Patterico's Pontifications


Lede Buried

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:08 pm

In the sixth paragraph of this story about Obama’s upcoming Afghanistan decision, we see this:

Mr. Obama will also announce a change in the American goal—without calling attention to the new objective. His goal up to now has been to “defeat” al Qaeda. The new mission: to “dismantle and degrade” the terrorists.

Now let’s go out there and beat the enemy dismantle and degrade the enemy!

And You Thought This Judge Was a Softie on Wrongdoers . . .

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:53 pm

I read this Ninth Circuit order regarding a Complaint of Judicial Misconduct today, and I’m trying to figure out who the unnamed “complainant” is. The order begins as follows:

Complainant, an attorney, has filed three misconduct complaints against thirteen circuit judges and six district judges . . .

I’ll quote you the conclusion of the order — which is jolly entertaining and should be read in its entirety — and we’ll see if you can help me out here:

Complainant has made numerous allegations accusing the many judges who have ruled against him or members of his family, both in civil cases and with respect to misconduct complaints that he has filed, of doing so in order to injure him or to effect nefarious or dishonest purposes. He has done so without any factual basis for his claims, and appears to have described his conduct as part of a litigation strategy. See Patterico’s Pontifications, posting dated June 17, 2008, (last visited Nov.19, 2009). Complainant, moreover, has a history of using the federal courts and the state appeals courts to accuse state judges who have made rulings adverse to him and members of his family of bias and corruption. Although I do not believe it would be appropriate for me, in my present role, to initiate sanction proceedings against complainant, see Judicial Conduct Rule 10(a), complainant’s conduct warrants referral to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Council for whatever action in this regard, including referral to the state bar, it may deem appropriate. See: In re Complaint of Judicial Misconduct, 550 F.3d 769 (9th Cir. Jud. Council 2008).

Also very, very funny is the identity of the Ninth Circuit judge who wrote the order. Suffice it to say I have a Strange New Respect for a certain heretofore reviled member of our federal judiciary.

This is my favorite post I have written in months. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

UPDATE: Here is the post to which the decision refers.

Dreier: ACORN Didn’t Pay Me. As for Why I Didn’t Disclose My Work for Them, Let Me Just Say: OH MY GOD WHAT’S THAT THING OVER THERE?!?!?!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:45 pm

Apropos the latest Big Government posts on Dreier, a little birdie told me Prof. Dreier was denying that his work for ACORN was paid. I thought I would ask him directly — and propound a couple other questions while I was at it:

Prof. Dreier,

I read your recent ACORN op-ed for the L.A. Times and I subsequently saw in your online C.V. that you have done consulting work for ACORN, and that you have served on their Advisory Committee. Did you get paid for the consulting work? Can you tell me more about the Advisory Committee — i.e. how many people are on it, how often do you meet, and what does this committee do? Finally, why did you not disclose these ties to ACORN in your piece?

I am seeking an on-the-record response for my blog. Thanks in advance for your time.

Yours truly,

Patrick Frey

Here is Dreier’s response. Note well what he answers — and what he does not:

I’ve never been paid by ACORN or any of its affiliates.

Peter Dreier

I sent this response:

Are you willing to answer my other questions?


But I think it’s pretty clear what the answer is. How can you answer questions for which you have no answer?

The Point of Public Education

Filed under: Education,Political Correctness — DRJ @ 9:31 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

What is the point of public education? Is it to learn basic skills like the old-fashioned “3 R’s” — reading, writing, arithmetic — or is it to learn how to get along with people, to be tolerant of different backgrounds and cultures, and open to other beliefs?

That seems to be the issue in a New Hampshire case involving Amanda, a 10-year-old girl who is being home-schooled by her mother and is described as “well liked, social and interactive with her peers, academically promising and intellectually at or superior to grade level.”

However, Amanda’s divorced father and a local judge think she needs a public education — and the judge seems to think Amanda is being brainwashed by religion:

“In a court order issued in the case, the local court reasoned that the girl’s “vigorous defense of her religious beliefs to [her] counselor suggests strongly that she has not had the opportunity to seriously consider any other point of view.”

Got that? It sounds like the more articulate and vigorous Amanda is in expressing her opinions, the more the judge believes she needs public education. However, the father’s attorney says the case is about Amanda getting along with other people and not about her religion:

“Kurowski’s attorney, Elizabeth Donovan, said the ruling was based on the girl’s isolated learning environment, not on her mother’s religion. She said the girl’s home schooling consists of “sitting in the corner of her mother’s bedroom,” where she receives her lessons on a computer screen.

Kurowski “is concerned because of the isolation that is borne of that and the lack of exposure to the broader culture at large,” Donovan said. “People of different heritage, people of different culture, tolerance, group problem-solving, making friends, losing friends — all of the things that come with a public school education.”

The New Hampshire Supreme Court has agreed to hear Amanda’s case but it’s hard to view it as an anomaly given a recent story about the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities College of Education and Human Development. Through its “Race, Culture, Class, and Gender Task Group,” the College plans to enforce what F.I.R.E. calls a “political litmus test for future teachers” and students based on their predispositions, beliefs, and “cultural competence.” The educators at U-Minn believe “both academic preparation and particular dispositions or professional commitments are needed for effective teaching.”

That sounds a lot like what the New Hampshire judge thinks Amanda should be learning in school.


White House Gatecrashers (Updated)

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 6:34 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

It appears that two Virginia socialites and aspiring reality TV show participants crashed last night’s White House state dinner:

“A couple of aspiring reality-TV stars from Northern Virginia appear to have crashed the White House’s state dinner Tuesday night, penetrating layers of security with no invitation to mingle with the likes of Vice President Biden and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

Tareq and Michaele Salahi — polo-playing socialites known for a bitter family feud over a Fauquier County winery and their possible roles in the forthcoming “The Real Housewives of Washington” — were seen arriving at the White House and later posted on Facebook photos of themselves with VIPs at the elite gathering. “

Reportedly, it’s the first time anyone has crashed a state dinner. The couple said they had a great time, and they have pics of themselves with “Ron” Emanuel and a “grinning” VP Biden to prove it.


UPDATE 11/26/2009: More on the happy couple here.

Washington Post Closes Bureaus

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 4:42 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Washington Post announced it will close its remaining U.S. bureaus by the end of the year and focus its coverage on Washington, D.C.:

“The Washington Post will close its remaining U.S. bureaus in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago at the end of the year to save money and will focus news efforts on covering the nation’s capital.

Six correspondents are being offered jobs in Washington, while three news aides will be let go Dec. 31.

In a staff memo Tuesday, Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli told workers that the paper needed to concentrate its “journalistic firepower” on its central mission of covering Washington, D.C.”

This makes sense from a cost-cutting perspective but it also cements the Washington Post as a local rather than a national newspaper. I guess the editors believe national readers will be interested enough in Washington, D.C., politics to read and subscribe. We’ll see.


9/11 Pager Messages

Filed under: Terrorism — DRJ @ 1:19 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

CBS reports that unconfirmed but apparently authentic 9/11 pager messages have been published that give another glimpse of what happened on 9/11:

“This unusual glimpse into the events of 9/11 comes from messages sent to alphanumeric pagers that were anonymously published on the Internet on Wednesday. The pager transcripts, which total about 573,000 lines and 6.4 million words, include numeric and text messages also sent to private sector and unclassified military pagers.

It’s impossible to tell whether the logs have been faithfully reproduced in their entirety. But there’s evidence they have been: I spoke to three journalists working on September 11, 2001 whose correspondence appeared in the logs or who were familiar with the messages circulated in their newsrooms that day. All three say the logs appear to be legitimate.”

9/ did not release the messages but is publishing them from Wikileaks. It’s a good place to start.


ACORN, Dreier, and the Media

Filed under: Media Bias,Politics — DRJ @ 12:00 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Andrew Breitbart at BigGovernment considers the media’s coverage of ACORN and finds it lacking. Specifically, he notes a September defense of ACORN and a recent Editor & Publisher article on the same topic — both of which were co-authored by Peter Dreier — and the lack of disclosure of Dreier’s longstanding relationship with ACORN:

“At the end of the [September] piece Professor Dreier offers the following biography: Peter Dreier, E.P Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics and director of the Urban & Environmental Policy Program at Occidental College.

Why did Professor Dreier choose to leave out the critical information regarding his advisory relationship to ACORN? Isn’t sitting on an advisory committee of ACORN the definition of a conflict of interest in writing a fair and balanced piece on the organization? In fact, Dreier has been shilling for ACORN at least since 2003.

Now Editor & Publisher has repeated the same critical error — as it doles out advice on the niceties of proper journalism.”

You may recall Patterico was among the first, if not the first, to raise this issue (and obtain a partial correction) following a Dreier op-ed in the LA Times. Now Breitbart adds another twist:

“In his Editor & Publisher piece Dreier also chose not to disclose that he co-authored an L.A. Times article with a “community organizer” who was featured on Big Government a few weeks ago admitting that ACORN is a deeply political organization that worked “under the grapevine” to get Obama elected.

Perhaps you remember the audio taken by Gary Hewson who confronted Alvivon “Bon Bon” Hurd at a rally in front of local Fox TV in Los Angeles (not Fox News) on November 13: ”So the main thing what happened is when Obama ran we did a, we didn’t never say who we were going to run but it sort of undercover that we were going to put Obama in,” Hurd told Big Government’s Gary Hewson who was taping her at the public rally.

At the time we didn’t know who the chatty and refreshingly honest ACORN organizer was, but tips and a confirmation received Monday night show that she is a longtime left-wing community activist, and a voting precinct inspector who published an article in the L.A. Times with none other than… Peter Dreier. Shelter the Wealthy, Lock Out the Rest? Peter Dreier and Alvivon Hurd, March 26, 2001.

Not only is Dreier pushing Media Matters talking points against the journalists who brought you the ACORN story, he’s also an ACORN advisor and a former writing collaborator of the woman who admitted in no uncertain terms that Hannah Giles, James O’Keefe and I are absolutely correct that ACORN lies when it claims to be a non-partisan organization.”

Time for a correction, LA Times and Editor & Publisher?


Obama to Go to Copenhagen. Again.

Filed under: Environment,International,Obama — DRJ @ 11:17 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

President Barack Obama has decided to attend the global climate summit in Copenhagen on December 9, followed by a stopover in Oslo to accept the Nobel Peace Prize. Copenhagen was the site of an earlier Obama trip on behalf of the Chicago Olympic bid.

Undoubtedly, the trip will be unprecedented.


Polanski Granted Bail

Filed under: Crime,International — DRJ @ 10:57 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Swiss Criminal Court has decided to release Roman Polanski on $4.5M bail and he may be transferred to house arrest within days:

“Ministry Spokesman Folco Galli said the final decision on transferring Polanski to his chalet in the Swiss resort of Gstaad would be made “quickly.”

“The 76-year-old appellant is married and the father of two minors,” the court said as it considered Polanski’s offer of a cash bail secured by his apartment in Paris. “It can be assumed that as a responsible father he will, especially in view of his advanced age, attach greater importance to the financial security of his family than a younger person.”

The court said Polanski would be subjected to “constant electronic surveillance” at his chalet and an alarm would be activated if he leaves the premises or takes off the bracelet, adding that the filmmaker was still viewed as a high flight risk.”

It’s ironic that the Court focused on Polanski’s concern for children to justify his release. Meanwhile, legal experts in Switzerland and the U.S. were surprised by the decision since Polanski is a proven flight risk and is not a Swiss resident:

“Swiss legal experts had said earlier that Polanski’s chances of bail were slim, and even U.S. authorities expressed confidence that a Swiss court wouldn’t grant his release.

The court last month rejected Polanski’s first bail offer of his Gstaad chalet as collateral, which the director claimed made up more than half of his personal wealth and would definitely guard against his flight because he has two children he must support through school.

The court demanded cash instead, and this time looked favorably on Polanski’s offer of a bank guarantee and the threat of sacrificing his family’s home if he fled justice.

“Cash is king,” said Peter Cosandey, a former Zurich prosecutor. Still, he said he could “hardly remember a case where bail is granted to someone who isn’t even a full-time Swiss resident.”

The AP notes Polanski’s attorneys plan to proceed with a scheduled California court proceeding next month asking that the charges be dismissed whether or not Polanski is present.

Finally, as Patterico has noted before, the AP repeated its claim that the judge agreed to sentence Polanski to no more than 90 days:

“Polanski pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of unlawful sexual intercourse. In exchange, the judge agreed to drop the remaining charges and sentence him to prison for a 90-day psychiatric evaluation. The evaluator release Polanski after 42 days, but the judge said he was going to send him back to serve out the 90 days.”

If they say it enough it may come true.



UPDATE BY PATTERICO: To be clear, the error here is the claim that the judge agreed to do this “in exchange” for Polanski’s plea — suggesting that this was a term of the plea bargain. As I have pointed out on many an occasion, it was not.

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