Patterico's Pontifications

3/3/2009

The Best Thing You’ll Read Today

Filed under: General — Jack Dunphy @ 11:48 pm

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

A touching tribute to one member of a vanishing generation.

(H/T: Jonah Goldberg at NRO’s The Corner)

–Jack Dunphy

Reason #741 That I’m Having a Tough Time Caring About the Gradual Death of the L.A. Times

Filed under: Crime,Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 11:34 pm

They’re sniveling cowards:

Three co-defendants who prosecutors say played roles in an elaborate wiretapping scheme by Hollywood private detective Anthony Pellicano were sentenced to federal prison today.

One by one, each of Pellicano’s co-defendants stood in front of U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer as she read over their sentences. Former LAPD Sgt. Mark Arneson was sentenced to 10 years and one month in federal prison.

Rayford Earl Turner, a former phone company technician who provided company information to Pellicano, was also sentenced to 10 years and one month.

Abner Nicherie, 44, was sentenced to 21 months.

The part that was cowardly, I made bold. (Thank you. Thank you very much.)

They were convicted. Don’t tell me prosecutors say they participated in Pellicano’s scheme. They did. Twelve people found beyond a reasonable doubt they did.

So say so.

Shooting the messengers

Filed under: General,Politics — Karl @ 12:09 pm

[Posted by Karl, while wearing a smoking jacket.]

There is a fair amount of it going on at the moment.  Dan Riehl and Ace note (as others have) that the media has been demonizing Rush Limbaugh to pull the GOP leadership away from the most conservative elements of their base.  Limbaugh noted over a month ago that this was Obama Administration strategy; the establishment media is simply helping to execute it. (Howie Kurtz and Chris Cillizza have gotten around to reporting the ongoing campaign.)

However, Limbaugh is merely one target of many.  As Patrick Ruffini noted in the case of a bogus story about Bobby Jindal:

I could easily couch this post as a warning, except it’s more of a description of the fallout of a 50-megaton warhead that’s been dropped on conservative Washington except most people don’t seem to know it yet.

On one side, we have the left picking off rising Republican stars one at a time. And on the other, we had an utter failure to do the same to the most conspicuous rising star on the left, Barack Obama. The MSM was not going to do it for us — we had to do it ourselves and we didn’t. For starters, we still know very little about Obama’s law practice before and during his tenure as a State Senator. Had Obama been a Republican, Rev. Wright’s radicalism, a fact known to tens of thousands of people but which somehow escaped the notice of the national press, would have been an issue shortly after his 2004 convention speech — just as the left has been furiously picking apart Jindal’s response speech.

The right needs a serious investigative capacity to channel raw information in politically important directions. Op-eds and Fox hits don’t add value. Raw information about Democratic hypocrisy does.

There is not much new in this, except possibly the notion that this sort of political warfare is becoming increasingly preemptive (the instant attacks on Jindal echoing those on Sarah Palin during the campaign), trying to make sure your opponent’s first impression is a bad one.

Even so, TIME magazine was asking whether Limbaugh is good for America at least 14 years ago.  That was about a month after the mag named Newt Gingrich “Uncle Scrooge” and Newsweek called him “The Gingrich That Stole Christmas” before he was even sworn in as Speaker of the House.  All of which predated Daily Kos and TPM Muckraker.  Over the years, Limbaugh has been attacked by Pres. Clinton and Sen. Tom Daschle — and would have been without the blogosphere.  The years of media attacks on the Bush Administration on various issues, generally followed by silence (or defense) as Obama adopts similar positions would have been the same without the blogosphere.

Moreover, the establishment media has proven that it is increasingly inclined to ignore or downplay raw information harmful to Democrats, as Ruffini’s own example of the Rev. Wright demonstrates.  That is why such information tends to turn up — if at all — in op-eds and on FNC.  Or on talk radio — which is one reason why the Obama Administration is targeting Limbaugh and Hannity.

None of which is to say that everyone on the right half of the spectrum must refrain from criticizing — or leap to the defense of — a Limbaugh, or a Jindal, or a Palin, or a Gingrich.  Indeed, I have my own disagreements with each of them, as I do of any number of other conservatives and Republicans.  Internal debate is ultimately healthy to parties or movements.  No less a leader than Ronald Reagan blasted the GOP as carrying a banner of “pale pastels” instead of “bold colors.” Coincidentally, that speech was made at CPAC in 1975, before one of those “16-year cycle” elections favoring Democrats of changitude.

Nevertheless, winning national debates and elections in America generally requires a coalition of some sort (Reagan recognized this also, putting George H.W. Bush on the ticket in 1980).  There will be no shortage of establishment media (and the Left more generally) shooting at the messengers of the Right, regardless of which which faction(s) of the Right that messenger may represent.  I would have thought that the story of John McCain — media darling when criticizing the GOP, bête noire when he is its nominee — would have been a lesson.  Conservative or Republican leaders (or infuencers) will be attacked as rednecks, Bible-thumpers, stupid, racist, sexist, homophobic, intolerant, heartless, warmongers, evil tools of Wall Street, etc., in whichever combination the the Left thinks it can get away with passing off on the mushy, apolitical middle.

Maybe the Right would be better off spending more time — as Ruffini suggests — shooting at the messengers and policies of the Left instead of their own.  But maybe neither Right nor Left ever really learn these sorts of lessons while in the minority.  They merely put such intramural disputes aside when they get sufficiently tired of losing and a sufficient consensus candidate appears.

–Karl

Balko Response Fallout: Verdon Still Suspiciously Silent; Jimmie Duncan’s Lawyer Not So Silent

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:33 am

Recently, Steve Verdon denounced my suspicious silence for failing to respond to a Radley Balko article that Verdon felt had showed me up somehow. The article had been posted for 54 minutes with no comment from me. Suspicious!!

In case you missed it (some people don’t read on the weekends), I posted my response here. If you haven’t read it yet, I hope you will. I worked on it very hard, and tried to raise some unanswered questions and provide missing perspective in a respectful and constructive manner. (I am profoundly uninterested in starting some kind of “blog feud” with Balko over this.) I had a follow-up post here which featured an expert tentatively supporting Balko’s position (in the update).

It has now been three days, six hours, and 35 minutes (give or take a few seconds) since my original post and I am unaware of any reaction from Verdon, who is generally quick to render his opinion on any post of mine touching on Balko. Suspicious!!

Well, maybe I missed it. It’s possible.

I haven’t heard from Balko either, but I’m not going to call that “suspicious” because he’s not the one who accused me of a slow reaction to his article. He probably has better things to do than respond to me — and certainly, he has no particular duty to acknowledge my questions, legitimate though they seem to me. It’s just unusual for him not to quickly respond to any commentary from me on his work. Last night I thought maybe he hadn’t seen my posts, so I e-mailed them to him.

I have heard from someone, however: the defendant’s lawyer, who is threatening to file a (completely baseless) State Bar complaint against me.

The lawyer is Kathy Kelly of the Capital Post Conviction Project of Louisiana. That organization represents Jimmie Duncan, the Death Row inmate described in the article. In this comment to my original post, she implies that I have committed State Bar violations (which I most certainly have not) and threatens to file a State Bar complaint if I continue to contact witnesses on the case — in other words, if I continue to exercise my First Amendment rights. Excerpt from her comment:

As a lawyer you should no that you have no business talking to witnesses when you are not a party to this case. Cease immediately or I will file an ethics complaint with your state bar.

I told her: “I don’t intend to cease exercising my First Amendment right to speak about matters of legitimate public concern because some lawyer who is mis[re]presenting the content of my post threatens a bogus complaint to my State Bar.” I asked her to tell me what rule I had supposedly violated and she suddenly decided she had better things to do. After publicly implying that I had committed an ethical violation, she said: “I’m not discussing this publicly.” I demanded that she identify a specific rule I violated, or retract her comment, and she said that she was too busy to address the issue any more.

I e-mailed her last night to repeat my demand for a retraction.

So, notwithstanding any lack of reaction from Verdon or Balko, I appear to have touched a nerve with someone. Read my post to see why that might be.

UPDATE: An analysis of Ms. Kelly’s threat here.


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