Patterico's Pontifications


Dana Asks for Fairness From the LA Times

Filed under: Dog Trainer,Politics — DRJ @ 9:32 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Earlier this evening in a post titled Comparing the Rhetoric, I looked at some of the ways Barack Obama fired up his supporters and compared them to a recent statement by Sarah Palin. The post also looked at how some in the media (in that case, CNN) responded.

It turns out I was a day late and a dollar short because Dana had already made the same comparison in a letter to the authors of this LA Times’ article. As Dana puts it, the LA Times’ article includes unnamed websites referencing Palin’s “incendiary tones.” Dana decided to write the authors in the “interest of even-handed reporting,” and she has given me her permission to reprint it here:

Date: Mar 28, 2010
Subject: Fwd: In the interest of even handed news reporting…
To: [redacted by DRJ]

Ms. Hennessey and Ms. Powers,

I look forward to your reporting on the harassment of Andrew Breitbart and the egging of his bus by Reid supporters at the Tea Party rally yesterday in Spotlight, NV. They even went so far as to make a false claim to the police that Breitbart himself did the harassing and egging – of his bus. In light of making a point to bring up the issue of incendiary tones in your Saturday piece, “‘Tea Party’ protesters in Nevada target health law”, this would seem to be a very appropriate and newsworthy followup, and one which readers deserve to know about. In the interest of even-handed reporting…

You yourselves made several provoking statements:

Several websites, including Palin’s, have been cited as examples of the incendiary tone. In announcing her efforts to try to unseat key Democratic members of the House, Palin’s site used the image of a rifle scope. She told her supporters via Twitter, “Don’t retreat, instead – RELOAD.”

Perhaps you forgot President Obama’s comment made to his supporters during the campaign: “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” Obama said in Philadelphia last night.” (

The point is it’s convenient to be melodramatic over the right’s obvious metaphor of RELOAD and equally convenient to ignore Mr. Obama’s obvious metaphor. Both are painfully and clearly metaphors, non-violent, and yet you chose to continue to attempt to reinforce the faux outrage … over Palin of course. However that is not an impartial reporting of events. Either the President’s metaphor is equally as incendiary as Palin’s, or neither is.

So here’s an opportunity to level the playing field with some unbiased reporting. The link for Breitbart is here:

Quite obviously you are able to reach him via email/phone to confirm and verify, and in the interest of unbiased journalism and even-handed reporting, I look forward to seeing this in print in the LAT pages.

Credibility is all a newspaper’s got anymore…

Sincerely, Dana”

We await their response.


Vacant Federal Buildings Cost Millions

Filed under: Economics,Government — DRJ @ 8:01 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

ABC News reports the federal government spends millions each year maintaining vacant and underused buildings, including $170M a year for VA buildings:

“The Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimates that the Veterans Administration alone is spending $170 million a year maintaining its vacant and underused buildings. Government-wide, the cost is much greater.

“It’s a lot of money. We’re talking about hundreds of millions of dollars every year to be able to just repair these properties,” said Mark Goldstein, GAO’s director for physical infrastructure issues.

But the empty government buildings are not just costly eyesores, they are also public hazards. A dead body was found in an abandoned courthouse in Kansas City.”

Some of the properties have been vacant for years and even decades. The answer? The long-term vacancies should be sold, scrapped or given away. This isn’t the best time to sell commercial property but it’s an even worse time to pay huge sums to maintain unused and, in many cases, unusable properties.

And it’s another example of how government bureaucracy costs money and does a poor job allocating resources.


Comparing the Rhetoric

Filed under: Obama,Politics — DRJ @ 6:34 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Barack Obama campaigned as a uniter, not a divider, but he was happy to fire up his supporters with strong rhetoric in Nevada in September 2008:

“I want you to argue with them and get in their face.”

This wasn’t the first time, either. In Philadelphia in June 2008, Obama urged his fans to play hardball with McCain supporters:

“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” Obama said in Philadelphia last night. “Because from what I understand, folks in Philly like a good brawl. I’ve seen Eagles fans.”

Even the McCain camp viewed that as Obama going negative, not as an attempt to incite violence, although by November some of Obama’s New Black Panther supporters had taken his call to arms literally. They stationed a security patrol at a Philadelphia polling place — one of whom was brandishing a nightstick — an act many viewed as voter intimidation tactics. Nevertheless, there was no liberal outrage.

Compare that to the response to Sarah Palin’s “Don’t retreat — Reload!”, including this from CNN (via NewsBusters):

“CNN put “INCITING VIOLENCE?” on screen under video of Sarah Palin earlier in the day Saturday in Searchlight, Nevada, as anchor Don Lemon announced:

Sarah Palin takes on one of the highest ranking Democrats right in his own backyard, all while causing another uproar by urging tea parties to quote “reload.” And the question is, are comments like that inciting violence and name-calling over the health care bill and the like?

In the subsequent segment, titled “DANGEROUS RHETORIC: When heated words incite threats & violence,” CNN’s panel agreed Obama’s political opponents are inciting violence and are motivated by racism — undeterred by Palin’s assurance, which CNN played:

When I talk about it’s not a time to retreat, it’s a time to reload, what I’m talking about — now, media, try to get this right, okay? That’s not inciting violence. What that’s doing is trying to inspire people to get involved in their local elections and these upcoming federal elections. It’s telling people that their arms are their votes. It’s not inciting violence. It’s telling people, don’t ever let anybody tell you to sit down and shut up, Americans.

Lemon demanded: “Is it responsible for someone to say that? Especially a leader, considering the anger that’s going on right now?”

This story and claims of GOP-incited violence just won’t go away … and they won’t as long as Democrats think they’re helpful.


Dan Collins: “Sexual Abuse is Not a Catholic Franchise”

Filed under: Education,Law,Religion — DRJ @ 3:02 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

An excerpt from an excellent post by Dan Collins at POWIP:

“[T]he headlines in the MSM are all about Holy Week opening amidst charges of sex abuse cover-ups that may even touch on the Pope himself. Benedict has dismissed the charges, and between the NYT and the Pope, on a matter of truthfulness, please forgive me if I go with the Pope. Religion hater Christopher Hitchens has called for the US to cut off political relations with the Vatican, and yesterday True/Slant writer Matt Taibbi stated that the Catholic Church was a criminal enterprise and ought to be sued under RICO.

Well, that’s an interesting theory. But are public schools a criminal enterprise, as well? Because I believe that despite all the talk about celibacy being the root of the trouble for the Catholic Church, one would find that incidences of abuse and cover-up are at least as widespread among public schools. I realize that this is just a hunch, but it demonstrates the confirmation bias at play that none of the MSM is interested in performing the actual research that would be necessary either to confirm or deny the supposition.”

Read the rest and while you’re there, wish Dan a Happy Birthday.


Love Is In the Air …

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 2:57 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

… at Dana’s photoblog. Be sure to look around.


Obama Travels to Afghanistan

Filed under: International,Obama — DRJ @ 2:36 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Barack Obama traveled to Afghanistan to support the troops:

“One of the main reasons I’m here is to just say thank you for the incredible efforts of our US troops and our coalition partners,” Obama said. “They make tremendous sacrifices far away from home, and I want to make sure they know how pround their commander-in-chief is of them.”

It’s appropriate that allies acknowledge each other with public courtesy and respect before getting down to business, even serious business, and that’s what Obama did with Karzai (unlike his treatment of Netanyahu):

“The Afghan government had not been informed of Obama’s unannounced trip to the presidential palace in Kabul and Bagram Air Base until Thursday, according to the White House. The president arrived at Bagram aboard Air Force One at 7:25 pm local time, after a nearly 13-hour flight. And Obama arrived at the presidential palace by helicopter shortly after 8 pm Kabul time.

Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai emerged from the embattled palace along a red carpet to the parade grounds in the middle of tree-lined palace complex. They stood fro their national anthems, reviewed the assembled troops and returned inside the palace.”

The main goal of the visit appears to be a discussion with Afghan President Karzai:

“Obama was there to “engage” Karzai on the benchmarks that the U.S. expects of the Afghan government, according to Marine Gen. Jim Jones, the National Security Adviser, who briefed reporters aboard Air Force One en route. Obama was there “to make understand that in his second term, there are certain things that have been not paid attention to, almost since Day One,” Jones said. “That is things like…a merit-based system for appointment of key government officials, battling corruption, taking the fight to the narco-traffickers, which fuels, provides a lot of the economic engine for the insurgents.”

“To make understand”? Hopefully, The Swamp’s Mark Silva needs to work on his transcriptions and that isn’t the way James Jones speaks.

I’m curious how Karzai will respond to Obama’s complaints. Most people don’t respond helpfully to being scolded.


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