Patterico's Pontifications


Bob Barr Eats Cheese Made from Borat’s Wife’s Breast Milk

Filed under: 2008 Election,Buffoons,Humor — Patterico @ 10:35 pm

Ever since I read at Hot Air that Bob Barr could be jeopardizing John McCain’s chances in Georgia and North Carolina, I have wanted to share this Borat video with you:

And here is a link to Barr grousing about it.

I know libertarians are often humorless, but isn’t this a bit much?

Just Another Homicide

Filed under: Crime,Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 10:18 pm

From the never-ending cycle of carnage at the L.A. Times blog The Homicide Report comes a short, understated, and utterly heartbreaking post:

Alma Velasquez was at work when her son, Luis Albert Leon, 19, was fatally shot.

According to family, Leon was sitting on the curb outside a friend’s house about 11 a.m. Friday, May 9. Authorities said a vehicle pulled up next to him. A Latino man got out of the vehicle and shot him.

He had a two-year-old daughter. He is pictured with her here:


And he was apparently bringing her a teddy bear when he was shot. Here it is:


Go read the whole post.

There could be a whole front-page article about this, but there probably won’t be. All that you’re likely to see is this short post. But it’s better than nothing.

One question kept haunting me, though:

What are they going to do with the bear? Will Luis Leon’s daughter keep it?

Obama Site’s Anti-Semitic Material: Much Ado About Nothing

Filed under: 2008 Election,General — Patterico @ 9:24 pm

I guess I have a different take from most conservatives on the issue of anti-Semitic remarks on Sen. Obama’s web site.

As I understand it, is somewhat like Daily Kos in that the site allows a wide range of participants to publish posts. (Why, at least one daily newspaper — you’ll never guess which one — has referred to it as a “social networking site” without even bothering to note that it is also an official campaign web site!) There is no official approval needed before content may be posted.

If you have a set-up like that, it’s going to get abused. Period. It’s as certain as the rising of the sun.

What’s more, we don’t even know who’s behind the anti-Semitic postings. I’ll assume that it’s a genuine Obama supporter for purposes of this post — but it could be a right-winger trying to make Obama look bad. Don’t tell me you wouldn’t suspect something similar if the tables were turned.

So, assuming that the content was posted by an Obama supporter: so what?

Barack Obama attracts some anti-Semitic supporters. That’s hardly a surprise, nor is it his obviously his fault. In my opinion, he’s been too cozy with supporters of the anti-Semitic Louis Farrakhan. So criticize him for that. But the fact that he has anti-Semitic supporters, standing alone, says no more about him than the fact that there are white racists supporting John McCain.

The issue is how he and his campaign react to that support.

I understand this material stayed up on his web site for two months. This might be significant if there were any evidence that he knew it was there. But evidently, as soon as conservatives pointed it out, it was scrubbed from the site.

Yes, and they erased it from Google cache and the Internet Wayback Machine. So would I, if someone posted that kind of junk on my site, and I could figure out how to scrub it off that thoroughly.

I understand the impulse to ding Obama for anything possible. He’s incredibly liberal. He will appoint terrible judges. He plans to cut and run in Iraq, sparking a possible civil war. And so on.

But there are undecided voters out there who are watching the competing arguments — and if your argument is silly, they’ll notice. This one, in my opinion, is silly. I’m actually surprised to see so many conservatives trying to make something out of it. There’s no “there” there.

UPDATE: OK, here’s the best argument I’ve heard contra my position: Obama’s campaign, having raked in $300 million, could spend $50,000 to have someone police this stuff. Not a bad point.

L.A. Times Employs Typical Scare Tactics Regarding McCain and Judges

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:13 pm

In an editorial that generally argues the similarity of McCain’s and Obama’s policy positions, the editors of the L.A. Times choose liberal orthodoxy over fact in this passage:

McCain, though, is an outspoken abortion opponent who wants to see Roe vs. Wade overturned and would appoint Supreme Court justices who share that view. Obama is pro-choice.

First of all, there is no guarantee that McCain “would appoint” a Roe opponent, when the Senate will be dominated by Democrats.

But even as a discussion of aspirations, the statement is without factual foundation.

McCain has said that he wants to appoint justices in the mold of Roberts and Alito. As I recently explained, there is no basis for believing these justices will vote to overturn Roe.:

There are, as we speak, two clear votes for overturning Roe. And Roberts and Alito aren’t either of them.

In the most recent major abortion decision, Gonzales v. Carhart, Justice Thomas wrote a concurrence that stated his opposition to Roe:

I write separately to reiterate my view that the Courts abortion jurisprudence, including Casey and Roe v. Wade, 410 U. S. 113 (1973), has no basis in the Constitution.

He was joined by only one Justice: Antonin Scalia. To the disappointment of Roe opponents, Justices Alito and Roberts pointedly refused to sign on to that concurrence.

The editors’ statement might have been an accurate statement as applied to George W. Bush, who wanted to appoint justices in the mold of Scalia and Thomas. But even he had to settle for Alito and Roberts — and that was when Republicans held the Senate.

The editors’ claim is a scare tactic, nothing more.

L.A. Times: Opponents of Illegal Immigration Make Little Girls Cry

Filed under: Deport the Criminals First,Dog Trainer,General,Immigration — Patterico @ 1:19 pm

This image, currently on the main L.A. Times web page, is far from subtle:


It’s not an easy issue. I feel terrible for this poor little girl in the photo. And if her dad isn’t otherwise a criminal, I think the government is misplacing its resources by tossing him out, while claiming a lack of resources to deport every illegal immigrant who has committed a crime.

But a rank appeal to sympathy like this is misplaced, when it is not counterbalanced by providing the whole picture.

I have documented countless examples of people killed by illegal immigrants who should have been deported, but were not. Here is a collection of the first ten in one post.

It would be child’s play to write an article about these victims’ families.

You might even be able to snap a picture of one of them crying.

You’ll never see that in the L.A. Times.

Beldar “Researches” Gov. Sarah Palin, McCain VP Contender

Filed under: 2008 Election,General — Patterico @ 11:34 am


I’ve spent several hours now reading about, and watching video clips of, 44-year-old Alaska governor Sarah Heath Palin.


Beldar attempts to justify this seemingly obsessive behavior as “blogging research.” According to Beldar, Gov. Palin is a serious contender for McCain’s VP, and therefore it only makes sense that he would spend hours watching video clips of her.

Unnamed sources say that a lot of these clips are from the 1984 Miss Alaska contest, in which Palin competed as Miss Wasilla.


I suppose that could be relevant too, somehow.

Enjoy your “research,” Beldar.

Read his post here.

UPDATE: Here is a YouTube video advocating Palin for the VP slot:

Quote of the Day

Filed under: 2008 Election,Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 11:10 am

It’s not even noon yet, but I’m calling it anyway:

Last September, for instance, Clinton aides forced GQ magazine to spike a critical story on her campaign by threatening to withhold access to Bill Clinton.

Withholding access to Bill Clinton was considered a threat!


P.S. The quote in question comes from an L.A. Times op-ed examining what did Hillary in.

Deadbeat Democrat Congresswoman Didn’t Pay Her Car Bills Either

Filed under: Buffoons — Patterico @ 10:50 am

That deadbeat Democrat congresswoman didn’t just default 8 times on her real estate and fail to pay her taxes and utility bills. She also stiffed her mechanic (via Roderick):

Car trouble takes on a new meaning when it comes to financially distressed Congresswoman Laura Richardson.

In 2005, when she was still on the Long Beach City Council, she left one mechanic in a lurch with an unpaid bill, then later had her badly damaged BMW towed to an auto body shop but didn’t pay for any work and abandoned the car there, owners of the businesses said this week.

The next day, Richardson began using a city-owned vehicle – putting almost 31,000 miles on it in about a year – and continued driving the car five days after she had left the council to serve in the state Assembly, city records show.


Columnist Praises Obama as Magical Spiritual Being Not of This Earth

Filed under: 2008 Election,Humor,Morons — Patterico @ 10:12 am

Close enough, anyway.

S.F. Gate columnist Mark Morford gives us one of the most nauseating paeans to Obama yet:

Barack Obama isn’t really one of us. Not in the normal way, anyway.

. . . .

Many spiritually advanced people I know (not coweringly religious, mind you, but deeply spiritual) identify Obama as a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health care plans or whatnot, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet, of relating and connecting and engaging with this bizarre earthly experiment. These kinds of people actually help us evolve. They are philosophers and peacemakers of a very high order, and they speak not just to reason or emotion, but to the soul.

The unusual thing is, true Lightworkers almost never appear on such a brutal, spiritually demeaning stage as national politics. This is why Obama is so rare. And this why he is so often compared to Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., to those leaders in our culture whose stirring vibrations still resonate throughout our short history.

Amusing theories about where this nonsense came from at Mrs. Peel and doubleplusundead, who says it all derives from video games. [UPDATE: Well, not exactly, but sort of. doubleplusundead explains below in a comment.]

At the L.A. Times, It’s Quantity vs. (Low) Quality

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 9:49 am

According to Mark Lacter at L.A. Observed, Tribune bigwigs Sam Zell and Randy Michaels have announced that the L.A. Times and other Tribune papers are planning to cut reporters who don’t produce a lot of copy:

Besides fewer pages, look for a smaller newsroom. Michaels says that the average Times “journalist” writes the equivalent of 51 pages a year, while the average output in Hartford and Baltimore is around 300 pages. “You can eliminate a fair number of people while eliminating not much content,” he said. He kept calling it the “right-sizing” of the newsrooms and promised “this is going to happen quickly.”

Kevin Roderick doesn’t like it:

Ugh. Zell and Michaels seem to think that covering the world, Washington and in-depth investigations should take no more time and resources than the crap their other papers churn out. It doesn’t work that way.

No, it doesn’t. The crap the L.A. Times churns out takes way more time and resources than the crap the other papers churn out.

Take Pulitzer Prize winner Chuck Philips. He published 12 articles in 2005, 11 articles in 2006, 17 articles in 2007, and just three articles so far in 2008.

That’s 43 articles in 41 months — barely over an article a month. More than a third were co-written with other reporters. That leaves plenty of time to do that in-depth investigative reporting Roderick speaks of.

Except, of course, one of Philips’s three 2008 articles had to be retracted — because it was bogus and based on phony documents.

Maybe Zell and Michaels are thinking: as long as we’re getting crap anyway, let’s at least get more of it!

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