Patterico's Pontifications

8/11/2005

Phony NARAL Ad Withdrawn

Filed under: Abortion,Judiciary — Patterico @ 8:04 pm

NARAL has pulled its phony ad against John Roberts. (Via Confirm Them.)

Dafydd: Question… Is Dafydd Just Too Stupid?

[Posted by Dafydd ab Hugh]

UPDATED; see bottom.

Okay, I know I’m not a lawyer. And I hate having to play one… but the courts seem determined to force me to do so.

The appellate court just bounced Proposition 77, redistricting reform, agreeing with California AG Bill Lockyer that there was substantial difference between the version of the proposition submitted for inclusion on the ballot, and the version on the petition circulated to voters… which nearly a million California voters signed.

I don’t understand this at all. Let’s suppose that Ted Costa and his group, Fair Districts Now, were negligent in submitting an altered version of the proposition for review. Let’s even agree they should be punished. But throwing the proposition off the ballot is not just punishing FDN… it’s also punishing over 900,000 California voters who did nothing wrong — including me.

Don’t the voters have rights? Don’t we have the God damned right to vote on ballot propositions that we properly approved for the God damned ballot? How do the subsequent actions of Ted Costa retroactively delegitimize the signatures of 900,000 voters? Where the hell do these black-robed jagoffs get the right to spit in our faces and grab for a technicality to throw our amendment off the ballot? It doesn’t belong to Ted Costa… it belongs to us!

These black-robed legal priests of the High Church of Fundamentalist Krytocracy would presumably argue that it wasn’t a “technicality,” that there was “substantial non-compliance.” But I’ll tell you why it’s a technicality — speaking as a regular person, not some abnormal alien geek of a lawyer (no offense meant to AAGLs who are also regular people in real life, like our kindly host here… but plenty of offense offered to AAGLs who are that way on and off the court, and I’ve met plenty): it’s a technicality because it would be as freaking easy as pie to fix this problem by just putting the exact version we signed onto the damned ballot, that’s why!

How hard could that be? For God’s sake, it would take about ten minutes to change the bad version into the good version. As I noted, they don’t even have to read through and identify the changes, because the Secretary of State already did that (or else someone else did and gave it to him).

What the hell is going on? Am I simply too stupid to understand why it’s somehow impossible to just put the right version, the signature-gathering version, on the ballot instead of the slightly rewritten version? Is this some lawyer thing that I would understand if I were so brilliant that I had gone to law school for three years, instead of being a feeble-minded mathematician who could only manage to attend some dinky mathematics graduate school at UC for three years?

Can some lawyer explain to me in simple terms, in words that even a bonehead mathematician with a scant eighteen published novels can comprehend, why it’s a better solution for two out of three judges to unzip and relieve themselves on the voters, yanking the entire proposition off the ballot, instead of just ordering Bruce McPherson to make the changes on the document he already has to turn it into the one that was circulated — and ordering Fair Districts Now to pay for the costs of doing so?

Am I just an idiot? Enquiring minds want to know — even if they’re not up to the level of intellectual rationalization of some godlike judge.

UPDATE AND BUMP: One indication of how differences between the two versions might have affected signers is to look at the two different ballot titles and summaries prepared by Attorney General Bill Lockyer. An alert commenter, Nels Nelson, found links to both: the summary of the version originally submitted to Lockyer is here, while the summary Lockyer has just written for the version actually circulated for signatures is here.

As Nelson noted, the only difference is that in the new version, Lockyer changed a single word in the title from “reapportionment” to “redistricting.” And this change, by the way, does not come from any differences between the two versions. Both versions use the term “redistricting;” neither says “reapportionment.” That term came from Bill Lockyer’s own head — not from anything in either version of the initiative.

In other words, neglecting the purely stylistic and cosmetic change in the title that Lockyer took the opportunity to make, the two summaries are word-for-word identical, despite the supposed “numerous substantive differences” to which Lockyer makes reference in his press release about the case he filed to remove the measure from the ballot (in which Lockyer won the first two rounds; everyone now awaits action by the state Supreme Court).

Well, I can certainly see how that must have affected signatures.

Our Friend Alex Screws the Pooch Again

Filed under: Morons — Patterico @ 1:09 pm

Local fringe leftist Alex reports:

August 11, 2005 Looks like Chrenkoff ran out of Good News from Iraq

Pro war optimist and propagandist Chrenkoff announced his retirement the other day, claiming that a new job would prevent him from spinning miles of crap about how hunky dory things are going in Iraq:

A few days ago, I accepted a new job. Unfortunately, one of the conditions is that I will not be allowed to blog, or indeed write much on my own. As you can imagine, it has not been an easy decision.

Mighty convenient timing, as our good friend seems to be running out of the "Good News" which made his blog the darling of neocon idiots and warmongers everywhere. Just glancing at his website, it seems his last installment of "good news from Iraq" was posted four months ago on April 11. It’s all about the wunnerful democracy taking shape in Iraq, a report that Iraqis are so prosperous they are becoming "car crazy" (is that why those things keep exploding?) and how successful our rebuilding has progressed. In other words, the standard pile of crap.

[More nonsense excised by Patterico. Click on the link above if you want to read it.]

Posted by Alex at 02:30:00 | permalink | print this | email this

Just one problem — actually, seven problems — with that analysis. Chrenkoff’s most recent “Good News” post was posted on August 1, 2005. It was Part 32. The April 11 post to which Alex refers was Part 25. Since then, there have been seven lengthy “Good News” posts — all in the past four months.

So the entire point of Alex’s post is, once again, factually incorrect.

Whoops.

Maybe next time he’ll do more than just glance at a site before popping off . . .

UPDATE: Alex has issued a correction — with his usual grace . . .

L.A. Times Joins the Crowd in Distorting the Cindy Sheehan Story

Filed under: Dog Trainer,Sheehan,War — Patterico @ 7:05 am

As part of its never-ending quest to be the New York Times of the Left Coast, the L.A. Times today follows the NYT‘s lead in hiding from its readers contradictory statements by Cindy Sheehan. The paper goes further and affirmatively reports that she was “dissatisfied and angry” after her meeting with President Bush last year, never once mentioning her positive statements about Bush at the time.

You must know by now who Sheehan is, since the liberal media is cramming her story down every American’s throat. He is the grieving mother who is camped outside President Bush’s Crawford ranch, and the L.A. Times loves her story:

For more than a year, a modest bungalow known as “Peace House,” located a few miles from President Bush’s ranch, has served as a headquarters for antiwar activists. It is lonely work, with little more than a skeleton crew on hand much of the time.

But then Cindy Sheehan hit town.

. . . . Now, in the space of just a few days, what started out as a seemingly quixotic personal mission has become something of a phenomenon . . . . Antiwar leaders hope that putting the spotlight on Sheehan will motivate Americans who oppose the war, creating a political force strong enough to compel the Bush administration to change course.

Wow. This woman could be the catalyst for the Administration to back out of Iraq!! That is just too good a story to muddy up with the facts, as we shall soon see. Prepare yourself, because the distortion in the upcoming quote is breathtaking:

The White House, meanwhile, has sought to cope with Sheehan’s vigil without abandoning its strategy for dealing with the families of troops who have died. On a number of occasions, Bush has met with bereaved relatives — including some who have challenged him sharply on the war — but he has done so privately, away from news cameras and reporters.

Sheehan, a Vacaville, Calif., resident who opposed the war even before her son’s death, was a member of one such group in June 2004. She came away from that meeting dissatisfied and angry.

“We wanted [the president] to look at pictures of Casey, we wanted him to hear stories about Casey, and he wouldn’t. He changed the subject every time we tried,” Sheehan said. “He wouldn’t say Casey’s name, called him: ‘your loved one.’ “

She came away “dissatisfied and angry,” eh?

Today’s article never once mentions that Sheehan gave quite a different account of her meeting with Bush to the Vacaville Reporter last year. We’ve been through this before with the New York Times, but I’m going to quote it again. You tell me how “dissatisfied and angry” she sounds:

“I now know he’s sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis,” Cindy said after their meeting. “I know he’s sorry and feels some pain for our loss. And I know he’s a man of faith.”

The meeting didn’t last long, but in their time with Bush, Cindy spoke about Casey and asked the president to make her son’s sacrifice count for something. They also spoke of their faith.

. . . .

The trip had one benefit that none of the Sheehans expected.

For a moment, life returned to the way it was before Casey died. They laughed, joked and bickered playfully as they briefly toured Seattle.

For the first time in 11 weeks, they felt whole again.

“That was the gift the president gave us, the gift of happiness, of being together,” Cindy said.

The “dissatisfied and angry” Cindy Sheehan, ladies and gentlemen.

Her husband Pat agreed:

The 10 minutes of face time with the president could have given the family a chance to vent their frustrations or ask Bush some of the difficult questions they have been asking themselves, such as whether Casey’s sacrifice would make the world a safer place.

But in the end, the family decided against such talk, deferring to how they believed Casey would have wanted them to act. In addition, Pat noted that Bush wasn’t stumping for votes or trying to gain a political edge for the upcoming election.

“We have a lot of respect for the office of the president, and I have a new respect for him because he was sincere and he didn’t have to take the time to meet with us,” Pat said.

Not one word of this appears in today’s story. There is not even the slightest hint of it.

Every time I think that I am numb to the outrageous behavior of this newspaper, they do something like this.

This is a perfect example of how Big Media ignores inconvenient facts while peddling a story it likes. The L.A. Times and other Big Media outlets obviously think this is a great story: one mother taking on the Administration. Just look at the quotes from today’s story above. But it’s nowhere near as good a story if all the relevant facts are reported. If you learn that Ms. Sheehan and her husband once had nothing but praise for President Bush’s behavior in last year’s meeting, it kinda takes the oomph out of her current complaint that he was an insensitive boob.

So The Times simply decides not to mention that at all — and uncritically reports that she “came away from that meeting dissatisfied and angry.”

This story was written by two reporters: Edwin Chen and Dana Calvo. According to the late David Shaw, it must have been reviewed by four experienced Times editors. Are we really to believe that nobody in this process has heard about Ms. Sheehan’s previous account of her meeting with President Bush?

The possibility becomes even more remote when you realize that the reporters were on the Internet looking for information on the story. Chen and Calvo report: “By Wednesday afternoon, ‘Cindy Sheehan’ was the top-ranked search term on Technorati.com, the search engine for blog postings.” Gee, and in all those blog postings you didn’t notice a single one that alluded to her earlier account of the meeting? The story also says: “Conservative blogger Michelle Malkin disdainfully called the activists promoting Sheehan “grief pimps.” You’re reading Michelle Malkin and you aren’t aware of the previous account of the meeting?

Nobody at the L.A. Times reads the Drudge Report?

These people are either hopelessly uninformed, or they are lying to you — right to your face. There is no third explanation. And I find it almost impossible to believe that they are that uninformed.

UPDATE: Thanks to Michelle Malkin, AOL, and RealClearPolitics for linking the post. I hope new readers will bookmark my front page and return often.

Readers should understand: as I have said before, I am not inclined to criticize Ms. Sheehan. She is a grieving mother, and I can’t possibly imagine what it’s like to lose a son. But it is simply outrageous for the media to pretend that she has not previously portrayed her meeting with the President in a different light.

UPDATE x2: If I could say one thing to Cindy Sheehan, it would be to suggest that she read the post to her from Mohammed of Iraq the Model. More here.


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