Patterico's Pontifications


Apparently I No Longer Have Any Idea What People Consider News

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 4:53 pm

I thought this story about an Obama campaign official giving class credit to volunteer for Obama — in a public school, no less! — would be considered news.

Guess I was wrong.

Maybe in a few months someone will write up the exact same story for Pajamas Media and it will get linked then?

50 Responses to “Apparently I No Longer Have Any Idea What People Consider News”

  1. Saw it at Gateway Pundit…

    Colonel Haiku (60474f)

  2. How about this “story”: The L.A. Times editorial page telling its readers that the way to deal with high gasoline prices is to buy a moped and move closer to where they work…,0,211624.story

    Colonel Haiku (60474f)

  3. Patterico, perhaps it’s simply that this falls into the “dog bites man” category and not the “man bites dog” category.

    JBS (cc1ec4)

  4. Yeah, I saw it on Gateway as well.
    How about giving ME extra credit for paying my taxes on time this year!
    Romney 2012!

    Retired05 (6d7604)

  5. More ‘funemployment’ related advice, Colonel Otis screams from the great beyond.

    narciso (87e966)

  6. Cheesecake photos are always considered news.

    Can’t go wrong with them.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  7. Retired05… the check’s in the mail!

    Colonel Haiku (60474f)

  8. Could you work contraception into it somehow?

    Also, Mopeds are fun.

    Noodles (3681c4)

  9. As are mini-bikes and playing marbles.

    Colonel Haiku (60474f)

  10. I think the problem is that Obama scandals have crossed a line long ago where little electioneering things don’t cut it. You need at least a bodycount of 50 or a financial loss of half a billion to compete with the other scandals.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  11. I think the problem is that Obama scandals have crossed a line long ago where little electioneering things don’t cut it. You need at least a bodycount of 50 or a financial loss of half a billion to compete with the other scandals.

    Comment by Dustin

    or a personal appearance by Tony Stewart?

    Colonel Haiku (60474f)

  12. Pravda never had it this easy.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  13. did you see the harry potter hoochie got herself a book deal to write something for adults?

    probably a mystery novel is what I read

    That must be very exciting for people what are eagerly awaiting adult fiction from the harry potter hoochie.

    Speaking of mysteries I never understood why she let that little wizard live at the end. He really had it coming I thought and he very clearly fancied himself a hero of the tragic sort.

    And she forced poor Hermione to hook up with that bloke what got beat senseless with the ugly stick.

    I didn’t understand that either.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  14. Patterico, maybe this is newsworthy:

    It was over at the blogads at the side. To quote another reader, i’m just a little pikachu who doen’t understand what judges are allowed to get away with in court, but it sounds like a case where a relgious-rights law organization may need to come to the defense of atheists…

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  15. though I must say, it has to be a very, very, very deranged pikachu to wish harry got it in the end. very deranged.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  16. he’s an effing wizard he can always come back

    it’s a thing

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  17. Well Potter’s a piker, compared to the Hunger Games, a really violent affair coming to screens
    in March;

    narciso (87e966)

  18. Or the story where Obama stated today that, “We hear the same thing every year, drill for more oil…”

    Of course, he meant it to suggest repubs have no new ideas worth mentioning.

    Others mean it to say that another year has gone by withought having the sense to do the obvious.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  19. Violent in a real way is “Act of Valor” coming out tomorrow, I think. Filmed with active duty SEALS and military families. Uncle Jimbo at Blackfive said it was the real deal.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  20. Same nonsense for nearly 3 decades from the Democrats about domestic energy, MD. A competent Republican party would be railing about this at every opportunity.

    Colonel Haiku (60474f)

  21. Okay, here is my more serious answer. Of course it is news. It’s just that our gatekeepers are full blown propagandists and the right is worn out from all the radicalism (which I think is by design).

    Noodles (3681c4)

  22. Speaking of mysteries I never understood why she let that little wizard live at the end

    How strange. This is exactly what I thought. At least I thought it would have given the end of the series a badly needed dose of depth. The stories would simply be the life story of Harry Potter and a discussion of what justifies sacrifice.

    Instead we got a cheesy epilogue. But hey, it got a lot of kids reading.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  23. I, for one, liked the cheesy epilogue.

    So there. 😀

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  24. That was meant to be a tongue sticking out…

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  25. Pat: I think you know what news is, but don’t fall into the trap that other People Who believe that blogging can result in the way you expect.

    If you get my drift.

    Ag80 (b0b671)

  26. I think the “chink in the armor” story gathered more interest when you posted it an hour later. (I don’t think it was intentional either).

    Highlighted the “quick sand” of modern slang and why I keep reminding my kids of the “sticks and stones will break my bones, but names/words will never hurt me” education that I got as a kid from my parents. Apparently that saying has been in nursery rhymes since ~1872… Guess another cultural tradition out the window.

    But, if I believe in “Free Association”, then the private employer should have the right to fire the guy (at will employment). And I have the right to turn off ESPN (not that I ever turn it on anyway).

    Getting class credits (in our local community colleges) are par for the course. My kid’s foreign language teacher gave credit to lobby for more funds for the JC’s in California a year or so ago… A bit less Rep vs Dem in your face–But given the local California politics Teachers=Dem — this story does not move the meter out of the dog bites man column.

    BfC (2ebea6)

  27. I’m immensely immensely excited excited about Hunger Games I got a free copy when they first came out and my whole office (of 3 people) read it and we were hooked and the second book was sorta meh but the third was very satisfying so when it comes out we’re gonna go see it on our lunch break.

    I’m a lot surprised conservatives haven’t jumped all over this tale of a plucky well-armed self-reliant girl what fights a fascist and oppressively rapey regime.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  28. CNN is not posting a link to the full 2 hour Presidential debate. All they reference is 2 minute video clips that make CNN look like the best people in the world. I’ve never quite seen anything so stupidly brazen like that – oh the horror of people actually watching a presidential debate without our filter!

    What complete idiots.

    Wesson (1dbab0)

  29. From the Philadelphia Inquirer;

    A Franklin and Marshall College poll released Thursday gave Santorum a nearly 30-point lead over Romney among Pennsylvania Republicans – a far cry from what some expected in a state that tossed the senator out on his ear in 2006 with an embarrassing 18-point rout.

    narciso (87e966)

  30. The best thing about the Potter books was that Rowling built some economic realism into her story. The fact that the Weasleys are relatively poor and the Malfoys are rich are not only described but have actual consequences in the story. In the very first book, Harry is taken on a shopping trip to equip him for Hogwarts and we’re immediately given an explanation of where the money to pay for his purchases comes from.
    There’s a libertarian angle to it, as well–the bureaucracy of the Ministry of Magic is treated rather satirically in the opening books, and Voldemort’s regime is specifically depicted as a racist-oriented totalitarian regime. And issues of life and death and general morality are treated very seriously even when they’re not central to the story. Harry in one of the early books discovers how his father bullied Snape, and he’s able to recognize his father acted badly in doing so. His reaction to the death of Sirius Black–his first encounter with the death of someone of emotional importance to him (other than his parents, whome he doesn’t really remember)–is described and rings fairly true as describing how a teenage boy would react in such circumstances. etc.

    You can’t mistake the Potter series for a primer on conservatism, but a conservative or libertarian minded parent should have no fear in letting their children read this.

    (Haven’t read the Hunger Games or the Riordan series, so I can’t say if they are worth reading in the same way.)

    JBS (0aa752)

  31. This is a crime. You cannot use government to support a political campaign. This is very basic. What is happening here? Forget about the media dropping the ball. The DA’s office should be investigating this. Everyone knows that the LADA has a political corruption unit. Why don’t we send some letters of complaint to the appropriate prosecution office?

    AZ Bob (1c9631)

  32. My 17-year-old daughter read the Hunger Games trilogy a couple of years ago.

    Happy is not my daughter, so don’t start that rumor.

    Ag80 (b0b671)

  33. And there’s also (speaking of Harry Potter) the moral crux of the story: Harry comes to accept the fact that in order to defeat Valdemort he himself must die (his return to life is a sort of authorial dea ex machina event), whereas Valdemort utterly refuses to accept his own mortality, and wants to be immortal–a theme that’s present from the very first book of the series, in which at the end we’re told that Flamel and his wife have decided to not use the Philosopher’s Stone and finally accept their own deaths. Dumbledore’s acceptance of his own death is another example of this. (and note that Valdemort’s supporters are called the Death Eaters.)

    But enough literary criticism from me for tonight. It’s dangerous to start an old English Lit. major like me on the subject of books :)

    JBS (1b86f1)

  34. The Capital District of Panem, the dystopian realm is very much a Blue redoubt, re the more Red rural
    Districts, specially District 12, where the heroine
    Katniss comes from,

    narciso (87e966)

  35. dad stop embarrassing me

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  36. For just being a hoochie, she sure wrote an engaging series.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  37. she’s like a role model or something

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  38. This is a crime. You cannot use government to support a political campaign. This is very basic. What is happening here? Forget about the media dropping the ball. The DA’s office should be investigating this. Everyone knows that the LADA has a political corruption unit. Why don’t we send some letters of complaint to the appropriate prosecution office?

    AZ Bob, I agree with you in theory but I know that lots of college classes at public universities grant credit to students who work on political campaigns, so I would assume there is some exception as long as you can prove that you aren’t funneling students to one particular candidate or political party, even for high school kids. This woman claims that she would grant credit to a student who volunteered for the GOP. I think the best avenue of criticism would be to question whether someone who holds a position in the Obama campaign can be trusted to help Republican students find volunteer work, and to demand that the school prove that they are publicizing options for students to work on GOP campaigns. I doubt if we could get them to shut down the program wholesale, absent some smoking gun to show that this woman is gaming the system.

    JVW (847664)

  39. I, for one, liked the cheesy epilogue.

    So there. 😀

    Comment by MD in Philly

    I think this is what all the normal, well adjusted people think.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  40. The L.A. Times editorial page telling its readers that the way to deal with high gasoline prices is to buy a moped and move closer to where they work…

    So of course the authors will do that to set a good example for the rest of us . .

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (58b831)

  41. Dunno, Patterico, it’s hard to understand what’s considered “newsworthy” even among conservative media sources or the blogosphere. I thought the SCOTUS’ unanimous redistricting decision in Perry v. Perez last month would be hotly debated, since it is likely to swing between one and four net congressional seats in this year’s election and may bode the looming doom of section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. But that slipped beneath the waves without anyone much seeming to notice, including even the people most directly affected here in Texas.

    The story you link and discuss in this post dismays me greatly, and I agree that it’s newsworthy because it’s such an abuse of a public trust. But am I surprised, either by the story or by the fact that it hasn’t gotten any traction? Sadly, alas, I’m unsurprised. And the Obama Administration’s own misdeeds are so frequent and so ghastly as to overshadow, for the most part, these misdeeds done on Obama’s behalf.

    Beldar (6a6cba)

  42. Beldar, lawyers,,

    As a non-lawyer (engineer), what is the reasoning behind the citizenry respecting 5-4 decisions (in general, not this 9-0 one).

    If the “greatest” legal minds in history cannot convince each other, in every case, with a 9-0 decision, then it appears the law is what people want it too be.

    Or, at least, if not 9-0, then the lower court ruling stands (yea–I know that becomes its own set of problems with different discussions about similar cases). We do this with juries for the most part.

    Otherwise just toss the constitution and have direct election of judges–And let them rule based on personal biases and understandings. It appears to be what is happening already (obviously a very bad idea).

    BfC (2ebea6)

  43. BfC, since you asked:

    In 9/0 ruling, SCOTUS smacks down 3-judge federal court that redrew Texas’ Congressional districts; stresses state government’s superior role over federal courts in determining the interests of Texas citizens.

    And since I’m already link-whoring, then for my latest attempt at quality snark on something newsworthy:

    Silky Pony & co-star negotiate return of sex tapes.

    Obviously I did badly at headline writing school, but I’m working on it.

    Beldar (7f6af2)

  44. My earlier post has some comment about how lower courts and litigants perceive 9/0 decisions versus 5/4 decisions. But to try to answer your question more directly:

    I’m reasonably sure that the tradition of judges, especially appellate judges, sitting in panels with multiple members can be traced back to British common law that pre-dates our own independence and Constitution. I’m frankly unsure whether the “bare majority rules” rule for such panel decisions has been codified in American jurisprudence — i.e., whether Congress has expressly said, via the Judiciary Act or some other court-affecting statute, that SCOTUS decisions to affirm or reverse the judgment under review shall be based upon a bare majority of those voting and participating. I know that the SCOTUS has lots of old, hoary precedents, some of it dating back to the 1790s, on what the precedential effect is when there’s no majority who join in a common opinion to explain that decision to affirm or reverse. I suppose one could craft a different system than ours, perhaps one that required a super-majority vote, for example, to overturn a Congressional statute or Executive order. But at the SCOTUS level, split decisions are extremely common; five-four decisions are quite common; and usually there’s at least five Justices who will agree to join in an explanation, and that becomes the “opinion of the court” that has precedential effect.

    To your broader point, or the suggestion that there ought to be more affinity or even unanimity among judges, I’d say this:

    If all you’re focusing on is decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court, you’re looking exclusively at a tiny, tiny slice taken exclusively from the very margins of the legal system. By definition, the reason things get to the Supreme Court is because they’re hard and controversial — indeed, the hardest and most controversial issues that are so essential as to command the attention of our most limited judicial resource. Death penalty cases, for example, take up a wildly disproportionate share of SCOTUS Justices’ time because they’re the court of last resort for all those cases from every state that has a death penalty, and the issues are grave and profound. But death penalty cases are a tiny, tiny fraction of a percent of even felony criminal cases, much less of the entire civil and criminal legal system, state and federal.

    In the rest of the system, sometimes there are objectively correct answers on which everyone agrees in principle. That’s actually quite common; were it not so, all the gears of justice would grind to a stop.

    And there’s also a lot of legitimate difference of opinion about how particular laws apply to particular facts. Change a variable and you have to re-weigh a lot of things. Some of the variables are “soft” — like what’s “reasonable.”

    Finally, even engineers disagree. Sometimes they disagree in court. So it’s a matter of degree, but I would readily agree with you that there’s inherently more subjectivity and uncertainty in law than in your or most other disciplines. Law is still very much the practice of an art, rather than a science, and I don’t think that’s likely to change.

    Beldar (7f6af2)

  45. Beldar,

    First, I am very happy you are back blogging when I saw you commenting at Patterico. I used to follow your writings closely–and was very concerned when you were “missing” for that long period of time. I will have to get my eyes over to your place and start reading there again.

    Also, if I understand you correctly–You are reasonably positive in your assessment of how the courts are working in general (far be it for me to disagree). Obviously, I am much more “conservative” than the 4 on the supreme court–And living in the 9th District (the most overturned court in the country), I have seen a lot of rulings that I don’t agree with (some which have been overturned by SCOTUS).

    From my occasional reading about the 9th circuit (and other California judges), judge shopping was pretty much guaranteed to find you an opinion that you want (i.e., leftest) and that it was more than likely left to stand. And if there ever was a SCOTUS adverse ruling, the “judges” would just suck it up and do the same thing all over again.

    We have kicked a few state supreme court judges over the years (famously Rose Bird and company) via elections–But that is so rare that I have pretty lost hope that anything can turn this Titanic around.

    It seems we are only one SCOTUS appointment from 5-4 turning into 4-5 decisions and losing a whole bunch more of our rights.

    BfC (2ebea6)

  46. Beldar, did you look at the link in #14?

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  47. It’s not a news story because this is only one person, and a story that involves only one person is not a news story unless it’s s scandal or a crime or something else bad, and it’s not a scandal because this is not illegal or even in violation of any rules, or at least nobody is going after her for it. (not even those who have publicized this – they just don’t explain to you why she thinks she this is all OK.)

    It’s not a violation of any rules, because she can argue this is related to the course, or maybe that that is good civics, and the school gives credit for all sorts of volunteer stuff, which they probably shouldn’t do either, but I assume they do, and she is not discriminating for or against any political party or politician, because, like she said, she’d give credit for work on any campaign.

    There is probably something a trifle ddisingenuous about all this.

    Sammy Finkelman (bbe5c1)

  48. Dear Patrick,

    What a great post! I’m laughing out loud (sorry, but I’m too old to just write LOL!). Your age is showing too, come to think of it.

    I have a child in grade school and an almost daily part of our family routine is political deprogramming. It is my perception that teachers today have absolutely no compunction about politicizing their classroom comments/behavior. I don’t think most of them even realize they are doing it. I hope I don’t sound Pollyanna-ish, but I use such breaches as teachable moments (what a BS term that is, but you get the point). In our educational system, parents have to pick and choose their battles wisely. This is not a battle I have chosen to fight.

    Again, what a great post!

    Yours truly,


    ThOR (94646f)

  49. Doing a monster fisk of the moped editorial.

    Patterico (17e5f6)

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