Patterico's Pontifications

9/26/2011

Palinageddon!!! Sarah Sicks Her Lawyers on Crown Publishing/Random House!

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 5:50 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

So recently there has been this book “The Rogue” by her stalker biographer Joe McGinniss that alleged, among other things, that Palin had an affair with Glenn Rice.  Several people wondered why Palin wasn’t suing, and we lawyers have patiently explained that she not only has to prove that the claims are false, but that there was legal malice involved (defined slightly differently than normal malice), which is very, very difficult.  So a failure to sue is not the same as an admission and truthfully it risks giving a false sense of veracity.  The jury could find that the story was false, but not maliciously published, and the media might very well spin it as vindication for McGinniss.

Which is why it is interesting that she is right now threatening to sue

Sarah Palin’s family attorney John Tiemessen has written a letter to Maya Mavjee, the publisher of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, that Palin may sue her, the company, and the book’s author Joe McGinniss “for knowingly publishing false statements” in his book released last week, “The Rogue,” ABC News has learned.

The book was widely panned by critics for using unnamed sources to criticize Palin and her family. Tiemessen cites an email they have access to in which McGinniss writes that attorneys from Crown Publishing told him “nothing I can cite other than my own reporting rises above the level of tawdry gossip. The proof is always just around the corner, but that is a corner nobody has been able to turn” and that McGinniss “ran out of time” to sufficiently source the book.

You can read the whole letter for yourself, here.  As for the email referred to in the lettter, apparently it is the one Breitbart published at his site Big Government.  Which proves again that Breitbart is the man…

…with the master plan.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Christie 2012? Signs Point To Yes!

Filed under: 2012 Election,Humor — Karl @ 7:55 am

[Posted by Karl]

Aides to New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie say he hasn’t budged from his months-long insistence that he won’t enter the presidential fray. Nothing has changed in Christie’s thinking. However, Christie’s potential candidacy has been an increasingly fevered fantasy of a certain cadre of some media and business elites — mostly based in New York, with a smattering of California technology and entertainment players — since last summer.  These elites do not take no for an answer. Now, relying on an unusual source, they have reason to hope Christie will change his mind.

The Magic 8-Ball, manufactured by Mattel, contains a 20-sided die floating in a combination of alcohol and dissolved dark blue dye.  It is to be used for entertainment purposes only, says Mattel spokesman Matt Mason.  Yet some believe the device can foretell the future.

A well-placed Republican source who found the New Jersey Governor’s Office phone number on the Internet disclosed the early answers were not encouraging, but have shifted in recent days. “When I first shook the Magic 8-Ball, it kept coming up ‘Don’t Count On It’ and ‘My Sources Say No.’  But after 15 to 20 shakes, I got ‘Ask Again Later.’ So I kept trying, and got ‘Outlook Good.’ ” 

“I believe he is really considering it,” one fundraiser told Patterico (institutionally, by which I mean me).  At least one DC-based blogger is similarly confident: “I’ve had the candles burning continuously at the handmade Christie shrine in my back closet for at least a week now. Something has to happen.”

The sources contacting me for this exclusive stressed the importance of maintaining their anonymity. “The whole effort falls apart if we go public,” one source insisted. “It is simply impossible to create the image of pressure on Christie if the same four names turn up in story after story about him announcing next week that never come true.”

–Karl

Best Thing About the Internet?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:03 am

No insane people whatsoever!!

9/25/2011

Mrs. Patterico Visits the Range

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:27 pm

Not bad for a first-timer, huh?

Not posted: a very attractive picture of her holding the Glock 9mm she used.

Barack to Blacks: Shut Up and Get in Line

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 8:25 am

[Posted by Karl]

At Saturday night’s annual Congressional Black Caucus awards dinner, Pres. Obama delivered some of the soaring oratory which is his trademark:

“Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes,” he said, his voice rising as applause and cheers mounted. “Shake it off. Stop complainin’. Stop grumblin’. Stop cryin’. We are going to press on. We have work to do.”

***

“The future rewards those who press on,” He said. “I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I’m going to press on.”

Let me be clear: The One has time to complain.  Beneath the applause, Obama’s self-pitying appeals to racial solidarity are intended to stifle  criticism inside the CBC (e.g., Reps, Maxine Waters and Emanuel Cleaver) and outside the caucus in the black community (e.g., Tavis Smiley and Cornel West).

Suppressing internal dissent is just one part of “Operation Vote,” the Obama’s campaign’s aggressive new program to expand support from minorities and other parts of the progressive base to eke out a narrow reelection in 2012.  Of course, Team Obama says they have not given up on wooing independents; they cannot afford to lose them by a large margin.  But William Galston (Third Way/New Dem) explains how poorly Obama and Democrats have done on with the political center:

In mid-2005, as disaffection with the Bush administration and the Republican Party was gathering momentum, the Pew Research Center asked American to place themselves and the political parties on a standard left-right ideological continuum. At that time, average voters saw themselves as just right of center and equidistant from the two political parties. Independents considered themselves twice as far away from the Republican Party as from the Democrats, presaging their sharp shift toward the Democrats in the 2006 mid-term election.

In August of this year, Pew posed a very similar question (note to survey wonks: Pew used a five-point scale, versus six in 2005), but the results were very different. Although average voters continue to see themselves as just right of center, they now place themselves twice as far away from the Democratic Party as from the Republicans. In addition, Independents now see themselves as significantly closer to the Republican Party, reversing their perceptions of six years ago.

There’s another difference as well. In 2005, Republicans’ and Democrats’ views of their own parties dovetailed with the perceptions of the electorate as a whole. Today, while voters as a whole agree with Republicans’ evaluation of their party as conservative, they disagree with Democrats, who on average see their party as moderate rather than liberal. So when Independents, who see themselves as modestly right of center, say that Democrats are too liberal, average Democrats can’t imagine what they’re talking about.

More epistemic closure and magical thinking of liberals for the establishment media to ignore. 

Operation Vote may be most interesting for raising the question of what Team Obama knows (or thinks it knows) that we don’t.  Recent dKos/SEIU polling showed a 77% re-elect number for Obama among African-Americans (lower than Dems overall), with 16% definitely voting against him.  But modern history strongly suggests even a lame Democrat will win 85-90% of the African-American vote. And the dKos/SEIU poll also shows 68% of African-Americans are very excited about voting in 2012– edging out conservatives and Tea Partiers as the most enthusiastic 2012 demographic (although the TP takes the title including “somewhat excited” voters).  Team Obama is acting like they can take nothing for granted.

–Karl

9/24/2011

Romney vs Not Romney, Revisited

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 9:19 am

[Posted by Karl]

As Allahpundit thinks I am being too bullish on Rick Perry’s campaign, it is probably time to repeat my standard disclaimer and collect some of the analysis I have done not only in blog posts, but in comments and tweets.  First, the disclaimer: I am currently not supporting Perry or any of the other candidates. Perhaps I am overly cynical, but I have not been excited about a presidential candidate since Reagan — and that was as likely the result of youthful exuberance as it was Reagan’s merits.

When other people were starting to call Perry the front-runner, I was still analyzing the race as Romney vs. Not Romney.  In analyzing comments from Romney back Justin Hart (who is likely feeling vindicated these days), I wrote:

At the outset, I want to stress that his point about vetting is important. There is a reason why the GOP tends to nominate the person who is “next in line.” Running for president is not an easy thing. Having done it before means you have built a network of grassroots contacts, donors, consultants, and so on. Presumably, the candidate may have learned lessons about not only strategy and tactics, but about our complex country and the people whose votes must be won. And yes, having already run a gauntlet of vetting from opponents and the media is valuable to a candidate.

Romney has benefitted from his experience, while Perry has handed his rivals at least one club in his debate comment suggesting opponents of illegal immigration are racist.  How big a club it is depends on how Perry deals with it in the next few days. (Romney’s recent Democrat-sounding comments about entitlements may become a club for Perry, but they are not as emotionally egregious as playing the race card.)

Aside from that comment, I remain of the opinion that the debates themselves are not all that significant.  Rather, they are parts of the overall vetting of a new candidate.  The general media coverage of the campaign illustrates this point.

The 2012 campaign was barely covered from mid-July through early August, as public and media attention was focused on the debt ceiling debate.  However, Perry was the most covered GOP candidate every single week since he entered the race.  He was the only GOP candidate to receive significant coverage in a number of those weeks.  In the week the debates started, Perry was featured in more than 3 times as many stories as either Romney or Bachmann.  Thus, it is not surprising that Perry’s ups and downs have been magnified, relative to other candidates.

A look at the RCP poll average for the GOP nomination tells roughly the same story.  Although Romney, Cain and Bachmann had their bumps at different times, their overall numbers declined from mid-July through early August; Perry, despite not being in the race, was the exception to the overall trend.  Moreover, Romney’s turnaround started after the Labor Day weekend, while Perry was still rising, and a week and a half before Perry appeared in a debate.  As the two most popular candidates, Perry and Romney appear to have benefitted from increased public attention to the campaign at the traditional moment.  Notably, Romney is just now back to roughly where he stood in the polls on the day Perry entered the race.

Of course, given Perry’s current stumbles, some are straight-line projecting that Romney will continue to gain while Perry will continue to fall.  That is also the impression you would get from the odds at Intrade.  If Perry’s aura of invincibility is shattered, what is left?

What is left, for starters, are the things which caused me to conclude Perry is the likely GOP nominee in the first place.  He remains the largely successful governor of a major state in one of the party’s base regions.  He remains — despite his various deviations — more conservative than Romney, which is a bit of an advantage in the more conservative major party. 

Moreover, assuming for the sake of argument that the campaign reverts to the dynamic of Romney vs Not Romney, Perry remains the only candidate in the race who has shown the ability to beat Romney.  Other candidates could make a late entry.  However, an entry by Chris Christie would be just as likely to hurt Romney as Perry.  An entry by Sarah Palin would split the Not Romney vote, carrying a significant likelihood of helping Romney more than Not Romney.  Perry is currently the most viable Not Romney and the one best positioned financially to wage a long campaign against Romney, if necessary. 

Indeed, most of the criticism of Perry’s debate performances from the right have been that Perry has failed to effectively attack Romney’s weaknesses.  It is a criticism which — like Perry’s sudden rise in general — underscores that Romney himself has exploitable flaws as a candidate.  The tendency by Romney’s supporters is to dismiss them as priced into his stock.  However, it seems unlikely to me that those flaws will not become a focus of the campaign going forward, especially if Romney is perceived as regaining the lead.

In short, Perry’s hockey-stick ascent is broken and he could play himself out of the campaign.  The GOP electorate may conclude that there is no viable alternative to Romney.  But there are currently big reasons to conclude that Perry is far from done.  Straight-line projections about the campaign remain as hazardous now as they were when Perry’s numbers were skyrocketing.

–Karl

9/23/2011

Sockpuppet Friday—The “Better Late Than Never” Edition!

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 5:29 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

As usual, you are positively encouraged to engage in sockpuppetry in this thread. The usual rules apply.

Please, be sure to switch back to your regular handle when commenting on other threads. I have made that mistake myself.

And remember: the worst sin you can commit on this thread is not being funny.

————————

And there is no Friday frivolity, just my apology for being unable to put this post up until now.  It has been a busy week and my wife and I have both been sick at times.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Perry’s Winning Glow Dims After Poor Debate Reviews

Filed under: 2012 Election,General — Karl @ 12:00 pm

[Posted by Karl]

Sorry, I mean George W. Bush:

Bush’s Winning Glow Dims After Poor Debate Reviews

Politics: McCain eclipses him in New Hampshire poll. Texas governor fails to dispel questions about his intellect.

December 09, 1999|MARK Z. BARABAK | TIMES POLITICAL WRITER

After his less-than-commanding performance in two presidential debates, George W. Bush faces a tougher race than expected amid growing signs of Republican discontent–including a new poll that shows major slippage in the key primary state of New Hampshire.

While the Texas governor remains a heavy favorite for the GOP nomination, his problems were underscored by an independent survey Wednesday showing Sen. John McCain of Arizona surging past Bush to his biggest lead ever, 37% to 30%. The result represented a shift of 10 percentage points from a New Hampshire survey in mid-November.

Rise and Shine, Campers… IT’S GROUNDHOG DAY!

–Karl

Revenge of the Son of Stimulus

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 10:24 am

[Posted by Karl]

Two stories about the Democrats’ current dire woes suggest that Pres. Obama’s “Son of Stimulus” bill will likely advantage the GOP.

First, Politico features general weeeping and wailing from Democrats about House elections:

Interviews with more than two dozen operatives and House members in both parties reveal that the cautious optimism of the spring has given way to a more grim view of the hurdles facing Democrats in 2012 — an unpopular president on the ballot; scores of vulnerable Republican incumbents bolstered by redistricting; free-spending, GOP-allied independent groups that will outpace their newer Democratic counterparts; and long-standing historical election trends…

“I’m glad the election’s not today,” said Democratic pollster Keith Frederick, a veteran of House races. “Every poll shows independents losing their patience for the president. These House elections tend to get nationalized, and there’s no doubt right now that as a referendum on Barack Obama, House Democrats lose.”…

“It didn’t have to be this way,” said another House Democrat who requested anonymity in order to speak candidly. “Obama’s presidency has fizzled. It’s going to be every person for himself in 2012. There just won’t be any coattails, and any effect he does have on the ballot will hurt us.”

Their big hope is that the GOP nominates someone “off the edge,” like Rick Perry, instead of Mitt Romney.  Presumably, they have not seen the latest Democracy Corps polling:

One of the Democratic party’s leading pollsters released a survey of 60 Republican-held battleground districts today painting an ominous picture for Congressional Democrats in 2012. The poll shows Democratic House candidates faring worse than they did in the 2010 midterms, being dragged down by an unpopular president who would lose to both Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Mitt Romney.

Pollster Stan Greenberg released the poll with some sugary spin for Democrats, downplaying the results by arguing that the president’s jobs plan will improve the party’s fortunes.

So much for Perry as the Great Democratic Hope.  Moreover, Greenberg’s argument about “Son of Stimulus” is sugary spin.  If you download the charts (.pdf) from Democracy Corps, you will find the argument for Obama’s so-called jobs bill (pp. 34-35) rests on selling the tax cuts and incentives for business.  Mediscare and education cuts shift more votes for Dems than class warfare (p. 40).  In contrast, tax cuts and attacks on regulations work best for the GOP (p. 43)(more proof that intensity favors the GOP on taxes).

Although Obama has been demanding Congress pass “Son of Stimulus,” Congress seems poised to pass something else.  Given the Democratic opposition to Obama’s bill, the most likely product will conatain the payroll tax cuts for businesses and employees, offset by spending cuts, with out the porkulus or the tax hikes on “the rich” (which even Chuck Schumer does not like at the $200/250K level).  Obama will then have the choice of vetoing it and looking like a far-left ideologue or going along, which would boost GOP incumbents in swing districts and force him to pivot to Mediscare earlier in the campaign than he might like.  Like Dr. Frankenstein, Obama has unleashed a “Son of Stimulus” that likely will not have all the parts he planned and turn into a threat, instead of an achievement.

–Karl

9/22/2011

Is the Perry boom over? [Update: Debate Thread!]

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 2:37 pm

[Posted by Karl]

That’s the question being asked in advance of tonight’s nationally televised GOP debate in Orlando, FL.  Most of the people asking think the answer is yes.  I still do not think the race is greatly influenced by debates few watch, based on the current polling numbers.

Take a look at the interactive graph on the GOP campaign at RCP.  Rick Perry zooms upward and reaches a peak of 31.8% on Sept. 12.  On that date, the prior frontrunner, Mitt Romney, is at 19.8%.  Today, Perry stands at 28.4%, while Romney is at 20.6%  Perry has dropped 3.4% from a peak; Romney has gained less than 1% during the period.  Indeed, if you study the graph a bit closer, you will notice that Perry and Romney will occasionally rise and fall together, based on which polls are in the mix at a given moment.

Of course, the campaign ultimately does not depend on these national numbers. In Florida, the site of tonight’s debate, one might hypothesize that Romney’s attacks on Perry over Social Security would be particularly salient. But the recent Florida polls show about the same results as the national numbers: Perry drops 3, Mitt gains 2, with Perry +6 overall.  Perry is fourth in New Hampshire, but those a head of him – Romney, Huntsman and Paul — are probably better fits for that state ideologically or regionally (Romney also leads big in Connecticut).  In South Carolina, Perry leads, with roughly the same amount of support since the end of August, but Romney has gained more than he has nationally (it would be interesting to tote up how much time each has spent in-state this month).  In the bellwether state of Missouri, Perry leads by 16 points.  In the purplish state of Virginia, Perry leads by 6 points.

In sum, Perry’s trendline is no longer a hockey stick.  On the other hand, Romney has not gained much during the period.  What this tells us is that Perry is not the second coming of Reagan… but we all knew that from the start, didn’t we?  The basic dynamic of the campaign remains largely unchanged.  Perry could end up not wearing well with the electorate.  But the conventional wisdom is rushing to that conclusion faster than the numbers warrant.

Update:  Just because they don’t affect the overall campaign all that much doesn’t mean a debate can’t be solid entertainment! Consider this your debate discussion thread…

–Karl

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