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Archive for Friday, October 2, 2009

ACORN simply doesn’t get it

October 2, 2009

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Isn’t it obvious?

If you believe you’re the object of a witch hunt, the first thing you do is stop hanging around with witches. You’d think that’d be common sense, but then, the paradox of common sense is, it’s not all that common.

So Bill Clinton, though dogged by a perpetual investigation desperate for dirt, decided to go ahead and play slap and tickle with the hired help. And Larry Craig, though the object of rumors about his hidden sex life, didn’t think twice about widening his stance in that men’s room stall. And ACORN, though accused of every act of malfeasance this side of the Manson murders, failed to divest itself of the sort of imbeciles who would give advice — on hidden camera, yet — on how a prostitute and pimp might hide their profits from the IRS.

You are surely familiar with the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. It’s a non-profit group, founded in 1970, that advocates for a higher minimum wage and more money for urban schools and also offers free tax preparation, voter registration and mortgage counseling for the poor.

Or, it is one of the five families of the New York Mafia, a vast criminal enterprise specializing in voter fraud, prostitution, drug dealing, armed robbery, jaywalking, spitting on the sidewalk and taking more than 10 items into the Ten Items or Less line.

Which one you believe depends on whether you get your news from Fox or from sane people.

This much is inarguable: Because a young lawyer named Barack Obama once represented it in a voter rights lawsuit, ACORN has proven a useful obsession for the president’s political opponents. And ACORN has rewarded that obsession, providing the witch hunters a whole coven of witches.

This would include investigations of alleged voter fraud in Las Vegas and Miami, delinquent taxes, the embezzlement of nearly a million dollars by the organization’s former chief financial officer, a decision by the leadership to hide that embezzlement from the rank and file, and growing concern that the group may have used tax-deductible charitable contributions for partisan purposes, which is legally proscribed.

So if it’s not the Manson Family, well, it ain’t the Brady Bunch, either.

Now there’s this hidden camera sting wherein two conservative activists, posing as pimp and prostitute, visited a number of ACORN offices seeking advice on how to hide their criminal income from the government. The only thing more ludicrous than the premise is the fact that ACORN staffers actually gave the requested advice without flinching, even when the “pimp” suggested his workforce might include “children from El Salvador.”

Faced with a loss of government funding, public outrage, and a severing of ties by such partners as the IRS and Bank of America, ACORN has filed suit against the two activists, contending that the videos constitute illegal wiretapping. This, I believe, is called killing the messenger.

Meaning that whatever legal merit the lawsuit has or does not have, it could hardly be more wrongheaded as a response to the burgeoning controversy. It suggests that even at this juncture, ACORN simply doesn’t get it.

The issue here isn’t a hidden camera sting. Rather, it is ACORN itself. If it is not the cabal of thugs some of its critics contend, it “is” an organization whose sloppiness and unreadiness for prime time become more manifest each passing day.

The ascension of its one-time lawyer has propelled ACORN irrevocably into the national spotlight. If it wishes to survive the experience with its mission or its remaining credibility intact, it will accept some friendly advice: Don’t kill the messenger.

Kill the witches instead.

Comments

igby 5 years, 2 months ago

This is the first letter Pitt's ever wrote that makes perfect sense! Lol.

I think he may be off drugs now! Lol.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 2 months ago

Pitts is finding fault with ACORN? He must be a racist!

puddleglum 5 years, 2 months ago

what's he talking about? I watch fox news all the time (can't get enough of those beautiful women-anchors and angry white men shouting at their guests-so cool) and I am by far the most informed person in all of lawrence. I know I am, because during fox news commercials for fox news, the say that they are fair and balanced, so that means that they report both sides of issues with NO opinions whatsoever. that being said, it is obvious that I have no opinions, just factual-based knowledge which lets me slice through smoke screens like this article, and know that pitts must be a racist liberal and he doesn't like the U.S.A. either. nascar.

Godot 5 years, 2 months ago

This is just setting the stage, creating the "excuse" for when ACORN drops its lawsuit.

The last thing ACORN wants is to go through "discovery." Regardless of how furiously the overpaid ACORN volunteers are shredding documents and erasing hard drives, there will be prosecutorial gold in them thar mines.

grammaddy 5 years, 2 months ago

" overpaid ACORN volunteers".. which is it? Overpaid or volunteer?

MrShades 5 years, 2 months ago

Godot says "overpaid Acorn volunteers" = tongue in cheek Gramdaddy says "overpaid Acorn volunteers" = foot in mouth

Flap Doodle 5 years, 2 months ago

Let us hope the "it" in the headline means our tax money.

Ralph Reed 5 years, 2 months ago

WOW, The conservatives in Leavenworth County must be having a slow rant day. Even when someone they hate says something with which they absolutely agree, they can still find a way to rant against the author. Absolutely well done. 8.6, 7.2, 3.5, 10.0, 8.8, 9.1, 8.9. Discounting the East German and Linwood scorers, that's still a respectable score, especially with a degree of difficulty of 2.3.


Tom, you commented on this line from Pits' article, "Which one you believe depends on whether you get your news from Fox or from sane people." I disagree, it's not a potshot, it's right on target. (Take a look a puddleglum's 0809.)

sinverguenza 5 years, 2 months ago

puddleglum -

I think I've said it before but I'll say it again. I like you. You are on the rise to becoming my favorite LJW commenter.

Nascar. You can't argue with that.

Shane Garrett 5 years, 2 months ago

Tom there is one liberal whom is not intolerant and her name is Janeane Garofalo. ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!

ASBESTOS 5 years, 2 months ago

Rarely (if ever) have I agreed with a column from Lenord Pitts. But this one he nailed it, in totality.

If Leanord and Jon Stewart "get's it" why does the rest of the syconphantic press and "Lamestream media" "get it"?

This should be investigated down to the whatzits, and people need to be in jail if as Mr. Pitts stated:

"The only thing more ludicrous than the premise is the fact that ACORN staffers actually gave the requested advice without flinching, even when the “pimp” suggested his workforce might include “children from El Salvador.” """" AND:"

"The issue here isn’t a hidden camera sting. Rather, it is ACORN itself. If it is not the cabal of thugs some of its critics contend, it “is” an organization whose sloppiness and unreadiness for prime time become more manifest each passing day."

Kill the Witches.

That is good. Nuff said.

tbaker 5 years, 2 months ago

Fox is so dishonest their viewership is blowing their competition away. Deal with it Barry.

Pitts makes excuses for ACORN by saying "an organization whose sloppiness and unreadiness for prime time become more manifest each passing day."

Its like saying "it wasn't rape, rape."

The elite statists just can't bring themselves to criticize their own. People see it for what it is. I wonder how many ACORN ballots got Al Franken elected? Thats the next scandal to blow.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 2 months ago

"You are surely familiar with the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. It’s a non-profit group, founded in 1970, that advocates for a higher minimum wage and more money for urban schools and also offers free tax preparation, voter registration and mortgage counseling for the poor."

This is the difference between Pitts and you Fox News zombies. He sees the work mentioned above as important, and worthy of continuation. The rest of you see nothing but a bunch of poor brown people getting a little too uppity, and therefore needing to be put back in their place.

But more importantly, they're the perfect whipping boy for bringing down that illegitimate brown president.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 2 months ago

"The elite statists just can't bring themselves to criticize their own."

Seems to me that Pitts, an "elite statist" in your lingo, just spent a whole column criticizing them.

jonas_opines 5 years, 2 months ago

"He sees the work mentioned above as important, and worthy of continuation. The rest of you see nothing but a bunch of poor brown people getting a little too uppity, and therefore needing to be put back in their place."

Fail.

puddleglum 5 years, 2 months ago

ah yes, the fox zombies.

I like that, that means you must think that I am a zombie because I watch fox all day and quit my job.

Now it is I who gets to use up the welfare-liberals no longer get to soak up all the good government programs alone. me and all of my shipmate republicans and other teabaggers are gonna live off of the Obama peoples from now on and turn the tables.

fox zombies- a nice compliment from left wing lunatics. a zombie is undead, so now I won't die and I get to vote for the g.o.p. forever and ever! and what's more is I get to live off of flesh...I will go around eating acorn people until I am out of tums. yum yum! gotta go, hannity is coming on the tv in a couple.
my tummy is growling already. I'm wanting to snack on a bozo or a shewmon any minute

puddleglum 5 years, 2 months ago

sinvergueza- hey man, I'm just doing what I'm told to.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 2 months ago

"jonas_opines (Anonymous) says… “He sees the work mentioned above as important, and worthy of continuation. The rest of you see nothing but a bunch of poor brown people getting a little too uppity, and therefore needing to be put back in their place.” Fail."

You are too generous, jonas. That should be "epic fail".

jonas_opines 5 years, 2 months ago

Meh. I reserve epic fail status for other occasions. Like when someone makes a giant rant about something and then supports it with a link that if they'd read past the headline and first paragraph they'd realize actually contradicted their point rather than confirmed it. In other words, they really Tried to not fail, and still did -- epically.

beatrice 5 years, 2 months ago

Tom notes with glee how more people are watching Fox News than other news channels. Does that mean it is the "best" news? Hardly. More people also eat McDonald's hamburgers than other burgers, so does this proves that McDonald's makes the best burgers you can find?

More people also watch ridiculous sitcoms than read books. Must mean sitcoms are better than literature, correct? More people can sing along to Gilligan's Island opening song than can name their senators -- must mean knowledge of Gilligan's Island is more important than civic knowledge.

Most people = lowest common denominator. This is Fox's audience. Why would anyone be proud to be part of this group?

Stuart Evans 5 years, 2 months ago

"Which one you believe depends on whether you get your news from Fox or from sane people."


this comment was ridiculous and knocks Mr. Pitts further down on the list of people who are worth reading. Essentially he's saying that only insane people watch Fox News. However, that network continuously beats the hell out of all the other major cable news networks combined. And 40% of Fox News viewers identify themselves as Independent voters. Independent voters are generally those who have had enough of the lunacy found on both the far right and far left of both major parties. So what are all of these sane people watching Mr. Pitts? Please explain this to my poor insane Libertarian brain.

Stuart Evans 5 years, 2 months ago

are the other networks (CNN, MSNBC, etc.) even covering the ACORN story? I watched O'Reilly for a week before I ever heard them mentioned on another station.

Shane Garrett 5 years, 2 months ago

Wait, Wait, I am sure that the new show by Joy Behar will be the most informative with many differing points of view. I think everyone should watch it. Especially since the most brilliant political analysis will be done by Janeane Garofalo. ( I love just saying her name, one sexy chick in glasses.)

ASBESTOS 5 years, 2 months ago

"The rest of you see nothing but a bunch of poor brown people getting a little too uppity, and therefore needing to be put back in their place."

That is a bit racist" when directed at us "white folk" (Crtackers).

"Most people = lowest common denominator."

IS that why more people voted for President Obama?

Lowest common denomenoator??? What how you sweep everything with a broad and idealouge bruch, it usually gets all over you as well.

""""""""""""""""""

"are the other networks (cnn, msnbc, etc.) even covering the ACORN story?"

That would be a big no. and that was the point og the PItts article the libertal academice and so called "intelligent people" did not get.

Here they are still bashing Fox News, and ACORn was the one with the problem.

Typical.

puddleglum 5 years, 2 months ago

right, that's what i'm saying. I keep watching fox news and I keep getting smarter. "Independents" are just a bunch of cry baby republicans that don't want god to run everything (psst, he already does)

luckily, I won't be watching fox news all weekend long, because there is a nascar race on saturday or sunday, or maybe both if I'm lucky. nascar.

JackKats 5 years, 2 months ago

I find it ironic that Pitts uses an article about Acorn to blast Fox news when it was Fox News that brought this story to the public after it was put on web. Think about that for a minute.

JackKats 5 years, 2 months ago

I would also add that if it were not for Fox doing some reporting on ACORN for months ahead of the undercover sting done by the young adults, then none of the people on this blog would have known about it. So all you critics of Fox, please be aware that you (and Pitts) have been informed about ACORN by Fox. Even more ironic.

scott3460 5 years, 2 months ago

"There is no debate here. Obama and a Democratic congress have completely changed the face of the media, and I doubt there is any turning back."

Say what?! How, pray tell? In 9 months?! Please enlighten us.

This gets my vote as the stupidest thing you have ever written here. And that,Tom, is really saying something!!

scott3460 5 years, 2 months ago

Somebody help me out here.

According to the information I can find, ACORN has over 400,000 members and more than 1,200 neighborhood chapters in over 100 cities across the U.S. So a couple of political spies, after visiting multiple ACORN offices, finally found two people who they videotaped offering stupid advice. What in the world is the controversy? Any organization of more than 20 or 30 people has a couple of knuckleheads. Fire them, move on. What is the supposed controversy (other than a story to fill a void for the corporate media, that is?)

Cooky_the_Cook 5 years, 2 months ago

I didn't know ACORN was brown people. I just hear about them on the radio, and I don't remember race ever being mentioned. So they're like Brazilian or Pakistani or what? Are black people brown people, too?

Sunny Parker 5 years, 2 months ago

Obamy will go down with Acorn...watch and see...He is a thug crook!

jaywalker 5 years, 2 months ago

'Because a young lawyer named Barack Obama once represented it in a voter rights lawsuit, ACORN has proven a useful obsession for the president’s political opponents."

Oh please. Sorry Lenny, but it's because Obama has ties to the organization that it got scrutinized to begin with, justifiably so, and under scrutiny they've been shown to be shadier and shadier. I have no doubts that ACORN does good work. But after all that's been revealed thus far stating this all is a 'witch hunt' is brainless. And "kill the witches" is a poor attempt at conceit in a poetic-less piece, pardon the alliteration.

But besides Mr. Pitts' poor piece here, I'm incredibly surprised at those on both sides of the aisle, but more from the right on this string, who have written that 'he's done the noble thing here'. ??? His 'criticism' is merely superficial; he's sayin' to the people that embody ACORN they need to be more careful 'cuz the 'real' enemy is lookin' to pounce, i.e. 'the right'. Calling investigation into voter fraud (proven true and widespread) and the pimp scenario (video can't be questioned here) a "witch hunt" is downplaying such incidents' impact.

"The rest of you see nothing but a bunch of poor brown people getting a little too uppity, and therefore needing to be put back in their place.”

That is stomach-wrenching stupid. Who could have possibly written such palaver, I wonder?

"So a couple of political spies, after visiting multiple ACORN offices, finally found two people who they videotaped offering stupid advice."

That's cute, scott, but this isn't the first flub and the voter registration nonsense was coast to coast. I agree that this stuff isn't the whole organization and that alot of people do a lot of good work for ACORN, but look at it fairly and the exact same can be said about an entity like Haliburton. Ever criticize them? And 'stupid advice'? That sounds alot like Lennie's minimalization.

scott3460 5 years, 2 months ago

"That's cute, scott, but this isn't the first flub and the voter registration nonsense was coast to coast. I agree that this stuff isn't the whole organization and that alot of people do a lot of good work for ACORN, but look at it fairly and the exact same can be said about an entity like Haliburton. Ever criticize them? And 'stupid advice'? That sounds alot like Lennie's minimalization."

Actually, I don't think I have. Anyway compare the multiple episodes of malfeasance of Blackwater and the sins of ACORN. Can you see the difference in reaction?

Minimalization? How would you characterize what is alleged? As opposed to the gross overreaction in the media and the immediate yanking of funding, I would say it is entirely fair. What is the allegation if not two staffers offering stupid advice?

Gareth Skarka 5 years, 2 months ago

Genuine well-meaning conservatives are being used by the cynical corporate elites who run the Republican party again, and they still don't see it.

Just watch, the next time another organization rises in profile, whose purpose is increasing and facilitating civic participation and voter registration among the poor and minorities (who, it turns out, traditionally don't vote Republican), you'll see another concerted effort to "expose" them as crooked, and delegitimize their work.

The true believers will eat it up with a spoon, never figuring out that it's just the Corporate elites at the top who are trying to stamp out anything which threatens their power.

More poor and minority voters = fewer Republicans elected. It's just that simple. So, they wrap it in the Flag, hang it from a Cross, and you guys take the bait.

It's sad.

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