Patterico's Pontifications


Good Riddance to Eleanor Clift

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:08 pm

Eleanor Clift has a column defending Helen Thomas that opens with the following dishonest claim:

Google “good riddance to Helen Thomas,” and you get 41,700 results, more than enough to get the gist of the blogosphere’s general disdain for the 89-year-old doyenne who was a fixture in the White House press room going back to the Kennedy administration.

I don’t know what version of Google Eleanor is using, but when I did the same search, I got 472 results — just over 1% the number claimed by Clift. Oh, and the first result in that search? You guessed it: Clift’s own column.

Not 41,700

Maybe her problem was not putting the phrase in quotes? No, that’s not it either. If you remove the quotation marks (which would give you results that don’t contain the actual phrase in question), you get 18,400 results — still fewer than half the number claimed by Clift.

Nope, still not 41,700

Clift continues:

Much of the commentary reflects revulsion at Thomas’s characterization of the Palestinian issue as something that could be solved if Jews left the Palestine territories and went back to where they came from.

She was talking about the settlers, and if she had said they should go back to Brooklyn, where many of them are from, she probably wouldn’t have made news.

She wasn’t talking about the settlers. If she had been, she would have said they could go back to “Israel” and not to “Germany and Poland.” See, as a proponent of what Tony Snow labeled the “Hezbollah view,” when Helen Thomas says the Jews need to get the hell out of “Palestine,” she is talking about Israel as well as the settlements.

The rest of Clift’s column is the typical rubbish about Thomas’s longevity. So what?

Incidentally, the phrase “good riddance to Eleanor Clift” (with quotation marks) had no results when I performed it in doing research for this post. That should change, however, with the publication of this post.

Thanks to Eric Blair.

Political Shenanigans

Filed under: Media Bias,Politics — DRJ @ 6:15 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

SC Rep. and Democratic leader James Clyburn is concerned about political shenanigans such as whether Democratic Senate nominee Alvin Greene might be a Republican plant.

I don’t know if Greene is or isn’t a plant — there’s no evidence so far — but the Washington Bureau of the Chicago Tribune aka the Swamp notes that Democrats have admitted apparent political shenanigans in Iowa:

“According to a internal poll obtained by the Swamp, Democrats found [former Iowa Governor Terry] Branstad comfortably ahead in the Republican primary, leading Bob Vander Plaats, his closest challenger, by 42 points. That same poll, though, signaled that he had not closed the deal with an energized conservative base.

“We saw that If you give people the information, you can move the needle,” said a Democratic strategist who worked with an independent expenditure committee the party launched in the state, called Iowans for Responsible Government (IRG).

In the coming weeks, that committee established itself in the state cloaked as a Republican-leaning entity. It purchased some airtime – enough to get noticed – on Fox News Channel, and invested heavily in a direct mail campaign aimed exclusively at Republican primary voters. One of two television ads told viewers that Branstad had raised the state sales tax 60 percent and increased state spending by 231 percent as governor. A mail piece featured Branstad’s head as part of a mockup of a “liberal” Mount Rushmore that included Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Bill Clinton.

The idea of a Democratic-subsidized effort tacitly demonizing its own party leaders to strike a blow at a potential Republican rival may seem unusual to some.”

As is common with the mainstream media, the Swamp article is most concerned with whether these shenanigans might come back to bite Democrats.


The Obama Doctrine

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 5:36 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

GatewayPundit on what President Obama did today:

“Barack Obama told The Politico this morning that the Gulf oil spill was like 9-11.

Then he went golfing for 4 hours.”

President Obama is not a serious leader.


Birthright Citizenship

Filed under: Immigration — DRJ @ 5:17 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Via George Will back in March 2010, Law Professor Lino Graglia on birthright citizenship:

“Sen. Lyman Trumbull of Illinois was, Graglia writes, one of two “principal authors of the citizenship clauses in 1866 act and the 14th Amendment.” He said that “subject to the jurisdiction of the United States” meant subject to its “complete” jurisdiction, meaning “not owing allegiance to anybody else.” Hence children whose Indian parents had tribal allegiances were excluded from birthright citizenship.

Appropriately, in 1884 the Supreme Court held that children born to Indian parents were not born “subject to” U.S. jurisdiction because, among other reasons, the person so born could not change his status by his “own will without the action or assent of the United States.” And “no one can become a citizen of a nation without its consent.” Graglia says this decision “seemed to establish” that U.S. citizenship is “a consensual relation, requiring the consent of the United States.” So: “This would clearly settle the question of birthright citizenship for children of illegal aliens. There cannot be a more total or forceful denial of consent to a person’s citizenship than to make the source of that person’s presence in the nation illegal.”

I doubt it will ever be recognized but I think Graglia is right about children of illegal immigrants.

H/T Carlos.


Mexican Tourism Plan Goes Awry

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 5:09 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

A group of reporters traveling in Mexico to promote tourism were abducted by angry locals and later released:

“A government media tour to promote tourism in southwestern Mexico went awry when machete-wielding Indians briefly kidnapped 13 reporters on the trip, officials said Sunday. Fifteen people trying to film a beer commercial were also abducted.”

That turned out to be the bad idea of the week.


Obama to Congress: Send Money

Filed under: Economics,Government,Obama — DRJ @ 1:37 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Last night, President Obama asked Congressional leaders to fund another $50 billion in emergency spending funds to help cash-strapped States balance their budgets and save jobs in heavily unionized professions. Interestingly, the letter doesn’t actually mention the $50 billion figure. Perhaps that enables the President to “transparently” post his request at the White House website while making his request sound like business instead of like begging.

This Jake Tapper interview suggests Congressional leaders on both sides are reluctant to spend new funds:

The President reminds me of all those fun-loving, free-spending college students who spend their last dimes by the middle of the month and immediately call home begging for more money. We’ve all been there at some point in our lives. Obama is still there.


ALSO: Adjective Dana has related thoughts on Obama’s easy-going attitude toward America’s ballooning deficit.

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