Patterico's Pontifications


No Average Pickups Allowed

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 7:20 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

WFAA-TV in Dallas reports that a Frisco, Texas, homeowners’ association has threatened to fine a homeowner for parking his new but all-too-common Ford F150 pickup in his front driveway:

Jim Greenwood said he never dreamed his HOA would have a problem with his new Ford F-150 pickup. Then he received the first of three notices threatening him with fines. “Mr. Greenwood, you’re violating a subdivision rule that prohibits pickup trucks in your driveway,” the notice reads.

Stonebriar HOA rules allow several luxury trucks on driveways, including the Cadillac Escalade, Chevy Avalanche, Honda Ridgeline and Lincoln Mark LT. But most Ford, Dodge or Chevy pickups are restricted.”

The homeowners’ association defended its position:

“Bill Osborn of the HOA board said the association also prohibits boats, trailers, golf carts and RVs in driveways. “The high-end vehicles that are allowed are plush with amenities and covers on the back. It doesn’t look like a pickup,” he said. “It’s fancier.”

Mr. Greenwood appealed, claiming his Ford F-150 isn’t much different from the Lincoln Mark LT. “The response was: ‘It’s our belief that Lincoln markets to a different class of people,’ ” he said. “Furthermore, one board member told my wife that if we don’t like it, we can move.”

HOA officials said that many Stonebriar homeowners own pickups but that they abide by the rules and keep them parked in their garages.”

I have to side with the homeowner here. Never come between a man and his pickup.


Did Obama or McCain Win? (Updated x2)

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 7:11 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Who won the discussion at the Saddleback Civil Forum yesterday – Obama or McCain? To answer that question, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell apparently believes we should consider whether McCain may have cheated (from MSNBC via Newsbusters):


SEN. JOHN McCAIN (R-AZ): Defeat it. Couple of points. One, if I’m president of the United States, my friends, if I have to follow him to the gates of hell, I will get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice. I will do that and I know how to do it. I will get that done.

(End videotape)

MR. GREGORY: Andrea Mitchell, that’s a pretty clear contrast.

MS. ANDREA MITCHELL: Oh, absolutely. And, you know, there was the crisp, immediate, forceful response by John McCain, clearly in a comfort zone because he was with his base. And Barack Obama, taking a risk in going there but seeing an opportunity. And a much more nuanced approach. The Obama people must feel that he didn’t do quite as well as they might have wanted to in that context, because that — what they’re putting out privately is that McCain may not have been in the cone of silence and may have had some ability to overhear what the questions were to Obama.


MS. MITCHELL: He seemed so well prepared.

UPDATE 1: More from Rick Warren on whether McCain heard any of the questions.

UPDATE 2: The McCain campaign complains to NBC about Andrea Mitchell’s willingness to repeat Obama’s talking points.


If Obama had done better than McCain in answering questions, I would seriously consider whether Obama is the better candidate. I would consider Obama even though I’m convinced he is so liberal that he’s effectively a socialist, and I think socialism is bad for America. I would consider Obama because I want America to have smart leaders.

McCain knows what he thinks about the important issues of the day. One of the reasons conservatives don’t like McCain is that he doesn’t answer some of the important questions the way we like. I won’t speak for all conservatives but I accept my differences with McCain because at least I know where he stands. In fact, I felt the same way when I was younger when I had to choose between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Reagan was pro-life at a time when I and 78% of Americans were pro-choice on abortion. Pro-choice was important to me then but I accepted Reagan’s pro-life position because I knew his commitment came from principle. I think most Americans will accept differences in opinion when they arise from a clear principle.

Last night and throughout the past year, Obama has shown he is accomplished at identifying the questions. Any good lawyer will tell you that’s an important skill. However, while Obama can articulate varying views, he doesn’t have answers he’s willing to commit to. Obama is the classic liberal arts graduate and younger lawyer who can look at all sides of every issue but can’t or won’t commit to answers.

We’re electing a President who needs to have clear answers, not a mediator with advanced dispute resolution skills. Obama would make a good mediator but as his mild legislative history and open-ended answers demonstrate he’s not ready to lead or be President.


Pew: How Americans Get Their News

Filed under: Media Bias,Politics — DRJ @ 3:49 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Pew Research Center released a new study taken from April-June 2008 that analyzes where people get their news. The study classifies American news consumers into four groups:

Traditionalists (46%) who get news from regular TV newscasts.

Net-Newsers (13%) who get news primarily from online sources and avoid traditional news sources.

Integrators (23%) who get news from multiple sources.

Disengaged (14%) who have a low interest in news from any source.

The complete study is worth a quick read but what was most interesting to me were the “Other Key Findings:”

• In spite of the increasing variety of ways to get the news, the proportion of young people getting no news on a typical day has increased substantially over the past decade. About a third of those younger than 25 (34%) say they get no news on a typical day, up from 25% in 1998.

• A slim majority of Americans (51%) now say they check in on the news from time to time during the day, rather than get the news at regular times. This marks the first time since the question was first asked in 2002 that most Americans consider themselves “news grazers.”

Social networking sites are very popular with young people, but they have not become a major source of news. Just 10% of those with social networking profiles say they regularly get news from these sites.

• As in past news consumption surveys, the audiences for specific cable news outlets remain divided along political lines. Currently 51% of regular CNN viewers are Democrats, up from 45% two years ago. Nearly four-in-ten regular Fox News viewers are Republicans (39%), about the same as in 2006.

Here are the details from the study:

Fox News Channel 39% Republican; 33% Democratic; 22% Independent; 6% Don’t Know

Nightly network news 22% Republican; 45% Democratic; 26% Independent; 7% Don’t Know

MSNBC 18% Republican; 45% Democratic; 27% Independent; 10% Don’t Know

CNN 18% Republican; 51% Democratic; 23% Independent; 8% Don’t Know

PBS NewsHour 21% Republican; 46% Democratic; 23% Independent; 10% Don’t Know

General public 25% Republican; 36% Democratic; 29% Independent; 10% Don’t Know

• Regular readers of magazines such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic and Harper’s Magazine stand out for their high level of political knowledge. Nearly half (47%) answered three political knowledge questions correctly – the highest percentage of any news audience.

The 3 political knowledge questions were:

Which Party currently controls Congress? The Democratic Party.
Who is the US Secretary of State? Condoleezza Rice.
Who is the Prime Minister of Britain? Gordon Brown.

• Overall, 15% of Americans say they have a smart phone, such as an iPhone or a Blackberry. More than a third of smart phone owners (37%) say they get news from these devices.

Believability ratings for national news organizations remain very low. If anything, believability ratings for major online news outlets – including news aggregators such as Google News and AOL News – are lower than for major print, cable and broadcast outlets.

• Though the audience for nightly network news broadcasts are smaller than they were a decade ago, regular viewers of these broadcasts are loyal. Nearly seven-in-ten (69%) say they would miss these broadcasts a lot if they were no longer available.

The study found certain groups pay particularly close attention to national news, including the regular audiences of Hardball with Chris Matthews, Hannity & Colmes, Lou Dobbs Tonight, and The O’Reilly Factor, as well as (page 39):

“Beyond the cable shows, other audiences that pay particularly close attention to national news include readers of magazines such as The Atlantic, Harper’s Magazine and The New Yorker; Rush Limbaugh listeners, NPR listeners, and those who regularly watch the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer or the network Sunday morning news programs.”

Finally, people in every segment are interested in the weather (page 41), so we have that going for us.


Crime, Treatment, and the Revolving Door of Punishment

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 2:29 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Austin American-Stateman reports on an Austin-area man who has been sentenced to his second life sentence:

“Martin DiCarlo, 46, was arrested in October and charged with a felony, driving while intoxicated while on parole.

Since 1983, DiCarlo has been convicted of six driving while intoxicated charges and, in 1993, of burglary of a habitation. He has been released from prison on early parole five times since his first felony drunken driving charge — for his third such offense — in 1985.

DiCarlo was first sentenced to life in prison in 1997, when he pleaded guilty to a charge of carrying a machine gun. He received the life sentence because it is a felony for a person convicted of a felony to carry a weapon. He was paroled in 2006 after spending nine years in prison. “

The prosecutor said it was ridiculous that DiCarlo had been released so quickly after his first four convictions, and even DeCarlo admitted it was safer for the public when he is locked up. Apparently his problems stem from substance abuse, a problem he has never successfully handled.

I want to live in a compassionate society where we help people and give them second chances. I also want to live in a society where we do everything we reasonably can to keep people safe. It’s not safe to let habitual offenders out of jail on early release, no matter how much sympathy we feel for them. So use my tax money to provide more treatment programs to those who want to take advantage of those programs. But use my tax money to build more jails, too.


Andrew Young’s Mother Knows Best

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 2:29 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

It looks like the host and guest-hosts abandoned ship this morning, so let’s get things started with a brief tour of the John Edwards-Rielle Hunter-Andrew Young story.

Young is the reported father of Rielle’s daughter but not everyone believes it – including Young’s mother:

“Jacquelyn Aldridge made clear she deeply doubts her married son – Edwards campaign official Andrew Young – cheated on his beautiful wife and impregnated Edwards’ paramour, Rielle Hunter, last year.

“I wish, very deeply, that both of them – John Edwards and Rielle Hunter – would have the DNA test,” Aldridge, 73, told The Post.”

H/T Mickey Kaus.


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