Patterico's Pontifications

4/30/2007

Any story that begins “Secret DOJ Policy” is not going to be good for AG

Filed under: Current Events,Government,Law,Politics,Public Policy — WLS @ 6:22 pm

[Posted By WLS]

For a while now I have been of the opinion that the US Attorneys firing was a pseudo-scandal to help MSNBC fill its airtime in the evenings. I’ve “defended” AG to the extent that I wasn’t particularly shocked or surprised that he wouldn’t have been too personally involved in the decision-making over hiring/firing US Attorneys, and that he didn’t feel the need as it was happening to educate himself as to the facts of their individual performances in office.

I’ve defended Sampson’s job status, while bashing Goodling — probably not quite critical enough of Sampson, and certainly not critical enough of Goodling.

I’ve also posited that I didn’t see AG leaving because he can stay as long as he willing to suffer the “slings and arrows” of his critics, and as long as the Pres. didn’t fire him. Since the reports are that the Pres. is unwilling to fire him on the basis that the Pres. doesn’t think he did anything wrong, and firing him would be giving into the Admin’s critics, I thought that AG would be in the position as long as he wanted to be.

But that all changed today with this article by Murray Waas of the National Journal. The article reflects two changes in the situation:

1. AG did an incredibly stupid thing in March 2006, and largely hid it from view, while clearly acting in concert with Harriett Miers — rather than acting as AG.

2. Senior members of the WH have now decided to play hardball with AG in an effort to push him out — and I think its with the Pres’ acquiescence.

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More Circulation Woes at the L.A. Times and Other Papers

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 6:10 pm

Via JVW comes a link to news of the latest circulation woes of American newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times.

Blame the big metro papers — again. The Audit Bureau of Circulations released the spring numbers this morning, revealing more plunges in daily and Sunday circulation.

. . . .

The Los Angeles Times lost 4.2% of its weekday circ to 815,723. Sunday was down 4.7% to 1,173,096.

This keeps happening, over and over, and many conservatives will no doubt point to these numbers as further evidence that Big Media is driving away customers with its leftist point of view.

In response, I’ll make the same point I generally make: I hate the bias of Big Media in general and the L.A. Times in particular, but I don’t think it’s that bias that is driving these numbers. Rather, it’s the transformation of how people get their news, due to the revolution of the Web.

However, the two issues are not entirely unrelated. With the Internet comes access to a tremendous diversity of information sources — many far more accurate in their specific niches than the newspapers. More and more people are taking note, and faith in the news media, I think, is cratering as quickly as the circulation numbers, as Big Media’s bias is increasingly put on display.

But correlation does not equal causation, and I still think the shift from newsprint to computer screen is more a technological phenomenon than a fundamental transformation in the basic sources that most citizens turn to for news.

I could be wrong, and trends are ever-changing. But I don’t see this as another moment for blogospheric triumphalism.

Related point: I don’t want to see The Times fail (though if it stays this way, as seems likely, it wouldn’t bother me much). I want to see it get better.

Stone’s Silly Catholicism Post Becomes Chicago Tribune Op-Ed

Filed under: Constitutional Law,Court Decisions,General,Humor,Law — Patterico @ 5:59 pm

If I write a silly blog post, can I have it made into an op-ed at a major newspaper?

I guess I could . . . if I were a law professor.

As it is, I’m a mere lawyer (one sometimes mistaken for a non-lawyer by law professors who publish op-eds based on silly blog posts), so I’m relegated to pointing out the worst flaws in the silly blog posts before they make it into the newspaper.

You’d think I might at least get a mention at the end, for having helped to edit out the falsehoods before the piece was ever submitted.

Geoffrey Stone’s Silly Post Mentioned in Another “Post”

Filed under: Constitutional Law,Court Decisions,General,Law — Patterico @ 5:48 am

Geoffrey Stone’s recent controversial blog post, blaming the partial-birth abortion decision on the Catholicism of the majority justices, has been mentioned in the Washington Post:

“What then explains this decision?” he wrote. “Here is a painfully awkward observation: All five justices in the majority in Gonzales are Catholic. The four justices who are either Protestant or Jewish all voted in accord with settled precedent. It is mortifying to have to point this out.”

In finding that there was a moral reason for upholding the ban, Stone added, the majority failed “to respect the fundamental difference between religious belief and morality.”

Stone was immediately hooted down, blogospherically, for faulty logic, “religious bigotry” and failing to note anything from the majority opinion that would indicate the justices relied on religious belief, rather than their interpretation of the law, to uphold the ban passed by Congress in 2002. That ban, they noted, was approved by substantial and bipartisan majorities, made up of Catholics and non-Catholics.

I’m proud to have been among the crowd hooting down Stone.

John Yoo takes the hooting to the Wall Street Journal here.

Power Line’s Pessimistic Correspondent Responds

Filed under: General,War — Patterico @ 5:42 am

On April 1, Power Line printed this pessmistic assessment of Iraq, written by somebody fighting over there. I asked my guest bloggers Teflon Don and Badger 6 to respond. Teflon Don responded here; Badger 6 responded here and here.

This morning I received an e-mail (with a cc to Power Line) from somebody claiming to be the originator of the pessimistic assessment. He identifies himself as a Sergeant, and gives his name — but I am withholding the name until he confirms that it is okay to print it. (I have sent him an e-mail requesting permission to do so.) His e-mail is interesting and worth reading. Here it is:

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It’s All About Me

Filed under: Blogging Matters,General — Patterico @ 12:04 am

Tech wizard Evariste is writing me a script that will give me a rotating batch of quotations about me and the site. I wanted to do this as early as August of 2005, and had collected about eight quotes or so as of that date. I have collected quite a few more, and there’s something amusing about seeing them all in the same place. Click on “more” to read them. (Yes, they are all real quotes.)

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