Patterico's Pontifications


After Tuesday, It’s Cool to Wave the Flag Again

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 8:00 pm

[Guets post by DRJ]

It’s okay to fly the flag again!

“Or, at least it will be after the Inauguration on Tuesday, for at least the next four years. The flag once again is a beacon of hope and change, instead of oppression and stasis as it is any time a Rethuglican sits in the Oval Office. Sez so in the New York Times.”

H/T Instapundit.


A Message for President George W. Bush

Filed under: Government,Politics,Terrorism — DRJ @ 1:24 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

For some time, Democratic Rep. John Conyers, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has been receptive to prosecutions of Bush Administration personnel who participated in wiretapping, interrogations, detentions, and other allegedly illegal actions undertaken in the War on Terror. Democratic House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi also seems receptive.

So I have a message for President Bush:

Pardon anyone and everyone in your Administration who participated in wiretapping, interrogations, detentions, and related efforts. Don’t depend on the vague, indecisive words of Barack Obama and his surrogates. Just as you depended on them, the people who helped you combat terrorism are depending on you.

Do it now.


New York Times Considers Cash Infusion from Mexican Investor

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 12:44 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The New York Times is reportedly looking for a financial bailout from one of its investors, Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim:

“The 68-year-old telecommunications tycoon [Carlos Slim] is said to be discussing a large purchase of preferred shares. The talks are ongoing and may fall apart, as they probably would need the consent of the Sulzberger family, including publisher Arthur Sulzberger, who control the media powerhouse through its ownership of preferred shares.

The preferred shares under discussion would carry no voting rights, but pay a dividend, according to the report. His current stake puts Slim among the largest non-Sulzberger owners of the Times.

The Times is under the gun to raise cash as a $400 million credit line expires in May. The recession has squeezed the paper, which reported a 21 percent drop in ad revenue in November.”

Slim is listed as the world’s second-richest person, just slightly behind Warren Buffet.


What Constitutes Juror Misconduct?

Filed under: Law — DRJ @ 12:00 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Austin American-Statesman has the story of a fascinating case pending before the Texas Supreme Court in which the Ford Motor Company wants to undo a settlement in a $3M rollover case based on alleged juror misconduct:

“Right out of a Hollywood movie, the dramatic jury note arrived in the courtroom on the third day of deliberations, changing everything for Ford Motor Co. and its legal opponent, a Texas woman paralyzed in a 2002 rollover accident.

“What,” the jury asked, “is the maximum amount that can be awarded?”

Fearing the jury was about to give the Brownsville woman a much larger award, Ford quickly settled the lawsuit for $3 million — about double what the carmaker discussed paying in earlier settlement talks, company lawyers said.

So imagine Ford’s surprise upon learning that jurors had been leaning 11-1 in favor of the car company.

What’s more, the lone holdout was presiding juror Cynthia Cortez, who wrote the jury note on her own and sent it to the judge over the objection of several other jurors.”

As I read the article, the issue is how far will the Court let a litigant go to void a settlement and investigate alleged juror misconduct if the case settled based on the actions of a juror.

There’s more detail in the article so please read the whole thing.


A More Perfect Union

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 10:00 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Martin Luther King may have had a dream but Barack Obama has a theme: He wants to make America a more perfect union. He’s mentioned it twice in two days, and I think it will reappear in the coming days and in his Inaugural Address.

For example, Obama invoked this theme yesterday as he traveled by train from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C.:

“Starting now, let’s take up in our own lives the work of perfecting our union,” Obama said. “Let’s build a government that is responsible to the people, and accept our own responsibilities as citizens to hold our government accountable.

“Let’s all of us do our part to rebuild this country,” he said, with words that clearly point to the theme that will emerge from his inauguration as the 44th president on Tuesday. “Let’s make sure this election is not the end of what we do to change America, but the beginning.”

In addition, in an article in today’s Parade Magazine, Obama touched on this theme in a letter to his daughters in which he explains why he ran for President: Because he wants to make America a better place for his daughters and all children. The letter deals with America’s imperfections, and nowhere is that more obvious than in this section where Obama talks about what he learned from his mother:

“She helped me understand that America is great not because it is perfect but because it can always be made better-and that the unfinished work of perfecting our union falls to each of us. It’s a charge we pass on to our children, coming closer with each new generation to what we know America should be.”

Obama’s letter is a litany of things people want but he implies few have — things like puppies, good schools, clean air, and peace — and he encourages his daughters (and others) to right wrongs as their highest calling. It’s not a letter encouraging children to work diligently at their careers, it’s a letter telling them to make a difference in their neighbor’s lives. The latter sounds nice but the former is more useful advice, for them and for America.

America will never be perfect and although it’s good to work at making it better, it’s also good to recognize why America has succeeded. Americans didn’t succeed by perfecting their neighbor’s lives; they succeeded by working hard to provide for their families.

I’m always surprised and disheartened when some liberals see America as a glass half empty rather than a glass half full. (I wish they could see it as a land brimming with opportunity.) I know liberals can feel optimism about America because recent media reports depict a resurgence of that feeling since Obama’s election, but I don’t understand how they can measure America’s worth in different ways depending on who is President.


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