Patterico's Pontifications



Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:33 am

THE POWER OF THE JUMP: Another installment in our semi-regular series (see also here, here, here, and here for more examples). This Los Angeles Dog Trainer story opens in this way:

“A committee deliberation exploded into a near-brawl in the House of Representatives on Friday, as epithets and insults like ‘wimp’ and ‘fruitcake’ filled the air and Capitol police were summoned to the scene.

“At the center of the extraordinary maelstrom were two Californians, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-Bakersfield), a conservative who does not suffer political opponents lightly, and Rep. Pete Stark (D-Hayward), who is regarded as a liberal firebrand with a short fuse.

“No blows were struck or arrests made. But the day ended with a series of seething floor speeches, reflecting the frustrations of Republicans eager to use their power and Democrats tired of having none.

“Outnumbered 229-205, Democrats lose virtually all of the important House votes — and, worse yet, Republican committee chairmen regularly brush them aside. Such is particularly the case on the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, which Thomas runs with an iron fist.”

A couple words later, the story jumps to the back pages, which virtually nobody reads. The reader is left with the impression that some insults were traded — some by Republicans like Thomas, some by Democrats like Stark. Isn’t that the impression you get? And the spin is quickly given: it’s all because the GOP is using its power in an overbearing fashion.

It’s really an amazing feat of writing that the paper was able to communicate all of that without telling you that it was a Democrat who said both the words “fruitcake” and “wimp.” This information comes far, far down in the story, after the Democrats’ side of the story is given a full airing. The context is this: Stark had just finished belittling the intellect of a Republican named McInnis. McInnis, according to the paper, allegedly told Stark to “shut up” — something which is not on the transcript. Here is how Pete Stark responded — and unlike McInnis’s alleged statement, Stark’s statement is in the transcript:

“You think you are big enough to make me, you little wimp? Come on. Come over here and make me, I dare you. You little fruitcake.” Not surprisingly, the Republican thought Stark was challenging him to a fist fight.

So you see, the way these words were able to “fill[] the air” was because they all came out of a Democrat’s mouth. And all you have to do to learn this is read past the jump.


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:45 am

JUSTICE TAKES A HOLIDAY: I think justice deserves it. After first taking a beating and then crossing a line, justice has had a tough year. A holiday is much deserved.

Kobe Bryant

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:38 am

I am someone who doesn’t follow sports. Still, you can’t escape this story, and so I heard it discussed on one of my favorite radio programs yesterday. The amazing thing to me is that most people seem to have made up their mind about whether Bryant is guilty, without having seen any evidence whatsoever. I mean, there are people who know he’s innocent because all these women who hang around these sports stars are out to get rich and famous. Because he would never do something like that. Because you don’t go to a hotel room with a guy without knowing you want sex. Finally, there are the people who say he’s probably guilty because the prosecutor in the press conference seemed like a good guy.


Face it: you have absolutely no idea whether this guy committed sexual assault. None. So stop opining. I know America is the Land of the Uninformed Opinion, but this is ridiculous. Enough already. Let’s wait for the evidence.

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