Patterico's Pontifications


Pink Floyd Reunites at Live8

Filed under: Music — Patterico @ 10:21 pm

This guy puts it well: when pigs fly.

I just heard for the first time that Pink Floyd was back together at Live8.

I have to admit I had ignored the whole Live8 thing until I heard that. Did anyone see it? How was it?

Pundit Review Radio

Filed under: Blogging Matters — Patterico @ 6:17 pm

I am about to go on Pundit Review Radio any minute now. Feel free to call in — if you’re ready to praise me and lob me softballs! If anyone can make an audio file of the appearance, that would be great. To listen, go to the WRKO web site.

UPDATE: It’s over. Wow, it went quick. I’d start to make a point and the music would start playing for the commercial break . . . anyway, if any readers here heard it, let me know what you thought.

Thanks again to the Pundit Review Radio guys for the opportunity.

The Power of the Jump™: The Importance of O’Connor’s Departure

Filed under: Abortion,Dog Trainer,Judiciary — Patterico @ 3:34 pm

(Note: “The Power of the Jump”™ is a semi-regular feature of this site, documenting examples of the Los Angeles Times’s use of its back pages to hide information that its editors don’t want you to see.)

Why is it important that yesterday’s L.A. Times editorial on Justice O’Connor laughably stated that she was in the majority in every 5-4 decision last term?

Because the paper is trying to gin up hysteria over her retirement — especially on the hot-button issue of abortion — giving cover to the inevitable opposition of Democrats to any reasonably conservative replacement. This was obvious in the headline that screamed across yesterday’s front page:

Justice O’Connor Retires; Direction of Court Now Hangs in the Balance

Make no mistake: this is all about abortion — and the beginning of the article is consistent with the idea that O’Connor’s retirement could spell the end of Roe v. Wade, and the beginning of back-alley, coat-hanger abortions:

WASHINGTON — Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court and its decisive voice on such critical issues as abortion, affirmative action and religion, announced Friday that she was retiring.

Her husband, John, is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, her friends report, and O’Connor said in a brief statement that she needed to spend more time with him.

O’Connor, 75, often has been called the most powerful woman in America because of her influence on the high court, and her surprise departure gives President Bush a chance to reshape its direction.

It will mark the first vacancy on the court in 11 years.

Activists on the right and left were preparing for what could be an epic summerlong battle over her successor. The president’s staunchest supporters want to eliminate the right to abortion, which the departing justice has helped to maintain.

This slippery language is accurate, to be sure — Justice O’Connor was the Court’s “decisive voice” on abortion, and she has “helped to maintain” the right to abortion — but it conveys the impression that her replacement by an opponent of Roe v. Wade will mean the end of the constitutional “right” to abortion. The intrepid reader who turns all the way to Page A24 will see things a little differently:

Today, the basic right to abortion has a 6-3 majority in the Supreme Court. In recent years, however, the court has split 5-4 on whether states can outlaw a midterm abortion procedure that critics call “partial-birth abortion.” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who joined O’Connor in the 1992 decision, believes states can regulate abortion by banning certain procedures, including this one.

Give the paper credit for telling us the truth — but subtract most of that credit for hiding it on page A24, where most readers will never see it.

As the article finally tells us on the back pages, Justice O’Connor’s retirement alone cannot possibly mean the end of the basic right to abortion. But her departure may prove decisive to a woman’s sacred right to have a doctor puncture the skull of her mostly-delivered baby with a pair of scissors and suck out its brains with a suction catheter. There may not be as many 5-4 decisions with Justice O’Connor in the majority as the L.A. Times editorial board thinks, but the partial-birth abortion decision Stenberg v. Carhart is one of them.

Leftist fanatics truly believe that if women are deprived of this cherished right, our Republic will collapse. Never mind that opinion polls consistently show that a majority of the American public opposes this horrific procedure.

In the final analysis, this is what the fight over Justice O’Connor’s replacement will be about. Sure, we conservatives all want judges who support federalism, free speech rights, property rights — judges, in other words, who base their decisions upon a text-based reading of the Constitution. But all of that is going to get swept under the carpet during the upcoming battle. The real issue is: does the doctor get to stab the baby in the skull or not?

Don’t look for anyone to put it as crassly as I have, of course — but trust me. That’s the subtext of everything you will hear during the approaching fight.

So remember as we hear the inevitable handwringing over Roe: it’s not about Roe. It’s about Stenberg. As yesterday’s L.A. Times article demonstrates, the media isn’t going to go out of its way to make that point clear — but it’s the truth, nonetheless.

L.A. Times: We Mention Only the Negative Polls

Filed under: Dog Trainer,War — Patterico @ 11:05 am

The other day, the L.A. Times told us that Bush’s recent speech on Iraq was “part of a major weeklong public relations offensive by an administration struggling to bolster sagging support”; that “polls have shown that many others doubt that the effort to install a stable new government in Iraq will protect the United States”; and that “[p]olls have been indicating support for the war is at its lowest level since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003.”

And that was in one article alone.

Apparently, the editors considered negative polls a significant enough issue to mention three times in one story. Discussing the story, I noted:

Interesting that, where the L.A. Times sees “sagging support,” the Washington Post finds that “a majority of Americans — 53 percent — now say they are optimistic about the situation in Iraq, up seven points from December.” And where the L.A. Times says “polls have shown that many others doubt that the effort to install a stable new government in Iraq will protect the United States,” the recent Washington Post poll says:

A narrow majority — 52 percent — believes that the war has contributed to the long-term security of the United States, a five-point increase from earlier this month.

It’s all in the spin, baby.

Since then, a new Gallup poll has emerged showing still more positives for Bush. Captain Ed recently reported:

Gallup announced yesterday that it had taken a snap poll after the speech given by George Bush on the war in Iraq from Fort Bragg. The poll showed some movement bolstering support for the war. In fact, it showed Bush picking up ten points on whether we are winning in Iraq (up to 54%), twelve points on keeping troops in Iraq until the situation improves as opposed to setting an exit date for their evacuation (now at 70%/25%), and seven points on whether Bush has a clear plan for handling the war in Iraq (up to 63%/35%).

I have searched the L.A. Times in vain for any mention of either the Washington Post poll or the most recent Gallup poll. Perhaps they were reported and I am just missing them? If negative polls were worth mentioning three times in one story, surely two separate polls with significant positives for Bush are worth mentioning somewhere . . . right??


UPDATE 1-1-05: As it turns out, the Washington Post poll was mentioned in passing in the June 29 story discussed in the post, although the article did not mention the fact that the poll showed an increase in the number of Americans who felt that the war had contributed to the long-term security of the country.

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