Patterico's Pontifications


Patterico: 184 Times the Jerk T.J. Simers Is

Filed under: Humor — Patterico @ 5:36 pm

An article in Los Angeles Magazine begins:

If you googled “T.J. Simers” together with “jerk,” about 248 hits would come up. That considerable number is misleading, however, because Simers hasn’t finished tomorrow’s sports column yet. Being a jerk isn’t static. It’s a life mission.

248 is a considerable number? But what happens if you Google “Patterico” together with “jerk”? That’s right, baby: 45,600 hits. (That’s almost 184 times as many as Simers.)

Okay, that sounds about right. But the whole theory kind of falls apart when you Google “Patterico” together with “genius” and come up with 70,000 results.

Maybe there’s something wrong with the author’s methodology, ya think?

Or maybe this Simers guy is just a hell of a nice fellow . . .

Democrat to Illegal: “You Don’t Need Papers for Voting”

Filed under: Immigration,Scum — Patterico @ 2:21 pm

You have probably heard about the Congressional candidate who said to a Spanish-speaking audience: “You don’t need papers for voting.” She has tried to explain this as an innocent comment. But here, courtesy of the San Diego Union-Tribune, is the full context:

[Democrat Congressional candidate Francine] Busby said she was invited to the forum at the Jocelyn Senior Center in Escondido by the leader of a local soccer league. Many of the 50 or so people there were Spanish speakers. Toward the end, a man in the audience asked in Spanish: “I want to help, but I don’t have papers.”

It was translated and Busby replied: “Everybody can help, yeah, absolutely, you can all help. You don’t need papers for voting, you don’t need to be a registered voter to help.”

(Via Power Line, which has the audio.)

If this doesn’t sink her campaign, we’re in worse trouble than I thought.

UPDATE: Thanks to actus in the comments (no kidding!) I understand her defense. She claims she meant that you don’t have to be a registered voter to help with the campaign — in other words, you don’t need “papers for voting” to help with the campaign.

If she’s pathetically inarticulate, it’s a plausible defense. But to what?

Even if all she was doing was recruiting illegals to help with her campaign, that’s still bad. Not as bad as encouraging voter fraud. But still pretty bad.

WSJ Editors Screw Up Analysis of Garcetti v. Ceballos

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Constitutional Law,Court Decisions,General — Patterico @ 10:50 am

The Wall Street Journal today has a factually challenged editorial on Garcetti v. Ceballos:

If you think government isn’t accountable to elected officials now, thank five Supreme Court justices last week for not making it far worse. A 5-4 majority stopped an attempt to give on-the-job First Amendment protection to government workers who disagree with official policy.

In Garcetti v. Ceballos, a lawyer in the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office claimed to have had his free-speech rights violated because he wrote a memo disagreeing with an office decision and was punished for it. The ever-creative Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed, thus turning the First Amendment into a weapon for every unhappy government worker to say what he pleases whenever he pleases.

The editors’ description of Ceballos’s memo is wrong. Ceballos’s memo did not disagree with an office decision or policy. It simply laid out his analysis of whether police officers had lied. The disagreement came after the memo was written — when his supervisors didn’t like what was in the memo, and allegedly tried to punish him for the memo’s content.

The error colors the editors’ conclusion:

None of this means government workers can’t speak out freely in their private capacities, as earlier Supreme Court rulings have underscored. But they owe some allegiance to employers in their official duties. And if employees really can’t abide the policies they signed up to implement, they can always do the honorable thing and quit.

But, if you believe Ceballos, all he was doing in the memo was turning over exculpatory information to the defense, as required by the Constitution. And that is indeed a major part of what he “signed up” to do. But the editors don’t understand this — because they think the memo, rather than fulfilling a constitutional obligation, merely expressed Ceballos’s disagreement with an office decision.

This is such a fundamental error that it tells me that the editors cannot possibly have read the decision. And I have no respect for editorial writers at major newspapers who write editorials about court decisions without reading them. It’s not like writing an editorial is such a tough job to begin with. If hundreds of thousands of people are going to read what you say, you owe it to them to know what you’re talking about — or at least to try.

I am going to write the Wall Street Journal and demand a correction. I don’t hold out any hope that I’ll get one, but I’m going to try.

NYT Editors: Bush Complicit in Alleged Haditha Murders

Filed under: General,Terrorism,War — Patterico @ 10:26 am

The New York Times editorializes about Haditha:

Now that we have reached the one place we most wanted to avoid, it will not do to focus blame narrowly on the Marine unit suspected of carrying out these killings and ignore the administration officials, from President Bush on down, who made the chances of this sort of disaster so much greater by deliberately blurring the rules governing the conduct of American soldiers in the field.

There you have it: if Marines executed women and children, it’s President Bush’s fault.

The editorial also says something I agree with:

The inquiry also needs to critically examine the behavior . . . of midlevel officers who apparently covered up the Haditha incident for months until journalists’ inquiries forced a more honest review.

If midlevel officers covered up aspects of Haditha, we need to hold them accountable.

But accusing Bush of complicity in alleged deliberate and unjustified execution-style murders is nothing but a political cheap shot — something said by Times editors just to send a little frisson of self-righteous anger through their bodies. I hope it felt good.

John Kerry: Scalia, Alito, and Roberts All “Idiots”

Filed under: General,Morons,Politics — Patterico @ 1:43 am

A guy named “Hollywood Liberal” has a lot of detail about an “off the record” meeting he and other liberal L.A. bloggers had with John Kerry. In the meeting, he called three of our smartest Supreme Court justices “idiots”:

The meeting was off the record so no one took any notes or recorded what was said. . .

[Kerry] talked about some of the mistakes that were made on his campaign such as having the convention five weeks before the Republicans and about how, with a 13 week campaign schedule instead the eight week schedule of the Republicans, he was unable to spend money in August because they needed it for the stretch run. It was during that time that he got attacked by the swift boaters. He said that they tried to attack him twice before, and he was able to rebut them with the truth immediately and slap them down, but the third time they got a $5 million check from T. Boone Pickens, and another $3 million from someone else, and they were able to get their message across by spending the $8 million.

Kerry agreed completely with someone’s assessment that everything that Bush does is solely for the purpose of looting the country. He basically said that Bush and his cohorts are criminals and that history will judge them so. He said that he believes that the pendulum will swing back and that is why after 35 years in politics he is still involved, otherwise he wouldn’t waste his time. He also said that he never stopped fighting after the election, and that he still hasn’t, but I didn’t get to ask why he conceded the next morning, though I wish I had. At some other point he referred to Supreme Court Justices Alito, Scalia, and Roberts as “Idiots”

In case you missed it, that was John Kerry calling Alito, Scalia, and Roberts “idiots.” This despite the fact that each of their individual IQs is more than Kerry’s IQ squared. This from a guy who earned so many D’s in college that he told his dad “D stands for distinction.”

Memo to Kerry: it also stands for “doofus.”

P.S. I love the bit about how the meeting was “off the record.” Imagine the kind of detail you would have if the meeting had been on the record! Moral: when you have an “off the record” discussion with a liberal blogger, you know it’s gonna stay off the record! Because they are men of honor!

(Link via Kevin Roderick, who has many other links to posts detailing the “off the record” meeting.)

UPDATE: It’s catching on. In an unrelated story that I just made up ran across moments ago, I see that Boston-area bloggers are reporting that Sen. Ted Kennedy, in an off-the-record discussion, has called Clarence Thomas a “bloated, silver-spoon, womanizing drunkard.”

“Truly Frightening” Case Not So Frightening After All

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Court Decisions,Crime — Patterico @ 12:51 am

John Cole links to a news article that says:

Police may enter Californians’ homes without warrants to arrest those suspected of driving under the influence, the California Supreme Court ruled Thursday in a case testing the scope of the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.

(Via Psyberian in an e-mail.)

Cole says that the court decision is “truly frightening” and adds:

This should scare the hell out of anyone with half a brain. Welcome to the modern Nanny state- “Just like the STASI, But You Are Safer And We CARE!”

I certainly agree with Cole that the ruling should scare anyone with half a brain. However, those of us with more than half a brain are far less concerned. Here are the facts of the case, from the first paragraph of the opinion:

A concerned citizen followed defendant, who was driving dangerously and under the influence of alcohol, through the streets of Santa Barbara in the early evening of July 21, 2003. Although defendant sped away and managed to get home, the police, with that citizen’s assistance, arrived at the house a short time later. The officers spoke to defendant, who remained inside the house and was visibly intoxicated. When defendant refused to come outside to have his blood tested for the presence of alcohol, the police became anxious about the dissipation of alcohol in his bloodstream and entered the house without a warrant to arrest him for the criminal offense of driving under the influence (DUI).

And allowing police the right to do this is supposed to be some terrible, Nazi-style ruling?


This is a classic case of exigent circumstances. If police had waited for a warrant, the guy’s blood alcohol would have dissipated. Or, he could have claimed that he was drinking at home, which would provide an innocent explanation for any high reading obtained after a warrant was executed.

Contrary to the suggestion of the first line of the news article cited above, the Court makes it clear that police cannot always ignore the warrant requirement in any DUI case. Exigent circumstances must be present. Anyone who gets their nose out of joint over this just doesn’t understand Fourth Amendment law.

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