Thursday, July 26, 2007

Did Ann Coulter accidently tell the truth?

I found this through Crooks and Liars, and I'm rather amused by it. The original source is from Rick Perlstein at Campaign for America's Future:

Ann Coulter's latest column claims that "New York cabbies' compliance rate on daily bathing" is less than 48 percent; dilates upon the reporting in the "Treason Times"; and reflects, "Fox News ought to buy a copy of Monday's Democrat debate on CNN to play over and over during the general election campaign," because the only people it could possibly convince to vote for a Democrat are "losers blogging from their mother's basements."

Now why ever would Fox care about electing Republicans, given that they're a news organization in the business of "fair and balanced"?

I went into Ann Coulter's column, and read the first paragraph:

Fox News ought to buy a copy of Monday's Democrat debate on CNN to play over and over during the general election campaign. For now, the Democratic candidates need to appeal only to their nut-base. So on Monday night, the candidates casually spouted liberal conspiracy theories that would frighten normal Americans, but are guaranteed to warm the hearts of losers blogging from their mother's basements.

And what liberal conspiracy theories did Ann Coulter touch upon in her column about the Democratic debate? She wrote about two very important liberal conspiracies. The first is that "B. Hussein Obama got the party started by claiming he couldn't get a cab in New York because he's black. This line was a big hit with white liberals in the audience who have never been to New York." This is a liberal conspiracy?

I went into the debate transcripts to find the actual quote by Obama about not finding a New York taxicab. Here is the transcript of the YouTube question, and Obama's response:

QUESTION: Hello. My name is Jordan Williams, and I am a student at K.U., from Coffeyville, Kansas.

This question is meant for Senator Obama and Senator Clinton.

Whenever I read an editorial about one of you, the author never fails to mention the issue of race or gender, respectively. Either one is not authentically black enough, or the other is not satisfactorily feminine.

How will you address these critics and their charges if one or both of you should end up on the Democratic ticket in '08?

COOPER: Senator Obama, how do you address those who say you're not authentically black enough?


OBAMA: Well...

COOPER: Not my question; Jordan's question.

OBAMA: You know, when I'm catching a cab in Manhattan -- in the past, I think I've given my credentials.



But let me go to the broader issue here. And that is that race permeates our society. It is still a critical problem.

But I do believe in the core decency of the American people, and I think they want to get beyond some of our racial divisions.

Unfortunately, we've had a White House that hasn't invested in the kinds of steps that have to be done to overcome the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow in this country.

And as president of the United States, my commitment on issues like education, my commitment on issues like health care is to close the disparities and the gaps, because that's what's really going to solve the race problem in this country.

If people feel like they've got a fair shake, if children feel as if the fact that they have a different surname or they've got a different skin color is not going to impede their dreams, then I am absolutely confident that we're going to be able to move forward on the challenges that we face as a country.


And here is the YouTube video of Obama's response to the question:

It is interesting how Coulter writes half her column on the important subject of the lack of racial discrimination with New York taxicabs, concluding that Obama is promoting a liberal conspiracy theory of racial discrimination in New York taxis, when Obama was simply making a joke in the debate. Of course, the real problem here is that Coulter spouts non-existent theories, while ignoring the real problems of racial discrimination during the Bush administration. Let's start with this November 22, 2004 article from

WASHINGTON -- The government's enforcement of civil rights laws declined sharply during the Bush administration, according to a study released yesterday.

Even though the level of complaints received by the Justice Department has remained relatively constant, far fewer criminal charges have been filed.

Federal prosecutors filed criminal charges against 159 defendants for violations of civil rights laws in 1999.

By 2003, the number had dropped to 84, according to the study by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a non-partisan research center at Syracuse University in New York.

The charges include abusive police tactics, racial violence, slavery or involuntary servitude, and blocked access to clinics.

During the same time, charges against terrorism suspects increased dramatically and charges on weapons violations doubled. In addition, federal charges on immigration violations increased more than 28 percent, according to the study.

Civil rights groups said that the report was not surprising.

"This confirms what everyone in the civil rights community has known for the past four years, which is that President Bush's Justice Department does not have a commitment to full enforcement of the nation's civil rights laws," said Christopher Anders, legislative counsel to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Anders also said that the Bush civil rights record is worse than that of previous Republican presidents, including President Reagan and the first President Bush.


The study also found:

# The rate of civil rights complaints to the government has stayed steady since 1999 at about 12,000 a year.

# Civil sanctions against civil rights violators have also declined -- from 740 in 2001 to 576 in 2003. Civil suits can involve voting rights violations, employment and housing discrimination and other matters.

# The Justice Department's referrals for prosecution in civil rights cases also dropped under the Bush administration -- from 3,053 in 1999 to 1,903 in 2003.

# From 1999 to 2003, the number of people charged by the Justice Department with terrorism-related offenses increased from 99 to 899 and the number of people charged with weapons violations more than doubled, from about 4,900 to more than 10,000.

In addition, the number of people charged with immigration violations increased from 16,219 to 20,833 during the same time period.

# Civil rights cases have always been rare. During the last five years, the United States prosecuted more than 450,000 people on various charges. Only a small fraction of those -- about one in 1,000 -- were aimed at civil rights violators. By comparison, about 600 of every 1,000 involved drugs, weapons and immigration.

So federal prosecution of civil rights violations had plummeted during the Bush administration from 159 defendants charged in 1999, to 84 defendants charged in 2003. The Justice Department's referrals for prosecution in civil rights had dropped by two-thirds in three years. In addition, the Justice Department shifted manpower and resources into fighting against terrorism and immigration, as you can see by the increase in the number of terrorism-related charge and immigration violations. The Bush administration didn't care about civil rights or discrimination--not when September 11th gave them the opportunity to increase police powers in fighting terrorism.

But there was one area that the Bush administration was interested in--reverse discrimination. This is from a July 23, 2006 Boston Globe article:

WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration is quietly remaking the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, filling the permanent ranks with lawyers who have strong conservative credentials but little experience in civil rights, according to job application materials obtained by the Globe.

The documents show that only 42 percent of the lawyers hired since 2003, after the administration changed the rules to give political appointees more influence in the hiring process, have civil rights experience. In the two years before the change, 77 percent of those who were hired had civil rights backgrounds.

In an acknowledgment of the department's special need to be politically neutral, hiring for career jobs in the Civil Rights Division under all recent administrations, Democratic and Republican, had been handled by civil servants -- not political appointees.

But in the fall of 2002, then-attorney general John Ashcroft changed the procedures. The Civil Rights Division disbanded the hiring committees made up of veteran career lawyers.

For decades, such committees had screened thousands of resumes, interviewed candidates, and made recommendations that were only rarely rejected.

Now, hiring is closely overseen by Bush administration political appointees to Justice, effectively turning hundreds of career jobs into politically appointed positions.

The profile of the lawyers being hired has since changed dramatically, according to the resumes of successful applicants to the voting rights, employment litigation, and appellate sections. Under the Freedom of Information Act, the Globe obtained the resumes among hundreds of pages of hiring data from 2001 to 2006.

Hires with traditional civil rights backgrounds -- either civil rights litigators or members of civil rights groups -- have plunged. Only 19 of the 45 lawyers hired since 2003 in those three sections were experienced in civil rights law, and of those, nine gained their experience either by defending employers against discrimination lawsuits or by fighting against race-conscious policies.

Meanwhile, conservative credentials have risen sharply. Since 2003 the three sections have hired 11 lawyers who said they were members of the conservative Federalist Society. Seven hires in the three sections are listed as members of the Republican National Lawyers Association, including two who volunteered for Bush-Cheney campaigns.


he changes in those three sections are echoed to varying degrees throughout the Civil Rights Division, according to current and former staffers.

At the same time, the kinds of cases the Civil Rights Division is bringing have undergone a shift. The division is bringing fewer voting rights and employment cases involving systematic discrimination against African-Americans, and more alleging reverse discrimination against whites and religious discrimination against Christians.

It seems interesting how the Bush administration is stuffing the Justice Department with conservative ideologues who are refusing to bring up voting rights and employment cases involving discrimination against African-Americans, but are happy to prosecute reverse-discrimination cases against whites. According to this April 12, 2007 TPM Muckraker story by Paul Kiel:

The Justice Department, we like to think, is a nonpartisan institution. And yet, on the Republican National Lawyers Association website, you can find 25 Justice Department employees listed under "Find a Republican Lawyer". The listings, according to McClatchy, "strike some current and former Justice Department lawyers as inappropriate, especially given that several members of the group work in the Justice Department's voting section, criminal division or as assistant U.S. attorneys."

Take two of those listed names in particular:, Christian Adams and Joshua Rogers, both lawyers in the voting section. As I detailed last week, the section, which is charged with protecting minority voters from discrimination, has filed only two cases on behalf of African American voters during the Bush administration (and one of those cases they inherited from the Clinton administration).

But the section has, remarkably, pursued the first case to allege discrimination against white voters ever filed under the Voting Rights Act.

That case is United States v. Ike Brown and Noxubee County. It's a case essentially against the Noxubee County Democratic Party -- it's one of the named defendants in the complaint. And Ike Brown is chairman of the county Democratic committee. The complaint alleges that Brown has been trying to limit whites' participation in local elections.

And who are the two lawyers in the section handling the case? Christian Adams and Joshua Rogers.

I can continue on with even more allegations of discrimination in this Bush administration, but this post is starting to get a little long. There is still the connection of the firing of the U.S. attorneys by the Bush administration and Karl Rove's obsession with alleged voter fraud. The problem here is that Coulter refuses to examine these reports, or accept the evidence of widespread discrimination by the Bush White House. To acknowledge these reports would require Coulter to reject the entire limited view of the neoconservative movement, and how that movement refuses to accept that racial discrimination still exists in the U.S., and that the Republican Party still needs to court the southern states for conservative votes--conservatives which may still harbor racial views against African-Americans. The same racist conservatives who are probably happy to read Ann Coulter's column.

The second part of Coulter's column was an attack against Senator Hillary Clinton, saying that Clinton "played to her audience with wacky conspiracy theories." Coulter claims that Clinton "raised the Bush-stole-the-2000-election fairy tale" in claiming that "somebody else was elected" and not Bush. And Coulter again goes through citing three newspaper reports stating that Bush won the 2000 election. Again, Ann Coulter doesn't seem to get it--Hillary Clinton wasn't spouting a "Bush-stole-the-2000-election fairy tale," but also making a joke here. Again, let's look at the CNN transcripts:

QUESTION: Hi. My name is Chris Nolan and I'm a Democratic precinct committeeman from Mundelein, Illinois. And my question is for Hillary Clinton.

With Bush, Clinton, and Bush again serving as the last three presidents, how would electing you, a Clinton, constitute the type of change in Washington so many people in the heartland are yearning for, and what your campaign has been talking about?

I was also wondering if any of the other candidates had a problem with the same two families being in charge of the executive branch of government for 28 consecutive years, if Hillary Clinton were to potentially be elected and then re-elected.

QUESTION: Good luck. And, whoever becomes the nominee, I'm pulling for you.

QUESTION: Go Democrats!


COOPER: The question is for Senator Clinton.

CLINTON: Well, I think it is a problem that Bush was elected in 2000.


CLINTON: I actually thought somebody else was elected in that election, but...


CLINTON: Obviously, I am running on my own merits, but I am very proud of my husband's record as president of the United States.


CLINTON: You know what is great about this is look at this stage and look at the diversity you have here in the Democratic Party. Any one of us would be a better president than our current president or the future Republican nominee.


CLINTON: So I'm looking forward to making my case to the people of this country...


CLINTON: ... and I hope they will judge me on my merits.

Of course, you can also see the YouTube video here:

What is so ironic here is that the CNN audience to the debate completely understood that Senator Clinton was making a joke here--does Ann Coulter even bother watching these debates here? Instead of recognizing this as a joke, Coulter again gets into a hissy fit of liberal conspiracies on how President Bush stole the 2000 election. But even here, Coulter cherry-picks the facts of the 2000 election. She ignores this October 23, 2002 USA Today story reporting GOP voter fraud in the 2000 elections:

The Republican Party has compiled a national database of 3,273 names of people who it says apparently voted more than once in the 2000 elections. It is turning the list over to local authorities for investigation and possible prosecution.

But early looks at the data by state officials have found little evidence of multiple voting.


Connecticut, the first state to check the GOP's multiple-voting data, found it "highly flawed."

Officials said that at least 51 of 54 names listed as voting both in Connecticut and elsewhere were erroneous.

Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz, a Democrat, called the list "a deliberate attempt to distract election officials across the country from their responsibility to encourage voter participation."

In North Carolina, officials found that the first name on the double-voting list was that of state Rep. Martha Alexander, a Democrat who chairs the General Assembly's panel on election laws. "It's got to be two people with the same name and birth date," said Gary Bartlett, director of the state Board of Elections.

And there is more. According to this January 18, 2001 Nation story, Florida governor Jeb Bush, and Secretary of State Katherine Harris developed a systematic program to disenfranchise legal voters:

The group prevented from voting has few defenders in either party: felons. It has been well reported that Florida denies its nearly half a million former convicts the right to vote. However, the media have completely missed the fact that Florida's own courts have repeatedly told the Governor he may not take away the civil rights of Florida citizens who committed crimes in other states, served their time and had their rights restored by those states.

People from other states who have arrived in Florida with a felony conviction in their past number "clearly over 50,000 and likely over 100,000," says criminal demographics expert Jeffrey Manza of Northwestern University. Manza estimates that 80 percent arrive with voting rights intact, which they do not forfeit by relocating to Florida.

Nevertheless, agencies controlled by Harris and Bush ordered county officials to reject attempts by these eligible voters to register, while, publicly, the governor's office states that it adheres to court rulings not to obstruct these ex-offenders in the exercise of their civil rights. Further, with the aid of a Republican-tied database firm, Harris's office used sophisticated computer programs to hunt those felons eligible to vote and ordered them thrown off the voter registries.

After reviewing The Nation's findings, voter demographics authority David Bositis concluded that the purge-and-block program was "a patently obvious technique to discriminate against black voters." Bositis, senior research associate at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, DC, notes that based on nationwide conviction rates, African-Americans would account for 46 percent of the ex-felon group wrongly disfranchised. Corroborating Bositis's estimate, the Hillsborough County elections supervisor found that 54 percent of the voters targeted by the "scrub" are African-American, in a county where blacks make up 11 percent of the voting population.

Bositis suggests that the block-and-purge program "must have had a partisan motivation. Why else spend $4 million if they expected no difference in the ultimate vote count?" Florida's black voters gave Al Gore nine out of ten of their votes; white and Hispanic felons, mostly poor, vote almost as solidly Democratic. A recently released University of Minnesota study estimates that, for example, 93 percent of felons of all races favored Bill Clinton in 1996. Whatever Florida's motive for keeping these qualified voters out of the polling booths on November 7, the fact is that they represented several times George W. Bush's margin of victory in the state. Key officials in Bush's and Harris's agencies declined our requests for comment.

The Nation goes into great detail on how this program stripped the rights of thousands of voters--most of them Democrat and minority voters. If this program was not set up by the Republicans, there is a good chance that Florida would have gone to Al Gore in 2000. Again Coulter refuses to look at all the facts and evidence regarding the 2000 election here. If Coulter were to acknowledge that the Republican Party commits massive voter fraud, this would completely discredit her conservative ideology, and destroy her belief in the Republican Party. What is even worst is that the Republican's use of voter fraud in elections is targeted directly at black and minority voters, further showing that the Republican Party is a party that accepts and promotes racism.

Coulter really concludes her column in the third sentence of the first paragraph:

So on Monday night, the candidates casually spouted liberal conspiracy theories that would frighten normal Americans, but are guaranteed to warm the hearts of losers blogging from their mother's basements.

Coulter spouts this hype of "liberal conspiracy theories" during the Democratic debate that would "frighten normal Americans." The only "liberal conspiracy theories" here are the ones that eat into Coulter's rotted brain, causing her to spout fear within the hard-lined ideologues--not normal Americans. But what is especially disturbing is the last part of her sentence--conspiracy theories that are "guaranteed to warm the hearts of losers blogging from their mother's basements." In her ideological zeal to attack both Senators Clinton and Obama with these non-existent conspiracy theories, Coulter provides a little of her own truthfulness here. Coulter uses her position in the mainstream media to carry out attacks against liberal and Democratic views and candidates. It is a single-minded position, whether she is writing columns or appearing on Fox News. This brings up another question of why does Fox News, which purports to be "fair and balanced," would even allow Ann Coulter to come on the show and spout her dribble? Ann Coulter admitted, through this slip of the tongue, that Fox News is a mouthpiece for the Republican Party.

Of course, we already knew that.

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