Patterico's Pontifications


Pakistani Military to Reclaim the Tribal Areas

Filed under: Terrorism,War — DRJ @ 8:42 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

More bad news, this time for militants in the Pakistani tribal areas.


US and Iraq Target al-Sadr’s Militias

Filed under: Terrorism,War — DRJ @ 5:57 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

There are reports of more setbacks for Al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army.


Louisiana Election Results (Updated)

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 5:44 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Louisiana voters went to the polls today to vote for Governor and other state and local offices. The media suggests Republican Bobby Jindal is the favorite but it’s unknown whether he can garner more than 50% of the vote and avoid a runoff.

Click (more) to see results, which will be updated as they come in.


Did Jill Simpson Swear that Karl Rove Was Behind the Prosecution of Don Siegelman? The L.A. Times Says Yes — So What Do *You* Think the Truth Is??

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 3:21 pm

On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee inquires into allegations that Karl Rove was the driving force behind the corruption prosecution of Don Siegelman, the former Democrat Governor of Alabama. To hear leftists tell it, a Republican lawyer signed an affidavit in June that unequivocally alleged that Rove was behind the prosecution. The L.A. Times made this claim in June:

Just this month, a Republican lawyer signed a sworn statement that she had heard five years ago that Rove was preparing to politically neutralize the popular Siegelman.

. . . .

This month another Republican activist, lawyer Dana Jill Simpson of Rainsville, Ala., filed a sworn statement saying that she was on a Republican campaign conference call in 2002 when she heard Bill Canary tell other campaign workers not to worry about Siegelman because Canary’s “girls” and “Karl” would make sure the Justice Department pursued the Democrat so he was not a political threat in the future.

Not quite.

You can read the affidavit here. The relevant passage is on page three, and reads as follows:

That language doesn’t say that Rove was behind the investigation. It could also be interpreted as a report that Rove had simply heard that the investigation into Siegelman had commenced.

You don’t believe me? Then maybe you’ll believe Jill Simpson, who executed the affidavit — because she says the same thing:

An affidavit cited as proof that White House strategist Karl Rove helped arrange the Justice Department prosecution of former Gov. Don Siegelman doesn’t actually say Rove was behind the investigation, the lawyer who wrote it said. But that hasn’t stopped others from using the affidavit to demand a congressional hearing.

Jill Simpson, the Republican Rainsville lawyer who wrote the affidavit, said in an interview that she is not responsible for how others interpret her sworn statement. She said she tried to accurately represent a conference call she heard in which Rove’s name came up, and she said no one definitively said in that call that Rove arranged for Siegelman’s investigation.

It’s not clear if Rove was being identified in the call as the person behind the investigation or as someone who heard Siegelman already was under investigation, Simpson said.

“You can read it both ways,” Simpson said in the interview Friday. “I did it as best I could to factually write it down as exactly as to what was said. And there’s two interpretations to it, there’s no doubt about that.”

It’s true, as the article later says, that Simpson “personally believes” that Rove “had a role in the federal investigation of Siegelman.” (All emphasis mine.) She also believes Siegelman, who was convicted beyond a reasonable doubt of bribery by a unanimous jury, was “politically persecuted.” She recently reiterated to the Judicary Committee in an interview (summarized here) that “[w]hat I understood, or what I believed Mr. Canary to be saying” was that Rove was behind the prosecution.

But even she admits that her sworn affidavit doesn’t claim that she unequivocally heard that Rove was behind the prosecution.

As you read reports of Tuesday’s hearings, keep that in mind.

Baroque: The New Simple

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 1:27 pm

I’ve had this one on the back burner for a week or two. It’s the occasionally honest — but more commonly jaw-droppingly deceptive — Tim Rutten on Rush Limbaugh’s “phony soldiers” comment:

Now congressional Democrats are seeking a similar expression of disapproval for radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, who they allege insulted servicemen and women opposed to the Iraq war by calling them “phony soldiers.” (Limbaugh has a baroque explanation of what he actually meant by those words, but you probably have to be a regular listener to his show to follow it.)

I’m not a Limbaugh listener, but let me show you how simple it is to explain: Limbaugh was referring to actual phony soldiers. People who pretended to be soldiers — but weren’t.

Yeah, it’s real freakin’ baroque, Tim.

Buy Tomorrow’s Dog Trainer

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 12:13 pm

I have it on good authority that tomorrow’s L.A. Times will have a hard-hitting “Outside the Tent” feature from a friend of this blog. Buy it — or log in and get it for free, like I do.

Flaming Squirrel Stories

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 11:47 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Instapundit links to this post on a squirrel that ate through a power line, dropped into the engine of a 2006 Toyota Camry, and destroyed the car. The author notes that he hasn’t heard many flaming squirrel stories and wonders how common it is.

I’ll add fuel to this fire. About 6 months ago, the last time our power went out for any substantial period of time, it was due to a squirrel who died a fiery death in the transformer. His actions were perfectly timed to ruin a good internet session and jeopardize a hefty grocery buy that required refrigeration.

Coincidence? I think not.

[PS – If you are interested, note the parenthetical headline and the picture of the substitute squirrel at the “6 months” link.]

[PPS – Thanks for the Instapundit link! And welcome Instapundit readers. Please look around.]


Pete Stark Unhinged Update

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 11:39 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

You may recall this post’s mention of Rep. Pete Stark’s rant during the SCHIP debate. Now Gateway Pundit notes an odd reaction at Crooks & Liars:

“Crooks & Liars” Discovers Best Way to Defend Rep. Pete Stark:


The link is primarily video-based so you need to click there for the details.

H/T Instapundit, who also has a link to Nancy Pelosi’s eventual rebuke of Stark’s rant.


Bill Maher takes on the Truthers

Filed under: General,Media Bias — DRJ @ 10:47 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Bill Maher, comedian, political activist, and star of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher took on a 9/11 protester during Friday night’s episode.


Not a Good Sign in Iran

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 10:22 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

The top Iranian nuclear negotiator has resigned and at least one Middle Eastern expert believes it’s not a good sign for a negotiated settlement with the West.


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