Patterico's Pontifications


Independent Charlie Crist

Filed under: 2010 Election,Politics — DRJ @ 6:26 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Republicans respond to newly independent Charlie Crist:

  • Rove: Crist’s race For Senate Is all About him.”
  • Jeb Bush: “I am not surprised. This decision is not about policy or principles. It is about what he believes is in his political self-interest.”
  • Hot Air’s Allahpundit (sarcastically): “Try to force yourself to the end or else you’ll miss him insisting that the way to set a “new tone” in D.C. is to send another transparently careerist principle-less politician to Capitol Hill. Works for me.”
  • NRSC: “The Governor said he has been ‘listening to the people.’ We hope he will listen to the thousands of Republican donors who will no doubt ask Governor Crist to return their donations. We will request full refunds ourselves and we plan to put our resources and support behind Marco Rubio.”
  • Also, Crist 2010 has a new motto: People above Politics.

    — DRJ

    Legions of Lobbyists

    Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 5:38 pm

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    As a candidate, Barack Obama rejected contributions from registered lobbyists because he wanted to maintain an identity as a Washington outsider immune from special interests. However, behind the scenes, Obama welcomed support from lobbyists’ family, clients, affiliates and friends, as well as in kind donations of policy and campaign support.

    That support is paying off for legions of lobbyists. During the 1st Quarter of 2010, D.C. lobbyists averaged $19M a day in earnings for each day Congress was in session:

    “Hordes of hired K Street guns are in high demand as President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats seek to implement grand legislative plans.

    And a Center for Responsive Politics review of lobbying reports recently filed with the Senate Office of Public Records indicates companies, trade associations, unions and other groups spent nearly $1 billion on lobbying during the first three months of 2010. That puts the current year on an early pace toward exceeding the record amount of money — about $3.47 billion — spent last year on federal lobbying efforts.

    The $903 million spent between January 1 and March 31 is larger than overall lobbying expenses in three out of four quarters last year, and it represents an 11 percent increase from the $811 million spent on lobbying during the first three months of 2009.

    Special interests spent about $19 million per day on lobbying efforts, the Center for Responsive Politics estimates, based on the number of calendar days that either the House or Senate was officially in session.”

    And that doesn’t even touch the mockery Obama has made of his promise to ban lobbyists from working in his administration.

    — DRJ

    Texas Won’t Join Arizona on Immigration

    Filed under: Crime,Immigration — DRJ @ 5:17 pm

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    If Governor Perry gets his way, Texas won’t join Arizona in passing legislation giving law enforcement a role in curbing illegal immigration. Instead, Perry continues to ask for more National Guard troops and Predator drones to secure the Texas-Mexico border:

    “Recently, there has been much debate over immigration policy in Washington and what has been implemented in Arizona. I fully recognize and support a state’s right and obligation to protect its citizens, but I have concerns with portions of the law passed in Arizona and believe it would not be the right direction for Texas.

    “For example, some aspects of the law turn law enforcement officers into immigration officials by requiring them to determine immigration status during any lawful contact with a suspected alien, taking them away from their existing law enforcement duties, which are critical to keeping citizens safe. Our focus must continue to be on the criminal elements involved with conducting criminal acts against Texans and their property. I will continue to work with the legislative leadership to develop strategies that are appropriate for Texas.

    “Securing the border has to be a top priority, which is why I have a standing request with the federal government for 1,000 Title 32 National Guardsmen who can support civilian law enforcement efforts to enhance border security in Texas. I have also requested predator drones be based in and operate over the Texas-Mexico border to provide essential information about criminal activity to law enforcement on the ground.”

    In the meantime, Perry will continue to authorize state funding and resources to enhance traditional border security efforts.

    There is no right or wrong way to solve this problem and I’m glad border states are trying different things. What works for one may not work for another, but ultimately these experiments will help us find workable solutions more quickly.

    — DRJ

    More South Park Fallout

    Filed under: Terrorism — DRJ @ 4:56 pm

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    A.W. has a new blog on a topic of public interest, especially if you watch South Park. Don’t miss one of the first cartoon submissions.

    — DRJ

    DeLay and Co-Defendants may be Back in Court

    Filed under: Crime,Politics — DRJ @ 11:52 am

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    After 8 years, Tom DeLay’s co-defendants may be back in court:

    “Co-defendants of former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay suffered a significant setback Wednesday in their quest to avoid a trial on charges that the trio conspired to launder corporate money during the 2002 elections.

    The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals unanimously ruled that the lower state 3rd Court of Appeals erred when it accepted the co-defendants’ arguments that the money laundering law did not apply to them because the funds involved were checks, not cash. The all-Republican court, in effect, said the lower court acted prematurely.

    The state’s highest criminal court also dismissed the defendants’ constitutional challenge that Texas’ law banning corporate donations was too vague or overly broad to be understood.”

    The article says DeLay is not a party to the rulings but is affected as a co-defendant. Thus, DeLay could be back in court, too.

    — DRJ

    Endless Boycotts

    Filed under: General — DRJ @ 11:23 am

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    Denver schools have banned their employees from traveling to Arizona. This whole boycott thing has William A. Jacobson confused. Me, too.

    — DRJ

    Headlines that Explain a Lot

    Filed under: General — DRJ @ 11:21 am

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    Beldar has today’s funnies from the Houston Chronicle.

    — DRJ

    Court: Bloggers Are Not “Real” Journalists

    Filed under: General — Patterico @ 4:20 am

    Jim Lakely on a troubling precedent:

    [A] New Jersey state appellate court last week ruled that a woman named Shellee Hale is not a “real” journalist, but just a blogger, so is not protected by the state’s shield law.

    I’m not a huge fan of shield laws, which can be overused at times. But I’m less of a fan of branches of government deciding who is a “real” journalist and who is not. The court pronounces: “Simply put, new media should not be confused with news media.” I would agree, but not for the reasons stated by the court. Lakely excerpts these quotes from the decision:

    “[Hale] exhibited none of the recognized qualities or characteristics traditionally associated with the news process, nor has she demonstrated an established connection or affiliation with any news entity.”

    “[Hale had] no connection to any legitimate news publication.”

    “… nor has [Hale] demonstrated adherence to any standard of professional responsibility regulating institutional journalism, such as editing, fact-checking or disclosure of conflicts of interest.”

    A parade of one-liners is struggling to escape my lips here. I’ll just turn the mike over to Lakely:

    That last one makes me guffaw. It was just bloggers who fact-checked the bogus story that got “real journalism” titan Dan Rather fired from CBS. In fact, bloggers have lately done a lot of excellent and valuable public-service journalism.

    It was the blogosphere, not “institutional journalism,” that smoked out Obama “Green Czar” Van Jones as a 9/11 Truther, proud communist and all-round radical nut-job. MSM organs like The New York Times and The Washington Post were essentially left to report on his resignation after the fact. The poor, in-the-dark readers of those “legitimate news publications” were left with little details as to why.

    Same story for former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn. It was the blogosphere that reported the story that Dunn said one of her “favorite” political philosophers was the mass murdering communist Mao Tse-Tung. The organs of “institutional journalism,” again, only picked up the story as she was being shown the door.

    And then there’s Andrew Breitbart, an indispensable one-man truth squad. He has put the lie to the story, pushed by Democrats to the stenographers at “legitimate news publications,” that Tea Party protesters in Washington hurled the “n-word” at members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they walked to vote on ObamaCare. Unlike the “institutional journalist” crowd, Breitbart is willing to put his money where his reporting is, offering to donate $100,000 to the United Negro College Fund if anyone can show proof to debunk him. So far, no takers — even among the members of Congress who walked through the crowd with recording devices rolling to catch the Tea Partiers in racist spasms.

    I’ll add one more observation. If adherence to journalistic principles is critical to a reporter’s application of a shield law, then the reporters at the L.A. Times might have a problem. Editing? Fact-checking? Disclosure of conflicts of interest? Have you read this site for the last seven years?

    If you’re an L.A. Times source, be afraid. Be very afraid.


    A Note to Stashiu3

    Filed under: Blogging Matters — DRJ @ 11:33 pm

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    Thanks to Stashiu3 for helping to keep Patterico’s website alive each day. It’s his one year anniversary today, and please congratulate him for a job well done.

    — DRJ

    UPDATE BY PATTERICO: I second the motion; motion carries. Stashiu puts in countless hours to monitor for trollish or inappropriate comments, reboot when the site (all too often lately) slows or goes down, etc. Please give him your thanks.

    By the way, we are still working on a
    solution for the slow server and down times. Please be patient; it’s taking longer than we had hoped, but we are still optimistic. In the meantime, the help of someone like Stashiu is more valuable than ever.

    Let him know you appreciate it.

    Human Rights Abuse in Mexico

    Filed under: International — DRJ @ 8:50 pm

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    Yesterday, Amnesty International called the abuse of migrants in Mexico a major human rights crisis. The same day, a “caravan of rights observers and leftist political activists” traveling in southern Mexico were attacked by gunfire. Two people were killed and many more may have been abducted:

    “Gunmen ambushed a caravan of rights observers and leftist political activists in a remote, restive area of southern Mexico, killing a Finnish man and a Mexican woman, and dozens from the group remained missing, prosecutors said Wednesday.

    The ambush took place Tuesday just outside the village of San Juan Copala, which is the scene of a long-running dispute between a group demanding greater local autonomy and militants with links to Oaxaca state’s ruling party.

    An eyewitness said the roughly 40 people traveling in the caravan abandoned their vehicles and scattered when masked gunmen opened fire from a hillside.

    Most who fled were still missing, including two journalists from the Mexican magazine Contralinea. It was not clear how many foreigners were with the caravan. The rights group Pro Juarez said there were observers from Finland, Italy, Belgium and Germany among the group, but Mexican authorities could not immediately confirm that.”

    Mexico is extremely dangerous for residents and visitors, and that alone is reason to secure America’s southern border.

    — DRJ

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