Patterico's Pontifications


Dirty Harry Is Feeling Lucky: The L.A. Times Ignores Every New Revelation About His Ethics Troubles

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 8:38 pm

Captain Ed has a compelling piece in today’s New York Post about Dirty Harry Reid’s shady land shenanigans. Meanwhile — coincidentally? — Reid has decided to amend his disclosures.

And there is a new revelation: that Reid has violated federal law by using campaign donations to pay personal expenses. He’s paying it all back — of course, after being called on it by the AP. What did the Atlanta Journal-Constitution say? Oh yes: “Reid’s ethics meter only seems to work when it’s too late.”

Oh . . . and there is nothing new about any of this in the L.A. Times. Nor have I heard a word back from the reporters who used to be hard on Reid’s trail.

UPDATE 10-17-06 12:24 a.m.: The paper has finally come out with this three-paragraph blockbuster story. Savor the detail:

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid has been using campaign donations instead of his personal money to pay Christmas bonuses for support staff at the Ritz-Carlton where he lives in an upscale condominium. Federal election law bars candidates from converting political donations for personal use.

Reid’s office said his lawyers had approved the payments but he nonetheless was personally reimbursing his campaign for the $3,300 he spent.

Reid also announced he was amending his ethics reports to Congress to more fully account for a Las Vegas land deal that allowed him to collect $1.1 million in 2004 for property he hadn’t personally owned in three years.

Well, there you have it, then.

Criticism of Lancet Study

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:35 pm

Iraq Body Count points out some of the sillier implications of the Lancet study. Via Instapundit, who notes:

IRAQ BODY COUNT, often criticized for offering inflated civilian death figures, is now criticizing the Lancet study for offering inflated civilian death figures.

Heh. Indeed.

Attorney Lynne Stewart – Traitorous Scumbag

Filed under: General,Scum,Terrorism — Justin Levine @ 8:15 pm

[posted by Justin Levine – not Patterico]

The Justin Levine parade of scumbags continues with the light sentencing of Lynne Stewart for conspiring with Islamic terrorists under the guise of providing “zealous advocacy” as an attorney. 

Her letter to the court asking for mercy reveals (to my eyes at least) a deeply narcissistic mind – like Cindy Sheehan with a law degree. 

In her letter, Stewart states, “My actions were not intended to foster a revolution in Egypt; they were intended only to foster the possibility that my client might one day be able to return to Egypt, even as a prisoner of the current regime or one akin to it.” 

That is a different tune than she was singing in 1995 when she told the New York Times:


Tennessee Political Consultant Bill Fletcher Is A Contemptible Scumbag

Filed under: Blogging Matters,Buffoons,General,Morons — Justin Levine @ 2:00 pm

[posted by Justin Levine]

Why? For the same reasons Oklahoma Attorney Stephen Jones is. [Hat-tip: Instapundit]

Another fool who thinks that people need legal “permission” to reprint e-mails [Sigh]. Note to Bill Fletcher: “Be careful. You are in way over your head.”

[posted by Justin Levine]


More Dishonest Claptrap from Dahlia Lithwick

Filed under: Buffoons,General — Patterico @ 7:09 am

Dahlia Lithwick, speaking on an Alliance for Justice video:

What would happen if Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia got their way? What is their vision for America? And if you say to people what their vision is: Say goodbye to worker’s rights. Say goodbye to environmental protection. Say goodbye to women’s rights. Say goodbye to the rights of the disabled. Say goodbye to all the progress we’ve made in terms of race and gender in this country, and privacy.

Orin Kerr says:

I guess you could say this. I mean, it wouldn’t be accurate, but hey, you could still say it.

This woman is simply another poisonous partisan with a pen. Nothing more.

By the way, Scalia and Thomas believe in democracy. If this were truly their “vision” (and it is not), the people could easily vote for all the principles Scalia and Thomas allegedly oppose, and the Justices couldn’t do a thing about it.

Meeting Michael Connelly

Filed under: Books,General — Patterico @ 6:47 am

On Saturday night I had the pleasure of meeting Michael Connelly at the Borders bookstore in Torrance.

I’ve been trying to meet him for years now, but something always happens. I found out about the book tour for The Closers a week late. I was all set to meet him during the tour for The Lincoln Lawyer, but then my dad died. I was out of the country for another tour, and so on. Something always comes up.

His newest book, Echo Park, is the latest installment in Connelly’s signature Harry Bosch series. Not surprisingly, it looks like a good one. I got 42 pages into it while waiting in line to have it signed, and I’m really enjoying it so far. There were two other folks at the signing from the District Attorney’s Office: Joe Scott (our media guy), and an investigator who once drove me to a crime scene downtown. It’s a tribute to Connelly that he has fans like us who know the criminal justice system and think that he gets it right.

If you’re not familiar with Connelly, I recommend his books highly. They will cost you a night or two of sleep, because you’ll stay up late to see what happens next. But it’s worth it.

Bring the Boys Back Home?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:02 am

Phil Carter is back from Iraq, and has an op-ed in the New York Times that you can read here. Any supporter of the war needs to read it. Carter says:

The war I knew was infinitely more complex, contradictory and elusive than the one described in the network news broadcasts or envisioned in the new field manual. When I finally left Baquba, the violent capital of Iraq’s Diyala Province, I found myself questioning many aspects of our mission and our accomplishments, both in a personal search for meaning and a quest to gather lessons that might help those soldiers who will follow me.

Carter says that “[t]he vibrancy and vitality of Iraqi society was the norm,” yet violence “was not a figment of reporters’ imaginations” and worsened as time went on. Carter says that we accomplished much by taking out Saddam, but this is now Iraq’s war:

Despite these successes, I still left Iraq feeling uncertain about what we had accomplished. In theory, security should have improved with the development of capable Iraqi Army and police units. That did not happen. This is the central paradox of the Iraq war in fall 2006: we are making progress in developing the Iraqi Army and police, yet the violence gripping the country continues to worsen.

This paradox raises fundamental questions about the wisdom and efficacy of our strategy, which is to “stand up” Iraqi security forces so we can “stand down” American forces. Put simply, this plan is a blueprint for withdrawal, not for victory. Improving the Iraqi Army and police is necessary to prevail in Iraq; it is not sufficient.

Carter explains that it takes very few people to sustain an insurgency; therefore, we must convince “virtually everyone” to choose the current government over the alternatives. He says:

At this point, and with this strategy, it may not be possible to win in Iraq. America gained a spectacular victory in 2003, toppling the brutal Saddam Hussein regime. But there are limits to what military force can accomplish. You cannot plant democracy with a bayonet, nor can you force Iraqis to choose a particular path if their democracy is to mean anything at all.

Carter says he is still wrestling with these issues, and invites comments in this blog post.

I don’t trust James Baker and his commission, which is planning to issue a report recommending a course change. And I don’t trust the media. But, while I believe in civilian control of the military, I also think it makes sense to pay attention to the folks who have had their boots on the ground.

Phil Carter is one of those people. So is a guy I spoke with the other day — a guy who patrolled Baghdad for 2 years. He used to be a Special Forces guy and fought in Mogadishu during the Black Hawk Down debacle. What he told me about Iraq was sobering, and dovetails in disturbing ways with Phil Carter’s piece.


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