Patterico's Pontifications



Filed under: Dog Trainer,Media Bias — Patterico @ 7:38 pm

I keep noticing how the media are increasingly fond of telling us things after the fact, that it would have been nice to know before the fact. I have a million examples. Let me present two now.

Example: Gray Davis fudged budget numbers just before the election for California governor. According to the local Dog Trainer: “During the budget negotiations, Davis’ administration changed how it portrayed the state of the economy. Rather than use figures that compared one calendar year to the next, the administration, without fanfare, shifted to presenting results that compared the fourth quarter of 2002 to the same period a year earlier. The effect was to make the economy look significantly better than it otherwise would have just as Davis was seeking reelection.” (Emphasis is mine.) Apparently the Dog Trainer did not detract from the lack of fanfare — at least before the election. Thanks for telling me now.

Example: The Dog Trainer printed a story called Glitches, Close Calls Haunted Columbia, on February 17, 2003 (after the disaster). The facts in this story were clearly available before the Columbia disaster, but the long history of close calls was not a prominent news story until after the disaster. Thanks for telling me now.

I have many more examples, but let’s save some for another day. You get the idea. Sometimes it would be nice to know about these things earlier — you know, before it’s too late.

This will be a semi-regular feature on this site. Stay tuned.


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 4:45 pm

BUBBA ADMIRES BONO: Here is a perfect example of why Bush is preferable to Clinton: Bush would never say that rock star Bono is a “leader” whom “we should follow in the new millennium.” Bush would just say: “BOE-noe?? Who’s that again?”


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:59 pm

WELCOME TO “HOW APPEALING” READERS: Well, I just noticed that appellate blog How Appealing has added a link to this site. A hearty thanks to Howard Bashman, and welcome to “How Appealing” readers!


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:26 pm

SPREAD THE WORD: I should mention that I have not tried to publicize this blog by putting it on a search engine or anything official like that. I am relying on word of mouth. So if you like it, tell your friends. (Of course, if you don’t like it, you can still tell your friends. And anyone can e-mail Patterico by simply clicking on the link on the left margin.)

My wife asked me if I had gotten any e-mails yet saying: “You are an idiot.” The answer is, “not yet.” (At least not in connection with this blog.) Feel free to be the first! (And to the smart-alecks among you: say something else, too.)

MUST-READ: This New York Times

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:09 pm

MUST-READ: This New York Times op-ed by Kenneth Pollack, a former CIA analyst, should be compulsory reading for anyone with doubts about the impending war.

The most telling quote, I think, is this: “America has never encountered a country that saw nuclear weapons as a tool for aggression.” This is the most fundamental reason that we have no rational alternative to war. Unfortunately, we are quickly moving into an era where many such countries may be popping up. I don’t think that provides a rational argument for ignoring one of them.


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:49 pm

BUCHANAN DODGES THE TOUGH QUESTIONS: Pat Buchanan, whom I don’t generally like, has this piece in this morning’s Dog Trainer. Buchanan is currently perhaps the most visible American isolationist. He argues that America is acting in imperialist fashion, and questions whether Bush can really keep all the dictators from obtaining nuclear weapons: “Where will [Bush] get his authority to go after Iran, Syria or Libya, as Sharon and his Amen Corner demand? In Iraq, the president has the cover of U.N. resolutions. Will the Brits be with us when we go after Iran? Will British Prime Minister Tony Blair be up for a second adventure? Who will be with us if we attack North Korea to disarm it?”

Good questions. But I wish Buchanan would ask the next question: if we can’t find the support or authority for preventing these types of countries from obtaining nukes, are we comfortable with that outcome? Are we simply to allow the aforementioned countries to obtain nuclear weapons, and then rely on their goodwill not to use them?


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:32 pm

ALBERTO ON THE SUNDAY YAPPERS: I think Alberto Gonzales is playing it just right in his comments on the Sunday talk shows. He is not accusing Senate Democrats of opposing Estrada simply because Estrada is Hispanic. Rather, Gonzales is saying: “I’m not going to speculate on the motivation behind this. I will say that he is being treated differently. I think he’s being held to a double standard.”

Now, it is crystal clear that Estrada is being held to a different standard. No judicial nominee in history has been asked for all the memos they wrote for the Justice Department, though 67 previous nominees worked for DoJ. It’s a topic for a different day whether, how, and to what extent this differential treatment results from Estrada’s ethnicity. (I will have much to say about this soon, but it is a complex topic and will take some time to fully explore.) I like that Gonzales is not leveling charges of racial bias, but at the same time is putting the onus on Democrats to explain exactly why this particular nominee is receiving this kind of treatment. As the filibuster continues tomorrow, watch for this to be a continuing theme.


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:30 am

WE INTERRUPT WITH THIS NEWS FLASH: “American actor George Clooney stepped up his criticism of George W. Bush’s administration on Sunday.” Readers who really care about this blockbuster story can read all about it here.

My favorite part is his statement that “the real danger is going to be what happens after [the war].” Like many in the anti-war movement, Clooney has realized that the war is going to happen, we are going to win, the people of Iraq will be grateful, and Saddam will be proven to have lied about prohibited weapons. So, the rhetoric is shifting. Specifically, Clooney and his cohorts are now looking into their crystal balls, and guess what they see? More terrorist attacks! In other words, if we invade Iraq, and there is a subsequent terrorist attack, Clooney & Co. can say “I told you so.”

Well, Clooney is nowhere near as good a prognosticator as I am. Let’s review my history of unerring predictive accuracy. In the early ’90’s, I warned everybody I knew that if we voted in Bill Clinton, there would be a terrorist attack. Sure enough, the World Trade Center was bombed in 1993. Then I said if he was re-elected, it would only continue. I was proven right again, with the bombings of U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, and the attack on the U.S.S. Cole. Then, after Bush won the election, I warned people that if Gore filed a lawsuit over the election, it would undermine the perceived legitimacy of a Bush presidency, leading to a weakening of our world reputation, and therefore still more terror. Sure enough, we had September 11. My predictions have proven right time and time again.

My next prediction: if Hollywood celebrities don’t shut up, and the media doesn’t stop treating their opinions as somehow significant, then we will get another terror attack regardless of whether war happens in Iraq.

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