Patterico's Pontifications


Bailout Vote Predictions

Filed under: Economics,Government — DRJ @ 6:43 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Nancy Pelosi says the bailout bill is “frozen” in its current form so that’s what Congress will be voting on. A summary, section-by-section analysis, and the text of the bill known as the “Economic Stabilization Act of 2008” can be found here.

If my neighbors and family are any indication, I predict a bunch of Republicans will vote against it.

EDIT – The Crypt reports the Senate also voted to send $25B to Detroit for the automaker bailout.


Another Week, Another Attack on McCain by the NY Times

Filed under: 2008 Election,Media Bias — DRJ @ 5:54 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

This New York Times has published an article entitled “For McCain and Team, a Host of Ties to Gambling.”

Noah Pollak at Commentary Magazine’s blog looks forward to the day the Times does a similar article on Obama’s ties to Rezko, Ayers, Wright, ACORN, and his rise in Chicago and Illinois politics. Pollak even suggests title:

“For Obama’s Friends, a Host of Anti-American and Criminal Activity.”

That’s a title we’ll never see at the New York Times.


Jury Acquits Texas Man in Death of 13-Year-Old Intruder (Updated)

Filed under: Crime,Law — DRJ @ 5:37 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Last April, I posted on a case in which a Laredo, Texas, homeowner was indicted for murder after he shot and killed a 13-year-old who, with three friends, had broken into the homeowner’s mobile home looking for snacks.

Last week the Houston Chronicle reported the homeowner, Jose Luis Gonzalez, had been tried and acquitted of murder. Not surprisingly, defendant and his counsel were pleased with the verdict while the prosecutor and the deceased’s relatives were disappointed. For our purposes, what’s interesting is that the facts developed at trial paint a more detailed picture of what happened that night:

“The 63-year-old Gonzalez had endured several break-ins at his trailer when the four boys, ranging in age from 11-15, broke into the mobile home in July 2007. Gonzalez was in a nearby building at the time.

Gonzalez went into the trailer and confronted the boys with a 16-gauge shotgun. Then he forced the boys, who were unarmed, to their knees, attorneys on both sides say.

The boys say they were begging for forgiveness when Gonzalez hit them with the barrel of the shotgun and kicked them repeatedly. Then, the medical examiner testified, 13-year-old Francisco Anguiano was shot in the back at close range. Two mashed Twinkies and some cookies were stuffed in the pockets of his shorts.

Another boy, Jesus Soto Jr., now 16, testified that Gonzalez ordered them at gunpoint to take Anguiano’s body outside.

Gonzalez said he thought Anguiano was lunging at him when he fired the shotgun, claiming he feared for his life.”

Gonzalez’s defense counsel is running unopposed for DA in November. He was quoted strongly supporting the homeowner’s right to protect his life and property, not only in this case but “across the board.” Apparently Laredo residents share his view since the linked article states many local residents supported Gonzalez. The article suggested the community reaction was related to the widespread drug-related violence that has spilled over the border into Laredo from Mexico.

Meanwhile, the prosecutor is an assistant DA. His closing argument focused on when a homeowner is justified in using deadly force to protect property, and he described this as a case of vigilantism in which a “13-year-old boy was killed because a man was enraged.”

As an outsider, it sounds like there is truth to both sides of this story and that this may be a more complex tale than the Joe Horn case.

UPDATE 9/29/2008: I’ve found several links to earlier stories in the Laredo Morning Times, including this one in which the homeowner tells his side of the story:

“Isidro R. Alaniz – [the attorney] who Gonzalez hired Thursday after initially requesting the services of attorney Eduardo Jaime earlier in the week -said the shotgun blast that killed Francisco Anguiano, 13, was an accident. He said the shot came only because his client was defending himself and his property.

“He came face to face with four individuals ransacking his home,” Alaniz said. “He ordered them to stop, and he ordered them to get on their knees. Mr. Gonzalez feared for his life in this moment. When he ordered them to their knees, they refused.”

A standoff ensued. One of the teens, Alaniz said, made a motion toward Gonzalez. Alaniz said that it was then that Gonzalez began to strike the teens with the barrel end of the shotgun and, while trying to get Anguiano to kneel, the gun went off.

Anguiano refused to kneel, Alaniz said. “In the commotion, the weapon went off and he was shot.”

During most of the meeting Thursday afternoon, a tired-looking Gonzalez remained quiet and rarely spoke. He nodded or shook his head when questions were asked, preferring to let Alaniz speak.

Alaniz said that recent statements made by one of the survivors were false.

Tuesday the teen in question said that while Anguiano lay bleeding on the floor, Gonzales continued to point the weapon at the other teens and strike them. Those allegations, Alaniz said, were not true.

“That, we maintain, is a fabrication,” Alaniz said. “We maintain those statements are self-serving statements.”

He added that although the sheriff’s department interpreted the allegations as true, he is confident that a jury would not.

“I myself do not understand the rationale being used by the sheriff’s department, plain and simple. They are taking the word of these kids,” Alaniz said. He added that he was surprised that the teens have not been charged with any crime.

Alaniz also said that the entire event took less than a minute, not more than five as the teen said.

“When the gun went off, everyone was in shock,” he said. “It happened so fast.”

I haven’t found an article that verifies whether Gonzalez testified at trial but I suspect he must have. If he did, the jury clearly found his story credible.


Andrew Sullivan: A Huge, Stinking Pile of Course Not

Filed under: 2008 Election,Buffoons,General — Patterico @ 3:09 pm

Andrew Sullivan is full of course not.

The link goes to Dan Riehl — not because of some fastidiousness about linking Sullivan, but because Sullivan has removed his idiot post. In the post that Sullivan has taken down, Power Glutes claimed that McCain had “clearly” said “horseshit” . . . when (as Sullivan now acknowledges) McCain actually said “Course not.” If you want to read Sullivan’s original language, which he has now taken down like a coward, you have to read Riehl.

My God, this guy does nothing but write course not.


Obama’s Missouri Thuggery

Filed under: 2008 Election,General,Scum — Patterico @ 2:49 pm

Eugene Volokh has a pretty good rundown on the Obama campaign’s latest round of fascist speech-suppressing tactics.


Oh, the fun we’ll have with a deep blue Congress and an Obama-run DOJ and FCC. He promised you a “new type of politics,” didn’t he?

The thing is, it’s not really all that new.

WaPo Runs Controversial Cartoon Online, But not in Print

Filed under: 2008 Election,Media Bias — DRJ @ 1:36 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Politico’s Michael Calderone reports the Washington Post is still running a controversial Pat Oliphant cartoon online but not in its print version.

The September 9, 2008, Oliphant cartoon shows Sarah Palin speaking in tongues as McCain reassures us that she has a “direct line to the Almighty.” Meanwhile, God is complaining to Peter that his phone connection is crossed with “some dam’ right wing politician spouting gibberish.”

After receiving hundreds of complaints, Washington Post ombudsman Deborah Howell responded:

“McCain and Palin are certainly fair game, but most of those offended by the cartoon felt it mocked all Pentecostals. Most cartoonists don’t go out of their way to lambaste religion. But the pope is a frequent editorial cartoon character, as are God and St. Peter at the Pearly Gates.
Most complainers thought that the Oliphant cartoon appeared in print. It didn’t. I showed it to several Post editors. While it was clever in some ways, most editors — including me — would not have run it. The Post has a policy against defaming or perpetuating racial, religious or ethnic stereotypes. That was why The Post did not run the Danish cartoons about the prophet Muhammad.”

So it’s fine to “defame or perpetuate stereotypes online” as long as you don’t do so in print? Cool.

The Washington Post obviously can’t run everything in print that it runs online due to space constraints, but it should be willing to run in print whatever it runs online. Either a publication is appropriate or it’s not, and if it isn’t then it shouldn’t be run anywhere.

Pat Oliphant probably knows his employer’s standards and motivations better than most, and he said he wasn’t surprised that it didn’t run in print because “Many publications are too timid” to run some of his work. Thus, it looks like the Washington Post is afraid to risk losing print subscriptions because of these cartoons, but it’s willing to facilitate inflammatory rhetoric against McCain-Palin online.

The Washington Post cultivates its image as a brave watchdog that investigates wrongdoing. In this case, it’s shown itself to be a very timid watchdog.

EDIT: I think the Post should apply its standards uniformly but, according to its ombudsman, it didn’t do that here. [Further Edit: In the comments, Charlie from Colorado indicates the Post has different standards for its print and online publications. — DRJ] Nevertheless, this cartoon doesn’t bother me and I think it should have been published in print and online. The Danish cartoons should have been published, too. What bothers me about this story is that the Post wants to publish selectively to avoid consequences.


The Candidates’ Bracelets (Updated)

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 11:48 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

During the first Presidential debate, John McCain explained he wears a bracelet he was given by the mother of Matthew Stanley, an American soldier killed in Iraq. Matt’s mother wanted McCain to do everything in his power to make sure “my son’s death was not in vain.”

Barack Obama responded “I have a bracelet, too” and recounted its receipt from the mother of Ryan Jopek, the soldier whose name is on his bracelet. Ryan’s mother wanted Obama to “make sure that another mother’s not going through what I’m going through.”

McCain and Obama each wear bracelets to make a statement but the messages they draw from them could not be more different. As Charles Hurt at the New York Post explains:

“Here lies the difference between these two men:

Obama will accept defeat if continuing on hurts too much. For McCain, any mission where defeat is an option is a mission not worth fighting in the first place.”

How we view this comparison says as much about us as it says about the candidates.

UPDATE: I previously read online and comments here have mentioned the Jopek family may not want Obama to mention their son. The stories indicate the Jopeks are divorced, that Ryan’s father is in the Reserves and has served in Iraq, and that Ryan’s mother may now want this to be a private matter between her and Obama.

I think the candidates’ views regarding what the bracelets signify to them are newsworthy and important. However, we don’t need to talk about the Jopek family in order to discuss that topic, and I would appreciate it if you would leave Ryan and his family out of this discussion.


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