Patterico's Pontifications

10/30/2009

Government By the (Page) Numbers

Filed under: Government — DRJ @ 8:38 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

CNN’s Jack Cafferty compares the number of pages in the health care reform bill (1,990) to the number of pages in other important government documents (I’ll leave the numbers blank so you can guess):

  • The original draft of the 1935 Economic Security Act, which established the Social Security Administration was _____ pages.
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1964 – forbidding discrimination based on race and sex: _____ pages.
  • The 19th amendment to the Constitution, giving Women the right to vote in 1920: _____ page.
  • The Emancipation Proclamation, with which Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves in 1863: _____ pages.
  • Or, if you really want to get back to basics: The Declaration of Independence came in at _____ page in 1776.
  • As suggested by the singular “page,” the 19th Amendment and the Declaration of Independent were both 1 page. The other answers are at the link.

    — DRJ

    Buffy and the Peeps

    Filed under: Government,Obama — DRJ @ 5:43 pm

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    Remember the NEA telephone conference call that encouraged artists to help promote Obama Administration policies (prior posts here, here and here)? Pursuant to an FOIA request, Judicial Watch has obtained former NEA communications director Yosi Sergant’s correspondence … and it leads to the White House:

    “The documents consist of internal NEA correspondence, including emails involving disgraced former NEA Communications Director Yosi Sergant, who resigned over the scandal, and former actor and current Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, Kalpen Modi. The emails newly document detailed White House involvement in the controversial conference call. (The Corporation for National and Community Service, which runs the AmeriCorps program, also was represented during the call.)”

    Here are excerpts from 4 emails listed at the JW website:

  • August 10, 2009, 10:23 am: Email from Yosi Sergant to Kalpen Modi: “[The call is] organized by me…I’d ask you to come on and give the exact spiel you gave on Saturday. Walk them through the WH Arts Policy. They won’t know it. Then I will take them into United We Serve and the NEA.”
  • August 10, 2009, 10:29 am: Email from Kalpen Modi to Yosi Sergant: “Oy. This would be awesome to be a part of. Let me know if you think it’s going long, or maybe I can get someone from here to do it if I can’t because of the Social Security mtg.”
  • August 10, 2009, 11:04 am: Email from Kalpen Modi to Yosi Sergant: “Let me see if we can move Social Sec by a few mins. Agreed, it would be great to be on the call and helpful for us also.”
  • August 10, 2009, 1:37 pm: Email from Yosi Sergant to Buffy Wicks, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement: “We have an important call at 2pm for UWS (United We Serve) and the Arts with my peeps. Indie producers around the country. Kal can’t join the call. Any chance you can hop on for 5 minutes and intro with Nellie and I?”
  • More at the Judicial Watch link.

    H/T Washington Examiner.

    — DRJ

    Say It Again, Joe

    Filed under: Government,Obama — DRJ @ 3:09 pm

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    VP Joe Biden admitted the Stimulus information provided by the government is not 100% accurate:

    Biden: “Making this amount of information available to the public, in this level of detail, this quickly, is quite simply something that has never happened before in the federal government. *** And so, folks, this is an unprecedented undertaking … and we know, we know that it’s not 100% accurate. This has never been attempted before, and that further updates and corrections are going to be needed. But we are pleased, we’re pleased to make this information available publicly and so promptly …”

    Once again, we learn the government can’t provide accurate information about the money it spends. But, hey, it’s fast!

    So tell me again how the government is going to provide health care for Americans.

    — DRJ

    Hillary Clinton in Pakistan

    Filed under: Government,International — DRJ @ 1:18 pm

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    Hillary Clinton is in Pakistan meeting with government representatives, journalists and citizens. Her blunt talk is surprising Pakistanis and some of us at home:

    “Al-Qaida has had safe haven in Pakistan since 2002,” [Hillary Clinton] finally asserted when challenged about Washington’s tough prescriptions for Islamabad. “I find it hard to believe that nobody in your government knows where they are and couldn’t get them if they really wanted to.”

    After having publicly doubted the bona fides of her hosts, she added, as an afterthought: “Maybe that’s the case; maybe they’re not gettable…I don’t know. As far as we know, they are in Pakistan.” At one point during the exchanges, when a journalist spoke about all the services rendered by Pakistan for the US, Mrs Clinton snapped, “We have also given you billions.”

    An NBC reporter described this as Clinton’s claim that Pakistan is coddling terrorists, something many Americans agree with but that is nevertheless rarely said at government levels.

    Clinton also responded to Pakistani college students who criticized the amount of U.S. aid, saying it’s time Pakistan learned to provide for itself:

    “At the risk of sounding undiplomatic, Pakistan has to have internal investment in your public services and your business opportunities,” Clinton said, adding, in a reference to the large-scale tax evasion in the country. ”The percentage of taxes on GDP is among the lowest in the world… We (the United States) tax everything that moves and doesn’t move, and that’s not what we see in Pakistan.”

    I like the idea of telling nations to be more responsible but I draw the line at telling them it’s good to tax everything in sight. That’s the Democratic Party’s way, not the democratic way.

    Finally, it’s tiresome to see Hillary in outfits that look more like burkas every day. Respect for other cultures is fine but we’re still Americans.

    — DRJ

    Fausta: “Honduran Government Caves” to US; Restores Zelaya

    Filed under: International,Obama — DRJ @ 12:15 pm

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    Fausta’s Blog links a BBC article that reports Honduran President Manuel Zelaya is back in business:

    “The interim leader of Honduras says he is ready to sign a pact to end its crisis which could include the return of ousted President Manuel Zelaya.

    Roberto Micheletti said the agreement would create a power-sharing government and require both sides to recognise the result of November’s presidential poll.

    Mr Zelaya said the deal, which requires the approval of the Supreme Court and Congress, would be signed on Friday.”

    There’s so much going on behind the scenes that it’s difficult to analyze this but here’s my best guess: The Honduran government had little choice. First, Honduras needs the world to recognize its Presidential election in November, and this agreement makes that possible. Second, the agreement and election will presumably lead to the restoration of vital American aid to Honduras. Third, Zelaya and his sponsors (including the Obama Administration) will be hard-pressed to find a legitimate way to keep Zelaya in power after the November election.

    Micheletti did what it took to preserve his country and government. He stood up for important principles and hopefully Honduras’ next President will, too.

    — DRJ

    Does MLB Need Expanded Instant Replay?

    Filed under: Sports — DRJ @ 11:37 am

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    Major League Baseball has had some high-profile umpire mistakes recently, prompting this pre-World Series LA Times’ article by sportswriter Bill Shaikin:

    “If the World Series at all resembles the first two rounds of the baseball playoffs, an umpire will make a bad call, a call so bad that instant replay will reveal the error for all of America to see, in living color, in high definition, and within seconds.”

    The calls were so bad that MLB diverted from tradition in the way it assigned umps for the World Series. Nevertheless, the change hasn’t stopped the blown calls:

    “Umpires added two more tick marks to their overflowing register of screw-ups Thursday night. These came in Game 2 of a World Series in which Major League Baseball broke from protocol and brought in a specific crew of veteran arbiters to ensure the miscues of the first two rounds wouldn’t dare find their way into games of such importance.”

    Does Major League Baseball need expanded instant replay?

    — DRJ

    What Would Breitbart Have Said to Rainey?

    Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:23 am

    In the post below, I take L.A. Times columnist James Rainey to task for taking at face value an L.A. ACORN worker’s suggestion that she had rebuffed efforts by Hannah Giles and James O’Keefe to get help with an underage prostitution ring. Rainey, I noted, hadn’t contacted Andrew Breitbart to see what he had to say about the ACORN worker’s assertion.

    What would Breitbart have said to Rainey? I decided to ask Breitbart, who said his quote to Rainey would have been:

    As an empathetic being, I urge you to think twice before accepting the word of an ACORN employee for anything. Because every journalist who has done so has ended up with egg on his or her face.

    Breitbart also confirmed that Rainey did not contact Giles or O’Keefe either.

    James Rainey: Regurgitating One-Sided Claims Is Bad Journalism . . . Except When I Do It!

    Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:29 am

    Imagine the most hypocritical thing possible. Got it? Are you picturing something?

    OK, I can top that.

    This is a story about a newspaper columnist who piously denounces those who would simply repeat claims by political activists — and then turns around and does the same thing himself . . . in the same column.

    Today L.A. Times columnist James Rainey has a little screed about the one-sided nature of Fox News. This is, to put it mildly, highly ironic, in light of Rainey’s past columns.

    In a September 23 column, in language imbued with no small degree of sanctimony, Rainey wrote that Fox News was being one-sided in reporting the ACORN scandal:

    Yet no legitimate news organization can claim editorial integrity if it merely regurgitates information from political activists without subjecting the material to serious scrutiny.

    So what did Rainey do? He regurgitated information from the political activists at ACORN. Not only did he fail to subject the material to serious scrutiny, he didn’t even contact the other side.

    In his judgmental screed against Andrew Breitbart, Hannah Giles, James O’Keefe, and Fox News, Rainey wrote:

    [V]isits to other ACORN offices have gone almost entirely unmentioned. Lavelle Stewart, a fair-housing coordinator in the group’s Los Angeles office, told me this week that she tried to get the “prostitute,” who claimed she had been beaten by her pimp, to go to a women’s center.

    “The fact she was not taking the help I offered her made me think something was not right,” Stewart said. “It raised a red flag.”

    The suggestion, of course, is that ACORN’s Lavelle Stewart righteously refused to help O’Keefe and Giles with their child prostitution ring.

    Did that really happen? Well, that’s what Lavelle Stewart says happened. But what did Andrew Breitbart say in response?

    Surely James Rainey didn’t regurgitate the claims of Lavelle Stewart at the political activist organization ACORN . . . and fail to contact Breitbart?

    Yes, as you have no doubt guessed by now, that’s exactly what he did. I spoke with Andrew Breitbart and asked him if Rainey contacted him before writing his column. Breitbart told me Rainey did not.

    Of course, this is a pattern on Rainey’s part. In June, he wrote a column harshly critical of Jill Stewart and the L.A. Weekly, which quoted a host of Stewart critics. Did he quote Jill (a friend of mine)? In an e-mail Jill sent to several friends and colleagues, she said he had not:

    I wanted to tell my colleagues and friends in journalism and blogging that James Rainey of the Los Angeles Times did not contact me for his take-down attempt column about me today, published during the very same a week in which news-side stories I assigned and edited blew the Times out of the water at the Los Angeles Press Club awards.

    I think you have by now discerned the pattern: presenting one side is good enough, as long as it’s the side with which James Rainey agrees.

    By the way, I should add that I didn’t contact only one side in this controversy. Five days ago, I wrote Rainey to ask:

    Mr. Rainey,

    I just recently stumbled across your September 23 column quoting ACORN worker Lavelle Stewart, who implied that she was onto O’Keefe and Giles and gave them no help.

    Two questions:

    1) Did you contact Breitbart, Giles, or O’Keefe before writing your column, to ask them about what Stewart said?

    2) If, by chance, you turn out to have been wrong about ACORN in L.A. — if it turns out that ACORN in L.A. tried to help Giles and O’Keefe with their purported underage prostitution ring — will you write another column acknowledging that?

    Yours truly,

    Patrick Frey
    http://patterico.com

    Rainey has not replied.

    See, Mr. Rainey? That’s how you do it.

    Project Valour IT

    Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:27 am

    I have been dilatory in promoting Project Valour IT. But Cassandra at Villainous Company hasn’t. Check it out at her blog, and donate below. I suggest donating to the Marines.


    Powered by WordPress.

    Page loaded in: 0.1908 secs.