Patterico's Pontifications


Unfortunate Intrusive Ad of the Day

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 10:13 pm

Seen at the L.A. Times:

LAT Over the Hill

Once the ad goes away, here’s what you see:

LAT Over the Hill 2


Jeez. Now the “See No Evil Hear No Evil” Monkeys Are “Racist” Too . . .

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:05 pm

Think Progress says that the following ad by some idiot Birthers is racist:


Charles Johnson agrees:

This isn’t even “dog whistle” racism. It’s right in your face, poking you in the eye.


Is it racist? It’s not impossible that it is. I’d have to know more about the context. For example, to take one of many aspects of the analysis, one might ask: is this particular group prone to making racist attacks on Obama?

An ad like that will look different coming from the KKK than it might coming from Alan Keyes. It’s stupid either way — but racist? Depends.

But any discussion of the topic must necessarily take account of the well-known fact that “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” is a concept that is inextricably intertwined with the famous images of the three monkeys. And conservatives can’t allow themselves to be cowed into not using that image, when it’s appropriate, just because some leftist might call it racism.

And so, as stupid as Birtherism is, we can’t bow to an outfit like Think Progress, whose level of “analysis” begins and ends with: “President black” + “monkey image used” = RACISM! This much is clear.

It’s a bit like the “analysis” provided in this SEK post accusing Dan Riehl of racism because he railed about ACORN in the following manner:

Breitbart’s video busts told us what they do best. The pathetic part in all this is that they were not just allowed, but encouraged to run wild on taxpayer funding by corrupt liberals, including Obama. They should all hang together if you ask me.

To which SEK responded:

[T]he fact that the first metaphor that occurs to him when criticizing blacks is a hanging party tells us that when he disagrees with blacks, he couches his disagreement in terms of stretched necks and strangled bodies. People for whom that is an instinctive response are people who are racists.

Or maybe they are simply invoking the well-known phrase about hanging together. I’m not saying it’s used appropriately; it’s more like it’s a cliche. But when you are going to assert, as a blanket matter, that any reference to “hanging” is racist when the people you’re talking about happen to be black, then you’re just being silly.

Getting back to those monkeys, allow me to present a couple more “racist” images:

Racist Monkeys 1

Racist Monkeys 2

Here’s the bottom line, lefties: if you guys get to use the monkeys when they make your point, then so do we — even if the target is black. We’re not bowing to your little accusations of racism any more.

We’re just tired of it. And you don’t get to decide this stuff on your own any more.

Colorado’s Politically Incorrect Sheriff

Filed under: Political Correctness — DRJ @ 9:51 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Larimer County, Colorado, Sheriff Jim Alderden (also known as the “Balloon Boy” Sheriff) will once again celebrate Christmas with a politically incorrect Christmas tree-trimming party:

“A Yuletide-loving sheriff with a penchant for controversy today announced his “Apparently Annual Politically Incorrect Christmas Tree Trimming Party.”

Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden began the event in 2007 to thumb his nose at a Fort Collins task force that recommended no publicly funded holiday displays that favor a single religion. In response, Alderden put up his Christmas tree — funded with private donations — outside the county office and beyond the city’s jurisdiction.”

The celebration starts with “a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by Christmas carols, horse and buggy rides and a visit from Santa Claus.”


Politico: “7 Stories Barack Obama Doesn’t Want Told” (Updated)

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 8:23 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

No sooner did the international media let loose with withering criticism of President Obama, now the American media is tentatively piling on with this Politico article on the 7 stories Barack Obama doesn’t want told. However, unlike the international stories, the tone of the Politico article is more of a cautionary note warning President Obama and his Administration not to let these themes take hold with the American public. The 7 themes are in bold and my commentary is in italics:

  • He thinks he’s playing with Monopoly moneyIn other words, Obama needs to rein in spending. As James Carville famously said: “It’s the economy, stupid.”
  • Too much Leonard NimoyObama is too cerebral, like Spock in Star Trek. All talk and no action; all hat and no cattle. I could go on but I won’t.
  • That’s the Chicago WayThe Obama Administration prides itself on its image as a group of “shrewd, brass-knuckled political types” rather than the new style of political leader the voters wanted. I can’t tell if the Politico expects the Administration to stop acting like Chicago pols or to try harder to hide it from the American public.
  • He’s a pushoverThe worst of both worlds: He’s a fighter on the domestic scene and a pushover abroad.
  • He sees America as another pleasant country on the U.N. roll call, somewhere between Albania and ZimbabweThis point is related to the last but with an added subtext: America isn’t that exceptional, a theme that goes against the way most Americans see their country.
  • President Pelosi — “The great hazard for Obama is if Republicans or journalists conclude — as some already have — that Pelosi’s achievements are more impressive than Obama’s or come at his expense.” This may be the Politico’s harshest criticism, not only because Obama has abdicated some executive responsibilities to Pelosi, but also because Pelosi and Congress have abysmally low rankings with the American public.
  • He’s in love with the man in the mirrorOr the man on the cover of GQ. Take your pick.
  • This is good advice but it seems to me the 7 things Politico warns Obama about are things he and his followers see as features, not bugs. If that’s true, they won’t avoid them anytime soon.

    — DRJ

    UPDATE — It seems the White House didn’t enjoy the Politico article:

    “It’s not just Fox News that’s become subject of White House derision. The following is an excerpt from a joke e-mail that is circulating among White House staffers. It’s a response, of sorts, to the analytical essay that POLITICO editor-in-chief John Harris wrote about the “seven stories that Barack Obama doesn’t want told.”

    The White House email is shown at the link.

    Obama’s Afghanistan Speech: Selling the War

    Filed under: International,Obama — DRJ @ 6:19 pm

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    ABC News says President Obama’s speech tomorrow night at West Point is the first step in selling his Af-Pak strategy:

    “Senior Administration officials tell ABC News tomorrow’s speech will include a new way of doing business that President Karzai is unlikely to welcome. Instead of U.S. funds going to Karzai’s central government as they do now, much of it will go to the provincial and district level and to specific ministries such as those devoted to Afghan security.

    Investments will be based on performance, a senior Administration official told ABC News. And if Karzai continues to run a government that’s full of corruption and fails to provide basic services, he may find himself out of the loop entirely. *** The era of the blank check for Karzai is over.”

    I hope Obama’s performance-based strategy works. Why not do the same with the American government?

    — DRJ

    Readers’ Rep Jamie Gold Out at the L.A. Times

    Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 6:10 pm

    The memo from editor Russ Stanton says they’re accepting applications!

    He sets forth the qualifications needed, which include:

    Highly organized and able to set priorities in a fast-paced environment, keeping in mind the overall goal of the office: to act as a voice for our readers and to help hold us accountable to our professional standards.

    If you’re laughing, you must be a regular reader.

    I don’t have anything personal against Ms. Gold — and I never really saw it as her fault that she often didn’t act as a voice for readers, but rather for the newspaper. This sort of thing is a decision made at levels much higher than her — and it isn’t going to change any time soon.

    Thanks to several readers.

    P.S. I still have a few letters to write about James Rainey’s latest column. Where do I send them now??

    President Pussyfoot

    Filed under: International,Obama — DRJ @ 5:19 pm

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    Negative international reviews of President Obama’s foreign policies have reached flood stage, including the British defense secretary’s claim that Obama is responsible for “the decline in British public support for the war in Afghanistan.” And that’s not all:

    “The President is “Obama the Impotent,” according to Steven Hill of the Guardian. The Economist calls Obama the “Pacific (and pussyfooting) president.” The Financial Times refers to “relations between the U.S. and Europe, which started the year of talks as allies, near breakdown.” The German magazine Der Spiegel accuses the president of being “dishonest with Europe” on the subject of climate change. Another withering piece in Der Spiegel, titled “Obama’s Nice Guy Act Gets Him Nowhere on the World Stage,” lists the instances in which Obama is being rolled. The Jerusalem Post puts it this way: “Everybody is saying no to the American president these days. And it’s not just that they’re saying no, it’s also the way they’re saying no.” “He talks too much,” a Saudi academic who had once been smitten with Barack Obama tells the Middle East scholar Fouad Ajami.”

    American Presidents can dither and waffle all they want on domestic political policies but every Administration must project strong international leadership. For now, President Obama has become the American who talks too much and says nothing.

    — DRJ

    UPDATE: In the comments, Dana explains why this matters.

    Climate Change Drama (Updated x2)

    Filed under: Environment,Obama — DRJ @ 4:56 pm

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    Dramatic Quote-of-the-Day by climate change supporter Dr. James Hansen in an interview with Eric Berger, the Houston Chronicle’s science blogger:

    BERGER: “I gather from what you were saying earlier about the bills in Congress, you feel the same about President Obama’s proposal for a 17 percent reduction in climate emissions by 2020.”

    HANSEN: “Yeah. Obama is a very smart person and the hope was that he would try to understand this problem. But instead his approach seems to be, “Oh let the politicians, let the House and Senate come to some sort of compromise on this.” But this is not something you can compromise on.

    This is analogous to the situation Abraham Lincoln faced with slavery, or Winston Churchill with Nazism. You can’t compromise and say we’ll reduce the number of slaves by 50 percent or something.”

    I sense desperation.

    — DRJ

    UPDATE 11/30/2009 — Mike K alerts us to this Chicago Boyz post that makes several important points about the computer software failures in ClimateGate, including these:

  • “There is no peer review of scientific software!”
  • The old saying is still true: Garage in, Garbage out.
  • UPDATE 2: More on the Hansen interview here.

    BigGovernment: “If you get hit, we will punch them back twice as hard”

    Filed under: Government,Obama — DRJ @ 4:38 pm

    [Guest post by DRJ] is rolling out a new series that focuses on HCAN, SEIU and the Obama Administration’s responses to last summer’s Tea Party protests:

    Somewhere between August 2nd and August 6th a strategy was devised that put all tools at the [Obama] administration’s disposal in line and firing at the protesters. August 4th seems to be an important day in the roll out of this strategy. The White House famously posted a new aggressive offensive on their blog calling out what they described as “mis-information” about the proposed bill and directed true-believers to report any sources of these “lies” to a special e-mail address: Also on the 4th, an organization called Health Care for America Now (HCAN) released a document that became a blueprint for intimidation and, ultimately, violence under the guise of confronting the tea party protesters at these town hall meetings.

    HCAN is an organization funded by various unions, most significantly SEIU, whose main purpose is to promote and push the effort for government-provided, universal health care. (To understand the SEIU’s reasons for pushing for this government health care, read this post.) The National Field Director for HCAN is Margarida Jorge. Margarida Jorge used to work for the SEIU as an organizing director.”

    HCAN and Jorge issued detailed instructions (set forth at the BigGovernment link) on how to organize health care support and to limit protesters’ ability to gain media attention and ask questions at last summer’s Congressional health care events. The DNC, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and leftist blogs joined HCAN in criticizing the Tea Party protesters as “angry mobs” and calling for liberals to push back.

    White House involvement became clear when, on August 6 as David Axelrod and Jim Messina talked to Senators about how to handle health care meetings with constituents, Messina promised: ”If you get hit, we will punch back twice as hard.” Thus:

    “Two days after the instructions on how to manage and control protestors at town hall meetings were released by Margarida Jorge at HCAN, one day after the Speaker of the House likened protestors to Nazis and mere hours after President Obama’s top political advisors assured Congressional Democrats that “If you get hit, we will punch them back twice as hard”, Kenneth Gladney lay beaten and bloody on the ground outside Rep. Russ Carnahan’s Town Hall meeting.”

    Next up:

  • BigGovernment’s analysis of the connections between SEIU, HCAN and the people charged with Gladney’s assault.
  • How they followed the Administration’s and HCAN’s template.
  • Stories of similar incidents.
  • — DRJ

    UPDATE: St. Louis prosecutors never checked Gladney’s hospital records. Is the local fix in? It could be the prosecutors don’t obtain records until a case is being readied for trial. I’m more interested in whether they talked to Gladney about his injuries.

    ObamaCare and 2010: More on suicidal Democrats

    Filed under: General — Karl @ 1:09 pm

    [Posted by Karl]

    The US Senate is set to begin debate today on the Democrats’ attempted takeover of the $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare system, and the gap between disapproval and approval of ObamaCare has never been bigger.

    Nevertheless, the Left would like to jam this through in 14 working days or less, lest the debate slip into an election year and the numbers deteriorate even further. The Democratic logic — such as it is — is that Democrats need to pass a bill to keep their base from deserting them. Nate Silver is left arguing that failure is the worst of both worlds. The Daily Kos looks at its weekly tracking poll, showing that Republicans and Independents are much more energized about voting in 2010, and concludes that “passing legitimate health care reform [is] an absolute political necessity for Democrats.” Steve Benen demands the full “too much, too soon agenda” (missing only “cap and tax,” though that may have just been an oversight on his part).

    None of these great thinkers addresses the probability that stomping on the gas as Dems hurtle over the cliff is likely to be most deadly to the swing votes they need to pass ObamaCare and the rest. Since they seem intent on ignoring Sean Trende’s regression analysis of the 1994 midterms, perhaps they may want to look at analysis by Brendan Nyhan (no member of the VRWC he), showing that passing major legislation has little effect on presidential approval. As Senatorial opinion on ObamaCare seems to be following presidential approval, Nyhan’s analysis ought to leave Senators — and the Left generally — asking whether passing an increasingly unpopular package of tax hikes and Medicare cuts pays any political dividends.

    If they think that people will grow to love ObamaCare, they may want to look at Massachusetts, where only 32% of voters think the same basic scheme has been a success, only 20% say reform has made healthcare more affordable (31% say the opposite) and only 16% say it has improved the quality of care (24% say it has gotten worse). Any Democrats from someplace less Blue than the Bay State may want to think about how those numbers will look once the state starts rationing care in earnest, and whether they are physically fit enough to sprint away from angry mobs.

    Democrats may try to shut all of that out of their minds. What they will not be able to avoid is the inevitable effects of their own debate. Unlike the House vote — or even the vote to proceed in the Senate — this debate involves actual substantive amendments (beyond the issue of abortion, which the Democrats permitted as a necessity in the House, but which they are working hard to drop now). At some point, Senate Dems have to figure out if they can find a bottom line that can be reconciled with the House bill — a difficult job in itself. But the votes on these amendments are likely to leave Senators — and the public — at least as unhappy as they are now. There will be losers on abortion, taxes, illegal immigration, Medicare cuts, doctor payments, etc. So far, the Democratic leadership has been able to lean on moderates with the argument that their votes are just “moving the process forward.” We are now reaching the point where the illusion that these bills are going to be improved somehow vanishes. That is the point where things will really get ugly.


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