The Ashley Todd attack, some updates. Malkin goes beyond “healthy skepticism”

UPDATE: Ashley Todd admits making up the whole story to Police (click here for more)

So, in case you haven’t heard yet, Ashley Todd is the McCain staffer who reported being robbed and then attacked in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania last night because she had McCain sticker on her car . I covered the attack and subsequent reactions here.

Not surprisingly there are some new developments this morning. From everything credible I can gather there isn’t anything that has changed my mind one way or the other. I am still giving her the benefit of the doubt on this because I still haven’t seen anything to disprove her story beyond speculation but you be the judge.

Here are some updates:

Video of Pittsburgh Police spokesman talking about the case, she says there are some inconsistencies but they are still taking the claims very seriously.

“Investigators also say they are looking at some inconsistencies in her story, but they said that can happen in incidents such as an attack.”

Police spokesman reports the attacker used a dull knife to scratch a “B” into her face. Makes more sense with the picture and it lines up with the first credible media report on this (before the picture was released), which used the word “scratched” to describe he facial injury.

Looks like the latest reports indicate the attack isn’t on surveillance video.

“She told police the man then sat on her chest, pinning both her hands down with his knees and used what she believed was a dull knife with a roughly 5-inch blade to carve the B…”(via Hotair)

“She also indicated she was sexually assaulted as well. She indicated that when he had her on the ground he put his hand up her blouse and started fondling her. But other than that, she says she doesn’t remember anything else. So we’re adding a sexual assault to this as well,”

“Meanwhile, according to authorities, Todd did take a polygraph test; however, those test results were not released.” (there is some conflict over the polygraph, the first report I saw said she volunteered but some others have said the police wanted her to take the polygraph to clear up inconsistencies)

“[Police Cmdr Larry Ross] said the description of the robber as a 6-foot 4-inch, 200-pound black man is similar to that of a man who robbed a Liberty Avenue bank in recent weeks.”

So, yes, there continues to be room for reasonable doubt and “healthy skepticism”. However, there is certainly nothing here that proves anything. Yes, her story has changed some from her initial report but I certainly hope that isn’t the test for whether an attack happened or not. After all if you’re beaten up and even knocked unconscious, as Ashley Todd claims, there are bound to be some inconsistencies. It happens quite often as the Pittsburgh Police have noted. And beyond that I don’t see any more credible information that should lead to more doubts.

But beyond all of this it seems to me that Michelle Malkin has moved beyond the area of “healthy skepticism”, as Ed Morrissey calls it (he has been the most balanced on this by the way), into the area of bad speculation.

Let me just say that I understand Michelle’s initial caution and if this turns out to be a hoax I will condemn this woman in the harshest way. However, Michelle Malkin is reaching in a way that disturbs me. She now seems to be implying that the fact that Todd is either making her Facebook, twitter, and myspace accounts private or deleting them all together adds to doubt. Which is insane, I mean, I know that Malkin is used to getting lots of Hate mail but, if what Todd is saying is true and were in her situation I would delete or make private my online accounts to so that I’m not flooded with nut jobs threatening me.

Plus Malkin is now linking to a site which implies that a song lyric from a popular song on Ashley Todd’s myspace page (from the 17th) somehow proves she made the whole thing up. Right…

I guess the lesson we should all learn from this is that if you are attacked you’d better be in front of a video camera (and it should probably be 4 or 5 HD cameras just to be sure), you’d better take detailed notes of everything that happens (and you should probably make sure a notary is there to authenticate them), you’d better make sure your assailant beats and cuts you in a way that will seem appropriate to bloggers (in fact you should probably have a blogger check your wounds before the attacker leaves in case you need the attacker to cut you or hit you in a more “believable” way), you’d better make sure and get at least 5 doctors to look at you on the scene and probably about 10 more at the hospital (oh and make sure the blogger from earlier is there to check you out too), and, of course even after you’ve done all these things, you’d better expect the bloggers to say you liar anyway.

Horrifying attack on McCain supporter in Pittsburgh; Update: Daily Kos has no sympathy, neither do conservatives?


Follow this link for more Updates on this story. Is it real or a hoax? You tell me

According to the Pittsburgh police, Shortly before 9 p.m. October 22nd a woman was robbed at knife point while making a transaction at an ATM in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.

After the man took $60 dollars from the victim he reportedly noticed that there was a John McCain sticker on the victim’s car which enraged him. The 6’4″ 200 pound man then proceeded to punch and kick the victim before finally using his knife to “scratch” the letter B into her face.

Here is the original story.

Here is a more in depth story (video included).

UPDATE: If anybody was still doubting how deprived the far left nut jobs over at the Daily Kos are why don’t you take a look at their reaction to this story…

Here are some comments that sum up the level of hate for the victim in this story:

By ksh01:

Interesting that it happened “outside of the view of the bank’s surveillance cameras” and that the injuries were such that she refused medical treatment and they didn’t overrule that.

By dworth:

Aha… Never doubt the victim, especially when it’s a woman…


By ksh01:

yeah, you’re right. I get a little skeptical when these types of stories crop up with no verification or witnesses and such an unusual injury that feeds into a “white fright” scenario in a state with a rural racial divide.

By dworth:

Don’t blame you… their crazies are nuts enough to cut their own faces at this point…

but we just don’t know. So we just have to see what she can prove or not.

By ksh01:

considering she sought no medical treatment for a facial injury, I’d have to see it to believe her face was cut. […]

By Mogolori:

McCain needs race riots to turn the tide. That’s his only hope. Expect more of these “stories.”

By GlowNZ:

let me guess shes a white female right?
imagine the visuals of that, a white female being attacked by a black guy…

Yup, that’s right, she’s a lying racist who wants to incite race riots by cutting her own face in order to get John McCain elected president.

But what shocks me more is that Ace of Spades seems to of had a similar first reaction too (at least on two points)… and Allah Pundit over at Hot air even said some of Ace’s post made “good points”.

First, what the hell is wrong with you people at the Daily Kos? A women reports being robbed and assaulted and your first reaction is shes a liar and a racist? You have absolutely no reason to doubt her.

And what were you thinking Ace (and, to a lesser extent, Ap)? You really think every mugging and assault is caught on tape? and whose to say this preliminary report is even correct that it wasn’t caught on tape? Plus, do you really think the police would pass along fallacies about cuts on a persons face (they may well file a report by they would also note that there were no visible marks on her face if that was, in fact, the case)? and how does refusing medical attention somehow mean that she wasn’t hurt?

I am disgusted by initial reactions to this story… from all sides it seems. There was no reason to legitimately doubt this story and now that there is obvious photographic evidence that this woman was indeed attacked I hope all those who instantly doubted her claims feel some shame for the crap they pulled…

In case you were looking, here’s the picture of the injuries Ashley Todd, the victim, sustained:

*Disclaimer* I am not trying to put Ace of spades or Allah Pundit on the same level as anybody at the Daily Kos. It seems to me that they considered these claims because they were being overly cautious where as the DK crowd pushed these claims because they hate anybody politically opposed to them. Besides both Ace and AP gave up these ridiculous claims once more evidence of the attack came to light.

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin jumps on the “shes probably a liar” bandwagon… What is going on? I get the desire for caution but geeze. Yea there absolutely have been hoaxes before but what reason do we really have to believe this is one? Because she didn’t go to the hospital immediately (she went today reportedly)? Because the B carved into her face is backwards?

First, she obviously wasn’t horribly maimed (as the photo shows) so who cares if she went to the hospital? After all she is a college student and being an expert on college students, since I am one, hospital trips are damn expensive and I probably wouldn’t have gone if I only had some bruises and a not-so-deep cut. So lets all just get over this idiotic “she didn’t immediately rush to the hospital” criticism.

Second, the appearance in the picture that the “B” on her face is backwards PROVES ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. There are a million different reasons it is that way, the positions the two people where in when he cut her, the picture could be backwards, the mugger did it that way on purpose for whatever reason, the mugger is an illiterate dumb ass who writes his Bs backwards (after all he is mugging people), or, yes, she may have done it herself, along with beating herself, for attention.

But lets just think about the assertion that she faked this for a second, since thats all the rage. For that to be true and for the hoax to not have been disproven nearly immedaitly by the police this woman would have had to go to this atm, a place with multiple surveillance cameras, take out money, find the blind spots of the bank’s cameras, beat herself up (or get someone to beat her up), then cut a B into her face (and since the B on her face is backwards that rules out someone else doing it, at least according to the “its a hoax” folks), then call the police and fake her way through the whole story.

Is this scenario possible? Sure. Does it seem likely at this point? Not to me.

There just simply isn’t any good reason to think this woman is pulling a hoax, especially since she wasn’t the one who went public with this information and, at least according to some of her twitter posts (by the way I wanna know what Malkin finds odd about Ashley Todd’s twitter), doesn’t even seem all that shaken up by this event. Those things all reinforce the idea that she isn’t pulling a hoax. And all the information we currently have makes me, at the very least, grant her the benefit of the doubt.

But I guess the concept of benefit of a doubt is dead for most others… I guess we will see who is right.

UPDATE: Seems that a celebrity gossip blog posting (right after a post on David Becham’s spitting habits, great source) and a upside down “B” prove everything now a days since people have already started posting hate mail on Ashley Todd’s Twitter (censored):

eitan: @atodd even MICHELLE MALKIN thinks you’re a f***ing liar and a racist fraud. nice job.

Also let me explain why Ashley Todd’s Twitter, or at least what we refer to as her twitter (its actually her profile on “life in the field” a site for College Republican volunteers), seems “odd”. The posts we are seeing on her site are not normal twitter status updates but instead they are posts in a specific discussion. That’s why they don’t seem to make sense as updates… because they aren’t updates most of them are responses to questions in a discussion with other College Republican reps.

UPDATE: More information including the fact that Ashley Todd has volunteered to take a polygraph test…

In case anybody was still wondering how radical the American system of higher education is…

Here are 3,247 (and counting) of those who run the system that signed a petition in support of “Distinguished Professor” Bill Ayres.

Can’t say I’m surprised.

Well, actually, I am quite surprised that nobody from my school, Messiah College, has signed yet.

Also, for all my friends at West Chester University, I just wanted to point out Professor Lawrence Davidson as a supporter of Bill Ayres… Good luck in his completely balanced classes!

(I forgot to mention that if you look at the petition’s site the professors are listed by name and school. So you can look up your favorite nut job professor to see if they’ve signed yet! Have fun.)

UPDATE: I wonder how many of these professors have read Ayres’ book? (they easily could have since it was republished in 2006)

UPDATE: I wonder how many of these professors are going to read Ayres’ new book?

Sarah Palin did not misstate what a VP does

Here’s the answer that Sarah Palin gave to a third grader who asked what it is that the Vice President does:

And Here’s the specific part CNN was interested in:

“They’re in charge of the United States Senate. So, if they want to, they can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes.”

Here’s the title of the CNN story (as it appears on regarding her comments:

“Palin misstates VP role”

Now, I’m no constitutional law expert but luckily for me the constitution is written in English so I can pretty well understand it.

And to be quite honest, the constitution doesn’t much address what the specifics of the Vice President’s role are…

In fact, here is the one and only provision pertaining to the Vice President in regards to the Senate:

“The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.”

Seems to me that being the president of something means you are “in charge” of it, at least formally, and when you’re trying to explain what the VP does to a third grader thats not a half bad way of doing it. So if that wasn’t the offending part of this excerpt it must have been the insinuation that the Vice President, “if they want to”, can influence senators on policy.

But if the Vice President isn’t supposed to influence policy in the Senate then what exactly are they supposed to do? Just wait around for the President to die? I mean, besides outlining how the VP is elected (and revising it in the 12th amendment and several others), impeached, and that the VP assumes the office of the President if the President is unable or unfit to fulfill the duties of that office what does the constitution tell us?

Again, only that the Vice President is the president of the Senate and casts the decisive vote when there is a tie. And, again, I’m left wondering what CNN sees as the gaffe in Palin’s statement…

They quote Donald Ritchie, a historian in the Senate Historical Office for what seems to be the real crux of their argument:

Donald Ritchie, a historian in the Senate Historical Office told CNN that Palin’s comment was an “overstatement” of what her role would be.

“The vice president is the ceremonial officer of the Senate and has certain ceremonial functions including swearing in new senators and can vote to break a tie,” he said. “It’s a relatively limited role. It’s evolved into a neutral presiding officer of the Senate.

Ritchie also noted recent vice presidents have played a behind-the-scenes lobbying role on Capitol Hill for an administration’s policies, but called it “somewhat limited.”

Personally, I find these assertions to be contentious. Who is Ritchie to say what kind of Vice President Sarah Palin will be? And if anything the office of Vice President has been moving away from its “somewhat limited” role of influencing senate policy decisions, you only need to look at Dick Cheney to figure that out. Plus, everything I’ve heard Palin say about the kind of Vice President she’ll be points to one that is very engaged in influencing policy. After all, she has the right to be that kind of Vice President if she so chooses.

So, really, CNN has absolutely no basis for characterizing Palin’s view of the Vice Presidency as a misstatement. But, hey, they’ve got a narrative to keep so any chance they get to paint Sarah Palin as incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt or all of the above they’re gonna jump at it. Oh yeah, they aren’t the only ones either…

PS. CNN must consider this an important story since they keep bumping it to the top of their “political ticker”…

UPDATE: Oh, would you look at this, Biden said the exact same thing about what he plans to do as VP.

McCain ahead in Ohio and Florida, gains in Colorado

McCain 49% and Obama 47% in Ohio

McCain 49% and Obama 48% in Florida

McCain up a point against Obama in Colorado since the 5th (still down by 4%)

Here’s the details

So lets stop all this idiotic panic please. I mean seriously, Obama is running in a dead give away Democrat year with about a 4:1 money advantage and McCain is still within the margin of error nationally and in most important states. Obama couldn’t be a weaker candidate…

It’s gonna be close, just like the past two elections. You know, ever since the current red/blue demographics were aligned. Seems to me that despite all the rhetoric about changing the dynamics the election is going to be won or lost in the same states as ’00 and ’04. And it will probably come down to each parties get out the vote operations, just like the past two elections.

So, really, the fact that McCain never fell more than, say, 8 points behind nationally (and I don’t even think it got that bad in most battleground states) at his worst and the fact that he is pretty much back to even now should make us all very happy. After all, who had the better GOTV operations in ’00 and ’04? And while Obama may have made up ground its still widely recognized that the GOP has much larger and better voter information databases.

Honestly, people, recent history tells us that McCain is in good shape. Heck I might even consider him the front runner at this point.

Happy Birthday to Michelle Malkin

I just wanted to take a quick second and say Happy Birthday to Michelle Malkin.

As many of you who read The College Politico regularly know Michelle Malkin is a major source of news and perspective for me. I find her opinions and principles to be some of the most enlightening and consistant in the conservative movement. Not only that but I find her to be one of the foremost leaders of that movement.

Plus Michelle is doing almost exactly what I hope to do in my career, producing insightful, vivid, and clever commentary that cuts to the heart of an issue and enables people understand and connect with it. I hope some day I can write and speak with half the briliance Michelle Malkin displays on a daily basis.

So I hope that you stop over at this link and wish her a happy birthday.

UPDATE: Michelle’s birthday wish

Video from Sarah Palin on SNL

Here it is in all its mediocre glory:

Personally I think it was decently funny, the Mark Wahlberg cameo was actually the funniest part in my mind, but it could have been much better. They easily could have done a skit where Palin spoofs Fey and it would have been far funnier. I mean they had Palin there and they barely had her involved in anything… it was a below average night for SNL, something that is more and more common these days.

Here is the other Mark Wahlberg skit that was far more hilarious than either of the Sarah Palin skits:

Ammon Perry Highlights

Here’s some of my favorite Ammon Perry cartoons. These are about State and National politics (click to enlarge):

Here’s some awesome cartoons that relate to the politics of Messiah College (click to enlarge):