Patterico's Pontifications

10/30/2009

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.

10/29/2009

Sure, Larry David Would Piss On Obama

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:32 pm

Via Instapundit, the Anchoress asks, about the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” episode where Larry David accidentally pisses on a portrait of Christ:

But for an “artist” to make an identical satirical “joke” on Obama and his adorers? That would take great courage. . . . [I]f Larry David could see the humor in pissing on Christ and the excesses of Catholic piety, surely he must see the humor in pissing on Obama . . .

I’m sure he could, actually. Has the Anchoress ever watched the show?

I’ve never seen this show . . .

Oh. Well, then, let me explain how it would play out.

Larry David’s character is (to some degree, at least) based on himself, and I believe David is actually an Obama supporter. So he wouldn’t deliberately piss on Obama as that character. But since he is the goat in every episode, I can easily envision an episode where, say, he meets a strong Obama supporter who has a picture of Obama in their house — and then David accidentally pisses on Obama (as he accidentally pissed on Christ in the very funny episode to which the Anchoress refers but has not seen). Then the Obama supporter concludes David is an Obama hater and racist, and David is left sputtering in protest that he loves Obama, he gave him money, etc. etc.

Yeah, I can see that. It might even be pretty funny.

P.S. I know several people who say I remind them of Larry David. What do you think?

Curb Your Enthusiasm

Filed under: Current Events — DRJ @ 9:15 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

A poll about nothing:


– DRJ

UPDATE: The Catholic League thinks HBO and Larry David went too far. So does CAIR:

“In a letter to HBO Chairman and CEO Bill Nelson, Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) wrote:

“It is beyond tasteless to insult the religious sensibilities of billions of people in America and around the world with such a cheap and vulgar publicity stunt. Jesus, peace be upon him, is loved and revered by both Christians and Muslims. Muslims view him as one of God’s greatest messengers to mankind.
***
“We understand the drive for ratings, but no one benefits from such a crude attempt to boost the network’s bottom line by manufacturing a religious controversy. HBO should apologize.”

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Oh, my God. Get a sense of humor, Catholic League and CAIR.

My take is here. And yes, I voted “no” in the above poll. Maybe that’s because I saw the show.

Arnold Gets Noticed

Filed under: Humor — DRJ @ 8:54 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Check out aunursa’s post about the Governator at The Jury.

– DRJ

It’s Not Easy to Get Noticed

Filed under: Humor — DRJ @ 8:38 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

What do you have to do to get noticed in today’s world?

Her first vlog was about eating oatmeal.

– DRJ

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