Patterico's Pontifications

2/29/2012

The Atlantic, in Reporting on Libel of James O’Keefe, Libels James O’Keefe

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:37 pm

Sheesh. How hard is this?

Conservative video provocateur James O’Keefe filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against Keith Olbermann, his Countdown guest host David Shuster, and their employer Current TV, for saying he’d been convicted of a felony and accused of rape. It must be infinitely frustrating to Shuster, who actually made the error, that he was close — O’Keefe has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor “with the intent to commit a felony,” and accused of harassment. But that’s not what Shuster said.*

O’Keefe most certainly did not plead to a misdemeanor “with the intent to commit a felony.” On the contrary, as I have explained many times (most recently here), the U.S. Attorney conceded that there was no evidence that O’Keefe intended to tamper with the phone system or commit any felony. This is from a document signed by the U.S. Attorney:

O'Keefe Government Admission 1

You’d think, when reporting on a libel suit where the defendant mischaracterized the plaintiff’s criminal record, you wouldn’t want to mischaracterize the plaintiff’s criminal record.

Wouldn’t you?

Were I The Atlantic, I would issue a very prompt and gracious apology and retraction. O’Keefe doesn’t really seem to be in the mood to be defamed without consequence these days.

UPDATE: A correction has been issued. H/t Dustin via email.

So You Want to Go to Law School

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:31 pm

Easily the funniest XtraNormal video since that other one which was also pretty good:

I think it’s a lot funnier if you’re a lawyer, but also maybe pretty funny if you just hate them. Hopefully, between the two categories, that describes a lot of you!

“If you say it’s a living, breathing document, I may kill myself.”

James O’Keefe Sues Keith Olbermann, David Shuster, and Current TV

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:25 pm

Always trust content from Patterico.

Details here.

I will have further details regarding the precise allegations for you this evening.

David Brooks calls GOP grassroots Nazis or something

Filed under: General — Karl @ 10:49 am

[Posted by Karl]

At least, that’s the allusion Brooks makes to conclude his latest screed against “grass-roots protesters in the Tea Party and elsewhere”:

First they went after the Rockefeller Republicans, but I was not a Rockefeller Republican. Then they went after the compassionate conservatives, but I was not a compassionate conservative. Then they went after the mainstream conservatives, and there was no one left to speak for me.

Mr. Brooks,  you are no pastor Martin Niemöller.  You are not winning; you are Godwinning.

Indeed, the lesser claims in the column are equally suspect, if less offensive in tone:

All across the nation, there are mainstream Republicans lamenting how the party has grown more and more insular, more and more rigid. This year, they have an excellent chance to defeat President Obama, yet the wingers have trashed the party’s reputation by swinging from one embarrassing and unelectable option to the next: Bachmann, Trump, Cain, Perry, Gingrich, Santorum.

Outside the echo chamber between the ears of David Brooks, Americans see the ideology of the GOP candidates — including Bachmann and Santorum — as closer to theirs than Barack Obama’s ideology.  Even among so-called independents, only Bachmann scored as more extreme than Obama, who holds the record for the most polarizing first, second and third years in office since Gallup started measuring polarization.  A majority of Americans (and independents) say Barack Obama’s political views are “too liberal,” a greater percentage than believe either of his main Republican challengers — Rick Santorum (38%) or Mitt Romney (33%) — is “too conservative.”  The share of Republicans who see Romney or Santorum as too conservative is significantly smaller.  A majority of Americans (and independents) disagree with Obama on the issues most important to them, while only a plurality disagrees with either Romney or Santorum (the overwhelming majority of Republicans agree with either GOP candidate). Currently, the (essentially meaningless) head-to-head polls have Obama ahead of Romney (who Brooks seems to find electable) by 5%, and ahead of Santorum (embarrassing and unelectable) by… 5.9%.  In short, most people see little difference between Romney and Santorum and see either as less extreme than Obama.

However, for Brooks, the problem is more than ideological:

In the 1960s and ’70s, the fight was between conservatives and moderates. Conservatives trounced the moderates and have driven them from the party. These days the fight is between the protesters and the professionals. The grass-roots protesters in the Tea Party and elsewhere have certain policy ideas, but they are not that different from the Republicans in the “establishment.”

The big difference is that the protesters don’t believe in governance. They have zero tolerance for the compromises needed to get legislation passed. They don’t believe in trimming and coalition building. For them, politics is more about earning respect and making a statement than it is about enacting legislation. It’s grievance politics, identity politics.

As an antidote to this hysterical overgeneralization, I’ll turn over the rebuttal to rabid wingnutter Peggy Noonan:

For conservatives on the ground, it has often felt as if Democrats (and moderate Republicans) were always saying, “We should spend a trillion dollars,” and the Republican Party would respond, “No, too costly. How about $700 billion?” Conservatives on the ground are thinking, “How about nothing? How about we don’t spend more money but finally start cutting.”

***

The second thing is the clock. Here is a great virtue of the tea party: They know what time it is. It’s getting late. If we don’t get the size and cost of government in line now, we won’t be able to. We’re teetering on the brink of some vast, dark new world—states and cities on the brink of bankruptcy, the federal government too. The issue isn’t “big spending” anymore. It’s ruinous spending that they fear will end America as we know it, as they promised it to their children.

Brooks is willing to write about “the nation’s ruinous debt problem,” but when Obama demanded his way or the highway during the debt ceiling fight, Brooks chose to blame “the movement” instead, falsely claiming that Republicans were “merely” being asked to close loopholes and eliminate tax expenditures.  In reality, Obama’s proposals have received almost zero Congressional support, including from his own party.  In developed countries, successful fiscal consolidations have relied overwhelmingly on spending cuts, while the so-called “balanced” approach has failed.  Indeed, the International Monetary Fund would suggest spending cuts and tax cuts as a “Plan B” for overextended countries.  In Brooksworld, those who believe in smaller government and solutions that have worked elsewhere are unrealistic, totalitarian troglodytes, while the dude who supports the most statist president in generations is the martyred mainstream conservative.  That’s some double-plus good punditizing.  David Brooks, clinging bitterly to Barack Obama’s creased trouser leg and his Reinhold Niebuhr, is not voice of mainstream conservatism.  He is the poster boy for Big Media’s Biggest Failure, howling on behalf of the so-called professionals in total denial of their role in America’s current and future miseries.

–Karl

Obama Lies About Romney Being a Liar

Filed under: 2012 Election,Obama — Patterico @ 7:07 am

The president on the campaign trail delivering a non-campaign address:

In a boisterous, excited tone, President Obama continued, criticizing Republicans who said “the workers made out like bandits in all of this; that saving the American auto industry was just about paying back unions. Really? I mean, even by the standards of this town, that’s a load of you-know-what.”

Typical of Obama, his saying Romney’s claim is a “load of you-know-what” is not only crude and unpresidential — it’s also false.

I’m not a fan of citing Big Media “fact checkers,” who typically serve as leftist partisans clothed as neutral arbiters. But when they actually say something disparaging about another leftist like Obama, it’s reliable, because it’s what the lawyers call a “declaration against interest.” If a doting parent admits his child might have a slight problem with tardiness, you can bet the kid is late all the time. And if the Washington Post Fact Checker says Obama’s bailouts were favorable to the unions, well, you can take that to the bank:

In terms of the “sweetheart deal” for the UAW, it’s fairly clear that the president gave precedence to the union and its blue collar members, who fared better than they would have been under Chapter 11. Meanwhile, scores of employees from the white-collar ranks are angry about cuts they had to accept. We won’t judge whether Obama’s stance was appropriate, but we can say that he came down on the side of the Democrat-friendly UAW.

Naturally, the column, which likes to award “Pinocchios” mostly to statements by Republicans, is still biased against Romney and for Obama. It doesn’t analyze the accuracy of Obama’s assertion that he didn’t favor the unions in the bailout, which is clear bunk. Mustn’t give “Pinocchios” to Obama! It instead awards a “Pinocchio” to Romney for saying that Solyndra money was crony capitalism, claiming that Romney “doesn’t have definitive proof of Obama’s intentions, even if the evidence suggests continued grounds for suspicion.”

See what I mean? When a “fact checker” column is that desperate to spin for Obama, yet still admits that the bailouts favored the unions, then the bailouts damn well favored the unions. Not even a “fact checker” spinmeister can spin that one.

So, Mr. Obama, you are the one who is full of “you-know-what”: your usual pile of cynical pandering falsehoods.


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