Patterico's Pontifications

8/31/2012

Fact Check: Mitt Romney’s Speech

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:54 am



We at the respected FactCheck.org have decided to fact check Mitt Romney’s speech, to note in an objective and dispassionate manner what a liar Mitt Romney is. We will do this in the traditional manner: not by noting actual factual mistakes, but by claiming the speech was misleading because Romney did not make the same arguments that Democrats make against him.

First, Romney tried to portray himself as a decent family man. Left unmentioned was the fact that he put the family dog on the roof of his car.

Romney tried to claim his time at Bain Capital as an example of success, citing numerous companies that succeeded. The audience would have no way of knowing that some other companies failed.

And Romney attempted to paint a picture of Mormonism as just another religion, when everybody knows it is a scam involving a guy and a bunch of plates and they don’t even drink alcohol or even coffee and how crazy is that?

Finally, Romney praised Paul Ryan’s speech, when we here at FactCheck.org revealed that Ryan got his facts wrong. Of course, Ed Morrissey says we got our facts wrong, but who are you going to believe? A partisan hack blogger or a respected fact checking organization?

[Editor’s note: to those who say this post is not funny, I will note that David Brooks is published in the New York Times. Thank you.]

If You Oppose Obama You Are a Racist

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:25 am



Golf = racism.

Chicago = racism.

Having a convention at the scheduled time = racism.

In case you missed the theme: you are a racist.

8/30/2012

Mitt Romney Speech

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:03 pm



Watching it now. How do you think he’s doing?

Ryan: Let’s Get This Done!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:08 am



Paul Ryan gave a stirring, exciting speech last night. The last night I was this excited might have been after Sarah Palin’s speech in 2008.

That said, it’s worth noting that both speeches were written with significant input from (if not entirely by) Matt Scully, a very talented speechwriter whom I have been fortunate enough to spend some time with. Matt is a vegan (for moral reasons), an opponent of hunting, and an environmentalist; a thinking, independent conservative who shows that there is room in the party for people of all different stripes. He is also hell of a speech writer and he really pulled this one off.

But of course the focus is on Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney, and Matt would want it that way.

And tonight the focus will really be on Mitt Romney. I’ll say this: He’s got a hard act to follow. But he’s the man. The voters have said so.

So.

Let’s get this done!

P.S. Oddly, the left does not quite agree with my assessment.

For example, the editors of the Washington Post call it “Mr. Ryan’s misleading speech.” Misleading how? Here are a couple of their complaints: while acknowledging that “[a] convention speech is not a budget submission,” the editors nevertheless complain that Ryan’s convention speech was not a budget submission. They whine:

[A] party that claims to be willing to make hard choices ought to be prepared to spell some of them out.

. . . .

Mr. Ryan skewered the president in his speech for creating and then walking away from a bipartisan debt commission that, he said, “came back with an urgent report.” We’ve expressed similar frustrations, but omitted from Mr. Ryan’s self-serving rendition was the uncomfortable fact that Mr. Ryan served on that very commission but was unwilling to follow the brave lead of the Republican senators on the panel who supported its “urgent” recommendations. Will the Romney-Ryan ticket endorse them now?

Um, no.

If only Republicans had submitted some kind of plan for dealing with our fiscal problems. A plan from Paul Ryan would have been nice. We could call it the Ryan plan. Oh, wait. they did.

If only Mitt Romney had signaled his agreement with the spirit of the Ryan plan. A strong way of signaling this might be, say, to pick Ryan as his VP nominee. Oh, wait. He did.

Call it “The Washington Post‘s misleading editorial.”

I think they’re upset that the speech was actually effective.

Meanwhile, brazen liar Joan Walsh says Paul Ryan is a brazen liar. Here is part of her proof:

He blamed Obama for a deficit mostly created by programs he himself voted for – from two wars, tax cuts, new Medicare benefits and TARP.

Strangely enough, to me, that sounds like the brazen lie.

8/29/2012

(Former) Yahoo News Bureau Chief: Romney Happy to Party While Blacks Drown

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:51 pm



Those open mikes are killers:

During live coverage of the Republican National Convention here in Tampa, Yahoo News Washington bureau chief David Chalian provided the perfect example of the pervasive anti-Republican bias Mitt Romney faces in his bid to unseat President Barack Obama.

In video broadcast Monday night by ABC and Yahoo over the Internet, Chalian can be heard claiming that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his wife Ann are unconcerned about the fate of residents of the New Orleans area who are currently being hit by Hurricane Isaac.

“They aren’t concerned at all,” Chalian can be heard on the live broadcast. “They are happy to have a party with black people drowning.”

Enjoy the clip:

Meanwhile Obama campaigned and did an online chat, oddly drawing no criticism from Big Media. He’s drawing criticism from Bobby Jindal, however, who says the federal government could be doing more. Even more odd: Obama could actually do something, whereas Romney cannot.

But Romney is the Republican so he gets the criticism.

Funny how that works.

GOP Convention Day Two

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:29 am



Any time I watch a gathering of politically active conservatives or Republicans, whether it’s CPAC or the GOP convention, I’m jealous of other bloggers who get to go. Damn day job.

I watched the Christie speech on the tube last night. It was not bad, but made me realize that he’s not so much a formal speech guy as an excellent off-the-cuff speaker. He would kill in debates.

I like the national debt clock, and the one detailing how much debt has been incurred since the convention began is a nice touch.

The New York Times is not impressed with the convention:

“We built it,” the slogan of the evening, was painted on the side of the convention hall. Speaker after speaker alluded to the phrase in an entire day based on the thinnest of reeds — a poorly phrased remark by the president, deliberately taken out of context. President Obama was making the obvious point that all businesses rely to some extent on the work and services of government. But Mr. Romney has twisted it to suggest that Mr. Obama believes all businesses are creatures of the government, and so the convention had to parrot the line.

“We need a president who will say to a small businesswoman: Congratulations, we applaud your success, you did make that happen, you did build that,” said Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia. “Big government didn’t build America; you built America!”

That was far from the only piece of nonsense on the menu, only the most frequently repeated one. Conventions are always full of cheap applause lines and over-the-top attacks, but it was startling to hear how many speakers in Tampa considered it acceptable to make points that have no basis in reality.

No basis in reality? Was that remark really taken out of context? I know we keep reading that but I’m not so sure it’s true. Obama said: “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” You want context, here’s context:

The point is that Obama doesn’t merely believe that government helped businessmen and businesswomen build businesses. He actually gives government the lion’s share of the credit in his own mind. He sees no difference between successful entrepreneurs and others, besides luck.

It’s a mindset.

Despite ivory tower academic theories to the contrary, words mean things. It matters what words you use to express your concepts. When I view Obama’s comments in their full context, I understand the point he is making. I also understand that he made a classic Kinsley gaffe: he accidentally said what he actually thought.

No wonder the New York Times is scrambling to give him cover.

Your thoughts on today’s proceedings below.

8/28/2012

David Brooks: Unfunny Moron

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:20 pm



Get ready to GUFFAW!!!!

Romney was a precocious and gifted child. He uttered his first words (“I like to fire people”) at age 14 months, made his first gaffe at 15 months and purchased his first nursery school at 24 months. The school, highly leveraged, went under, but Romney made 24 million Jujubes on the deal.

. . . .

Romney is also a passionately devoted family man. After streamlining his wife’s pregnancies down to six months each, Mitt helped Ann raise five perfect sons — Bip, Chip, Rip, Skip and Dip — who married identically tanned wives. Some have said that Romney’s lifestyle is overly privileged, pointing to the fact that he has an elevator for his cars in the garage of his San Diego home. This is not entirely fair. Romney owns many homes without garage elevators and the cars have to take the stairs.

One major difference between me and David Brooks: I know that I’m not funny.

Andy Levy: “I’d like to thank David Brooks for showing everyone just how hard it is to write comedy.”

The New York Times ombudsman, on his way out the door, conceded that the paper is liberal. Ya think? When the “conservative” columnist earns water cooler kudos by penning ultralame jabs at the GOP nominee?

Nobody but nobody would care about this putz if he didn’t publish his drivel in the New York Times. And that paper would not publish him if he were a real and persuasive conservative. So he attains his “relevance” (such as it is) by being a smug cocktail party non-conservative.

Incredible.

Convention Open Thread

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:25 am



Your thoughts below.

Editors Still Using Double Standard for Kimberlin Wikipedia Entry

Filed under: Brett Kimberlin,General — Patterico @ 7:25 am



People keep trying to add an accurate phrase about Brett Kimberlin’s criminal history to the first paragraph of Brett Kimberlin’s Wikipedia entry. And keep getting shot down — to the point where editors are threatening to remove the entry entirely.

The offending phrase, which keeps getting removed, is “a convicted drug dealer, bomber, and political activist.” Someone keeps adding the phrase in, and it keeps getting deleted, as you can see from the edit page.

Kimberlin is certainly a convicted drug dealer and bomber. Here’s how the Federal Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit described Kimberlin’s criminal history:

After being convicted of the bombings and related offenses, Kimberlin was sentenced to a fifty-year term of imprisonment for manufacturing and possessing a destructive device, and malicious damage by explosives with personal injury in violation of 26 U.S.C. §§ 5861(d) and (f), and 18 U.S.C. §§ 844(f) and (i). He received a concurrent twelve-year sentence for impersonating a federal officer, illegal use of a Department of Defense insignia, and illegal use of the Presidential Seal in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 912, 701, and 713, respectively, and a five-year term for receipt of explosives by a convicted felon in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 842(i)(1). Finally, he was given a four-year sentence by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas on an earlier, unrelated conviction for conspiracy to distribute marijuana.

The editors who keep removing the phrase claim that it violates “BLP rules” relating to a biography of a living person. A Wikipedia editor told me convictions aren’t supposed to go in the lede paragraph of a living person’s entry. Whether it’s accurate or not, they say, adding this accurate information in the lede paragraph actually risks getting the whole article pulled:

What part of it was slander? He is a convicted drug dealer and bomber. Is there any contention that he isn’t? Gotrexman (talk) 01:01, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

I don’t care. It’s still against the BLP rules. You want to get it deleted outright instead on the 2nd attempt by JusticeLeader? ViriiK (talk) 01:03, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

“JusticeLeader” is the guy who submitted a suspicious and deceptive request to have the entry deleted a little over a week ago.

This isn’t the end of the world; Kimberlin’s criminal history is amply described elsewhere in the entry. I’m just having a hard time understanding why the same rule doesn’t apply to, say, Charles Manson:

Charles Milles Manson (born November 12, 1934) is an American criminal and musician who led what became known as the Manson Family, a quasi-commune that arose in California in the late 1960s.[1][2]:163–4, 313[3] He was found guilty of conspiracy to commit the murders of Sharon Tate and Leno and Rosemary LaBianca carried out by members of the group at his instruction.

or G. Gordon Liddy:

George Gordon Battle Liddy (born November 30, 1930) known as G. Gordon Liddy was the chief operative for the White House Plumbers unit that existed from July–September 1971, during Richard Nixon’s presidency. Separately, along with E. Howard Hunt, Liddy organized and directed the Watergate burglaries of the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate building in May and June 1972. After five of Liddy’s operatives were arrested inside the DNC offices on June 17, 1972, subsequent investigations of the Watergate scandal led to President’s Nixon’s resignation in August 1974. Liddy was convicted of burglary, conspiracy and refusing to testify to the Senate committee investigating Watergate. He served nearly fifty-two months in federal prisons.

or any other examples you can probably find where living people have had their criminal histories mentioned in the lede paragraph of their entires.

Luckily, a hero has come to save the day. The page has been locked to prevent further editing — without the offending accurate phrase. The editor who locked the page?

Richard Symonds, aka Chase Me Ladies, I’m the Cavalry. You might remember him as the guy who originally deleted the article last September, claiming a “harassment campaign” against poor Mr. Kimberlin.

The fellow who described the entry on Kimberlin as an “attack page” that “simply painted him as a man with no positive qualities at all, which is obviously problematic in a neutral encyclopedia.” Who said that “reliable sources” could be found saying I had “harassed” the Readers’ Representative of the Los Angeles Times, but refused to specify said “reliable sources.”

That Richard Symonds.

As Fletch once said: “Thank God, the . . . police.”

We’re all in good hands now.

8/27/2012

David Brooks vs. David Brooks on Paul Ryan

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:31 am



David Brooks says Paul Ryan just isn’t being realistic on the economy:

Ryan said that it was silly to come up with a debt-reduction proposal that didn’t fix the single biggest driver of the nation’s debt.

This is the sort of argument that makes a lot of sense in a think-tank auditorium. The problem was there were almost no Democrats who endorsed Ryan’s Medicare reform ideas. If Ryan was going to pinion debt reduction to Medicare reform, that meant there would be no debt reduction.

But Ryan had another way forward, noting: We’re going to have an election in 2012; the country will choose between two different visions; if we Republicans win, we’ll be able to reform Medicare our way and reduce the debt our way.

In other words, Ryan was willing to sacrifice the good for the sake of the ultimate.

In order to get this ultimate solution, though, Ryan was betting that three things would happen. First, he was betting that Republicans would beat Obama. Second, he was betting that Republicans would win such overwhelming congressional majorities that they would be able to push through measures Democrats hate. Third, he was betting that a group of Republican politicians would unilaterally slash one of the country’s most popular programs and that they would be able to sustain these cuts through the ensuing elections, in the face of ferocious and highly popular Democratic opposition.

To put it another way, Ryan was giving up significant debt progress for a political fantasy.

. . .

It’s obvious why candidates talk about the glorious programs they’ll create if elected. It fires up crowds and defines values. But we shouldn’t forget that it’s almost entirely make-believe.

This claim is amply refuted by a famous pundit who said the opposite in April 2011. And you’ll never guess who it is. Oh, right. You read the headline. OK, it’s David Brooks:

Over the past few weeks, a number of groups, including the ex-chairmen of the Council of Economic Advisers and 64 prominent budget experts, have issued letters arguing that the debt situation is so dire that doing nothing is not a survivable option. What they lacked was courageous political leadership — a powerful elected official willing to issue a proposal, willing to take a stand, willing to face the political perils.

The country lacked that leadership until today. Today, Paul Ryan, the Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee, is scheduled to release the most comprehensive and most courageous budget reform proposal any of us have seen in our lifetimes. Ryan is expected to leap into the vacuum left by the president’s passivity. The Ryan budget will not be enacted this year, but it will immediately reframe the domestic policy debate.

His proposal will set the standard of seriousness for anybody who wants to play in this discussion. It will become the 2012 Republican platform, no matter who is the nominee. Any candidate hoping to win that nomination will have to be able to talk about government programs with this degree of specificity, so it will improve the G.O.P. primary race.

The Ryan proposal will help settle the fight over the government shutdown and the 2011 budget because it will remind everybody that the real argument is not about cutting a few billion here or there. It is about the underlying architecture of domestic programs in 2012 and beyond.

The Ryan budget will put all future arguments in the proper context: The current welfare state is simply unsustainable and anybody who is serious, on left or right, has to have a new vision of the social contract.

. . . .

It also creates the pivotal moment of truth for President Obama. Will he come up with his own counterproposal, or will he simply demagogue the issue by railing against “savage” Republican cuts and ignoring the long-term fiscal realities? Does he have a sustainable vision for government, or will he just try to rise above the fray while Nancy Pelosi and others attack Ryan?

And what about the Senate Republicans? Where do they stand? Or the voters? Are they willing to face reality or will they continue to demand more government than they are willing to pay for?

Paul Ryan has grasped reality with both hands. He’s forcing everybody else to do the same.

Of course, if they don’t — if they run from reality and demagogue the issue — Brooks will be there in another 16 months or so to blame it all on Ryan.

Unreal.

What could have changed between April 2011 and now? I’ll tell you: Paul Ryan is now the GOP nominee for the vice presidency. And while it might be OK to pretend to be a conservative every so often just to maintain a facade, it simply won’t do to actually praise a VP candidate for courage at the moment it matters most. To do so would be . . . gauche. People would turn away at the New York Times water cooler.

Or maybe the crease in Paul Ryan’s trousers has simply become less sharp in the last 16 months.

Thanks to Milhouse.

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