Patterico's Pontifications


Clueless Is Right

Filed under: Current Events,Morons — Patterico @ 11:39 pm

Jeff Jarvis quotes Michael Chertoff as saying:

We don’t ask them to pack up in 24 hours unless it’s a real emergency.

Ouch. Assuming Jarvis has quoted Chertoff accurately, that’s tough to explain away, for anyone who still insists that the Administration has handled this crisis in an impeccable manner.

I can’t find the quote in any news source. Let me know if you think it’s wrong. If it’s not, Bush has got some major ‘splainin’ to do.

More Leftist Mythology in LAT Rehnquist Obit

Filed under: Dog Trainer,Judiciary — Patterico @ 3:36 pm

There is plenty of misleading tripe in David Savage’s L.A. Times front-page obituary of Chief Justice Rehnquist, which starts with this little white lie:

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, who steered the Supreme Court on a more conservative course during more than 33 years on the bench and who presided over the impeachment trial of one president and helped elect another, died Saturday at his home in Arlington, Va.

Yup, more of that leftist mythology as fact. Never mind the fact that Bush would have won, Supreme Court intervention or no. That little fact makes it kind of hard to argue that Rehnquist helped elect Bush. But such arguments, being factually based, carry no weight in L.A. Times-land. The article gives a more detailed, and equally misleading, account of Bush v. Gore later on:

At issue was whether the Florida Supreme Court’s interpretation of state law would prevail. On Dec. 8, its judges ordered a statewide hand recount of the remaining untabulated ballots. Then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush had a lead of about 500 votes in the Florida tally, and he would win the presidency if that margin were preserved. But a hand tally of paper ballots that were rejected by the tabulating machines might have tipped the lead to the Democratic candidate, Vice President Al Gore.

Even Paul Freaking Krugman recently admitted that, had the Supreme Court not stepped in, Bush would probably have won — because of Al Gore’s flawed strategy. Only a hypothetical recount in an alternate universe — in which Gore spurned the cheap partisan advantages he actually sought in the real world — could possibly have won the day for Gore.

More deception follows immediately:

With the chief justice leading the way, the high court on a 5-4 vote ordered a halt to the recount at midday on Dec. 9. And on Dec. 12, the Supreme Court, in an unsigned opinion, ended the recount by declaring it unconstitutional. The conservative majority could not agree on a clear reason for the ruling. Rehnquist wrote that the state court’s interpretation of state election law was “absurd” and could be overturned by the high court on the grounds that it fundamentally revised the law after the election. Scalia and Thomas agreed with this view.

Apparently, Justices Kennedy and O’Connor did not. Without signing their names to the ruling, they offered an opinion saying the count violated the Constitution’s guarantee of “equal protection of the laws” because it allowed for disputed ballots to be treated differently in the various counties of Florida.

Four justices issued sharp dissents, saying the court should not have intervened and the recount should have continued.

The implication: only five justices agreed with the equal protection argument. Wrong! It was seven. But who’s counting? Not David Savage or his editors, that’s for sure.

The theme of the entire article is that the Rehnquist Court was unerringly conservative:

Under his leadership, the court restored the death penalty, allowed more public funding for religious schools and pulled back from the frontiers of civil rights and individual liberties.

Interesting, how Lawrence v. Texas is a pullback from the frontiers of civil rights and individual liberties. That decision, and numerous other liberal decisions from the Rehnquist court, are not mentioned in the article, allowing Savage to portray the Rehnquist era as far more conservative than it actually was. Recent terms had conservatives pulling their hair out in frustration, but Savage tells us nothing of the decisions that inspired such outrage on the right.

For example, the Court issued unprecedented rulings banning imposition of the death penalty for retarded defendants and juveniles. This is not mentioned. Instead, on the death penalty, Savage says:

The court regularly rejected challenges to the death penalty and made it easier for states to carry out executions.

All in all, an utterly misleading and left-leaning piece. In other words, par for the course.

Democratic Underground: Dancing on Rehnquist’s Grave

Filed under: Judiciary,Scum — Patterico @ 1:31 pm

The ugliness is here and here. Lovely. (H/t Malkin.)

Let Roberts Replace Rehnquist

Filed under: Judiciary — Patterico @ 9:43 am

The AP reports:

Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., said Bush should consider asking O’Connor to rescind her retirement temporarily so the president would have more time to consider how to replace Rehnquist.

I’d be on board with having O’Connor remain temporarily, if the Senate would agree to allow Roberts to serve as Rehnquist’s replacement, rather than O’Connor’s. That way we’d at least have nine people on the Court when the term begins.

Somehow, I don’t think that’s what Dodd has in mind.

(AP story via Confirm Them.)

You Say Upgraded, I Say Not Upgraded . . . Potato, Potahto

Filed under: Current Events,Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 9:15 am

I am having a hard time reconciling this, from today’s L.A. Times:

Corps officials said the floodwaters breached at two spots: the 17th Street Canal Levee and the London Avenue Canal Levee. Connie Gillette, a Corps spokeswoman, said Saturday there never had been any plans or funds allocated to shore up those spots — another sign the government expected them to hold.

with this, from Thursday’s New York Times:

The 17th Street levee that gave way and led to the flooding of New Orleans was part of an intricate, aging system of barriers and pumps that was so chronically underfinanced that senior regional officials of the Army Corps of Engineers complained about it publicly for years.

. . . .

No one expected [the] weak spot to be on a canal that, if anything, had received more attention and shoring up than many other spots in the region. It did not have broad berms, but it did have strong concrete walls.

Shea Penland, director of the Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of New Orleans, said that was particularly surprising because the break was “along a section that was just upgraded.”

“It did not have an earthen levee,” Dr. Penland said. “It had a vertical concrete wall several feel thick.”

Either Connie Gillette and Shea Penland need to meet and get their stories straight, or the L.A. Times isn’t giving us the full story. I’m going to see if I can get in touch with Connie Gillette to see which it is.

UPDATE: I tried calling Ms. Gillette but she wasn’t in. I have sent her an e-mail. Assuming she responds and gives me permission to quote her, I’ll let you know what she says — either way it cuts.

UPDATE x2: Ms. Gillette has responded to my e-mail and says she will get back to me. Meanwhile, note the way the L.A. Times looks only at requests for funding made during Bush’s watch, and ignores similar behavior by Clinton, as documented here.

Dan Riehl Tries to Flush Embarrassing Post Down the Memory Hole — And Fails

Filed under: Blogging Matters,Morons,Scum — Patterico @ 12:15 am

[UPDATE 6-26-06: Since I first wrote this post, I have read Dan Riehl’s site often. Although you can see from the post below that I was upset at the time, he’s not a bad guy, and he has done some excellent work. Please read the post with that in mind. — Patterico]

[UPDATE 9-14-10: Nah. I was right the first time. — Patterico]

What in the hell is going on at Riehl World View? The proprietor of that blog, Dan Riehl, apparently sent out a mass e-mail soliciting links to a video on his site — and when someone (Michelle Malkin) had the gall to actually use the link he sent her, he got pissy, accused her of stealing his bandwidth, and (to punish her) substituted a link to an offensive video.

Then he bragged about it on a post on his site. When some folks, including myself, called him on it, he deleted the post where he bragged about his offensive behavior.

Now he is lamely pretending that the whole episode is the fault of some hacker who sent out an e-mail under his name. If that explained everything, I would feel sorry for him. But unless the hacker has complete control of his web site — something he has not yet claimed — his explanation makes no sense at all.

What a lunatic.

Here are the details:


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