Patterico's Pontifications


More Predictable Negativity on the Budget from the L.A. Times

Filed under: Dog Trainer,Government — Patterico @ 8:14 pm

Today’s L.A. Times story on Schwarzenegger’s budget is utterly predictable.

Every time he cuts anything, the paper devotes buckets of ink to the wailing from the people affected. For example, look at the sub-head: “Schwarzenegger cuts dozens of items totaling $190 million to dismay of programs’ backers.”

How about: “to the cheering of advocates of spending restraint”? After all, this budget allows us to avoid new taxes or significant borrowing, leading to an upgrade in the state’s bond rating by Moody’s. Surely some anti-tax/anti-spending activists are pleased. But you’d never know it from reading today’s article. There is not a single positive quote from anyone in the article, outside of the Schwarzenegger administration. Did the paper contact, say, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers’ Association for a reaction? We are not told.

Evidently they needed room for all the negative quotes. There are two from heads of environmentalist groups; one from the head of a labor group; one from a professor whose health program was cut; and one from a Democrat state senator who says Schwarzenegger broke a promise.

Meanwhile, the news of the upgrade in the state’s bond rating is buried on page C4. (The story above mentions it but quickly explains that this good news was “dampened by warnings from budget analysts.”)


P.S. Independent Sources shows the difference between the way the story treats Arnold’s cuts vs. the way the paper portrayed deeper cuts by Gray Davis.

Retire the Term “Homicide Bomber” Already

Filed under: Terrorism — Patterico @ 7:38 pm

Eugene Volokh inveighs against the term “homicide bomber” here, here, and here. In the final post he gives a good example of the sort of inaccuracy this often leads to:

New evidence suggests four bombers blew themselves up on the London transportation system last week, killing at least 52 in what could be the first homicide attacks in Western Europe, officials said Tuesday.

Can you say “Madrid”? But this gets lost in the homicide bomber double-speak, which I have opposed since August 2003 on this blog (and earlier in my personal pontificating life). (Also see this post of mine from November 2003.)

Disastrous Oral Arguments

Filed under: Humor — Patterico @ 7:15 am

The Volokh Conspiracy has a couple of posts on disastrous oral arguments, here and here. The best part is this audio file of a disastrous oral argument (found here, at the Seventh Circuit web site). My favorite passage:

My words are probably not being heard by very many people, but I feel it necessary that some people need to listen.

Well, more people are listening now, sir. And we’re laughing.

P.S. Since we were discussing the virtues of brevity here a while back, it’s appropriate to note the Assistant U.S. Attorney’s excellent (and brief) performance in this argument.

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