No Haley investigation, or, South Carolina politics stink

**Posted by Phineas

A couple of days ago, I wrote about allegations that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley would soon be indicted on federal tax charges. I also speculated at length that the source was cheap, dirty, Chicago-style politics originating at the White House.

I’m happy to say I was wrong on both counts. First, from The Daily Caller:

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley says she’s being smeared once again by another blogger posting “lies” and spreading “trash” about her online.

“Sorry fellas,” Haley wrote on her Facebook page Thursday. “I’m not going anywhere no matter how many lies you put on a blog.”

Haley’s comments are in response to a report by The Palmetto Public Record, a South Carolina political blog, that she could be indicted in a federal investigation soon. She has denounced the post as totally false.

The blog said she could be indicted in federal court over the finances of the Sikh Religious Society of South Carolina, a worship center her family is involved with, “as early as this week.”


In an interview with TheDC on Friday, Tim Pearson, Haley’s chief of staff, elaborated by saying that the indictment rumors can’t be true because federal authorities haven’t contacted Haley about an investigation. He also told TheDC that Haley has not received any sort of target letter that would be typical of such a federal investigation.

“No one has asked to sit down with her and interview her,” Pearson continued. “There’s been no contact because the investigation doesn’t exist. You can’t have an indictment without an investigation. So all of this stuff is just totally false.”

He also added that federal authorities have not contacted Haley’s parents, either.

In the interview with a South Carolina newspaper, Haley said she had never done any accounting work for the Sikh center, which would kind of make tying her to accounting fraud a bit difficult.

More from ABC:

ABC News has learned that the Internal Revenue Service never conducted an investigation into South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s involvement in a Sikh temple’s finances. Nanette Downing, Director of EO Examinations, stated in the letter, “…we did not conduct an examination for the above period (tax year ended 2009)”.

Eric Hill, a program manager at the IRS, said in a separate letter to Haley’s chief of staff Tim Pearson that “we determined an examination was not warranted at that time.

Click through to the article to see an interview with Haley.

In other words, this is just another example of the gutter that is South Carolina Republican politics and an old-boys’ network that cannot tolerate an outsider breaking in.

As to the other point that I was apparently wrong about, that the IRS investigation was something cooked up by the Obama administration to derail Haley’s chances at national politics? Guess what? I don’t regret a word.

While I do regret contributing in any small way to the impression that Haley might be corrupt, I stand by my low opinion of the low character of those running the government in DC right now. Had there been a federal investigation, and given the deep influence of the “Chicago Way” on the president and his advisers, the assumption of a political hit-job would have been perfectly reasonable.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

#Trayvon: Video/screencap shows laceration to George Zimmerman’s head

I’m absolutely shocked that this was found and discussed on Chris Matthews’ MSNBC show Hardball (via @nickarama1):

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Here’s a screencap shot from the video:

George Zimmerman

George Zimmerman

Ron Allen, who is a Washington Post investigative reporter, was the one who pointed out when asked for commentary by Chris Matthews, that zooming in on the video indicated there were head injuries. If you listen/watch the video, make sure to note how Matthews sounds disappointed in Allen’s comments. Awww.

Another myth: BUSTED. Again.

I can’t tell you how huge this is, because the MSM, led by some VERY irresponsible “journalists” (Exhibit A) at ABC News, have all claimed how the video – which first surfaced on ABC – “undercut” Zimmerman’s claim that Trayvon Martin slammed the back of his head on the sidewalk. Martin’s father and the Martin family lead attorney have also claimed today the video shows Zimmerman was lying about head and nose injuries, and have suggested a “police cover-up.”

The only people engaging in a “cover-up” here are the national mainstream media and celebrity race hustlers who are trying to set narratives that are at odds with the FULL SCOPE of this story – what we know so far, anyway.

In related news: Guess who got caught selectively editing the 911 call Zimmerman made the night of the killing? SURPRISE: NBC’s Today Show. Via Hollywood Reporter (hat tip: @informedblackmn):

Critics say the “Today” show attempted to incite racial anger when it cut crucial seconds from audio of a phone call placed by George Zimmerman just before he killed the teenager.

NBC News is being excoriated in some circles – with competitor Fox News Channel leading the charge – for selectively editing audio of the 911 call placed by George Zimmerman just before he killed Trayvon Martin.

The NBC segment in question featured anchor Ron Allen and ran on the Today show on Tuesday. On Thursday, Sean Hannity and guest Brent Bozell played the NBC version of the 911 call and compared it with the unedited version.

In the NBC segment, Zimmerman says: “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.”
The full version, though, unfolds like this:

Zimmerman: “This guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.”

911 operator: “Okay. And this guy, is he white black or Hispanic?”

Zimmerman: “He looks black.”

After playing both versions, Hannity said: “They forgot the dispatcher’s question! How could NBC, in good conscience, do that?”

“This isn’t bias, this isn’t distortion, this is an all-out falsehood by NBC News,” answers Bozell, who runs a conservative watchdog group called the Media Research Center.

Toldjah So.

Keep an open mind on this, y’all. I repeat: Do NOT let the media tell you what to think. View/read/listen to ALL available facts and info and decide for yourself!

So that’s why Rubio endorsed Romney

**Posted by Phineas

More fallout from Obama’s “Open-Mic Moment” in Korea with Russian President Medvedev:

In an exclusive interview with The Daily Caller, Sen. Rubio revealed that President Obama’s recent “open mic” gaffe with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sparked his endorsement of Mitt Romney for president Wednesday night.

“It’s been weighing on my mind all week,” he said.

“I’ve never thought about this as a political calculation,” Rubio said of his endorsement. “I’m just sitting back here and watching a president that just got back from overseas — where he told the Russian president to work with him and give him space so he can be more flexible if he gets re-elected.”

“The stakes are so high. We’re not running against John F. Kennedy here,” he said.

“We have to win this election in November. We have to!” he averred. “If we don’t win this election in November — and we get four more years of Barack Obama — I don’t know what that means … But I know it ain’t good.”

Not that Marco Rubio’s endorsement will mean that much in the long run; personally, I’m skeptical of the value of endorsements. But gaffes, like elections, do have consequences. In the last week, we’ve seen more and more conservatives endorsing Romney, even if halfheartedly, as Rubio does in this interview. I’ve no proof of this, but I have to wonder if other prominent Republicans saw that tape of a supplicant Obama begging for “space” and promising to be “more flexible” after his reelection, and had their jaws hit the floor. Obama may well have helped create unity in a contentious, often bitter Republican primary.

Like the Senator from Florida said, “We have to win this election in November. We have to!”

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

#Trayvon: NYT complains about “blogger cherry-picking” – glosses over own selective bias

As noted earlier in the week, the mainstream media’s narratives in the Trayvon Martin case are falling apart one by one, thanks – in part – to the presence of bloggers digging for information the mainstream media has not, and due to New Media outlets like the Daily Caller, which has done an good job on casting doubt on a supposed “smoking gun” video released by ABC that allegedly shows “no injuries” on George Zimmerman post-arrest. The Daily Caller has also posted pictures and transcripts from Trayvon Martin’s two Twitter accounts, which paint the 17 year-old in a starkly different light than the years-old baby-faced photos the MSM have used in reports.

Instead of acknowledging these facts, some in the MSM are suggesting it’s conservative bloggers/websites that are engaging in “cherry-picking” – as exemplified today by New York Times Lede blogger Robert Mackey:

Bloggers Cherry-Pick From Social Media to Cast Trayvon Martin as a Menace

For the second time in a week, a conservative blog has published excerpts from what it described as a Twitter feed maintained by Trayvon Martin, the Florida teenager who was shot and killed last month by a neighborhood watch volunteer patrolling a gated community.

The new blog post on the dead teenager’s social media account, which features an image of him making an obscene gesture and quotes from a message that includes an abbreviation for an obscenity, was posted on The Daily Caller, a site founded by Tucker Carlson, a conservative pundit, and Neil Patel, who once worked as an adviser to former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Like the site’s previous post on another Twitter feed apparently maintained by Trayvon Martin, the information published on Thursday seems to have been selected to reinforce the argument that the victim of the fatal shooting was a menacing figure who might plausibly have been mistaken for a criminal. That impression is reinforced by the fact that while the post mentions and links to what appears to be a MySpace account set up by Trayvon Martin in 2009, The Daily Caller’s editors chose not to display any of the many photographs posted there that show him in a far softer light:

MediaMackey goes on in the piece describing other alleged incidents of “cherry-picking” by conservative writers, but instead of  cutting to media experts for informed commentary about whether or not noting there was a different side to Trayvon Martin than the one portrayed by “respectable” news outlets like the New York Times, Mackey consulted with … Slate writer Dave Weigel. Yes, the same Dave Weigel the Washington Post once hired as a blogger to “represent conservative voices” on that site who,in reality, favored mocking conservatives over “representing” them fairly.

Unsurprisingly, Weigel found no issues with Martin’s writing about using Glocks on females,  crude suggestions about ejaculating, disrespect for women, and apparent fondness for smoking pot.  No, none of that makes him a candidate for “cold-blooded murder” (a term Trayvon fanatics have falsely used to describe his killing), but it doesn’t make him the squeaky clean baby-faced “little boy” being portrayed by the mainstream media, either.   In fact, some of the references to Glocks and beat-downs suggest he could be the type of person who would purposely use violence against someone else.

Critics of my commentary will say I’m engaging in “blame the victim” – not really.  I’m just a proponent of FAIR journalism.  Let’s learn who both parties were – the CURRENT versions. The details of how the confrontation that night started are UNKNOWN, and insinuating that the only victim was Trayvon Martin that night and that  George Zimmerman was not a victim himself that night (if his story is true) is nothing more than irresponsible journalism until these details are somehow confirmed/clarified.

Critics will also point out that George Zimmerman “had a police record” while Trayvon Martin did not. That’s true. Here is the extent of George Zimmerman’s record:

Court documents obtained by show that George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer accused of killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, was previously accused of domestic violence, tussling with a police officer and speeding.

According to the documents, Zimmerman went to court in 2005 and 2006 for these incidents. reports that in 2005, Zimmerman was arrested and charged with “resisting officer with violence” and “battery of law enforcement officer.” He was 20 years old at the time and both charges are third-degree felonies.

According to the report, the charges were reduced to “resisting officer without violence” and then waived when he entered an alcohol education program. reports that accounts indicated Zimermann shoved an officer who was questioning a friend for alleged underage drinking at a bar. reports that in 2005, Zimmerman’s ex-fiancee, Veronica Zuazo, filed a motion for a restraining order and alleged domestic violence. Zimmerman counterfiled for a restraining order against Zuazo. Both restraining orders’ were granted.

In December 2006, reports that Zimmerman was charged with speeding — but the case was later dismissed when the officer failed to show up in court.

So since 2005, George Zimmerman has not been arrested for anything that could be remotely suspicious/violent.  In fact, as far as we know, he’s been an upstanding citizen of his community.  We do know he utilized 911 in  his role as neighborhood watchman, including reporting that a 7-9 year old black boy was wondering around alone near a busy street – the 911 call log notes Zimmerman indicated he was concerned for the boy’s welfare.

Yeah, this guy sounds like a boiling cauldron of repressed racist rage, doesn’t he? Not.

MediaBut yet, the narrative set by the media can simple be found in two pictures that are not current of either person.  The photo you see most often used of George Zimmerman is a mug shot from back in 2005-2006.  The picture you’ve seen most often of Trayvon Martin, looking like your average 12 or 13 year old,  is undated but looks several years old, if current pictures are any indication.  Why? Why not show a more current picture of Zimmerman in a suit and tie, and Trayvon Martin with grills in his mouth?

Narrative.  The media want you to think George Zimmerman has this sinister criminal history that would indicate he was “exactly the type” to “murder” a fresh-faced black “kid” walking home with a bag of Skittles and Arizona Iced Tea.    Not only that, but don’t think the description of Zimmerman as a “white Hispanic” isn’t deliberate.  The implicit suggestion here is that Zimmerman’s “white racist side” came out the night Trayvon Martin was killed.   Based on those two pictures and descriptions and nothing more, you would think that’s exactly how this case shakes out.  You’d never think there might be another side to this story, a possible other story that maybe George Zimmerman is closer to telling the truth than the media wants you to think.

None of this is by accident.  It’s not a conspiracy, folks. This is just how the media operates. You see, THEY aren’t biased for showing photos that they know will influence viewer/reader opinion as to implied character of the images shown, but YOU are — not only for pointing it out, but for conducting your OWN investigation and reporting on the side of the story the media has conveniently not done out of a willfully blind sense of political correctness and, of course, a desire to carry out “social justice journalism.”

The mainstream media (note: NOT opinion columnists), who are supposed to be in charge of keeping not only the government honest but who are also supposed to be writing and publishing stories in a way that allows the READER to draw their own conclusions rather than having the WRITER do it for them, apparently hasn’t gotten used to the fact that there are New Media types who exist to keep Old Media honest.

Hopefully one day they’ll get over it. In the meantime, the beat goes on.