Patterico's Pontifications


Why the New York Times Rejected John McCain’s Op-Ed

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:11 pm

Some of my more paranoid friends on the right see “liberal bias” in the decision of the New York Times to reject John McCain’s op-ed about Iraq. As their “evidence” they cite the fact that, just one week ago, the same paper published Barack Obama’s op-ed on the same topic.

But New York Times editor David Shipley has made it clear that the paper wasn’t rejecting any op-ed by McCain, just the one he wrote.

What would be acceptable to Shipley? Our friends at The Nose on Your Face found Shipley’s notes to McCain’s piece, so you can see for yourself.

Deport The Criminals First! (Are you listening San Francisco??)

Filed under: Deport the Criminals First — Justin Levine @ 3:50 pm

[Posted by Justin Levine]

The San Francisco Chronicle continues its admirable job in keeping the heat on the insane policies of its city’s leaders:

On Sunday, The Chronicle reported that Ramos, at age 17, was twice found to have committed felonies – a gang motivated assault of a Muni bus passenger followed by the attempted street robbery of a pregnant woman – but he was shielded from deportation by the city’s policy of providing sanctuary for immigrants.

Ramos, now 21, is charged with murdering Anthony Bologna and his sons Matthew and Michael. He appeared today before San Francisco Superior Court Judge Lucy McCabe, but did not enter a plea. He is scheduled to return to court on Wednesday.

Police have said that Ramos was a member of the (Mara Salvatrucha) MS-13 street gang in the Mission but his offenses were not turned over to federal immigration officials, apparently shielding him from deportation.

Read the whole thing, as well as the original story from Sunday.

– Justin Levine

Paying for Al Gore’s Magical Energy Plan — Just Close Your Eyes And Click Your Heels Together Three Times and Say “Yes We Can”

Filed under: General — WLS @ 3:43 pm

Posted by WLS: 

That’s about all Tom Brokaw could get out of Al Gore yesterday on the question of how the country would pay for his 10 year plan to a carbon-free production of electricity nationwide.

Lets just contemplate for a moment the enormity of that suggestion — no more coal fired plants, no more natural gas fired plants, and no more nuke plants (though they are carbon free).  Coal and natural gas alone are about 70% of all electricity production. 

When asked by Brokaw at various points how the economy could afford such an enormous expense over just ten years — or the same amount of time Obama plans to be President — Gore said the following:

MR. BROKAW:  I don’t think anyone doubts that we have to make some profound changes in this country and make some tough decisions and maybe even suffer some pain, but let’s talk about the cost.  This is your own group in terms of describing what this may cost.  The numbers are from $1 1/2 trillion to $3 trillion as an estimate.  Where does that money come from for a new president who is facing a $400 billion deficit, has two wars going on, needs an economic stimulus if it’s a Democrat, as Obama has outlined–we have a housing crisis in this country–and probably diminished tax revenues?

VICE PRES. GORE:  Well, those, those are not all public funds.  That’s the total private and public investment, which is comparable to what we would spend over that same period of time if we continued to rely on coal and oil, which is rising so rapidly in price.  It’s less than the cost of the Iraq war, according to Joe Stiglitz and some other economists, and it is an investment.

Well Al — since we would have to continue spending money on coal and oil during the transition period, its not like we can simply substitute one set of costs for the other.  So, the question remains, where do we get the $1.5 to $3 trillion to cover the entire states of Arizona and New Mexico in photovoltaic cells, and build the non-stop stretch of wind mills from Montana to Houston?

MR. BROKAW:  What would electricity cost in terms of the transition while it’s under way?  Most estimates are that it would cost a lot more money, and that would have a devastating effect on Main Street and especially on rural America.

VICE PRES. GORE:  Well, I, I don’t agree with that, and I think that the devastating effect on Main Street and the rest of the country is coming from the present rising costs for electricity.  And the reason why is China and the other emerging economies again are bidding up the price of every lump of coal and every drop of oil, and the new discoveries have been declining, so the estimates are now that these price increases are likely to continue until we stop just taking baby steps and offering gimmicks and, instead, have a strategic initiative.

Yeah Al, we get it — electricity and gas are expensive now, and getting more expensive.  Now answer the fooking question since its your fooking proposal — what source of money is going to be used to pay the $1.5 to $3 trillion transition costs?   Its not like we can simply stop paying for electricity generation while you’re out there in the desert wiring your solar panels together with a glue gun.  People are going to keep sending their checks each month to the power company for the AC and lights.  Do you intend to tax them on top of their household expenses to bring your grand vision into creation?

MR. BROKAW:  But what do we have to give up to reach the cost of a trillion and a half to three trillion dollars?  There’s going to have to be some pain, some sacrifice on the part of the American taxpayer, isn’t there?

VICE PRES. GORE:  Well, I, I think we should have a shift in our tax system, and I think we should tax what we burn and not what we earn, and I think we should take account of the incredibly expensive environmental costs that go into burning coal and oil.  I also think that the coal and oil industries can play a big role in this if they will make good on the promise that carbon capture and sequestration will be real.  Right now, there’s no demonstration project, there’s nothing real about it.  The, the phrase clean coal is a contradiction in terms.  There’s no such thing as clean coal now.  But the industry knows that with an all-out push toward capturing the CO2 and burying it safely, that can be done.

Here’s the headline I expected to see today in the NYT — don’t know how they missed it:


Thanks for being here Al, but your inability to answer the FREAKING QUESTION only demonstrates the wisdom of the electoral college in keeping your fat ass out of the WH.

Everything is Twice (Maybe 2 1/2 Times) As Bad As You Thought . . .

Filed under: 2008 Election — Patterico @ 12:49 am

Well, get used to it. Obama is going to be our President for the next eight to ten years.

Whew. That’s a long time to govern 57 states.

UPDATE: My mistake. It’s actually 58, if you watch the clip.

The Power of the Jump™: Shockingly Unexpected DNA Results Are “Indeed” Expected!

Filed under: Crime,Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 12:24 am

(Note: “The Power of the Jump”™ is a semi-regular feature of this site, documenting examples of the Los Angeles Times’s use of its back pages to hide information that its editors don’t want you to see.)

Above the fold in their Sunday edition, the L.A. Times asks in its lead story: “How reliable is DNA in identifying suspects?” The deck headline: “A discovery leads to questions about whether the odds of people sharing genetic profiles are sometimes higher than portrayed. Calling the finding meaningless, the FBI has sought to block such inquiry.”

The story is by our old friends Jason Felch and Maura Dolan, who so badly botched the statistics in this area before.

Here’s their lede:

State crime lab analyst Kathryn Troyer was running tests on Arizona’s DNA database when she stumbled across two felons with remarkably similar genetic profiles.

The men matched at nine of the 13 locations on chromosomes, or loci, commonly used to distinguish people.

The FBI estimated the odds of unrelated people sharing those genetic markers to be as remote as 1 in 113 billion. But the mug shots of the two felons suggested that they were not related: One was black, the other white.

In the years after her 2001 discovery, Troyer found dozens of similar matches — each seeming to defy impossible odds.

Wow! So the matches Troyer found were statistically unexpected, right?

Mmmm . . . not so much. Here’s the crucial passage, which was buried at page A20:

Indeed, experts generally agree that most — but not all — of the Arizona matches were to be expected statistically because of the unusual way Troyer searched for them.


In a typical criminal case, investigators look for matches to a specific profile. But the Arizona search looked for any matches among all the thousands of profiles in the database, greatly increasing the odds of finding them.

Well, there you have it! And you have only to turn to Page A20 to learn this! And, of course, every loyal L.A. Times reader does exactly that!

Just ask around! You don’t know anyone who just scans the headlines and the front page, do you?

What’s that? That describes most people you know?

Well . . . . that’s OK, I guess. I’m sure none of those people will end up as jurors on our DNA cases . . .

UPDATE: David Kaye has an excellent post on this that helps put it all in context.

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