Patterico's Pontifications


L.A. Times Gets Smaller and Smaller

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 11:43 pm

Kevin Roderick reports that the L.A. Times is closing two sections: “the auto section Highway 1” and “the weekly listings section The Guide.” They will be sorely missed, although I confess I never read either one. (I guess one of the auto section guys won a Pulitzer — like Chuck Philips and Michael Hiltzik. I therefore stand duly chastened for being unfamiliar with his work.)

Who Comes Up With These Schedules??

Filed under: General — WLS @ 6:55 pm

Posted by WLS:

Granted, there are certain limitations on the ability of the political parties to schedule their election year conventions.  But, this year more than any other that I remember seems to call for giving strong consideration to shortening the events to 3 days — especially given the staged and anti-climatic nature of conventions these days.

So, what are the conventions competing against this year?

Well, Obama will be giving his acceptance speech in the evening on August 28, 2008.  That same evening 26 NFL teams will be playing their final exhibition game in prepartion for the season starting the first week of September.  Nearly all the games are set for 7:00 or 7:30 starts, and most teams have local television packages that will broadcast the games.

McCain will be giving his acceptance speech in the evening on September 4.  That happens to be the same day the NFL kicks-off its regular season with a nationally televised game between the Redskins and the NYGiants, starting at 7:00. 

If the conventions each ended on Wednesday night, there would be no conflict with the NFL.  So, I ask again, who comes up with these schedules?

Jesse Jackson: I Want to Cut Obama’s Nuts Off

Filed under: Race — Patterico @ 5:55 pm

Jesse Jackson says that Barack Obama has been “talking down to black people” and helpfully adds: “I want to cut his nuts off.”

According to CNN, Jackson

didn’t elaborate on the context of his remarks, except to say he was trying to explain that Obama was hurting his relationship with black voters by recently conducting “moral” lectures at African-American churches.

Jackson is probably referring to speeches like the one Obama gave at a church in Chicago, in which he said things like this:

Too many fathers are MIA. Too many fathers are AWOL. They’ve abandoned their responsibilities. They’re acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our family have suffered because of it. You and I know this is true everywhere, but nowhere is it more true than in the African-American community.

I’ve heard some audio from that speech. Obama properly noted that there has been a history of racial injustice in this country, and that this history is part of the reason for the breakdown of the family in black America. Obama added, however, that black people can’t keep using that as an excuse. He also said:

We need fathers to recognize their responsibility doesn’t just end at conception. Any fool can have a child. It’s the courage to raise a child that makes you a father.

Jackson might have taken such remarks personally, given that he had to announce in 1999 that he had had an out-of-wedlock child.

Ironically, the fullest transcript I found of Obama’s speech was at Rush Limbaugh’s site. (It was a quick search; if you find a better source, let me know.) From what I can tell, Obama predictably offers some tired liberal solutions to the problem.

Still, it’s wonderful that he said these things. America has been waiting for years for a politician to say this in a non-racist way — a way that fully acknowledges this country’s history of racial prejudice, but also insists that black Americans move beyond it and take responsibility for their families. It probably did take a black politician to say that. That he said it is a very good thing.

Conservatives should applaud Obama’s words, and resist the urge to reflexively find glee in the spectacle of a public figure like Jackson bashing Obama in such a vulgar way.

I oppose Obama because I don’t like what much of what he stands for. But on this issue, in the language I quote above, he’s right. Jesse Jackson represents the tired old way, and Barack Obama represents the new way. And in this area, it truly is a welcome message of change.

A Tale of Two Newspaper Stories — One with Disclosure and Context, and One Without.

Posted by WLS:

Today the  Washington post and LA times both run stories about the editing of proposed Congressional testimony of federal officials by members of the Vice President’s staff.  The subject of the deleted testimony was the impact on public health posed by global climate change.  The “whistleblower” — a novel description since this subject has been previously reported on — is former EPA deputy associate administrator Jason K. Burnett.   One of the edited officials was Julie Gerberding, the head of the Centers for Disease Control, who intended to testify that climate change is a “serious public health concern.” 

When that testimony was cut, Burnett attempted to send an Email to the White Houe on December 5 announcing EPA’s finding that global warming poses a danger to the public.  Burnett was responsible for climate change issues at EPA.  The WH declined to open Burnett’s email, because such a finding would obligate the agency to issue regulations to limit carbon dioxide emmissions.  The administration does not accept the accuracy of the science behind the issue of global warming, and the role of humans in causing global warming through the emission of carbon dioxide. 

Here is the disclosure for context about Burnett that the WaPo article included:

“The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the Office of the Vice President (OVP) were seeking deletions to the CDC testimony,” Burnett, 31, a Stanford-trained economist and a Democrat, wrote in response to an inquiry from Boxer’s committee. “CEQ requested that I work with CDC to remove from the testimony any discussion of the human health consequences of climate change.” …  Burnett — a grandson of high-tech entrepreneur David Packard and a member of the Packard Foundation’s board of trustees — has given more than $129,000 to Democratic campaigns in recent years, including $3,600 to presidential candidate Barack Obama (Ill.).

The LAT, on the other hand, had this to say about Burnett:

Burnett resigned as the EPA’s associate deputy administrator last month. He also has contributed $4,600 to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s campaign….

This disclosure is certainly warranted, but is it sufficient given Burnett’s admitted conduct?  The LAT article describes his effort to hijack administration policy as follows:

The Supreme Court ruled last year that the EPA was required to evaluate whether greenhouse gas emissions posed a risk and, if so, implement regulations on polluters….. In December, Burnett said, he sent the White House an e-mail finding, in response to the Supreme Court ruling, that greenhouse gas emissions pose a risk, a step toward regulation.   

This episode presents an interesting opportunity to consider the theory of the unitary executive.  Simply stated, the theory states that the President, as the only elected official of the Executive Branch of Government, solely possesses the executive power under the Constitution to execute the laws.  This theory would also hold that Congress cannot confer executive power on executive branch officials other than the President since the Constitution vests all executive Power in the President. 

By creating officials and agencies such as EPA, and imposing upon them mandatory obligations such as the one Burnett is attempting to force on the Bush Administration by putting his finding in an email, Congress is actually usurping the executive Power vested in the President by forcing the Administration to do something through an inferior administration official that the elected President is not prepared to do.   



Dust-Up: Day Three

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 7:26 am

My debate with Marc Cooper continues today at this link. The previous installments are there as well. [UPDATE: Direct link to Day 3 is here.]

Meanwhile, my appearance on the radio yesterday garnered a kudos from L.A. journalist Sean Mitchell. A sample:

Anyone who thinks even the best bloggers (which would not describe you, I dare say) are any substitute for the salaried hard work, reporting, investigation and experience of newspaper journalists is just a fool. How much of the real news on the internet comes from bloggers? By the way, that’s a rhetorical question. I can’t believe Olney had someone as naive as you on the show.

You can read Mr. Mitchell’s pieces at the L.A. Times here.

I appreciate Mr. Mitchell giving me a real-life example of Big Media arrogance.

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