Patterico's Pontifications

10/20/2008

Politics Can Make You Rationalize Anything

Filed under: 2008 Election,General,Terrorism — Patterico @ 11:25 pm

This is an actual conversation with an unidentified Obama supporter. I am paraphrasing from memory, as honestly as I can recall. I assure you that the last, critical line is a verbatim quote:

Me: So, looks like someone who attended Obama’s coming-out party at Bill Ayers’s home has decided to delete her blog post about it. Her blog post said that Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn were launching Obama’s career in their living room.

Unidentified Obama supporter: So what? There’s no proof he knew the extent of Bill Ayers’s activities, and we don’t even know what he did. For all Obama knew, Ayers was just a 1960s radical who hadn’t done anything violent. Was he required to vet some guy who was throwing him a party?

Me: Somehow I think you’d still be making the same argument even if Obama knew everything Ayers had done.

Unidentified Obama supporter: Well, yeah, because Obama wasn’t really that closely associated with Ayers. Anyway, we don’t really know Ayers was a terrorist.

Me: Ayers set bombs. Members of his group were killed constructing a bomb with nails, intended to kill soldiers. The group is suspected of setting a bomb that killed a police officer in San Francisco. His wife refused to cooperate with an investigation into a robbery in New York State that left two police officers dead. She went to jail for refusing to cooperate. Bill Ayers said in September 2001 that he didn’t regret setting bombs and wished he had done more. He and his wife are unrepentant terrorists.

Unidentified Obama supporter: Ayers and Dohrn had a good intent. In the 1960s people were trying to stop the war. He might have done some things that were wrong, but they had a good intent.

Me: You’ve got to be kidding! Charles Manson had a good intent, in his own warped mind. He thought it would help the country to kill some people and start a race war. But he was a killer. And Bill Ayers was, and in spirit still is, a terrorist.

Unidentified Obama supporter: This country was founded by terrorists.

Me:

END

L.A. Times: Obama’s Elegant, Inspiring Words Swoop and Soar

Filed under: 2008 Election,Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 11:17 pm

This blog’s mission is to mock the Los Angeles Times when deserved — which is more often than not.

I love it when they make it this easy:

Reported from Tampa, Fla. — Words helped get Barack Obama where he is today. Elegant words. Inspiring words. Words that swoop and words that soar.

Hoo-kay then. No bias here!

I’m predicting this will go Down the Memory Hole — just like an awful lot of other stuff lately.

So I’m showing you the screenshot in advance.

(Click for the full image.)

If When it goes Down the Memory Hole, I’ll be sure to let you know.

And if it doesn’t . . . then, jeez. Somebody must be asleep at the switch over there. Because bias rarely gets this blatant.

Because It’s All About the Restraint and the Moderation

Filed under: 2008 Election,Humor — Patterico @ 11:14 pm

I keep hearing that Republicans are angry. They spew vile and spittle-flecked rants. Yada, yada, yada.

Frankly, I’m sick of this caricature. And I think this video will do much to dispel the image of the Ugly, Angry Republican. It’s about time we heard from a thoughtful, restrained perspective: a McCain supporter who doesn’t get mad. He just happens to disagree with Obama’s policies.

You can view more sober disquisitions by this fellow here. (It’s a highly stylized presentation, as you will see if you click on a couple of links.)

Put a bow tie on this guy and call him George Will.

What’s next? I’ll tell you what’s next.

Another L.A. Times Story Down the Memory Hole (UPDATE: Maybe Just Through the Wormhole)

Filed under: 2008 Election,Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 10:55 pm

It’s almost enough to make you suspect something.

First, the background. Reader JFTRANE passes along word that Howard Kurtz’s Media Notes column today had this passage:

For all the media focus on Joe the Plumber owing back taxes, L.A. blogger Patterico observes: “I almost forgot to mention: Martin Nesbitt, the treasurer of Obama’s campaign, has tax liens. So do his companies.

“You’d think that matters more than the tax liens of Joe the Plumber, wouldn’t you? But good luck finding a Big Media story about Nesbitt’s liens.”

Thanks for the props, Howie.

Weirdest thing, though. That L.A. Times story with the passage about Joe the Plumber’s liens?

You guessed it: down the memory hole.

Go ahead: click on the link I provided in my post on this, which quoted the paper as saying:

According to court records, creditors have secured at least two liens against [Joe the Plumber] Wurzelbacher, whose legal name is Samuel. Ohio has a $1,182 lien for owed taxes and St. Charles Mercy Hospital has filed a 2007 lien for $1,261.

I got a bunch of links from that post, including one from Instapundit. But now, that L.A. Times story is gone. Gone with the wind! (H/t Arthur.)

Check for yourself. Click on the link and read (or search) for the word “liens.”

Down the memory hole. Just like everything else that makes Obama and his supporters look bad.

UPDATE: A reader passes along this link (which was actually included in the comment thread to my original post) to another Joe the Plumber story which mentions the lien:

Fame comes with a price. In Wurzelbacher’s case, it’s about $1,182, the amount of the lien the state of Ohio has placed on his property for personal income taxes he owes.

It’s still the case that, if you click the link for the story I originally linked, the story and the passage I cited are gone. There is a completely different story there.

But it’s true that another story does still mention the lien. So I guess the Memory Hole accusation, for once, is arguably rebutted.

Honestly, though: is it too much to ask that, once a story is published at a particular URL, you guys just leave it there? Why must you constantly put completely new stories at the same URL? You’re just asking for people to be suspicious . . .

Blog Post Addresses Deletion of Evidence of Obama-Ayers Tie

Filed under: 2008 Election,Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 6:50 pm

Over at the Musings & Migraines blog, Maria Warren has offered up an explanation for sending evidence of an Obama-Ayers tie down the memory hole:

Jeez! The howls of indignation. Grow up, people. Yes, it’s gone; that oh-so-exciting post that people can’t seem to get enough of. We know deleting doesn’t erase it from memory. Like so much urine in a swimming pool, trace elements will remain.

It’s an odd analogy for one’s own writing, but never mind that. I guess my question is: if you knew that deleting the post wouldn’t erase it from the Internet, then why did you do it? No convincing answer is forthcoming:

For those of you trolling this site for dirt on Obama and Ayers, please look elsewhere. Red Rabbit and the rest of us have said our piece which doesn’t amount to much beyond that yes there was an event which we attended and which has been part of public record for years. If you want to have a serious debate on how progressive Obama truly is then we can talk. But judging from the traffic stats and the comments I doubt that’s what you’re looking for.

This site has been pretty hard on Obama but has always criticized him from a progressive standpoint. Quite frankly the accusation that Obama would have a terrorist agenda is laughable considering what a cautious politician he is. Nor should Ayers be tried anew for his weather underground activities. His radical bonafides are so outdated, calling him a terrorist is giving him way too much credit.

No reasonable person argues that Obama has a “terrorist agenda,” so that’s a strawman as far as rational argument goes. The question is whether the Ayers relationship illustrates Obama’s poor judgment, and/or a tendency to pander to the fringe left when it suits his current purpose.

Whether it’s fair to call Bill Ayers a terrorist, however, is hardly open to question. He has been one — and since he’s utterly unrepentant, the label has not worn off.

So go to the Boston Globe, or Politico.com or wherever else we’ve been quoted. As for us, this blog is independently run, and reserves the right to pull material, specifically if that material hurts the blog at large. Moreover the post in question was up LONG before this election and in the last several months has been woefully distorted to slander a private citizen.

You know, if someone distorted a blog post of mine, I wouldn’t sweep the blog post under the rug. I would link to it and argue that it had been distorted, based upon the text.

The logical inference is that Ms. Warren deleted the post because she thought it would hurt her candidate.

Of course you have the right to delete your post, Ms. Warren. Nobody is suggesting otherwise.

And we have the right to draw reasonable inferences based upon your actions.

UPDATE: The L.A. Times will not be correcting its error. Details in this post.

Murtha’s Racist Redneck Constituents

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 6:06 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Remember last week when Rep. Murtha called his Western Pennsylvania constituents racists? What he meant to say was some of them are racist rednecks:

“What I said, that indicted everybody, that’s not what I meant at all. What I mean is there’s still folks that have a problem voting for someone because they are black,” Murtha said.

Murtha said the history of southwestern Pennsylvania is rife with racism.

“This whole area, years ago, was really redneck,” Murtha told Channel 4 Action News.”

He added it’s particularly true of older people.

Heh. Keep digging, John.

— DRJ

Noam Chomsky Endorses Obama

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 3:41 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

MIT Professor Noam Chomsky has endorsed Barack Obama but, as this recent Der Spiegel interview makes clear, Chomsky is not fooled by Obama’s rhetoric:

SPIEGEL: “Change” is the slogan of this year’s presidential election. Do you see any chance for an immediate, tangible change in the United States? Or, to use use Obama’s battle cry: Are you “fired up”?

Chomsky: Not in the least. The European reaction to Obama is a European delusion.

SPIEGEL: But he does say things that Europe has long been waiting for. He talks about the trans-Atlantic partnership, the priority of diplomacy and the reconciling of American society.

Chomsky: That is all rhetoric. Who cares about that? This whole election campaign deals with soaring rhetoric, hope, change, all sorts of things, but not with issues.”

Chomsky views U.S. politics as a one-party system ruled by business but he isn’t totally down on America. He believes “the American society has become more civilized, largely as a result of the activism of the 1960s.”

It’s interesting how many Obama endorsements come from people who identify more with Ayers the Activist than Joe the Plumber.

— DRJ

Joe Biden’s Kinsleyian Gaffe

Filed under: General — Karl @ 12:07 pm

The blogosphere is abuzz over Sen. Joe Biden’s comments in Seattle:

“Mark my words,” the Democratic vice presidential nominee warned at the second of his two Seattle fundraisers Sunday. “It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We’re about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”

“I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate,” Biden said to Emerald City supporters, mentioning the Middle East and Russia as possibilities. “And he’s gonna need help. And the kind of help he’s gonna need is, he’s gonna need you – not financially to help him – we’re gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it’s not gonna be apparent initially, it’s not gonna be apparent that we’re right.”

Ed Morrissey finds this to be a “stunning statement.”  NRO’s Ed Whelan calls the comments “really remarkable.”  But they represent only a Kinsleyian gaffe — the inadvertant blurting of an unacceptable truth.  Terrorists bombed the World Trade Center during Bill Clinton’s first year in office.  Terrorists flew planes into the WTC during George W. Bush’s first year in office.  If one wants to go further back, the Iranian theocracy released US hostages when Ronald Reagan was elected, but after the Hezbollah-led truck-bombing of our Marines in Lebanon triggered a withdrawal, terrorism once again festered internationally until Reagan nearly killed Muammar Gaddafi in the 1986 bombing of Tripoli.  And there is the JFK example Biden himself cited.

In short, untested Presidents tend to get tested.  The more shocking part of Biden’s comments are his admission that an Obama administration might react to such a crisis in a way that would be unpopular and need support from his Left-leaning base.  That is probably also a Kinsleyian gaffe, but not one that could be discerned from history.  Rather, it seems to be further confirmation that an Obama administration would take a soft line toward those who seek to do us harm.

–Karl

ACORN: Sweatshop of Fear

Filed under: General — Karl @ 9:52 am

[Posted by Karl]

The New York Post reports:

Pushed to meet daily quotas and bullied by bosses if they didn’t, Ohio ACORN workers faked voter registrations, signed up people more than once, and even paid off registrants to keep from being fired, its canvassers told The Post.

“Every day, there was pressure on us. Every single day,” said Teshika Elder, a Cleveland single mom of three who worked for ACORN this summer.

Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds comments:  “Sounds like a real sweatshop.  Somebody should organize a union or something…”

He is not the first to come up with that idea, which is why ACORN has been repeatedly dinged by the Department of Labor for illegal union-busting activities, as detailed by the Employment Policies Institute:

Despite its ardent public support of higher wages and union membership for all workers, ACORN has made repeated attempts to block the unionization of its own workforce while paying below-minimum-wage salaries to its employees. In addition to the extensive union-busting detailed by the NLRB (see Appendix A), ACORN unsuccessfully sued the state of California to be exempted from the minimum wage. In its appeal of that suit, ACORN argued that the reduction in the number of employees resulting from the minimum wage would violate its First Amendment rights. ACORN’s claims were labeled “absurd” by the presiding judge (see Appendix B).

Just another reason why Barack Obama has been lying about his long relationship with ACORN and trying to airbrush it from history.

–Karl

Evidence of Obama-Ayers Tie Sent Down the Memory Hole . . . Almost!

Filed under: 2008 Election,General — Patterico @ 7:05 am

The best evidence that Barack Obama launched his political career from Bill Ayers’s living room has disappeared . . . down the memory hole.

Well, not quite. The Wayback Machine and I have both saved copies.

On Thursday, the L.A. Times claimed that there is “no recorded basis” for John McCain’s statement that Obama launched his political career in Bill Ayers’s living room. That same day, I wrote a post that proved them wrong. I linked a January 27, 2005 blog post by Maria Warren, a political liberal who attended the function. In that post, she said:

When I first met Barack Obama, he was giving a standard, innocuous little talk in the livingroom of those two legends-in-their-own-minds, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. They were launching him–introducing him to the Hyde Park community as the best thing since sliced bread.

I originally read about this post at a Politico piece about the Ayers-Obama relationship in February 2008. That post identified the name of the blog, and Maria Warren as the author. But Politico did not link Warren’s post; I found it and linked it based on the evidence provided by Politico. Yesterday I sent the link to the L.A. Times as part of a request for a correction of the error in their editorial.

As far as I know, I was the first blogger to directly link Warren’s blog entry — and I did so last Thursday.

Now it’s Monday, and this blog entry — which had been around since January 27, 2005 — is suddenly gone. (H/t Jim Treacher.)

I thought there wasn’t anything to the Obama-Ayers relationship. I guess somebody thinks different — and is taking pains to delete the evidence.

Well, you’re going to have to do better than this. Turns out the Wayback Machine still has a copy. You’re going to have to scrub that, too.

Oh — and then you’re going to have to crash my site and come get my laptop. Because it turns out that I saved a screenshot:

(Click the image for a full-size shot.)

What . . you think I didn’t see this coming?

UPDATE: Thanks to Instapundit, Beldar at Hugh Hewitt, Powerline, and others who linked.

Google cache of the disappeared post is here.

Also, Maria Warren has put up a blog post that purports to (but does not) explain why she deleted her January 2005 post. Details here.

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