Patterico's Pontifications


Exclusive: More Hagel Idiocy

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:11 pm

If this doesn’t disqualify him, I don’t know what does. Chuck Hagel in 2002, speaking highly about . . . Joe Biden:

Joe Biden is one of the preeminent foreign policy thinkers in our country. You can deal with him. He’s always straight up. He knows what he is talking about. He’s fair, very experienced, and a very good listener. He’s a formidable guy who’s also a pleasure to deal with.

This should be disqualifying — but in a world where a guy just slightly stupider than your Dumb Uncle Rufus can be the Vice President? It is, once again, a bug that Obama sees as a feature.

Thanks to Charles C. Johnson.

A Robust Defense of the 2nd Amendment

Filed under: General — JD @ 9:36 pm

[Guest post by JD]

Every once in a while you stumble across a link to a new website, and you’re not sure what to expect. The Left’s War on the 2nd Amendment continues apace. New York banned normal capacity magazines, and Colorado followed suit with Biden’s urging. Washington state had a proposal that would have allowed the police into homes to inspect weapons, something the sponsors apparently didn’t bother to read. They want “common sense” restrictions on an enumerated capital-R Right — restrictions that they would never dream of imposing on other Rights, whether enumerated or resulting from penumbras.

I ran across this one today, and his voice is a melody to my ears. I am quoting it in its entirety, because every time I tried to edit it down, or pull quotes, it felt incomplete. And since I know many times people don’t click on the links, I wanted you to see its original, full, sheer awesomeness.

Or, How I Learned To Stop Caring.

By way of introduction, I’d like to explain some of my former positions.  Please do not reply and tell me why I’m wrong.  That’s not relevant to this post.  These WERE my positions, for right or wrong.

I used to believe women had a right to reproductive choice.  As a male, I will obviously never have an abortion.  I supported access because birth control is cheaper than abortions, abortions are cheaper than welfare, welfare is cheaper than jail.  And I don’t believe the government is capable of legislating for every circumstance.  Most of the time, a woman and her doctor will make a decision that works for the situation, and until a baby is an independent organism, it’s a parasite.  This was also important to me because my wife was warned that a further pregnancy could kill her.  That’s been surgically remedied and is no longer a problem.

I used to believe gays were entitled to relate as they wished, including marriage.  What two people do together doesn’t affect me unless I’m one of them.

I used to believe it was wrong to treat people differently based on their skin color.  Even if a few people fit a stereotype, millions of others do not.

I used to believe there should be a strong division between church and state, that any support of a religious entity using property of the state constituted endorsement and was wrong.

I used to believe people had a right to protest, campaign, rant and create non-violent incidents to express themselves and their positions.  I also believed they had a right to publish as they chose.  I believed they were entitled to burn the Flag in protest, to make a statement.

I have obviously been at odds with conservatives over these positions.  There have been loud arguments, heated discussions and occasional insults.


I believe the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms.  The Supreme Court agrees with me, which means that right is as valid as abortion, sexual privacy, protest and speech.

This should mean that  strict scrutiny applies, meaning the government needs to prove the fabric of society itself is at risk before limiting it.  Just as the Press has the right to broadcast troop movements it can see or acquire, regardless of casualties, I have the right to own weapons, regardless of how someone else may act.  “Someone might get hurt” is an invalid excuse for restriction.

In fact, it’s easy enough to prove that freedom of the press HAS caused harm and even death to people, whether it’s troop movements, or the address of a person of interest.

The rights of gays to relate as they wish brings the risk of AIDS (60% of all cases are from gay relations, not drugs or medical contamination.)

It’s provable that if we required proof of need before awarding a driver’s license, we’d have less car accidents.

So, the argument that “guns kill people” is null and irrelevant to the discussion.  Lots of things kill people.  That’s not relevant to our civil rights.

Now, over this position, I’ve had at least 5 death threats (though of course, no “liberal” actually has the balls to attempt so). 

I’ve twice been reported to Family Services on the grounds that I have guns in the house, which means I’m a danger to my kids (which complaints were laughed at, here in Indiana). 

I’ve been accused of racism…because I own guns.

I’ve been accused of fascism…because I own guns.

I’ve been called a coward…no “real man” needs a gun to protect himself.  This is a surprise to me as a veteran, who carried guns regularly for the purpose of protecting myself and others, but what do I know?

I’ve been called a “Fat, Fox News watching, McDonald’s munching, inbred, retarded, drooling redneck imbecile.”

 I’ve been told I have a small penis.

I’ve been told I’m insane to “imagine fighting the government” by people with no military experience who also hate the government, sometimes for the same reasons.

I’ve had a date tell me I “seem so normal, for a gun nut.”

I’ve been called a “rightwinger.”  Indeed.  A gay/female/black/abortion/separation of church and state/free speech supporting rightwinger.

 I’ve been told this right doesn’t exist, that if it exists I can’t “pretend” it’s more important than wage inequality for women, or gay marriage. 

When the Heller Decision was decided in favor of gun ownership, I was told “I hope you all shoot yourselves with guns, because I can’t marry the man I love!” by an alleged friend. 

There’s apparently a “Right to feel safe,” and my owning a gun destroys it, because I might shoot someone.  However, if I say a gun makes me feel safe, I’m paranoid and insane.

I’ve been told I support “baby killers.”

I’ve been threatened with having my Wikipedia page vandalized, by someone who claimed he was more of a man than me. 

I’ve been told I can’t be trusted.  How can anyone know I won’t go on a shooting spree, because I own an “assault rifle”?

So much for liberal tolerance.

I didn’t realize I was so evil and hateful an individual I deserved to be treated in such fashion.

But when I look at the arguments, I think they may be correct:

“At the time the Constitution was written, the weapons in question were muskets.”

You know what?  You’re right.  And marriage was between one man and one woman.  So what’s with gay marriage?  No longer will I offer any moral support, oppose any online statements attacking it, speak out for it.  They have the same right as anyone—to marry someone of the opposite gender.  And given that all gays support raping little boys (just like all gun owners support shooting school kids), I don’t think I can support them.  We should do things just the way they were done 220 years ago.  That’s the liberal way.

“The Heller Decision was by an activist court.  It doesn’t count.” 

Indeed.  Just like Roe v Wade was an activist decision.  It doesn’t count.

“We’re not trying to take your guns away, just have reasonable limits.  It’s a compromise.”

And some people want reasonable limits on abortion, like waiting periods, gestational time limits, ultrasound, etc.  It’s a reasonable response to an activist court decision, and reasonable restrictions on a right, for public benefit.  Don’t come whining about your right to murder babies, and I won’t come to you whining about my right to shoot school kids.

And no one is saying you can’t ride the bus.  You just have to sit where people think is reasonable.  No one is saying women can’t work.  They just have to get paid what is reasonable for the work they do, allowing for the fact they’re going to leave the workplace and raise a family.  It’s a compromise.

“Assault weapons are an extreme interpretation.” 

True.  And not allowing any religious emblems on government premises is an extreme interpretation.  As long as they’re privately paid for, what’s it to you?  No one is saying you can’t belong to the Christian church of your choice, just not to extreme groups, like atheists or Muslims.  It would be paranoid to think anyone was trying to infringe on your legitimate right to be free from state religion, just like I’d be paranoid to think they wanted to take my guns.  Quite a few states had official churches well into the 1800s. This is not an infringement on your freedom of religion.

“Given Sandy Hook, you have to make reasonable compromises.”

“We just want licensing and safe storage requirements so the wrong people don’t get guns.” 

“Publicizing the information lets people make informed choices about who they live near.” 

Accepted.  In exchange, gay men should make reasonable compromises over Penn State.  They will simply have to accept being registered and kept a safe distance from children.  This isn’t a violation of their rights.  It’s just common sense.  The public has a right to know.

This should apply to protests, too.  No reasonable person would object to being identified.  They should welcome it—it means they can’t be wrongly maligned.  All union members, blacks, gays and feminists should be signed in with ID before a march or gathering, just so we can track the real criminals to keep the rest safe.

“The country survived without assault weapons for 240 years.” 

True (well, no, it was 135 years, depending on your definition of “assault weapon”). And it survived without women in combat even longer.  The infantry’s trying to scare off women?  Serves them right.  Things were working just fine the way they were.

“This woman is being badly portrayed on the cover of a book.” 

No, no, that’s an accurate portrayal, just like all military contractors are sociopathic mercenaries who torture people, all gun owners are moral cowards with Walter Mitty complexes and all gun dealers exist to make money from gangbangers.  It’s silly to suggest one group is singled out for inaccurate portrayals when we know the other portrayals are spot on.

Yup.  I’m taking you at your word.  Want money? Don’t care.  Want a petition signed?  Call someone who who gives a shit.  Want a link spread?   Yawn.  Women or gays or blacks or Hispanics don’t feel they’re being treated nicely?  So what?


First they came for the blacks, and I spoke up because it was wrong, even though I’m not black.

Then they came for the gays, and I spoke up, even though I’m not gay.

Then they came for the Muslims, and I spoke up, because it was wrong, even though I’m an atheist.

When they came for illegal aliens, I spoke up, even though I’m a legal immigrant.

Then they came for the pornographers, rebels and dissenters and their speech and flag burning, and I spoke up, because rights are not only for the establishment.

Then they came for the gun owners, and you liberal shitbags threw me under the bus, even though I’d done nothing wrong.  So when they come to put you on the train, you can fucking choke and die.


Or you can commit seppuku with a chainsaw.  I really don’t care anymore.  This is the end of my support for any liberal cause, because liberals have become anything but.

— JD

Cruz: They Oppose Rubio Because He’s Latino. Patterico: You Bet They Do — And Here’s the Evidence

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:25 pm

Democrats?? Doing race-based attacks on Republicans?!?!

Ab-solutely (via Hot Air):

Sen. Ted Cruz says some of the attacks on fellow Republican Sen. Marco Rubio by Democrats are motivated by race. Cruz said today the fact that Rubio is a Republican Latino poses a threat to political adversaries. “I think Democrats and the media are afraid of Marco Rubio because he is a smart, intelligent, conservative Hispanic. And they are looking for any excuse they can to attack him, because that threatens them,” Cruz told reporters during a tour of a Texas gun manufacturing plant north of Austin. “Look, he took a drink of water in a speech. And it dominated the news for days with one network saying it was a career ender.”

Cruz said the criticism of Rubio’s GOP response following last week’s State of the Union was about more than his being a promising young Republican. “It’s not just a promising Republican. I think the Democrats view Marco Rubio as a particular threat because of his background, his life story. I think it they believe it is in their interest to inflict as much damage as possible and blow things wildly out of proportion.”

Cruz is right. And here’s how I know that.

The first year I blogged, 2003, I noted a Wall Street Journal expose of Democrat strategy memos from the time when Democrats were in charge of the Senate Judiciary Committee (as they are again). The link to the WSJ piece is now broken, but you’re in luck, because I quoted the most relevant memo — and the link to my post still works. Here is a quote from a staffer to Dick “Dick” Durbin regarding a scheduled meeting with liberal interest groups. Note well, please, how they refer to Miguel Estrada:

The groups singled out three–Jeffrey Sutton (6th Circuit); Priscilla Owen (5th Circuit); and Caroline [sic] Kuhl (9th Circuit)–as a potential nominee for a contentious hearing early next year, with a [sic] eye to voting him or her down in Committee. They also identified Miguel Estrada (D.C. Circuit) as especially dangerous, because he has a minimal paper trail, he is Latino, and the White House seems to be grooming him for a Supreme Court appointment. They want to hold Estrada off as long as possible.

He’s dangerous, “Dick” Durbin was told, because he is Latino.

You got that?

And, as I am sure you will remember, Miguel Estrada was filibustered when George W. Bush attempted to place him on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, long seen as a launching pad for the Supreme Court. I fought the filibuster of Estrada tooth and nail (keep scrolling), but I am just one blogger, not quite able on my lonesome to stem a national tide of cynical race-based Democrat political maneuvering.

And Estrada withdrew because he could not put his life on hold for years. And Sonia Sotomayor became the first Latino/a on the High Court. And there was much rejoicing.

So, when Democrats denounce Cruz — that awful McCarthyite! — for daring to suggest that Democrats might be targeting Rubio because he’s Latino? When they do that, you look them in the eye, and you say: “Oh yeah? What about Miguel Estrada?!?!”

And when they give you a blank look, like they don’t have the slightest idea what you’re talking about . . . you read them this post.

UPDATE: Thanks very much to Instapundit for the link.

Boehner on Sequestration: Oh My God It’s So Dangerous and Unthinkable

Filed under: Budget,General — Patterico @ 7:59 am

John Boehner in the Wall Street Journal:

A week from now, a dramatic new federal policy is set to go into effect that threatens U.S. national security, thousands of jobs and more. In a bit of irony, President Obama stood Tuesday with first responders who could lose their jobs if the policy goes into effect. Most Americans are just hearing about this Washington creation for the first time: the sequester. What they might not realize from Mr. Obama’s statements is that it is a product of the president’s own failed leadership.

The sequester is a wave of deep spending cuts scheduled to hit on March 1. Unless Congress acts, $85 billion in across-the-board cuts will occur this year, with another $1.1 trillion coming over the next decade. There is nothing wrong with cutting spending that much—we should be cutting even more—but the sequester is an ugly and dangerous way to do it.

Cry me a river. It’s a drop in the bucket. Boehner has a point that entitlement spending is not touched by the sequester. So call for entitlements to be cut too. But stop talking about how a relatively piddling set of budget cuts is so awful and dangerous. When you tighten the belt, you feel the squeeze, son.

Boehner does have one good point:

The president got his higher taxes—$600 billion from higher earners, with no spending cuts—at the end of 2012. He also got higher taxes via ObamaCare. Meanwhile, no one should be talking about raising taxes when the government is still paying people to play videogames, giving folks free cellphones, and buying $47,000 cigarette-smoking machines.

The GOP keeps allowing this charlatan Obama to talk about “balance” when 1) they already gave him the tax part of the “balance” and 2) the problem is spending, not taxes. As I wrote last month:

Can’t we just tax the rich? No, for two reasons.

First, even confiscating all millionaires’ taxable income would not close the gap. It’s difficult to find recent statistics for these numbers, but in posts I wrote in April 2011 I quoted people who had examined IRS statistics and found that in 2008, “Taxable income over $100,000 was $1,582 billion, over $200,000 was $1,185 billion, over $500,000 was $820 billion, over $1 million was $616 billion, over $2 million was $460 billion, over $5 million was $302 billion, and over $10 million was $212 billion.” To get that $1.3 trillion you can’t close the gap by taxing rich people. You could confiscate all the income of people with taxable income over $1 million and it would not close the gap by half.

But there’s another problem: it wouldn’t work that well anyway. As I illustrated yesterday, we have had top marginal rates as high as 91% and as low as 28%, and we still get about 18% of GDP in revenues every year, regardless. Extremely rich people change their behavior when you start to confiscate all their money.

We haven’t even addressed paying off almost $17 trillion in debt.

It’s as if you had a large mountain of sand and a small bucket of dirt to haul away, and when you said we should start getting on moving that sand, some yutz starts insisting on a balanced approach: one teaspoon of dirt to be removed for each teaspoon of sand.

Yet Obama continues to play the game of demanding more taxes, more taxes, more taxes, as if that will fix everything. Sweetness and Light notes that Obama vowed in 2011 to veto any effort to undo the sequester — unless Republicans raised taxes on the rich. Which they did, recently. Which they need to keep reminding the public.

We already agreed to move the dirt. Now let’s get to work on the real problem. And Boehner, stop treating the sequester as if it’s this awful and unthinkable set of cuts. You’re part of the problem.

Presidential Debate Commissioner: Picking Candy Crowley As a Moderator Was a Mistake

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:24 am

Welcome to the Republican echo chamber, commissioner!

Am I the only one who would have liked to hear him elaborate?

Hagel Met With Front Group for Iranian Regime

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:18 am

Another fact that apparently means nothing to Senate Republicans:

Documents obtained by The Daily Caller show that staffers for then-Sen. Chuck Hagel met repeatedly with a controversial pro-Iran lobby group, and some met with the organization’s president.

Hagel is President Barack Obama’s choice to be the next secretary of defense. Arizona Sen. John McCain and other Republicans have conceded that a vote — and likely confirmation — will take place during the week of Feb. 25.

Iranian state-run media have referred to the National Iranian-American Council (NIAC) since at least 2006 as “Iran’s lobby” in the U.S.

For Obama, this isn’t a bug. It’s a feature.

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