Patterico's Pontifications


MoDo Plagiarizes Josh Marshall

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:07 pm

Josh Marshall, May 14, 2009:

More and more the timeline is raising the question of why, if the torture was to prevent terrorist attacks, it seemed to happen mainly during the period when we were looking for what was essentially political information to justify the invasion of Iraq.

Maureen Dowd, May 17, 2009:

More and more the timeline is raising the question of why, if the torture was to prevent terrorist attacks, it seemed to happen mainly during the period when the Bush crowd was looking for what was essentially political information to justify the invasion of Iraq.

The only difference: the bolded language.


MoDo’s excuse, apparently, is that she was cribbing from a friend who didn’t tell her that he (or she) had cribbed from Marshall. This is an excuse? The online version of her column now reads:

Josh Marshall said in his blog: “More and more the timeline is raising the question of why, if the torture was to prevent terrorist attacks, it seemed to happen mainly during the period when we were looking for what was essentially political information to justify the invasion of Iraq.”

And apparently, they’re planning to run some sort of “correction.”

I’m sorry, but that’s not good enough. Ben Domenech was fired from the Washington Post for having plagiarized before he joined the paper. Dowd plagiarized in the pages of the New York Times. Her excuse is that she plagiarized a friend instead of Marshall?!

This merits more than a “tut tut” and a shrug of the shoulders. Will Big Media overlook it? They shouldn’t.


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:41 pm

Fairly sharp shaking, lasting only 3-5 seconds, around 8:39 p.m. What did you feel?

UPDATE: Early report is a 5.0, centered 2 miles NNE of Hawthorne.

UPDATE x2: There was a smaller aftershock, magnitude 3.1, at 8:45 p.m. We didn’t feel that one in Rancho Palos Verdes.

UPDATE x3: The quake has been downgraded to a 4.7.

Lakers Win Game 7

Filed under: Sports — DRJ @ 3:53 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

I confess, I didn’t watch any of the Rockets-Lakers series. (I’m boycotting professional games for a while in favor of my first love, college and high school sports.) But I feel an obligation to post this since it’s one of those rare Texas-California sports matchups where the California team comes out on top.

The Lakers will take on the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday in Game 1 of the Finals.


Obama at Notre Dame

Filed under: Abortion,Obama — DRJ @ 2:12 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Although protesters were present, Barack Obama was given a courteous welcome at the Notre Dame commencement and he encouraged Americans to learn to disagree respectfully:

“Understand – I do not suggest that the debate surrounding abortion can or should go away. No matter how much we may want to fudge it – indeed, while we know that the views of most Americans on the subject are complex and even contradictory – the fact is that at some level, the views of the two camps are irreconcilable. Each side will continue to make its case to the public with passion and conviction. But surely we can do so without reducing those with differing views to caricature.

Open hearts. Open minds. Fair-minded words.”

Obama shared an anecdote about correspondence he received during the Presidential campaign from a doctor who opposed abortion. Instead of asking Obama to change his position on abortion, the doctor encouraged Obama to approach the issue in a fair-minded way. Obama said he prayed he would extend the same presumption of good faith to others that the doctor had given him.

Obama also called on Americans to “make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded in clear ethics and sound science, as well as respect for the equality of women.”

The full transcript of Obama’s speech is here. Pre-speech media has focused on abortion but Obama also addressed the need for world peace and to find a way to “live together as one human family.” And in a light-hearted moment, he offered his services at next year’s Notre Dame basketball tournament that he described as the largest outdoor 5-on-5 basketball tournament in the world.


Where Do You Stand on America?

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 1:41 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Here’s a BusinessWeek article on how a company or a country can evaluate whether its best days have passed or are yet to come.


Greenwald Critiques Obama on Civil Liberties

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 12:17 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

In his post yesterday, Glenn Greenwald criticizes liberals who are willing to overlook Obama’s embrace of Bush-era national security policies:

“What should one say about a person who vehemently objected to X when Bush did it, but then suddenly found ways to defend or mitigate X when Obama does it?
But unless the opposition of the last eight years was really just a cynical means for opportunistically weakening and demonizing Republican opponents rather than opposing policies that one genuinely found dangerous and wrong, then the actions of Obama are leaving no other choice but to object and object strenuously. As the first paragraph of today’s NYT article put it, this week alone provided “the most graphic examples yet of how [Obama] has backtracked, in substantial if often nuanced ways, from the approach to national security that he preached as a candidate, and even from his first days in the Oval Office.” If nothing else, refraining from objecting will ensure that this continues further and further.”

I’m glad Obama isn’t practicing everything he preached during the campaign but I don’t blame Greenwald for being disappointed in Obama, or in liberals who defend Obama’s duplicity on these issues. I felt the same dismay about some of Bush’s spending decisions.


Your Economic Stimulus Money at Work

Filed under: Government — DRJ @ 11:25 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Click here to see where federal stimulus dollars for transportation infrastructure projects have been announced.

So far, there’s not much love for Virginia, New Mexico, Kentucky and Nebraska.


Quote of the Day, Beverly Hills Version

Filed under: Education,Government — DRJ @ 9:01 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

“What’s wrong with being elitist? We’re Beverly Hills.”

— Beverly Hills public school trustee Brian Goldberg, explaining why he favors priority for out-of-district legacy admissions at Beverly Hills public schools.

The Beverly Hills and Santa Monica-Malibu public school districts have voted to grant an admissions preference to the children of alumni living outside their enrollment boundaries. Beverly Hills Unified School District has a history of special admissions, but this legacy policy has stirred up controversy:

“Districts have broad discretion to set enrollment policies, as long as they do not violate state or federal law. Constitutional scholar and UC Irvine law school Dean Erwin Chemerinsky said the legacy policies are not unconstitutional, although he said he found them troubling.

“They give benefits to those who often least need them and deny that benefit to those who often most need them,” he said.

Bill Koski, a Stanford University law professor who specializes in education policy, said the preferences could widen the gap between affluent and poor districts. “The adequacy of education funding in California is problematic when even our wealthiest school districts feel they must resort to this type of thing,” Koski said.

Others, including Beverly Hills trustee Myra Demeter, criticized the policies for perpetuating privilege. “It favors the children of a group of people — district alumni old enough to have children of school age — perceived by many to be white and wealthy,” she said.

Supporters point out that Beverly Hills Unified offers hundreds of permits to students who live outside its bounds. Some are intended to foster diversity at the high school; others are for children of city and district employees and the largest group is for students with “opportunity permits.” Anyone can apply for the latter, which are used to boost state funding, fill out classes and allow a richer array of courses and activities.

The board voted this year to give no new opportunity permits, to continue the other permit programs and to allow 11 more legacy slots next year.”

More at the link.

Incidentally, Trustee Goldberg voted against the recent admissions change because he felt legacies should be given even greater priority than the current policy provides.


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