Patterico's Pontifications



Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:15 pm

THE CRUZ-TOBACCO LINK: I just saw the strangest commercial for Phillip Morris. It got me to thinking about Mr. N-Word Cruz Bustamante. No, this is not some strange obsession. Let me explain how I got there.

In the ad, the lovely Phillip Morris folks were talking about how gosh-darn responsible they are supposedly being about marketing. They have taken all full-page ads off the backs of magazines. They are limiting other advertising. They have a web site at which they have all sorts of information about how awful cigarettes are, how you can talk your kids out of smoking, and the like. (It’s true — you can check it out here.)

I watched this ad and thought: very impressive. These folks think it’s just awful if you smoke — but if you simply must smoke, why, then please smoke our brand! Then the awful, cynical part of me (the part that is usually right) spoke up, and said: It’s a lie! They really want you to smoke!

Which brings us to Mr. N-Word. His story has been that he really wants you to vote against the recall. Please, don’t reject Davis. But if you simply must recall Davis — why, then please vote for me!

I admit that I initially ridiculed the position of people like Dianne Feinstein, who said she was simply voting no on the recall. But I am starting to see her logic. She explained that when you start supporting a recall candidate, there is an emotional (never mind financial) investment. Pretty soon you find yourself wanting to recall the guy who’s there, so you can vote for your guy.

And who would be more emotionally invested than Mr. N-Word himself? Having initially pledged to stay entirely out of the race, as I mentioned about a month ago, Cruz then shifted to a “No on Recall, Yes on Bustamante” platform. Now, as revealed in a story that I linked to just this morning, the “No on Recall” part of the message is getting — well, sort of forgotten:

In previous speeches, Bustamante had criticized the recall and urged supporters to vote against it. On Sunday, he made no such argument. Bustamante said after his speech that he had repeated his “no on the recall” line once, at the end of the speech, but cheers drowned out the words.

Heh. We all know how it is when you’re giving a speech and you really want to get a point across, but you get drowned out by cheers the one time you say it. And the chance to say it again just doesn’t come up, now does it?

Maybe he whispered the first part of the slogan: “Psst! no-on-recall but YES ON BUSTAMANTE, BABY!!!

Anyway, my point is that this is all inevitable and predicted by the Phillip Morris paradigm. Mixed messages don’t work. Dianne Feinstein was right.

Hey, when Patterico is wrong, he admits it. Who else can say that?

GRAY CHOKES: I just watched

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:49 pm

GRAY CHOKES: I just watched Gray Davis choke on a word. I was watching him on TV, delivering a quote I had already read this morning in this story. It was the quote where old Gray was explaining his comment making fun of Arnold’s accent:

I was just joking around with someone in the crowd. . . . I’ll tell you it’s no joke when Arnold Schwarzenegger votes for [Proposition] 187, and it’s no joke when he tells people the first thing he is going to do is to repeal the bill I signed giving immigrants the right to drive in this state.

(My emphasis, of course.)

Somehow when you watch him delivering that quote, it’s so much more obvious that he choked on the word “illegal.” Because, of course, legal immigrants could already drive. The only purpose of this bill was to give illegals the right to obtain driver’s licenses. But somehow it doesn’t sound so wonderful to pontificate about how proud you are of “the bill I signed giving illegal immigrants the right to drive in this state.” Doesn’t quite have the same ring, does it?


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:47 pm

OPPOSE LICENSES FOR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS: Citizens of California are beginning an initiative to reverse the insane law just passed here, which allows driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants. Sign up to circulate the petition and receive e-mail updates at this link.


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:33 am

PATTERICO’S COMMON SENSE IS ECHOED: In today’s Washington Post, Robert Samuelson echoes the argument I made yesterday about campaign finance reform, and the phony “coordination” distinction. His argument is so similar to mine that the conclusion is inescapable: Samuelson must be a new Patterico reader. Here is the argument in Samuelson’s words:

In its 1976 Buckley v. Valeo decision — ruling on the 1974 campaign finance legislation — the Supreme Court attempted to straddle the contradiction. Congress could not, as it had tried to do, limit campaign spending without dangerously curbing speech, the court said. But Congress could limit campaign contributions, because dependence on big contributors might create corruption or “the appearance of corruption.”

In practice, this lawyerly distinction hasn’t worked. Here’s why. Suppose I want to contribute to your campaign; federal law limits how much I can give. But the law allows me, on my own, to spend as much as I want to elect you. Now, suppose I ask you how I should spend that money — what ads to run, what mailing lists to use. Once I’ve done that, my “spending” effectively becomes a “contribution” to you.

To plug this loophole, the Federal Election Commission has rules restricting “coordination” between candidates (and their staffs) and anyone spending independently on their behalf. You and I are limited in how we can associate and what we can talk about. Problem solved? No. The “solution” deprives us of our guarantees of free speech and political association.

Go Robert! Go Robert!


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:29 am

DAVIS MAKES FUN OF ARNOLD’S ACCENT: This story quotes Gray Davis as saying, “you shouldn’t be governor unless you can pronounce the name of the state.”

Seems like a pretty good story. But the Dog Trainer reveals the quote waaaaaaay down deeeeep in this story about Bustamante, which begins on page A16 and reveals the quote on page A17.

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