Ready, Aim

Fire and shoot yourself in the foot while it is in your mouth:

The St. Petersburg Times reported this week that WellCare Health Plans, a Florida-based company that provides managed-care plans for millions of Medicare and Medicaid participants, has come under federal investigation. Indeed, the FBI raided WellCare’s headquarters Wednesday morning, along with the U.S. Attorney’s office, HHS investigators, and the Florida Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.


Right wing blogs saw the reference to Soros and pounced. Conservatives hit the St. Petersburg Times comments section, with insights such as, “I hope they prosecute that worm GEORGE SORROS [sicadded, “Welcome to George Soros’s America?”

As it turns out, there are two big problems with the story. First, Soros sold off his interests in the company quite a while ago. Second, WellCare is actually run by Bush Pioneers and generous Republican donors.

I wish I had something to add to this more substantive than BWAHAHAHAHAHA.

Michael Yon Calls Off The Dogs

Yesterday, in a column on Beauchamp, Michael Yon wrote of the fanatic truth detectors chasing after Beauchamp:

In any case, he was up in that tree, surrounded by hounds who’d done this plenty of times, yet always found this part exciting. The hunters would have written the last sentence if the choice was up to them.

Some wanted Beauchamp to go to prison; some were baying for blood.

Yon stated why he was leaving Beauchamp alone:

But to his credit, the young soldier decided to stay, and he is serving tonight in a dangerous part of Baghdad. He might well be seriously injured or killed here, and he knows it. He could have quit, but he did not. He faced his peers. I can only imagine the cold shoulders, and worse, he must have gotten. He could have left the unit, but LTC Glaze told me that Beauchamp wanted to stay and make it right. Whatever price he has to pay, he is paying it.

The commander said I was welcome to talk with Beauchamp, but clearly he did not want anyone else coming at his soldier. LTC Glaze told me that at least one blog had even called for Beauchamp to be killed, which seems rather extreme even on a very bad day. LTC Glaze wants to keep Beauchamp, and hopes folks will let it rest. I’m with LTC Glaze on this: it’s time to let Beauchamp get back to the war. The young soldier learned his lessons. He paid enough to earn his second chance that he must know he will never get a third.

But what about the coon hounds? Will they listen? After months of trembling at the thrill of the hunt, snarling, drooling, barking up a tree, pissing on themselves in excitement? Can their bloodlust be sated?

It appears that the hounds can be controlled, if you have the right dog whistle. Red State’s Jeff Emanuel:

Beauchamp, though, as a young man who is, by all accounts, honorably and capably serving his country even now, should see his public demonization end, and should be allowed to get back to his own life.

Are we as a public not lucky to have such magnanimous loudmouths controlling our discourse? After months of slobbering at the smell, feigning outrage, penning column (here citing folks calling Beauchamp a slimeball) after self-promoting column baying at the indecency of it all, our wise and noble Emanuel (himself a young man) has decided to let it all go.

Beauchamp, it seems, has paid his debt to Emanuel. I am sure the Baghdad diarist will be thrilled to learn this.

What of the others? Despite his inflated ego and his self-promoting offers to “help” TNR, Emanuel was a bit player in all of this. What about Uncle Dimbo at Black Five, who started off the Beauchamp nonsense with calls for violence? Remember this:

You were already fronted out and I would assume it was some members of your unit that “politely” invited you to name yourself. You are a disgrace Beauchamp, a wannabe intellectual lacking the brainpower to do much more than embarrass yourself in public. Well Bravo, you have shown yourself to be a back-stabbing petty BS artist. Congratulations on that. Now you need to get busy watching your back, ‘cuz if you think you were disliked and unloved before……Heh.

Month after month of fatheaded bloviating came from Dimbo, with each successive post about Beauchamp more full-throated, MORE INDIGNANT, MORE OUTRAGED! Surely our BlackFive correspondent will not be so eager to let things go, will he?

We don’t know, yet. But his other chest-thumping buddies at BlackFive are ready to let bygones be bygones:

As for me, I believe in second chances, and in earned redemption. I hope and even pray that such things are possible. While I have not written about it, I know that Scott Beauchamp has been offered such, and that he has done a good bit within certain constraints to make things right with his unit.

How sweet. And on and on it goes, as we are told it is time to leave Beauchamp alone. Nothing, of course, has really changed. Beauchamp has not publicly recanted or apologized, and he isn’t all of a sudden in a new and dangerous job in Iraq- he is doing the same dangerous work he was doing over the past few months while the hissyfitsphere was calling for his head. The young American soldier is JUST as likely to be harmed today as he was every other day over the past few months, while our brave and noble bloggers were calling for him to be court-martialed, jailed, beaten, and spit upon.

Again, so we are clear, every day over the past few months, while our keyboard commandos (and no cat-calls at Emanuel or the Blackfive folks- they have served, and one must assume, served admirably) were navigating the headlines defending God-general Petraeus, advocating the surge, it was evil villain Scott Thomas Beauchamp who was actually out there on the frront lines, strapping on his boots, doing everything he could to avoid the IEDs, the snipers, and the insurgents to make the surge work. So nothing has really changed, except, perhaps, that there really are no other aspects of this young man’s life to pry into. To keep with our metaphor, I guess the thrill of the hunt just ain’t so thrilling anymore, so it is now time to let this soldier be.

I think I speak for everyone when I note how lucky we all are to live in America, where even the coon hounds believe in redemption.

*** Update ***

This Tom Tomorrow cartoon really says it all.

*** Update #2 ***

TNR’s editors go on the record:

The answer is simple: Since this controversy began, The New Republic’s sole objective has been to uncover the truth. As Scoblic said during the September 6 conversation: “[A]ll we want out of this, and the only way that it is going to end, is if we have the truth. And if it’s—if it’s certain parts of the story are bullshit, then we’ll end that way. If it’s proven to be true, it will end that way. But it’s only going to end with the truth.” The September 6 exchange was extremely frustrating; however, it was frustrating precisely because it did not add any new information to our investigation. Beauchamp’s refusal to defend himself certainly raised serious doubts. That said, Beauchamp’s words were being monitored: His squad leader was in the room as he spoke to us, as was a public affairs specialist, and it is now clear that the Army was recording the conversation for its files.

The next day, via his wife, we learned that Beauchamp did want to stand by his stories and wanted to communicate with us again. Two-and-a-half weeks later, Beauchamp telephoned Foer at home and, in an unmonitored conversation, told him that he continued to stand by every aspect of his story, except for the one inaccuracy he had previously admitted. He also told Foer that in the September 6 call he had spoken under duress, with the implicit threat that he would lose all the freedoms and privileges that his commanding officer had recently restored if he discussed the story with us.

Gee. Where have you heard all that before?

The complete and total douchebaggery of the truth detectors on the right is going to be a spectacle to document when this is all over.

*** Update #3 ***

Mark Noonan, at Blogs for Bush:

But what of Beauchamp? Well, some were calling for him to be severely punished – and they had a strong case: what Beauchamp wrote was grist for the enemy propaganda mill and by encouraging the enemy to fight, it is almost certain that some people will die in part because of what Beauchamp wrote. But to err is all too human, to forgive is divine – especially when one is forgiving someone who is making amends, as Michael Yon points out…

Yes! The enemy was fueling their jihad with the tales of perfidy as outlined in the 65,000 subscriber New Republic.

It is unfair to actual idiots to call these people idiots.

Excellent! More Citizen Journalism!

The next generation of wingnuts cut their teeth:

A politically conservative student armed with a video camera and a Web site is trying to force a Democratic congressional candidate out of his teaching job at Central Michigan University.

Dennis Lennox, a 23-year-old junior, has posted videos on YouTube of himself questioning assistant professor Gary Peters about campaigning for office while holding a prestigious position at the university.

Some say Lennox is persistent. Others accuse him of pandering for attention.

“What I’m doing isn’t about getting media attention,” said Lennox, a political science major. “I’m speaking for the hundreds of students, alumni, taxpayers and even legislators who have complained because Gary Peters won’t pick between Congress and campus.”


Lennox helped start the group Students Against Gary Peters and created a Web site for what he calls “Petersgate.” He insists that he isn’t targeting Peters because he’s a Democrat.

But some see it differently.

“Basically, he’s just an extreme partisan. Anybody that’s a Democrat, he’s going to try to get at,” said fellow political science major Eric Schulz.

I regret that there was no information available regarding the good prof’s kitchen counters. Stay tuned, though!

*** OBLIGATORY TROLL PROTECTION *** – I am sure there are JUST as many douchebags on the left doing this sort of things to Republicans.

On This, We Still Agree

Common ground between me and Little Green Footballs. Ted Rall is still an asshole.

More Beauchamp

How exciting! Via Kevin Drum, the story that never mattered but was the biggest thing since Dan Rather in Greater Wingnuttia is back, and apparently Franklin Foer is worse than Hitler. Or something.

I would tell you what I thought of the leaked documents if the links at Drudge worked. From Kevin’s snippet, it appears that the latest transcript show that Beauchamp basically told everyone to piss off, that he just wanted everything to go away. Or, precisely what anyone with a brain would have predicted he would do (note the date I wrote that- 10 September) once the nutters had the brass jumping down his throat.

The Instapundit senses a conspiracy, though, as “Scott Thomas” can not be found on the TNR’s brand new website. Alas, no searches work, the good professor later finds out. WHAT ARE YOU HIDING, FRANKLIN FOER, WITH YOUR CRAFTY NEW FAULTY SEARCH FEATURES?

As a side note, it is amazing how quick this shit goes viral with the right- I worked for a little bit, came back, refreshed the browser and saw Kevin talking about it, and immediately noted that every 24%er in the blogosphere already had an opinion up at memeorandum.

*** Update ***

And now Drudge appears to have pulled everything.

*** Update #2 ***

Fourteen pages of Beauchamp refusing to talk about the story (again, who would have guessed that would happen?). That sure clinches it!

Now- on to the speculation as to why Drudge pulled the story. Was there identifying data on the fax that would let us know who leaked the documents (assuming they are legit?). Someone in the military, perhaps? Did TNR make it all up to screw with Drudge?

And finally- how many of you knew who Franklin Foer was before this whole thing? Or had read any of Beauchamp’s dispatches?