Patterico's Pontifications



Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:32 pm

Just go to 1:30 and watch for 30 seconds. This is the hack judge who thought she had won in Wisconsin, and declared herself the winner . . . right before she lost.


Wonkette Editor and Cretin Ken Layne, on Removing Posts

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:10 pm

Wonkette editor Ken Layne, yesterday, on taking down his site’s “mock Trig Palin on his birthday” post:

As for taking down the post, as you know on the internet there is no “taking down the post.” Why even try that? So people like you can get another freelance internet column out of it by feigning outrage again? (“They tried to take down the post, but we found it on Google cache!”) There is nothing in “political media” approaching even the most basic intellectual honesty, so why would any website fall for that “You should take down the post” thing? Wouldn’t that be crazy? So of course you never take down a post.

Wonkette editor Ken Layne, today, after a flood of advertisers departed the site:

A post on this page satirizing Sarah Palin using her baby as a political prop was very badly done and sounded like the author was mocking the child and not just Sarah Palin/Sarah Palin’s followers.

The writer, Jack Stuef, has apologized for it. And we have decided to remove the post as requested by some people who have nothing to do with Sarah Palin, but who do have an interest in the cause of special needs children. We apologize for the poor comedic judgment.


Hey Layne — did you figure out how many children you have yet?


A Declaration of Independence: “I have firearms and I’m willing to use them if necessary”

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 1:46 pm

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

Okay, strap yourselves in because this is going to be a long one talking about stuff I have literally thought about my entire life.

Let me start by confessing my biases.  I am a disabled person, with learning disabilities, who has personally faced discrimination in his life.  I like to think that this gives me an education on issues related to the subject of disabilities and discrimination that you couldn’t acquire in a classroom, but you might reasonably wonder if instead I am biased in favor of my “group” or something like that.  I report, you decide.

And let me also write a long preface about my big picture view of how disabled people should fit into society.  I mean it is a daily reality I have to face, and if you guys haven’t noticed I try to think about things pretty deeply (or I think too much as some commenters have said) and so it’s only natural I have a lot to say after almost forty years (!!!) of dealing with this.  You might believe that there is a contradiction between my being a semi-libertarian conservative and being a staunch supporter of laws like the ADA.  But I have long felt that there was a powerful, underappreciated conservative argument for laws such as the ADA that goes something like this.

There are only three ways of dealing with those who are disabled.

The first is extermination–to either kill them or let them die. “Kill all cripples,” Adolf Hitler said, calling them “useless eaters” before a “cripple” (FDR) smote him.*  I don’t say that to go all Godwin’s law on you, but I mention it because logically this is one of the options, and because conservatives themselves recognize that this really isn’t an option they would ever consider.  This is why conservatives habitually highlight stories like this:

Fifteen-month-old Joseph Maraachli (Muh-RAHSH’-lee) left Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center in St. Louis on Thursday and flew with his family to their home in Ontario, exactly one month after the child received a tracheotomy aimed at extending his life.

Joseph suffers from the progressive neurological disease Leigh Syndrome. Doctors in Canada refused to perform the tracheotomy, saying it was futile because the child’s disease is terminal, and an Ontario court decided doctors could remove the child’s breathing tube.

His family sought help from American hospitals, and Cardinal Glennon agreed to treat Joseph.

(Emphasis added).  So that is not an option, but then there are only two other options remaining.

The second option is dependency—which might be dependency on the government or dependency on private charity, such as a church or just the charity of a family giving you free room and board well beyond the age of emancipation.  It is a life of consuming goods but contributing little to the society.

And the third option is independence.  And that means going out and getting a job and living on that salary.  But very often that requires a regime of accessibility and even accommodation of disability, so that the disabled person can go out into the workforce and be a producer and not just a consumer—giving lie to the Hitlerian claim that we are just “useless eaters.”  Reagan once famously quoted the proverb that if you give a man a fish he will eat for a day, but if you teach him how to fish he’ll eat forever.  I would mangle that phrase as follows: if you give a paraplegic man a fish he will eat for a day, but if you make the docks wheelchair accessible he will eat forever.

Yes, that does imply government intrusion in the form of accessibility requirements and lawsuits when people refuse to provide reasonable accommodations or engage in outright discrimination.  And I am sure that this well-intentioned law, like all well-intentioned laws, can be abused from time to time (I would categorically exclude prisons from the ADA).  And those are both features that go against the grain of conservative thought.  But it also isn’t terribly conservative to have a significant portion of our population who is capable of working being forced into dependency.  Accommodations and accessibility is not only economically efficient, but it grants to those disabled persons the simple dignity that many of us take for granted: of living independently, based on the money you made working for a living.

And that move from dependence to independence is quintessentially conservative.


Obama Cries Crocodile Tears Over High Gas Prices

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 10:25 am

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

You really have admit Obama has serious chutzpah to say this one.  He was addressing efforts to combat so-called climate change and the like when he said this:

Obama addressed rising gasoline prices at the San Francisco event Benioff hosted, even while acknowledging that donors at the $35,800-per-plate event weren’t personally struggling with costs at the pump.

“Right now we’ve got $4-a-gallon gas, and most of the people under this tent don’t have to worry about that. But for the average person who has to drive 50 miles to work and can’t afford to buy the Tesla, it’s hammering them. It’s hurting them,” Obama said, according to a White House transcript that notes the Tesla comment drew laughter.

Tesla Motors is a California-based company that makes an electric sports car that sells for more than $100,000, while the sedan Tesla plans to make available next year is about half that price.

Obama added:

“So there’s a huge economic imperative. There’s a national security imperative, as well, because we see what’s happening in the Middle East and we understand that a finite resource that is primarily located in a very unstable part of the world is not good for our long-term future.”

Well, at least this time he knows that if you can’t afford gas, you probably can’t afford a new car, either.  That’s a start.  Still, the reason why it takes serious nerve to say it is because he already told us he wants us to pay more at the pump.  Remember this bit?


A Grim Milestone Has Been Passed

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 8:12 am

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

Depressing news in  this article:

U.S. households are now getting more in cash handouts from the government than they are paying in taxes for the first time since the Great Depression.

Households received $2.3 trillion in some kind of government support in 2010. That includes expanded unemployment benefits, as well as payments for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and stimulus spending, among other things.

But that’s more than the $2.2 trillion households paid in taxes, an amount that has slumped largely due to the recession, according to an analysis by the Fiscal Times.

Also, an estimated 59% of the 308.7 million Americans in this country get at least one federal benefit, according to the Census Bureau, based on 2009 data. An estimated 46.5 million get Social Security; 42.6 million get Medicare; 42.4 million get Medicaid; 36.1 million get food stamps; 12.4 million get housing subsidies; and 3.2 million get Veterans’ benefits.

And the handouts from the government have been growing. Government cash handouts account for a whopping 79% of household growth since 2007, even as household tax payments–for things like the income and payroll tax, among other taxes–have fallen by $312 billion.

The entitlement state cannot continue.  Period.  Yes, we would love to make everyone have a wonderful little safety net, but the math just doesn’t work.  It’s that simple.  And if we are ever going to balance our budget, we are going to have to recognize that reality.

Meanwhile, in defiance of reality, we are about to slam into our debt limit.  CNS reports that we are less than a week away from that event.  I summed up the ridiculousness of the argument for raising it a few months back:

Try this sometime.  Go to your local bank.  Tell them that you need a loan.  They will ask why, in one way or another.  When they ask why, explain to them that you already have a massive loan to someone else that you will not be able to repay unless you get this loan from them.  When they ask how you got that loan in the first place, then explain to them that this loan was taken out because otherwise you couldn’t have paid a previous loan.

And when they ask how you plan to pay off this loan, explain to them that surely someone else will loan you that money.

Then, let me know in the comments when they stop laughing at you.

I have yet to hear a cogent explanation as to why we must extend their credit.  I think it should only be done with the steepest conditions.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Pigford Blues: Introduction

Filed under: General — Stranahan @ 7:20 am

[Guest post by Lee Stranahan]

Can’t let a week go by without some video for you.

Here’s a brand new rough cut of a segment from my upcoming documentary Pigford Blues, starring President Obama, both Democrat and Republican members of Congress and a cast of angry farmers.


– Lee Stranahan

Wonkette Editor Ken Layne Criticizes Palin’s Parenting — But Can’t Even Count His Own Children

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:43 am

As I noted here last night, Ken Layne is the editor of Wonkette, a site which published a post on Trig Palin’s birthday that mocked Trig Palin’s Downs syndrome. Excerpt:

Today is the day we come together to celebrate the snowbilly grifter’s magical journey from Texas to Alaska to deliver to the America the great gentleman scholar Trig Palin.

It’s funny because he has Downs syndrome! Get it?

Advertisers predictably started running, beginning with Papa John’s pizza, and continuing with Huggies and Vanguard. Layne responded with his characteristic humility and good sense, calling Papa John’s pizza “shitty” and “homophobic”:

Layne’s mature reaction continued on Twitter, where he called for a boycott of Papa John’s.

Layne has put the blame for all this squarely on Sarah Palin, whom he labels a terrible parent for supposedly parading Trig Palin in public, rather than hiding him in shame the way Top Parent Ken Layne would.

Speaking of Top Parent Ken Layne . . . check out his e-mails to Tommy Christopher and David Weigel about all this. Pay special attention to the parts I have bolded:

Here Layne writes Tommy Christopher, calling Palin a “cow-demon”:

People are going to act outraged about things on the internet. I’m pretty sure you are aware of this, if you work on the internet. And with two kids of my own and another on the way, I am obviously a great fan of children, especially mine.And I respect the rights of children to not be mocked on the internet just because their mom is a cow-demon. It’s not the kid’s fault. Who gets to pick their parents? I sure didn’t.

As for taking down the post, as you know on the internet there is no “taking down the post.” Why even try that? So people like you can get another freelance internet column out of it by feigning outrage again?

And here Layne writes David Weigel, blaming Sarah Palin for the mockery of Trig:

I have four kids myself and I wouldn’t want them mocked on the Internet by a bunch of cretins on the Internet. And that’s just one reason why I wouldn’t parade my children around in the media. What kind of mother does that?

Unlike Sarah Palin, Ken Layne is a great parent, you see. Why, Ken Layne cares so much about his own children, he can tell you how many he has! . . . give or take a couple.

This amusing tidbit was spotted by commenter Roberta, who asked: “How does one communicate effectively on the subject of a child with an editor/father who can’t count his own children…?”

Indeed. Mr. Layne, I see you have set yourself up as the arbiter of Sarah Palin’s quality as a parent. But you know what? At least Sarah Palin knows how many children she has.

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