Patterico's Pontifications


L.A. Times Allegedly Tells a Whopper

Filed under: Dog Trainer,Scum,War — Patterico @ 11:06 pm

The L.A. Times runs a story about the Scooter Libby indictment titled Libby Allegedly Told a Whopper. It contains this curious sentence:

On July 6, Wilson wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times that cast doubt on President Bush’s statement that Iraq may have purchased yellowcake uranium from Niger.

(My emphasis.)

I am unaware of any such statement by President Bush. Perhaps you readers can enlighten me? I know the article is not referring to the phrase commonly known as the “sixteen words,” from Bush’s 2003 State of the Union speech:

The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.

See? That can’t be it. Saying Hussein “sought” uranium is not the same as saying he purchased it, or even that he “may have purchased” it. This fact has even been noted by, an outfit that The Times has seen fit to cite on occasion — when it suits the editors’ purposes. (Also, there are other African countries besides Niger that sell uranium — such as the Congo, for example.)

So, The Times cannot have been referring to the 2003 State of the Union.

Do you have any idea what they’re talking about?

Do Me a Favor, Willya?

Filed under: Humor,Politics — Patterico @ 10:18 pm

Browse through the images of Scooter Libby on Google and tell me if this man has any eyebrows. Here’s one representative image:


What the New York Times Leaves Out

Filed under: Media Bias,War — Patterico @ 10:07 pm

Michelle Malkin has the story of a selectively quoted letter from a Marine killed in Iraq. The New York Times reported it this way:

Sifting through Corporal Starr’s laptop computer after his death, his father found a letter to be delivered to the marine’s girlfriend. ”I kind of predicted this,” Corporal Starr wrote of his own death. ”A third time just seemed like I’m pushing my chances.”

Here’s the relevant passage:

Obviously if you are reading this then I have died in Iraq. I kind of predicted this, that is why I’m writing this in November. A third time just seemed like I’m pushing my chances. I don’t regret going, everybody dies but few get to do it for something as important as freedom. It may seem confusing why we are in Iraq, it’s not to me. I’m here helping these people, so that they can live the way we live. Not have to worry about tyrants or vicious dictators. To do what they want with their lives. To me that is why I died. Others have died for my freedom, now this is my mark.

The part in bold was not included in the NYT story.

This Marine died for freedom, and he wanted the world to know he thought it was worth it. But the editors of the New York Times decided they didn’t want the world to know.

I guess they didn’t have enough space — in a story that was 4,625 words long.

To hell with them.

Spread the word.

Real Clear Politics Blog

Filed under: Blogging Matters,General — Patterico @ 8:59 pm

Real Clear Politics has started a blog. (Via ab Hugh.) I have blogrolled it and added it to my Bloglines subscriptions. Only one thing missing from their site: a link to Patterico. Hopefully that will be remedied soon.

Anyway, go pay a visit.

Let’s Make It Mierony #TheLast

Filed under: Judiciary — Patterico @ 1:20 pm

Hugh Hewitt has a post titled Mierony #1:

Mierony: A category of irony, including all commentary on judicial nominations that is ironic given the source’s position on the nomination of Harriet Miers.

Example: Jonah Goldberg’s upset with Polipundit’s unfairness to the prospect of a McConnell nomination.

Please. PoliPundit’s suggestion, that McConnell is not partisan enough, is simply silly. It is reminiscent of an equally silly statement he made in support of Harriet Miers (before he changed his mind and decided to oppose her): “Ideology trumps all. If a mangy yellow dog were the SCOTUS nominee, Id support it, if it would consistently vote with Scalia-Thomas.”

I generally like Polipundit. But I criticized his “mangy yellow dog” statement at the time, and I am criticizing his statement about McConnell today. And there is not a damn thing I said about Miers that is inconsistent with this criticism. I am not estopped from making it, and neither is Jonah Goldberg.

One more thing, Hugh: please stop with “Mierony #1.” Enough, already. I’m serious. There are positive things to talk about today. The rumor is that Alito may get the nod. These rumors often prove to be wrong — but if true, that would be fantastic news. Let’s try to be positive, and nip the “Mierony” series in the bud.

UPDATE: This is more like it: an endorsement of Mike Luttig.

Another Stupid Jury

Filed under: Morons,Terrorism — Patterico @ 7:20 am

A jury of six morons people has decided that the New York Port Authority is 68 percent responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The terrorists’ percentage of responsibility? I’m so glad you asked. That would be 32 percent — less than half that of the Port Authority.

I didn’t hear the evidence and I don’t care. This is a stupid verdict which should be summarily reversed.

McConnell Would Be Confirmed

Filed under: Judiciary — Patterico @ 7:17 am

Even Erwin Chemerinsky says Mike McConnell could not be successfully filibustered. I heard him say so on Hewitt’s radio show yesterday. And Chemerinsky would strongly oppose a McConnell nomination.

Be Happy and Look Forward

Filed under: Judiciary — Patterico @ 7:12 am

As recriminations continue to fly, it’s worth noting that Miers’s prep sessions were not going well:

For Harriet Miers, the “murder boards” were aptly named. Day after day in a room in the White House complex, colleagues from the Bush administration grilled her on constitutional law, her legal background and her past speeches in practice sessions meant to mimic Senate hearings.

Her uncertain, underwhelming responses left her confirmation managers so disturbed they decided not to open up the sessions to the friendly outside lawyers they usually invite to participate in prepping key nominees.

Pro-Miers forces should stop and consider whether maybe — just maybe — we Miers critics were actually correct: Miers was simply out of her depth. Stopping this train wreck early saved Republican Senators from having to make the agonizing decision to oppose her in a very public way.

And, after all, the President had a choice whether to accept her withdrawal. As Jonathan V. Last notes, shouldn’t we trust that he made the right decision? Especially since Harriet Miers was not the top choice for any of you former Miers supporters?

So: can you folks stop with the recriminations and join my call to look to the future?

Hewitt’s NYT Piece

Filed under: Judiciary — Patterico @ 12:01 am

Hugh Hewitt has a piece in today’s New York Times titled Why the Right Was Wrong. All day long, Democrats have been ignoring previous Democrat criticism of Miers, as they tout their predictable spin: Miers was borked by extreme right-wingers. Hewitt is kind enough to lend his own credibility to this argument, by making it himself in this op-ed.

There is little point in taking apart Hugh’s piece line by line, when the flaw in Hewitt’s argument screams out in one sentence in his piece:

Conservatives are also fortunate that no Republican senator called for Ms. Miers’s withdrawal.

But Hugh: if you had gotten your way, they would have.

This nomination was a mistake. It now appears clear that it ended when Senators quietly let Bush know that Miers wasn’t going to get the votes. If Miers had been guaranteed a hearing, as Hugh repeatedly and forcefully advocated, Republican Senators would have been placed in the extraordinarily difficult position of having to vote against Miers.

Instead, a couple of them offered a fig leaf, and Miers withdrew. It is the best possible outcome, and public pressure from vocal conservatives certainly didn’t hurt — though I suspect that the Senators mostly made up their own minds based upon their own review of Miers’s personal appearances, writings, and other information.

Thank God we didn’t have the hearings that Hugh was pushing for.

UPDATE: Ace agrees:

The left loves quotes like this; prepare to hear “Even Hugh Hewitt says…”

His commenters are pretty vicious.

UPDATE x2: Honestly, we’d be better off just looking forward. We really would.

UPDATE x3 AND BUMP TO TOP: See-Dubya’s take is immediately below, here.

See-Dubya: More on Hewitt’s Times Piece

Filed under: General,Judiciary — See Dubya @ 12:00 am

[Posted by See-Dubya]

If I may, Patterico?

I had thought about posting here a while back on the extraordinary civility of the Miers nomination debate, until Richard Reeb of Claremont’s blog The Remedy beat me to it. I think it needs to be reasserted in light of Hewitt’s op-ed.

This debate has been about more than Harriet Miers and her policy positions, whatever they may be. Conservatives were confronted with someone unexpected and had to evaluate not only her accomplishments, but also the requirements of the job. To answer those questions, we each had to make a stab at bigger, fundamental questions, like “What is the legitimate role of the Supreme Court in the first place?” I expect I’m not the only one who learned quite a bit during this exchange.

And by and large the debate was a good one that avoided falling into ad hominem attacks. Some of the charges of “elitism” by the pro-Miers crowd toed the line but they deserved some leeway, because they were making a very persuasive point: that “what makes a good judge” and “what gets you tenure at Harvard Law” are not necessarily–in fact rarely–the same thing. Less persuasive are the charges of anti-evangelical undertones that Marvin Olasky is still grumbling about. Miers’ church in Dallas was fundamentalist, though not necessarily all that evangelical (e.g. their orchestra rehearses cantatas). If anti-evangelicalism were an issue here it was because commentators like Olasky have made it one when it never had to be.

So I’ve got to say that Hugh’s column and Olasky’s carping sound like sour grapes. They lost a civil and fair argument that was on both sides an argument from principle. As much as I admire both of these men and all the gifts they bring to conservatism, I don’t think writing about it in the New York Times is going solve any of the problems they lament–but it will give the left something to snicker about. As Ace marvels,

It’s so sad. We all know the Times publishes conservatives only to hurt other conservatives, but they never seem to run out of volunteers for this task.

(And you’ll notice they didn’t hide Hugh’s piece behind the Times Select barrier!)

Do you want to see a nasty campaign? Go back a few months to the Terri Schiavo struggle. That was a debate that split the Right. That was a bitter, unpleasant, personal battle, and the scars have not yet healed. I like to think some of the relative civility in discussing this very important nomination was predicated on avoiding the second installment of that kind of crack-up. I think everyone ought to take a big, deep, breath and quit pointing fingers. It’s done. Complaining about how awful the other side is is now counterproductive.

And with that I yield the floor back to Patterico.

— See Dubya

UPDATE: Richard Reeb politely suggests, in the comments and here, that I misunderstood him: the particular civility he was referring to was the exception in this debate rather than the rule. Nonetheless I still believe that, having seen what sort of nastiness we are capable of during the Schiavo affair, this could have been much worse. Some of it fell short of the bounds of civilized discourse, and yet it also it also by and large exceeded the uncivilized contemporary standards for political discussion. I’m an incrementalist; I’ll take it.

Strangely there seems to be more incivility now, after the fact, than there was during the debate. Hugh chastising the Miers opposition as operating from a “pack mentality” and pointing out their “Mieronies” doesn’t help things, nor does accusing Hewitt of being a GOP hack. Put the guns away, boys, or at least train them on the enemy.

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