Patterico's Pontifications


Rush on Colbert: They Blow the Rock Band Test

Filed under: Humor,Music — Patterico @ 11:20 pm

Is this more of a comment on Rush (as they are nowadays), or Rock Band? (Via our pal Radley Balko.)

Via one of Radley’s commenters, here’s the entire Colbert episode.

P.S. No ragging on the boys allowed! This is my favorite band of all time.

Obama’s Views on Pakistan

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 9:15 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Barack Obama was interviewed by Newsweek’s Richard Wolffe “as his plane neared Paris, one of the last stops on his trip.” This was the first question and answer in the online article:

Wolffe: Based on what you’ve seen and heard on this trip, is there anything that has led you to review any policy, tweak things, rethink anything?

Obama: Our success in Afghanistan is going to be deeply dependent not just on getting more troops there, which we need, but also some sustained high-level engagement with Pakistan—something that I discussed before but I think is significantly more urgent than even I had imagined. Basically there doesn’t appear to be any pressure at all being placed on Al Qaeda, on these training camps, these safe havens, in the FATA [Federally Administered Tribal Areas].”

I almost agree with Barack Obama … but it would be more accurate to say that Obama and I both agree with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, who said this in a July 11, 2008, BBC article:

“There are clearly more foreign fighters in the Fata (Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas) than have been there in the past,” Adm Mullen was quoted by news agency Associated Press as saying. “There’s a clear problem on the border,” he added.

The chief of the US military made the comments on Thursday in Kabul. He is on a six-day visit to the region.

Adm Mullen said the new government in Pakistan was working its way through figuring out how to deal with the extremist challenge.

There’s clearly not enough pressure being brought to bear, particularly on the Pakistan side of the border. There’s more freedom there,” AP quoted him as saying.”

This was Admiral Mullen’s second visit this year to Pakistan.

I wonder what liberals will think when they find out Obama’s talking points are straight out of the mouth of Bush’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff?


Creepy Things About Barack Obama

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 6:41 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Recommended reading: Rick Moran’s “The Top Ten Things that Creep Me Out About Obama.”


Survey: Would You Like User-Written Blogs on a Subdomain of

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 3:58 pm

I have been toying with the idea of hosting one or more subdomains on this web site, to provide a forum for a select group of readers to write their own blog posts. These blogs would not appear on the main page, but would appear as a subdomain of the site (e.g. But I would link the blogs on the sidebar of the main pages, and would promote certain posts on the main page from time to time.

The idea started as an idea to host a purely left-leaning blog, written by the civil commenters here who tend to lean left. I was considering inviting people like Leviticus, steve, and aphrael to start. Others might be added as they demonstrate their ability to 1) write well and 2) post their thoughts in a civil manner. I thought it might even be fun to invite them to have a weekly post where they hammer my main blog.

I have sent Leviticus an e-mail and he seems interested. I sent steve an e-mail and haven’t heard back. I just sent aphrael an e-mail; he has his own blog and consequently might not be interested, but I hope he is.

Anyone else could volunteer, but you have to be a good writer and civil to qualify.

After I had this idea, I thought: maybe I should have a right-leaning blog for those who lean right. That way, people could post their own thoughts regardless of whether they’re leftists.

Then I thought that maybe I should just have one blog for right and left, because some people might not want to self-declare as a conservative or a liberal.

I’m not sure which way to go. Opinions?

Also, if I do a left-leaning subdomain and a right-leaning subdomain, and/or a subdomain for everyone, I’d like ideas for names.

What do you think?

UPDATE: I’m leaning towards one single subdomain, while allowing posters to categorize their post by selecting a category like “Left-Leaning” or “Right-Leaning” or “Libertarian.” Then I’ll put links in the sidebar to: 1) the entire subdomain; 2) the left-leaning category (for those who want to read only the left-leaning stuff); 3) the right-leaning category (for those who want to read only the right-leaning stuff); and so forth.

Best of both worlds.

So gear your name suggestions towards a universal subdomain.

Documents from That Assassination Solicitation Case Can Now Be Read

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 3:24 pm

Back on the 17th I posted about that case where a man solicited the assassination of President Bush and pled for a sentence of less than five years. There was a technical glitch that prevented the documents from being uploaded properly. I have fixed that glitch and you can now read the relevant documents at the post.

Another L.A. Times Real Estate Article/Advertisement

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:55 pm

Yesterday I joked about an article on the front page of the L.A. Times California section that read like an advertisement for downtown condos. Little did I know that the paper actually does run weekly articles about specific homes that are nothing more than advertisements. The feature is called “Home of the Week” and is written by a staff writer for the paper. Here is the latest installment:

THIS LA JOLLA estate, perched atop a bluff above Torrey Pines State Reserve, appears to be practically bobbing on the ocean.

Razor, designed by San Diego-based Wallace Cunningham, is a quiet sanctuary with museum-like architecture and unobstructed views of the Pacific. The modern home was constructed of concrete, steel and structural glass so plentiful that it feels as though the house is one with the outdoors.

. . . .

This house is not, however, all about the engineering. It’s about the livable art and the outdoors, visible from every room.

“It was designed to capture the magnificence of the site, to allow the owners to live as part of nature,” Cunningham said. “The house itself is subservient to the sea and the bluffs. When you sit there, they’re perfectly framed in every view.”

. . . .

“From the lower level of the guesthouse, it feels like you can reach out and touch the valley and the sea,” Cunningham said. “From the top level, you can touch the sky.”

Asking price: $39 million

Size: The property has four bedrooms and six bathrooms in 11,000 square feet. The lot size is about half an acre.

Features: A series of architectural, poured-in-place courtyard walls took four months each to construct. They protect the gathering place from the elements and create a sculpture with curves and shapes that resemble those of marble. The house has a living room; a dining room; adjacent chef’s and family kitchens; a media room; a 4,000-bottle wine cellar that may be used for storage; a computer room; an indoor gym and spa; an infinity pool; a terrace; radiant heat; and a seven-car garage. The property has beach access.

Location: La Jolla

Listing agent: Robert Hurwitz, Hurwitz-James Co., Beverly Hills, (310) 477-8865.

The story is at the top of the paper’s main web page right now:

Serious question: are the listing agents paying for these advertisement/articles?

John McCain on Affirmative Action (Updated)

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 2:24 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

ABC reports that, in an interview on “This Week With George Stephanopoulos,” John McCain “reversed himself on affirmative action” when he expressed support for a referendum that would end race and gender-based affirmative action in Arizona. ABC noted that McCain has long opposed quotas but points to McCain’s 1998 statements that ending affirmative action would be “divisive” as evidence that he has reversed his position.

Meanwhile, the AP described McCain’s position on affirmative action in a different way:

“Presidential challenger John McCain said Sunday that he supports a proposed ballot initiative in his home state that would prohibit affirmative action policies from state and local governments. A decade ago, he called a similar effort “divisive.”

Over the years, McCain has consistently voiced his opposition to hiring quotas based on race. He has supported affirmative action in limited cases. For example, he voted to maintain a program that encourages the awarding of 10 percent of spending on highway construction to women and minorities.”

I think it’s fair to question McCain about whether he’s changed his position, and it’s equally fair for McCain to point out that he supported targeted programs and that a lot can happen in 10 years. After all, in 2003, even the Supreme Court set what sounds like a 25-year deadline on the need for affirmative action.

UPDATE 7/27/2008 @ 2:35 PM PST – CNN’s Political Ticker has a swift response from Obama and Al Sharpton:

“Obama told attendees to the Unity conference that he was “disappointed… that John McCain flipped and changed his position. I think in the past he had been opposed to these kinds of… initiatives as divisive. And I think he’s right.”

Civil rights leader Al Sharpton, a prominent Obama supporter, issued a statement accusing McCain of having made “a stunning reversal on his respectable record on affirmative action.”


The Media and Obama Love

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 1:16 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

There is much talk about the media’s love for Obama, so much so that the McCain campaign has released videos capturing the most extreme examples. (Click on the tab labeled “TV Ad: Love”.)

However, a few journalists like Gabriel Sherman of The New Republic may be having second thoughts about their infatuation with Barack Obama:

“Reporters are grumbling more and more that the campaign is acting like the Prom Queen. They gripe that it is “arrogant” and “control[ling],” and the campaign’s own belief that Obama is poised to make history isn’t endearing, either. The press certainly helped Obama get so far so fast; the question is, how far can he get if his campaign alienates them?”

I bet the media will kiss and make up with the Obama campaign but read the link if you enjoy the complaints of a jilted liberal. If you don’t, here’s an intriguing part of the article:

“Reporters who have covered Obama’s biography or his problems with certain voter blocs have been challenged the most aggressively. “They’re terrified of people poking around Obama’s life,” one reporter says. “The whole Obama narrative is built around this narrative that Obama and David Axelrod built, and, like all stories, it’s not entirely true. So they have to be protective of the crown jewels.” Another reporter notes that, during the last year, Obama’s old friends and Harvard classmates were requested not to talk to the press without permission.

So much for transparency. It’s a different context but this sounds more like “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”


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