Patterico's Pontifications

3/2/2009

Stupid People Think Planet Getting Warmer Even Though They’re Cold Today

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:58 pm

Global warming protestors caught in the snow. See, it’s snowing, so they must be wrong!

And remember: no complaining about the direction of the stock market lately if it’s up today!

WaPo Slams Congressional Democrats on Opposition to Vouchers

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:32 pm

Sweet:

REP. DAVID R. Obey (Wis.) and other congressional Democrats should spare us their phony concern about the children participating in the District’s school voucher program. If they cared for the future of these students, they wouldn’t be so quick as to try to kill the program that affords low-income, minority children a chance at a better education.

There’s only one false note in the piece:

Their refusal to even give the program a fair hearing makes it critical that D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) seek help from voucher supporters in the Senate and, if need be, President Obama.

From Obama? Good luck. He’s a “school choice for me but not for thee” kinda guy.

Glenn Greenwald: Is Obama embracing the lawless, omnipotent executive?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:26 pm

Unless I’m mistaken, I believe he thinks the answer is yes:

[A]fter a few symbolic (and potentially important) decrees in the first week, which I praised at the time — the Obama administration’s approach to civil liberties, constitutional protections and the reining in of executive power abuses has been absolutely abysmal.

Regular readers know I’ve had problems with Greenwald in the past. When he sock-puppets, or denounces you for failing to denounce others, there’s nobody more annoying. But at least he shows a willingness to be consistent on his views of executive power, no matter who is in office.

We can mock him for that other stupidity, but we can respect him for this.

AP Editor: We Must Listen to Bloggers . . . Too Bad Our Organization Treats Them Like Dog Poop

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:25 pm

Via Romenesko comes this nice speech from, irony of ironies, an editor for the Associated Press:

So we have a responsibility to complete the job that is already underway…to reinvent the media business to assure that it can continue to sustain the quality journalism that is so vital. To do that, we must listen to the market. We must listen to the social networking entrepreneurs who are tapping the Internet’s power of community. And to the bloggers who have revived that fine old art of pamphleteering in a powerful new way by combining it with the Internet’s power of aggregation. We must hear them and understand the message of change . . .

That would be nice. However, what your organization does instead is threaten bloggers, take bloggers’ content in ways that would cause you to sue if the tables were turned, sue New Media for violating unconstitutional “hot news” rules that impinge on fair use, and fail to make corrections requested by bloggers.

If that is y’all’s idea of “listening,” we can do without it. But if you really mean it, you could start by putting an end to all that crap I just listed.

Congress vs. Citizen Journalism

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:44 pm

There’s a bill in Congress that would give journalists the right to keep their sources confidential. But the House version defines journalist to exclude hobbyists. Under the House language, the party invoking the privilege must engage in newsgathering “for a substantial portion of the person’s livelihood or for substantial financial gain.”

In other words, Chuck Philips and Mary Mapes can keep their sources confidential; I can’t.

I’m conflicted on making such privilege too broad — for example, I don’t think such privileges should defeat subpoenas in criminal cases. (I don’t know where the bill stands on this issue.)

But I’m very leery of any bill that confers privileges on “professional” journalists while denying them to citizen journalists.

David Frum on Limbaugh

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:32 pm

[Language warning. I can’t think of an effective way to say this without the profanity. — P]

David Frum, in the very same piece — only sentences apart, actually! — says this:

With his private plane and his cigars, his history of drug dependency and his personal bulk, not to mention his tangled marital history, Rush is a walking stereotype of self-indulgence – exactly the image that Barack Obama most wants to affix to our philosophy and our party. . . .

and this:

He plays an important role in our coalition, and of course he and his supporters have to be treated with respect.

Shorter David Frum: treat that fat drug-addled fuck with respect!

P.S. On the whole Steele-Rush kerfuffle, Allah says it well. I can’t improve on that, so just click the link.

Clinton: That Vaunted Diplomacy Ain’t Gonna Keep Iran from Getting the Bomb

Filed under: General,International,Obama — Patterico @ 10:01 pm

Los Angeles Times:

The Obama administration has already concluded that a diplomatic overture to Iran, one of the central promises of the president’s election campaign, is unlikely to persuade Tehran to give up its nuclear ambitions.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told the foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates in a private meeting Monday that it is “very doubtful” a U.S. approach will persuade Iran to relent, said a senior State Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity under customary diplomatic rules.

You don’t say.

What was your first clue?

So, what does that leave?

a) War.

b) Let ’em have the bomb.

c) Some other naive gesture that, like diplomacy, won’t do anything.

d) Let Israel handle it.

e) Your idea here.

In addition to your ideas, vote on which of the above approaches you think Obama will pursue.

Do Any of These People Pay Taxes??

Filed under: Obama — Patterico @ 5:53 pm

Another day, another Obama nominee with unpaid taxes.

Does Policy Matter?

Filed under: General — Karl @ 12:31 pm

[Posted by Karl]

Analyzing Rush Limbaugh’s much-discussed CPAC speech, John Hawkins (who generally liked it) argues that its weakness was the suggestion that all the GOP (or conservatives) needed was a good candidate and that policy was not the problem:

First off, it abandons the whole field of “new ideas” to people who are not conservatives. Liberals are always coming up with new ways to spend our money and grow government.

So if all the prominent “idea men” on “our side” are people who hate social conservatives and love big government, then the conservative movement will have to choose between being forever frozen — or moving farther away from its roots with the adoption of each new idea. That path will lead to a long, slow slide into oblivion.

However, TNR’s infamously Bush-hating Jonathan Chait disagrees:

I think it’s pretty clear that the Democratic comeback since then has had next-to-nothing to with developing “new ideas” and almost everything to do with Republican failure, the state of the economy, and a really effective presidential nominee. yes, Democratic ideas proved more popular, but they really were the same basic ideas the party had advocated for years.

Limbaugh, then, is narrowly right. The GOP’s fortunes are essentially an inverse function of the Obama administration’s fortunes, which is turn depends almost entirely on the state of the world economy.

Although I suspect that Chait and I would disagree over the specifics of “Republican failure,” both positions have merit.  The election of President Obama continues a 16-year cycle favoring relatively inexperienced Democrats preaching the gospel of Hopenchange.  The cycle is likely generational and related to the natural tendency of parties and movements to spend out their political and intellectual capital over time.  Moreover, a review of past presidential campaigns suggests that the winning candidate was generally the superior campaigner.

Nevertheless, policy matters, particularly outside the 16-year cycle.  The continuing deterioration of US financial markets — and in Obama’s job approval ratings — stems in part from a lack of investor confidence in the policy proposals of the Obama Administration. As you cannot beat somebody with nobody, you cannot beat something with nothing — which is why the Left has been busy pushing the meme of the GOP as the party of “No.”  Everyone from GOP strategists to Juicebox mafioso Matthew Yglesias seem to have figured out that there is ultimately more value to winning an issue than winning a news cycle, which may explain Newt Gingrich’s low-profile comeback in Republican circles.

Unless Republicans and conservatives want to simply wait for the current Democrat or progressive ascendency to play itself out, they will need both a good messenger and alternative proposals, much as they had in the late 1970s and the mid-1990s.

Update: Rich Lowry, after noting the vast difference in the market reaction to Obama vs. the market reaction to FDR:

Two political points: 1) Every day the markets continue to slide, it makes it harder on Obama to blame the mess on President Bush and forswear any responsibility himself; 2) if I were Eric Cantor or John Boehner, I’d be talking about a “real recovery package” every day— payroll and corporate tax cuts, regulatory reforms for the financial and auto industries, relief for small business. None of it is going to pass, of course, but it will dispel the idea that they aren’t for anything and show they are zealous about trying to check the economy’s downward slide.

That was supposedly the plan last week, but the GOP on the Hill seems to be lacking follow-through.

–Karl

A Quote to Start Your Day

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:33 am

Henry Morgenthau, Roosevelt’s Treasury Secretary:

We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. And I have just one interest, and if I am wrong . . . somebody else can have my job. I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see people get a job. I want to see people get enough to eat. We have never made good on our promises. . . . I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started. . . . And an enormous debt to boot.

Via Mona Charen.


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