Patterico's Pontifications


Duke University President Walks the Line

Filed under: Education — DRJ @ 12:38 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Duke University President Richard Brodhead tries to walk the line between satisfying the lacrosse players and their backers, while not antagonizing the Gang of 88 and their supporters.


News You can Use: Cockroaches aren’t Morning People Insects

Filed under: Nature — DRJ @ 12:20 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Scientists have learned that cockroaches are smarter in the evening than in the morning.


Toobin Repeats Canard That Gonzales Called the Entirety of the Geneva Convention “Quaint”

Filed under: Books,General,Judiciary,War — Patterico @ 10:32 am

In a curious passage that tries to make the case that Alberto Gonzales was a True Conservative, Toobin sloppily distorts a Gonzales quote about the Geneva Convention. Here’s Toobin:

Gonzales had taken the most aggressive position among Bush’s allies on the legal basis for the war on terror, dismissing the protections of the Geneva Convention as “quaint.”


We’ve been through this before, noting the distortion that originated with Michael Isikoff, and continued with Maureen Dowd, Sidney Blumenthal, and every liberal blogger under the sun.

Let’s go to Gonzales’s original memo and read the entire quote:

In my judgment, this new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva’s strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions requiring that captured enemy be afforded such things as commissary privileges, scrip (i.e., advances of monthly pay), athletic uniforms, and scientific instruments.”

As is clear when one reads Gonzales’s actual quote, Gonzales did not dismiss the entirety of the Geneva Conventions protections as “quaint,” as Toobin falsely claims. Rather, Gonzales was referring to only a curious subset of protections — like providing musical instruments and athletic uniforms to captured prisoners — that actually were quaint.

Yet another mistake by Toobin.

Toobin: O’Connor Moved Left When the Conservatives Were Meanies — and Also Moved Left When They Weren’t

Filed under: Books,General,Judiciary — Patterico @ 12:23 am

From the Toobin book, we learn that apparently O’Connor moved to the left in reaction to very conservative justices:

Most famously, from the beginning of his tenure, Scalia had actively repelled O’Connor, pushing her toward her moderate, swing role.

(p. 318)

If you’re going to be a meanie towards me, there’s no way I’m going to agree with you!

Except that it appears O’Connor wasn’t necessarily quite so shallow — because she also moved to the left even if not reacting to very conservative justices:

For all of O’Connor’s fondness for Roberts, his appointment did not restrain the move to the left that characterized her jurisprudence and thus the Court’s.

(p. 301)

Or maybe one meanie was enough to push her to the left?

How I Spent My Summer Vacation, Part 9

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:02 am

A paraglider sails into view — Lauterbrunnen valley, Switzerland:



Friday Cat Blogging

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:31 pm

I just watched one of the cats pee on the carpet, right in front of me.

They’re locked away in the garage again.

God, I hate them.

A Faintly Embarrassing Gotcha from Toobin’s “The Nine”

Filed under: Books,General,Judiciary — Patterico @ 8:30 pm

Jeff Toobin’s “The Nine,” at page 301:

[O’Connor] even wrote a fawning, faintly embarrassing story about Roberts for Time Magazine. (“The stars must have been aligned that January morning in 1955 when John G. Roberts Jr. was born in Buffalo, N.Y., because almost everything thereafter led him straight to the Supreme Court of the U.S.”)

(All emphasis in this post is mine.)

O’Connor is suggesting that Roberts was almost . . . destined for the Court! How faintly embarrassing!

Oh, by the way . . . here is Toobin himself from page 262:

John Roberts was not genetically engineered to be a justice of the Supreme Court, but it often seemed that way. His career trajectory was so smooth, his progress so steady, his reputation so exalted, his personality so winning, that he seemed at times preternaturally favored for that ultimate destination.

To sum up:

“The stars must have been aligned” — faintly embarrassing.

“He seemed at times preternaturally favored” — Quality Journalism.

The secret, my friends, lies in the Big Words. They are preternaturally delicious.

Texas’ Death Penalty Procedures in Question

Filed under: Constitutional Law — DRJ @ 6:55 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The US Supreme Court recently granted cert in a Kentucky death penalty case to consider whether lethal injections that use a sedative, a muscle paralyzing drug, and a drug that induces cardiac arrest are cruel and inhuman.

According to this report, the “Texas execution procedure is virtually the same as the one in Kentucky.” The execution of Carlton Turner, Jr., has been placed on hold by the U.S. Supreme Court, but there’s disagreement on how this will affect pending Texas’ executions.


Food and Fun @ the Texas State Fair

Filed under: Real Life — DRJ @ 6:21 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

I’ll never equal James Lilek’s tales of the Minnesota State Fair, but …


GOP Senators Prove They Want to be Re-Elected

Filed under: Government,Politics — DRJ @ 2:26 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

In a move Senator Harry Reid quipped was “very courageous,” Senator George Voinovich-OH and three GOP Senators who face re-election (Alexander-TN, Dole-NC, and Coleman-MN) have united to support the Wait-Until-Bush-Is-Gone (*the Woe-B-Gone*) Withdrawal Plan from Iraq:

“A small group of Republicans facing election fights next year have rallied around war legislation they think could unite the GOP: Call for an end to U.S. combat in Iraq, but wait until President Bush is out of office.
The proposal, by Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, would require that Bush change the mission of U.S. troops from combat to primarily support roles, such as training Iraqi security forces and protecting U.S. infrastructure in Iraq. His legislation would set a goal of completing such a mission transition within 15 months.

If enacted immediately, that timeline would not kick in until Bush’s last couple weeks in office.”

I assume these Senators are also voicing the frustrations their constituents feel with the Iraq war but it’s disappointing when Senators and Americans turn into jellyfish.


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