Patterico's Pontifications


New Blog Recommendation: Stubborn Facts

Filed under: Blogging Matters,General — Patterico @ 12:05 am

One of the thrills of having a blog is that I get to tell you about blogs I have discovered. My newest recommendation is a blog called Stubborn Facts.

It’s a group blog, and with apologies to the other bloggers, the blogger who really got my attention is a guy named Simon Dodd. His blog-within-Stubborn-Facts can be accessed here. He is a savvy legal writer who takes a conservative point of view.

Simon’s take on the partial-birth abortion decision is here. It’s entertainingly written in a law review-style format, with footnotes — the first of which reveals that the author’s e-mail address is a gmail address beginning with “acolyteofscalia.”

This is clearly my kind of guy.

Here is a sample quote from one of Simon’s posts, where he urges Alberto Gonzales to resign:

Al, this is reality calling. Like the Miers nomination, your boss is pathologically incapable of firing you, and like the Miers nomination, every hour between now and your resignation worsens the damage. This was a nothing story that you allowed to become a scandal. It no longer matters whether there’s any fire behind this smoke. Resign. Now.

Check out his blog today.

UPDATE: Bumped to top.

19 Responses to “New Blog Recommendation: Stubborn Facts”

  1. Patterico:

    Hm. And yet another person who thinks as far ahead as “Gonzales resigns, paradise reigns”… and no farther.

    Will anybody in the resignation parade ever dare consider what happens next, after Gonzales resigns?

    Yes, I read his entire post and all the comments. Not a word from either Simon or any of his commenters about what happens next, and how such a resignation could possibly help the country. Typical line from a typical comment, very evocative of the real issue here: “I agree, AG should go. I was never a fan of his…”

    Honestly, I believe that 75% of the “Gonzales must resign” sentiment is in reality Gonzales delenda est: “I always hated the SOB, and now I finally get my chance to demand he be fired!”

    “Well, what happens next? How will that affect the presidency? Will this scalp cause the Democrats to redouble their efforts to destroy Bush? How will this affect the war on global jihadism?”

    “Who cares, man! The important thing is that Gonzales be disgraced, fired, and humiliated!”


    Dafydd (445647)

  2. Ditto to Dafydd.

    And unlike Miers, where Bush was trying to get something done, replacing Gonzales does absolutely nothing for Bush; it’s not as if the Dems are going to thank Bush for pushing Gonzales out by, for example, agreeing to extend his tax cuts, are they?

    In fact, Bush likely feels keeping Gonzales has a few pluses: Gonzales serves as ‘flypaper’, attracting Dem attacks that might strike elsewhere; he helps Bush with his not-an-amnesty amnesty; and keeping Gonzales in the face of all the screaming to get rid of him is one of the last chances Bush has to thumb his nose at the Dems.

    stevesturm (d3e296)

  3. I didn’t mean to start another debate about Gonzales by quoting that passage. It’s just a sample of his writing. I happen to agree with it, but the point is that he has a good blog.

    What comes next? Get someone competent. People fretted over how Bush would be weakened by withdrawing Miers; instead, he got someone competent (Alito) and I think it only strengthened his hand, because it was one of the few things he did right in recent memory.

    Patterico (5b0b7f)

  4. “Goodthink”–agreeing with the speaker’s orthodoxy.

    “Crimethink”–disagreeing with the speaker’s orthodoxy.

    “All in the speaker. Now, off to commit some thoughtcrimes….”


    I loved this from one of his commenter’s! Way too funny!!!

    TC (b48fdd)

  5. Does it matter? The Bush administration is on its way out.

    Grotius (542623)

  6. Patterico, thanks for the link to Stubborn Facts! The others of us (those who aren’t Simon) are perfectly happy for the notice, even if you did single him out. In truth, he’s been doing the yeoman’s work of posting lately as work and real life have kept the others of us on a lighter schedule.

    I’ve done a welcome post for your readers to introduce us a bit and point out some of our own favorite posts from the past.

    By the way, TC, that quote you liked so much is from Tully, one of our co-bloggers.

    Daffyd, that’s an excellent point. I made the same point many times about Rumsfeld. The important thing to me was never so much about him going (no man is irreplaceable). The key was always going to be WHY he was replaced, and by whom. As it is, I think the replacement was well-handled, and the shift in strategy and tactics were long overdue, so I think the replacement was a good thing. Had they replaced him just because of political pressure, and then put in a supporter of more traditional operations (as opposed to more non-traditional counter-insurgency operations like those being mounted by Petraeus), then replacing him would have been a bad thing.

    But the stakes aren’t has high here with Gonzales, and I think Gonzales was always very much a patronage appointee, so I don’t think there’s much harm in replacing him.

    PatHMV (0e077d)

  7. Paterrico, thanks for the link and the kind words, I appreciate them very much. :)

    I can’t deny that anything that reduces Gonzales’ viability as a possible Supreme Court nominee makes me fairly happy, but since it’s fairly unlikely at this point that there will be another vacancy, and for that matter, fairly unlikely that Bush would nominate Gonzales (he’s learned his lesson, one hopes, from the Miers nomination: “trust me, (s)he’s my friend” isn’t good enough), that isn’t really what’s in play here.

    I suppose my question is what you mean by your “what happens next” question. In the literal sense, what happens next is that we find someone halfway competent to be the AG. If what you’re actually saying is that giving the Dems Gonzales’ scalp will put bloodin the water and lead to yet more sniping, that’s a very good point. But a tipping point arrives where there isn’t a good solution and the choices are between several bad outcomes: which path will cause the least damage. Firing Gonzales comes at a cost, but it has become the least costly option.

    Simon (a84579)

  8. I agree that Alberto Gonzales is one of President Bush’s favorites and a patronage appointee, and that he is not an impressive Attorney General. I also sympathize with Dafydd’s fear that the next appointee may be worse. Nevertheless, AG has done what Bush wanted him to do by focusing primarily on terrorism and targeted immigration enforcement. While AG hasn’t implemented and supported the terror and immigration policies I want, he has implemented the policies Bush wants and that’s why Bush will keep him. Bush clearly believes that terror and immigration are the core issues of his second term, and I submit that AG will stay because he is the only person Bush trusts to oversee them at the DOJ.

    I’ve felt all along that AG probably spends most of his time on terror-related matters and that he wouldn’t bother with “unimportant” political issues like the US Attorneys’ firings. He might even view that attitude as principled, including persisting in that view even after being called to testify before Congress regarding the US Attorney firings. If so, that’s obviously a stupid political decision but it fits with the way AG handled his recent Congressional testimony.

    I think there’s also something to the argument that Bush allowed or perhaps even encouraged the Democratic Congress to focus on AG. If Bush believes political discord is inevitable, he may prefer that it focus on a willing and loyal lieutenant like AG than on Bush himself. Many of Bush’s closest associates have made extraordinary personal sacrifices to protect him and, sadly, Bush seems happy to let them make those sacrifices.

    I am a West Texan who doesn’t tolerate misdirection or sacrificing associates yet I don’t see those qualities in Bush. Bush and his Administration are consumed with the short-term game of politics rather than long-term governing. Maybe that happens to all administrations in their second terms but it should be crystal clear by this point that, if Bush thought he could win the politics game, he can’t.

    DRJ (41a330)

  9. I’m sorry to go off-topic like that. I’m in a bad Bush mood but I enjoyed the Stubborn Facts link and I’ve added it to my favorites for future visits.

    DRJ (41a330)

  10. What’s so great about the writing? It’s frank. But that’s about it. I’ve seen this sort of thing all the time from blog commenters. I also agree with those, who say that he fails to address the what happens after issue. And I don’t even know or CARE about the brouhaha on the AG firings. I’m just saying that your snippet shows nothing special from this dude.

    TCO (69ce0d)

  11. Read the site now. On the specific post that so impressed Patterico, there was almost no content and the words from Stubborn Facts were basically limited to the simplistic comments that Patty excised. In contrast, what was interesting were the quoted content from other places: Dahlia (Slate) made a point of the similarity of AG excuses to Dilbert speak (this should resonate as this was a flaw with Meiers as well), and TNR the point of how Gonzales did not understand the different roles that hearings can play (mock trial, versus information gathering). Look to those places for useful inferences. Not to some link-whore blog.

    TCO (69ce0d)

  12. The main thing I linked was the analysis of Carhart, TCO. Apparently you skipped over that, but it’s quite insightful. You might not agree with it, but it’s quite intelligent.

    Your usual tactic is to come on here and tear down sites that I recommend as not being quite up to the rarefied standards of TCO. Feel free to start your own blog, and let me know when you do. I’d be thrilled to come apply the same standards to it.

    Patterico (5b0b7f)

  13. Patterico:

    What comes next? Get someone competent.

    Shortly after the Afghanistan war (and before Iraq), Dennis Miller, on his short-lived talk show, had Phil Donahue as his guest. Donahue was really torqued by the horrific and unnecessary massacre we had just inflicted on the long-suffering and blameless Afghans, so Miller asked him what he would have done instead in response to 9/11.

    “I would have just gone right in and gotten Osama bin Laden,” announced Donahue.

    “Gotten him how?”

    “Just gone right in and gotten him.”

    “But what exactly do you mean? How would you have gone in and ‘gotten him’?”

    “Well first, Dennis, I would have just gone right in there; and then, when I was there, I would have gotten him!”

    “So you’re saying you would have just gone right in there and gotten him… right, Phil?”

    Donahue nodded vigorously, having finally gotten his point across. “That’s it exactly! I would have just gone right into Afghanistan and gotten bin Laden.”

    I don’t know exactly what made me think of this great moment in answering questions…


    Dafydd (445647)

  14. Simon:

    In the literal sense, what happens next is that we find someone halfway competent to be the AG.

    If you’re going to be literal, you might want to include all the steps:

    The president nominates an attorney general candidate;

    The Senate Judiciary Committee, under Chairman Pat Leahy (D-VT), decides whether or not to hold hearings or just let the nominee twist slowly, slowly in the wind.

    If Leahy allows hearings, then the full J-Com — which consists of 10 anti-war Democrats, 4 anti-war Republicans, and 5 pro-war conservatives — interrogates the nominee. All questioning is controlled by the strong anti-war majority.

    If the nominee actually supports domestic action to fight the war on global jihadism, or if he supports the “unitary executive,” or if he refuses to acknowledge during confirmation hearings that the criminal Bush regime lied us into Iraq, then the committee rejects him on an overwhelming and bipartisan 16-5 vote.

    The president names a new nominee.

    Wash, rinse, repeat until the end of the Bush administration.

    So perhaps you or someone else can explain to us how we use this process to end up with “someone halfway competent to be the AG.” That is the analysis that seems to have gone AWOL from every blog that calls for Gonazles to resign, from Patterico’s Pontification to Beldar to yours.

    I am no fan of Gonzales. Still, I want to see a believable scenario by which he can be replaced by somebody who is better… for the country, for the party, and for this president.

    And please don’t say, “we just go right in there and replace him!”


    Dafydd (445647)

  15. (Sorry, 14-5, not 16-5.)


    Dafydd (445647)

  16. Pat:

    Ok, I looked at Carhart. There is more content there. No, it was not highlighted so much in your post, though.

    I didn’t know that I had a trend of putting down sites that you recommend. Oh, now I remember. The other one where some overworked flowery imagery was praised as good writing. It’s not that I’m shitting on your choices. It’s that you’re picking trite things, Patty. There’s so much that’s good to be praised, Patty. I even praised Dahlia so that you would have an example of something good. Something with thought, ideas, non-triviality.

    I don’t know if I could make a good blog or not. Is it relevant? I can criticize a planched Maltese without being able to do that cross. Capisce?

    I think you’re just riled up, because you know there’s some truth in my going for the balls comments, Pat. Instead of spinning up, go and do better.

    TCO (69ce0d)

  17. TCO:

    I don’t know you from Jack, Jack; but honestly, you come across as a snide, narcissistic, juvenile hack.

    Let’s start with the “Patty” business. Do you have any reason for this besides being a boor? Also, may I note that lobbing in the occasional and completely gratuitous obscenity doesn’t make you sound hip, edgey, or cool; it makes you sound like a 14 year old. (As does the world-weary floccinaucinihilipilification of other people’s sites when you haven’t even one of your own.)

    Why are you even here? Go flap somewhere else.


    Dafydd (445647)

  18. Dafydd,

    Once I realized that his comments are just an attempt to provoke me (like a kid poking classmates with a stick) rather than any serious attempt at discussion, I stopped responding.

    Patterico (55de1b)

  19. Both: I have good points mixed in with the fun and games. I’m not alone in mixing in some play with the point.

    TCO (b9f409)

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