WaPo fact checker gives 4 Pinocchios to Harry Reid

posted at 10:41 am on August 7, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

You’re probably asking yourself, “Only four?”  That’s as high as the scale goes for Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler, who takes a rather dispassionate view of the McCarthyite tactics of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, one of the highest-ranking Democrats in government.  Instead of ripping Reid for his ethics, Kessler tries to reverse-engineer Mitt Romney’s already-public returns to see whether it’s even possible for Reid to be right.  Answer?  No, not really:

Romney’s 2010 return and his estimated 2011 return do show that he paid substantial taxes in those years. In 2010, he earned nearly $22 million, including $3 million in taxable interest, nearly $5 million in dividends and more than $12 million in capital gains. He reduced his taxes by giving $3 million in charitable contributions (much of it in appreciated stock, when shielded him from paying additional capital gains.)

In other words, this tax return shows a portfolio that is not structured to yield zero taxes. We spoke to a number of tax experts, all of whom said that, given Romney’s current portfolio, it was highly improbable for Romney to have had 10 years with taxfree returns — though there could have been one or two years with little or no taxes. …

But none of this appears to add up to 10 years of tax returns with no taxes paid. “It is theoretically possible, but it seems quite improbable in practice given the portfolio in 2010,” Kleinbard said.  “It is improbable that a man of his wealth would have paid no taxes for ten years.”

In his conclusion, Kessler allows himself a little righteous annoyance:

We use a reasonable person standard here. Without seeing Romney’s taxes, we cannot definitively prove Reid  incorrect. But tax experts say his claim is highly improbable. Reid also has made no effort to explain why his unnamed source would be credible. So, in the absence of more information, it appears he has no basis to make his incendiary claim.

Moreover, Reid holds a position of great authority in the U.S. Congress.  He should hold himself to a high standard of accuracy when making claims about political opponents.

Well, it’s safe to say that Reid holds himself to the lowest possible standard, and does so on a consistent basis.  Reid refuses to release any of his own tax returns, for instance, even though as a leader in Congress he has had a lot more opportunity to make himself a wealthy man at the expense of taxpayers.  And even when complies with the disclosure requirements of his office, Reid does so belatedly, grudgingly, and incompletely.

For instance, here’s a post from Captain’s Quarters from October 2006 about Reid’s disclosures of financial transactions that only came to light because of a lengthy LA Times probe into Reid’s involvement in real estate deals that benefited from his legislative efforts:

Reid Offers To Disclose His Land Deal … Five Years Late

Harry Reid, stung by the AP’s exposure of his complicated land deals with a lobbyist he helped make rich through his personal interventions in Congress, has told the Senate Ethics Committee that he will file amended disclosure statements that would reveal his business relationships for the first time. Reid claims the amendment would be “technical”:

The Senate Democratic leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, said his office contacted the Senate ethics committee on Wednesday and offered to correct his financial disclosure statements if they misrepresented his ties to a land deal in his home state in which his family made a profit of about $700,000.In a statement, Mr. Reid did not acknowledge errors in the disclosure forms but said he was ready to make a “technical correction” if the ethics committee determined that adjustments were needed. …

In 2001, the timeline showed, ownership of the land was transferred to a holding company, Patrick Lane LLC, named for a street near the properties, as part of effort to rezone the area for development of a shopping center. Mr. Reid became a partner in the holding company. After the rezoning was approved, the land was sold for $1.6 million, with $1.1 million directed to Mr. Reid as his share, a return of about $700,000 on the investment.

The senator’s financial disclosure statements during the period show that he never reported that the land had been transferred to the holding company, leaving the impression that he continued to own the land directly instead of through a partnership with Mr. Brown and others.

Congressional ethics specialists said the omission was at least a technical violation of the disclosure rules, which are intended to identify a lawmaker’s business partners and potential conflicts of interest. Spokesmen for the Senate ethics committee did not return phone calls Wednesday night.

Reid’s avoidance of disclosure hid two aspects of his business relationships. The first was his association with Jay Brown, who has a history of being involved in scandal. The NY Times describes him as “a prominent Las Vegas lawyer,” but they never get around to mentioning … Brown’s work as a lobbyist, as the AP did, nor do they follow up on the AP’s report of connections between Brown and organized crime.

The other part Reid wanted to keep secret was the financial ties between himself and Harvey Whittemore. The AP story reported that Reid bought the parcel from “a developer who was benefiting from a government land swap that Reid supported,” a perfect description of Whittemore in 1998 when Reid purchased the land. For the next seven years, Reid would work to ease Whittemore’s difficulties in developing the Coyote Springs project by forcing the government to swap its right-of-way for less valuable land owned by Whittemore; he tried to get the government to literally give away more of its land to Whittemore, although he would not succeed; and in the end, he pressed federal regulators to lift a endangered-species restriction on Whittemore’s Coyote Springs real estate. All of this helped give Whittemore an opportunity to make tens of millions on residential and commercial development in the former test range site.

Disclosing those partnerships, the latter of which the NYT doesn’t even bother to mention from the AP report, would have exposed Reid’s machinations for Coyote Springs as financially beneficial to himself through his partnership with Whittemore and Brown. Reid has no choice but to amend the disclosures, but by now it’s far too late; Congress agreed to almost everything Whittemore needed already, pushed by Reid in a blatantly corrupt manner. And now we know the payoff: a real-estate “investment” that garnered a 175% return in six years.

Disclosures now are pointless. The Ethics panel needs to order a full investigation not just into the $700,000 profit, but all of Reid’s business partners and any legislation or intervention with federal regulators Reid pushed on their behalf.

Note: The link to the AP story goes to another CapQ post, which has an excerpt from the AP article published on October 11, 2006, written by John Solomon and reconfirmed via Nexis.  For the sake of convenience, I’ll post the other CapQ article here:

Harry Reid And The Culture Of Corruption

Once again, we discover why the Democrats quietly dropped their “culture of corruption” theme for the upcoming midterms. The AP catches Harry Reid without a disclosure on real-estate deals that netted him $700,000 in profit:

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid collected a $1.1 million windfall on a Las Vegas land sale even though he hadn’t personally owned the property for three years, property deeds show.In the process, Reid did not disclose to Congress an earlier sale in which he transferred his land to a company created by a friend and took a financial stake in that company, according to records and interviews.

The Nevada Democrat’s deal was engineered by Jay Brown, a longtime friend and former casino lawyer whose name surfaced in a major political bribery trial this summer and in other prior organized crime investigations. He’s never been charged with wrongdoing – except for a 1981 federal securities complaint that was settled out of court. …

The deal began in 1998 when Reid bought undeveloped residential property on Las Vegas’ booming outskirts for about $400,000. Reid bought one lot outright, and a second parcel jointly with Brown. One of the sellers was a developer who was benefiting from a government land swap that Reid supported. The seller never talked to Reid.

In 2001, Reid sold the land for the same price to a limited liability corporation created by Brown. The senator didn’t disclose the sale on his annual public ethics report or tell Congress he had any stake in Brown’s company. He continued to report to Congress that he personally owned the land.

After getting local officials to rezone the property for a shopping center, Brown’s company sold the land in 2004 to other developers and Reid took $1.1 million of the proceeds, nearly tripling the senator’s investment. Reid reported it to Congress as a personal land sale.

In fact, this isn’t a new development for Harry Reid. Less than two months ago, I wrote about Reid’s questionable involvement and compensation in a related real-estate deal outside of Las Vegas, and the post turned into a column for the New York Post. Harvey Whittemore, a lobbyist and real-estate investor, plied Reid with campaign contributions and employed Reid’s family members — and in exchange, Reid did a number of favors that allowed Whittemore to realize large profits at the expense of environmental regulations that Reid helped Whittemore bulldoze. I wrote at the time:

The story of Coyote Springs sounds like a Horatio Alger story. The land Whittemore bought in 1998 from a defense contractor who intended on using it for target practice had a number of restrictions on its use. A quarter of it was subject to a federal power-line right of way. Another quarter had federal protection for the desert tortoise, an endangered species that also is Nevada’s official state reptile. The land had a fragile series of streams and washes that required special permission on which to build without ruining the desert’s ecosystem.None of these obstacles proved too difficult for Whittemore, at least not while he had his friend Harry Reid running interference in Congress. Interior refused to relocate the tortoises for over five years, until the Bureau of Land Management agreed to swap the land for another parcel abutting a federal preserve elsewhere. No one ever did an analysis to determine whether the deal was fair to either party, nor did the BLM go to Congress for approval on the changes to a project that Congress had explicitly legislated.

In 2002, Reid worked on the power corridor. He inserted obscure provisions into a land management bill that relocated the power corridor, freeing Whittemore to build on the 10,500 acres that Congress had previously held — which means that someone else now had to lose property value for Whittemore’s benefit, and for no cost whatsoever. That bald move caused raised eyebrows at the BLM and the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Reid backed away — for the moment. Less than two years later, Reid tried again to give Whittemore the land for a song ($160,000), but Congress balked again. He finally settled for freeing the land for development and allowing Whittemore to buy it at a fair market rate, and forcing the government to relocate the power corridor.

In 2005, Reid and fellow Nevada Senator John Ensign conducted a series of interventions with the EPA to eliminate the final obstacle — the environmental impact on the fragile ecosystem in Coyote Springs Valley. When the agency blocked Whittemore’s efforts, Reid and Ensign held several meetings with EPA officials to pressure them into submission. Whittemore used another Reid son, Lief, to lobby his father’s office for assistance. In the end, the pressure paid off, as the EPA backed down from its opposition after winning a few concessions on the development plan.

What did Reid get in exchange for all of this support? According to the Times, Whittemore contributed $45,000 to Reid and his PACs since 2000. He also gave the DSCC $20,000 in 2000, when it pushed Reid as a leader for the party in the Senate. Reid’s son Josh got $5,000 for his unsuccessful campaign for a city council seat; his other sone Rory got $5,000 for his successful effort to win a spot on the Clark County Board of Commissioners.

This appears to be of a piece with the Whittemore connection. In fact, it seems as though Whittemore’s project was part of the transactions the AP discovered. “One of the sellers was a developer who was benefiting from a government land swap that Reid supported” — that’s the same project as Coyote Springs. A major portion of that story had to do with Reid trying to grease the skids for the land swap so that Whittemore could get around the federal right-of-way.

Hilariously, this appears just days after James Webb tried smearing George Allen with a pseudoscandal over stock options that Allen disclosed and never exercised, meaning that he never cleared a dime from the options. Now we have the Democratic caucus leader dodging disclosures and failing to disclose $800,000 in profits from a project on which he partnered with a lawyer suspected of connections to organized crime and a bribery scandal. And let’s not forget Reid’s connections to Jack Abramoff, whom Democrats tried mightily to use as a poster boy for Republican-only graft:

The activities _ detailed in billing records and correspondence obtained by The Associated Press _ are far more extensive than previously disclosed. They occurred over three years as Reid collected nearly $68,000 in donations from Abramoff’s firm, lobbying partners and clients. …Abramoff’s records show his lobbying partners billed for nearly two dozen phone contacts or meetings with Reid’s office in 2001 alone.

Most were to discuss Democratic legislation that would have applied the U.S. minimum wage to the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory and Abramoff client, but would have given the islands a temporary break on the wage rate, the billing records show.

Reid also intervened on government matters at least five times in ways helpful to Abramoff’s tribal clients, once opposing legislation on the Senate floor and four times sending letters pressing the Bush administration on tribal issues. Reid collected donations around the time of each action.

Reid also had a former staffer go to work for Abramoff, who then held campaign fundraisers in Abramoff’s offices.

No wonder Reid hung up on the AP reporter when they asked him to comment on this story. Reid has demonstrated that he has few scruples when it comes to using his position and power for his personal enrichment and that of his family and “associates”. If the Democrats continue to have Reid as the leader of their Senate caucus, voters should realize the kind of leadership he will provide if the Democrats win control of the Senate.

UPDATE: This story provides an answer to a question I had regarding Reid’s dealings with Whittemore. The earlier story showed that Whittemore benefited Reid’s kids and his election campaigns, but Reid worked awfully hard for Whittemore’s benefit for no direct personal payoff. This land-swap deal and the $700,000 profit shows that Reid had a direct financial interest for his earlier interventions on Whittemore’s behalf.

So when will Harry Reid provide his returns that show his income from these transactions?

Update: As some commenters note, Politifact gave Reid a “pants on fire” rating for his attack.


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HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Queue: Obama drones defending Reid and doubling down.

Good Lt on August 7, 2012 at 10:42 AM

So when will Republicans in Nevada work to recall Reid?

beatcanvas on August 7, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Jackwad rag of a paper discovers greasy senator might not be a standup guy.

Bishop on August 7, 2012 at 10:48 AM

As a lot of other people have said, if Mitt Romney hadn’t paid his taxes for the last ten years, Obama would have personally signed an arrest warrant, and our esteemed Attorney General Holder would have personally slapped the bracelets on Romney and hauled him off to the slammer.

Luckily for Harry, most Democrats, including, or especially those in the MSM can’t reason that far.

Scriptor on August 7, 2012 at 10:48 AM

But but but……..Piglosi said its a fact………….

angrymike on August 7, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Even Gomer Pyle is surprised at this. /

FlaMurph on August 7, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Amazing that this high profile Mormon stays a Mormon…I thought they, above all other religions, would never tolerate such things as Reid.

I guess power and money corrupts all…

right2bright on August 7, 2012 at 10:50 AM

Moreover, Reid holds a position of great authority in the U.S. Congress. He should hold himself to a high standard of accuracy when making claims about political opponents.

Boy, there’s some outrage there!!! I’ll bet Kessler was exhausted after typing those two sentences.
//////////////////////////////////////////

Bitter Clinger on August 7, 2012 at 10:50 AM

So when will the Senate vote to censure Reid?

gracie on August 7, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Why don’t the Dem leaders just debate policies instead of attempting to smear their opponents? Surely they could win over some voters by honestly stating their case backed up by non-partisan data, right?

Sometimes I think that Lefties (including RINOs) try to distract Americans from their horrific track record that has done unnecessary damage to our citizens, especially lower-income and “minority” families.

visions on August 7, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Man, Ed, that’s some fine legwork there. Hope it gets picked up once again and takes off.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on August 7, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Reid is merely trying to suck oxygen out of the room to allow the Obama campaign to maneuver. He is a lying, rat-fink snake that is acting as lying, rat-fink snakes do.

Meanwhile, The Obama campaign is maneuvering out of the “You didn’t build that” corner.

go there

ted c on August 7, 2012 at 10:53 AM

So when will Republicans in Nevada work to recall Reid?

beatcanvas on August 7, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Don’t think Nevada has a recall law. I also don’t think any recall laws apply to Congress critters. Too bad. Reid would be a perfect candidate for one.

Bitter Clinger on August 7, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Doesn’t matter. Reid got what he wanted. So did Obama.
We can only hope for some backlash. Those on the right still saying Mitt should release his taxes are wrong.

bluealice on August 7, 2012 at 10:53 AM

How does the guy have any dignity? Win at all costs even if you sell your very soul.

ldbgcoleman on August 7, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Harry Reid is an unindicted felon. Prove me wrong Harry.

rbj on August 7, 2012 at 11:00 AM

who takes a rather dispassionate view of the McCarthyite tactics of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

Ed, I love you, but thrice in two days? You really are a useful idiot when it comes to perpetuating the liberal smear of McCarthy.

STOP DOING THE LIBERALS WORK FOR THEM!

CapnObvious on August 7, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Doesn’t matter. Reid got what he wanted. So did Obama.
We can only hope for some backlash. Those on the right still saying Mitt should release his taxes are wrong.

bluealice on August 7, 2012 at 10:53 AM

They got nothing… all this is more proof of a desperate Obama campaign…

mnjg on August 7, 2012 at 11:01 AM

PolitiFact also rated Reid’s claim “Pants On Fire” yesterday, with lots of detailed analysis by tax experts showing that it would be nearly impossible for Romney to have paid no taxes.

If this is what it takes for Democrats to win a couple of news cycles, I think they are in pretty deep kimchi.

rockmom on August 7, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Throw this moronic thief in the brig and dig into the desk of disappearing bills, maybe we can finally get a budget passed…….

angrymike on August 7, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Hey, has Barack Hussein Kardashian mmm, mmm, mmm, ever proven that he’s not a criminal and that he never went to Columbia?

Colbyjack on August 7, 2012 at 11:06 AM

He’s a first class a$$

cmsinaz on August 7, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Thank you for reposting the stories about Dirty Harry. It is worthwhile to remind us readers how honest (not) a senator he is and the audacity of him making his ridiculous false claims.

COgirl on August 7, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Gotta go with CapnObvious here. Whether or not McCarthy was a “bully” is irrelevant to the fact that there really were subversive commies infiltrating our government and social institutions in an attempt to win the cold war through cultural attrition. The sad thing is – it looks like the plan was screaming success.

abobo on August 7, 2012 at 11:11 AM

I think they should add an extension to the 4 Pinocchio max, just for special occasions like this. Call it a ‘Jumpin’ Jiminey Cricket’

We can make it unofficial here and try it out.

‘Harry Reid gets 4 Pinocchios and a Jumpin’ Jiminey Cricket for being such a dirty rotten liar’

That sounds…er, better?

CitizenEgg on August 7, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Gotta go with CapnObvious here. Whether or not McCarthy was a “bully” is irrelevant to the fact that there really were subversive commies infiltrating our government and social institutions in an attempt to win the cold war through cultural attrition. The sad thing is – it looks like the plan was screaming success.

abobo on August 7, 2012 at 11:11 AM

But McCarthy was smearing people without proof, ala Reid.

Bitter Clinger on August 7, 2012 at 11:15 AM

A full reading of the WAPO fact check seemed more like a thinly veiled hit piece on Romney than a denunciation of Reid, in my opinion,Pinocchios notwithstanding.

WAPO dug up “experts” that claim it is “theoretically possible” that Romney paid little to no taxes in some of those years, and that Reid’s claim that Romney paid no taxes is only false simply because Reid has thus far produced no evidence to back up his assertions.

The snarky, thinly veiled WAPO summation is that all of this could be so easily cleared up if only the secretive Romney would release yet more tax returns, just as Reid/Pelosi/Obama requests.

Just another obama talking point masquerading as a “fact check”.

Cavalry on August 7, 2012 at 11:16 AM

As Ed’s post shows, Reid is quite the opposite of a mendicant, and is thoroughly dishonest, so how is it that he considers himself the moral authority on paying taxes?

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on August 7, 2012 at 11:16 AM

I think Reid is correct. Mitt didn’t pay taxes for 10 years. His first 10 years of life, most likely.

dentalque on August 7, 2012 at 11:17 AM

As a lot of other people have said, if Mitt Romney hadn’t paid his taxes for the last ten years, Obama would have personally signed an arrest warrant, and our esteemed Attorney General Holder would have personally slapped the bracelets on Romney and hauled him off to the slammer.

Luckily for Harry, most Democrats, including, or especially those in the MSM can’t reason that far.

Scriptor on August 7, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Not only that, the IRS may move slow, very slow, at times, but when it comes to this high profile high earner they would have caught something in 10 years. The IRS claims to not be political but they are swayed by politicos in DC often enough that they would have checked Romney out a long time ago.

It’s ridiculous that Reid is claiming the IRS is so incompetent that they would miss this but that they are competent enough to handle their precious healthcare program.

Deanna on August 7, 2012 at 11:17 AM

If you are corrupt, it’s not hard for you to believe that everyone around you is corrupt.

GarandFan on August 7, 2012 at 11:22 AM

But McCarthy was smearing people without proof, ala Reid.

Bitter Clinger on August 7, 2012 at 11:15 AM

This. Yes, there were dangerous Communist factions in our government. But McCarthy said he had a list when he didn’t. He lied.

Bat Chain Puller on August 7, 2012 at 11:22 AM

If Mitt had losses, and carried those losses, along with his heavy gift giving…in conceivable that he didn’t pay little or no taxes in one or two years…countered by millions in other years.

Reid may have some “inside” info about such a thing, and it would just cloud the race with distorted information.

Mitt, don’t release anything…I will guarantee that he invested in company that invested in a company that knew someone who invested in a company that broke some law, somewhere in the world…and that is all they will focus on.

right2bright on August 7, 2012 at 11:23 AM

OT: Just heard on Glenn Beck that Breitbart has someone in Indonesia who found proof that Obama changed his citizenship when he was adopted by that Sotero guy. They think he never changed it back to US in order to get into college here as a foreign exchange student. Am I certain of this? Well, no, but I did hear it.

Night Owl on August 7, 2012 at 11:23 AM

HARRY REID: PRE-PUBESCENT BUTT_PIRATE AND NAMBLA SEARCHLIGHT, NV CHAPTER PRESIDENT

..this must be given widest dissemination! Has anyone checked the Nevada Sexial Predators’ database yet? Does this man have an entry?

The War Planner on August 7, 2012 at 11:24 AM

Ed and others, please read McCarthy and His Enemies, by William Buckley and Brent Bozell. To compare Reid, who is deliberately lying for political gain, to McCarthy, who had evidence and reports and testimony before Congress, is ridiculous. I didn’t like McCarthy but I do think he believed in what he was doing. Reid is a liar and he know he is. The last I heard he hasn’t called for an investigation or shown any proof at all.

Deanna on August 7, 2012 at 11:26 AM

But McCarthy was smearing people without proof, ala Reid.

Bitter Clinger on August 7, 2012 at 11:15 AM

That is simply not true. McCarthy had proof at the time, he just didn’t leak politically convenient classified information to the press, unlike some we know of. “Blacklisted by History” studiously outlines all the now declassified proof McCarthy had. He did not accuse anyone by name without evidence presented to his investigative committee. Now if you want to argue the House Un-American Activities Committee made accusations without proof, you’d have a strong case… but tying that to Senator McCarthy is just another symptom of liberals muddying the truth for a half century.

CapnObvious on August 7, 2012 at 11:27 AM

As Ed’s post shows, Reid is quite the opposite of a mendicant, and is thoroughly dishonest, so how is it that he considers himself the moral authority on paying taxes?

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on August 7, 2012 at 11:16 AM

Reid may not be a mendicant, but he is mendacious.

The Audacity of Mendacity!

Steve Z on August 7, 2012 at 11:32 AM

Obama the Greatest
Criminal Hoax Ever

VorDaj on August 7, 2012 at 11:34 AM

There is a simple explanation. Dingy Harry got confused and thought the image in the mirror was Mittens.

platypus on August 7, 2012 at 11:35 AM

“All you have to do is go look. I file every year, every stock trade, every piece of land I buy, all the money I have, it has the value of my homes, it’s got it all there,” Reid said yesterday in LV.

Harry, then release ALL YOUR RECORDS, YOUR FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS, to back up your words. Let’s examine how you accumulated a 10 million dollars fortune on a less than $200000 a year salary.

bayview on August 7, 2012 at 11:38 AM

The biggest issue I see is not that some Democrat politician or strategist made this claim about Romney but that the SENATE MAJORITY LEADER did and used the Senate floor to smear a political opponent. I’m pleasantly surprised that there has been some pushback from liberal outlets that this is not okay.

KateNE on August 7, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Ed, You are awesome.

Just awesome.

aquaviva on August 7, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Harry Reid is telling the truth!
Romney paid no taxes for 10 years!
But, once he was 11 years old…

Dexter_Alarius on August 7, 2012 at 11:42 AM

I’ll say it again, technically it(Romney paid no taxes for 10 yrs)is true. From ages 0-15 I paid no income taxes. Someone could say now that I paid no taxes for 15 yrs and they would be right.

JohnBrown on August 7, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Moreover, Reid holds a position of great authority in the U.S. Congress. He should hold himself to a high standard of accuracy when making claims about political opponents.

Obummer is apparently Reid’s role model when it comes to the frequent use of unsubstantiated accusations, threats, and outright lies. So, see? Reid is holding himself to the highest standard in the land! /double-doozy-sarc

KS Rex on August 7, 2012 at 11:52 AM

A full reading of the WAPO fact check seemed more like a thinly veiled hit piece on Romney than a denunciation of Reid, in my opinion,Pinocchios notwithstanding.

Cavalry on August 7, 2012 at 11:16 AM

Of course it is a hit piece. It is the WaPo! These are the people that wrote 3,000 words on Mitt Romney being a bully or something back in high school. That Kessler claims to be an arbiter of truth is as absurd as it gets. Vincent Gray attacks Chick-Fil-A and it gets front page coverage. The response to CFA Appreciation Day- Page A11.

BTW, The WaPo has a full-fledged hit piece on Romney over Bain and a deal that was made in Italy. After a bunch of accusations about Bain’s role, the story ends up by mentioning that Bain was never a subject of inquiries and never charged with anything. Which leads to the question what the point of the story was in the first place. Bain made a boatload of money in Italy, nobody went to jail! That’s a real game changer!

Happy Nomad on August 7, 2012 at 11:54 AM

who takes a rather dispassionate view of the McCarthyite tactics of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

Ed, you are a useless idiot. Senator Joesph McCarty, despite the Marxist deeply entrenched in the Mainstream Media’s assertion to the contrary never employed tactics even remotely similar to what Harry Reid is doing. In fact thanks to the Verona Papers we now know that Senator Joesph McCarty was 100 percent right and not one of the 59 people that he named as communist infiltrators were innocent, in fact we now know that their were well over 200 communist infiltrators buried within the Federal Government at the time that Senator Joesph McCarty was holding his hearing.

McCarthy: There Were Reds Under the Bed

David Aaronovitch thinks the unthinkable about the McCarthy period.

The hunt for the so called ‘Reds under the beds’ during the Cold War is generally regarded as a deeply regrettable blot on U.S history. But the release of classified documents reveals that Joseph McCarthy was right after all about the extent of Soviet infiltration into the highest reaches of the U.S government.

Thanks to the public release of top secret FBI decryptions of Soviet communications, as well as the release under the fifty year rule of FBI records and Soviet archives, we now know that the Communist spying McCarthy fought against was extensive, reaching to the highest level of the State department and the White House.

We reveal that many of McCarthy’s anticommunist investigations were in fact on target. His fears about the effect Soviet infiltration might be having on US foreign policy, particularly in the Far East were also well founded.

The decrypts also reveal that people such as Rosenberg, Alger Hiss and even Robert Oppenheimer were indeed working with the Soviets. We explore why much of this information, available for years to the FBI, was not made public. We also examine how its suppression prevented the prosecution of suspects.

Finally, we explore the extent to which Joseph McCarthy, with his unsavoury methods and smear tactics, could have done himself a disservice, resulting in his name being forever synonymous with paranoia and the ruthless suppression of free speech.

Hearing from former FBI, CIA and KGB operatives as well as formerly blacklisted writers, David Aaronovitch, himself from a family of communists tells the untold story of Soviet influence and espionage in the United States.

Producer: Kati Whitaker
A Juniper production for BBC Radio 4.

SWalker on August 7, 2012 at 11:59 AM

As Ed’s post shows, Reid is quite the opposite of a mendicant, and is thoroughly dishonest, so how is it that he considers himself the moral authority on paying taxes?

[Difficultas_Est_Imperium on August 7, 2012 at 11:16 AM]

Because he doesn’t pay taxes and he thinks everyone does what he does. A thoroughly dishonest person wouldn’t have a second thought about evading taxes, especially as Senator with the connections to ruin anyone who might call him on it.

And the worst that would happen is he’d have to pay the taxes and maybe some penalties, if he were exposed, but what are the chances of that.

Dusty on August 7, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Let’s examine how you accumulated a 10 million dollars fortune on a less than $200000 a year salary.

bayview on August 7, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Oh! We have to figure out how his sons made all their money too and, of course, we need to uncover the secrets where Harry just happens to know which bits of real estate are about to be worth far more because “coincidentially” the federal government is putting in a new road or something.

Harry Reid is almost the stereotype of a corrupt politician feathering his own nest by insider trading, shady deals, and taking bribes. Keep in mind, I’m not saying he took bribes but that he’s the stereotype of such a politician.

Happy Nomad on August 7, 2012 at 11:59 AM

This. Yes, there were dangerous Communist factions in our government. But McCarthy said he had a list when he didn’t. He lied.

Bat Chain Puller on August 7, 2012 at 11:22 AM

Complete and utter bull$hit. He did in fact have that list, and not only does that list still exist, but it is documented that all 59 names on it were in fact Communist infiltrators of the United States Federal Government.

SWalker on August 7, 2012 at 12:02 PM

You expect dems to have a moral compass. They do not care. For crying out loud they support killing babies in the womb and you expect them to care what comes out of a hate mongers mouth. That is what they have become. Cold, dark hearted moral reprobates.

crosshugger on August 7, 2012 at 12:28 PM

If Mitt had losses, and carried those losses, along with his heavy gift giving…in conceivable that he didn’t pay little or no taxes in one or two years…countered by millions in other years.

True, but Mitt says it ain’t so – so I’m going with Mitt who has every reason to know the truth of the matter versus Harry Reid who listens to rumors AND repeats them with out attribution.

katablog.com on August 7, 2012 at 12:57 PM

but yes, if ever actually charged with anything, Reid will claim (as I stated days ago) that the 10 years were from Romney’s birth to age 10. Hence the “rumor” is true and therefore Reid can’t be prosecuted for being a filthy liar.

katablog.com on August 7, 2012 at 12:59 PM

You expect dems to have a moral compass.

crosshugger on August 7, 2012 at 12:28 PM

I certainly don’t.

Del Dolemonte on August 7, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Gotta go with CapnObvious here. Whether or not McCarthy was a “bully” is irrelevant to the fact that there really were subversive commies infiltrating our government and social institutions in an attempt to win the cold war through cultural attrition. The sad thing is – it looks like the plan was screaming success.

abobo on August 7, 2012 at 11:11 AM

+1000

As far as I am concerned, McCarthy wasn’t given the opportunity and support to finish the job. One of the reasons we are where we are today.

riddick on August 7, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Gotta go with CapnObvious here. Whether or not McCarthy was a “bully” is irrelevant to the fact that there really were subversive commies infiltrating our government and social institutions in an attempt to win the cold war through cultural attrition. The sad thing is – it looks like the plan was screaming success.

abobo on August 7, 2012 at 11:11 AM

abobo, I was telling my husband this just this morning, and which I’ve said before on many occasions.

Sadly, too many people overlook this most important fact and are not giving McCarthy the credit he deserves.

avagreen on August 7, 2012 at 5:33 PM

After reading further comments, I can see I’m not the only one that feels this way.

avagreen on August 7, 2012 at 5:37 PM

Sadly, too many people overlook this most important fact and are not giving McCarthy the credit he deserves.

avagreen on August 7, 2012 at 5:33 PM

That would be because they have been indoctrinated into Marxism without even knowing it. The sad fact is that a significant percentage of the population are simply constitutionally incapable of accepting that they have been deceived and manipulated and when confronted react with hostile hateful and violent outbursts rather than accepting the evidence.

Those would be people like Captain Ed here, good and faithful Christian that he is who endorses Same Sex Marriage regardless of the fact that Christian Doctrine clearly pronounces it both a Sin and an abomination before God.

Just as he is simply constitutionally incapable of honestly examining the evidence which clearly proves that Senator Joesph McCarthy was correct and America was being infiltrated at the highest levels by Marxist/Communist moles working to destroy America from the inside out.

For this reason good ole Captain Ed can’t even look at and accept the evidence staring him in the face from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Barack Obama is the culmination of the efforts of those Marxist/Communist’s that Senator Joesph McCarthy was trying to expose.

What McCarthy did not see coming or anticipate was how many Democrats were already Marxist/Communist moles who had infiltrated Congress and other unelected Federal offices.

SWalker on August 7, 2012 at 6:06 PM

Lowlife of the first magnitude. Why would anyone vote for such a runt?

StevC on August 7, 2012 at 6:25 PM