Patterico's Pontifications


The New York Times: As Desperate As Hillary?

Filed under: 2008 Election,General,Media Bias — Patterico @ 8:53 pm

The answer is yes, if the story I discuss in this post is any indication.

The New York Times publishes Part Two in its series: Pathetic Attempts to Derail John McCain. Today’s installment is titled McCains Canal Zone Birth Prompts Queries About Whether That Rules Him Out:

The question has nagged at the parents of Americans born outside the continental United States for generations: Dare their children aspire to grow up and become president? In the case of Senator John McCain of Arizona, the issue is becoming more than a matter of parental daydreaming.

Mr. McCains likely nomination as the Republican candidate for president and the happenstance of his birth in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936 are reviving a musty debate that has surfaced periodically since the founders first set quill to parchment and declared that only a natural-born citizen can hold the nations highest office.

. . . .

Mr. McCain was born on a military installation in the Canal Zone, where his mother and father, a Navy officer, were stationed.

Simon at Stubborn Facts addressed this some time ago, in this post. The idea that McCain wouldn’t qualify is, quite simply, ridiculous. Even the New York Times can’t muster a single expert who really thinks McCain is likely to lose the issue in court — assuming it gets to court, which it won’t.


UPDATE: At Hot Air, commenter 29Victor has the perfect riposte:

Good thing McCain wasnt born on February 29th, theyd be debating whether or not he is over 35.

Good one.

UPDATE x2: Xrlq has more.

UPDATE x3: Gerald A: “Would the Times interpretation also rule out Cesarian section and induced labor births?”

Good one.

Good News For Kennedy Fans

Filed under: Miscellaneous — Justin Levine @ 1:33 pm

[posted by Justin Levine]

No, not the gasbag in Washington. I’m talking about MTV’s great Republican hope.

She’s returning to radio in a regular weekend gig.  3-5PM (PST) every Sunday in Los Angeles.

You can catch it streaming through the station’s website.

William F. Buckley Jr., R.I.P.

Filed under: General — Jack Dunphy @ 9:13 am

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

William F. Buckley, founder of National Review magazine and godfather of the modern conservative movement, has passed away at his home in Stamford, Conn. He was 82.

It was Buckley’s magazine that helped guide me away from the misguided liberalism of my youth (explained in NRO columns here and here). I never met him, but I’m proud to be associated, however tangentially, with the organization created and nurtured through the years by this remarkable man. Resquiat in pace.

–Jack Dunphy

Simon Dodd on Illegal Aliens’ Standing to Sue to Block Laws that Make It Hard for Them to Live and Work in the U.S.

Filed under: General,Immigration — Patterico @ 7:05 am

The other day I discussed a case that denied standing to illegal immigrants seeking to overturn a law that would erect barriers to their living and working in the U.S. As I noted in my post, the judge in that case wrote:

[C]uriously absent from [the illegal alien plaintiffs’] voluminous complaint is any challenge to the federal laws rendering their presence in this country illegal. Instead, these Plaintiffs seemingly concede the validity of the federal immigration laws, and file this suit in order to remove any barriers the state of Oklahoma has erected to their continued violation of those federal laws. These illegal alien Plaintiffs seek nothing more than to use this Court as a vehicle for their continued unlawful presence in this country. To allow these Plaintiffs to do so would make this Court an “abetter of iniquity” and this Court finds that simply unpalatable.

I asked Simon at Stubborn Facts if he would be willing to do a post analyzing the soundness of the judge’s standing analysis. Simon has completed his post, and has published the analysis here. His conclusion:

“‘[H]e who comes into equity must come with clean hands’ … is far more than a mere banality. It is a self-imposed ordinance that closes the doors of a court of equity to one tainted with inequitableness or bad faith relative to the matter in which he seeks relief….” It is a factor courts “must consider when deciding to exercise its discretion and grant an injunction.” And the doctrine is at its apogee in cases which involve not only the interests of the litigants but substantial questions of public interest. And where a plaintiff is engaging in continued illegal conduct that is closely connected with the subject-matter of the suit, equitable remedies [o]bviously ought to be denied. All these conditions are met here, and the district court was, in my view, right to bar the suit.

Read it all. Anyone who takes issue with his conclusion should read his post and take on his reasoning directly. stef?


McCain Repudiates Radio Talk Show Hosts’s Repetition of “Barack Hussein Obama”

Filed under: 2008 Election,Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 9:29 pm

The L.A. Times reports:

In a possible foreshadowing of a potentially bruising general election campaign, a speaker who introduced presidential candidate John McCain at a rally here today accused Barack Obama of sympathizing with “world leaders who want to kill us” and invoked Obama’s middle name — three times calling him “Barack Hussein Obama.”

Local conservative radio talk show host Bill Cunningham described Obama as “a hack Chicago Daley-style politician who is picturing himself as change. When he gets done with you — all you’re going to have in your pocket is change,” he said.

McCain quickly distanced himself from the remarks, which he did not hear, saying that using Obama’s middle name in repetition like that was inappropriate. “I absolutely repudiate such comments and again, I will take responsibility,” he said, calling the use of Obama’s middle name inappropriate. “It will never happen again. It will never happen again.”

More at the Swamp. The talk show host is now saying he’ll support Hillary. On the one hand, there’s the war, the Supreme Court, and fiscal responsibility. On the other, Bill Cunningham’s ego. Yup, the choice is clear.

The lede in the L.A. Times story demonstrates the typical Big Media thirst for drama, and the facts be damned. If anything, McCain’s swift and decisive repudiation of the remarks indicates a desire to conduct the campaign with respect.

My take: yes, I realize it’s Obama’s real name. But it’s cheap pandering to go around emphasizing it. It makes McCain look bad. And his repudiation was the right thing to do.

It’s too bad, because the brouhaha undercuts a nice line: “When he gets done with you — all you’re going to have in your pocket is change.” My friend Abe W. delivered that line the other day, and I was planning to do a post recommending McCain use it. I still think he should.

Poll: McCain Would Beat Obama or Hillary in Head-to-Head Matchup

Filed under: 2008 Election,General — Patterico @ 9:17 pm

Just wait a few months. But for now, it’s good news.

Overall, McCain would beat Clinton 46% to 40% and Obama 44% to 42%. His lead over Obama is within the poll’s three-point margin of error.

Thanks to aphrael.

Democrat Debate: Open Thread

Filed under: 2008 Election — Patterico @ 6:18 pm

I’m seeing some real fighting and fireworks on health care. This is looking like it might actually be interesting.

UPDATE: What a great question from Russert: if Iraq goes to hell after we withdraw, do we have the right to go back in? Hillary isn’t answering.

Obama didn’t really answer. He did say he could go in if al Qaeda had a base — but what if it went to hell, but there was no evidence that al Qaeda had a base?

UPDATE x2: They’re throwing Hillary’s attacks on Obama in her face; she’s going to have to defend them. Good. I think Russert and Williams are doing a pretty good job asking tough questions.

UPDATE x3: Russert started to ask Obama about keeping his word. I thought he was going to ask Obama why he told him, Tim Russert, that he wasn’t going to run for President in 2008. But he asked another very good question: why won’t Obama commit to taking public financing. Obama’s dancing on that one — gee, I’m not the nominee yet. Even though he has already used the phrase “when I am President” in this debate. Russert: “so you may break your word.” Obama won’t commit.

Now Russert is asking Hillary about releasing tax returns, especially with Bill’s dealings overseas. She says she will do it when she is the nominee. Dream on.

UPDATE x4: Obama unequivocally denounces Farrahkan’s anti-Semitic remarks. Refreshing. But now Russert is asking him about his pastor. Tough question. He avoids the business about his pastor but says that the safety of Israel is “sacrosanct.”

UPDATE x5: Obama’s answer to the question about his liberal voting record is masterful. This guy is really clever and a good speaker.

We’re gonna lose, folks.

Here is a question I’d like saved for the general election debates in the fall:

Filed under: General — WLS @ 2:24 pm

[Posted by WLS] 

Moderator:  “Mr. Obama, will you now pledge that if you are elected President in November,  you will keep on Patrick Fitzgerald as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, given that his office in currently in the middle of several long-running investigations into matters of public corruption in the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago, investigations that have implicated your friends, political allies, and campaign contributors?  These investigations have resulted in numerous convictions of both Republicans and Democrats over several years. 

If not, don’t you think that replacing Mr. Fitzgerald, who has proven his political independence in the “CIA Leak” investigation that led to a conviction of a top WH official, would constitute inappropriate interference by you in a politically sensitive criminal investigation?”

Discuss amongst yourselves.

Michelle Obama on Education and Other Details

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 1:26 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Most elections are about the candidates, not their wives, but the speeches given by Barack Obama are short on details. His wife Michelle has been more forthcoming. For instance, last week in Madison, Wisconsin, Michelle Obama offered what has become a central theme of her husband’s campaign:

“Obama acknowledged that her speech was short on such specifics as environmental and health care policy, but said such details, while important, are secondary to leadership.”

However, Michelle Obama did specifically criticize standardized testing in education:

“During Monday’s speech, Michelle Obama criticized the Bush administration’s “No Child Left Behind” program, which she said is “strangling the life out of most schools.”

“If my future were determined by my performance on a standardized test I wouldn’t be here,” she said. “I guarantee that.”

How do we tell if America’s K-12 students are learning without testing?

Michelle Obama attended Princeton University and Harvard Law School. Most successful applicants to these schools have extremely high standardized test grades, and studies have shown that finding a good fit in college and graduate school is important to help students succeed. For instance, Obama’s antipathy to standardized testing is at odds with studies like this one that show a correlation between standardized test scores and performance in law and graduate school.

The Obamas’ views on education seem more like feel-good policies than good policies.


Break Out the Popcorn

Filed under: 2008 Election — Patterico @ 7:09 am

Hillary is finally unloading on Obama with both barrels.

Too little too late, I suspect — but it’ll make for a great debate tonight.

I think she’s finding her real voice — that of the shrill harpy we’ve known for the last 15 years.

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