Patterico's Pontifications

7/11/2008

Quote of the Day

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:43 pm

“We do know there was a lot of blood and it was quite a scene. But from what I know, he didn’t finish his task, and maybe it was too painful and that made him stop.”

Hey, just doing my part to save this paper by driving traffic to them.

Andrew Sullivan . . .

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:56 pm

. . . gob-smacked again.

D’oh!!!!!

Filed under: Crime,Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 10:53 pm

From the corrections page at our favorite dying newspaper:

Iran missile test: A photo from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard that accompanied an article in Thursday’s Section A about the country’s test of medium- and long-range missiles apparently was digitally altered to show four missiles successfully launching. It later became clear that the original photo showed only three rockets. News coverage on A1 and A4.

More here.

Newsweek Poll Revisited: What Happened To The Barack Bounce Back?

Filed under: 2008 Election — WLS @ 7:46 pm

[Posted by WLS]

Travel back in time with me to June 20, 2008, following the concession by Hillary Clinton and the coronation of Barack Obama as the Democrat nominee and Presidential Man in Waiting:

Consider the words of Michael Hirsh at Newsweek:

Barack finally has his bounce. For weeks many political experts and pollsters have been wondering why the race between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain had stayed so tight, even after the Illinois senator wrested the nomination from Hillary Clinton. With numbers consistently showing rock-bottom approval ratings for President Bush and a large majority of Americans unhappy with the country’s direction, the opposing-party candidate should, in the normal course, have attracted more disaffected voters. Now it looks as if Obama is doing just that. A new NEWSWEEK Poll shows that he has a substantial double-digit lead, 51 percent to 36 percent, over McCain among registered voters nationwide.

Ah, but bouncing on the knee of the electorate can be such a fickle thing:

Newsweek for July 10: Obama 44, McCain 41.

Update: I almost forgot: McCain leads with independents, 41-34.

– WLS

Welcome Surprise in the GOP’s Future Concerning Obama’s Fundraising Numbers????

Filed under: General — WLS @ 7:19 pm

[Posted by WLS]

I know I’ve posted somewhere here about Obama’s heretofore overlooked declining fundraising numbers. I’m certain there are lots of explanations and rationalizations about why such has been the case, but the hard facts are that Obama’s monthly fundraising numbers popped just before and just after Iowa, peaking with a tremendous month in February, but they declined every month since — precipitously in May. Here they are:

January — $32 million

February — $55 million

March — $40 million

April — $31 million

May — $22 million.

(more…)

Did Chuckie Schumer Trigger the Failure of IndyMac?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:43 pm

The feds say yes.

Selections from This Week’s Dust-Up

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 6:01 pm

I’ve put most of my writing energy over the past week into my debate on latimes.com with Marc Cooper, concerning the future of the L.A. Times. In case you haven’t followed it, I wanted to provide a roundup of links, together with some highlights from my entries, to whet your appetite:

Part One:

[T]he paper ran a front-page story last month alleging that Alex Kozinski, chief judge of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, had a website with pornographic images, including a “half-dressed man cavorting with a sexually aroused farm animal.” The obvious suggestion was the video depicted bestiality in a prurient manner.

Nonsense. In fact, the video is humor. It portrays a man who is probably trying to relieve himself while trying to fight off an aroused donkey with one hand as he holds up his pants with the other. It has been shown on television and is available on YouTube. Most of the material on the judge’s website, as it turned out, was similarly intended as humorous and not lewd. Many readers I know who viewed the actual material felt deceived by The Times’ article. They felt that the newspaper tried to make the story seem splashier than it really was.

You can’t blame that on Tribune.

Part Two:

The [L.A.] Weekly exposed the laughable naivete of a 2005 Times article lionizing an alleged “former gang member” supposedly turned “man of peace.” The Weekly’s secret trick? Talking to law enforcement!

The Weekly printed an excellent piece about gang warfare in housing projects. Meanwhile, The Times couldn’t be bothered to run one line on the shooting death of a teenager in Compton. Yet somehow, the paper found room for a dozen stories about Paris Hilton’s jail sentence.

Part Three:

Worse than the complacency is the paper’s arrogance — its overweening, unbearable arrogance.

L.A. Times editors view themselves as self-appointed shapers of public opinion. They dislocate their shoulders patting themselves on the back for their alleged “intellectual rigor and emotional self-discipline,” to use Tim Rutten’s memorably modest phrasing in 2003.

The hallmark of arrogance is casual, aloof dismissal of one’s critics. Some snigger behind their hand as they dismiss bloggers as a “crew of dilettante verbal snipers” whose views can be safely ignored while the ever-so-serious newspaper people discuss the issues of the day.

Part Four:

[T]he paper’s dismissive attitude toward bloggers is so supercilious, it’s comical.

Times business columnist David Lazarus once contrasted the virtues of “the much-respected, widely esteemed news outlet you’re currently enjoying” — no arrogance there! — with blogs, which, according to Lazarus, “continue sprouting like crab grass throughout the electronic ether.” The late David Shaw called blogs a “solipsistic, self-aggrandizing journalist-wannabe genre.” Every time I catch the paper in yet another embarrassing error, my readers fondly recall Shaw’s pompous pronouncement that his columns were superior because they were reviewed by “four experienced Times editors.”

Does The Times still have four editors reviewing every piece it publishes? I doubt it. How could it, with round after round of layoffs?

Part Five:

Yes, The Times is dying a slow death right in front of our eyes for the reasons we have discussed ad nauseam: the impact of the Internet coupled with the paper’s arrogance and aloofness. It won’t be missed.

This is a paper where even the Pulitzer Prize winners are often an embarrassment. When they’re not publishing stories based on forged documents or embroiled in ethically questionable conflicts of interest, they’re snooping into their colleagues’ e-mail or leaving silly sock-puppet comments on my blog.

You can read it all here.

My sparring partner in this debate, Marc Cooper, says of me:

I enjoyed mixing it up with Patrick “Patterico” Frey. He’s a nice and thoughtful guy, if politically errant.

Funny; that’s just what I was going to say about him!

Seriously, though, I did enjoy the jousting with Marc. And he does seem like a good guy, even if he’s maybe a bit hostile to you, my commenters. (You did know that you’re “bitter, angry and delusional folks” . . . didn’t you?)

Truthing Obamafuscations: Part 4 of a Continuing Series Through November — ABC News Puts The 16 Month Iraq Withdrawal Under The Microscope

Filed under: General — WLS @ 2:00 pm

Posted by WLS:

Last week Obama suffered a little dustup with the press and the leftwingnutroots over the suggestion that after visiting Iraq and consulting with the combat commanders, he might find cause to “refine” his position on the pace of troop withdrawals that he has pledged both on the stump and in writing on his campaign website:

Bringing Our Troops Home

Obama will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. He will remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months. Obama will make it clear that we will not build any permanent bases in Iraq. He will keep some troops in Iraq to protect our embassy and diplomats; if al Qaeda attempts to build a base within Iraq, he will keep troops in Iraq or elsewhere in the region to carry out targeted strikes on al Qaeda.

As reported by politico.com, in a hastily called second news conference last Thursday Obama repeated this pledge after he said his comments earlier in the day on the subject were being misinterpreted:

“When I go to Iraq and I have a chance to talk to some of the commanders on the ground, I’m sure I’ll have more information and will continue to refine my policies,” he said, according to CBS News. “I have been consistent, throughout this process, that I believe the war in Iraq was a mistake.”

Obama later said at a second news conference he still intends to stick to the timeline.

At the second meeting with reporters, Obama said: “We’re going to try this again. Apparently I wasn’t clear enough this morning on my position with respect to the war in Iraq. … I have said throughout this campaign that … I would bring our troops home at a pace of one to two brigades per month and at that pace we would have our combat troops out in 16 months. That position has not changed. I have not equivocated on that position. I am not searching for maneuvering room with respect to that position.

But, Martha Raddatz of ABC News, about as anti-Iraq War as they come in the press contingent covering the war from the beginning, had a pretty devastating piece on Good Morning America earlier today, and it is bound to be repeated later today and through the weekend on various news programs. Raddatz has several senior military leaders in Iraq, including Major General Hammond, Commander of US Forces Baghdad, and Lt. General Austin, Commander US Forces Iraq, saying that a withdrawal plan such as the one advocated by Obama is dangerous and not feasible — though none reference Obama’s plan specifically.

General Hammond states that it would be very dangerous to have any form of “time-based” withdrawal plan, rather than a “conditions-based” withdrawal plan. General Austin says he’s focused on helping the Iraqi government achieve “sustainable security.”

But, more significantly, Raddatz says that off-camera, the officers she spoke with said it would be logistically impossible to remove 1-2 combat brigades per month as Obama has pledged he would do since his campaign began.

Why? Because rotating combat brigades in and out of Iraq — a rotation that happens by just removing the troops themselves but leaving their equipment behind to be used by their replacements — is completely different from actually removing a combat brigade and all their equipment from a warzone.

One of two things about this issue is true:

1) Obama is fully aware that his plan is not logistically feasible but has no compunction about continuing to make disingenuous campaign pledges that have no basis in reality — hence his initial efforts to hedge his position last week, which will bloom in full after his first visit to Iraq which will cause him to “refine” his plan; or

2) Obama is a sitting US Senator, with assignments on both the Foreign Relations and Veterans’ Affairs Committees, who has cast votes on troop deployments and funding of operations, but has NO CLUE about the amount of men and material that constitute a single combat brigade, nor about the logistical difficulties in moving that amount of men and material out of a warzone taking into consideration the existing airlift and shipping capabilities of the US military — yet thinks he’s qualified to be Commander in Chief.

I’m not sure which would be more venal.

Money Quote:

Raddatz: “So, could the military manage the pace that Barack Obama has suggested? Several commanders we talked to off-camera said “No way.”

Dustup: Last Day

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:07 am

Today is the final day of my online debate with Marc Cooper at latimes.com about the future of the paper. Today I take issue with Cooper’s claim that there is no liberal bias at this newspaper.

Keep an eye on this space. [UPDATE: Read today's entry here.]

Previous installments: Part One here. Part Two here. Part Three here. Part Four here.

Extra! McCain Divorced First Wife! Reeeeaad Aaaaaall About it!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:22 am

Did you know that John McCain got DIVORCED from his first wife?!?!?!?!?!

And that Ronald and Nancy Reagan were UNHAPPY ABOUT IT because they liked his first wife?!?!?!?!?!?!

Read all about it in the Los Angeles Times!!!!!!!!

Of course it’s front page above the fold! Why do you ask?

You can’t close the Washington bureau. You just can’t! Look at the sort of hard-hitting expose we’d miss out on!

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