Patterico's Pontifications

1/14/2008

Tony Snow Smacks Around Some Liberals on Maher

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:33 pm

You want to watch Tony Snow delivering the smackdown to four liberals? One of whom has a big smirk on his face (he’s the one saying the stupidest stuff)? Then watch the video here.

Suspected Money Launderer Donated to . . .

Filed under: 2008 Election,Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 6:14 pm

See Dubya has what appears to be a pretty major scoop in this post. See Dubya quotes a Corpus Christi, Texas newspaper as saying:

Mauricio Celis is linked to the Mexican drug trade in a search warrant the state used Friday to raid his law offices and gather computer files, according to financial documents and other business records. The warrant includes a sworn statement by a Texas Attorney General’s official accusing Celis of money laundering.

Celis’ attorney Tony Canales issued a statement accusing Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott of targeting Celis because he is a major Democratic donor.

See Dubya’s revelation: one of the beneficiaries of Mr. Celis’s generosity is one Hillary Clinton.

Looks like she may be giving some more money back.

Any media outlets interested in this? I’ll send it to the L.A. Times and see if they bite. They’ve done good work on the Hsu story.

UPDATE: More background on Celis is available in this DRJ-authored post from November.

Power Grabbers Will Undoughtedly Try It Again

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:35 pm

The “North County Times opinion staff” writes:

A rose to Joseph Somsel and Patrick “Patterico” Frey for their roles in exposing a plan hatched by California regulators that would give utilities control of thermostats in new homes. Reading an obscure report from the California Energy Commission, Somsel, an engineer, spotted a proposed new rule that would require the installation of “Programmable Communicating Thermostats” in every new home in the state. The setting for these thermostats can be controlled by a radio signal broadcast by utilities. State officials planned to use this feature during so-called “emergency events” and consumers could not override their diktats.

After raising the alarm in “The American Thinker,” an Online magazine, doughty blogger Patterico picked up on the news and spread the word to the blogosphere. From there the story was State proposes to take control of home temps taken up by North County Times reporter Bradley J. Fikes. By week’s end, the story had made national news and state energy bureaucrats were backing away from this literal power grab.

It’s amazing what can happen when new media and old unite to fight the man.

Indeed.

But wait. Did they just call me “doughy”?

Oh . . . “doughty.” OK, then.

Seriously, I think they’ve overstated my role in this. I think the alarm bell was raised by The Corner and Protein Wisdom before I said a word. It just so happens that Bradley J. Fikes saw the news here and not there.

But Joseph Somsel’s role was not overstated and neither was Bradley’s. Congratulations to them are properly conveyed — but they know very well that we have to keep an eye on these power grabbers. They’ll try this again.

Best Wishes Conveyed

Filed under: Blogging Matters — Patterico @ 5:25 pm

Tim Blair has cancer. My best wishes to him. I am honoring him by writing the title to this post in his style.

Bush Administration’s Amicus Brief in D.C. Gun Case

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:20 am

The Bush Administration has filed an amicus brief in the D.C. gun case, which you can read here. The Administration agrees that gun ownership is an individual right, but says it is subject to reasonable restrictions. Here is a representative paragraph:

Although the court of appeals correctly held that the Second Amendment protects an individual right, it did not apply the correct standard for evaluating respondent’s Second Amendment claim. Like other provisions of the Constitution that secure individual rights, the Second Amendment’s protection of individual rights does not render all laws limiting gun ownership automatically invalid. To the contrary, the Second Amendment, properly construed, allows for reasonable regulation of firearms, must be interpreted in light of context and history, and is subject to important exceptions, such as the rule that convicted felons may be denied firearms because those persons have never been understood to be within the Amendment’s protections. Nothing in the Second Amendment properly understood—and certainly no principle necessary to decide this case—calls for invalidation of the numerous federal laws regulating firearms.

Allah seems to treat this as though it’s weakness on the part of the Administration — although it’s hard to know whether he’s just having a little fun throwing red meat to his readers.

But I think the Administration is correct. I support the Second Amendment — but I don’t want felons carrying firearms, and I don’t think the Founding Fathers would have been upset at a law preventing that.

Where the rubber hits the road is in the application of the principle in other contexts. Can the government ban say, machine guns? Purists would say no — but would they say the same thing about nuclear weapons? If the idea behind the Second Amendment is to give the citizenry a credible threat of violence against an oppressive government, then citizens need nukes, right? Which means that when the TSA finds one in some guy’s briefcase, they should wave him though — right? Second Amendment, baby!

I don’t think any of us thinks the absolutism goes this far. So yes, there will have to be “balancing.” That’s okay — we do it for the First Amendment all the time, and that is also a cherished freedom and individual right. For example, you can’t libel people without consequence. All rights have some limits. What those limits are is the real question.

UPDATE: Some commenters take the position articulated in this comment:

The nut of the problem with the SG brief is that while it purports to support an individual rights interpretation, it calls for a reversal and remand, rather than asking SCOTUS to affirm the D.C. Cir. opinion while clarifying the correct level of scrutiny.

But the Government argued that the law may well fail under the standard it advocates. Commenters here seem to assume that, by arguing for a reversal so the Court of Appeals can analyze the case under the standard the Government advocates, the Government is urging that the law be upheld. That is not the case. See more here.

I Turn My Nose Up at That Creature

Filed under: General,Humor — Patterico @ 7:06 am

One thing that never fails to amuse is watching Internet commenters discussing attractive women. Invariably, they pontificate about how the women really aren’t that attractive. Instapundit yesterday linked a blog post about the new Bond girl. At the link are several pictures of an attractive woman in her undergarments, together with comments from readers talking about how she is “not that hot” or “[t]oo short” or “way-too-skinny.” My favorite: “I don’t like the skin texture on her thighs and buttocks.”

As you read through the comments, pretend that the guy making them is the Simpsons’ Comic Book Guy. You probably won’t be far off.


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