Patterico's Pontifications

9/27/2015

Keeping It Classy: Protesters Throw Condoms At Carly Fiorina

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:53 pm

[guest post by Dana]

While Carly Fiorina campaigned at a tailgate party in Iowa yesterday, she found herself being pelted with condoms by protesters. Note that the condoms thrown were no ordinary over-the-counter prophylactics, but were Planned Parenthood’s own special brand:

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PROPER ATTIRE® condoms, available in Planned Parenthood health centers, are just one example of new condoms available to consumers. With fifteen glamorous styles, PROPER ATTIRE condoms are a safe, fun and stylish way to protect against pregnancy and STDs.

Protesters, still studiously ignoring the abject depravity of the CMP videos, chose to focus on what they believe to be Fiorina’s debate video misrepresentation as they sought to put her in her place:

The protesters, some of whom were affiliated with the women’s health group and others who were supporters, were dressed in pink and waved pink pom-poms as they followed the Republican presidential candidate around the tailgate, chanting “Carly Fiorina offsides for telling lies” and “women are watching and we vote.”

Because nothing says Take me seriously! like a pom-pom waving woman dressed up as birth control:

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Nonetheless, Fiorina remained calm and poised in the face of such classless buffoonery, and in classic Fiorina-style, took advantage of the opportunity presented to her:

Joining the protesters was a patient of Planned Parenthood, Cindy Shireman, who pushed through the crowd to confront Fiorina directly and told her she doesn’t support women’s health.

“Oh I support women’s health,” Fiorina quipped back, while grasping Shireman’s hand.

“You need to ask yourself some questions [like] why is it that fetuses are butchered alive to harvest their brains. Why?”

The questions, of course, present themselves: If birth control is a throw-away item (just like a baby!) as demonstrated, then why on earth are taxpayers forced to subsidize Planned Parenthood?? Further, can you imagine the howls of outrage if Hillary Clinton was pelted with condoms??

(Photos via ABC News Reporter Jordyn Phelps)

–Dana

Fun Stuff on a Sunday Morning: President Trump Addresses the Nation

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:09 pm

Bring the death penalty to Norway!

We’re a bunch of fools, and we’re being led by a fool. Let’s see if we can do it again!

And to cleanse the palate, here is a fun cover of an old Northern Pikes song, performed by a pal of Jay Semko’s named Ray Whitton. Love his voice. Jay sings on this track too. I got Whitton’s album on iTunes this morning. His original stuff is worth checking out.

9/26/2015

Fiorina Blasts “FactChecker” for Giving Her Three Pinocchios for An Accurate Statement

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:10 pm

I have lost all patience with “fact checkers” who run opinion pieces disguised as “fact checks.” The Washington Post purports to do a “fact check” on these Fiorina quotes:

I started as a secretary, typing and filing for a nine-person real estate firm. It’s only in this country that you can go from being a secretary to chief executive of the largest tech company in the world, and run for president of the United States. It’s only possible here.

. . . .

My story, from secretary to CEO, is only possible in this nation, and proves that everyone of us has potential.

. . . .

A self-made woman, she started her business career as a secretary and went on to become the first, and to date, the only woman to lead a Fortune 20 company.

The “fact checkers” call that Carly Fiorina’s bogus ‘secretary to CEO’ career trajectory, and give Fiorina three Pinocchios. (According to their rating scale, three Pinocchios represents: “Significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions.”

We already know Fiorina has been a CEO, so I eagerly read the article to see how they prove that she lied about being a secretary. Here’s the relevant passage:

She worked briefly as a secretary in between law school and business school, but she always intended to attend graduate school for her career.

Wait, what?

So, she said was a secretary and a CEO, and she has been a secretary and a CEO. Therefore three Pinocchios???

Yes. Three Pinocchios.

Apparently the Post thinks that Fiorina is implying some kind of Horatio Alger story or something, and they reject this implication because she was a law school professor’s daughter. Or something.

As a campaign spokesperson said:

When asked how the description accurately captures her career trajectory, Isgur Flores responded: “She was a secretary. Later, she became a CEO. I don’t think she’s ever claimed there was nothing in between.”

This is how the Post describes the rating of one Pinocchio:

Some shading of the facts. Selective telling of the truth. Some omissions and exaggerations, but no outright falsehoods. (You could view this as “mostly true.”)

Even if you bought the Post‘s take, at best that means Fiorina left out some stuff that the Post thinks she should have said. A normal person would say she told the truth. A wild partisan would give her one Pinocchio.

The Post gave her three.

Here’s Fiorina reacting to this in an interview with Hugh Hewitt:

Exit question: does this help her or hurt her? Anyone remotely familiar with the controversy will see this as what it is: a totally unfair hit job by a leftist media outlet.

Ruining Your Favorite Movies – a Saturday Night Participatory Post!

Filed under: General — JVW @ 5:22 pm

[guest post by JVW]

A friend of mine shared a popular Facebook meme the other day. It is a picture of Lloyd Dobler (the John Cusack character) from the movie Say Anything holding up the boombox blaring Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” outside of the window of his love, Diane Court (played by Ione Skye). The caption to the photo is that the world would be a better place if we all “loved like Lloyd.”

So my immediate reaction was that when it’s John Cusack doing something like this he is considered to be “sweet” and “vunerable,” yet when somebody like me does it we are considered to be “creepy” and “obsessive.” We had some fun going back-and-forth on what today’s feminist Social Justice Warriors would think of this type of behavior. Finally, since the best part of being a conservative (in my opinion) is being a curmudgeonly un-romantic, I made this point:

I always wonder if Diane Court woke up one day only to realize that Lloyd is a proto-slacker with no job prospects who wants to spend all of his time training for kickboxing. I don’t imagine that relationship lasted too long in England.

And that got me thinking as to how of the happily-ever-after endings from 1980s teen romantic comedies might have dissolved into something a bit more realistic, based upon the lifelong observations of a grumpy old dude like me. Allow me to finish ruining Say Anything for everyone who loved that movie, then I’ll get to contaminating another 80s classic.

Say Anything
After Diane kicks out Lloyd, she switches her course of study from British Literature to Feminist Theory, and goes on to earn a PhD. Due to her good looks and American accent, she becomes a mainstay on BBC television shows where she rails against the patriarchy and the oppressiveness of phallocentric culture. She marries the eldest son of an Earl who has a 300-year-old family estate in the countryside, and she and her husband settle into a large apartment in a fashionable part of London. The marriage quickly grows stale, and Diane begins an affair with a lower-ranking minister in Tony Blair’s Labour government which leads to her divorce. Her father dies of cancer in prison, and after attending his funeral she never again steps foot in America, telling her European friends that she finds it “stifling and provincial.” Today she blogs at the UK version of the Huffington Post.

Lloyd Dobler returns to Seattle after the break-up. Because he doesn’t want to “buy anything sold or processed, sell anything bought or processed, or process anything bought or sold” he becomes a booking agent and assistant manager at a punk rock club. In 1991 he is offered the chance to manage the band Nirvana just as the album Nevermind is about to be released. He turns it down contemptuously expressing his belief that their music has become too commercial. Today he works at a liquor store and serves soft drinks at an all-ages music club on Thursdays and Saturdays. At least four times a week he drives by Diane’s old house and is overcome by melancholy.

Sixteen Candles
The movie ends with sophomore Samantha “Sam” Baker (Molly Ringwald) sharing a dining room table birthday kiss with her senior heartthrob Jake Ryan (Michael Schoeffling). The two of them continue to date for the rest of the spring. On prom night Sam loses her virginity to Jake in a room at a Holiday Inn two towns over. She had told her parents that she would be attending an all-night after-party sponsored by the PTA.

Jake leaves that fall to attend the state university 150 miles away. Sam writes him a letter every day declaring her unending love. Jake pledges a popular fraternity but comes home every other weekend in September and October to visit Sam. He skips his visit in early November, rationalizing that he will be home for an extended stay over Thanksgiving. When he comes back at Christmas break, he and Sam spend every possible moment together.

That spring, Sam begs her parents to let her travel to campus for Jake’s fraternity formal. After lots of negotiations they relent. At the formal the frat bros think Sam is pretty hot, but they tease Jake for being involved with a high school junior. Meanwhile, Jake’s visits home to see Sam become less frequent, and Sam’s friends begin to tell her that they are hearing that Jake has been seen around campus with a Tri Delt. It all comes to a head when Jake chooses to go to Cancun with his fraternity bros for spring break, even though it means he will miss Sam’s 17th birthday. He also begs off from escorting her to her junior prom, explaining that he has to study for finals (instead, he road-trips to New Orleans). He comes home at the end of the semester, but then tells Sam that he has to go back to campus in July for the second session of summer school. By the fall of her senior year, Sam is dating her school’s star quarterback.

The Geek (Anthony Michael Hall) is expelled from school after installing spy cameras in the girls’ locker room showers. He does time in the juvenile justice system and has to register as a sex offender. Long Duk Dong returns to China and joins the army. He is said to have participated in the Chinese army massacres both in Tibet and at Tinanmen Square. Bryce decides to move to Seattle to live with his sister, and starts going by his middle name, Lloyd.

Feel free to ruin your own 1980s movies (or movies from your generation) in the comments.

– JVW

Dave Weigel Reminds Us Of — And Minimizes — Hillary 2008 Strategy Memo “Otherizing” Obama

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:02 pm

Dave Weigel has a piece at the Washington Post titled Republicans are blaming Hillary Clinton for the ‘birther’ movement. That’s wishful thinking. But as John Nolte argues, Weigel has dug up some old material that undercuts the simplistic thesis of that headline.

Weigel’s main claim is that the Birther claim was “never pursued” by the Hillary 2008 campaign proper, but only its supporters:

But the Clinton campaign never pursued the idea that Obama was literally not American, and therefore ineligible for the presidency. A small group of hardcore Clinton supporters did.

Weigel acknowledges that the Clinton campaign discussed Obama’s limited American roots as a “strong weakness,” citing an all-but-forgotten internal campaign memo from Clinton pollster Mark Penn. However, Weigel minimizes the nastiness of Penn’s memo, which is very eye-opening in its frank desire to exploit Obama’s lack of ties to this country. Here’s Weigel:

“All of these articles about his boyhood in Indonesia and his life in Hawaii are geared toward showing his background is diverse, multicultural, and putting that in a new light,” wrote Penn. “Save it for 2050. It also exposes a very strong weakness for him — his roots to basic American values and culture are at best limited.”

But Penn wrote that as a warning, not a strategy.

Is that so?

The memo can be read here, and here is a screenshot of one relevant passage. I dare any fair-minded person to read this and conclude that Penn wrote this “as a warning, not a strategy”:

Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 12.31.22 PM

Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 12.31.32 PM

Especially critical are Penn’s suggestions on “[h]ow we could give some life to this contrast without turning negative,” including repeated references to the need to emphasize America. To discuss American values. To wave American flags.

In other words, to repeatedly reference Obama’s otherness — but to do so with deniability. That is the strategy.

When Weigel says the memo referenced Obama’s otherness “as a warning, not as a strategy,” the clear implication is that Penn, the memo-writer, rejected any notion of exploiting Obama’s lack of American ties. Weigel’s characterization leads the reasonable reader to believe that Penn noted this “otherness” as an issue — but as for the campaign exploiting it, he was having none of it.

Nonsense. He wanted to exploit it to the hilt. He just didn’t want to get caught doing it.

This is the context in which we must read what Weigel writes next:

In December 2007, a Clinton campaign worker named Judy Rose sent an e-mail asking whether Obama was a secret Muslim who intended to destroy America from the inside. She was fired and denounced.

She was denounced . . . for getting caught.

When I complained to Weigel about this on Twitter, he responded with this:

Fair enough, as far as it goes — but it doesn’t address the misleading characterization of the memo as something other than strategic.

Kudos are due to Weigel for unearthing the memo, but not for his characterization, which is so hyper-charitable that it is not really accurate.

Weigel’s piece highlights the critical need to read source documents and not accept Big Media’s characterization of those documents.

UPDATE: Thanks to Instapundit for the link. I hope new readers bookmark the main page and come back soon!

9/25/2015

The Ubiquitous “Indian Restaurant Writes ‘White PPL’ on Order After White Guy Orders Mild Curry” Story

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:22 am

If you have Facebook or an Internet connection you may have seen this story. Listen: it’s something to talk about if you don’t want to spend the day talking about John Boehner.

Our culture of taking offense continues apace:

An Indian restaurant in west London has apologised to a customer for marking his receipt with the words “white ppl” after he requested a mild curry.

Valentine Restaurant in Southall said the mix-up was a misunderstanding rather than a comment on the race of the customer, because “ppl” was its shorthand for “milk”.

The note, added underneath the order of a venison curry, read ***VERY MILD, WHITE PPL***. Restaurant owner Ruby Kandasamy said that it was a reminder for the kitchen to use “a white sauce made from milk, single cream, coconut milk and spices we add to our dishes when a curry is requested mild”.

If this happened to me, I might wonder whether “PPL” stood for something else. But even if I didn’t, it would merit a chuckle, and a good story to tell friends and family — not a full-on whine that becomes an internationally circulated story.

Here’s an interesting question for discussion. Let’s take the restaurant owner at her word, that they really meant “milk” when they said “PPL.” It had occurred to them previously that this might be misinterpreted, but now they know. While it’s ridiculous for this guy to make a federal case out of it, it’s not crazy for him to interpret the message on the order slip as referring to “white people”; I think most of us would probably take it that way, and laugh. Due to the acknowledged potential for misinterpretation, and their newfound realization that they may be inadvertently sending the wrong message, the restaurant says they are going to change how they denote “milk” on their orders, to avoid misunderstandings:

Ms Kandasamy told the newspaper she was sorry “for any inconvenience and misunderstanding” and that the restaurant would be changing the way it marked mild orders.

Should they? READER POLL!

Should the restauarant change what it calls “milk”?
Yes, it’s an easy way to avoid misunderstandings.
No, they should keep the same terminology.

Poll Maker

UPDATE: There is such a thing as “white PPL curry!” Thanks to Amy.

Boehner to Resign

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:58 am

Donald Trump takes credit in 3…2…1…

Speaker John A. Boehner, under intense pressure from conservatives in his party, will resign one of the most powerful positions in government and give up his House seat at the end of October, throwing Congress into chaos as it tries to avert a government shutdown.

Mr. Boehner made the announcement in an emotional meeting with his fellow Republicans on Friday morning.

Sounds like he cried.

The Ohio representative had struggled from almost the moment he took the speaker’s gavel in 2011 to manage the challenges of divided government and to hold together his fractious and increasingly conservative Republican members.

Most recently, Mr. Boehner was trying to craft a solution to keep the government open through the rest of the year, but was under pressure from a growing base of conservatives who told him that they would not vote for a bill that did not defund Planned Parenthood. Several of those members were on a path to remove Mr. Boehner as speaker, though their ability to do so was far from certain.

Allahpundit says Kevin McCarthy is the likely replacement.

9/24/2015

Donald Trump: Rich Lowry and Fox News Insulted Me and the FCC Should Fine Them!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:51 am

So Rich Lowry says on Fox News that Carly Fiorina “cut his [Donald Trump’s] balls off with the precision of a surgeon” at the second Republican debate. The Tough Guy’s reaction? An immediate resort to thuggery:

I want this guy in charge of the FCC. He will make sure it treats all critics of Dear Leader with the governmental retribution they deserve.

I thought we dispensed with the mentality of the Sedition Act once Jefferson pardoned the people convicted under that absurd law. Put Donald Trump in the White House and that thuggish mindset will be back, with a vengeance.

Why the Free Market Is Not Responsible for the Guy Who Hiked the Price of the Anti-AIDS Drug

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:41 am

If you have a Facebook account, or even if you don’t, you no doubt have seen the story about the guy who bought the AIDS drug and jacked up the price 5000%, to $750 a tablet.

Judging by social media, Martin Shkreli, the 32-year-old chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals, may be the most hated man in America right now.

He’s been called a “morally bankrupt sociopath”, a “scumbag” a “garbage monster” and “everything that is wrong with capitalism.” And those are some of the tamer comments.
So how did a rap music-loving, former hedge fund manager suddenly become the target of online ridicule and even death threats?

His company recently acquired the rights to Daraprim. Developed in the 1950s, the drug is the best treatment for a relatively rare parasitic infection called toxoplasmosis. People with weakened immune systems, such as Aids patients, have come to rely on the drug, which until recently cost about $13.50 (£8.80) a dose.

But Mr Shkreli announced he was raising the price to $750 a pill. The more than 5,000% increase and his brash defence of the decision has made him a pariah among patients-rights groups, politicians and hundreds of Twitter users.

The evil of capitalism shows its ugly face yet again! Except, as Joe Carter explains, not so much:

Some people believe this incident is an example of the failures of free market capitalism, and claim this is why we need more government intervention. But the exact opposite is true: This is an example of government failure which the free market could solve.

The price system is one of God’s most under-appreciated creational norms. Prices provide an ingenious way for humans to distribute both knowledge and resources in a way that, on the whole, tends to increase human flourishing. This is why, generally speaking, we want to avoid distortions in the price system that come with government intervention. In a free market that is free of distortions, the prices of products and services will shift as people clarify what values and priorities should take precedence in distributing resources.

But Daraprim is not sold in a free market. The pharmaceutical industry is largely a non-contestable market where a few large firms exist because of high barriers to entry, such as onerous government regulation. Added to this is the fact that Shkreli has a coercive monopoly on Daraprim, not because of patents (the patent on Daraprim expired long ago) but because few other firms want to make the drug since the government-imposed costs make it less than profitable.

What this means is that the prices of pharmaceuticals like Daraprim are not set by the free market. The free market isn’t the reason Shkreli was able to raise the price. In fact, if he had to sell his product in a truly free market environment the price would likely remain low. And even now, if he continued to keep the price high, some enterprising pharmaceutical company would start making Daraprim themselves, increasing the supply and lowering the cost.

(Ever wonder why LASIK prices keep going down and quality keeps going up? Lack of government intervention. The same health care system that gives us skyrocketing prices can do better, when government gets out of the way.)

Government will no doubt cite the episode of the super-expensive AIDS pill as an example of why we need government control over health care. This is what they do: cause problems and then offer you solutions to the problems they created — solutions that involve putting them in charge.

Transgender Passenger Claims TSA Screening Process Humiliation

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:17 am

[guest post by Dana]

With a recent report released by Homeland Security revealing that TSA agents failed 67 out of 70 tests, thus allowing agents posing as passengers to walk through checkpoints with potential weapons, it’s surprising that TSA employees were able to spot an anomaly on a transgender passenger. But they did:

A transgender woman said she was detained and harassed at an Orlando, Fla., airport security checkpoint Monday by Transportation Safety Administration agents after a body scanner detected an “anomaly” on her.

Shadi Petosky, who runs a Los Angeles interactive entertainment studio, said she was trying to fly out of Orlando International Airport but was stopped after entering the scanner.

In her tweets about the situation, Petosky said that TSA agents calibrated the scanner for a woman, and the machine flagged an anomaly — “my penis.”

In her tweets about the situation, Petosky said that TSA agents calibrated the scanner for a woman, and the machine flagged an anomaly — “my penis.”

She said she “disclosed [her] reality immediately,” but the situation quickly escalated: Over the course of 40 minutes, Petosky said, officials patted her down twice, “fully disassembled” her luggage and put her in an empty room with an officer holding the door.

At one point, she said, an agent told her to “get back in the machine as a man or it was going to be a problem.”

TSA officials defended their agents, saying that they followed protocol for the situation. Further, according to the Transportation Security Administration website, there are accommodations provided for transgendered persons going through security screenings:

Transgender persons should use the name and gender that appears on their government-issued ID when making flight reservations and at the security checkpoint. You may ask that carry-on bags be screened in private if a bag must be opened by a TSA officer to resolve an alarm. Screening can be conducted in a private screening area with a witness or companion. You may request private screening or to speak with a supervisor at any time during the screening process.

Petosky did not request a private screening.

And then there is this:

Petosky said on Twitter that she hopes her story is used to change how transgender people are treated — regardless of their appearance.

For example, she said a TSA officer who helped smooth over the situation “told me I looked like a woman to him. Which I am sure he meant as a compliment, but what if I didn’t?”

And so it goes…

–Dana

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