Patterico's Pontifications

1/28/2008

The Most Foul, Loathsome, Disgusting, and Evil Creature Ever to Exist Anywhere in the Universe, At Any Time

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:45 pm

I refer, of course, to Keith Olbermann.

P.S. OK, I admit that I may be exaggerating — just a smidgen — in order to mock Mini-Murrow’s penchant for labeling perfectly nice people like Mary Katherine Ham the “Worst Person in the World.”

But surely I do not exaggerate when I label Olbermann the “Worst Lover in the World.” After all, a woman who slept with him termed him a “dud in bed.”

Old news? Sure. Just like this “Worst Person in the World” routine has gotten plenty old — but he’s still doing it.

Seeing as how Mini-Murrow keeps mocking people I like, I think it is worth reminding people about this.

So maybe the title is an accurate reference to him after all — at least, to the women who have had the bad fortune to sleep with the guy.

President Bush Issues Order on Earmarks (Updated)

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 11:52 am

[Abbreviated guest post by DRJ]

From Porkbusters via the Instapundit, President Bush announces an order on earmarks:

“On Tuesday, President Bush will issue an Executive Order directing Federal agencies to ignore any future earmark that is not voted on and included in a law approved by Congress. This will effectively end the common practice of concealing earmarks in so-called report language instead of placing them in the actual text of the bill. This means earmarks will be subject to votes, which will better expose them to the light of day and help constrain excessive and unjustified spending.

The Executive Order will provide that with regard to all future appropriations laws and other legislation enacted into law, executive agencies will not commit, obligate, or expend funds on the basis of earmarks from any non-statutory source, including requests included in congressional committee reports or other congressional documents, or communications from or on behalf of Members of Congress, or any other non-statutory source, except when required by law, or when an agency itself decides that a project or other transaction has merit under statutory criteria or other merit-based decision-making.”

The Instapundit’s take: “Good for him. If he’d done this in 2005, of course, the GOP might have kept its majority. But this is still the right thing to do.”

My take: President Bush just saved his legacy with me.

UPDATE @ 1:15 PM PST: So much for his legacy. Mark Tapscott says it’s an empty gesture because it only applies to future legislation:

“In view of the collapse of the GOP leadership on all three fronts, it is absolutely fitting that Pelosi most accurately explains what it means: “I think Republicans have pulled their punch on earmarks. It looked like a very lukewarm approach. They want to beat a loud drum, but when it comes down to it, they want their earmarks.”

Precisely. With few exceptions, the Republicans in the nation’s capitol are toothless wonders. They talk a good case for conservative reform but they don’t walk it. They want to keep the perks of power and position, even if doing so means betraying the principles they profess to believe and for the defense of which their constituents voted for them.”

Sad.

Now I’m especially interested in the positions of the GOP Presidential candidates on this. That will help me decide who to vote for.

— DRJ

Damn Western Psyches!

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Terrorism — Patterico @ 7:01 am

This is how a terrorist’s obituary reads in the L.A. Times:

George Habash, the founder of Arab nationalism and architect of the infamous airline hijackings of the 1960s and ’70s that brought the search for a Palestinian homeland terrifyingly close to home for millions around the world, died Saturday in Amman, Jordan.

. . . .

With a wave of airline hijackings and the headline-grabbing seizure of a French airliner at Entebbe, Uganda, in 1976, Habash’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) inspired an image of ruthlessness in a Western psyche unattuned to the violent politics of the Middle East.

Stupid Westerners! We’re so unattuned to the violent politics of the Middle East that we consider airplane hijackers to be ruthless!

For millions of young Arabs, Habash represented the voice that said no to Western intervention in the Middle East and to the Arab regimes, such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Egypt, that had allowed U.S. interests to dominate the region. He saw the Palestinian cause as part of a global struggle, and defended international terrorism as a way of drawing attention to it.

As my tipster (initials J.D.) wrote me: “I was educated in a California public school, so we never got to the part where we learned that American hegemony in the Middle East in the 60s and 70s was a foregone conclusion.”

The obit goes on to give us this stirring justification for terror:

“I believe that 6 million Palestinians, if they say we want only self-determination, they will get it,” he told The Times in a 1991 interview. “Imagine. Six million saying daily, daily, daily, ‘We want self-determination, we want self-determination.’ And expressing this by all means. I see it very clearly, that we will succeed. Why not?”

The “expressing this by all means” part is the part I don’t like to imagine. But that’s probably just my “Western psyche” talking.

You know, I hope we do catch Osama bin Laden, just to see what kind of obituary the L.A. Times will write for him.

UPDATE: Power Line has more on Habash.

1/27/2008

Captain Ed Endorses Romney

Filed under: 2008 Election — Patterico @ 2:34 pm

How excited are Republicans about their candidates?

Ed Morrissey has endorsed Mitt Romney:

First, I want to have someone who supports conservative values. In this, we have no perfect candidates. . . . Of the four, I trust Romney and Giuliani most to continue supporting conservative principles in the face of opposition — and in fact I’d probably trust Giuliani a little more.

. . . .

Romney is not a perfect candidate. We don’t have any perfect candidates.

How excited are we? That excited!

Ipod

Filed under: Gadgets,Music — Patterico @ 1:51 pm

So I got an Ipod for Christmas. I got the 160 GB version, which is perfect. I’ve been ripping my favorite albums, and have well over 300 albums on there now (160kbps AAC for rock music, 192kbps AAC for classical) and still have used only about 1/6 of the thing’s capacity. It’s amazing that I’ve avoided this device for so long, but I’m glad I waited until one came out with this capacity.

Fun stuff.

P.S. A post like this inevitably invites a slew of comments about how I did everything wrong — there are better players out there, I’m ripping CDs at the wrong rate, etc. etc. etc. I can’t stop you, so go ahead.

Austin, Texas: Former Sanctuary City?

Filed under: Immigration — DRJ @ 12:16 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

For years, Austin, Texas, was a sanctuary city that did not notify federal immigration authorities when it arrested known or suspected illegal immigrants … but maybe not anymore:

“Immigration agents will set up an office at the Travis County Jail to monitor the status of people booked into the facility.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents will likely be stationed in the jail 24 hours a day, seven days a week in coming months, said Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton.

Until recently, federal immigration agents visited the jail occasionally to check the immigration status of inmates. They began increasing their presence in the facility late last year, leading to more immigration holds being placed on Travis County inmates for possible deportation, said Adrian Ramirez, assistant director for ICE’s San Antonio office.

An immigration hold is a legal order that says a jailed person should be released into ICE custody for possible deportation after completing the sentence.”

I suspect cases like Virginia “Jenny” Garcia’s rape and murder by an illegal immigrant (covered by Patterico in this Deport the Criminals First post) had something to do with this decision. The Travis County Sheriff publicly stated that he made this decision to increase public safety:

“Hamilton met with concerned community groups this week and said he decided to allow ICE agents to work out of the jail to improve joint efforts between local and federal law enforcement agencies to increase public safety.

“My contention is that the best way for (undocumented immigrants) to not come under scrutiny is to not commit crimes,” he said.”

Sheriff Hamilton is right and this could be a positive development for one of my favorite cities.

— DRJ

Thoughts on Obama’s Political Skill

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 10:42 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

It’s hard to evaluate whether Barack Obama has the political skill to take on the Clinton machine but this recent 1-2-3 political punch suggests he might:

* First, he won the South Carolina primary in a decisive manner that pulled in a noticeable amount of non-black votes.

* Second, following immediately after the SC win that was questioned as a racially divided vote, Caroline Kennedy endorsed Obama in today’s New York Times in an op-ed entitled “A President Like My Father.”

* Third, this ABC report states Ted Kennedy will also endorse Obama.

Obama’s spin on the campaign tactics used against him by the Clintons is also impressive:

“In response to Bill Clinton’s comments comparing Obama’s South Carolina win to those of Jesse Jackson in 1984 and 1988, Obama suggested Bill Clinton’s “frame of reference” and racial politics may be outdated.

“His frame of reference was the Jesse Jackson races. That’s when, you know, he was active and involved and watching what was going to take place in South Carolina. I think that a lot of South Carolinians looked at it through a different lens. . . As long as we were focused on those issues, we thought those would transcend the sort of racial divisions that we’ve seen in the past,” he said.

The 55 percent won by Obama in South Carolina was more than double the 27 percent of the vote that went to Clinton, with Edwards coming in third at 18 percent.

But Obama did clarify, however, that he did not think Clinton’s comments this week were intended to negatively harm his campaign.

“I don’t think they were trying to demonize me, but I do think that there is a certain brand of politics that we’ve become accustomed to, and that the Republican Party had perfected and was often directed against the Clintons, but that all of us had become complicit in, where we basically think anything is fair game,” he said.

He also reiterated that the “slash-and-burn politics” that exists in Washington today “is not the Clintons’ fault. It is all of our faults, in the sense that we’ve gotten into these bad habits and we can’t seem to have disagreements without being disagreeable. So part of what I think we have to do is to set a new tone in politics. Not a naive one.”

Obama has a lawyer-like ability to take words and ideas and turn them in a different direction. In that sense, he’s like the Clintons but (I think) better at it.

Hmm. Maybe Harvard Law should be #1 instead of YLS.

— DRJ

See Dubya Warns Readers About McCain

Filed under: 2008 Election,General — Patterico @ 9:44 am

How excited are Republicans about their candidates?

See Dubya warns about the possible involvement of Lindsey “tell the bigots to shut up” Graham in a McCain administration. As well as a few others. He concludes:

People like McCain because he’s a war hero and he’s served a long time in the Republican Party. Just like Bob Dole. And look how well that worked out.

McCain fever. Catch it!

I have. And I’m feeling a little queasy.

Robert C.J. Parry Endorses Romney . . . Sort Of

Filed under: 2008 Election,General — Patterico @ 9:12 am

How excited are Republicans about their candidates? Robert C.J. Parry (a friend of this blog) was asked to write an op-ed explaining why he supports Mitt Romney. The result gives whole new meaning to the phrase “damning with faint praise”:

For my money (and, yes, my money is a big part of this), the only hope we have lies in one former Gov. Mitt Romney. Romney is the man with the right answers right now. That’s a bit scary. . . .

. . . . Mitt’s somewhat, um, cyclical … approach to position-taking over the years makes one wonder if his beliefs now will be his beliefs throughout those pre-election cycles.

But, all we can go on is the here and now. And for that, Romney wins hands down.

Translation: if you held a gun to my head and made me vote for one of the Republicans, I guess I’d vote for this guy.

That’s a good example of how excited we are.

1/26/2008

Strawman of the Day

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:51 pm

The Strawman of the Day comes from New York Times ombudsman Clark Hoyt:

The Times was immediately accused — in The New York Post and the conservative blogosphere, and by hundreds of messages to the public editor — of portraying all veterans as unstable killers. It did not.

Here is the New York Post article in question. It doesn’t accuse the Times of portraying “all veterans” as unstable killers.* Rather, it focuses on the poor statistics of the NYT article — the same issue that the conservative blogosphere emphasized, and that Hoyt eventually admits is the article’s major weakness.

Hoyt’s piece is written in the fashion that readers have become accustomed to: mischaracterizing critics’ points early in the column, while burying admissions of error somewhere near the end.

Newspapers should figure out how to give these ombudsmen real independence, or scrap the whole concept. Phony representation of readers’ views is worse than no representation at all.

*Only a highly tendentious reading of an isolated sentence taken out of context could possibly justify such a mischaracterization. The piece acknowledges that the Times pointed to 121 cases — which hardly amounts to “all veterans.”

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