Patterico's Pontifications


ACORN Funding Ban Expires October 31

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 8:23 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

According to Hannah Giles, Congress temporarily restricted ACORN’s funding but it will be reinstated after October 31. Giles’ portion of today’s press conference begins at 6:50 of this video and she discusses ACORN’s funding at 8:00:

Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann confirms the ban on ACORN’s funding will expire in days:

“On October 1, 2009, the President signed a Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep government programs running at their current spending levels for one month. This was necessary because Congress has not yet passed the annual appropriations bills which fund all government programs into the new fiscal year, which began October 1st.

In the Conference Report accompanying that bill, Congress included the following provision in Division B which prohibited ACORN from accessing federal funding:

Sec. 163. None of the funds made available by this joint resolution or any prior Act may be provided to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, or allied organizations.

However, the CR expires on October 31, 2009.”

Congress hopes Americans have short attention spans. I’m glad Andrew Breitbart, James O’Keefe, and Hannah Giles know how to get attention.


Unlucky Criminals

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 7:43 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Having a rough day? It could be worse:

“Sheriff’s deputies spotted a car speeding in the 14100 block of Thermal Drive and began a pursuit with lights and a siren on, according to the affidavit. The suspect ran a red light at Wells Branch Parkway and headed south on Interstate 35. The driver weaved erratically in and out of traffic at speeds of up to 115 mph with law enforcement officers following him, the affidavit said.

In the 2700 block of I-35 in San Marcos, an officer awaiting the fleeing suspect deployed devices called stingers in the road, flattening the front right tire. The suspect drove the car into the grass at the side of the highway and ran into a wooded area where he was bitten by a snake, the affidavit said.”

The suspect is apparently fine. Arrested but fine.


NY 23

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 5:35 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

A special election is scheduled for 11/3/2009 in New York’s 23rd Congressional District to fill the seat vacated by Rep. John McHugh, a Republican, who was appointed to serve as Secretary of the Army. The major parties view it as an important preview in the run up to the 2010 midterms. Polls show three candidates splitting the vote: Democrat Bill Owens, Republican Dede Scozzafava, and Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman.

Former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich, the RNC and the RNCC support Scozzafava, but her campaign has suffered from mistakes and her social policy positions are closer to a Democrat than a Republican. (Scozzafava also has Markos Moulitsas Zúñiga of the Daily Kos rooting for her. According to Kos, she previously ran on the Working Families Party, a group linked to ACORN and an official in the Obama Administration.) Meanwhile, Hoffman seems to be gaining momentum and endorsements, so while he could win he could also throw the election to Owens.

What can Scozzafava do to regain momentum? Via Hot Air, she tried scheduling a photo op in front of Hoffman’s office … but Hoffman posters ended up framing her words and image:

Scozzafava talked about the need for candidates to have courage and debate in public forums. Fred Thompson showed another kind of courage when he announced his support for Hoffman earlier this week.

I bet Owens is loving this.


6 Millions Jobs Shy

Filed under: Economics,Obama — DRJ @ 4:57 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Via Drudge, the Ranking GOP member of the House Ways and Means Committee does some stimulus fact-checking:

“7 Months After Stimulus 49 of 50 States Have Lost Jobs

America Now Over 6 Million Jobs Shy of Administration’s Projections”

It’s tempting to joke about Hope and Change or to mention Vice President Biden’s recent statement that it’s a depression for people who’ve lost their jobs, but times are bad and getting worse. This is more than just politics now.


ACORN-Philadelphia Video

Filed under: Media Bias,Politics — DRJ @ 3:48 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles have posted an edited video entitled ACORN Philadelphia Prostitution Investigation Part I:

Andrew Breitbart’s Big Hollywood website explains why the ACORN employee’s statements are muted:

“**UPDATE 2:24 PM EST** We muted the audio of the ACORN employees on the video released today due to ACORN’s legal attack upon us. We call upon ACORN to state publicly now that it has no objection to the public release of any its employees oral statements to us. If they are interested in the truth, why wouldn’t they do so?”

Fox News reported ACORN’s response [emphasis supplied]:

“Scott Levenson, a spokesman for ACORN, reiterated a Sept. 14 statement issued by Carol Hemingway, the president of ACORN’s Philadelphia chapter, saying O’Keefe and Giles were asked to leave the office and that a police report was subsequently filed.

“This is another example of Fox Entertainment treating concocted video as if it’s actually news,” Levenson told “The police report we filed contemporaneously proves our clear understanding of this scam that was being portrayed.

Levenson declined further comment.”

Note the use of “Fox Entertainment” instead of “Fox News.” ACORN got the White House talking points that Fox News isn’t real media, didn’t it?


2010: Will Dems be saved by those awful, awful, AWFUL Republicans?

Filed under: General — Karl @ 9:28 am

[Posted by Karl]

The tide of bad polling data for Pres. Obama continues to roll in, with people disapproving of his handling of every major issue. Allahpundit, ever the skeptic, wonders if some of the data is simply too grim to be true.

The establishment media and the Leftosphere certainly thinks so. The WaPo’s Chris Cillizza emphasizes that the newest WaPo/ABC News poll suggests “the GOP still faces serious perception problems in the eyes of the American public”:

And, perhaps most troubling for GOP hopes is the fact that just 20 percent of the Post sample identified themselves as Republicans, the lowest that number has been in Post polling since 1983. (No, that is not a typo.)

These numbers, coming roughly one year before the 2010 midterm elections, show that any celebration on the GOP’s behalf is premature as the party has yet to convince most voters that it can be a viable alternative to Democratic control in Washington today.

Ed Morrissey explains why he thinks the new WaPo poll is a bit fishy. He is right that Democrats winning the generic Congressional ballot by twelve points (51%/39%) is way out of line with other polls.’s poll of polls currently has Dems +2.9%. However, Ed also complains about the WaPo/ABC News sample (33% Dems, 20% GOP) — which is close to the average for adults, though the average for registered and likely voters shows a much smaller gap, with the GOP gradually gaining on the Dems. (Larry Sabato thinks the Party ID totals in WaPo/ABC poll are very misleading, though that’s because he knows that voting behavior is more important.)

Regardless of the merits of the WaPo poll, Cillizza’s indictment of the GOP it is what the Leftosphere wanted to hear, and they lapped it up. Indeed, it is the continuation of a hypothesis developed in the Leftosphere — perhaps most articulately by Brendan Nyhan — that the GOP brand is so damaged that the 2010 Congressional campaign will not end as badly for the Dems as the 1994 campaign. The current net negatives of the GOP should be cause for concern, though the lefty fans of this theory tend to gloss over that the trend is increasingly negative for the Dems, too. Moreover, as Nyhan himself admits, the generic Congressional ballot should (in principle) take much of this difference into account.

Furthermore, when Nyhan first floated his theory, Charlie Cook pointed out how this ignored the actual political terrain on which the 2010 campaign will be waged, and Nyhan’s response is weak. Similarly, Cillizza’s assessment of the GOP’s poll numbers does not match up so well with his current analyses of Senate and House campaigns.

There is not much disagreement across the political spectrum that the GOP needs to get its act together, and that most the polling data now reflects disapproval of Pres. Obama and the Democrat-led Congress, as opposed to approval of the GOP. However, the notion that all of the data showing the GOP gaining near-parity with the Dems on the generic ballot (not to mention the recent WSJ/NBC poll showing re-elect numbers for Congress as bad as in 1994) should be discounted due to the GOP’s poor poll numbers on issues is wishful thinking. The hypothesis does not account for the scenario in which people disapprove of both parties and thus vote GOP to create gridlock. Moreover, the hypothesis it is not borne out in the current polling for actual 2010 campaigns.

Update: Kellyanne Conway has a deeper look at the WaPo/ABC News poll. It turns out there is a problem with the sample that emerges when you look at the composition of Republican and Democrat “leaners.” However, that does not affect the generally poor numbers for the GOP across a range of polls, or the main points of this post.


Layoffs at L.A. Times

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 6:45 am

I’ve been hearing rumors of layoffs at the L.A. Times for the past week or so. Yesterday I officially learned that they have happened. I learned this through Facebook. Tina Daunt — a columnist and former reporter whom I defended back in 2007 in a minor flap over a story about Fred Thompson — is one of the latest to be laid off, as she reports on her blog (which I saw on Facebook):

I had a really bad day today, and tomorrow is going to be even worse. You see, I’ve been a newspaper reporter for a major metropolitan paper for a lot of years now. I used to believe that newspapers could weather any storm. Now I’m not so sure. There’s yet another round of layoffs, and I think my number is up this time.

After seeing this yesterday, I headed over to L.A. Observed, which was reporting on Daunt’s message, which she has since confirmed — as well as the impending departure of another writer, Diane Haithman.

I’m hearing rumors of 30-34 people all in all, but this is the only official news I’ve seen.

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