his analysis of the SWATter’s voice:

That voice sure sounds like Ron Brynaert’s.  I’ve got @ronbryn’s Twitter feed in another tab right now, and denial tweets are coming in fast and furious, even though his threatening tweets to @Patterico are right on the Blaze article.

Creepy.

UPDATE 4:  Wow! I got a link from Dana Loesch over at the Bigs.  Thanks so much.  Anyone wandering this way, don’t miss an epic Brett Kimberlin rant here.  The WORM’s got a way with words.

UPDATE 5:  Holy Mackerel, my blog is listed in the Memeorandum aggregation.  That’s never happened before.  I found out via this kind fellow.  Thanks!

The Big Voice Goes Silent

Vicarious grief is not my thing.  Grief is very personal, and reserved for those you knew, loved, and lost.

And I didn’t know Andrew Breitbart.

Still, though, I have fought tears all day.  He was one of my heroes.  I don’t have many.  I’m late to this whole conservative blogosphere party, but I understand and appreciate the fact that this “party” would not exist without certain key outliers.  Rush Limbaugh, Neil Boortz, Matt Drudge, Glenn Reynolds, and Andrew Breitbart are prime examples.

Breitbart.

The “Big” voice.

I dunno if you’ve noticed, but my tagline is “just one voice from the rabble.”

This tagline is meant to emphasize the smallness of my voice.  Insignificant.  No one of any import.

Well.  As a typical average nobody, can I just say?  It’s awesome when a bigger voice speaks for you.  And that’s what Andrew Breitbart did.  When nobody-ol’-me attended the Code Red anti-Obamacare rally, and promptly got accused of terrible racism, what good would my little tiny voice have done?

Not much.  Enter Andrew Breitbart, who offered $100,000 to anyone who could provide evidence of this supposed outburst of racism.  Of course, no such evidence existed.  Because it was a lie.

Andrew Breitbart helped us to feel comfortable with calling out the lie.  Most of us have a hard time even believing that folks want to lie about our beliefs and motives.  Many of us want to help “The Left” to understand us.  We want to assume the best from people.  Maybe they misheard.  Maybe they misunderstood.

Andrew Breitbart helped us to remember that many people don’t mishear or misunderstand.  They hate us.  They do not deserve the benefit of the doubt.  They do not deserve respect.

So yeah.  Go ahead and point out the fact that Andrew Breitbart disrespected the memory of Ted Kennedy.  Cry me a river.  But don’t expect me to swim in it.  Ted Kennedy was a bad actor, and the best one can say is that he was reckless, not premeditated in the death of Mary Jo.

Does Andrew Breitbart have a Chappaquiddick in his past?  Duh, no.

He does, however, leave a grieving widow and four children behind.  I pray that they find comfort and healing in the upcoming days, months, and years of grieving.

Not that grief ever goes away.

I’m glad that I was willing to defend Andrew Breitbart in the past.  I’m glad that he inspired so many of us.  I intend to embody his spirit in the future.  The Happy Warrior lives on, if we happily fight his battles.  A lot like the Smiling Soldier.

So About These Occupiers . . .

What’s the best way to deal with them?

“Feh” is my initial gut instinct–who cares?  Let them beclown themselves.  I commented in this vein over at Conservatives on Fire.  Yeah, there are Soros and other Big Money connections–who cares?  All the better if these substantively empty protests drain the left’s coffers.

Then I got around to reading a post over at FilmLadd. (Drat.  I can’t remember who led me to FilmLadd, so I can’t do the via link.)  In that post, Mr. Ehlinger makes an unsettling point:

“My hunch is that these protests aren’t about accomplishing anything right now except to flex their muscles, test out the police, and see which supporters “they” (the White House) can count on.

In short: #OccupyWallStreet is a dry run for November 2012.”

Hmm.  That sounds bad . . . and yet plausible.

What do you think?

Sunday, Linky Sunday

“Cleaning house” on my blog is easier than cleaning the really real house. 

Speaking of which, here is our new place on base post:

Home is where the Navy sends you

I’m learning the terrain and starting to get my bearings.  Leavenworth County has a home school service that I’m excited to stumble upon.  All Slabbed Up is the place to go for an entirely euphoric meat coma.  Folks at the Cushing Memorial Hospital ER are real nice, and while the application of dermabond does sting, it is still better than a shot (so saith the younger son). 

On to the links:
 
Donald Sensing has shared a slogan T-shirt that sums up my entire political philosophy.
 
Mayrant and Rave has another example of our President’s disdain for the rule of law.  Also, a pleasingly phonetic new acronym:  CWTSYGO.  (I can’t wait, either.)
 
PJMom reminds us how bad the education system has become, and she explains one of the reasons why:  Howard Zinn.
 
Daniel Hannan gave another great mini-speech in the European Parliament:  castles made of sand melt into the sea.
 
Via the Autonomous Mind, an amusing gun joke.
 
Via the comment section of The Conservative Hideout comes the discovery of another great blog.  Don’t let the name scare you off:  Hookers and Booze.  (Hmm.  Actually, a fair number of you will be attracted by the title, won’t you?)
 
Please be sure to read Samuel L. Jackson, You’re My Only Hope.  Comedic genius lies therein.  I’m almost jealous enough to buy a pet snake for my family, in the hope that similar humor will ensue.
 
This link is a bit old for blogospheric standards, but I don’t care.  If you are already aware of my weakness for trolls, then you know why I love Brian’s Story:  Portrait of a Liberal Troll.
 
Speaking of old, go help celebrate IMAO’s 9th Anniversary.  Wow.   I can only hope for such longevity.  (How old is that in blogospheric years?  Like, 108?)
 
I’ll end with some good news:  South Sudan achieves nation status.
 
That’s all I’ve got today.  So much other good stuff abounds.  Take a stroll thru my blogroll, ifn you’ve got the time. 

Cleaning House

For reasons unknown, I had the irrepressible urge to sort out my YouTube subscriptions.  What a mess.  Clearing the junk out of my YouTube account was almost, but not quite, as satisfying as a thorough clear-out of the garage.

And probably just as temporary.

Found some good stuff while I sifted, though.

Like this:  Marooned in Marin has some CPAC footage of Mr. Breitbart discussing the Pigford case. 

Ah yes, Pigford.

I remember when Breitbart first released the NAACP videotape of some then-unknown black lady talking about her past discrimination against white people.

After Mrs. Sherrod got fired, lotsa folks were walking on eggshells about the whole thing.  Not me.  I am on the record as being in Breitbart’s corner from the get-go.

And I was right.  In this video, Mr. Breitbart explains how it just so happened that a Pigford settlement was buried in a bill that was supposed to pass the same week that he released the Shirley Sherrod video.  He further explains that he had no idea about the Pigford angle at the time.

He was merely trying to counter the NAACP’s spurious accusation of Tea Party racism.  (Remember?  The NAACP helped sponsor the “Tea Party Tracker” to monitor all the rampant raaaaacism inherent in the Tea Party system.  This website is still running, but looks like it hasn’t been updated since October 2010.  Snicker.)

Breitbart learned about Pigford only after the Sherrod scandal, from some of the left’s responses.  He has been unravelling this giant snarl of yarn ever since. 

The yarn was spun back in 1997, with Pigford v. Glickman.  Zombie has a great introduction, if you want more detail.  The case became a class action lawsuit, and apparently at least one attorney started misbehaving.  Followed by loads of additional freeloaders.

Fast forward to today, and we find that Andrew Breitbart has all kinds of crazy witness testimony about the widespread fraud and injustice:  nonfarmers undeservedly receiving settlement money, the real claimants getting totally shafted, and the D.C. critters shamelessly doing whatever was necessary to extract political capital from the whole affair (surprise, surprise).

To top it all off, Sherrod recently got around to that lawsuit she promised against the eeevil Andrew Breitbart:

“The cost of defending the lawsuit . . . probably covered by insurance.

The chance to take the depositions of Obama administration and NAACP officials, to investigate Sherrod’s connections to left-wing advocacy groups, and to expose the Pigford case intrigues — priceless.”

Let’s pop some popcorn.  This is gonna be good.

It Ain’t Just D.C. That Needs Watching UPDATED: Happy Ending

I’m very excited to announce my first ever guest post, by Chuck Taylor.  He’s married to a friend of mine, and he’s active in local politics.

The previously sleeping giant isn’t just worried about the federal government, you see.  No, this newly awakened giant wants to transparency to reach even the level of City Council.

Case in point:  Norfolk City Council’s decision to subsidize Tivest Development’s Midtown Office Tower.  The decision was made behind closed doors, natch.

Bev Sell has a good summary:

“In 2008 the city supported the project by providing the land and almost a million dollars in infrastructure improvements and tax subsidy. Last year, Tivest came back to the city asking them to lease 60,000 square feet of the space for Norfolk’s Human Services Department at a higher rate than the city is currently paying. The city agreed, in exchange for Tivest paying for the land and agreeing to sell the space to the city. (Do I understand this correctly? Tivest gives the city money and the city gives money back to Tivest?)

Midtown Office Tower

But none of it was enough for the bankers, and Tivest was unable to secure financing for the project. So back they came to the citizens of Norfolk, via City Council, asking for more.”

This article says that “under Virginia’s Open Meetings Act, the council is only supposed to talk about sensitive legal, financial or personnel issues.  However, at times, the council chooses to debate matters of great public interest in private.”

Hmm, wonder why that is.

Chuck wonders too.  He emailed to me the following:

“Mayor Fraim, there is so much wrong with your present stance on the Midtown Office Tower that one truly does not know where to begin.  Whether it’s your insistence that public business be conducted behind closed doors, your assumptions about the economic benefits of the underlying project, or the personal insults you continue to throw at anyone who dares to question your authority to rule Norfolk autocratically; you are categorically wrong on all fronts and it is painful to observe even from a distance.  

I would like to ask why you are so afraid of public discourse and scrutiny, what are you hiding?  If the project is truly as important to the city as you say, shouldn’t that be self-evident in any public discussion on topic?  Could it be that the economic viability of the project, your assumptions of  risk to the city treasury for the public guarantees you are giving a private developer, or the benefits of the project are not nearly as “cut and dried” as you have asserted? 

Would I be wrong, given all that has transpired in recent years, to smell “Light Rail Part II” in the making?  Finally, why do you feel it necessary to resort to bullying members of council every time you are publicly challenged on a matter of policy? 

You have questioned their work ethic, their knowledge of city government, their basic intelligence, and your lieutenants have gone farther and made even more objectionable remarks.  You never seem capable of addressing the underlying concerns of council members or private citizens; your only strategy appears to be to deflect criticism through ad hominem attacks.

In closing, I would like to publicly request that Councilwoman Whibley and Councilman Winn, my representatives, seriously reevaluate their heretofore rubber-stamp support for you and your policies.”

A commenter to the Hampton Roads article (linked above) did some math for us:

“The developer is asking for the city to guarantee payment of rent on 125,000 square feet of property at a well-above-market rate of $21/square foot. This effectively guarantees Tivest a $2.625 million ANNUAL return on their $32.7 million investment. That’s basically a 8% APY being backed by Norfolk taxpayers. In an economic environment where no BANK will offer more than $1.5% on a 5-year CD, it inexcusable for any elected official to even consider supporting this deal, especially when they’ve accepted substantial campaign contributions from the company in question. It’s time for a recall in Norfolk.”

A guaranteed 8% return on Tivest’s investment.  Guaranteed, of course, with tax dollars.  Hey, I want an 8% return on my investments, can I sign up?

Grandby High School is the place to be tomorrow February 12, at 9am.  Council members Tommy Smiegel, Andy Protogyrou and Angelia Williams have called this town meeting, in an attempt to disinfect local government with a little sunshine.

If it’s too late for you to attend the town hall, then show up at City Hall for the Norfolk City Council meeting, on Tuesday afternoon, Feb 15 at 2:30 p.m.  The Council is planning to authorize an amendment to the contract with Tivest Holdings, the developer the Council wants to shower with subsidies, tax breaks, and rental assurances leading to more debt for Norfolk citizens.

UPDATE:  Lotsa people showed up with lotsa things to say about this little development deal.  The clouds parted and the sun shone down, disinfecting a tiny little bit of local government:

Norfolk Officials Pull Plug On Midtown Office Tower

Sweet.

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