Patterico's Pontifications


More Details Emerge On San Francisco’s Continued War On Law Abiding Society

Filed under: Crime,Deport the Criminals First,Immigration — Justin Levine @ 11:37 pm

Jaw dropping.

– Justin Levine

Beware the “Fact Checkers”

Filed under: 2008 Election,General — Patterico @ 10:51 pm

Don’t believe everything you read. Not even if you read it on a site that most people assume is an authoritative fact-checking site.

In an article that purports to debunk a viral e-mail claiming 50 lies by Obama, asserts:

Senator Obama never stated categorically that he would not run on a national ticket in 2008. He at one time said that he had “no plans” to run for national office in 2008, the standard response virtually all politicians give to press inquiries when they have not yet formulated (or do not wish to reveal) their plans for upcoming elections.

Oh really?

Russert: When we talked back in November of ‘04 after your election, I said, “There’s been enormous speculation about your political future. Will you serve your six-year term as United States senator from Illinois?” Obama: “Absolutely.”

Obama: I will serve out my full six-year term. You know, Tim, if you get asked enough, sooner or later you get weary and you start looking for new ways of saying things. But my thinking has not changed.

Russert: So you will not run for president or vice president in 2008?

Obama: I will not.

Gee. That kinda sounds like Obama “stated categorically that he would not run on a national ticket in 2008.” To put it Snopes-style, regarding Snopes’s claim:

Claim: “Senator Obama never stated categorically that he would not run on a national ticket in 2008.”

Status: False.

When these “fact-checking” sites aren’t botching the facts, they can sometimes be found dressing up opinion as fact. Take this doozy by a site calling itself “PolitiFact” (“PolitiOpinion” is more like it):

Did Obama call Palin a pig? No, and saying so is Pants on Fire wrong.

(“” did a similar piece.)

Oh really?

Here’s part of what I wrote to the Politi”Fact” author:

How is that “fact”? It’s your opinion.

I happen to think Obama *may* not have meant it as a reference to Palin. However, his audience certainly seemed to take it as a reference to Palin, judging from their reaction. How could they, when as a “factual” matter it wasn’t?

Other data point: I run a conservative blog, and I wouldn’t look to my conservative commenters for evidence on this — but I have more than one liberal commenter who said (paraphrasing) darn right that’s how he meant it, and he’s right! How could they be so wrong on the “facts”?

The “fact” of the matter is that the interpretation of Obama’s remark is open to, well, interpretation. It’s opinion. If you can’t tell the difference between opinion and fact, you ought not be writing for a site that purports to deal only in facts. Feel free to write op-eds, but please, don’t give us opinions dressed up as irrefutable facts.

My kingdom for a “fact checking” site that a) gets the facts right and b) doesn’t pretend opinions are facts. Does such a thing exist?

Democratic Cognitive Dissonance

Filed under: 2008 Election,Economics — DRJ @ 10:09 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

From the AP:

John McCain “blamed Wall Street’s financial turmoil on unchecked corporate greed” and apparently called for a high-level commission to study the economic crisis.

Barack Obama dismissed McCain’s call for a high-level commission to study the economic crisis as “passing the buck.”

Meanwhile, the Politico reports that:

Nancy Pelosi has ordered “a broad, swift investigation of Wall Street and will demand testimony from Bush administration officials and captains of finance” in hearings to take place over the next few weeks.

Senator Obama and Majority Leader Pelosi seem out-of-sync. Are Congressional hearings good and high-level commission hearings bad? Or could it be that Democratic investigations are good and Republican studies are bad?

And based on Barack Obama’s statement, is Speaker Pelosi “passing the buck” by holding hearings … or will Obama be “passing the buck” if he supports Pelosi’s hearings?

In any event, Pelosi’s Congressional hearings apparently will not investigate Democrats because Pelosi has already declared that Democrats bear no responsibility regarding the current economic matters on Wall Street.

Zero, zip, zilch, nada.


Congrats to Teflon Dad: Rush Mentions “Tasergate” Line

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:32 pm

From Teflon Dad’s lips to Rush’s ears, in less than 2 weeks.

On September 4, Teflon Dad (father of Teflon Don) wrote me to say:

Why not call it “Tasergate”? Gives a better idea of the details?

Within the half hour, his suggestion was embodied in this post. Five minutes later, an e-mail went out to some top conservative bloggers with the suggestion. And so, within an hour of Teflon Dad’s hitting the send button on his e-mail, a seed was planted.

Beldar, by e-mail, signed on right away. Three days later, Instapundit (one of the bloggers I had e-mailed) used the term. Five days after that, SEK e-mailed to say he had heard Carl Cameron use the term on Fox News.

Via Another Drew, I heard that Rush Limbaugh had used the term today on his radio program. And via Lord Nazh comes the link to Rush’s remarks:

In fact, it’s not even Troopergate. We ought to call it Tasergate. It’s Tasergate.

And so it is.

K-Lo credits Rush (for whatever reason, the people at National Review have never seemed to care for my blog, and almost never link it or refer to it). I’m sure others are saying: no, true credit goes to Carl Cameron, or maybe Instapundit. Others, regular readers here, credit me.

But of course, the real credit goes to Teflon Dad. And I think he should flaunt it. If Bill Quick can make such a big honking deal out of “naming the blogosphere,” then I think Teflon Dad can do a little victory dance over this.

The beauty of it is that it expresses the real outrage so well. How does a man remain a peace officer after tasering a 10-year-old? That is the true scandal, and Tasergate is the perfect way to express it.

Good going, Teflon Dad. Your true reward will be when you hear it come out of one of the candidates’ mouths in a debate.

And it might happen.

The Heaven and Hell of Hurricane Ike

Filed under: Current Events — DRJ @ 8:25 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

More Hurricane Ike stories are coming out. They are at times frightening, humorous or just incredible, with experiences ranging from hellish to divine.

This Houston Chronicle article even makes Galveston Island sound a little like Noah’s ark, including neighborhoods inundated with snakes after the floods receded and the lion that rode out the storm in a church.


Obama and the Weather, Part Two

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 6:28 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

I posted yesterday about Obama’s appearance at a rally at the Pueblo, Colorado, fairgrounds where he jokingly wondered if he was responsible for the good weather that accompanied his appearances in that state. The Boston Globe political blog described his comments as “flirting with furthering the deification narrative.”

Now it turns out his comments may have been scripted because, starting yesterday, Obama is even taking his teleprompter to oudoor appearances:

“The Democratic presidential nominee has never tried to hide the fact he delivers speeches off the device, though normally he doesn’t use one at standard campaign rallies and town hall events.

But the Illinois senator used a teleprompter at both his Colorado events Monday — making for a particularly peculiar scene in Pueblo, where the prompter was set up in the middle of what is normally a rodeo ring.”

At this point, I’m certain Obama doesn’t need his teleprompter to give a typical campaign speech. However, given the demands of campaign appearances, strategy sessions, debate prep, and fundraising events, I doubt Obama has much time to sleep or recharge. I suspect the teleprompter is there to avoid the gaffes that accompany weeks of work and exhaustion.

This may be another example of the downside of not taking public financing.


Hollywood Pitches In for Obama

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 5:02 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Barbra Streisand will headline an evening in Hollywood with Barack Obama in what may shatter a single-day fundraising total:

“Organizers said Obama’s two events on Tuesday sold out by Monday afternoon, including a dinner at Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills and a reception and concert at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, where Barbra Streisand and Ben Harper are scheduled to perform. In fact, one estimate from the Politico website said the campaign could raise as much as $9 million, perhaps shattering single-day fund-raising records.

Obama’s visit comes as some Hollywood donors express anxiety at the state of the race, with polls tightening following the Republican National Convention and the addition of Sarah Palin as John McCain’s running mate.

That may have instilled a greater sense of urgency and improved fund-raising for the two events. The Greystone dinner for about 280 people costs $28,500 per person, and tickets for the Beverly Wilshire reception go for $2,500. The latter was expected to draw about 900 people.”

I’m glad to say I don’t know very many couples who would pay $57,000 for dinner.


John Wooden Is A National Treasure And A Genius Of A Man

Filed under: General,Sports — WLS @ 4:10 pm

[Posted by WLS]

I highly recommend books written by John Wooden to anyone who has an interest but has never taken the opportunity to sit down and read the things that he has written.

This past weekend UCLA suffered one of its worst football losses in school history — 59-0 to BYU.

This UCLA team is led by a new head coach, former UCLA quarterback and Rose Bowl MVP, Rick Neuheisal.

The new staff pulled off a big upset of a mediocre Tennessee team to open the season, but UCLA was completely dismantled by a veteran and talented BYU team.

Yesterday Rick Neuheisal read to the press part of a note that he received on Sunday from John Wooden, who will be 98 years old next month:

“You (have) to have the self-control to forget about it,” Neuheisel read aloud. “Long before any championships were ever won at UCLA, I came to understand that losing is only temporary, and not all encompassing. You must simply study it, learn from it, and try hard not to lose the same way again.

“Then, you must have the self-control to forget about it.”

It seems simple enough, but when you fit that advice into the principles of life and living that Wooden has tried to teach for more than 60 years, the body of his life’s work is unrivaled in the 20th century IMO.

Wooden’s perspective is devoted to a study and understanding of those things we can control ourselves and not those things which we cannot control. In sports, his emphasis is that we can control our own effort and our own preparation, and nothing else. If, after the game is done, you can look in the mirror and know that you gave your maximum effort and you properly prepared yourself to compete, the outcome will usually be determined in your favor. When it’s not — sometimes the other player will be taller, faster, stronger — there is nothing to be gained in making excuses or placing blame, unless it is on oneself for not having given a total effort or being prepared.

Self-control, balance in life, and focus on what you can do. These lessons are so basic and easily absorbed, I used them in coaching a bunch of sixyear-olds playing T-ball. They got it.


Is Carly Fiorina Dumb As A Post? Seems So.

Filed under: 2008 Election,General,Government,Politics — WLS @ 2:50 pm

[Posted by WLS]

How else do you explain this from Politico:

McCain supporter Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett Packard, seemed to veer off message for a moment on the McGraw Milhaven show on KTRS radio in St Louis, when she made the case that Sarah Palin may be qualified to run America — but certainly not to run her old company.

“Do you think she has the experience to run a major company like Hewlett Packard?” the host asked Fiorina.

“No, I don’t,” she replied. “But that’s not what she’s running for. Running a corporation is a different set of things.”

She then went back on the attack on Obama’s experience. (She probably wouldn’t want him running HP either.)

First — as a surrogate of a political campaign, how could you ever let that answer escape your lips?   Was she completely oblivious to how it would be portrayed? 


Sarah Palin, Reporter

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 12:08 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

When all else fails, smear Sarah Palin as a teleprompter-using, tanning bed-loving, college-educated reporter:

“Teleprompter issues.

A tanning bed installed at the governor’s mansion in Juneau.

Lost in all her coverage — the notion that Gov. Sarah Palin, a college journalism major, is truly the first TV correspondent the nation is considering sending to the White House.”

I know Jake Tapper is “kidding” but why write this if he didn’t mean it as a smear?

Tapper makes better points when he questions Palin’s transparency and notes that she was “introduced to the public 18 days ago and has yet to hold a press conference.” I know the press will play gotcha but that’s a fact of life for Republican politicians. I hope the McCain campaign decides it’s time for Palin to speak out more.


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