Patterico's Pontifications


More Details on the L.A. Times Story Sent Down the Memory Hole

Filed under: 2008 Election,Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 11:56 pm

An update to a post I published last night really deserves its own post. Last night, the Los Angeles Times published a story online, and then replaced it with a completely different story — written by a different reporter, with wholly different language — using the same Web address.

The original story got whisked down the memory hole.

But not entirely — thanks to my screenshots, and the Google cache.

Here’s the proof. Last night, I linked a story written by Seema Metha and Michael Muskal:

I linked the story at this URL:,0,66788.story. But if you click on that URL now, the weirdest thing happens. You get this story, by Peter Wallsten:

It’s a totally different story by a different writer.

The original version lives on in Google’s cache. If you do this Google search, the 7th entry currently shows this result:

Note the title and opening paragraph. It’s the same as the original Metha/Muskal story I linked. If you click on the “this Google search” link in the previous paragraph, and click on the word “Cached” under the link, you get the cached version of the original:

But if you click on the URL itself, you get the Wallsten version.

Try it yourself.

The original version was sent down the memory hole. The new version lives on at the same URL.

What the hell are they doing with their web site at the L.A. Times??

P.S. I received a very special e-mail from a reader about my post yesterday on the disappeared story, in which the L.A. Times hid from its readers the fact that McCain was attacking Obama on the economy. My reader says my post was the kick in the pants he needed to cancel his subscription.

That’s one more reader fighting for truth.

P.P.S. I am aware that it is apparently standard journalistic practice to yank or completely rewrite stories without explanation or notice. The AP famously did this during the Jamil Hussein controversy, for example.

My position is the same now as it was then: regardless of whether this is common practice, it shouldn’t be. Sending the original story into oblivion, without any hint that it ever existed, feeds a sense of mistrust among readers. This is especially true when the vanishing story was so flawed that readers might suspect that it is being suppressed as part of a deliberate cover-up.

Big Media is now on the Web, and the Web demands transparency. Big Media will have to adapt to the Web, and not the other way around.

Obama’s Tax Plan and Small Businesses

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 10:25 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

At tonight’s Town Hall Presidential debate, I think Barack Obama said this about his tax policies [EDIT: according to the CNN transcript]:

“Only a few percent of small businesses make more than $250,000 a year. So the vast majority of small businesses would get a tax cut under my plan.”

The US Small Business Administration (SBA) defines a “small business” according to its average annual receipts or the number of its employees. Here are examples from the SBA’s Table of Small Business Size Standards setting forth the maximum average annual receipts by industry that a business can have and still be classified as a small business:

Crop production of all types — $750,000
Animal production except for cattle & chicken/eggs — $750,000
Cattle feedlots — $2.5M
Chicken/egg production — $12.5M
Forestry & logging — $7M
Fishing — $4M
Irrigation, sewage, water supplies — $7M
Housing construction — $33.5M
Heavy and civil engineering construction — $33.5M
Dredging and cleanup — $20M
Concrete, framing, and other housing contractors — $14M
Car dealers — $23-29M
RV, motorcycle, & boat dealers — $7M
Furniture, hardware, clothing & sporting good stores — $7M
Electronic stores — $9M
Supermarkets, gas stations & department stores — $27M
Pharmacies — $7M

There are many more examples at the link. In addition, most of the industries in the Table — such as manufacturers of food, beverages, apparel, print, oil/gas, plastics, plumbing, machinery, computers, electronics, electrical, transportation, and furniture — are considered small businesses based on their total number of employees instead of average annual receipts. In those industries, the cut-off between small and large businesses ranges from 500-1,000 employees per business/industry.

It’s difficult for me to imagine a business that has 50 or more employees (let alone 500-1,000) that has receipts of less than $250,000 per year. And, given the SBA definitions of “small business,” it seems likely that many small businesses in a wide range of industries have receipts of more than $250,000 per year.

If so, it is appalling that Obama would imply that, if he is President, a small percentage of businesses exceed the $250,000 per year cut-off for increased taxation under his tax plan. In fact, the number of businesses subject to additional tax may be large and could well be the 50% number I think John McCain mentioned.

Small businesses are vital to the American economy and Americans’ livelihoods, and it sounds like Obama wants to tax as many as he possibly can.


[UPDATE BY KARL: Welcome Limbaugh Listeners!  Patterico, DRJ and WLS do fine blogging here, so please feel free to visit the home page and generally poke around the place.]

If You Think These Guys Are So Great, Judge, How’s About Putting Them Up in Your Own Damn House?

Filed under: General,Morons,Terrorism — Patterico @ 9:48 pm

My suggestion: release these terrorists into Judge Ricardo Urbina’s living room.

Tuesday Night Presidential Debate Poll

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 9:04 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Who won tonight’s Town Hall debate?
Everyone else. free polls

Debate Open Thread

Filed under: 2008 Election — Patterico @ 5:49 pm

McCain has to hit Obama on Fannie and Freddie. We’ll see how he does . . .

OK, Obama comes out of the gate with the Big Lie. This is McCain’s moment. He has to HIT HIM HARD.

He dropped the ball. Thank you! Good night!

Now the “fundamentals of the economy are strong” distortion. Which McCain gets no chance to respond to.

Touting his brilliant campaign suspension.

Now McCain is hitting it, as Obama smirks. Finally.

Obama boasts that he wrote a letter.

Not interested in hearing politicians point fingers. Oh really? Isn’t that the first damn thing you did, Sen. Obama?

McCain boasts of his own letter. We don’t care about letters.

Someone says both parties got us into it. Obama, not wanting to point fingers, points fingers.

McCain says Obama hasn’t taken on his party. This is a strong answer. Says Obama is a big spender and he has fought it. Good stuff. He says to look at their records. More like this!

McCain is repeating the argument that he knows how to reach across the aisle. I think this will appeal to independents.

But with every “my friends,” people are drinking all across the country.

Barack Obama wants to use a line-item veto that he doesn’t have. If he were Palin, people would mock him for that.

McCain says he would ask Americans to sacrifice on spending. Good stuff.

McCain says Obama promised to give up his tax program is the economy was bad. Good zinger if it’s true.

Good, impassioned speech from McCain on looking at records. He is repeating this time and time again, and I think it’s a good tactic for independents. He should also be talking about how Congress will be Democratic, so Democrats will be unchecked if Obama is voted in.

Point by point, McCain is doing OK, but overall, I don’t know if he’s shaking things up enough.

Obama says McCain believes in deregulation in every circumstance. The Big Lie again.

Good question from Brokaw: what is the principle by which we decide when to go in and stop a humanitarian crisis? Waffling from Obama.

Obama: Sen. McCain says I’m green behind the ears.

The chief petty officer shakes McCain’s hand. Obama thanking him for his service looks weak compared to McCain’s “I’ve been there” dealings with the vet.

If I Played Political Strategist/Campaign Advisor For A Day…

Filed under: General — WLS @ 5:48 pm

[Posted by WLS]

I’ve never lived in a battleground state during a modern-day national election where you are bombarded with political ads on an hourly basis — if not more often.  But I did spend two weeks in Nevada just prior to the Nevada caucuses back in January.  For the first time I experienced what it was like to see a political ad from one side or the other at EVERY commercial break of just about every program during the course of the day — not to mention the radio ads.  But, what irritated me the most was the fact that the same ads ran again and again. 

I doubt finances prevented the campaigns from filming more than one ad.  I’m sure the ones being used had been winners in various focus group testing.  But the lack of variety really led you to simply tune out what was said when you were seeing the ad for the 15th time in a single day.

McCain has now gone all in with the attack that Obama is too much of an unknown, and what we do know about his past associations should trouble all Americans. 

But rather than try to cram those associations into one ad, my suggestion to the McCain camp would be that that they shoot 4-5 ads, each one of which focuses on a different shady character — and then play them in a rotation in the battleground states where they are advertising directly. 

Give 30 seconds to Ayers, 30 seconds to Wright, 30 seconds to Rezko, 30 Seconds to Pflegler, 30 seconds to the Daley machine, etc.

There are other characters not as well known — the Stroger machine in Cook County, especially Obama’s endorsement of John Stroger and later Todd Stroger.

Running these spots in different time slots one after another would give some depth to the charge, and provide enough information about each of these individuals that voters would get a better sense of the people that Obama has kept close to him during his years in politics.


ACORN Investigated for Voter Fraud

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 5:40 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

A Nevada state task force has raided the Las Vegas headquarters of ACORN and are looking for evidence of voter fraud:

“Secretary of State spokesman Bob Walsh says ACORN is accused of submitting multiple voter registrations with false and duplicate names.”

Similar allegations were being investigated in Pennsylvania last July.

Following the 2006 midterm elections, there were allegations of voter fraud by ACORN in Missouri, Wisconsin, Colorado, Ohio, Tennessee and Pennsylvania. John Fund later reported on the convictions of or agreed restitution by ACORN members and organizations.


Fun With an Interactive Legal Map

Filed under: 2008 Election,Law — DRJ @ 1:04 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Obama, Ayers, and Sidley & Austin:

Click “more” if you want to see the map.


GOP on Obama’s Connections to William Ayers

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 12:23 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Barack Obama and his spokesman, Robert Gibbs, have repeatedly asserted that Obama and William Ayers have a limited relationship: They live in the same neighborhood (or their kids go to the same schools) and, anyway, Obama was only 8 when Ayers was a terrorist.

The GOP claims Obama and Ayers have more extensive connections. Here is my summary of the main points:

Ayers and Dohrn launched Obama’s Illinois State Senate candidacy in their home in 1995.

In March 1995, Ayers was asked to help Obama formulate the Chicago Annenberg Challenge by-laws.

From March 1995 to September 1997, Obama and Ayers attended at least 7 meetings of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge including 5 Board of Directors’ meetings.

In 1997 and 2001, Obama and Ayers appeared together on two academic panels. The 1997 panel was organized by Michelle Obama to discuss the juvenile justice system, an area Ayers and Obama apparently agreed on.

In 1997, Obama praised Ayers’ book on the juvenile justice system.

From 1999 to 2002, Obama served with Ayers on the Board Of Directors for Woods Fund Of Chicago. During this time, Ayers was quoted in the New York Times (9/11/01) as saying “I don’t regret setting bombs … I feel we didn’t do enough.”

Obama was 40 years old at the time of Ayers’ New York Times interview.

The GOP post concludes with background on the Weather Underground, a “Violent Left-Wing Activist Group.” Ayers was a founding member of a group that bombed the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon during the 1970s and whose members described themselves as Communists.

But it is true that Obama and Ayers live in the same neighborhood, although Ayers and Dohrn aren’t your average American neighbors (except, perhaps, in Chicago). For the next month, the GOP will undoubtedly remind Americans of Obama’s extreme taste in neighbors and associates.


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