Patterico's Pontifications


Rahm Emanuel: “Never Allow a Crisis to Go to Waste”

Filed under: Obama — Patterico @ 11:48 pm

The American people might be thinking that Barack Obama plans big things because our current crisis demands it. Under this view, the crisis is the problem, and big-government action is the solution.

But Obama’s Chief of Staff plans big things because our current crisis provides an opportunity to get it done:

“Rule one: Never allow a crisis to go to waste,” Mr. Emanuel said in an interview on Sunday. “They are opportunities to do big things.”

Under this view, the need to accomplish big-government action is the problem, and the crisis is the solution.

The quote is a few days old, but I haven’t seen much mention of it in the blogosphere, so I thought I’d highlight it for you.

Keep this in mind, people of America. Is Obama’s goal to fix the crisis — or to use it to accomplish other things that he wanted to accomplish anyway?

This isn’t a paranoid question. Rahm Emanuel said so.

It’s Funny Because It’s True

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:20 pm

The blowhardiest blowhard there is, in his own words.

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at

Via Hot Air.

Progress on the New Blog

Filed under: Blogging Matters,General — Patterico @ 10:00 pm

I just got off the phone with tech wizard Evariste, who says he can get my “The Jury Talks Back” site up and running in the next few days. Give me a week or so; if he can get it done faster, consider it a pleasant surprise.

In the meantime, a couple-three housekeeping notes:

  • Who can sign up:

    I probably should have been clearer about this one up front.

    The response has been very, very strong. A lot of people want to be involved, which I think is great.

    However, my vision for this site is that it be a limited group of posters, at least at first. I’m shooting for anywhere between five or six on the low end to twelve on the high end (think of it as in keeping with the “jury” theme). Anything more than that, and it will likely be chaos. As a result, I’m going to have to turn some people down, at least at first.

    If I turn you down, please don’t take it personally. With rare exceptions, I will be looking first and foremost to long-time commenters, particularly those with a track record of good writing, as well as clear-eyed thought and expression. But if I don’t select you at first, that doesn’t mean I think you’d suck. I’m just looking for an interesting mix at first.

  • WLS and Justin to blog there?

    By e-mail, I’ve broached the idea with WLS and Justin Levine of having them post at the new site for the foreseeable future. The thinking here is that those of you who enjoy their posts, which I think is most of you, will have an added incentive to click on the new blog and check them out. Sure, the idea of a mix of viewpoints should be an attraction, but I think having people you’re used to reading posting there would be a nice transition and readership magnet. WLS and Justin may see this post before they check their e-mail, so I hope they will let me know if they’re willing to do this.

  • Artwork:

    The new site will likely have a very similar look to the main site, but I’d like the banner to look slightly different. Obviously, it should have the title of the site (“The Jury Talks Back”) and perhaps some other artwork to go with it that is compatible with the themes of both the main site and the new site. If anyone wants to volunteer a new banner, I’d love to see it.

I think this could be a lot of fun, and thanks for all the e-mails. I’ll try to reply to you over the coming days, as the launch date approaches.

Ayers: Obama Was a “Family Friend”

Filed under: General,Obama — Patterico @ 7:29 pm

If someone is a “family friend,” is that like “palling around” with him?

In a new afterword to his 2001 book, Bill Ayers, former leader of the 1960s radical group Weather Underground, describes President-elect Barack Obama as a “family friend” and denies he wished his group had set off more bombs in the 1960s.

. . . .

“We had served together on the board of a foundation, knew one another as neighbors and family friends, held an initial fund-raiser at my house, where I’d made a small donation to his earliest political campaign,” he writes.

Ayers doesn’t make it clear whether they are still family friends, or if not, when they last were. But it certainly suggests that Obama was minimizing when he said:

This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who’s a professor of English in Chicago, who I know and who I have not received some official endorsement from. He’s not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis.


[T]he notion that somehow he has been involved in my campaign, that he is an adviser of mine, that … I’ve ‘palled around with a terrorist’, all these statements are made simply to try to score cheap political points.

Are these “lies”? Well, the first is less than forthcoming, but I don’t know that I’d call it a lie. The second quote is tougher. For this to be true, we’re seeing either a serious disagreement between Ayers and Obama as to the extent of their relationship, or some hairsplitting so fine it rivals Clinton.

That’s not a compliment.

Either way, it seems worth a few more questions, doesn’t it? I bet journalists will be all over that. Just as soon as they get through excoriating Katie Couric for getting coaching about how to interview Sarah Palin from Obama sympathizer Sam Nunn.

One thing at a time.

Kurtz: No Mainstream Media Outlet Published Trig Trutherism Until McCain Brought It Up. Oh Really???

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:31 am

Howard Kurtz, in accusing Sarah Palin of misstating some facts, misstates some facts:

While taking swipes at bloggers — “probably sitting there in their parents’ basement, wearing their pajamas” — Palin also misstated some facts. She complained to Lauer about “the rumors, the speculation, even in mainstream media, that Trig wasn’t actually my child, that Trig was somebody else’s child and I faked a pregnancy,” calling that “absolutely ridiculous.”

Wow. That misstates some facts?? Has Kurtz taken on Trig Trutherism? Let’s read on:

In fact, no mainstream outlet published the Internet rumors until the McCain campaign issued a statement, during the GOP convention, that Palin’s teenage daughter Bristol was pregnant. McCain officials told reporters they were putting out the news because of inquiries about whether the governor was really Trig’s mother.

First, how does that show Palin misstated any facts? She didn’t say: the mainstream media published scurrilous rumors about Trig’s parentage before we announced Bristol’s pregnancy. She said: the mainstream media published scurrilous rumors about Trig’s parentage. And you people did, Howard. Now you’re acting like you had no choice; as if McCain forced your hand by announcing that Bristol was pregnant.

But in any event, Kurtz is still rewriting history on this issue.

Is the Atlantic not part of the mainstream media? Because Andrew Sullivan of the Atlantic most assuredly was publishing these rumors before the McCain camp announced Bristol’s pregnancy.

In this post from August 31, 2008, Sullivan disgraced the Atlantic by publishing rumors that had previously been confined primarily to the fever swamps of the Daily Kos. Sullivan ticked off a number of facts that he found suspicious about Trig’s birth, and referred to “the rumors buzzing across the Internets and the press corps.” He said:

There must be plenty of medical records and obstetricians and medical eye-witnesses prepared to testify to Sarah Palin’s giving birth to Trig. There must be a record of Bristol’s high school attendance for the past year. And surely, surely, the McCain camp did due diligence on this. But the noise around this story is now deafening, and the weirdness of the chronology sufficient to rise to the level of good faith questions. So please give us these answers – and provide medical records for Sarah Palin’s pregnancy – and put this to rest.

It was not until the next day, September 1, that Palin made her daughter’s pregnancy public. I imagine the campaign felt compelled to respond because someone blogging on the site of a mainstream media outlet was chasing the story and giving it an undeserved aura of seriousness.

Maybe Kurtz is hesitant to point all this out because he was part of the ridiculous frenzy himself.

Kurtz should be writing about the fact that Andrew Sullivan, a blogger for a mainstream media outlet, is so unhinged that he still thinks this is a legitimate story, and still pledges to chase it down. Sullivan is certifiably insane, and yet retains his post at a mainstream outlet.

And Kurtz should not say Palin misstated facts. Instead, he should admit that he misstated the facts in this piece.

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