Patterico's Pontifications


Breaking: O.J. Guilty

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:34 pm

I’m hearing it on the radio.

P.S. I got to be the one to tell Tammy Bruce about it, which was fun.

UPDATE: Guilty of all counts. He’s facing life.


Palin Knew the Answers, She Just Didn’t Want to Say Them

Filed under: 2008 Election — Patterico @ 5:55 pm

The New York Times‘s Caucus Blog:

Ms. Palin explained that she stumbled in the Couric interviews not because she didnt know the answers, but that she was annoyed with the interview because she thought the questions did not focus enough on the qualities needed in a vice president. She promised to try to be patient in the future.

I’m looking for more genuineness and honesty. Instead I’m getting answers that I don’t believe.

UPDATE: I’m getting people saying that the New York Times distorted her remarks. I read her remarks in fuller context from Jake Tapper, and based on that, I don’t think her remarks were distorted. (I’m willing to have people try to persuade me otherwise, because I like Gov. Palin.)

Her explanation is not implausible as it relates to the question about what she reads.

But let’s be honest: on the question about Supreme Court cases, she either didn’t have an answer or froze. That’s fine; just admit it when asked about it. But she’s describing that answer of hers as “flippant” — implying that she had a good answer but refused to give it out of annoyance. That makes no sense.

Again, I’m not trying to tear her down or make a stupid suggestion like calling for her to leave the ticket. I’m just saying: she didn’t fail to name Supreme Court cases out of annoyance. She seemingly didn’t know any, or froze. Either way, admit it and move on.

Politico: Biden Won by any ‘Objective Measures’

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 3:50 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Politico claims Biden clearly beat Palin in last night’s debate:

“… [I]t is hard to count any objective measures by which Biden did not clearly win the encounter. She looked like she was trying to get people to take her seriously. He looked like he was running for vice president. His answers were more responsive to the questions, far more detailed and less rhetorical.”

Biden especially won if you include a category for gaffes, misstatements and lies.


Fact-Checking Biden’s Debate Statements

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 2:21 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

McCain-Palin claims Joe Biden told 14 lies in last night’s debate:

1. TAX VOTE: Biden said McCain voted “the exact same way” as Obama to increase taxes on Americans earning just $42,000, but McCain DID NOT VOTE THAT WAY.

2. AHMEDINIJAD MEETING: Joe Biden lied when he said that Barack Obama never said that he would sit down unconditionally with Mahmoud Ahmedinijad of Iran. Barack Obama did say specifically, and Joe Biden attacked him for it.

[NOTE to the McCain campaign quick response team: Ahmadinejad.]

3. OFFSHORE OIL DRILLING: Biden said, “Drill we must.” But Biden has opposed offshore drilling and even compared offshore drilling to “raping” the Outer Continental Shelf.

4. TROOP FUNDING: Joe Biden lied when he indicated that John McCain and Barack Obama voted the same way against funding the troops in the field. John McCain opposed a bill that included a timeline, that the President of the United States had already said he would veto regardless of its passage.

5. OPPOSING CLEAN COAL: Biden says he’s always been for clean coal, but he just told a voter that he is against clean coal and any new coal plants in America and has a record of voting against clean coal and coal in the U.S. Senate.

6. ALERNATIVE ENERGY VOTES: According to, Biden is exaggerating and overstating John McCain’s record voting for alternative energy when he says he voted against it 23 times.

7. HEALTH INSURANCE: Biden falsely said McCain will raise taxes on people’s health insurance coverage — they get a tax credit to offset any tax hike. Independent fact checkers have confirmed this attack is false

8. OIL TAXES: Biden falsely said Palin supported a windfall profits tax in Alaska — she reformed the state tax and revenue system, it’s not a windfall profits tax.

9. AFGHANISTAN / GEN. MCKIERNAN COMMENTS: Biden said that top military commander in Iraq said the principles of the surge could not be applied to Afghanistan, but the commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force Gen. David D. McKiernan said that there were principles of the surge strategy, including working with tribes, that could be applied in Afghanistan.

10. REGULATION: Biden falsely said McCain weakened regulation — he actually called for more regulation on Fannie and Freddie.

11. IRAQ: When Joe Biden lied when he said that John McCain was “dead wrong on Iraq”, because Joe Biden shared the same vote to authorize the war and differed on the surge strategy where they John McCain has been proven right.

12. TAX INCREASES: Biden said Americans earning less than $250,000 wouldn’t see higher taxes, but the Obama-Biden tax plan would raise taxes on individuals making $200,000 or more.

13. BAILOUT: Biden said the economic rescue legislation matches the four principles that Obama laid out, but in reality it doesn’t meet two of the four principles that Obama outlined on Sept. 19, which were that it include an emergency economic stimulus package, and that it be part of “part of a globally coordinated effort with our partners in the G-20.”

14. REAGAN TAX RATES: Biden is wrong in saying that under Obama, Americans won’t pay any more in taxes then they did under Reagan.”

I can’t vouch for these, although Patterico verified #2, the Instapundit looked at #5, and Beldar addressed #8. Prof. Reynolds also added links (here and here) to two more:

15. HEZBOLLAH OUT OF LEBANON. Biden claimed that “we kicked — along with France, we kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon.” Michael Totten charitably declares that Biden “literally has no idea what he’s talking about.”

16. KATIE’S RESTAURANT. Biden sought to connect himself with everyday Americans: “Look, all you have to do is go down Union Street with me in Wilmington or go to Katie’s Restaurant or walk into Home Depot with me where I spend a lot of time …” But Ed Morrissey at Hot Air linked Curtis Silwa of WABC who found that Katie’s Restaurant was closed during the Clinton Administration, and he couldn’t find anyone at a Wilmington Home Depot who remembers seeing Biden.

Finally, the Washington Post’s blog PostPartisan adds these Constitutional issues that are important since Biden is a past Chairman of and self-described “vocal Member of the Judiciary Committee” who prides himself on “upholding the integrity of the bench:”

17. BIDEN’s CONSTITUTIONAL CLAIMS. Biden garbled his analysis of the Constitutional issues in gay marriage and in the legislative/executive overlap in the status of the Vice President.

Specifically, Biden claimed that the Constitution guarantees gay couples’ “property rights, their rights of visitation, their rights to insurance, their rights of ownership as heterosexual couples do” while maintaining that there is no Constitutional right to gay marriage.

On the Vice Presidency, Biden claimed that VP Cheney “doesn’t realize that Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president of the United States. That’s the executive. He works in the executive branch. He should understand that. Everyone should understand that.” Except, oops, Article I sets out the role of Congress and the vice president’s position as president of the Senate. Article II does all that executive branch stuff.”

Here’s the debate transcript. Any links proving or disproving these claims are welcome.

UPDATE 1: Ohio debate watchers say Biden had a better command of the facts. Heh.

UPDATE 2: B D Shepherd at Counting Sheep already has a list with links. He’s up to number 22. Good work, B D.


Gigantic Viewership Numbers For VP Debate — And They Didn’t Tune In To Hear Joe Biden

Filed under: 2008 Election — WLS @ 2:00 pm

Posted by WLS:

NBC Political Director Chuck Todd said earlier today that the VP debate turned into wash, a one day story that no one would be talking about by dinner time tonight.  Looks like Chuck T. might have some crow to eat.

The first McCain-Obama debate produced dismal TV ratings.  Last night was a different story.  Biggest debate viewership since 1992.  Biggest VP debate viewership ever.  

It had a 45 rating, which was 42% higher than the McCain-Obama debate which scored a 31 (though it was on a Friday night).

Fox had its highest viewership numbers ever — 11 million.

Palin doing as well as she did WILL show up in the polling starting tomorrow.

What Palin Should Have Said to Katie Couric

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 1:07 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Palin answers some previously unanswered Couric questions about what she reads (the same things people read in the lower 48), Supreme Court decisions she disagrees with (Kennedy v Louisiana and Kelo), and her views toward the media. Here’s the ending:

“Palin, asked about her relationship with the media, said “what I need to do is commit to not be so annoyed and impatient with mainstream media. And I will make that commitment because I do understand that that is how I speak to the American people. In a position like this I speak to you and through you and that way that message is received by American people. So I apologize for the the, I guess, flippant response that I gave through that interview on a couple of questions.

“But I would ask also then that the media tries a little bit harder also,” Palin went on. “And that this is a two-way street that there is fairness, just objectivity and fairness and truth. That’s all Americans ask for.”

Go here for the beginning.


Fox News Fireworks

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 12:42 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

I watched the Vice Presidential debate on Fox News but I didn’t watch any other programming, which means I missed some big fireworks: Bill O’Reilly yelling at Barney Frank (and vice versa) and Dick Morris yelling at Alan Colmes.


House Approves Financial Bailout (Updated)

Filed under: Economics,Government — DRJ @ 11:42 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

The House voted 263-171 to approve the bailout of the financial industry, but only after the Senate version added $110 billion in tax and spending provisions as well as “legislation mandating broader mental health coverage in the insurance industry.” The bill will be sent to President Bush and he will undoubtedly sign it.

I supported the bailout but I would have preferred the first version to pass. Only in Congress could expensive legislation be defeated because of cost, only to be replaced by a more expensive version. This is a classic example of Congress doing what it does best — spending taxpayers’ money.

UPDATE: The Houston Chronicle reports the bailout targets oil and gas companies:

“The legislation freezes the tax deduction oil and gas companies receive for their domestic manufacturing operations at 6 percent, while other American manufacturers will see that deduction rise to 9 percent in 2010. That provision will raise $4.9 billion over 10 years.”

This is one reason the Democratic leaders are so happy about the bill.


Debate Post-Mortem

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:25 am

Sarah Palin needed to hit a home run. She hit a double.

She was poised and had none of that deer-in-the-headlights quality we saw in the Couric interview.

But she was too wedded to talking points and consequently missed several opportunities. She let Joe Biden hang the financial crisis around the Republicans’ neck, when there is ample evidence that Democrats enabled a corrupt Fannie and Freddie. She let Biden paint McCain as a deregulator, when he fought to regulate Fannie and Freddie while Obama took money from those entities. She failed to clearly articulate a vision that would persuade independents that McCain/Palin would be different from Bush/Cheney, although she and McCain have a proven record of spending restraint.

She didn’t stumble or freeze, and many found her performance impressive. But she could have done much better, and McCain needed that.

Liar Watch: Biden on Obama Meeting with Ahmadinejad

Filed under: 2008 Election — Patterico @ 6:59 am

Joe Biden in last night’s debate:

Can I clarify this? This is simply not true about Barack Obama. He did not say sit down with Ahmadinejad.

The New York Times, May 29, 2008:

Would you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries?” asked Stephen Sixta, a video producer who submitted the question for the CNN/YouTube Democratic debate.

Mr. Obama, the first candidate to respond, answered, “I would.”

Several aides immediately thought it was a mistake and sought to dial back his answer. But on a conference call the morning after the debate, Mr. Obama told his advisers that he had meant what he said and thought the answer crystallized how he differed from his rivals.

Just so the fact-checkers don’t miss that.

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