Patterico's Pontifications


Sports Talk: Counter-Subconscious-Espionage and Other Football Coaching Tactics

Filed under: Miscellaneous — DRJ @ 10:19 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Texas A&M University football Coach Dennis Franchione has been in hot water recently because of his VIP Connection newsletter available to select supporters who each paid $1,200 a year for their insider subscriptions.

I didn’t plan to post on this topic for several reasons. First, I am that rare University of Texas fan who likes and supports all Texas colleges including A&M. Second, I don’t like to hit a guy when he’s down. Third, it wasn’t that big a story to me … until I read the August 13 newsletter excerpt that mentioned a coaching tactic called “counter-subconscious-espionage.”


My Metaphor for the Medellin Case

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:13 pm

Simon says: Follow *all* my instructions without regard to whether I say “Simon says.”

Now, ignore that instruction.

Simon says: ignore that instruction.

Touch your nose.

The Morality Party

Filed under: International,Politics — DRJ @ 6:27 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

For far too long the GOP has claimed the mantle of the Morality Party but the Democratic Party is finally stepping up to the plate.*

(* Metaphor chosen in recognition of the current baseball playoffs.)


Who Cares About the GOP?

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 11:02 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Peggy Noonan explains Party loyalty to President Bush and his staff:

“The Bush people don’t seem to spend much time on loyalty to the party per se, only to their guy. Who after all is looking out for the Republican nominees, for the group of them? They are the future of the party.”

Noonan also speculates why they do this …


The New Republic Is Headed for a Great Fall

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:32 am

And I don’t mean that they are going to have a pleasant autumn. To the contrary.

Power Line had a very important post Wednesday night, and the basic message was that the editors of The New Republic can run . . . but they can’t hide forever:

It is now two months since “the editors” last weighed in on the ongoing controversy over Beauchamp. At that time, Franklin Foer and his colleagues had already conceded, and apologized to their readers, for a significant factual inaccuracy in Beauchamp’s story — that the incident involving the disfigured woman had taken place in Kuwait rather than Iraq, though they’ve offered no evidence for this claim either, and the PAO at Camp Buehring, the scene of the alleged crime, has said on the record that the tale is nothing more than “an urban legend.” . . .

But on August 10 TNR declared that it was still standing by its author despite a report from the Weekly Standard that Beauchamp himself was no longer standing by the stories. “The editors” claimed that the Army was “stonewalling” their investigation into the matter by preventing them from speaking with Beauchamp, and assured their readers that as soon as they could speak with their man in Baghdad they would report the results.

Since then TNR has said not a word about Beauchamp, and the Weekly Standard’s report that Beauchamp had recanted has not been challenged. Further, Beauchamp’s commanding officer, Col. Ricky Gibbs, told bloggers last week that Beauchamp “no longer stands by the stories.” And yesterday Bob Owens reported that TNR had, in fact, spoken to Beauchamp…more than a month ago, on September 7. This according to Major Kirk Ludeke, whom Owens interviewed for his post. . . . . If TNR editor [Franklin] Foer thinks that the substance of the conversation with Scott Beauchamp can be permanently hidden from the public, he has made one more in what is now a long line of serious miscalculations.


Look. The editors of The New Republic aren’t stupid. I know they may seem that way, given the way that they have handled all this, but they’re not.

They know that very serious issues have been raised about Beauchamp’s work. They have minimized the importance of the detail about Kuwait, but any rational observer is going to find that disturbing. How in the world could Beauchamp have gotten that wrong? Taking my cue from one of my commenters, I have mocked this as “Pre Traumatic Stress Syndrome,” but the fact is that it is hard to explain that away as a minor detail.

One senses that, while the editors have publicly maintained a posture of defending Beauchamp, they have desperately scrambled internally — all the while wondering: just how in the hell is this happening? And central to answering that question would be having a discussion with Beauchamp himself.

Now they’ve had it, and it’s clear that it didn’t help them much.

My question is simple: if Scott Beauchamp can’t stand by his story, how can The New Republic stand by his story?

They haven’t revealed any significant details that would corroborate it.

Where I suspect this is headed is simple: the editors can’t hide forever. Sooner or later they are going to have to address this. And if they can’t get something solid from Beauchamp, then they are going to have to retract the story.

If they do that, they will throw him overboard. Count on it. The story line will be: it was a guy lying to his editors. How could they have known?

When this happens, I’ll remind you that I told you so.

Here’s the problem. With every second of the ticking clock, that defense becomes less plausible. Because — other than acknowledging one plain and undeniable and inexplicable error (more probably a fable than an error) — they have stuck by the story. And they have stonewalled for weeks.

The longer they do that, the more they own the story — especially after the criticisms are known.

After weeks and weeks and weeks of stonewalling, it’s going to be hard to spin this as a tale of “he lied to us.” They should know that by now. And by not responding, they are lying to us, the public.

And if, as Power Line suggests, the content of their conversation with Beauchamp becomes public, and it suggests that what I have said above is true — that despite a public face of confidence in their story, they were actually trembling with fear over their reputations — then the fallout will be very ugly indeed.

How much longer can this go on?

Which Has Become More Irrelevant In Our Lifetime?

Filed under: Awards,Nobel Peace Prize — Justin Levine @ 1:37 am

[posted by Justin Levine] 

1. The Nobel Peace Prize?

2. Time’s “Man of The Year”?

Hard choices…

But seriously, it seems that over my life time every award recognizing human achievement has diminished not only in stature, but even in the actual seriousness of the prize presenters.

It’s not just the awards over public figures on the world stage. Best Picture Oscar winners? Olympic Medal winners? Somehow these things seemed to actually signify something important in years past, even if I would have chosen differently.

Was it a mistake to ever take them seriously?

Have the quality of the winners actually diminished in the last generation? Or is it merely a matter of my own personal taste and perspective on life? Does anyone else understand what I am getting at here? Or am I just whispering in the wind?

Al Gore Wins Nobel Peace Prize For Promoting The False Religion Of Global Warming

Filed under: Buffoons,Environment,Nobel Peace Prize — Justin Levine @ 1:10 am

[posted by Justin Levine] 

News just coming in that Al Gore has indeed won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Let’s see here – Yasser Arafat awarded the Peace Prize for his terrorism against Jews, Jimmy Carter awarded the Peace Prize explicitly as a way for Europeans to protest George Bush’s foreign policy….Seems like the Nobel Peace Prize committee continues to build a steady track record of evolving into a collective left wing circle-jerk.

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