Patterico's Pontifications

7/25/2008

Patterico Requests to Hear the Maliki Tape

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:48 pm

I’ve been a bit busy (work, intensifying Chuck Philips investigation, etc.) and found no immediate contact information at the Der Spiegel website. But a couple of helpful commenters found me a contact form in German, and one even walked me through the form, thus saving me the trouble of supplementing my horrible German with Internet searches.

So I have now officially requested to listen to the Maliki interview. I guess it’s the New York Times and me.

Thought I’d let you know.

R.I.P. Randy Pausch

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:21 pm

Randy Pausch has died.

If you don’t know who he was, everything you need to know is at the link.

L.A. Times Blogger Denies Feeling Gagged

Filed under: 2008 Election,Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 7:26 pm

As promised, I e-mailed L.A. Times Top of the Ticket blogger Andrew Malcolm to ask his thoughts on the e-mailed gag order sent by his blog boss Tony Pierce, regarding the alleged John Edwards/Rielle Hunter affair. Pierce’s e-mail to his bloggers said he was “asking you all not to blog about this topic until further notified.”

Mr. Malcolm responded to my e-mail on the record. He claims not to feel gagged:

I can only speak for The Ticket.

Since the new Enq report is a single publication with unnamed sources that doesn’t advance the story much beyond what we already had and since our LATimes.com website already had a lengthy posting this week on this latest Enq version by our sister Opinion blog (see url below), we decided, as salaciously tempting as these new tidbits are to the larger blogosphere, to await the details of our newsroom colleagues’ independent verification process on someone who is no longer a candidate for anything.

http://opinion.latimes.com/opinionla/2008/07/john-edwards-af.html

How can the memo be a gag order if we’re posting on it?

As to Malcolm’s contention that the Enquirer story “doesn’t advance the story much beyond what we already had,” I guess he and I will have to agree to disagree.

But I asked him for a response to some obvious retorts to his e-mail. I pointed out that the post in question was published on July 23, while Pierce’s e-mail is dated July 24. As I said in a responsive e-mail to Malcolm:

A post published before the gag order is hardly evidence that the gag order (which certainly reads like a gag order) is not a gag order.

Another obvious point: Edwards is a top candidate for Attorney General, according to several sources.

Malcolm responded:

As I said before, I’m only speaking about The Ticket. But we made our decision for the reasons cited before the LATimes.com Opinion blog and we’re staying with it after the Opinion blog post. It’s a news judgment call based on not much new news there, many years of experience, the anonymous source, the publication’s record, the subject now being on the political sidelines, our own reputation as one of the highest-ranked newspaper political blogs and our perceived responsibilities to Ticket readers. Other political blogs will no doubt make their own calls in good faith, some different, some the same. We may well modify our position once our own people check things out. As always, the readers are the final judges. We’re good with that.

I thank Mr. Malcolm for the response.

Obama’s Non-Stop at the Military Hospitals in Germany?? — Looks Like The Result of a Tantrum by Retired 2 Star General

Filed under: General — WLS @ 6:53 pm

Posted by WLS:

According to The Weekly Standard Campaign Blog the mystery of Obama’s non-stop seems to have been solved:

Pentagon officials tell NBC 

the problem was that Obama’s request to visit Landstuhl included two members of his campaign staff — retired Major General Jonathan S. Gration and Jeff Kiernan. US military officials in Germany informed the campaign the two political operatives would not be permitted on base.

Pentagon officials say Gration was the campaign’s point of contact at Landstuhl in arranging Obama’s visit and “got torqued” when he was told he would not be permitted to join Obama. It was Gration who later suggested to reporters that the Pentagon short-circuited Obama’s visit. 

Jim Geraghty wrote yesterday: “A very interesting email from a source I must protect suggests that Obama’s visit to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center had the green light until a campaign staffer raised a stink about going with Obama.”

And today Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs strongly hinted that Gration’s exclusion was what led to the campaign’s last-minute decision to scrap the visit.

“Based on the information that we received from the Pentagon,” Gibbs said, “anybody on the staff that was related to the campaign including General Gration a two start [sic] general” would not be allowed to go to Landstuhl.

So, a retired Two Star gets hacked off when he’s told that he, as a campaign official, would not be allowed to accompany Obama to the hospital.

Who would have thunk that a General would object so vehemently to the DOD regulations preventing military bases from being used as campaign stops? 

Do all Obama’s military advisors consider wounded troops to be worthy of visiting only if they can be employed as campaign props?

I like the fact that Miklaszewski at NBC is still on this story.  He could have let it drop, but this is his third update that has advanced the story by adding facts.  His reporting forced the Obama campaign to conduct a mini-intervention when their two previous explanations didn’t satisfy.  Miklaszewski is a long-time Pentagon reporter, and he’s got great sources.  They aren’t going to let Obama hang his non-visit on them.

[Peter — sarcasm alert.  I’m trying to remind myself to be obvious enough so that even people like you will understand — WLS]

L.A. Times Censors Bloggers on Edwards

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 6:18 pm

L.A. Times bloggers have been told not to blog about the National Enquirer story on John Edwards and Rielle Hunter. Here’s the e-mail, quoted from Mickey Kaus’s blog:

From: “Pierce, Tony”

Date: July 24, 2008 10:54:41 AM PDT

To: [XXX]

Subject: john edwards

Hey bloggers,

There has been a little buzz surrounding John Edwards and his alleged affair. Because the only source has been the National Enquirer we have decided not to cover the rumors or salacious speculations. So I am asking you all not to blog about this topic until further notified.

If you have any questions or are ever in need of story ideas that would best fit your blog, please don’t hesitate to ask

Keep rockin,

Tony

This is hardly a shock. Regular readers will recall how the Top of the Ticket blog initially tried to blog the story when it first emerged months ago, and then whisked away the post — which then reappeared after I wrote about it, and was then rewritten several times. Andrew Malcolm had initially commented that it would be “censorship” not to blog about it. Then an editor censored the post.

I suspect Malcolm would like to blog this again. I’ll e-mail him to ask, but I couldn’t really blame him if he didn’t want to respond on the record.

P.S. Key aspects of the story have been confirmed by Fox News. Will that change the directive?

UPDATE: Malcolm has responded. Read his response here.

The Obama Supporter and the McKains

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 5:28 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Houston Chronicle recently reported on a ‘verbal disturbance’ between Houston residents that would not have been newsworthy except for the subject matter and an odd coincidence of names:

“Court documents said [Chynethia] Gragg told [Police Officer] Norris she saw the sticker on the back of a pickup and stopped in front of the McKain house. She told Norris she confronted [Doug] McKain about the sticker, saying it was racist.

McKain told the officer he and his wife were driving home when they noticed a female motorist looking closely at his truck. The couple drove home then pulled into their driveway.

“Mr. McKain said shortly later the same person (Ms. Gragg) pulled up to his residence (blocking his driveway behind his truck.) Mr. McKain said Ms. Gragg began to rant and rave about the sticker on the back of his truck,” the court document states.

McKain told police Gragg shouted numerous profanities at him and his wife.

“Mr. McKain said Ms. Gragg said she (would) get someone to take care of him later,” the report said.

Gragg was given a trespass warning and arrested for a terroristic threat. Various reports state the McKain’s bumper sticker shows a small boy urinating on the name OBAMA.

It’s not unusual to see this bumper sticker on pickup trucks in Texas except the little boy is urinating on the word TOYOTA, CHEVY, FORD, or DODGE. The prototype may have been based on the cartoon Calvin and Hobbes but, if so, this tribute website states it was unauthorized. These bumper stickers are a way for truck owners to express brand loyalty, and it looks like someone has adopted that idea in making this bumper sticker.

What’s sad is that the Obama supporter could think of no reason other than racism to explain the McKain’s silly bumper sticker.

— DRJ

American Flags and Other Symbols

Filed under: 2008 Election,Politics — DRJ @ 12:49 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

John Feehery blogs at The Hill and his 1:13 PM entry yesterday was a list of four things that are so surprising you just can’t make them up:

>> Rep. Charlie Rangel’s rent-controlled apartments save him so much money that “he was forced to complain about himself to the [House] ethics committee.”

>> The committee hosting the Democratic National Convention in Denver was caught “using the city’s gas pumps to fill up on fuel, avoiding state and federal highway taxes.” The 4-month-old practice was ended after it was brought to light at a Denver City Council meeting.

>> Proving that “politics must come first,” Barack Obama cancelled his trip to Rammstein and Landstuhl U.S. military bases in southwest Germany and missed an opportunity to honor and thank many military personnel who have been wounded in war.

>> Finally, the pièce de résistance is this Obama story [Note: Photos at the links — DRJ]:

“The Chicago Tribune’s John McCormick reported that when Obama replaced his Boeing 737 campaign plane with a Boeing 757, he noted the new aircraft had “a giant flag painted on its tail.”

But Chicago Sun-Times reporter Lynn Sweet now notes that Obama’s 757 has been repainted “with the Obama sunrise logo on the tail.”

Barack Obama’s plane illustrates that he thinks symbols are important and I agree. I’m glad he didn’t use his Presidential seal but he could have kept the American flag and added the signature Obama swoosh.

I wonder: Is it Obama or his supporters who believe the American flag sends the wrong message?

— DRJ


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