Patterico's Pontifications


The Toe-Sucker on the Nuclear Option

Filed under: Judiciary — Patterico @ 10:34 pm

The toe-sucker has a good argument that Republicans blew their chance to exercise the nuclear option when they adopted typical rules at the beginning of the Senate session. He says Bush and Rove must be behind this. The theory is that they don’t really want the ability to name hard-right judges, because it will alienate the public.

I wonder if he’s right.

Heads You’re Guilty . . .

Filed under: Court Decisions,Morons — Patterico @ 10:24 pm

When I do a trial, I always laugh to myself when the judge reads the instruction that tells the jury not to base its verdict on the flip of a coin.

After all, who the hell would do that?

Well, it happened in one case. And the Ninth Circuit has refused to reverse the case.

I haven’t read the case, and I try not to comment on cases I haven’t read. Still, based on the article, I find myself dangerously close to agreeing with Stephen Reinhardt. Scary . . .

Regulating Speech — Literally

Filed under: Blogging Matters,Civil Liberties,Humor — Patterico @ 9:53 pm

This is the best post about the FEC and blogs that I’ve seen yet. (Courtesy of Tom Maguire.)

More on the North Korea Puff Piece

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 4:56 pm

There has been a lot of interesting reaction to that ridiculous article in the L.A. Times about North Korea.

In a post called Drums beating on the right, Kevin Roderick of L.A. Observed complains that the author of the piece, Barbara Demick, is simply a media bogeywoman. Roderick says that the controversy is “forming up as another anti-media crusade where failing to hew to an ideological view of journalism will be all that matters.” Roderick reprints the controversial article in its entirety, and argues that Demick should be judged on the 200+ articles that she has written about North Korea.

I think that the focus should be on judging Demick’s piece. Learning about Demick and her other work is interesting and instructive, as it tells us something about where she comes from. But regardless of her other work, her recent piece interviewing a man from North Korea was woefully lacking in critical context.

The cardinal sin of Demick’s piece was allowing the man she interviewed to portray himself — unchallenged — as a “businessman with close ties to the government.” Nonsense. The only realistic conclusion is that the man is a North Korean government official.

But don’t take my word for it. Take Demick’s. In an e-mail to an L.A. Times reader (reprinted on Hugh Hewitt’s site), Demick acknowledges what she never said in the article — that the interviewee was a North Korean government official:

I found it fascinating to hear how a North Korean official tried to rationalize his country, and thought my readers should hear what I heard.

Why didn’t we hear this in the article?!?! As Hewitt angrily observes in an aside:

Oh? The article said he was a businessman with ties to the government. Most folks with experience in this area are convinced he’s an intelligence agent who worked you like a rookie at his first camp.


From what I’ve seen, Demick’s other work indicates that this lack of context is no accident.


Right On, Beldar

Filed under: Civil Liberties — Patterico @ 12:45 pm

I recently said that I am not going to look for loopholes to avoid a potential FEC attack on bloggers:

They’ll have to pry this keyboard from my cold dead hands before I am going to “register” with the government for permission to state my personal views without fear of prosecution.

I am heartened to see I have at least one comrade-in-arms who feels exactly the same way: Beldar.

I’m damned sure not going to change my blogging style, nor start running disclaimers every time I blog about a political issue or a politician/candidate. It’s business as usual at BeldarBlog.

If the F.E.C. wants to make me their test case — and a test case somewhere outside the Beltway may be appropriate, given the F.E.C.’s decision not to appeal Judge Kollar-Kotelly’s district court ruling to the D.C. Circuit — I’ll gladly waive personal service and/or arrest. I’ll meet ’em at the courthouse steps with my pocket copy of the Constitution in one hand and my keyboard in the other. Here’s my wrists, boys — cuff me if you dare.

Maybe I’ll beat Judith Miller and Matt Cooper to a jail cell. But I doubt it; and at least I’d have a genuinely principled reason for being there.

Damn right, buddy. I’m right there with you.

This is about as clear a test of our basic freedoms as I’ve seen. Freedom isn’t free. Sometimes you have to fight for it. This is a fight worth taking on, and I commend Beldar for having exactly the right spirit.

Another Brick in the Wall

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 10:55 am

Another correction of a left-leaning error:

Kyoto Protocol — An article in the Feb. 22 Section A about Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels’ campaign to persuade American cities to adopt the terms of the Kyoto Protocol said that most of Idaho’s ski resorts were closed because of a lack of snow. Only Schweitzer Ski Resort in northern Idaho had announced it would close.


Taking the Race for Mayor “Seriously”

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 10:36 am

The L.A. Times has told its readers: “We hope voters take the mayoral race seriously . . . ” But what do they mean by “seriously”? The paper continually reinforces the notion that the real problem with the incumbent (whom I don’t intend to vote for, by the way) is that he is dull.

To hell with the issues. Where’s the pizzazz?



Reasons Ted Rall Is Not Like Hitler

Filed under: Scum — Patterico @ 9:53 am

(To understand this post, you must first read this.)

Hitler never screwed over Danny Hellman.

Hitler was a comparatively talented artist.

Hitler never whined about his e-mail.

Hitler never compared a decent man to Hitler.

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