Patterico's Pontifications


Verum Serum: A Great Blog

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:57 pm

I hardly have time to read blogs any more, but like many people, I have positive associations with certain sites when I see them linked by the big hitters. As a blogger who tries (I said tries!) to deliver original information, rather than regurgitating what others are saying, I notice when other sites do that. One blog that seems to come up time and time again as a provider of useful and original content is Verum Serum. They have broken several important stories (they have listed several here) and thus the blog name is generally familiar to me.

I linked them earlier today when someone wrote me to tell me about the Democrat maps they had uncovered with bulls-eye images all over them. I recognized the name from past links from other sites, and poked around some. Everything I saw appeared interesting, thoughtful, and well written.

They have a new fan in me.

I think it’s important to recognize good blogs when you see them. So consider this my shout-out for Verum Serum. Go bookmark them and start making them a regular read. I am.

P.S. Another blog which consistently produces good original content: Sweetness & Light.

Krugman: Hate Comes Mainly from the Right; UPDATED with Bonus Eliminationist Rhetoric from . . . Paul Krugman!

Filed under: General,Scum — Patterico @ 9:48 pm

You really have to admire Paul Krugman for having the courage to engage in his latest bit of hackery. He didn’t want to do it, you see. He was duty-bound:

Column meta: I hated, hated, hated writing tomorrow’s column. . . . But nobody would read a piece about health-care accounting or eurozone adjustment problems if I put it out tomorrow, and there are some things I fear won’t be said if I don’t do it (just as there were during the runup to the Iraq War); so Arizona it is.

And who else, truly (besides Frank Rich, Markos Moulitsas, or every other tired lefty hack out there) would have the courage to write timeless prose like this?

Where’s that toxic rhetoric coming from? Let’s not make a false pretense of balance: it’s coming, overwhelmingly, from the right. It’s hard to imagine a Democratic member of Congress urging constituents to be “armed and dangerous” without being ostracized; but Representative Michele Bachmann, who did just that, is a rising star in the G.O.P.

Indeed. Except, of course:

  • Barack Obama in July 2008:

    If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.”

  • Democrat Representative Pete Stark, speaking to a Republican:

    You think you are big enough to make me, you little wimp? Come on. Come over here and make me, I dare you. You little fruitcake.

Back to our courageous friend Krugman:

And there’s a huge contrast in the media. Listen to Rachel Maddow or Keith Olbermann, and you’ll hear a lot of caustic remarks and mockery aimed at Republicans. But you won’t hear jokes about shooting government officials or beheading a journalist at The Washington Post. Listen to Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly, and you will.

Indeed. Except:

  • Keith Olbermann on Hillary Clinton:

    (Watch the video here.)
  • Actor Alec Baldwin on Conan O’Brien:

    [I]f we were in other countries, we would all right now, all of us together, all of us together would go down to Washington and we would stone Henry Hyde to death! We would stone him to death! [crowd cheers] Wait! Shut up! Shut up! No shut up! I’m not finished. We would stone Henry Hyde to death and we would go to their homes and we’d kill their wives and their children. We would kill their families.

  • Comedian Chris Rock:

    If President Clinton would pardon me I would whip Starr’s ass right now. I will get a crew from Brooklyn and we will stomp him like, like, we’re Savion Glover. We’ll stomp him like it’s bringing da noise.

Thanks to Instapundit and topsecretk9.

Krugman, I’m just taking a small cross-section. It goes on and on and on and on and on.

As Glenn Reynolds says:

To be clear, if you’re using this event to criticize the “rhetoric” of Mrs. Palin or others with whom you disagree, then you’re either: (a) asserting a connection between the “rhetoric” and the shooting, which based on evidence to date would be what we call a vicious lie; or (b) you’re not, in which case you’re just seizing on a tragedy to try to score unrelated political points, which is contemptible. Which is it?

As Richard Roeper says:

It’s the individuals who pulled the trigger, and not any cultural influences, who were responsible for these violent acts. Even if Loughner had a shrine to Palin, complete with a poster of Palin’s infamous “crosshairs” map, he’s the one with blood on his hands.

. . . .

What are we to glean from all this? That heated rhetoric from the right led to the shootings? Huh?

How about this: He’s a nutjob. A twisted, sick mind that exploded. All the back and forth about heated political rhetoric, all the attempts to capitalize on this tragedy, won’t change that.

Why is this so hard for Krugman & Co. to understand?

The answer is simple: they do understand. But they are hacks. And a hack’s gotta do what a hack’s gotta do.

UPDATE: Nice post from Dana Loesch on this insane weekend here.

UPDATE x2: Oh, man. Sometimes the irony is what keeps a blogger going. Paul Krugman, December 17, 2009:

A message to progressives: By all means, hang Senator Joe Lieberman in effigy.

You know, I hated, hated, hated pointing out that particular bit of hypocrisy. But there are some things I fear won’t be said if I don’t do it.

Thanks to TV’s Andy Levy.

Dreadful Irony: Lawmaker Seeks to Pass Ban Outlawing Target Images on Maps

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:33 pm

It’s been a long, hard slog, my friends, but we have finally reached it: the absolute pinnacle of cynical exploitation of the Giffords shooting:

Representative Bob Brady of Pennsylvania told The Caucus he plans to introduce a bill that would ban symbols like that now-infamous campaign crosshair map.

“You can’t threaten the president with a bullseye or a crosshair,” Mr. Brady, a Democrat, said, and his measure would make it a crime to do so to a member of Congress or federal employee, as well.

Asked if he believed the map incited the gunman in Tucson, he replied, “I don’t know what’s in that nut’s head. I would rather be safe than sorry.”

He continued, “This is not a wakeup call. This is a major alarm going off. We need to be more civil with each other. We need to tone down this rhetoric.”

There is, of course, a constitutional problem with this — and here is where the dreadful irony comes in. Because the constitutional problem is aptly summed up by the language of the First Amendment — which is read in this video by . . . Gabrielle Giffords:

This is as good a time as any to link Jack Shafer’s excellent defense of inflamed rhetoric:

Embedded in Sheriff Dupnik’s ad hoc wisdom were several assumptions. First, that strident, anti-government political views can be easily categorized as vitriolic, bigoted, and prejudicial. Second, that those voicing strident political views are guilty of issuing Manchurian Candidate-style instructions to commit murder and mayhem to the “unbalanced.” Third, that the Tucson shooter was inspired to kill by political debate or by Sarah Palin’s “target” map or other inflammatory outbursts. Fourth, that we should calibrate our political speech in such a manner that we do not awaken the Manchurian candidates among us.

And, fifth, that it’s a cop’s role to set the proper dimensions of our political debate. Hey, Dupnik, if you’ve got spare time on your hands, go write somebody a ticket.

Sheriff Dupnik’s political sermon came before any conclusive or even circumstantial proof had been offered that the shooter had been incited by anything except the gas music from Jupiter playing inside his head.

For as long as I’ve been alive, crosshairs and bull’s-eyes have been an accepted part of the graphical lexicon when it comes to political debates. Such “inflammatory” words as targeting, attacking, destroying, blasting, crushing, burying, knee-capping, and others have similarly guided political thought and action. Not once have the use of these images or words tempted me or anybody else I know to kill. I’ve listened to, read—and even written!—vicious attacks on government without reaching for my gun. I’ve even gotten angry, for goodness’ sake, without coming close to assassinating a politician or a judge.

From what I can tell, I’m not an outlier. Only the tiniest handful of people—most of whom are already behind bars, in psychiatric institutions, or on psycho-meds—can be driven to kill by political whispers or shouts. Asking us to forever hold our tongues lest we awake their deeper demons infantilizes and neuters us and makes politicians no safer.

Beautifully said.

If we allow a group of cynical posturers to constrain our speech, we are tossing overboard the ideals of the First Amendment — the very provision that Rep. Giffords was so proud to read on the floor of the House. It is times like these when it is especially important to stand up and say: criminals are responsible for their own actions, and we plan to continue using strong political rhetoric where it is warranted, thank you very much.

And we’re not going to allow you to pretend that the one is responsible for the other.

Down the Memory Hole: Kos Disappears His Post Targeting Giffords, Replaces With Random Innocuous Post

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:35 pm

[IMPORTANT UPDATE: See UPDATE x3 and UPDATE x4 below before making up your mind here. I initially missed a subtle change in the URL when I first published this post, but UPDATES x3 and x4 not only address that, but raise different and even more troubling issues. — P]

Here is a screenshot before he disappeared it:

And here is one after he replaced it with a different, innocuous post:

Closeups next. First the original:

And the replacement:

And now the two URLs right next to each other:

It was never there. You hear me? It was never there.

UPDATE: And now that I have posted about this, and put something on Twitter about it, it is back.

Interesting. And yet, the screenshots don’t lie.

UPDATE x2: Commenter aphrael notes that one URL points to “storyonly” and one points to “story.” I will admit I had not noticed that — but click on both of them. They currently go to the same place.

The way I got to the “Virginia Dem” post was by clicking on the VERY SAME URL that I linked yesterday to get to the “target Giffords” post. So the evidence still indicates that there are shenanigans, unless someone can explain this further.

UPDATE x3: Here are screenshots with the exact same URL for two different posts. Here’s one:

And the other:

Closeups next. First the original:

And the replacement:

Explain that to me.

UPDATE x4: DRJ makes a very good point: that diary entry I screenshotted from 2008 is really from 2004. Here is the original 2004 URL:! The deadline mentioned in that post relates to a 2004 deadline, not a 2008 one. The deadline to register in 2008 was October 6th, not October 4th.

Plus (DRJ also notes in comments), why are the timestamps identical for the two 2008 posts (9:45:23)?

Troubling, to say the least. I invite commenters to opine as to how this could be a software glitch. It’s not impossible, but I’d like to hear it explained.

Left and Media (But I Repeat Myself) In a Fact-Free Frenzy to Blame Palin for Giffords Shooting

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:36 am

The facts are simple.

Jared Loughner was a lunatic.

Ben McGahee, a third-year instructor at Pima Community College, taught Loughner in an elementary algebra class last summer. McGahee said that while Loughner never threatened him directly, he was concerned by his behavior.

“I always felt, you know, somewhat paranoid,” McGahee said. “When I turned my back to write on the board, I would always turn back quickly–to see if he had a gun.”


One Pima Community College student, who had a poetry class with Loughner, said he would often act “wildly inappropriate.”

“One day [Loughner] started making comments about terrorism and laughing about killing the baby,” classmate Don Coorough told ABC News, referring to a discussion about abortions. “The rest of us were looking at him in shock … I thought this young man was troubled.”

If anything (not that it really matters), he was a leftist. But really, his political philosophy can best be described as incoherent.

Much like Sarah Palin put cross-hairs on districts including Giffords, Markos Moulitsas said a bulls eye should be put on districts including Giffords’. [UPDATE: And Kos was hardly the only one. Via Verum Serum and reader Cheryl L. come these images of leftists targeting Republicans, before Sarah Palin’s map ever appeared:

Verum Serum has much more.]

And let’s not forget about the left’s long and storied history of violent political rhetoric.


Given the lack of connection between Palin’s map and the shooter’s actions, together with the presence of identical rhetoric from the left, the talk today is, of course, about how it’s all Sarah Palin’s fault. And the left is exploiting this shooting to the hilt — facts be damned.

Here are Democrat operatives talking about using the Oklahoma City bombing strategy to “pin” the shooting on Tea Partiers:

One veteran Democratic operative, who blames overheated rhetoric for the shooting, said President Barack Obama should carefully but forcefully do what his predecessor did.

“They need to deftly pin this on the tea partiers,” said the Democrat. “Just like the Clinton White House deftly pinned the Oklahoma City bombing on the militia and anti-government people.”

Another Democratic strategist said the similarity is that Tucson and Oklahoma City both “take place in a climate of bitter and virulent rhetoric against the government and Democrats.”

Here is a screengrab of a Democrat PAC using the shooting to build a mailing list:

Here is a columnist writing a column titled Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ blood is on Sarah Palin’s hands after putting cross hair over district.

We’re going to see this for days, folks. Here you have a guy with communist books who posts videos of flag-burning who everyone says was an unstable kook, shooting a bunch of people for reasons having nothing to do with Sarah Palin, and the left impatiently waves aside the actual facts and blames her anyway.

All part of the playbook. You have to “pin” this on someone.

As a reminder, here is what they are politicizing:

Words fail.

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