Patterico's Pontifications


Moderator of Palin Debate Has Pro-Obama Book Coming Out on Inauguration Day

Filed under: 2008 Election,General — Patterico @ 11:15 pm

Gwen Ifill, the moderator of Thursday’s Vice-Presidential debate, has a book coming out in January called “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama.”

From the editorial reviews at Amazon:

In THE BREAKTHROUGH, veteran journalist Gwen Ifill surveys the American political landscape, shedding new light on the impact of Barack Obama’s stunning presidential campaign and introducing the emerging young African American politicians forging a bold new path to political power.

Ifill argues that the Black political structure formed during the Civil Rights movement is giving way to a generation of men and women who are the direct beneficiaries of the struggles of the 1960s. She offers incisive, detailed profiles of such prominent leaders as Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, and U.S. Congressman Artur Davis of Alabama, and also covers up-and-coming figures from across the nation. Drawing on interviews with power brokers like Senator Obama, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Vernon Jordan, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, and many others, as well as her own razor-sharp observations and analysis of such issues as generational conflict and the “black enough” conundrum, Ifill shows why this is a pivotal moment in American history.

Unless, you know, he doesn’t win. Then it would be less pivotal.

And the book might not sell so much.

Oh, by the way:

This title will be released on January 20, 2009.

That’s the day that Ifill hopes Obama will be sworn in as President the next President will be sworn in.

But none of this could possibly have an effect on the way she moderates the debate, right? In fact, viewers shouldn’t even be told about it. Right?

And I’m sure they won’t be.

Unless Sarah Palin tells them.

And Palin should tell viewers — the very first time that Ifill throws a dirty, cheap shot her way.

UPDATE: Ifill has also written about Obama and his family for Essence magazine. A sample:

Michelle likes to remind audiences her husband is just a man—at once extraordinary and quite ordinary—a man who forgets to pick up his socks. Her intent is to humanize the man many see as the Great Black Hope. . . . “You’ve got to make trade-offs in life. I’m okay with that. I’ve come to realize I am sacrificing one set of things in my life for something else potentially really positive.”

That “something” is the vision of her husband in the White House as the nation’s first African-American president. If that sounds audacious, that’s because it is.

Ifill doesn’t add, but is clearly thinking: But I’ll do what I can to make it happen!

Via Michelle Malkin, we find Greta Van Susteren reporting that the people in McCain’s campaign didn’t know about any of this. Well, they should have.

The fix is in, and it’s working.

More Evidence that Pelosi Didn’t Push the Bill

Filed under: 2008 Election,General — Patterico @ 10:45 pm

This morning I floated the theory that Nancy Pelosi didn’t really want the bailout to pass on the first go-round, when passage of the bill might make John McCain look decisive and effective.

Evidence is trickling in that I was right. The Los Angeles Times (yes, the Los Angeles Times) reports:

GOP leaders who were urging the rank and file to support the bailout plan said they told Democrats in advance that they did not have a lock on their votes but did not ask them to delay the debate. Democrats believed that Republicans were lowballing the count and that the measure would pass.

Others have questioned how committed Pelosi was to passing the bill because, once it became clear that it was failing, she made only limited efforts to change minds. She asked members of the Congressional Black Caucus, a bastion of opposition to the deal, to change their votes — but did not deploy the kind of hardball tactics that leaders often use to win close contests.

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said that Pelosi told him: “This is an important bill to the country,” but didn’t try to twist his arm. He acknowledged that Pelosi could be tough, but said that in this case, “she wasn’t.”

What is more, she did not resort to the controversial — but often effective — strategy of extending the time for voting beyond the official 15-minute limit. She kept the vote open a bit longer, but nowhere near the three-hour tally that Republicans held in 2003 to pass a contentious Medicare bill.

A spokesman for House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer tells the paper that the leadership viewed this as a vote of conscience and not a matter of party discipline. The article adds:

It may be a politically effective strategy if, in the end, the bill changes more to Democrats’ liking. And it may have made it easier for Democrats, in these closing weeks of the 2008 campaign, to argue that Republicans are responsible for the nation’s economic problems.

Said John J. Pitney Jr., a political scientist at Claremont McKenna College, “Turmoil and uncertainty benefits the Democrats.”

And if it causes a trillion-dollar stock selloff, well, that’s just the consequence of good politics. Besides, the market recovered a lot of that today. So what are you bitching about?

P.S. Maybe Barack Obama could come in and succeed where John McCain failed! Wouldn’t that be something! And the Democrats have it in their power to make it happen.

California’s Bill-A-Palooza

Filed under: Government — Justin Levine @ 10:42 pm

[posted by Justin Levine]

Interested in knowing which of the hundreds of bills got signed and which got vetoed in the last 72 hours by Governor Schwarzenegger during his last week to act on them?

Check them all out here.

How on earth did California manage to survive without the passage of all these bills before? Thank goodness we somehow found a way to squeak by in our previous laisseze-faire / anarchist era before the state legislature got with the program and started enacting all these vitally necessary laws….

– Justin Levine

Should Heads Roll As a Condition of a Bailout?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:01 pm

Pat at Stubborn Facts says no bailout should happen unless there is accountability for the people who caused this crisis:

I want some accountability for the politicians who got us into this mess. I want accountability for Chris Dodd and all the other Friends of Angelo. I want accountability for all the politicians who fought Richard Baker tooth and nail while he steadfastly pursued (and ultimately exposed) the fundamental corruptions of Franklin Raines, Jim Johnson, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. I want accountability for the Republican leadership who neither supported Rep. Baker nor gave him the power needed to accomplish further reforms.

If this is really that big a crisis, if the political decisions made and not made over the past 15 years have gotten us to this point, I want resignations. I want loss of committee positions. I want both parties to clean house and put honest folks in charge. Yes, there’s honest folks in Congress… the problem is that the fat cats and sleazeballs get the leadership positions. Pelosi wants this bill passed so bad? Tell Harry Reid to remove Dodd from the banking committee. Bush wants this bill that badly? Tell the GOP in Congress to put people like Mike Pence in charge of committees. I’m not supporting a bail-out until I see some evidence that Congress has looked in the mirror and accepted its role in causing the problems.

Pat has more here.

He’s got a point. Politicians and their appointees are forced to resign all the time for things a hell of a lot less significant than a crisis requiring a $700 billion bailout. Where’s the accountability here?

But is Pat right about who should bear the blame? Don’t take my word for it. Believe your own ears and eyes.

Via Ed Morrissey at Hot Air comes this amazing eight-minute video contrasting the attitude of Republicans and Democrats on Fannie and Freddie. You can’t make this stuff up. Here they are in their own words:

Heads should roll.

UPDATE: Pat received a detailed comment from Richard Baker on one of his posts. You can read it here. Pat tells me that he verified the comment was from Baker.


Hey, Richard Baker! If you should happen to read this, I’d love to talk to you. patterico AT gmail DOT com.

This Week’s New York Times Update

Filed under: 2008 Election,Media Bias — DRJ @ 8:43 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The New York Times relays a memo from Paris that the French love Obama, but they don’t like boorish Americans like Sarah Palin:

“The French know exactly what to make of her [Palin], said Frédéric Rouvillois, and that is the problem. Ms. Palin may be an American dream but she is a French nightmare, said Mr. Rouvillois, a lawyer and social historian who has just written a book titled “The History of Snobbery.”

“She’s a caricature of a certain America that hasn’t parted with its boorish ‘Wild West’ side,” said the impish Mr. Rouvillois, who has also written a history of good manners. “For the French snob, the only admissible American is from the East Coast, knows Henry James, is comfortable in French, a sort of European on the other side of the Atlantic.”

A little, yes, like Senator John Kerry.”

Didn’t the New York Times learn anything in the 2004 Bush-Kerry election? This won’t win Obama many undecided American votes.


Hating Sarah Palin

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 4:42 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Why do some women hate Sarah Palin?

That’s the subject of Mary Schmich’s article in last Sunday’s Chicago Tribune. Schmich concludes women hate Palin for any of several reasons: Her politics, especially on women’s issues. Her lack of credentials. Her fractured syntax. Her cockiness and the fact that, as a woman, she’s a rarity in national politics. Because she did not “earn” her place on the national stage.

Even if true, these are reasons to oppose Sarah Palin’s candidacy but not to hate her. But Schmich answers this question when she confides how she relates “to the betrayal, insult and worry the choice of Palin as John McCain’s running mate stirs in many women.”

Betrayal, insult, worry. These are the emotions of jealousy and envy. Schmich’s description of Palin depicts her as someone it would be easy to admire or envy, depending on your inclination:

“Palin is an ambitious, smart, energetic woman, who through work, luck, pluck and, yes, a ruthless streak common to politicians, has invented an uncommonly full life.”

In other words, Palin has what many women want.

That alone might make some women jealous but I suspect what is most galling is that Palin has accomplished all this without embracing the politically correct, feminist pro-choice/nanny/single woman lifestyle. Palin is living proof that there is more than one path to marriage, motherhood, and a successful career. That must be a disheartening concept to those who view liberal feminism as the best path for women to achieve success.

So, no matter how Palin does Thursday night at the Vice Presidential debate, don’t expect liberal women to stop their crusade anytime soon.


If Obama’s Teleprompter Could Speak …

Filed under: 2008 Election,Humor — DRJ @ 1:26 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Iowahawk knows what it would say.

Demand #5 will be a sticking point. Just my honest opinion.


“Can we ask Ms. Pelosi to enforce party unity as one normally might enforce party unity?”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:56 am

During the O.J. trial — the first one, you remember that one? — a pivotal moment occurred when Chris Darden asked O.J. to put on the gloves used by the murderer. There were numerous reasons why it was a boneheaded move for Darden to do this. Notably, Simpson put on the murderer’s gloves over a pair of latex gloves, and it’s hard to put on a pair of gloves when you already have a pair on.

But mainly, it was a stupid move for Darden to make, because he set up a dramatic moment that was completely within the control of his opposing party. All Simpson had to do was look like he was unable to put on the gloves, and any chance of a conviction would be gone.

For some reason, I was reminded of this when the bailout failed yesterday.

John McCain set up a dramatic moment where he would come in and save the day by convincing Republican lawmakers to support the bailout. But he made this move in a Congress completely controlled by Democrats.

And the Democrats clearly didn’t like it. Harry Reid demanded to know where McCain stood on the bill — but after McCain surprised Reid with his overly dramatic campaign “suspension,” Reid told McCain he wasn’t needed. He told the press that McCain wasn’t being helpful or even articulate in the meetings.

McCain worked the phones, while Obama didn’t call a single Democrat lawmaker. McCain reportedly turned around about 60 lawmakers. It wasn’t quite enough.

People are now arguing about where the blame lies. Democrats point out that Democrats supported the bill, while Republicans opposed it. Also, we’re told, Republicans promised a certain number of votes, and didn’t deliver. Meanwhile, Republicans point out that Democrats controlled the chamber. If they really wanted a bill passed, a bill would have passed.

Who’s right? I don’t know. But I remember hearing before the fact that Democrats didn’t want to pass the bill without a majority of Republicans in favor. Did they change their minds?

And isn’t it odd that this all ends up making John McCain’s gesture look empty and incompetent?


Remember Chris Darden’s pathetic entreaty to Judge Lance Ito as O.J. clowned with those gloves:

Can we ask him to straighten his fingers and extend them into the glove as one normally might put a glove on?

You can ask, Darden. But I don’t know why he would comply.

McCain asked Nancy Pelosi to put on the gloves. He made a dramatic gesture, but made it at a time when control of its outcome lay in the hands of the other party.

And whaddya know: the dramatic gesture failed. The gloves didn’t fit.

P.S. Most people seem to assume some version of this bailout will pass. If it does, watch closely to see whose votes change. If I’m right, it will be mostly Democrat votes. I could be wrong. We’ll see.


I’m No Economics Expert . . .

Filed under: Economics,General — Patterico @ 11:36 pm

. . . but I’m a little surprised to see the joy in the comments here over the defeat of the bailout.

This one is splitting conservatives. Michelle Malkin is 100% against the bailout. But there are some dissenters, including Allahpundit:

Explain to me why the risk of letting this thing go off and start a global economic meltdown is better than at least trying to defuse it.


We are in trouble. There is a chance that a crisis will not lead to a vicious-circle deleveraging and halt to a lot of economic activity, but the odds that it will seem much greater.

I’m a free market guy. And I’m a believer that government involvement generally has unintended consequences.

At the same time, without government action, this could be really, really ugly.

Again, I feel essentially unqualified to have a firm opinion. But I’m surprised at how many people in the comments here seem to be utterly confident in their opinion that the bailout is definitely the wrong thing. You might be right. But you also might be horribly, horribly wrong.

Say It Ain’t So: L.A. Times Runs Story Slanted Against Palin

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:50 pm

The word of a liberal blogger is good enough for a lead in the Los Angeles Times. From an article yesterday:

ANCHORAGE — Soon after Sarah Palin was elected mayor of the foothill town of Wasilla, Alaska, she startled a local music teacher by insisting in casual conversation that men and dinosaurs coexisted on an Earth created 6,000 years ago — about 65 million years after scientists say most dinosaurs became extinct — the teacher said.

After conducting a college band and watching Palin deliver a commencement address to a small group of home-schooled students in June 1997, Wasilla resident Philip Munger said, he asked the young mayor about her religious beliefs.

Palin told him that “dinosaurs and humans walked the Earth at the same time,” Munger said. When he asked her about prehistoric fossils and tracks dating back millions of years, Palin said “she had seen pictures of human footprints inside the tracks,” recalled Munger, who teaches music at the University of Alaska in Anchorage and has regularly criticized Palin in recent years on his liberal political blog, called Progressive Alaska.

It’s on the Internet, so I guess it must be true!

Hey, didja know there’s a guy who says he gave Obama a blow job after a cocaine party in Gurnee, Illinois?

It’s on the Internet, so I guess it must be true!

(For the humor and irony impaired: no, I am not saying that what this clearly insane person says about Barack Obama is true. It’s an “analogy.”)

If this nutjob were making this allegation about Sarah Palin, Andrew Sullivan would be furiously writing e-mails to Michael Goldfarb demanding that he deny it, because of how popular Sullivan is and all. Would it be enough to put at the head of an L.A. Times article? Who’s to say?

The article also says:

During an October 2006 debate in the Alaska governor’s race, Palin urged that evolution and creationist ideas be taught together in state schools. “Don’t be afraid of information and let kids debate both sides,” she said.

But the L.A. Times doesn’t mention that, after the debate, Palin clarified that — contrary to what the L.A. Times says — she did not intend for creationism to be taught in the schools:

In an interview Thursday, Palin said she meant only to say that discussion of alternative views should be allowed to arise in Alaska classrooms:

“I don’t think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn’t have to be part of the curriculum.”

She added that, if elected, she would not push the state Board of Education to add such creation-based alternatives to the state’s required curriculum.

In summary: liberal blogger’s assertions: gold. Claiming Palin supported something that she explicitly disclaimed: responsible journalism.

The fix is in, and it’s working.

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