Patterico's Pontifications


Andrew Sullivan Mints a New Swift Vet

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:29 pm

Andrew Sullivan:

Two-tour Green Beret Ted Sampley of the 2004 “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” is now targeting the Republican nominee with the group “Vietnam Veterans Against John McCain.” For some reason, Fox News is less eager to have him on the air than they were four years ago.

Ted Sampley was a member of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth?? That’s news to me!!

I followed the link, and I think Excitable Andy misread the following passage:

Two-tour Green Beret Ted Sampley, who helped “Swift Boat” Democrat John Kerry in the 2004 presidential race, is now gunning for the GOP White House hopeful.

That’s hardly the same as saying that Sampley is a member of the Swift Vets.

Let’s dig a little deeper, shall we?

Here is a reprint of the original Swift Vets’ letter to Kerry, with a list of the signatories. Sampley’s name is not on there.

And Sampley’s bio describes him as a veteran of the Army — which would make it quite a trick for him to have been a member of the Swift Vets, which was a group of Navy vets.

It’s true that Crooks and Liars has called Sampley “Ted ‘Swift Boat’ Sampley.” And Ken Layne’s Wonkette has used the phrase “famous Swift-boater Ted Sampley.” Proof that Sampley is a Swift Vet? I’d say it’s more likely proof that Crooks and Liars and Wonkette are not particularly trustworthy web sites.

Yes, Sampley was a wild-eyed opponent of John Kerry’s, before he was a wild-eyed opponent of John McCain’s. That doesn’t make him a member of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

Absent a shocking revelation inconsistent with the above facts, Mr. Sullivan owes his readers a retraction. I’m e-mailing him now.

Another Poll

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:45 pm

The latest National Journal blogger poll:

“Who is Obama most like — John F. Kennedy, Jackie Robinson, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter or Colin Powell?”

Answers here. My quote isn’t there, but you can easily guess what I said.

Another Hummer Reference in a Steve Lopez Column

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 10:37 pm

Recently, funnyman Roy Rivenburg mocked L.A. Times columnist Steve Lopez for constantly mentioning a certain city official’s Hummer. In a satirical piece, Rivenburg assumed Lopez’s voice and said:

Arnold and Antonio: You’re off the hook today. You too, Mahony. I’m even declaring a moratorium on the mayor’s transportation czar – you know, the guy whose Humvee I manage to mention in one out of every five columns lately.

Hilarious. And I guess Lopez is out of material, because he’s doing it again:

I’d been hoping to catch the eye of Jaime de la Vega, the creativity-challenged deputy mayor for transportation under Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Surely he’d have plenty of room for me in his big honking Hummer, and I could ask what he’s done for us lately besides chug around town at 12 miles to the gallon.

The latest Hummer reference comes up in a column where Lopez tries to hitch a ride downtown.

Man, I wish I’d known. I would have loved to have blown past Lopez myself.

Fisking Hillary’s Speech

Filed under: General — WLS @ 10:36 pm

[Posted by WLS]

I couldn’t get past the first sentence:

I am honored to be here tonight. A proud mother. A proud Democrat. A proud American. And a proud supporter of Barack Obama.

What about that tall gray-haired guy over there with the long fingers?  Not proud?  Okey dokey. 

Who wants to start a pool on when Hillary files for divorce?  Pick just the day and month — I think we all know it’ll be 2008.  She doesn’t need him anymore.

Words Nancy Pelosi May Regret

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 9:37 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s message to female Clinton supporters at the Democratic National Convention on the importance of moving forward and not wallowing in defeat:

“I think that women, we have to get away from the politics of victim. This is about you go out there and you fight.”

At least she didn’t joke about drilling their brains.


Quote of the Day

Filed under: Immigration,Law — DRJ @ 8:43 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

“It was like a horror story. They got handled like they were criminals.”

Said Roberto Velez, son of the pastor at Iglesia Cristiana Peniel, the church where an estimated 30 to 40 percent of its 200 parishioners were caught up in Monday’s immigration raid at the Howard Industries transformer plant in Laurel, Mississippi. It was the largest single-workplace immigration raid in U.S. history.

Under a new Mississippi law that took effect July 1, a company found guilty of employing illegal immigrants “could lose public contracts for three years and the right to do business in Mississippi for one year. The law also makes it a felony for an illegal immigrant to accept a job in Mississippi.”


What’s In a Name?

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 8:05 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Former Rep. Charlie Wilson (D-TX) wants the country to be led by Osama bin Laden … uh, that is … Obama and Biden.

Meanwhile, the Smoking Gun posted documents relating to felony weapon and drug charges filed today against Tharin Gartrell, Nathan Johnson, and Shawn Adolf, “three idiots allegedly involved in a plot to kill Senator Barack Obama” because of his race. What are the odds the alleged ringleader is named Adolf?


And the Message is …

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 6:30 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

A political convention is like a 4-day infomercial or a mini-series. The convention must have a message that holds viewers’ attention and inspires them to work and vote for a candidate.

So far, this convention doesn’t have a clear message and has barely inspired people to work and vote for Obama. Instead, it’s appears to be a series of unrelated moments punctuated by emotional tributes to past leaders. So far, those moments have focused on rehabilitating Michelle Obama’s image on Day 1, giving Hillary Clinton center stage on Day 2, and presumably includes placating Bill Clinton on Day 3.

James Carville covered the convention last night with CNN’s Anderson Cooper and he’s worried about the lack of focus:

“Well if this party has a message it has done a hell of a job of hiding it tonight I promise you that,” Carville said.
“David Gergen said this a short time ago, that in the first two hours what is the message?” said Cooper.

“And you know what? David didn’t get to where he was in life because he’s stupid He was exactly right. I look at this and I am about to jump out of my chair…There’s no message coming out of here, there is no sense that the party has a sense of urgency, and we’ve only got four nights this is 25% of the whole thing.”

Some of the speakers can present the Democratic view in a way that will inspire delegates and home viewers, and I expect Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to do well. They should give excellent speeches that will mobilize Democrats to oppose Bush-McCain, support Barack Obama, or both. But that’s a mere 3+ hours out of 4 days of non-stop coverage.

At this point, I think the Democrats would be better positioned if they put the Obama girls on stage for a couple of hours every day.


Fisking Michelle Obama’s Speech — A Few Thoughts

Filed under: General — WLS @ 2:39 pm

[Posted by WLS]

Michelle Obama’s speech is going to slip away like ether into the atmosphere in the next 24 hours. Before it does I want to take a look at some of the actual words she spoke. The quality of a presentation can sometimes interfere with a listener’s understanding of what is being said. There is no question that Michelle Obama delivered a very eloquent speech last night. But what did she really say when you look at the text?

First, overall, as I’ve seen mentioned in a couple of places, the text of the speech represented a concession by the campaign that MO is a net vote loser in the role of campaign surrogate. Last night’s speech could have been given by Laura Bush, and its text and tone was significantly different from the stump speech she gives at campaign stops. Lets see which Michelle reappears on the campaign trail starting next week.

Next, I was struck by this line:

that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do…

Talk about leading with your chin — I guess they expect everyone to just forget about the campaign finance pledge, and his vow to the left wing of his own party to filibuster the FISA reform. What’s that “bond” made from — clay? I’m sure there are many other examples that could be worked into a commercial.

And then there was this:

And as our friendship grew, and I learned more about Barack, he introduced me to the work he’d done when he first moved to Chicago after college. Instead of heading to Wall Street, Barack had gone to work in neighborhoods devastated when steel plants shut down, and jobs dried up.

This is simply a blatant lie — and it seems to even lack the kind of fudge on timing that might make it literally true. Obama graduated from Columbia in the spring of 1983, but didn’t go to Chicago until 1985. Here is what he said in the commencement speech he delivered in place of Ted Kennedy at Wesleyan Univ. in May:

But during my first two years of college, perhaps because the values my mother had taught me —hard work, honesty, empathy — had resurfaced after a long hibernation. . . .

I wrote letters to every organization in the country I could think of. And one day, a small group of churches on the South Side of Chicago offered me a job to come work as a community organizer in neighborhoods that had been devastated by steel plant closings. My mother and grandparents wanted me to go to law school. My friends were applying to jobs on Wall Street. Meanwhile, this organization offered me $12,000 a year plus $2,000 for an old, beat-up car.

And I said yes.

But Obama didn’t start his community organizer job until June 1985. From his graduation in 1983 until June 1985, he did work for a NY business — a publishing, research, and consulting company called Business International Corporation.

Maybe the literal truth of her speech comes from the fact that BIC’s address wasn’t on “Wall Street.”

I’ll update this later when I have more time.

[NOTE from DRJ 8/27/2008: There is a debate Foo Bar objects in the comments regarding WLS’s statement of Barack Obama’s employment from 1983-1985. According to this New York Times’ article, Obama worked at Business International Corporation for a year after his graduation from Columbia University. He spent his second year in New York working at the New York Public Interest Research Group, a nonprofit organization.

In addition, Patterico asked me to clarify that, if the New York Times article is correct, WLS overstated the length of Obama’s initial employment by a year. Regardless, WLS was dead-on in his observation that Michelle Obama’s speech was misleading.]

Off-the-Cuff Clinton

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 2:28 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

It can get worse than this for the Obama campaign but not by much:

“The former president, speaking in Denver, posed a hypothetical question in which he seemed to suggest that that the Democratic Party was making a mistake in choosing Obama as its presidential nominee.

He said: “Suppose you’re a voter, and you’ve got candidate X and candidate Y. Candidate X agrees with you on everything, but you don’t think that candidate can deliver on anything at all. Candidate Y you agree with on about half the issues, but he can deliver. Which candidate are you going to vote for?”

Then, perhaps mindful of how his off-the-cuff remarks might be taken, Clinton added after a pause: “This has nothing to do with what’s going on now.”

More (much more) from former President Clinton at the link.


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