Patterico's Pontifications

12/28/2011

If You Are Reading This Post, You Have Been Banned from Patterico

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:16 pm

OK, not really. In fact, the title above wasn’t even written by me. Just ignore it.

Um . . . I mean it it was written by me. I just didn’t mean to be talking about all of you.

The above fumbling and stuttering is my satiric attempt to mirror what the New York Times did to its subscribers today:

Did The New York Times just cancel home delivery of its newspaper to everyone, across the nation? An email apparently sent out to the entire user database appeared to suggest that. In fact, the Times even sent the email to people that don’t subscribe to the paper — a total of 8.6 million readers, rather than the 300 it intended to message, the company said.

“Dear home delivery subscriber, Our records indicate that you recently requested to cancel your home delivery subscription. Please keep in mind when your delivery service ends, you will no longer have unlimited access to NYTimes.com and our NYTimes apps. We do hope you’ll reconsider.”

Whose fault was it? Someone else’s! Uh, I mean, ours!

When former congressman Anthony Weiner’s embarrassing photos emerged in June, he promptly lied, dissembled, and did everything possible to cover up the story. The Times appears to have a similar strategy.

First the paper tweeted that users should simply ignore the email — like Weiner’s pictures, the email came from someone else.

“If you received an email today about canceling your NYT subscription, ignore it. It’s not from us.”

. . . .

After an hour of confusion, misinformation and mistakes, The New York Times’ corporate communication department offered a mea culpa. The email was, in fact, simply a mistake.

“An email was sent earlier today from The New York Times in error. This email should have been sent to a very small number of subscribers, but instead was sent to a vast distribution list made up of people who had previously provided their email address to The New York Times.”

“We regret this error and we regret our earlier communication.”

The New York Times‘s new motto: “Unable to Report Accurately about an Event That Occurred Right Under Our Nose.”

Rick Perry Changes His Mind on Abortion — Does This Really Matter?

Filed under: 2012 Election,Abortion — Patterico @ 12:07 pm

Via Hot Air, the lazy blogger’s gold mine of blogging material, comes news that Rick Perry has just changed his mind on abortion in the case of rape or incest. He’s against it:

Perry said the change came after seeing the “Gift of Life” film produced by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. He told an audience of Iowans at Clark Electric Co-op in Osceola that he was moved by the story of a woman who introduced the film during a screening earlier this month in Des Moines.

“She said, ‘I am the product of rape.’ And she said ‘my life has worth,’” Perry said of his exchange with the woman. “It was a powerful moment.”…

[Pastor Joshua] Verwers said after the event that he was initially skeptical of Perry’s flip on the position but that the governor’s answer was “too perfect” and “sincere” to have come from anywhere but Perry’s own heart.

Although the natural tendency is to be skeptical, I think it is possible for people to change their minds on even important issues like this late in life. I can also see both sides of this difficult issue, having both met decent people who are the product of rape, and being acutely aware (mostly through my wife’s work) of people who are impregnated after a rape.

Ethically, the case for allowing the woman to choose after she is the victim of a violent crime is, to my way of thinking, clearly much stronger. Something very much akin to self-defense comes into play, and the prospect of the state denying a rape victim access to at least an early-term abortion will make many uncomfortable. On the other hand, I would like for people to have the chance to persuade even a rape victim to keep the baby. I don’t see where such pro-life measures should be prohibited — and they certainly have nothing to do with the Constitution.

Ultimately, Rick Perry’s personal opinion on abortion matters far less than the constitutional views of the justices he would appoint. A Rick Perry justice (or a Mitt Romney justice) would be far more likely to take a proper constitutionalist approach to such matters than, say, a justice appointed by Barack Obama.

CLIMBS ON SOAPBOX: If you care about the Constitution, always, always remember that virtually any Republican candidate will do better on Supreme Court appointments than Obama would.

If you don’t care about the Constitution, of course, then feel free to be petulant and stay home if you don’t get your way in the primaries.

CLIMBS DOWN FROM SOAPBOX . . . BUT KEEPS IT WITHIN REACH

The Most Ironic Iowa Caucuses Ever?

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 8:42 am

[Posted by Karl]

Ron Paul continues to lead PPP’s polling for the GOP caucuses in the Hawkeye State:

The last week and a half has brought little change in the standings for the Iowa Republican caucus: Ron Paul continues to lead Mitt Romney by a modest margin, 24-20. Newt Gingrich is in 3rd at 13% followed by Michele Bachmann at 11%, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum at 10%, Jon Huntsman at 4%, and Buddy Roemer at 2%.

Some continue to dismiss PPP’s polling because Paul’s support comes from young voters, independents and Democrats — the same pattern emerging in New Hampshire and South Carolina.  However, last time around, the conventional wisdom was that John Edwards would win among Dems in Iowa because his voters were most likely to turn out.  PPP’s Tom Jensen theorizes that the same blocs that lifted Obama in 2008 could do the same for Paul next week.  I would take the PPP results with a grain of salt, but given Paul’s apparent organizational advantage, I would not summarily dismiss them (nor would I be surprised if one or more conservatives overachieved).

A Paul victory in Iowa would be ironic in both the short and long term.  In the short-term, as Allahpundit keeps noting, a vote for Paul in Iowa is a vote to nominate Romney, supporter of the (state) health insurance mandate and neocon foreign policy. 

That short-term irony is the product of the long-term irony.  A Paul victory would only intensify the media scrutiny of Paul, longtime publisher of racist, anti-gay, conspiracy-mongering newsletters, in furtherance of an express political strategy, from which he made a lot of money, and for which Paul has given contradictory defenses.  (On cue, the NYT editorial arrives this morning.)  All of which comes before scrutiny of his fundraising from Holocaust deniers, his longtime association with the John Birch Society and neo-Confederates, his pandering to 9/11 Truthers, and so on.  Paul’s media apologists, which now include (to varying degrees) Reason’s Nick Gillespie, Brian Doherty and Jacob Sullum, can make all the lame rationalizations and claims of moral equivalence they like, but it’s all one long exercise in denial.  The stench of Paul’s newsletters would cling to his campaign and to libertarianism (and the GOP, if Paul was nominated) every bit as much as the stench of segregationists and Birchers clung to the Goldwater campaign, with effects that still linger today.

A certain strain of libertarians is so detached from political reality that they apparently believe they would profit by running the one Congressman who voted to not celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act against the first black president.  The reality-based Right would probably prefer to focus on Obama’s policy failures.  Ron Paul’s fans seem to prefer to indirectly boost Romney while damaging the cause of libertarianism for another generation.

–Karl


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