I admit it, I have a soft spot in my heart for the unfiltered Joe Biden. He was a little more careful yesterday, but no less passionate:
BIDEN: There’s an entire way of life in jeopardy. This is just not about jobs. This is just not about whether or not the waterfowl is polluted and you can’t — this is an entire way of life that’s in jeopardy. And to sit there and say that we’re being — in effect, as I understood the statement — that he was ashamed we’re being tough on an oil company who caused the problem — I mean, I — look, I just think that it’s pretty important to the people of Louisiana all the way through Florida and even in his home state of Texas that people disassociate themselves from that.
That’s not the role — there’s no shakedown. It’s insisting on responsible conduct and a responsible response to something they caused. And I find it outrageous to suggest that if, in fact, we insisted that BP demonstrate their preparedness, to put aside billions of dollars — in this case, $20 billion — to take care of the immediate needs of people who are drowning — these guys don’t have deep pockets. The guy who runs the local marina, the guy who has one shrimping boat, the guy who has one small business — he can’t afford to lose $10,000, $12,000, $15,000, $30,000 a month. [...]
What is wrong with that? How is that a shakedown? I mean, I just — I don’t know, I find it pretty astounding, the comment.
Andrew Breitbart has taken alleged "SEIU thug victim" Kenneth Gladney under his wing, because it's very difficult to be a victim without someone to pimp said victimhood for political points, after all. Kenneth Gladney, as you might recall, is the man who was handing out flags at a Russ Carnahan town hall meeting on August 6, 2009 in Missouri when he claims to have been 'attacked' by a large man wearing a SEIU t-shirt. The video above was shot at the scene (actually, just after the 'assault'), and Dave has a great post pulling apart the fake narrative here.
This case is about to come to trial (at Mr. Gladney's insistence), which gives Breitbart all the more reason to pimp Gladney and his little "rescue fund" at Bank of America. Before you reach for your checkbook, some things to consider:
Gladney's story stinks to high heaven. Here is the original police report, posted by Breitbart himself. Gladney alleges that Elson McCowan leaned over his flag table, provoked a confrontation, and then punched him in the face! Just like that. Punched him in the face. So I looked at the police report to see if he received medical treatment, because being punched in the face can be really, really bad. Black eye, broken nose, all that. And you can see from the video that Elston McCowan is a big guy. Linebacker big.
Here's an image from the detective's report, written right after the incident occurred:
Wow. So this is news. A punch to the face causes elbow pain. Huh. Who knew?
Since August 6th, Gladney's pain has moved from his face to his back. In his most recent appeal for money, his brother writes on his behalf (because it wouldn't do for a crime victim about to testify in court to do his own shaking down):
Kenneth Gladney is not doing well at all. He has found out that he has three bulging disc in his back and neck and may need surgery. He has back pain all the time and has to have medication to help the pain subside. Since the incident on August 6th of last year when he was beat up by SEIU thugs while selling flags and buttons at a Russ Carnahan town hall meeting, Kenneth has had nothing but problem after problem with his health and his financial situation. The family is trying to help him as much as we possibly can, but we just can’t afford the cost of his meds and doctors visits. This is why we need your help.
Wow. Punch a guy in the face, he has no visible bruises or evidence that he was punched by a great big guy, but long after the fact, he has 3 bulging discs and the need for surgery. This is terrible. No wonder he needs money.
Less-than-credible witnesses? Witnesses #1 and #2 in the police report corroborate each others' stories and Gladney's. Let's meet them, up close and personal. They are Harris and Sandra Himes. Harris Himes is pastor of the Big Sky Christian Center in Montana. Sandra is his wife. The Himeses are well-known agitators and activists associated with the Montana Family Coalition, formerly known as the Montana Christian Coalition. Yup, no bias there. Besides...what were Montana activists doing at a Missouri town hall meeting? It isn't possible they were disrupting democracy, is it?
First lawyer David Brown was also Gladney's employer, fellow flag and pin hawker. He sort of forgot to disclose his relationship when he appeared with wheelchair-bound Kenneth Gladney on Fox and Friends the following day. Oh, and Brown is also one of the witnesses interviewed in the police report. All the time Fox and Friends (and Breitbart) are pimping this guy and whining about SEIU thugs, hate crimes, and all manner of terrible things, that relationship is never disclosed. Not once.
In fact, Brown and Gladney traveled out here to LA to sell flags at Michael Jackson's funeral the month before this incident. Quite the pair, they are. They made a little bit of money in December when the Tea Party Express folks wrote a check for $460 or so to buy up some flags and pins for their next tour. I'm surprised they didn't invite Gladney along for the ride on TPE III.
Elston McCowan is the true victim. The only person with a real injury from their encounter was Rev. Elston McCowan, who dislocated his shoulder. Here's the hospital report confirming it.
This is quite similar to my own experience back in September, where nearly 200 of us were attending a peaceful vigil for health care reform when violence broke out after one of the tea party gang (Bill Rice), punched a guy out twice, knocked him in the street, and then got all bent out of shape when his fist "happened to land in the other guy's mouth" and his finger was bitten off.
In the meantime, Andrew Breitbart continues to pimp this guy on BigGovernment.com as if Gladney and his brother are are some kind of victim or something. They're running a conservative con, and if anyone knows about cons, it's Breitbart, after all.
Update: The document images I used in this post were uploaded by the St. Louis Activist Hub. I also just finished reading through an excellent post on , and have new appreciation for the work and detail they've put into researching this case. I certainly hope their evidence is used to discredit this story. It's obvious they've taken much time to really work out all of the details. Their take on how things played out is slightly different from mine, but leads to the same conclusion. I also recommend reading their entire case against Gladney.
Excerpt; Fundraisers for a political committee founded by Tom DeLay routinely solicited donations by identifying legislative actions that prospective givers wanted, from video gambling to lawsuit limits, memos show.
"What companies that you know of would be interested in tort reform in Texas with asbestos problems that might support TRMPAC?" one DeLay fundraiser wrote in a memo prospecting for donors to Delay's The Nation.