Friday, October 29, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Reality Check

It’s Friday, ya bastids!
Only 4 more days for candidates to do something stupid…Mike Lee, the Tea Party-backed Utah Republican candidate for Senate says that a total government shutdown may be “absolutely necessary.” It’s bad enough that this crop of Republicans is willing to shut down the government. The worse part is that they probably don’t want to ever start it back up. A Republican nominee for lieutenant governor of Wisconsin has compared gay marriage to bestiality… or to marrying an inanimate object. That’s basically saying “I’ll see your Rick Santorum, and raise you one!” Rebecca Kleefisch said “at what point are we going to OK marrying inanimate objects? Can I marry this table, or this, you know, clock? Can we marry dogs?” Well, I bet no matter what you dream up, there’s a website for it. And Carl Paladino has been forwarding email photos of it to all his friends. Joe Miller has fallen to last place in the Alaska Senate race. Where does he work now? Maybe he can rig the computers there to all vote for him. Or do you think he can hire enough goons to handcuff enough voters that he can still win this election? On a more disturbing note, the head of Media Matters made a personal plea to Sarah Palin to denounce the violent rhetoric coming from people like Glenn Beck. Has he noticed that Sarah Palin is one of those people? After the plea was made, Sarah called Glenn Beck’s radio show to say “I stand with you, Glenn.” Well, at least she didn’t urge him to “reload.” Not on the air, anyway. So both Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin refuse to distance themselves from insane people. But then that would be like asking Cheech and Chong to distance themselves from stoners. Whereas most people look out there and see a lot of dangerous and disturbed individuals, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin just see their base. These people are so crazy that you’re almost tempted to hope they do well in the election on Tuesday because that means they’ll be less tempted to try those “Second Amendment Remedies” that Sharron Angle is always talking about.

Today’s Homework Discuss

The Kentucky Democratic Party incorporates the Rand Paul head stomper into their latest web ad…

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Taking a Stand (On Someone’s Head)

Hour One Guest: Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on the election and its most contentious issue, healthcare reform.
Last night President Obama became the first sitting president to appear on the Daily Show (video below). In just his first term, Obama has appeared on The Daily Show, Leno, and Letterman. And nobody wants him to have a second term more than Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, and Craig Ferguson.
Senator Judd Gregg is comparing healthcare reform to Freddy Krueger. The only way that healthcare reform is like Freddy Krueger is that the Republicans keep dragging it out to scare people. If Republicans retake the House, I just hope healthcare reform will prove even harder for Republicans to kill off than Freddy Krueger is to kill in the movies.
Rand Paul is refusing to return the $2,000 that Tim Profitt, the guy who stomped on a woman’s head, had donated to Paul’s campaign. Is Rand Paul making a stand? Just don’t do it on anybody’s head, OK, Rand? Originally, the Rand Paul campaign said they would return the money. So this is a flip-flop! Hey Rand, if you have flip-flops, give them to Tim Profitt. They would make him less dangerous.’s You Can’t Stomp On Us campaign
John Boehner is going to campaign this weekend with Rich Iott, the Ohio Republican Congressional candidate who enjoys dressing up as a Nazi. Be sure to bring your flanged helmet, John. This could be a sticky situation for John Boehner. Given the Nazi’s beliefs about Aryan supremacy, how would they feel about somebody with the skin color that John Boehner has? Neo-Nazis believe in “white power,” not “orange power.”
Finally, Christine O’Donnell threatened to sue a radio station unless they turned over video of an interview she did Tuesday. Think for a second, Christine. Is there anything you could have possibly done during that interview that would be more damaging to your campaign than threatening to sue over it? O’Donnell’s campaign manager threatened to “crush” the radio station with a lawsuit if they didn’t turn over the video. “Crushing” the radio station is not a viable threat, even from a witch, Christine. Just threaten to turn them into a toad.
Today’s Homework Discuss

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Barack Obama Pt. 1

Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

Thom's blog
Welcome to third world America, Germany's cheap labor depot...
Just how bad has it gotten for workers in our country? Imagine foreign nations outsourcing jobs to the US for, you guessed it, cheap labor. German automaker BMW announced they are opening a factory in the US and they need laborers. Answering the call are a crowd of skilled workers with advanced degrees who have now been squeezed out of the American workforce thanks to the Chamber's outsourcing death grip on our economy. BMW is paying these workers $15 an hour. In Germany, the same worker would make twice that. Welcome to third world America, Germany's cheap labor depot.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Randi Rhodes: The Head Stomper Speaks

The man who stomped on the head of a woman outside of a Kentucky Senate debate has been identified as a Rand Paul campaign coordinator. How did they ID him—through the footprints left on his victim’s neck and head? The man’s name is Tim Profitt. Remember that name. If Rand Paul wins, he’ll have a job in Rand Paul’s Senate offices. Maybe he can kick the Xerox machine when it’s not working.Profitt told the AP “that the camera angle made the scuffle Monday night appear worse that it was.” First of all, if that was a “scuffle,” then the assassination of Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theater was a “gun fight.” And the camera angle made it appear worse? I don’t think there’s a cinematographer in the world who can make stepping on a woman’s head look good. Use all the camera angles, mood lighting, special effects, and CGI that you want, it just doesn’t come off well on video. Profitt actually said that he used his foot to keep his victim down because he can’t bend over because of back problems. I’m glad he can’t bend over—he probably would have strangled this woman. Now Profitt is demanding an apology! Of course. Sorry if anyone’s head got in the way of your foot, Tim. Profitt told reporters “I would like for her to apologize to me to be honest with you.” Do you mind if she waits until her concussion clears up? That way she’ll be able to enunciate better.
Rand Paul’s campaign might be attacking individuals one at a time, but Sharron Angle’s campaign is taking on entire ethnic groups. Sharron has made the most racist campaign ad of all time (video below). And give her credit—it’s her own record she’s beating. Her latest ad, “The Wave” definitely wins the award for most racist ad. (I don’t know if there’s an actual award, but if there is, we should call it “The Willie,” after Willie Horton.) This ad is even more insulting to Latinos than the “Frito Bandito” ad campaign way back in the 1960’s. And at least the Frito Bandito ad campaign was for a product that wasn’t nearly as distasteful as Sharron Angle. All of the bad guys in Angle’s ad have dark skins and are shown in menacing photos. And yes, President Obama is one of them. Of course, Sharron wouldn’t agree that the ad is an insult to Hispanics. She probably thinks that a lot of the people portrayed in the ad actually look more Asian.

Nevada Tea Partier Sharron Angle finds a new racist low with her latest ad…

Thom's blog
The Chamber of Commerce Supreme Court
You need to know this about the Supreme Court. If you think the radically pro-Chamber of Commerce decision reached in the Citizens United case was an anomaly, you'd be wrong. According to a new study by the Constitutional Accountability Center, since 2006, when Justice Alito joined the bench, the Roberts court has ruled in favor of the Chamber 68% of the time. This is an overwhelming increase compared to the 43% success rate of the Chamber under the previous Burger Court during the 1980's. And in cases decided by a narrow 5-4 margin, basically down party lines on today's court, the Chamber was even more successful - walking away with legal victories nearly three quarters of the time. Strikingly, Justice "not true" Alito has never, not even once, sided against the Chamber in a narrow margin decision - thanks for shopping with us, please come again. Its getting worse too. The most recent data, from October 2009, shows the Chamber enjoyed its highest rate of success winning 13 out of 16 cases heard that term. Showing the glaring divide on the court, the more moderate or liberal bloc of Justices only supported the Chamber on 15% of narrowly divided decisions. Unfortunately their opinion has now been drowned out by Chief Justice John Roberts who, with the assistance of his 4 other Republicans colleagues on the bench, have been successful in putting the highest court in the land firmly under the employ of the US Chamber of Commerce. They're now on the payroll along with the United States Congress. Let's see who wins the Employee of the Month award.

Jon Stewart Ridicules The Seeming Hypocrisy Of John McCain’s Political Career

Last night was the second of The Daily Show’s taping in Washington D.C. (in advance of the weekend’s Rally to Restore Sanity) and Jon Stewart’s exploration of incongruous political rhetoric was once again, the topic of the show. Turns out that there are lots of politicians who have made a career out of a pretty simple formula: repeatedly claim that “the system is broken”; call for meaningful “change”; then reap the rewards by never effectively changing the system. Or in Jon Stewart’s shorthand: act like John McCain.
While there is a lot to unpack in the following segment (filled with lots of funny bits about Washington D.C.) the heart of the segment is a rather stunning and illuminating montage of Senator McCain publicly claiming that “government is broken” in a series of clips going back to 1987. When viewed collectively, not only does one think that McCain needs to hire a new speechwriter, but that he’s been remarkably ineffective in fixing the very system in which he’s thrived. It almost seems as though if he’s not really interested in fixing it at all (or maybe “the fix” is in.)
There was a time, not that long ago, that John McCain was considered a good friend to The Daily Show. In fact, if there were such a thing as a Daily Show historian, he or she would likely point to the New Hampshire primaries of 2000 in which McCain’s campaign invited a young Steve Carrell (and producer Nick McKinney) on their bus as a seminal moment in the show’s political coverage and acceptance within the establishment. Though Mr. Stewart may simply be having a good-natured laugh at the expense of McCain’s venerable career, it also functions as a pretty searing indictment of the hypocrisy of career politicians.

Watch the clip below, followed by one of the greatest hits from over 10 years ago:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Indecision 2010 - Extreme Makeover DC Edition
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Indecision 2000 - McCain Campaign Bus
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Tea Party Thuggery in KY

Outside of a Senatorial debate in Kentucky, supporters of Rand Paul threw a woman from to the ground and stomped on her head (video below). What happened? Did she refuse to bow down to Aqua Buddha? The Rand Paul followers literally dragged this woman to the ground and then one of them put his foot on her head. For people whose motto is “Don’t Tread On Me,” they don’t have any problem with treading on others. But then Rand Paul wants to get rid of Social Security, Medicare, and the Civil Rights Act. When you get down to it, what he wants to do to us is a lot worse than a kick in the head. You can get over a concussion. But once Social Security is gone, it’s gone.
Clarence Thomas’s former girlfriend has certainly opened up a messy can of Coke. The way former girlfriend Lillian McEwen describes Clarence Thomas, he was one of the ugliest parts of the 80’s. And I’m including Iran-Contra, the savings and loan scandal, and the solo work of Phil Collins. We all did things in the 1980’s that we’re not proud of. For most of us it involved haircuts, leg warmers, and those ridiculous torn sweatshirts. What Lillian did was a tad more disturbing—it was Clarence Thomas. There’s a lot about the 80’s that we’d all like to forget. If Clarence Thomas was drinking the way Lillian McEwen said he was, he should have no trouble forgetting. Thomas is described as a pornography-obsessed, binge drinking, raving alcoholic. He sounds less like a future Supreme Court Justice and more like a character from the movie “Boogie Nights.” (Now I’m picturing Clarence Thomas coked up in a bathrobe, singing along to “Sister Christian” while some weird little guy lights firecrackers.) Of course, Boogie Nights is a fictional story. If there had been a real Dirk Diggler, I’m sure Clarence Thomas would have been discussing his movies with his coworkers at the EEOC.
The good news is that all that changed when Clarence Thomas quit drinking. The bad news is that he became worse. McEwen says that after he quit drinking, Clarence Thomas became an angry, obsessive man who bullied his son. Please Clarence, have a drink, and pop in a Long Dong Silver tape. Between Clarence Thomas and George Bush, this country has had more trouble from former drinkers than it has from current drinkers. Dry drunks are so much worse. No matter how wasted real drunks get, they usually don’t wiretap anyone or extend the right of free speech to corporations.
Today’s Homework Discuss

Thom's blog
Are we seeing a repeat of the brownshirts?
You Need to know this! An ugly scene took place outside the Kentucky Senatorial debate Monday night. A man who appears to be supporter of Republican candidate Rand Paul was captured on TV by a local news affiliate literally stomping the head of a member of into the pavement. The MoveOn volunteer, Lauren Valle, went to the hospital and was still there last night, according to another MoveOn member. According to a local TV station, Valle had attempted to approach Rand Paul before the debate took place, dressed in a blonde wig and with a "RepublicanCorp" sign seemingly to mock him. Attendees around Valle are heard screaming, "get the cops" as cameras captured her being dragged to the pavement by her sweater. Once on the ground a man wearing white sneakers stomped on her head. The police say they are reviewing news footage and they "are hoping someone can identify who the person is" who committed the assault. I know Glenn Beck irresponsibly throws around the word "Nazi" - he did it again yesterday - to describe liberals. But it's worth noting that Hitler's early supporters, during his beer-hall days when he was running for office, were famous for beating up supporters of his political opponents. If you read William Shirer's "Rise And Fall of the Third Reich," you'll find eerie parallels - from the authoritarian candidates like Paul and Miller, to the violent rhetoric of Palin and McCain, to the brutal supporters of these candidates - with Hitler's early unpaid volunteer supporters who proudly called themselves "the Brownshirts."

Monday, October 25, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Feeding the Hand That Bites You

The Washington Post reports that companies that received federal bailout money, including some that still owe money to the government, are contributing large amounts to political campaigns. Wow. It turns out beggars CAN be choosers. A couple years ago, these companies were begging for government money. Now they’re choosing who’s going to run the government. Some of the contributions seem to defy common sense almost as much as they defy common notions of morality. The PAC for GM gave $5,000 to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), even though McConnell opposed bailout money for GM, saying that the American taxpayer shouldn’t be asked to “subsidize failure.” So why is GM now subsidizing a failure like Mitch McConnell? Well, most of the donations from the bailed out companies are going to Republican candidates. It must be a conservative version of “cash for clunkers.” I guess these companies want to get government off their backs… now that they no longer need government to cover their backs. Now the rightwing is busy burying the statements of Juan Williams in an avalanche of dumb quotes of their own. Brit Hume said “in the culture of NPR, appearing on Fox is a sin.” Actually, Brit, it’s not a sin to be on Fox if you get shouted down by Bill O’Reilly. That means you must have said something right.
Sony says it’s going to stop making Walkmans. This will come as devastating news for anyone who realized that Sony was still making Walkmans. Who’s been buying them? People who like to go for a little jog… in the past? It’s been a while. I think the last time I listened to a Walkman it was playing Frankie Goes to Hollywood, and it was cool. RIP, Walkman. Before Walkmans, if someone was on the bus next to you bobbing their head and singing, you could be pretty confident that they were crazy. Nowadays if someone on the bus ISN’T bobbing their head and singing, you assume their batteries must be dead.

Christine O’Donnell gets ‘auto-tuned’ and goes viral…

Thom's blog
Encourage entrepreneurship
If we as a nation truly believe in entrepreneurship - the very thing that made America an economic success - then we need to pro-actively encourage and provide help and incentives to small businesses. Herbert Hoover started the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) in 1932 to float loans for companies companies that were falling into bankruptcy because so many banks were on the edge of failing that nobody could borrow money. The Dwight Eisenhower administration created the Small Business Administration (SBA) in 1953. But big businesses found ways to game the system and be counted as "small". Now would be a great time to reinvent the SBA from the ground up, making it a place where a person who wants to start an auto repair shop or a small retail store could find the capital to get off the ground. We also need to discourage or ban major corporations from their mergers-and-acquisitions mania and close tax loopholes and stop tax subsidies for them. Moving our personal banking to a local credit union is another good start.
Learn more in chapter three of Rebooting the American Dream, "Stop Them from Eating My Town!"

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Thom Hartmann: The Secret Plot

Thom's blog
The Secret Republican Plot
According to a Center for American Progress report, there seems to be a common goal among all these shadowy PACs that are spending tens of millions of dollars in our elections this year -- they want to protect polluters' profits! CAP has identified 13 Republican backed organizations run by the likes of the Koch Brothers, Karl Rove, and Ed Gillespie that have spent nearly $70 million to derail clean energy legislation and elect politicians who have the same goal. On top of that, $242 million dollars have already been spent by big oil in lobbying efforts to defend their right to pollute. Time and time again, as energy reform is debated and pressure is put on big oil to take more responsibility for their pollution, you hear the same excuse: "We can't afford to be crippled by government regulations, we can't afford to invest in new, cleaner technology, we'll have to pass on our high costs to the customers." This is absurd. They can't afford to pay fines when they pollute ecosystems, yet they can afford over $300 million dollars to pollute our politicians and elections? The sad thing is, this is not a coincidence. As we discussed earlier in the week, most of these groups will all get together again in Palm Springs in January to plot how to rig the game beyond 2010. Simply put, this is a conspiracy to buy elections, buy politicians, and to buy legislation for the primary reason of preserving polluters' profits indefinitely -- no matter the cost to the American's national security, American's health, or the commons.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Follow the Money

It’s Friday, ya bastids!“Follow the money” was Deep Throat’s advice during the Watergate scandal. In the intervening years, conservatives have gotten a lot better at covering up the money’s footprints. Karl Rove’s money networks are expected to raise some $250 million for ads for GOP candidates in the election. That’s enough to flood the airwaves… and drown democracy. And it’s all done in secret. It’s like the Underground Railroad, except they’re trying to railroad this election. Karl Rove is used to winning campaigns with lies and dirty tricks. In the post-Citizens United era, the main difference is that he has well-funded lies and dirty tricks. Can anything be done about it? NBC’s Michael Isikoff said “It’s going to depend whether voters get upset.” Well, there are hundreds of millions of dollars available to make sure they don’t know a damned thing about it. How can voters get upset over the money buying the election when that money is being spent to get them upset over things that have nothing to do with the election? Heck, the biggest danger for these networks of secret donors is that there are so many of them that they’re going to run out of fake patriotic-sounding names. American Future Fund, America's Families First Action Fund, Citizens for Strength and Security Action Fund, and… I guess they all sound better than “Billionaires for Billionaires.”
The only real competition that Karl Rove’s secret money network has is the US Chamber of Commerce… and they’re doing the exact same thing, for exact same people, and probably funded by the exact same donors. A New York Times investigation shows that nearly half of the $140 million in contributions the Chamber got in 2008 came from just 45 donors. So the Chamber may have 300,000 members, but it’s really being run by a tiny handful of powerful corporations. And that’s the model they have for America as a whole. The Chamber defends its secretiveness on the grounds that the corporations who donate get hassled by protesters. Wow, it turns out that, not only are corporations human—they have feelings too! The Chamber’s chief lobbyist said that the companies are “confronted with protests at their corporate headquarters, protests and harassment at the C.E.O.’s homes.” So they’re basically saying they don’t want to disclose their actions because people don’t like their actions. Here’s a basic rule of thumb, Chamber People—if you have to hide what you’re doing, maybe what you’re doing is wrong.

Randi appeared on the Joy Behar Show Wednesday night to discuss Virginia & Clarence Thomas…

Thom's blog
Get ready for President Palin
Remember when I told you that the tens to hundreds of millions of dollars that billionaires and transnational outsourcing corporations are spending in this election was really just practice for 2012? I even suggested that these big funders let some whackos in to play, people with room-temperature IQs who will parrot a line regardless of how ridiculous it is, like Sharon Angle, Joe Miller, Rand Paul, and Christine O'Donnell, just to see how much money it would take to get voters to put into office somebody who's obviously and patently unqualified for a powerful office like the senate, so they'd know how far they can go in 2012 in putting into office wholly owned candidates. Apparently I was right. Today's news reports that a secretive network of Republican donors is heading to the Palm Springs area for a long weekend in January, but it will not be to relax after a hard-fought election - it will be to plan for the next one. Koch Industries, the longtime underwriter of libertarian causes from the Cato Institute in Washington to the ballot initiative that would suspend California's landmark law capping greenhouse gases, is planning a confidential meeting at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa to, as an invitation says, "develop strategies to counter the most severe threats facing our free society and outline a vision of how we can foster a renewal of American free enterprise and prosperity." In other words, how the rich guys can completely take over our government, including the White House, in 2012. Get ready for President Palin.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Who is Ginny Thomas?

We haven’t heard from Virginia Thomas for a couple of days. Maybe Clarence confiscated her cell phone. It’s not likely Clarence did that, though—that would involve making a good decision. The phone call from Virginia Thomas to Anita Hill stirred up a lot of disturbing emotions—kind of like Clarence Thomas himself. You’d think a guy who was best known for the stuff that Clarence Thomas was best know for would work hard to build a resume. Instead, he’s just sat on the Supreme Court like a lump—a lump that votes the wrong way when it comes down to it.
Virginia Thomas likes to go up in front of Tea Party crowds and rail against “Washington elites.” Really, Ginny? You’re working up the Tea Party people against “Washington elites”? That’s like Louis XVI inciting the French peasants against the aristocracy. Or more accurately, like Marie Antoinette doing it. Virginia and Clarence Thomas ARE the elites of Washington. And that’s perhaps the scariest thought of all.

Ginny Thomas runs a far-right, secretive group called Liberty Central. And her husband is part of a far-right, secretive group called the John Roberts Supreme Court. Ginny’s group doesn’t have to disclose its donors. And Clarence’s group makes sure that they don’t have to. Ginny’s political activism could raise serious questions because her husband is on the Supreme Court. (Actually the fact that Clarence Thomas is on the Supreme Court raises a lot of serious questions on its own.) But with her political activism, and her husband’s place on the Supreme Court, there is definitely a conflict of interest… especially since both of them are so interested in conflict.

In a debate Christine O’Donnell was unable to name a single sitting Democratic senator. Really. Don’t worry, Christine, you won’t be required to know that. It’s not like you’re going to be working with any of these people in the future. Asked to name a Democratic Senator she would be willing to work with, all Christine could come up with was former Senator Hillary Clinton. Actually, I’m a little surprised that she came up with Hillary Clinton. I would think Christine would be more familiar with the work of Hillary Duff.

Randi appeared on the Joy Behar Show last night to discuss Virginia Thomas…

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Angle’s Asians & The Rent IS Too Damn High

Last night’s debate in the race for Governor of New York featured seven very colorful participants. You know it’s a wild mix of candidates when nothing that Carl Paladino said stood out as exceptionally crazy. One of the candidates was former madam named Kristen Davis, which is undoubtedly a source of endless frustration for “Sex in the City” actress Kristin Davis. Poor Kristin! Charlotte wasn’t even the slutty one. During the closing statements, Carl Paladino actually wandered off stage to use the men’s room. Well, at least he’s got the sympathy vote from the tiny bladder community. Paladino’s campaign manager explained the walk off by saying “When you gotta go, you gotta go.” Yup. It is definitely time for Carl Paladino to go.
It gets weirder elsewhere! Sharron Angle told a group of Hispanic students that “Some of you look a little more Asian to me.” Nice. Angle couldn’t say things that were any more racist if she was reading verbatim from “Mein Kampf.” Then Angle went on to say “I’ve been called the first Asian legislator in our Nevada State Assembly.” Really. The Angle campaign said Sharron made the remark because once “a reporter thought she looked Asian.” Sharron, you don’t look Asian. Right now, you look pretty much like an idiot.

During last night’s debate for Senator in West Virginia, Republican John Raese said he opposes the minimum wage because he thinks it keeps wages too low. What is John Raese’s answer to highway safety? Getting rid of speed limits and guard rails? Raese said “I want a better wage for everybody.” Of course by “better” he means “lower.” And by “for everybody” he means “for employers.”

Finally, Alaska’s Joe Miller has come up with his model for border control—East Germany! Miller seems unfazed by the fact that the nation of East Germany no longer exists. Somebody should point out to Joe Miller that the border security apparatus of East Germany was designed to keep people in. America doesn’t have the problem of people trying to escape. Though if we elect enough people like Joe Miller, I can see how that would start to happen.

Jimmy McMillan of the ‘Rent Is Too Damn High’ party livened up the NY gubernatorial debate last night…

Thom's blog
The Republican merit badge for hypocrisy...
Congratulations to GOP State Legislator Calvin Hill of Georgia who won his Republican merit badge for hypocrisy. Last year, Hill led a movement in the state to prevent public universities from teaching sexual health and gay history classes claiming, "Our public colleges are not the place for our young adults and future leaders to experiment and experience these types of sexually explicit behavior." Has Mr. Hill ever been to a college?! Well, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, even though Mr. Hill has a problem with "future leaders" experiencing sexually explicit behavior, he has no problem with current leaders, like himself, making money off of it. Yes, it turns out that Mr. Hill is the CFO of a company that sells sex gadgets and other sexual paraphernalia. Gila Distributing sells everything from "phallic" stress relievers to gay pride lapel pins. Is this is a new requirement for all Republican politicians now a days - launch a public crusade against something that is an integral part of your private life? Paging toe tapper Larry Craig...Paging serial adulterer Newt Gingrich, and hooker customer David Vitter.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Aqua Buddha: the Least of Rand Paul’s Problems

As we close in on Election Day, we’re going from candidates behaving badly, to candidates behaving worsely. In the Kentucky Senate debate last night, Rand Paul was livid over ads that mention how in college he forced a female student to bow down to a god that Paul called “Aqua Buddha” (video of the ad below). You know, the way college kids do. By the way, what are the beliefs associated with “Aqua Buddhism”? Do they believe we’re all one? Or that we’re all wet? The truly scary thing about Rand Paul is that the whole “Aqua Buddha” thing is the least disturbing thing about him. I have less of a problem with someone who wants to worship made-up gods in college than I do with a candidate who wants to eliminate Social Security. At the end of the debate, Rand Paul refused to shake Democrat Jack Conway’s hand. Oh well. I’m sure that Jack Conway didn’t know the secret Aqua Buddha handshake anyway.
John McCain's daughter, Meghan, had some tough words for Christine O’Donnell. According to Meghan, Christine O’Donnell “has no real history, no real success in any kind of business.” Hello! Christine O’Donnell is a professional candidate! That’s “real success,” as long as you don’t get technical and say that success means you ever have to win an election. Christine O’Donnell has lost more races than the Jamaican bobsled team.

In Alaska, private security guards for Senate candidate Joe Miller handcuffed a journalist who asked a question that Joe Miller didn’t want to answer. Hey Joe, ever try just saying “no comment”? Well, it’s nice to see that Joe Miller is really sincere in his beliefs about privatization. He even wants to take the law into his own hands. The private security guards told the journalist that if he didn’t stop asking questions, he would be charged with “trespassing.” Trespassing? The incident occurred on public property at a public event. The only “trespassing” this guy did was to cross the “line in the sand” that Joe Miller drew when it comes to answering questions about past ethics violations. At least it wasn’t Rand Paul’s private security guards subduing this journalist—they would have forced him to worship Aqua Buddha. I don’t even want to think what Christine O’Donnell’s private security would do to a person, though the handcuffs would really come in handy for the anti-masturbation crusade.
Rand Paul is fit to be tied over his opponent’s “Aqua Buddha” ad…

Friday, October 15, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Dumb vs Crazy

It's Friday, ya bastids!
Last night was the big debate between Harry Reid and Sharron Angle in the Senate race in Nevada. Sharron Angle looked bad by almost any measure, and I’m including by comparison with Christine O’Donnell. No, Angle didn’t have any “Christine O’Donnell moment” where she didn’t know what to say. The most disturbing thing about Sharron Angle is that she seems to know exactly what she’s saying. Seeing Sharron Angle debate just one day after watching Christine O’Donnell debate was very instructive. It really highlighted the difference between dumb and crazy. Not that both of them aren’t both of them.

I’m sure Harry Reid was annoyed at having to debate somebody like Sharron Angle. But he should keep in mind that running against somebody like Sharron Angle is the only thing that gives him a chance. And we’re all glad that we got through that debate without having Sharron Angle resort to any “2nd Amendment remedies."
Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar both walked out on Bill O’Reilly when he appeared on “The View” yesterday. The walkout came after a heated exchange in which O’Reilly said “Muslims killed us on 9/11.” Yes, the people who perpetrated 9/11 were all Muslims. They were also all men. Does that mean that there should be no men’s clubs near Ground Zero? Because that’s what’s there now. Honestly, can anyone be surprised when Bill O’Reilly says something disgusting? It’s like being shocked after you open an email from Carl Paladino.
Speaking of which… The extreme pornographic and racist emails that Carl Paladino sent around to his buddies have resurfaced. Is this the kind of person New Yorkers want in Albany? I don’t want to have to put the Governor of New York on a “blocked senders” list. Just this week Carl Paladino said “we must stop pandering to the pornographers and the perverts who seek to target our children and destroy their lives.” The first thing we have to do to protect children is make sure they’re not Facebook friends with Carl Paladino. Sometimes when he sent out the emails Paladino included comments like “awesome.” I guess when you’re commenting on pornography, you want to avoid the phrase “two thumbs up.” People might think it’s a literal description.
Today’s Homework Discuss
Joy Behar on walking off The View over Bill O’Reilly and Jesse Ventura on the Fox News ‘Three Stooges’...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Like a Palin in the Headlights

The big Christine O’Donnell/Chris Coons debate was last night. The debate was carried live by CNN, for the same reason ESPN shows NASCAR races. Everybody was waiting for a major pile-up. Christine had nothing to lose. She could hardly look worse than she did in all those clips from Politically Correct, if only because she didn’t have that 90’s mall-rat haircut. Unfortunately, she muffed virtually the same question about recent Supreme Court decisions that stumped Sarah Palin. Wow. She’s uninformed AND unoriginal. Christine, we know you’re patterning yourself after Sarah Palin, but you should leave out the mistakes. Or would that leave you with nothing to work with? O’Donnell said “Um, I’m very sorry, right off the top of my head, I know that there are a lot, but I’ll put it up on my website, I promise you.” Yes, Christine. Put in on your website… under “Frequently Asked Questions.” Too bad this wasn’t “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.” Christine could have called a friend. Just make sure it’s not Sarah Palin. The last of the 33 miners in Chile has safely emerged. There were some interesting moments, for sure. Miner Yonny Barrios had asked that both his wife and his mistress be waiting for him when he emerged. What a life. It sounds like the last 68 days in the mine is the first time his wife has been sure of where Yonny has been in years. He’s evidently been splitting his time between the two women for quite some time. I know the last 68 days have been tough on them, but at least it seems like they’re both used to waiting around for him.
Finally, the rabbi who helped arrange and write Carl Paladino’s anti-gay speech has denounced Paladino for apologizing. The rabbi said “I was in the middle of eating a kosher pastrami sandwich. While I was eating it, they come running and they say, ‘Paladino became gay!’ I almost choked on the kosher salami.” Maybe the rabbi writes speeches for Paladino, but it sounds like the rabbi’s dialogue is being written by Jackie Mason. Did you notice that the lunch meat in the rabbi’s story changed from pastrami to salami halfway through? That’s the lack of attention to detail that shows why he can’t get booked in the Catskills.

Bill Clinton destroys a heckler as only he can (heckle begins at the 7:50 mark)…

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Randi Rhodes: If the Tea Party Ran Chile

Thankfully, as I write this, the efforts to rescue the Chilean miners are progressing smoothly. If this sort of rescue operation were being run by American conservatives, they would only be rescuing those miners who had paid their $75 “mining disaster rescue fee” in advance. You know that if Rand Paul had been in charge, he would have opposed any rescue operation that used public money. What am I saying? If Rand Paul had been in charge, whatever mine safety laws there were would have been so weak that nobody would have survived. And Joe Miller from Alaska certainly wouldn’t have wanted to spend any tax dollars on rescuing these miners. But if there was public money being spent, he would find a way to funnel some of it to his family. If it was Sharron Angle who was in charge, the only thing she would have done is to get these miners some massages from the Church of Scientology. That’s probably better than Christine O’Donnell. All she would do is send the miners down some anti-masturbation literature… in case they’re faced with temptation during those long weeks in the ground.
It turns out that Carl Paladino, who was so scandalized upon seeing a gay parade, had no problem being the landlord for two gay nightclubs. It seems Carl had no problem with gay people—as paying tenants. Carl Paladino doesn’t necessarily want gays to remain in the closet… just to remain in some place where they’re paying exorbitant rent to Carl Paladino. Yes, Carl doesn’t care if he thinks your lifestyle isn’t “valid,” as long as the check is good.

The Supreme Court has refused to hear the case of two people who were barred from a speech by George Bush because they had a bumper sticker reading “No Blood for Oil.” And no free speech rights for you! People! If you want First Amendment rights, maybe you should become a corporation. Bumper stickers aren’t free speech—money is free speech. These people should have pasted a million dollar check to a political action committee onto their bumper. The saddest part is that what these people were unfairly deprived of was the right to go and hear George Bush speak. I realize they’re making an important legal point, but frankly, they’re better off.

Because Sarah Palin can’t possibly do all the heavy lifting when it comes to lying about healthcare reform, Jack Black stars as The Mis-Informant…

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Bringin` The Crazy

Another day, another batch of rightwing loopy. Last night Republican Congressional candidate Rich Iott defended wearing a Nazi uniform in World War II reenactments, saying his goal is to “educate people.” At least he didn’t use the Nuremberg defense. But then what’s he going to say—“I was just following reenacted orders”? Minority Whip Eric Cantor repudiated Rich Iott. Now Rich is mad at Eric for throwing him under the Panzer. Iott said that Cantor “reacted before he had all the facts. He didn’t know the whole story.” Odd choice of words for a guy whose Third Reich reenactments leave out the Holocaust part. Iott also said his reenactments are “a great outreach to the public.” Yes. I’m sure Josef Goebbels would be proud. Tea Party darling Joe Miller in Alaska has announced that he will no longer answer questions about Joe Miller. I can see why.
The number one problem in Joe Miller’s campaign is Joe Miller. Joe says he wants to talk about the issues. Hey, aren’t you the guy who wants to get rid of Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, and the minimum wage? By all means, Joe, talk about the issues. Joe doesn’t like to talk about how his wife collected unemployment benefits despite his opposition to that, or how he had publicly funded health insurance, despite his opposition to that. He just wants to talk about the things he opposes, not how he benefited from those things. Miller and his wife got state low-income hunting and fishing licenses after he started a $70,000 a year job. And his family of eight children has also received state and federal low-income medical benefits. Miller has said that the nation suffers from an “entitlement mentality.” I would accuse him of the same thing, but it doesn’t seem he’s actually entitled to a lot of the benefits he’s been taking advantage of.

The rightwing rabbi who arranged Carl Paladino’s synagogue visit says he wants to create an “Orthodox Tea Party.” Can there be an Orthodox Jewish Tea Party? I know tea partiers claim that they’re against all pork, but they don’t seem to follow that as strictly as Orthodox Jews do. And I wouldn’t get too chummy with Carl Paladino, Rabbi. Believe me, you do NOT want to be on this guy’s email list.

Stephan Colbert on the GOP’s Nazi reenactor Rich Iott…

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Rich Iott Wears a Nazi Uniform
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionMarch to Keep Fear Alive

Shame on Washington Post!

Shame on The Washington Times for running a ridiculous editorial attacking Hugh Hefner and blaming him for all the sins of the world and for using a Photo without Permission in Article from Long Time Friend of Hef`s!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Politics - The Power of Nightmares, (Part 1/3), “Baby it's Cold Outside“

Free University in Internet. Over 300 political, social, cultural & scientifical Clips under “ kam200 ” . Anthropology, Archaeology, Astrophysics, Atheism, Biology, Cosmology, Democracy, Feminism, Freedom, Genetics, Geology, History, Human, rights, Palaeontology, Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Science, Sociology, Zoology, And many more …

Randi Rhodes: Witches to Nazis

Let’s start off with a little humor from our new best friend, Christine O’Donnell. Christine describes her alleged work in marketing for the movie “The Passion of the Christ” as “nonprofit work.” Ahem. Mel Gibson movies are not non-profit ventures. Well, they might be from now on, but not intentionally. Not only was the movie “The Passion of the Christ” clearly for-profit, it was the work of people like Christine O’Donnell who made it so profitable by taking an intensely sado-masochistic quasi-porn film and peddling it to religious conservatives. Mel Gibson made “The Passion of the Christ” to make money. The only difference between it and “Lethal Weapon” or “Mad Max” is that those movies are watchable.
It turns out that Christine O’Donnell’s father was briefly a fill-in as Bozo the Clown in the 60’s on a local station in Philadelphia. In true Christine O’Donnell style, her father’s stint as Bozo was completely overstated. At least they didn’t say he went to clown college at Oxford. Daddy O’Donnell was a local Bozo on a Philadelphia UHF station that became Fox channel 29. Now his daughter is a national Bozo. And they both only appeared on Fox!

And now, from comically inappropriate Republican candidates to tragically inappropriate ones. A Republican running for Congress in Ohio likes to pretend he’s a Nazi… unlike most Republicans, who like to pretend they’re not. It’s true. Republican Congressional candidate Rich Iott of Ohio is a Nazi re-enactor. Being a conservative Republican, it’s not that much of a stretch. He’s already got the attitude, all he needs is the SS uniform. And he and his pals all seem to have found them. Where does one go to find an SS uniform these days? Is there an “LL Ich Bean” catalogue?

Iott and his pals re-enact the battles of the 5th SS Wiking Panzer Division. Why are these people re-enacting the Second World War? Probably for the same reason Southerners re-enact the Civil War—they don’t like the way it turned out. Iott says his Nazi fantasy weekends were part of “a father-son bonding thing.” Somebody should have told this guy about Little League. Or, ever hear of the Boy Scouts? I’d rather have my kid learn how to tie knots than learn how to machinegun Jewish peasants.

SNL parodies O'Donnell's "I'm not a witch" ad...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Free Speech Tested

The Supremes heard arguments yesterday in the case of the anti-gay funeral protesters of the Westboro Baptist Church vs. the father of a killed Marine. Unfortunately, sometimes the only remedy for someone else’s disgusting free speech is exercising your own – and so I will.
Time for some “less than a month until Election Day” updates. Candidate for Governor of New York and anger management poster boy Carl Paladino has purchased airtime today at 5:13pm ET for a major announcement! Nobody knows what he’s going to say, but we can be pretty sure that he will be yelling.

The US Chamber of Commerce is using funds from foreign entities to influence American elections. That’s because the US Chamber of Commerce has a lot more to do with commerce than it does with the US. It’s still illegal for foreign corporations, countries or individuals to make political contributions in the United States for any election, but the Supreme Court opened the floodgates of corporate money into elections, and a lot of foreign money is getting lost in the flood. There’s your vicious circle—US jobs go overseas, where they make money for foreign corporations, who send some of that money back to America to elect Republicans who will ship more jobs overseas. The only American jobs that the Chamber of Commerce gives a damn about are the jobs of Congressman and Senator. And they want to make sure that those jobs are on their payroll.

Finally, it turns out that the regular-looking guys talking in a diner in a Republican ad in the West Virginia Governor’s race are actually actors. And the ad was shot in Philadelphia! If I was a voter in West Virginia, I would be very upset over this. And if I was a Screen Actors Guild member in West Virginia, I’d be even more upset. The casting call for the ad said “We are going for a ‘Hicky’ Blue Collar look.” So this ad features people who pretend to be regular working class stiffs, but really aren’t. That pretty much describes any Republican candidate, when you get down to it. The casting call also lists “clothing suggestions” including jeans, work boots, and flannel shirt. You know who is really set for this? Any actor who has recently appeared in a revival of “Lil’ Abner.” But the person they really should have used for this role is that poor Gene Cranich whose house they let burn down in Tennessee. He’s got the accent down, and he needs the money. But then I don’t know if Gene Cranich would be anxious to appear in a commercial that advances the same agenda that let his house burn down.
STUDY: We'd Rather Be Swedish
Finally, something we all can agree upon! When Americans were asked how much the top 20% should have, 92% said they'd rather live in a country with Sweden's wealth distribution. Click here for the story and report.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Randi Rhodes: War on 'The Have Nots'

If the Republicans are the party of the “haves” and the “have mores,” they’re going to try and win this next election by demonizing the “have nots” and “have nothings.” In terms of the “have nots,” more and more Republicans are coming out against even the concept of a minimum wage. The GOP wants the minimum wage to be just like them—they don’t want any limit to how low it can go. Most people look at the minimum wage and think “how do people afford to live on that?” Republicans look at the minimum wage and think “how do people afford to pay their hired help that?”
RNC Chairman Michael Steele has no idea what the minimum wage even is! Here’s a hint, Michael—it’s what the RNC would be paying you if they had their way. Oh well, if Michael Steele is ignorant about the amount of the minimum wage, it’s still not as bad as Joe Miller being ignorant about the constitutionality of the minimum wage.

Then there are always the “have nothings” to pick on. Newt Gingrich is urging the GOP to “close the deal” on the coming elections by vilifying food stamps. I guess “sharia law” didn’t fare too well in focus groups. Newt is sending out a strategy memo to Republicans telling them to use a “symbolic closing argument” of “paychecks versus food stamps.” Hey, why attack our problems when you can attack the people most affected by our problems? First of all, Newt, paychecks and food stamps are not at odds. A lot of people out there need both of them to get by. Newt’s memo says “It is an unassailable fact that in June, more food stamps were distributed by the government than ever before in American history.” It is also an unassailable fact that more food stamps were needed than ever before in American history. Blaming Democrats for food stamps is like getting hit by a car and then blaming paramedics for the fact that you had to take an ambulance ride to the hospital. Blame the car that hit you—and that car was driven by Republicans. Of course, underneath it all, Newt isn’t telling Republicans to attack food stamps. He’s really telling them to attack the people who receive food stamps. Food stamps versus paychecks! In other words, the poor versus the rest of us! And the people pitching this strategy are the same ones who will cry “class warfare” if we try to get the rich to pay their fair share of taxes!

Billionaire Warren Buffett: tax me, not the bottom 98 percent…

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Randi Rhodes: The REAL Death Panels

There’s a new world of “limited government” coming, and it’s a world on fire. Recently, firefighters in rural Obion County, Tennessee watched a home burn to the ground because the homeowners failed to pay a yearly $75 fee for fire protection. It was more than just that home burning. The entire concept of a government by the people, of the people, and for the people went up in flames.
Nowadays fire protection is just for people who can pay the extra money it takes for that service. So I guess from now on, the first thing the firemen do when they show up is ask for a receipt. Talk about “death panels”! Now firemen will have to consult a billing list before deciding whether or not to put out a house fire. We now live in a world with “flame panels.” Here’s the thing about fires—flames spread. That’s pretty much the reason for the blanket fire protection coverage that most sane municipalities provide. The family told the fire department they would pay whatever it cost if the firemen would just put the flames out. The fire captain refused. So it wasn’t really about the money—it was about punishing those who don’t accept the new world. Let’s be clear, this family paid their taxes. That should cover basics like fire protection. If they don’t, then taxes aren’t high enough. But that’s not a concept that’s allowed in the new world. Rail on all you want to about “big government,” I think that government should be at least big enough to extinguish fires.

Let’s go from that nightmare to a nightmare that hasn’t happened yet—Senator Christine O’Donnell. In 2006, Christine claimed she had inside information that the Chinese had a “carefully thought out and strategic plan to take over America.” How did she find this out? Maybe a little mouse with a fully functioning human brain told her. Maybe she got this information by consulting her crystal ball, or bubbling cauldron, or whatever the curious modern witch uses for divination purposes. O’Donnell went on to claim “There’s much I want to say. I wish I wasn’t privy to some of the classified information that I am privy to.” Gee, that sounds like another way of saying “make the voices stop!” There are ways to make you less privy to this “classified information,” Christine, but it involves medication and a jolt of electricity. Did you ever see “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”? Today’s Homework Discuss

In her latest ad Christine O’Donnell proclaims “I’m not a witch” – seriously…

An Important Announcement from Tom Leykis

We try not to annoy you with unnecessary spam or stupid announcements, but this is just the kind of thing that people like you have asked me to tell you about.
I am making a rare appearance on episode #100 of the Gary & Dino show and you can hear it right now, or at your convenience. Here is the link:
On the show, you will hear me discuss what has been going on since we last spoke, some wild, behind-the-scenes stories about my radio career, what I’m up to right now, and an announcement about the future of The Tom Leykis Show.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to respond, or write me at Also, bookmark for my latest blogs and for news about what I’ll be doing next. has the latest from Your Professor, and New Normal Music ( is playing 50,000 of the hottest songs in a row in a format I created.
I hope to hear from you soon, and don’t forget to stay tuned during Gary & Dino for my announcement about The Tom Leykis Show.

Tom Leykis

Monday, October 4, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Faith, Meatballs & Firearms

CNN anchor Rick Sanchez has been fired after a bizarre rant in which he called Jon Stewart a bigot and said that the media is controlled by Jews. Your first question is obviously, why is this guy not working for Fox News? Of course, if Sanchez was working for Fox News, he’d still be working for Fox News. As it is, the comments from Sanchez were a scandal. If they were made on Fox & Friends, it would just be another Friday.
Bill Maher has released his latest Christine O’Donnell clip (video below). This time Christine expanded on the “dabbling” theme. In addition to dabbling in witchcraft, she said “I was dabbling into every other kind of religion before I became a Christian. I’ve dabbled in Buddhism.” Can you really just “dabble” in Buddhism? What does that involve? Just a smidgen of enlightenment? But the dabbling didn’t stop there. Christine said “I would have become a Hare Krishna but I didn’t want to become a vegetarian.” Really. Christine said she decided against being a Hare Krishna “because I’m Italian, I love meatballs.” So what are you saying, Christine? That you were ultimately drawn to Christianity because they let you eat what you wanted? There’s a good motto for Christianity: “Come for the salvation, stay for the non-restrictive diet.” In the wake of a shooting incident at the University of Texas, Governor Rick Perry is calling for allowing concealed weapons on campuses. It would definitely change the nature of the classroom. If students raise their hands, you won’t know if they’re asking a question or surrendering. I think Rick Perry’s plan is just to make Texas so crazy that the rest of the states will actually ask it to secede.
Four states now explicitly allow guns in bars. Those states are Tennessee, Georgia, Arizona, and Virginia—just in case you want to know where you can loaded before you get loaded. Alcohol can cloud your judgment. But then how much judgment does a person who brings a gun into a bar have in the first place? If we allow guns in bars, how long until somebody wants to start serving cocktails at shooting ranges? Face it, having guns in bars is an invitation to disaster. All you have to do is visit the men’s room in any bar to realize that bar patrons have absolutely no aim at all.

Friday, October 1, 2010

James O'Keefe's CNN Prank FAILS: Activist Planned To Stage Seduction Of Abbie Boudreau On Floating 'Pleasure Palace'

In one of the most bizarre and hilarious stories you are likely to read today, CNN's Scott Zamost reports that during the production of a CNN documentary series on young up-and-coming conservative activists, infamous "ACORN pimp" James O'Keefe hatched a strange plot to pull a prank on CNN Investigative Correspondent Abbie Boudreau, involving a staged seduction attempt on a boat, with candles and dildos. Huh, what?
A conservative activist known for making undercover videos plotted to embarrass a CNN correspondent by recording a meeting on hidden cameras aboard a floating "palace of pleasure" and making sexually suggestive comments, e-mails and a planning document show.
James O'Keefe, best known for hitting the community organizing group ACORN with an undercover video sting, hoped to get CNN Investigative Correspondent Abbie Boudreau onto a boat filled with sexually explicit props and then record the session, those documents show.
Boudreau describes the matter as a "very strange turn," which is something of an understatement.
It all basically went down like this: CNN has spent the past few months documenting the activities of some of the conservative movement's new young guns, including O'Keefe, whose undercover agitprop is a staple of an organization called Project Veritas. Believing she was going to be meeting O'Keefe to discuss a music video, Boudreau agreed to travel to Maryland to have a face-to-face meeting with O'Keefe. O'Keefe wanted Boudreau to come alone, and made it sound like his major concern was reticence over his privacy:
"I just want to talk," O'Keefe told Boudreau on the phone. "I just want to have a, you know, meeting with you, and talk to you face to face about this. Because, I don't, I feel sort of, let's just say reserved about, about letting people into my sort of inner sanctum, about letting, letting people sort of take a glimpse into, into, behind the scenes, so that's why you know, I just feel more comfortable if it was just me and you and we just had a face-to-face meeting before I agree to, to let you guys come out and shoot the video shoot out there."
That's from a recording of the phone call between O'Keefe and Boudreau, taped without her knowledge, but subsequently obtained by CNN when O'Keefe disseminated it to colleagues.
Boudreau showed up for the meeting unaware that she was about to be subsumed within one of O'Keefe's stunts. But Izzy Santa, the executive director of Project Veritas, gave up the game just as it was about to go down:
When Boudreau arrived at the address, a house located on a tributary of the Patuxent River, Santa approached her with a tape recorder in her hand and said she wanted to talk in the car, Boudreau said.
"I noticed she had a little bit of dirt on her face, her lip was shaking, she seemed really uncomfortable and I asked her if she was OK," Boudreau said. "The first thing she basically said to me was, 'I'm not recording you, I'm not recording you. Are you recording me?' I said, 'No, I'm not recording you,' and she showed me her digital recorder and it was not recording."
"Izzy told me that James was going to be dressed up and have strawberries and champagne on the boat, and he was going to hit on me the whole time," Boudreau said.
CNN obtained "a 13-page document titled 'CNN Caper,'" which elaborated on the prank in hilarious detail. For example, here is the equipment list:
Equipment needed
a. Video
1. hidden cams on the boat
2. tripod and overt recorder near the bed, an obvious sex tape machine
b. Props
1. condom jar
2. dildos
3. Music
a. Alicia keys
b. 80s romance songs, things that are typically James
c. avoid Marvin Gaye as too cliche
4. lube
5. ceiling mirror
6. posters and paintings of naked women
7. playboys and pornographic magazines
8. candles
9. Viagra and stamina pills
10. fuzzy handcuffs
11. blindfold
I mean, he thought of everything, right? After dressing the set in dildos and candles and porn and Viagra, Marvin Gaye's oeuvre really would have been "too cliche." But O'Keefe really thought that this would "turn the tables" on CNN:
James was supposed to tape the following script before the meeting on the boat.
"My name is James, I work in video activism and journalism. I've been approached by CNN for an interview where I know what their angle is: they want to portray me and my friends as crazies, as non-journalists, as unprofessional and likely as homophobes, racists or bigots of some sort..."
"Instead, I've decided to have a little fun. Instead of giving her a serious interview, I'm going to punk CNN. Abbie has been trying to seduce me to use me, in order to spin a lie about me. So, I'm going to seduce her, on camera, to use her for a video. This bubble-headed-bleach-blonde who comes on at five will get a taste of her own medicine, she'll get seduced on camera and you'll get to see the awkwardness and the aftermath."
It goes on to explain how James should "adapt" to my mood on the boat.
"As the operation is going on, James will have to adapt and adjust to her mood and her reaction. If she is pulling away, withdraw and pull her back in. If she's unsure, comfort her and reassure her. Vacillate between somewhat serious interview and the come-hither persona as needed in order to confuse her judgment and also keep her on the boat."
It would seem as if O'Keefe actually thought Boudreau would not realize something bizarre was going on, on this lube-covered boat! In fact, the documents CNN obtained more or less demonstrate that O'Keefe had little more than contempt for Boudreau, constantly deriding her intelligence and ability, referring to her as a "bubble-headed-bleach-blonde." In reality, Boudreau has had a storied career as an investigative journalist. Prior to coming to CNN, she reported on a potentially calamitous design flaw in tires manufactured by the Cooper Tire and Rubber Company. Her story led to further investigations and a product recall. She basically saved peoples' lives as a result of her work.
James sent CNN an email denying that he intended to stage this prank, claiming that it was "not my work product." But the "CNN caper" document indicates otherwise, and even includes an detailed set of instructions on what to do if CNN caught wind of the plan, and "went on the attack." Santa, who prevented this all from happening, has apparently been stripped of her "duties" at Project Veritas, but remains on that organization's payroll. Boudreau writes about the experience in her own words, here.