Patterico's Pontifications


Republican Debate Open Thread

Filed under: 2008 Election,General — Patterico @ 11:38 pm

I just finished watching tonight’s Republican debate.

I thought Huckabee stumbled badly when he refused, several times in a row, to answer Mitt Romney’s question about raising taxes in his state.

Thompson knows what he’s talking about, and I agree with him on more issues. But debates are about presentation — and his presentation, unfortunately, is not great.

I think it went well for Romney.

And you?

Let’s see if we can get, say, 1/20th the number of comments that this Hot Air open thread from Saturday got: 1292 comments.

Nah, I don’t think so either.

Can Eric Boehlert Tell the Truth?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:08 pm

Catching up on blog reading, I see a post by Tom Maguire that raises the question: can Media Matters’ Eric Boehlert tell the truth?

Tom quotes Boehlert as saying:

But the servicemen who were on the boat that night don’t remember seeing Schachte. Since the boat was a small skimmer, it would have been hard for him to escape notice. Besides Kerry, the other crewmembers that night were Bill Zaladonis and Patrick Runyon. They had told the same story for years, and they both insisted neither Schachte nor anyone else was with the three of them that night.

Tom responds:

Zaladonis and Runyon had “told the same story for years“? To whom, other than perhaps each other (as Zaladonis claimed in his Lisa Meyers interview)? Douglas Brinkley interviewed Zaladonis “repeatedly” for his 2004 Kerry hagiography “Tour of Duty”, yet there is no mention whatsoever that Zaladonis was with Kerry during Kerry’s first combat when Kerry earned his first medal; nor does Runyon get a mention in the book (if the index is reliable).

And Michael Kranish of the Boston Globe (or a non-bylined Globe staffer) interviewed Zaladonis for the Globe’s 2003 “Candidate In The Making” series yet apparently never elicited from Zaladonis that he was with Kerry on that dramatic evening Zaladonis later described as “one of the scariest nights” of his life. And again, Runyon is a no-show.

Tom ends by saying he can’t wait to see Boehlert’s evidence.

He’s very good at the tongue-in-cheek thing.

Olmsted’s Final Post Gets NYT Write-Up

Filed under: General,War — Patterico @ 9:44 pm

The story is here.

Also, thanks to htom, who points to the page where they were (until recently) accepting comments, here. Read through them at that link, but leave any new comments here.

Comments here, again, are closed.

Questions About Lancet Study

Filed under: General,War — Patterico @ 12:30 am

More questions about the Lancet study, discussed here:

Over the past several months, National Journal has examined the 2006 Lancet article, and another [PDF] that some of the same authors published in 2004; probed the problems of estimating wartime mortality rates; and interviewed the authors and their critics. NJ has identified potential problems with the research that fall under three broad headings: 1) possible flaws in the design and execution of the study; 2) a lack of transparency in the data, which has raised suspicions of fraud; and 3) political preferences held by the authors and the funders, which include George Soros’s Open Society Institute.

Jonathan Adler says:

Of these critiques, I find the political preferences of the authors and their funders to be the least persuasive.

I’d like to agree with him, and with the idea that the study’s conclusions “should stand or fall on their own.”

But we all know that political predispositions heavily skew how people look at questions, and make people adopt arguments they’d never stomach in other contexts.

Take the comments to this post. Conservatives will likely defend the National Journal‘s criticisms. Liberals will attack them.

If this study had come from a bunch of right-wingers and war supporters, conservatives would be forced to take it seriously. The fact that so many people involved with the study makes its seemingly dubious findings that much more easily explainable.

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