Patterico's Pontifications

6/29/2006

Los Angeles Times v. Everything That Is Good and Right in the World

Filed under: Dog Trainer,Humor — Patterico @ 10:58 pm

Browsing around on the Internet, I found this amusingly titled case: Los Angeles Times v. Free Republic. It is the case that ended Free Republic’s practice of posting articles online in their entirety. But I just like the name.

It reminded me of another funny case name — that of the Pentagon Papers case: New York Times v. United States.

I thought to myself: if I had unlimited money and time, it might be fun to create several organizations with names signifying concepts that nobody can argue with. For example, I might call one such company “Truth, Justice, and the American Way.” Then I would form web sites for these companies, and routinely copy entire articles from the Los Angeles Times on a daily basis.

All with the juvenile goal of inciting litigation with captions reading:

Los Angeles Times v. Truth, Justice, and the American Way

Los Angeles Times v. Everything Americans Hold Sacred

or

Los Angeles Times v. People Who Actually Want to Try to Hurt the Terrorists

You get the idea. It could be kinda fun, don’t you think? Make up your own case captions in the comments.

Shocker: Anthony Kennedy Angles for Approval of N.Y. Times Editorial Board, and Gets It

Filed under: Buffoons,Court Decisions,Judiciary,Media Bias — Patterico @ 10:03 pm

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote a separate opinion in the Hamdan case today. He explained why in this passage from the opinion:

I join the Court’s opinion, save Parts V and VI–D–iv. To state my reasons for this reservation, to show my agreement with the remainder of the Court’s analysis by identifying particular deficiencies in the military commissions at issue, and to get quoted in a New York Times editorial, this separate opinion seems appropriate.

OK, so that quote is not entirely accurate. But it’s what he was thinking.

And guess what? He got his wish.

Oh Yeah? Nuh-UHH!

Filed under: Media Bias,Morons — Patterico @ 7:04 pm

This is entertaining. Go to this link, which is that silly New York Times editorial I mocked yesterday. Scroll down below the editorial itself, to where it says “Related Blogs.” There are links to blogs reacting to the editorial. After the first three, which simply suck up to the editors, you’ll see this:

Patterico’s Pontifications
June 28, 21:24 PM AM

“Note to Times editors: the Pentagon Papers case did not involve a prosecution of the newspapers involved, despite your implication to the contrary. …”

I love it! Basically, it’s the editors of the New York Times saying: “Blabbity blabbity Bush sucks yakkety” — and me right there below them, on the same Web page, saying: “Wrong again, you morons!”

Fun stuff.

On the Air with Malkin

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:47 pm

I was on the radio today with Michelle Malkin, discussing the disclosure of the Swift anti-terror program by the New York Times and L.A. Times. (Michelle was filling in for John and Ken on KFI 640 AM in Los Angeles.) I got a chance to slam the L.A. Times for its irresponsible decision to publish the story, and its wretched coverage since then.

In other words, it was a blast.

Thanks very much to Michelle for the opportunity.

P.S. Drop me a comment if you heard it.

Day by Day Getting Syndicated

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:07 pm

Starting today, Day by Day will be available to newspapers in syndication. Congratulations to Chris Muir. It’s well-deserved.

Karl Rove Does *Not* Control What I Say. (Did I Say That Right, Karl?)

Filed under: Humor,Morons — Patterico @ 6:51 am

The left’s current theory is that the right is following Karl Rove’s bidding in attacking newspapers for revealing classified secrets. For example, Andrew Sullivan:

Rove needed a third week of p.r. offensive. After Zarqawi Week and “Cut and Run” Week, we are now almost through “Kill Keller” Week. He says jump. The blogosphere has sadly learned to ask: how high?

And Patterico commenter steve:

I’m beginning to think Keller was played. They anticipated he’d wring his hands for two weeks or so and eventually run the story. Since the public is rightfully behind any such scheme to track terror paymasters, the trap was sprung. Roveco loosed the blog and radio hounds.

I was going to write something about how ridiculous this argument is, but I’m a little too busy right now. I have to go pick up Karl’s dry cleaning, and after that, he has some weeds he needs pulled in his organic vegetable garden.

Hey, it could be worse. At least I don’t have to do his laundry. Yesterday I saw Jeff from Protein Wisdom headed towards Karl’s office with an empty laundry basket, muttering: “I just hope it’s not underwear day. Please God don’t let it be underwear day.” About 10 minutes later, he was headed the other direction with a full basket of white clothing, and he was screaming, to nobody in particular: “I HATE underwear day!”

True story.

OK, I’ll admit it, lefties, you’re totally right about Rove. Every word. When Truthout came out with that story about the Rove indictment, I remember hearing Goldstein ranting about how you had to do your own laundry in prison. I’m not sure he’s totally right about that, but I understand what he meant. And Ace of Spades and Allahpundit were giving each other high-fives over the possibility of not having to spend any more Sunday mornings scraping burnt “eggie-weggies” off the cookware.

So, yeah. Some of us were actually hoping Jason Leopold was right.

There. I said it.

True Story, or Allegory? Why Not Both?!

Filed under: Buffoons,Crime,Dog Trainer,Media Bias,Morons,Scum,Terrorism — Patterico @ 6:05 am

There’s an apparently true story I’ve heard about a former judge here in Los Angeles that I want to tell you about. By the time I’m done, you’ll understand why.

The judge in question was a former defense lawyer and liberal. He was notoriously pro-defense. He constantly ruled against the prosecution, claiming that the facts simply couldn’t be as the police had claimed.

So a police officer offered to take the judge on a ride-along, reasoning that the judge might change some of his rulings once he saw what life was really like out on the street.

On the day in question, the police were conducting an undercover narcotics buy. These are elaborate operations due to the danger involved. In such a transaction, an undercover police officer is generally hooked up with an audio device that is monitored by a detective. Other members of the team keep the undercover officer under strict surveillance, and there are patrol cars in the area standing ready to swoop in once the buy is made, and the undercover officer gives the pre-arranged signal.

The undercover officer was given pre-marked money, and sent into the field. As I heard the story, the judge was sitting in the passenger seat of one of the unmarked police cars assigned to watch the undercover officer. The undercover officer approached a suspect who had previously been observed in suspicious hand-to-hand transactions with several individuals.

As the suspect and the undercover officer were engaged in conversation, the judge rolled down his window, leaned out, and screamed: “RUN! RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN! HE’S A COP!!”

According to the person who told it to me, this is a true story.

But according to the logic of those who defend the New York Times and Los Angeles Times for revealing the Swift anti-terror program, the judge didn’t do anything to help the drug dealer. After all, drug dealers all know that they are sometimes approached by undercover officers! Further, the LAPD web site explicitly acknowledges using undercover officers to investigate certain crimes:

It is that same criminal sophistication that causes law enforcement to resort to the use of undercover operations, surveillance and informants to counteract their progress.

It’s right there, on the Internet! It follows that the drug dealer in our story was aware of it. Right? I mean, it just stands to reason!

So if you’re going to criticize our friend the liberal judge for warning off the drug dealer, maybe you should criticize Bill Bratton, too! Anything else is just rank hypocrisy, indicative of conservatives’ desire to wage a war on liberal judges for having the guts to stand up to our increasingly intrusive police state.

P.S. You knew that’s where I was going with that, didn’t you?

Support House Resolution 895

Filed under: Dog Trainer,Media Bias,Scum,Terrorism — Patterico @ 6:03 am

Today the House of Representatives will debate Resolution 895, which supports the Swift terror finance tracking program, and condemns media publication of the details of the program.

I listened to Hugh Hewitt today as he lambasted the measure, suggesting that its proponents are acting in a cowardly fashion by not calling out the New York Times and Los Angeles Times by name. Hugh was told that the leadership wanted to avoid “media-bashing” — which enraged Hugh and led him to lobby his callers to phone their Congressmen to complain.

As I listened to Hugh, I had no opinion on that aspect of the resolution — but I generally viewed the entire project as a cheap anti-media stunt.

But having read the resolution, I think it’s a great idea. And I think Hugh is being very short-sighted indeed in demanding that newspapers be named.

In fact, I wish the resolution weren’t about newspapers at all.

The resolution contains some very important language supporting the Swift program and the way it was handled by the Bush Administration.

It says the program is legal:

Whereas following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the President, with the support of Congress, directed the Federal Government to use all appropriate measures to identify, track and pursue not only those persons who commit terrorist acts here and abroad, but also those who provide financial or other support for terrorist activity;

Whereas consistent with this directive, the United States Government initiated a lawfully classified Terrorist Finance Tracking Program and the Secretary of the Treasury issued lawful subpoenas to gather information on suspected international terrorists through bank transaction information;

. . . .

Whereas the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program is firmly rooted in sound legal authority . . .

It says the program respects privacy and has appropriate controls:

Whereas the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program consists of the appropriate and limited use of transaction information while maintaining respect for individual privacy;

Whereas the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program has rigorous safeguards and protocols to protect privacy . . .

It says that appropriate Congressional members have been briefed:

Whereas appropriate Members of Congress, including the members of the Committees on Intelligence of the Senate and House of Representatives have been briefed on the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program and have conducted oversight of the program;

It says the program has been successful, citing the capture of Hambali, and Al Qaeda money launderer Uzair Paracha.

And it says that the disclosure of the program “has unnecessarily complicated efforts by the United States Government to prosecute the war on terror and may have placed the lives of Americans in danger both at home and in many regions of the world, including active-duty armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

In other words, it says everything that many of us have been saying for days — but it carries with it the imprimatur of the House of Representatives. The resolution makes a specific finding that

the Terrorist Finance tracking program has been conducted in accordance with all applicable laws, regulations, and Executive Orders, that all appropriate safeguards and reviews have been instituted to protect individual civil liberties, and that Congress has been appropriately informed and consulted for the duration of the Program and will continue its oversight of the Program.

I can’t stress enough how significant I think this is. It’s a Congressional vote of confidence in the program, and the President’s management of it.

If this resolution passes by a substantial margin — and if we spread the word about what it really says, rather than let the media characterize its contents — that will be a huge victory.

After all, lefties can’t really whine convincingly about the perils of the program’s lack of Congressional oversight, if Congress says that appropriate members did indeed have sufficient oversight, and that the program was working swimmingly in any event.

There’s no need to name newspapers by name, Hugh. That would be a distraction. And I say that as someone who is plenty steamed at the papers. Direct media-bashing-by-name at this juncture could give Democrats political cover to vote against the resolution. They could claim that they don’t want to seem to support prosecuting the papers.

They’ll probably say that anyway, but it would be an easier sell if we were to specify the names of the offending publications.

This is a great start. The leadership’s judgment is, for once, on-target. Let’s keep the resolution “as is” and strongly encourage its passage.

UPDATE: The House version passed, 227-183. It is a disgrace that 183 members voted against it. Nevertheless, as a body, the House has spoken, and it supports Bush on the Swift program. That’s an important step.

Patterico’s Blogs of the Week

Filed under: Blogging Matters,General — Patterico @ 6:00 am

In the spirit of Power Line’s generosity in bringing lesser-known blogs to their readers’ attention, I would like to highlight some blogs that I think deserve greater attention than they get. Hopefully I can do my small part to change that.

  • Damnum Absque Injuria is a blog run by a mysterious fellow going by the handle of “Xrlq.” Xrlq has given me invaluable help in entering and dealing with the blogosphere. He is an ardent Second Amendment advocate, a staunch conservative, a great writer, and a scrappy debater who has made an enemy or two in the blogosphere. If you’re looking for namby-pamby bloggers who can’t make up their minds, this is not the blog for you.
  • Junkyard Blog is fairly well known to the blogosphere, as the former blog of Bryan Preston (who has moved on to fame at the indispensable Hot Air blog, where he and the awesome Allahpundit hold forth daily on world events). But not everyone knows that the Junkyard Blog has essentially been taken over by an erudite fellow going by the handle of “See-Dubya.” See-Dubya has been a frequent guest poster here at Patterico, and graced this blog with a couple of posts yesterday. His musings are always worth reading.
  • Kevin Murphy has an excellent blog called The Interocitor. In recent times, it seems that Kevin posts all too rarely — but when he does, his posts are always insightful. Stick him in your RSS reader and hurry to click over when you see a new entry. You won’t be disappointed.
  • My last choice will be an unpopular choice for many conservatives: Dispatches from the Culture Wars, by Ed Brayton. Ed is a libertarian and somewhat lefty, who is a little obsessed with debunking Intelligent Design and defending evolutionary theory. But the writing is just top-notch, Ed’s intellectual honesty is strong, and his site is always worth reading.

I’m sure there are other blogs I’m forgetting. I encourage readers and bloggers to leave comments below, berating me for forgetting them.

Hamdan Opinion Today

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Constitutional Law,Court Decisions,Judiciary — Patterico @ 6:00 am

The Hamdan decision, about the legal validity of military commissions at Guantanamo, will be handed down by the Supreme Court this morning. I’ll be on my way to work when that happens, so my commentary will have to wait until the evening, at the earliest. The perils of being a blogger with a day job . . .

Tom Goldstein predicts that Justice Stevens will write the plurality opinion, which means that Justice Kennedy will join him in some sense. If Kennedy writes a separate opinion, it will probably be the governing opinion, and we all know that the limelight-seeking bastard would love that — especially if it gets him some kind words from the New York Times editorial board (which can’t write a coherent editorial, but nevertheless seems to control Justice Kennedy’s vote in high-publicity cases).

Erwin Chemerinsky said on Hewitt’s radio show yesterday that all of this is really just speculation. Let’s hope so. I don’t like the idea of Justice Stevens and Justice Kennedy deciding anything of importance, and certainly not this.

We’ll know soon enough.

UPDATE: Allah has fun speculating about the decision and a possible Stevens retirement.

UPDATE: Per Drudge, the speculation was right. The commissions are illegal, by a 5-3 vote. Again, not surprising. More and more, Kennedy is a reliable vote for whatever the New York Times editorial board wants.

Of all the Justices, I respect him least.

UPDATE 8:59 p.m.: I tried making my way through the opinion today, but I still have a long way to go — and I try not to comment on legal opinions unless I have first read them. From the parts I did read and the coverage I have seen, it appears that, in theory, Congress can still grant the President the authority that he seeks. So depending on what Congress does, the opinion might not be terribly significant after all.


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