Patterico's Pontifications


Andrew Sullivan Showers Palin with “Compliments”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:57 pm

Andrew Sullivan is handing out compliments to Sarah Palin, as part of the New Civility and what he calls “generous anger”:

And when there are individuals in politics you have learned to distrust or oppose, it is always helpful from time to time to add a genuine compliment, not for the sake of it, or for credentializing, but because there are very few people who have no redeeming features and noting them is only fair.

How about my long treatment of Sarah Palin? Here, there is no conceivable way in which, in my judgment, her presence on the national stage can improve our discourse, help solve our problems or improve public life. But that does not forbid one from noting the great example she has shown in rearing a child with Down Syndrome, whatever his provenance, or noting her effectiveness as a demagogue, or from admiring her father’s genuineness or her skill in exploiting new media.

Awwww. That’s kinda sweet. I think it’s time we on the right return the compliment.

Here goes . . .

Ahem . . .

There is no conceivable way in which, in my judgment, Andrew Sullivan’s presence on the Internet can serve any useful purpose. But that does not forbid one from noting the great example he has shown in rising above the revelation that he sought gay sex on the Internet after condemning that exact behavior in others. That he has managed to maintain an audience despite such stunning hypocrisy — coupled with his demented and protracted investigation into Sarah Palin’s uterus — is a testament to Andrew’s skill in identifying and exploiting suckers with rank demagoguery.

“I offer no apologies or regrets for persistence.”

Here endeth the compliments.

UPDATE: Karl has much more in comments about other things Sullivan has managed to rise above. And (h/t dana) iowahawk has more on the Juicebox Mafia as CSI — featuring “Chief Forensic Gynecologist Andrew Sullivan.”

The Late and Honorable Judge Roll

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 8:52 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Credit where credit is due, the New York Times manages to pull out a very moving story.

We call judges “your honor” or “the honorable _______” as a matter of habit, occasionally believing that this person is anything but honorable.  But in his last moments of life, Judge Roll proved he deserved to be called that:

The chief investigator for the sheriff’s department here has for the first time publicly described the brief and gory video clip from a store security camera that shows a gunman not only shooting Representative Gabrielle Giffords just above the eyebrow at a range of three feet, but then using his 9-millimeter pistol to gun down others near her at a similarly close range.

The video, according to Richard Kastigar, the investigative and operational bureau chief of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, also reveals that Judge John M. Roll appears to have died while helping to save the life of Ronald Barber, one of Ms. Giffords’s employees. Mr. Barber, who was near Ms. Giffords when he was shot twice, has since left the hospital….

In describing the video, the most detailed account yet of the initial five-second burst of fire, Mr. Kastigar said Judge Roll was “intentionally trying to help Mr. Barber,” adding, “It’s very clear to me the judge was thinking of his fellow human more than himself.”

The judge guides Mr. Barber to the ground, shields him with his body, and then tries to push himself and Mr. Barber away from the gunman, who was no more than three to four feet away as he fired, Mr. Kastigar said.

“He pushes Mr. Barber with his right hand and guides him with his left hand. The judge was on top of him and is covering up Mr. Barber, literally lying on top of him, and his back was exposed,” Mr. Kastigar said.

The judge was shot in the back.

Godspeed, Judge Roll and may the flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Be Very Careful Before You Click on This Link

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 8:39 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

This is video from Real Clear Politics and they don’t have any easy way to embed it, so I will give you a link in a moment. But I have to warn you, they use the c-word. Dare I say it?  In this political climate, who knows what the effect will be if I say it, right?

Okay, I will say it. Crosshairs. But don’t take that as me demanding that you be violent. Besides, they had to say it. You see a previous correspondent had said the word — and then, in this clip, the host apologizes for that scary language.

So I am about to give you the link.  Now, be very careful.  If you are prone to violence don’t view it.  And if you do, make sure you don’t mistake this for a command to go on a killing spree.

Okay, ready?  Click on the picture to watch the video. I’ll wait for you to return.


Are you back?  It’s pretty scary, huh?  I am holding my knees and rocking back and forth from fear.  Gosh, I hope none of our readers go and start hurting people as a result.


For those new to this site, let me note that everything above is mockery.

Jesus wept, did liberals all make a New Year’s resolution to act like complete morons this year?

Well, thankfully Mayor Koch has decided to break that resolution, here.  And let’s face it, stupidity this deep cries out for a palate cleanser like the one Mr. Koch thankfully delivers.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: As much as I like what Mayor Koch had to say, I think the superior palate cleanser is this story about John King, the CNN dude you just watched in that video, from November (h/t Hot Air):

CNN anchor John King’s “magic wall” sent him over the edge when his beloved touch screen jammed.

The DC-based anchor had a meltdown while anchoring his 7 p.m. show, “John King USA,” from CNN’s New York studio just days before the midterm elections.

After a slew of technical and editorial errors, King lost his cool when his signature and somewhat overworked touch screen malfunctioned.

“I wish I brought a gun to work,” King yelled at studio operators on Oct. 29, according to several CNN sources.

Uh, John? Screaming about bringing a gun to work? That doesn’t live up to our standards.

Yeah, we’re trying to get away from that.

Three Hundred and Eighty Federal and State Officials Investigating Loughner’s Motivations… For Some Reason

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 7:45 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

This passage in a Washington Post article struck me:

A team of 250 federal investigators and 130 local detectives trying to understand why Jared Lee Loughner went on his alleged killing spree has conducted more than 300 interviews with family, friends and neighbors since the shooting. But they remain stumped about what ultimately prompted the 22-year-old’s descent into violence.

Investigators have had little success gaining information from either the uncooperative Loughner or his parents, who have told authorities that they had little recent contact with their son, law enforcement sources said.

With so little help coming from the immediate family, investigators are probing associates and witnesses for details that could help them fill out a portrait of Loughner, a task one source described as completing a “jigsaw puzzle.”…

It could take weeks for investigators to fully determine Loughner’s state of mind in the days leading up to the rampage, the sources said. Virtually every member of the FBI’s 200-person Phoenix field division, coupled with 50 additional agents from Washington and Tucson and more from the Capitol Police and the U.S. Marshals Service, have fanned out across southeastern Arizona. About 130 detectives from the Pima County sheriff’s office also are involved.

Mmm, hard to say which is worse.  The fact that the entire field office, just about, is working this one case and thus not watching out for other crime, or that someone in the government is stupid enough to disclose this fact.  Hey!  Drug dealers!  Come to Phoenix, the FBI isn’t watching that area right now!  I mean you would hope this was a head fake, a ruse to trick the criminals into thinking they were under less heat so they screw up more or something like that.  Raise your hands if you think anyone in the Federal Government was being that smart?

Yeah, I didn’t think so, either.

So seriously, um, why?  We know the guy did it.  And contrary to what you have heard in thousands of courtroom dramas, motive is not an element of the crime.  Of course I think it is fair to say that prosecutors usually want to say something on the subject, but they don’t have to and they can convict with no explanation as to why the guy did it.

And nor is this terribly relevant to an insanity defense, and besides, if he pleads insanity, then he will have to submit to government examination and the reality is most criminals will not even know what kind of insanity to fake.  It has to be very specific under the law. And indeed, as far as Arizona law is concerned, there is no insanity defense.


Lavish State Dinner for Hu Jintao (With Taiwanese Animation!)

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 1:15 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

This morning I read in the UK’s Guardian:

The White House is to throw a lavish reception for the Chinese leader, Hu Jintao, on Wednesday in an effort to patch up relations after a difficult year dominated by tensions over currency rates, jobs, North Korea and other international issues.

President Hu is due in Washington tomorrow for the start of a four-day visit, the highlight of which is to be a state dinner at the White House on Wednesday evening.

Hu is to go from Washington to Chicago on Thursday for two days. The mayor of Chicago, Richard Daley, announcing details of the visit last week, including a gala dinner as well as trips to a Chinese car spare parts factory and a Chinese language school, reflected US excitement about the trip. “It is a big deal. Big, big, big, big. Big deal,” Daley said.

Given China’s pivotal role in the global economy and in foreign affairs, it is the most important state visit of the Obama presidency so far. Obama needs China’s help in turning the US economy round, particularly in creating jobs, and in resolving tensions on the Korean peninsula and exerting pressure on Iran.

Who is coming to dinner?  Hu, that’s who!

Now part of this is of course due to the fact that Obama has put this nation more into hock with China than all the presidents before him.  Raising the debt limit won’t help America very much if China doesn’t keep buying, you know? This whole situation was ridiculed by those Taiwanese animators:

The words “painfully funny” comes to mind.

But then it occurred to me how ridiculous this entire dinner is, if you imagine it from who’s Hu’s perspective.  So let’s get this straight.  We are going to borrow from China in order pay for a lavish dinner for…  China.  So does Mr. Hu look at all of this and marvel at the chutzpah of wasting so much of the money that we borrowed from them?  Or does he laugh, taking this as the evidence that we are doomed as a nation?

Just askin’.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Obama Announces “Smart” Regulation

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 8:40 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Mind you, he is not fool enough to call it “smart regulation” because it sounds too much like “smart diplomacy.  But that is what it is and he all but calls it that.  From his op-ed today:

From child labor laws to the Clean Air Act to our most recent strictures against hidden fees and penalties by credit card companies, we have, from time to time, embraced common sense rules of the road that strengthen our country without unduly interfering with the pursuit of progress and the growth of our economy.

Sometimes, those rules have gotten out of balance, placing unreasonable burdens on business—burdens that have stifled innovation and have had a chilling effect on growth and jobs. At other times, we have failed to meet our basic responsibility to protect the public interest, leading to disastrous consequences. Such was the case in the run-up to the financial crisis from which we are still recovering. There, a lack of proper oversight and transparency nearly led to the collapse of the financial markets and a full-scale Depression.

Over the past two years, the goal of my administration has been to strike the right balance. And today, I am signing an executive order that makes clear that this is the operating principle of our government.

This order requires that federal agencies ensure that regulations protect our safety, health and environment while promoting economic growth. And it orders a government-wide review of the rules already on the books to remove outdated regulations that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive. It’s a review that will help bring order to regulations that have become a patchwork of overlapping rules, the result of tinkering by administrations and legislators of both parties and the influence of special interests in Washington over decades.

Yeah, that sounds good in theory.  But bear in mind, this is the same administration that advocated an interpretation of the law that declared pretty much everyone to be a creditor, requiring everyone—employees, contractors, corporations, etc.—to form plans for catching identity theft.  But hey, maybe he just didn’t know what was happening.  Maybe he is just a really sh-tty administrator.  But even when he discusses what he envisions with simple examples, a chill runs down my back:

Where necessary, we won’t shy away from addressing obvious gaps: new safety rules for infant formula; procedures to stop preventable infections in hospitals; efforts to target chronic violators of workplace safety laws.

That all sounds nice, but particularly in the bolded example I am creeped out.  I work for a health care company.  You don’t think we work really hard to prevent the spread of infection?  Of course we do.  Now the main reason we do is is because our company is filled with people who really are dedicated to improving the health of our patients.  This is not just a job to them, but a profession.  But even if you are skeptical of moral influence, we have another reason for doing so: because if we don’t then we can be held liable.  So federal regulations requiring certain procedures to be followed will be at best a waste of time—every company that wants to avoid an avalanche of lawsuits is already doing that—and at worst will introduce inappropriate rigidity into the system.  All of which seems to contradict this later assurance:

As the executive order I am signing makes clear, we are seeking more affordable, less intrusive means to achieve the same ends—giving careful consideration to benefits and costs.

Except that coming up with specific procedures, rather than a simple liability rule, is more intrusive, and is unlikely to further that end.

Oh, and he can’t possibly get through it all without an attempt to smother criticism with the label of incivility:

Despite a lot of heated rhetoric, our efforts over the past two years to modernize our regulations have led to smarter—and in some cases tougher—rules to protect our health, safety and environment.

(emphasis added)  Oh, and notice he does use a phrase that is very close to “smart regulation”—“smarter… rules.”  Of course there is nothing wrong with a regulatory regime that is actually smarter.  The problem is that I have zero confidence that this will be the result.

But hey, Mr. President, why don’t you surprise me?

Btw, I don’t know who put this in, but at the bottom someone actually thought there were people stupid enough not to know who he was, so someone added:

Mr. Obama is president of the United States.

Thanks for the info, guys!  But then again considering the state of knowledge in this country, we might be unsure if anyone, politicians included, know that.

Update: You can read the executive order, here.  This is a parody, right?  Maybe the guys at the Onion?

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Calling the First Meeting of JournoList II

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:35 am

Good morning, fellow JournoListers! Ezra Klein here. Welcome to our new home!

Times have been tough since Weigel exposed our e-mail list. We have spent months looking for a new way to distribute talking points, and while some of you still want to go the Twitter route, it’s a little too public for most of us. I think this blog will provide the perfect cover. Nobody reads it any more, so it’s basically as private and secure as our e-mail; perhaps more so. Better still, if we ever are exposed, I’m told that any big link shuts down the site immediately and completely, so we’ll have our embarrassing material hidden even faster than if I tried to wipe it off our servers.

Today’s agenda is, of course, Sarah Palin’s interview on Hannity last night. Joe Scarborough has the “why is she making it about her?” angle covered well at Politico (safe link here):

We get it, Sarah Palin. You’re not morally culpable for the tragic shooting in Tucson, Ariz. All of us around the “Morning Joe” table agree, even if we were stunned that you would whine about yourself on Facebook as a shattered family prepared to bury their 9-year-old girl.

Beyond that, the big story is, of course, the phrase “blood libel.” We have a choice between “she failed to address blood libel” and “she addressed blood libel badly” this morning. Which tack we choose depends, to some extent, on whether she actually addressed it or not. I can’t force myself to watch the clip, but Boehlert has volunteered to watch and let us know. The only problem is, Boehlert is kind of a liar, so do we have any other volunteers to check and see which line we should use? The clips are below:

I know Yglesias says we shouldn’t need to watch the clip to choose, but I’m with the Washington Post now, guys. We have higher standards. Which means, if you want to write things that totally ignore the facts, continue to do so as always — but just signal what you’re doing in code, so I have deniability. “Disney Channel has Wizards on!” is this week’s code phrase.

I’m a little pressed for time, but I just want to leave you with these words of encouragement. It seems to be working. John Boehner hasn’t renamed the title of the health care repeal bill, but we have gotten him to start using more innocuous terms when discussing it in public, such as “job crushing” instead of “job killing.” And a new poll shows 35% of the public is buying our line that Sarah Palin’s map is responsible. Good job!

We can’t let up, folks. Hopefully with this, our new home, our coordination can be a little better — although I am pleased to see how well we have been doing without our beloved JournoList. Maybe we really do think alike more than we realized.

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