Patterico's Pontifications


Pandagon: Rehnquist Supported Roe v. Wade

Filed under: Blogging Matters,Judiciary,Morons,Scum — Patterico @ 11:40 pm

Well, find some other way to interpret this boneheaded post by Amanda Marcotte:

Rehnquist died. He was no crusader for decency or anything, but nor was he a person whose ideology overruled his decisions. Those days for the Supreme Court are over. BushCo has a new appointment and can also choose the new Chief Justice.

Summary: We are fucked.

Choice is gone. And as soon as Roe v. Wade is overturned, states will start outlawing contraception, and eventually the ideologically run court will find that there’s no right to privacy, period, and contraception protection will be gone.

Yup. William Rehnquist was the only thing standing in between George W. Bush and the reversal of Roe v. Wade.

Sure, he dissented from the original decision, and always voted to overturn it afterwards, so his replacement could hardly bring us any closer to the overturning of Roe . . . but those are facts. And we don’t like those!

There’s only one thing to say about someone who would say something as stupid as this: Amanda Marcotte is a fucking idiot.

Summary: anybody who depends on Pandagon for an honest analysis of anything is fucked.

UPDATE: The profanity is not gratuitous; it’s satire. Follow the links, read the Pandagon posts, and you’ll understand.

Chief Justice Rehnquist Dies

Filed under: Judiciary — Patterico @ 9:02 pm

The AP is reporting that Chief Justice Rehnquist died tonight.

He was a great man and a great Chief Justice. May he rest in peace.

UPDATE: A Kevin Drum commenter reacts. I’ll put his comments below the fold, for those who are offended by profanity:


Politicization of the Katrina Disaster

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 3:50 pm

Rosa Brooks has an op-ed in this morning’s L.A. Times raising the familiar meme of comparing Bush (recently holding a guitar) to Nero fiddling while Rome burned:

NERO FIDDLED while Rome burned.

President Bush, who’s not big on the classics, probably wasn’t thinking about this when he mugged for the cameras Tuesday, playing a guitar presented to him by country singer Mark Wills.

But with the photo now Exhibit A for many liberal bloggers, he may find the comparison hard to shake.

Rosa Brooks, who’s also not big on the classics, apparently doesn’t know that the first sentence of her op-ed is not true. Nero didn’t fiddle while Rome burned. The fiddle had not yet been invented.

But Brooks’s comparison may be even more apt than even she realizes. Contemporary accounts show that Nero took steps to help the Romans deal with the tragedy. One might question whether these steps were really sufficient, but Nero clearly didn’t get any credit for what he did do, and ended up being blamed for having caused the whole thing to begin with. His popularity suffered greatly.

And so it appears to be with President Bush.

The Wikipedia entry for Nero states:

Rumor circulated that Nero had played his lyre and sang, on top of Quirinal Hill, while the city burned. (Tacitus, Ann. xv; Suetonius, Nero xxxvii; Dio Cassius, R.H. lxii.) Over the years, this turned to a legend that Nero had fiddled as Rome burned, an impossible act as the fiddle had not yet been invented. The same accounts depict him opening his palaces to provide shelter for the homeless and arranging for food supplies to be delivered in order to prevent starvation among the survivors. However, Nero lost his chances at redeeming his reputation when he immediately produced plans of rebuilding Rome in a monumental –and less inflammable – style.

The confused population searched for a scapegoat and soon rumors held Nero responsible.

Sound familiar?

It is now emerging that President Bush personally called the governor of Louisiana to appeal for a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans, sometime before August 28. But the Administration certainly has not done much to publicize this; it is a factoid buried in an August 28 AP article, found by a Power Line reader.

Also, much as Nero was baselessly accused of having started the Rome fire, a meme has been circulating that Bush is personally to blame for the crisis in some fashion, by cutting funding to reinforce the levees. Indeed, that meme is a main point of Brooks’s column this morning. As John Cole notes, “[t]here is, however, more and more evidence that this is not the case.” Others (see here and here, for example) have noted the same thing.

Even if you believe the “levees were underfunded” meme, there’s plenty of blame to go around. It turns out that the New York Times editorial board, which has recently taken some opportunistic potshots at President Bush over the New Orleans crisis, is on record as having opposed giving the Army Corps of Engineers the money it needed to reinforce the levees.

Moving away from Nero into the present day: Brooks and others have made the point that the New Orleans disaster seems to illustrate our lack of readiness should there be a terrorist attack. They have something of a point. But what specific suggestions do they have? Stuart Buck did a serious post pointing out the resources that would be required to provide food, shelter, and water to any part of the country to respond to a disaster. Many took his post as satire (I was one of them), because the money required would be staggering. But Buck actually means it. Either way, it’s eye-opening to realize what would be required.

I will say this: Bush certainly has done little to appear to be in charge of the tragedy. It was, in my opinion, foolish for him to be seen clowning around with a guitar while this tragedy was unfolding. What clearer example could you have of a president who seems to be out of touch with the facts on the ground? And it didn’t help to release, days after the fact, pictures of the president assessing the scene from the safety of Air Force One. What more concrete demonstration could there be of a president who appears to be (literally) aloof — within view of the tragedy, but at a distance?

Kevin Murphy recently commented on this blog:

Much as I hate to see it, Bush has been surprisingly tone-deaf on this issue, almost aloof. He had an opportunity to rally America and unite us, as he did after 9/11. To say he’s squandered it would be an understatement. His political capital is rapidly draining into the muck of New Orleans. The Bush Presidency is badly damaged.

I find it hard to disagree with Kevin. Bush is not a nasty human being like Nero was, but his popularity seems likely to take it on the chin in much the same way.

UPDATE: Daou Report readers: read the whole post. No, I don’t think Nero was a great guy. Yes, I understand he scapegoated and murdered Christians. That’s why I said Bush is not a nasty human being like Nero was. Bush would never throw Christians to the lions! He likes Christians!

I Read Pandagon So You Don’t Have To

Filed under: Blogging Matters,Morons,Scum — Patterico @ 12:13 pm

Pandagon is a totally worthless and dishonest site. It’s amazing to me that anybody reads it.

Case study #1: this post, which (before an update) read as follows:

The good news is that after Kristallnacht, we’ll at least have something for our window-builders to do. And those will be good windows.

Jeff Goldstein responded with a post titled Not that we’re politicizing it, mind you…:

Hurricane Katrina as Bush’s Kristallnacht, according to Pandagon’s Jesse Taylor.

…Which, is it fair for me to invoke Godwin’s law if Jesse’s been careful enough to subcontract out the Goebbel’s function to a natural phenomenon?

Taylor responded with this witty update:

UPDATE: A note to those coming over from Protein Wisdom. Jeff Goldstein is a fucking idiot. The good news – and it’s hard for some to see it now – is that out of this bullshit is going to come a lot of good mockery of Goldstein and his fellow travelers. Out of your average Protein Wisdom entry – and he’s a fucking idiot – there might actually be an entertaining response. And I’m looking forward to writing it. (Laughter.)

“Laughter” is right! Who wouldn’t be clutching his sides just thinking about it, with that post for a teaser?

I don’t know if the readers here read Jeff Goldstein every day, but if you don’t, you should. Stop reading me if you have to, just read Jeff. Not only is he probably the wittiest blogger out there, but he’s also one of the most well-read and best-informed. His is one of the few sites I visit every single day. Anyone who calls him a “fucking idiot” is saying far more about themselves than they are about Jeff.

I tried to leave the following comment on the Pandagon site:

I can’t wait for your next takedown of Goldstein. After the scintillating repartee of this entry, I’m hooked. Your best line was when you called him a “fucking idiot.” A close second was when you called him a “fucking idiot” (again).

Come for the leftist rhetoric — stay for the clever and witty turn of a phrase. Goldstein’s got nothing on you . . .

When you leave a comment at Pandagon, you receive the following message: “Your comment has been received. To protect against malicious comments, I have enabled a feature that allows your comments to be held for approval the first time you post a comment. I’ll approve your comment when convenient; there is no need to re-post your comment.” Guess what? Since I left my comment, Jesse has been back to the computer to leave 11 comments on that thread — generally calling right-wingers jackasses and, yes, “fucking idiots” — but he hasn’t found the stones to print my comment.

Another leftist site that censors viewpoints from the right — especially those that make them look stupid. What a surprise.

Case study #2: another Pendagon post by a blogger named Amanda, titled Dear racist fucks who complained about looting:

This is what your stupidity leads to.

[Quotes from a story about Jabbor Gibson, who heroically commandeered a bus in New Orleans and drove approximately 100 people to safety.]

That’s not stealing and that’s not looting. This is beyond ridiculous. That’s heroism. If this kid gets arrested for being a fucking hero and single-handedly saving 100 people, then I am laying the blame on the feet of every stupid asshole who complained about looting.

My reaction to this is summed up well by Ace.

Let’s take a look at exactly what people on the right think of Jabbor Gibson. First, courtesy of Ace, is this Free Republic thread. So far, there are 27 comments to the story, and guess what those racist Freepers are saying about this black kid who stole a bus? They want to buy him a beer. They want to elect him mayor. They want to contribute to his defense fund (none will be necessary, as Ace points out). They are calling him a “saint.”

What about Michelle Malkin, commonly called a racist by idiots like those who post at Pandagon? What is her attitude about Jabbor Gibson? Let me quote her post in all its ugly race-baiting bile:

In case you missed it: Meant to link this incredible story yesterday. Here’s another account. Some are characterizing the young, first-time bus driver’s act as “looting.” But the bus that Jabbar Gibson “commandeered” had been abandoned on a New Orleans street. He took it upon himself to rescue dozens of families–grandmothers, young parents, toddlers, and an 8-day-old infant. That is not “looting.” (This is.)

What the young man did was heroic. But according to reports, he may face criminal charges. Bryan Preston points out the real New Orleans bus crime.

After you read the story, go over to Slight Clutter’s place at Flickr. The photographer was there when the renegade bus arrived. Pulitzer Prize-level photos, if you ask me. Here’s a sample:

[photos posted]

I hope the Houston Chronicle or local bloggers can keep track of Jabbar Gibson and the other children on the renegade bus. Perhaps the boneheaded Reliant Astrodome officials who initially refused to let the passengers in after their 13-hour journey can make up for their poor judgment by establishing a Renegade Bus Riders Relief Fund.

(Links available at Malkin’s site.)

Yup, ol’ racist Michelle also says this kid is a hero.

In fact, Amanda at Pandagon doesn’t post a single link to a right-wing blogger, much less a reputable one, who has a bad word to say about this evident hero. But it sure does make her feel good to call conservatives racists. And it sure does make Jesse feel good to link Bush to one of the darkest days in Nazi history.

These people are typical of the worst of the left: they get high on their own self-righteousness, with no evidence, but plenty of thoughtless profanity and hatred.

UPDATE: Jeff G. has much more.

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