Patterico's Pontifications

1/31/2004

TWO WORDS: LIGHTEN UP

Filed under: Morons — Patterico @ 2:39 pm

Raise your hands if you agree with this Moveon.org guy that there ought to be more political issue ads during the Super Bowl.

I see no hands.

RANDOM THOUGHTS ON THE SCALIA/CHENEY RECUSAL CONTROVERSY

Filed under: Judiciary — Patterico @ 12:33 pm

I have tremendous respect for Justice Scalia, and almost always find him persuasive on any topic on which he writes. In my opinion, he is the apotheosis of what a judge should be: a clear thinker with a consistent philosophy, a lively writing style, and above all, a willingness to call ‘em like he sees ‘em.

I haven’t followed the Scalia/Cheney recusal controversy very closely, and I am not a professional legal ethics scholar. Given my respect for Justice Scalia, and my lack of expertise in the area, I am reluctant to come to a conclusion that Justice Scalia should recuse himself.

Moreover, I can certainly see the political motivations behind the request. You see where this is headed, don’t you? This isn’t about the energy task force. This is about Bush v. Gore. If Scalia can’t hear this case, Democrats would argue, he shouldn’t have participated in Bush v. Gore.

With all of that in mind, though, I’m troubled.
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HELP JOE AT WINDS OF CHANGE GO TO ARMED LIBERAL’S WEDDING

Filed under: Blogging Matters — Patterico @ 11:32 am

Armed Liberal at Winds of Change is getting married. (Congratulations, AL!) He is trying to bring his blogging buddy Joe (who he has never met) to the wedding. Help him out by going to this post and clicking on the PayPal button.

1/30/2004

Shoot Him But Don’t Burn Him

Filed under: Crime — Patterico @ 6:28 pm

Someone explain to me what I am missing in this story. A guy kills a sheriff’s deputy, holes up in a shed in the California High Desert, and continually fires at deputies over the course of eight hours.

If they shot back, they would be trying to kill him, right? And that would be okay, right?

Instead, after numerous other unsucessful efforts to force him out with a battering ram and tear gas (during which he continued to fire at him), they tried to force him out with road flares.

He died, and his charred body was found in the shed. The coroner said he died of “multiple firearms wounds with other significant conditions as probable effects from thermal burns.” (That sounds to me like he was shot to death — which we already agreed would be fine — but let’s assume that the fire “contributed to his death” as the article asserts.)

Numerous experts are quoted as saying this is horrific.

What am I missing?

GERMAN CANNIBAL WILL SERVE FIVE YEARS

Filed under: Current Events — Patterico @ 6:21 pm

The German cannibal got 8 years, and will likely serve five. His moving statement of remorse: “I had my big kick and I don’t need to do it again.”

I was going to post about how this is the end result of a philosophy that “two consenting adults should be allowed to do whatever they want” — and also shows how countries that allow euthanasia put a low value on life. Then I read Power Line’s post on the story and realized it already said everything I was going to say, and more.

DOG TRAINER ADMITS CANCELLATIONS HIT 10,000

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 4:55 pm

Reading this otherwise insipid column by Steve Lopez in today’s Los Angeles Dog Trainer, I noticed something interesting: Lopez admits that 10,000 people cancelled their subscriptions over the Arnold hit piece:

So far, the boycott of the L.A. Times by the Ventura County town of Santa Paula has not hit us as hard as the 10,000 subscription cancellations by apologists for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

(Note that all the subscribers who cancelled are referred to as “apologists” for Schwarzenegger.)

10,000. Wow. Quite a bit more than the 1000 they originally admitted — and even more than the 9000 cancellations reported by this blog in October.

UPDATE: Turns out BoiFromTroy and L.A. Observed have made exactly the same points.

DEAN PREPARES TO LOSE NEXT SEVEN STATES

Filed under: 2004 Election — Patterico @ 12:04 am

Am I wrong to see this as the end of Howard Dean’s campaign?

I would hate to see the guy go, if only because my traffic depends so much upon people’s continuing interest in the Howard Dean scream, as well as the fact that Howard Dean sucks.

1/29/2004

MARK STEYN ON PRETTY-BOY JOHN EDWARDS

Filed under: 2004 Election — Patterico @ 10:44 pm

Mark Steyn has this amusing anecdote about a short conversation he had with pretty-boy John Edwards about Iraq (via Pejmanesque):

In the crush as he was leaving, I asked him what he would do about Iraq.

“We need to get the UN in there,” he said.

“But they were in there. They pulled out because it was too dangerous.”

“We need to get NATO in there,” he said.

“But 21 out of the 34 countries with troops on the ground are, in fact, NATO members.”

“Hey, that’s what I love about these town hall meetings,” he said, shaking my hand. “You get to hear from the people.” If Edwards were in a presidential debate with Bush, there wouldn’t be a lot of questions on Visa card rates but there would be one or two on Iraq, and his platitudes wouldn’t pass muster.

Ouch! Reminds you a little of Edwards’s well-known fumble on the Defense of Marriage Act:

[PETER] JENNINGS: Senator Edwards, President Bush, as you know, is worried. He said it again in the State of the Union address the other night that the Defense of Marriage Act is not strong enough, as he says, to protect the institution of marriage.

You were not in the Senate in 1996 when it passed overwhelmingly. Senator Kerry was one of only 14 senators who voted against it. I’d like to know from you whether or not you think he was right or wrong, and why?

EDWARDS: I think he was right. I think he was right because what happened with the Defense of Marriage Act is it took away the power of states, like Vermont, to be able to do what they chose to do about civil unions, about these kinds of marriage issues.

These are issues that should be left — Massachusetts, for example, has just made a decision, the supreme court at least has made a decision, that embraces the notion of gay marriage.

I think these are decisions that the states should have the power to make. And the Defense of Marriage Act, as I understand it — you’re right, I wasn’t there when it was passed — but as I understand it, it would have taken away that power. And I think that’s wrong. That power should not be taken away from the states.

JENNINGS: Do you believe that other states, for example, should be obliged to honor and recognize the civil union which Governor Dean signed? Should other states be obliged to recognize what happens in another state?

EDWARDS: I think it’s a decision that should be made on a state-by-state basis. I think each state should be able to make its own decision about what they embrace.

. . . .

[BRIT] HUME: I just want to follow up with on the Defense of Marriage Act, which of course is the law of the land.

EDWARDS: Yes.

HUME: Does not the Defense of Marriage Act specifically say that the court rulings in one state, which might, for example, recognize a gay marriage, may not be imposed on another state? In other words, doesn’t the Defense of Marriage go to the very position which you yourself take? [Patterico notes: the correct answer to this question is "Yes." Now let's hear Edwards's answer.]

EDWARDS: No, the Defense of Marriage — first of all, I wasn’t in the Congress, I don’t claim to be an expert on this. [No kidding! -- Patterico.] But as I understand the Defense of Marriage Act, it would take away the power of some states to choose whether they would recognize or not recognize gay marriages. That’s my understanding of it.

What a maroon.

This guy may look good — and that counts for a lot to our shallow electorate, especially for the women — but he ain’t really ready for prime time, is he?

ANTICIPATION. . .

Filed under: Judiciary — Patterico @ 10:23 pm

Howard Bashman knows the Art of the Tease. In this post, he certainly makes the case that we should all look forward to his upcoming “20 Questions” feature with Stephen Reinhardt — the intelligent, articulate, unprincipled wild-eyed ideologue that conservatives like me love to hate.

I can’t wait.

UPDATE: I’d like to take advantage of the fact that I have some visitors coming here from How Appealing. (Thanks, Howard!) I have just posted something about the Scalia/Cheney recusal controversy. Since people who read How Appealing tend to be high-caliber lawyers, I would like to solicit your comments on the topic. If you are interested, please click here to go to my post — and please leave a comment!

LAWYER: ARNOLD LIED

Filed under: Politics — Patterico @ 8:03 pm

The Sacramento Bee reports:

The lawyer who sued Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger over his $4.5 million campaign loans charged Wednesday that Schwarzenegger lied when he told reporters he had always intended to repay the loan out of his own pocket.

(Via Weintraub.)

No kidding! Here I thought that he fought that lawsuit because he wanted to lose it. That’s usually why people spend money on lawyers, isn’t it?

Arnold’s contempt for the intelligence of the electorate appears to know no bounds.

(Don’t blame me — I voted for Tom!)

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