Patterico's Pontifications


Davidson Madness (Updated)

Filed under: Sports — DRJ @ 4:56 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Davidson is up 15 on Wisconsin with 9 minutes to go in the first round of the Sweet 16. I don’t know who will win but Davidson is the highlight of the tournament.

To top it off, the Davidson Trustees paid to send any student who wanted to go to the tournament, including free bus, hotel and tickets. What’s even more impressive is that the $100,000 cost is being paid by the Trustees individually.

You gotta love that.

UPDATE: Davidson beat Wisconsin 73-56. How sweet it is!


John McCain’s Citizenship

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 4:45 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The AP reports that, at the request of the McCain campaign, bipartisan lawyers have reviewed John McCain’s citizenship and agree he is eligible to be President. Republican Ted Olsen, who supports McCain, and Democrat Laurence Tribe, who supports Obama, conducted the review:

“A federal judge in California has been asked to determine whether McCain meets the legal test to hold the nation’s highest office. Although McCain has called questions about his eligibility nonsense, his campaign, as it did in his first White House run in 2000, sought a review from legal experts to put the issue to rest.

“Based on the original meaning of the Constitution, the Framers’ intentions, and subsequent legal and historical precedent, Senator McCain’s birth to parents who were U.S. citizens, serving on a U.S. military base in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936, makes him a ‘natural born citizen’ within the meaning of the Constitution,” the review found.”

It seems to me that only a court can interpret the meaning of “natural born citizen” but it is still a good PR move for the McCain campaign to request this review.

The AP article also notes that Sen. Claire McCaskill has introduced legislation that would define a “natural born citizen” as anyone born to any U.S. citizen while serving in the active or reserve components of the U.S. armed forces. Barack Obama is co-sponsoring the bill.


Obama and Financial Regulations

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 1:05 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

If you are a typical conservative, one of the top issues for you is a candidate’s financial policies. Professor Bainbridge analyzes Obama’s recent speech on financial regulation here.

Beldar adds his thoughts here.

Don’t miss either one.


Obama Parses His Position on Wright (Updated: It’s Just a Time Warp)

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 11:40 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

I don’t like politicians who parse words and, even though I know they all do it, some do it more than others. (I’m looking at you, Bill Clinton.) I think Barack Obama is parsing words over Jeremiah Wright.

Yesterday on a taping of The View that aired today, Obama had this to say about Wright and his church:

“Had the reverend not retired, and had he not acknowledged that what he had said had deeply offended people and were inappropriate and mischaracterized what I believe is the greatness of this country, for all its flaws, then I wouldn’t have felt comfortable staying at the church.”

I’ve searched high and low and I cannot find anywhere that Jeremiah Wright “acknowledged that what he had said had deeply offended people and were inappropriate.” Forgiveness and understanding is reserved for those who admit they are wrong, not for those who won’t admit it but have a surrogate say they did.

In addition, how have Wright’s words been “mischaracterized”? There’s video. We all heard his words and saw him say them. For Obama to claim that Wright has been mischaracterized is disingenuous at best. All reasonable people know what statements like “God Damn America” mean.

Having said that, true believers are also spinning Wright’s statements. One example of spin was on Fox News this afternoon when commentators argued over Wright’s words “God Damn America.” The Republican strategist criticized Wright, a pastor, for invoking God’s name in vain. The other commentator said there was a comma in the phrase and that Wright actually said “God, Damn America” so he did not use God’s name in vain. I didn’t hear a comma in Wright’s statement but if there was one, it’s a comma without meaning. The point is that Wright believes America should be damned and it doesn’t matter if he wants God, Allah, Wiccans or his congregants to do it.

UPDATE: Fox News reports that Obama also said this about Wright:

“What they spoke to was, I think, a brilliant man who was still caught in a time warp back in the ’60s, early ’70s and the ’50s, where he grew up, and had a sense of where America was and didn’t have a good enough sense of how it had changed.”

Wright can’t tell how America has changed? Wright has been pictured meeting with Bill Clinton when he was President. He lives in a large US city, traveled throughout the US, and presided over a church with 8000 members. Further, his parishioners, Barack and Michelle Obama, are excellent examples of how things have changed in America.

Parsing is one thing but for Obama to think any reasonable person would believe this is just lame.


A Little Perspective

Filed under: General,International — DRJ @ 11:08 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

I was alarmed to read this headline in yesterday’s edition of the online El Paso (Texas) newspaper: “KKK in El Paso due to immigration issue.”

The article was based on information from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project that showed a KKK chapter was started in El Paso last year. As the headline indicates, the Intelligence Project believes the KKK’s presence was fueled by the argument over illegal immigration.

Good thing I read more than headlines and the first paragraph because the article later clarified that the “KKK chapter” may have been one person who had already moved away. Thus, we have an entire story devoted to a white bigot and wannabe Klansman who probably moved away. I don’t blame the El Paso Times for covering this story — the Southern Poverty Law Center is a respected group — but I think both overreacted in this case. I would have written this as a Good News! story and had a little talk with the headline writer.

However, to its credit, the El Paso Times has done an excellent job recording the litany of violence across the border. In response to the violence, the Mexican government recently sent 2,000-2,500 soldiers into Juarez, El Paso’s neighboring city, in a surge to stem drug violence and “take the city back from feuding drug traffickers.” Residents are concerned that the violence in Juarez will continue to spill over into El Paso and, as noted in the article, the El Paso assistant police chief shares their concerns.

See related posts on Mexican violence here and here.


Jill Stewart on the Chuck Philips Mess

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 12:03 am

Jill has a blog post about it at the L.A. Weekly.

Credit goes to The Smoking Gun for ripping the lid off this putrid mess. There were problems with the Philips story even before The Gun went off.

It was so jammed with off-record sources it read like a piece from the Bad Old Days before corrupt journalist Jayson Blair so badly dirtied The New York Times. Today, among the nation’s big dailies, the L.A. Times has one of the most useless policies for controlling its overuse of unnamed sources, which proliferate there like a plague. Take away the anonymous sources, and Philips’ entire story turned on a bogus document.

Friends of mine at the Times say Chuck Philips is a good guy with high standards who would never knowingly twist his investigations for an outcome he desires – like, say, trying to taint Combs. Maybe that’s true. But his and the paper’s coverage of this case has attracted an inordinate amount of harsh criticism from other journos, ranging from Rolling Stone’s detailed attack by Randall Sullivan to the juicy slam by Jan Golab for

(My emphasis.)

Read it all.

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