Patterico's Pontifications


In Which I Extend the Benefit of the Doubt to Marcy Wheeler, Eric Boehlert, and Brad Friedman

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:27 pm

Why are Marcy Wheeler, Eric Boehlert, and Brad Friedman defending people who tried to aid a child prostitution ring?

It’s a serious question. All three have been furiously writing thousands of words today about the following critical issue: when James O’Keefe told ACORN employees that he was a pimp for child prostitutes, was he also dressed as a pimp? And while I am working on a response that directly addresses their screeds regarding this trumped-up “issue,” [UPDATE: here you go!] the far more important issue is this: who fucking cares? The real issue is that James O’Keefe told ACORN employees that he was a pimp for child prostitutes — and ACORN employees, one after another, then helped him out.

And none of these three fine liberals seem to give a shit about that. Instead, they are far more concerned with deflecting the issue by going on ad nauseam about the complete red herring of how he was dressed.

Anyone who still respects this trio of trivializers of child sex-trafficking should really ask themselves:

  • WHY do they keep talking about “heavily edited videos” when the full and unedited audio completely supports the accusations make by O’Keefe and Giles?
  • WHY do they term as “independent” a whitewash of a “report” funded by a paid ACORN consultant — indeed, a paid ACORN consultant who obviously never listened to the unedited audio?
  • WHY do they refer to Giles’s and O’Keefe’s undercover journalism as “apparently illegal” while declaring that the ACORN employees who tried to aid a child prostitution ring committed no crimes??

You already know the answer: these three are HACKS. They don’t care about truth, and they don’t care about the law. They care about advancing their liberal agenda, and they are willing to distort any fact and destroy any reputation they think they need to in order to achieve their goals.

Because I can’t imagine that they’re really pro-child prostitution on principle.

See? I told you I was going to give them the benefit of the doubt!

Patrick Kennedy Will Not Seek Re-election

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 9:01 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Hill reports Rep. Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island has announced his decision not to seek re-election in November:

“Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) will not seek reelection this year, he said Thursday night.

Kennedy, who is the son of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), has served in Congress since 1995. The congressman’s father passed away nearly six months before Kennedy made his decision to step aside.

Kennedy said in a web video posted Thursday night that his life had taken a different direction, which led him to decide to retire.”

Kennedy’s retirement would end the decades-long Kennedy legacy of officeholders in Washington, D.C. Some suggest his retirement is due to his poor polling but I credit William A. Jacobson.


Quote of the Day

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 4:00 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Vice President Joe Biden:

“On Larry King Live last night, Vice President Joe Biden said Iraq “could be one of the great achievements of this administration. You’re going to see 90,000 American troops come marching home by the end of the summer. You’re going to see a stable government in Iraq that is actually moving toward a representative government.”

Asked to comment on Biden’s statement, Press Secretary Gibbs responded:

Gibbs said the achievement was “putting what was broken back together and getting our troops home, which we intend to do in August of this year.”

A reporter pointed out that the Status of Forces Agreement to bring troops home was signed before the president took office.

Gibbs called that agreement “something I think that the political pressure that the president, as a then-candidate, helped to bring about.”

Liberals continue their quest to revise history, one day at a time. The success of Iraq isn’t that American troops are leaving, it’s that America is leaving Iraq a free nation.


Glenn Beck and Debra Medina

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 3:55 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Glenn Beck’s interview of Debra Medina
, a candidate in the GOP primary for Texas Governor, is a big story today on the internet. An excerpt from the transcript of the Beck-Medina interview is below the fold, and Medina appears to admit she’s open to 9/11 truthers if she’s not a believer herself.

Polls showed Medina growing in popularity in Texas and this interview should end that surge, but I doubt her positions on other issues would have carried her candidacy much higher. At the Texas GOP primary debate in January, Medina said she is willing to consider legalizing drugs and wants to eliminate Texas property taxes and replace them with a State-wide sales tax. Both ideas are worth considering but neither will pass anytime soon, and basing a campaign on them strikes me as unrealistic.



Bill Clinton Hospitalized (Updated)

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 1:56 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

NBC News reports former President Bill Clinton has been hospitalized in New York:

“Early reports indicated that the former president experienced chest pains and has received a stent. A stent is small mesh tube that is used to treat narrowed or weakened arteries.”


UPDATEPolitico posts this statement by Douglas Band, counselor to former President Clinton:

“Today President Bill Clinton was admitted to the Columbia Campus of New York Presbyterian Hospital after feeling discomfort in his chest. Following a visit to his cardiologist, he underwent a procedure to place two stents in one of his coronary arteries. President Clinton is in good spirits, and will continue to focus on the work of his Foundation and Haiti’s relief and long-term recovery efforts. In 2004, President Clinton underwent a successful quadruple bypass operation to free four blocked arteries.”

The Beltway vs. the Chicago way

Filed under: General — Karl @ 10:50 am

[Posted by Karl]

The first year of the Obama presidency did not go so well, prompting finger-pointing by all involved. Pres. Obama has renewed his effort to blame the GOP for his failures. This is perhaps the least interesting move, given that the tactic has yet to help him or Democrats in polls or at the polls.

More interesting is the sudden, yet predictable, eruption of stories blaming Obama’s staff — particularly those sharing his Chicago ties. Mickey Kaus is on-target — almost hilariously so — in describing these as “save the president” pieces. After all, Obama is the top dog and cannot (barring impeachment) be fired.

However, these pieces are also part of a classic genre of DC journalism: Blaming the Others. Beltway insiders — and the journos who depend on them as sources — rarely miss a chance to assert that they, and only they, can tame the federal leviathan.

In contrast, RCP’s Jay Cost argues that one of Obama’s main problems is that he has deferred too much to the entrenched powers on Capitol Hill:

President Obama has installed Nancy Pelosi as de facto Prime Minister – giving her leave to dominate not only the House, but also the entire domestic policy agenda. The indefatigable Speaker Pelosi has taken advantage of the President’s laissez-faire attitude by governing from the left.


It’s easy to blame the Senate for inactivity – but the problem is the House. It has consistently passed legislation that is too far to the left for the Senate and the country. Ultimate responsibility rests with the President, whose expressed indifference toward policy details has allowed the more vigorous House Democrats, led by an extraordinarily vigorous Speaker, to dominate. That the President consistently praised the House and blamed the Senate in his State of the Union address suggests that he remains unaware of this problem.

I am a Jay Cost fan (follow him on Twitter!), but I respectfully half-disagree with him here. I disagree in part because I think Obama is a leftist ideologue who likely prefers Pelosi’s style and substance; his passive inclinations merely serve those impulses here. But I mostly disagree because it is generally unfair to blame the executive branch for the legislative branch.

Every generation (since WWII, anyway) seems to fall prey to the temptation of electing a hopey-changey Democrat. Yet every one of those presidents ends up having to deal with Congress. JFK fought Congress, and had trouble passing his agenda. Jimmy Carter fought Congress, and had trouble passing his agenda. Bill Clinton caved to Congress, which pursued an agenda that lost Democrats their majorities. Obama let Congress work its will and… well, you get the picture.

From time to time, we hear talk of “the imperial presidency,” but Congress remains the first branch of government. The cliche that “the president proposes, but Congress disposes” is closer to the mark, though Congress also does its share of proposing. Pelosi was not installed as de facto prime minister by Obama; she was elected by her colleagues in the House, who now have to live with that decision as they scramble for survival in the midterm elections. Pres. Obama may shake up his staff — but aside from helping smooth some egos, it will not fundamentally change the real problem on Capitol Hill. That may take a shakeup from voters.


ACORN Asks for $$$$ to “Help Us to Keep the Pressure on O’Keefe”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:31 am

ACORN is now sending around a petition to have James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles prosecuted for “wiretapping” in California and Maryland. An accompanying letter to ACORN supporters asks not only for signatures, but for money:

Click here to fight back against the corporate paymasters and their attack dogs seeking to disrupt this work by getting CA and MD to investigate James O’Keefe’s allegedly illegal videotapes of ACORN employees.

The “click here” link goes to a donation page. According to TPMMuckraker:

In another version, Lewis asks supporters to “chip-in $52 to help us keep the pressure on O’Keefe and his corporate paymasters.” Whelan says “the donations will end up in the low thousands — a meaningful and gratifying show of support, but certainly not outweighing the damage done by O’Keefe’s video scam.”

How is giving money to ACORN going to help “keep the pressure on O’Keefe”? Is there a connection between ACORN and his criminal case that we should know about?

P.S. If there isn’t one already, there needs to be a petition to Eric Holder to investigate possible crimes stemming from ACORN employees’ repeated offers to help O’Keefe and Giles deceive the government concerning their purported child prostitution ring.

If you are aware of such a petition, tell me about it and I’ll link it. If you’re not, someone should create one.

Iran’s Big Punch

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 2:18 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently promised to stun the West on February 11:

“Iranian president Mahmoud Amadinejad has issued a mysterious threat against the West, promising to strike a “telling blow” on February 11, the 31st anniversary of the country’s Islamic Revolution. Iran’s supreme leader and commander-in-chief Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reiterated the threat on Monday, declaring that Iran will “punch” Western powers on that day “in a way that will leave them stunned.”

Is this Iran’s surprise?

“Iran has developed a new system to distract ballistic missiles, a military official said. The new system can prevent missiles from hitting their targets, said Deputy Commander of Iran’s Air Force General Seyyed Mohammad Alavi.”

Is it a radar-evading drone?

“The new breakthrough was announced by the Iranian Air Force after the country’s military conducted a successful test of its first domestically-built radar-evading drone model Sunday.

“The drone, due to its physical attributes and the material used in its body, cannot be detected by any radar,” Air Force Brigadier General Aziz Nasirzadeh said.”

Or something else? We’ll see.


Health Care “Tricks” (Updated x2)

Filed under: Health Care,Obama,Politics — DRJ @ 1:35 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

In a Washington Examiner article yesterday, Editorial Page Editor Mark Tapscott quotes a Life News report that Democrats have already agreed to the use of legislative “tricks” to pass health care with reconciliation and other maneuvers.

If that’s true, Tapscott’s contemporaneous article on recall provisions takes on added significance:

“Did you know that nine states have provisions in their constitutions for recalling elected officials, possibly including the senators and congressmen representing them in Washington?

The states include Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin. points out that Article 1, Section 2b of the New Jersey constitution says: “The people reserve unto themselves the power to recall, after at least one year of service, any elected official in this State or representing this State in the United States Congress. The Legislature shall enact laws to provide for such recall elections.”

There are a dozen incumbent senators from these nine states who are not up for re-election in 2010, but who could be if successful petition drives were mounted in their states.”

Furthermore, if the Democrats follow through on this “trick,” President Obama’s upcoming health care summit is essentially a distraction or a stunt. How many Democrats are willing to go along with the charade?


UPDATE: The Instapundit has doubts but if this report is true, he has an answer.

*** Thanks to the Instapundit for his link. ***

UPDATE 2: The “trick” isn’t just reconciliation. The House has to pass and the President must sign the Senate bill on the health care legislation. Then the House and the Senate (via reconciliation) must pass superseding legislation. Thus, the House may be modifying legislation that it hasn’t even been passed yet. [EDIT: One possible scenario is here.] From Life News:

“The trick in all of this is that the president would have to sign the Senate bill first, then the reconciliation bill second, and the reconciliation bill would trump the Senate bill,” Primus said at the National Health Policy Conference hosted by Academy Health and Health Affairs.

“There’s a certain skill, there’s a trick, but I think we’ll get it done,” he said.”

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