Patterico's Pontifications


MSNBC: Guys Carrying Guns to Rallies Are Racists, Especially This Guy Whose Skin Color We Will Now Proceed to Hide from Your View

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Obama,Race — Patterico @ 9:54 pm

This is truly amazing, from Newsbusters via Hot Air (also picked up by DRJ briefly below). Watch this video, at least through :40. It’s an MSNBC clip showing a man with an assault rifle outside an Obama rally. The tape is edited so that you can see only the lower half of the body. You cannot see his face.

Then the commentator says:

. . . there are questions about whether this has a racial overtones [sic] I mean here you have a man of color in the presidency and white people showing up with guns strapped to their waists, or to their legs.

Now for the punch line. Remember how I noted that the clip was edited so you couldn’t see the guy’s face? Here it is:

Guy with Assault Rifle 1
Above: white man with gun strapped to him

Guy with Assault Rifle 2
Above: even clearer view of a clearly white man

This white man is such a racist, he has himself done up in blackface!


P.S. I heard a radio program last night where Rod Dreher and an editor from the American Spectator both allowed Eric Boehlert and the liberal host to tar Republicans with the “they call Obama a Nazi!” brush. The American Spectator editor, to his credit, pointed out that Bush was called a Nazi for years, but nobody piped up to mention that the Obama/Nazi crazies always turn out to be LaRouche supporters.

Allahpundit has done a great job reminding us of a few points we all need to keep in mind as the Eric Boehlerts and Tim Ruttens of the world try to paint Republicans as fanatics who uniquely demonize the president as a Nazi, call for him to be killed, and such:

  • There were lots and lots and lots of death threats against Bush at anti-war rallies and such for years. Here’s one example; many, many more at the link:


  • Pictures of Obama with a mustache have turned out to be wielded by crazy LaRouche supporters, time and time and time again.

  • We have a Congressman who calls Republicans “the enemy” and says that Sen. Grassley’s criticism of ObamaCare was “an act of treason.”

But never mind that. Republicans are the crazies!

Oh, and the racists with guns.

MSNBC told me so.

Texas Judge Sharon Keller’s Misconduct Trial

Filed under: Judiciary — DRJ @ 9:52 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Remember Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Presiding Judge Sharon Keller, the “We close at 5” Judge? (Former posts here and here, as well as Beldar’s excellent analysis here.)

Judge Keller was charged with misconduct by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct as a result of this incident and her trial has been ongoing this week. Keller testified today she wouldn’t do anything different if she could do it over again and blamed the conduct of the defense counsel:

“The potentially career-ending charges accuse Keller of incompetence in office, bringing discredit to the judiciary and failure to protect Richard’s right to have a valid grievance heard in court when she denied a request from the inmate’s lawyers to file briefs after 5 p.m. on Sept. 25, 2007.

Richard was executed that night.

Keller, one of nine judges on the Court of Criminal Appeals, denied every charge and turned criticism back onto Richard’s lawyers.

“I think it’s a legitimate question to ask why his lawyers had from 9:30 in the morning until 8:20 at night and did nothing,” she said.”

The biggest surprise of the trial is testimony from former general counsel Ed Marty:

“Monday’s surprise revelation came in opening statements when prosecution and defense lawyers discussed the pretrial deposition of Ed Marty, who was the court’s general counsel when Richard was executed on Sept. 25, 2007.

Marty had called Keller at home about 4:45 p.m. that day to say Richard’s lawyers were asking for more time to file briefs. Keller refused.

Marty’s questioning has been eagerly anticipated for what it would reveal about that conversation. But when he was deposed Aug. 6 — later than other witnesses in the case because he now lives in Alabama — Marty testified that he also discussed the lawyers’ request for additional time with one other judge, [Cheryl] Johnson, before 5 p.m.

The revelation is potentially significant, indicating that Keller did not act alone to deny the request and that court rules had been followed.

But Johnson contradicted Marty’s recollection, testifying that he came to her office shortly before 5 p.m. “and told me nothing had come in,” she said, adding that he never mentioned a phone call from Richard’s lawyers.”

The Austin American-Statesman has several articles on Judge Keller’s trial in its archives. The trial was expected to end today with closing arguments to follow. Rather than issuing a verdict, I believe the trial judge will make recommendations to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct.


Labeling Health Care Opponents (Updated x2)

Filed under: Media Bias,Obama — DRJ @ 8:20 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

It didn’t work to label health care opponents as racists so now the media is suggesting opponents of ObamaCare are ignorant.

It’s 2008 all over again. Just more bitter, clingy and frustrated Americans trying to stop Barack Obama.

UPDATE 1: MSNBC won’t give up on the racist meme, even if the facts don’t fit. H/T redc1c4.

UPDATE 2Opponents are sinners now, too:

“In a conference call with liberal and progressive religious leaders Wednesday afternoon, President Obama railed against those who were “bearing false witness” in the debate over health care reform.

“I know there’s been a lot of misinformation in this debate, and there are some folks out there who are, frankly, bearing false witness, but I want everyone to know what health insurance reform is all about,” the president said.

“Thou shalt not bear false witness against your neighbor,” is, of course, one of the Ten Commandments. (It’s the 9th Commandment in all religions except for the Catholic and Lutheran traditions, in which it’s the 8th.)”


Who is to blame for ObamaCare’s woes?

Filed under: General — Karl @ 2:52 pm

[Posted by Karl]

As ObamaCare has run into difficulties moving through Congress, there has been no shortage of finger-pointing. People have been blaming Pres. Obama right and left for failing to lead, remaining aloof, voting present and delegating too much of the work to Congress. Some communications professionals believe Republicans have done a good job at capitalizing on the vagueness of the bills as presented to date, though I would agree with Eric Dezenhall that the GOP has been disorganized and that the pushback is “largely organic and through nobody’s genius.”

This rap on Obama is not entirely fair. The Obama administration’s strategy has been based on the supposed lessons of the failure of HillaryCare in 1993-94. They may have been a bit too knee-jerk on that score, but it is a reminder that putting out a concrete White House proposal is an approach that has failed before. Perhaps some think that Obama would have been better positioned to sell it, based on his personal popularity. But that argument is belied by the past few weeks, in which Obama has been campaigning on the issue to little effect.

Amid the lefty foot-stomping about the possible abandonment of a government-run health insurance plan, a few lefty bloggers are looking at the bigger picture. Ezra Klein casts a critical eye on some of his fellow travelers:

What’s been striking, however, is the implicit argument that this is somehow a simple failure of liberal will. Rachel Maddow called it “a collapse of political ambition.” The problem, she said, is that “Democrats are too scared of their own shadow to use the majority the American people elected them to in November to actually pass something they said they favored.” The question, writes Chris Bowers, is whether Obama is “more willing and able to pressure the Progressive Block in the House or the Conservadem Block in the Senate.” Ed Schultz said the president needs to “start doing some arm-twisting with some folks that aren’t listening to him.”

The unifying idea here is that someone can just go into a back room and torture Max Baucus and Kent Conrad. But how? Rahm Emanuel isn’t a shrinking violet. Neither was Clinton or Carter or Nixon or Truman or FDR. But none of them managed to get health-care reform past the Congress. There’s not really a record of presidents being able to bend committee chairmen and wavering centrists to their will. Even LBJ, the master of this stuff, decided to go for Medicare rather than full reform. He thought the latter too ambitious. The history of health-care reform is the history of health-care reform failing. If there was some workable presidential strategy, or foolproof negotiating lever, presumably someone would have used it by now, or at least mentioned it in public.

Kevin Drum also notes that Washington DC is a tough place to get anything done, using the Bush administration’s domestic record as an example.

In contrast, Steve Benen has a fit of partisan blindness, responding that Pres. Bush had trouble with his domestic agenda because “Americans didn’t really support the conservative agenda.” Benen has apparently missed the fact that Obama has majority approval only among Democrats on a range of issues, including healthcare. As the Weekly Standard’s Matthew Continetti put it:

The public option controversy exposes a flaw in the liberal agenda. Liberals viewed the 2008 election as an affirmation of their program rather than a repudiation of Bush’s (and by extension McCain’s). In order for liberals to implement their program, however, they require the support of people who do not attend Netroots Nation or read The Nation. But most Americans, as today’s Robert Wood Johnson Foundation poll reveals, are satisfied with the health care they receive from America’s hybrid public-private system, and do not support a major government overhaul of such. Indeed, as Arthur Brooks argues in today’s [Wall Street] Journal, “There is no evidence that more than a minority of Americans accept the idea that a $17 trillion national debt, greater reliance on government for jobs and health, and hyper-progressive taxation offer the hope they deserve for themselves and their children.”

Pres. Obama may bear his share of the blame for that delusion, but not much more than the Unreality-based community that supports him.


Life Expectancy at a New High

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 11:40 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

The U.S. life expectancy rose to nearly 78 years old according to the CDC, and it’s attributed to “falling death rates in almost all the leading causes of death.” Thirty other countries have longer life spans, with the highest being Japan at 83 years.

There’s also this interesting nugget in the article:

“Last year, the CDC said U.S. life expectancy had inched above 78 years. But the CDC recently changed how it calculates life expectancy, which caused a small shrink in estimates to below 78.”

Anyone know what changed?


Crime on Angel Lane

Filed under: Crime,Government — DRJ @ 11:21 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Houston-based U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas has brought charges against four former New Orleans residents who were displaced to Houston after Hurricane Katrina. The charges claim they fraudulently accepted FEMA rental assistance after being given homes by an Oprah-Habitat for Humanity collaboration that built 65 homes for displaced Katrina residents:

“Oprah’s Angel Network” worked with Habitat for Humanity to build and furnish homes for approximately 65 families, most of whom moved onto Asheburton Springs Drive in southwest Houston, which was subsequently renamed “Angel Lane.”

“The response to natural disasters brings out the best and worst in people,” said Houston-based U.S. Attorney Tim Johnson. “Generous acts of charity are tarnished by those who despite the generosity of others, fraudulently make claims for government relief funds. This office will continue its efforts to bring those who make false claims for public funds to justice.”

The trio was charged along with the sister of one of them, who allegedly helped her sibling cheat FEMA.”

Two of the accused also claimed to be unemployed when they were reportedly working for Memorial Hermann Hospital and Harris County.


Democrats: We Can’t Pass Health Care Because of Those Damn Republicans

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:42 am

Obama and Congressional Democrats decide to run against a party out of power, and the New York Times is only too happy to play along:

Given hardening Republican opposition to Congressional health care proposals, Democrats now say they see little chance of the minority’s cooperation in approving any overhaul, and are increasingly focused on drawing support for a final plan from within their own ranks.

Top Democrats said Tuesday that their go-it-alone view was being shaped by what they saw as Republicans’ purposely strident tone against health care legislation during this month’s Congressional recess, as well as remarks by leading Republicans that current proposals were flawed beyond repair.

Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, said the heated opposition was evidence that Republicans had made a political calculation to draw a line against any health care changes, the latest in a string of major administration proposals that Republicans have opposed.

“The Republican leadership,” Mr. Emanuel said, “has made a strategic decision that defeating President Obama’s health care proposal is more important for their political goals than solving the health insurance problems that Americans face every day.”

Damn Republicans.

If only the Democrats could somehow seize control of the presidency and the House, and get a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. Then maybe they could pass this popular legislation that the public so clearly favors.

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