Patterico's Pontifications


The Increasing Thuggery of the Fringe Left

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:18 pm

A portion of Aaron’s post below about Sarah Palin deserves emphasis. Aaron adroitly shows how Erik Wemple of the Washington Post seems bizarrely preoccupied with the race of someone Sarah Palin allegedly slept with, but that’s not the part I want to emphasize. This is the part of Wemple’s piece I want to emphasize:

[P]eople should stop lobbying for abstinence -only education. It’s a bad idea on many levels. One of those levels is the media: It gives reporters every reason to investigate the most intimate moments of abstinence-only advocates.

Increasingly, this is how the fringe left in this country operates. If they don’t like your views, they will mischaracterize your position and use that as an excuse to attack you personally.

I don’t want to suggest this phenomenon is unique to the left; I have seen such personal vendettas on the fringe right as well. But more and more it seems like something the fringe left does. Whether it’s the thuggery involved in the Prop. 8 battles, the smears against the Tea Party, or the attempts at intimidation we have all witnessed in other areas (such as Weinergate, for example), it seems more and more common for people on the left to tell you that your beliefs make it fair game for them to try to rip your private life apart.

Every time it happens, it needs to be exposed. As long as we stay alert to it and refuse to be intimidated, it is not a winning strategy for them — as long as we keep the spotlight on the cockroaches. One such cockroach? Wemple.

Filling in the blanks for Bill Keller

Filed under: General — Karl @ 3:46 pm

[Posted by Karl]

Based on his opinion of the state of the Obama adminsitration, fmr. NYT Executive Editor Bill Keller needs someone to fill in some blanks, primarily between his ears:

The decline in Obama’s political fortunes, the Great Disappointment, can be attributed to four main factors: the intractable legacy bequeathed by George W. Bush; Republican resistance amounting to sabotage; the unrealistic expectations and inevitable disenchantment of some of the president’s supporters; and, to be sure, the man himself.

Keller trots out the already tired trope that Obama inherited the wind from George W. Bush:

Unfunded wars, supply-side deficits, twin housing and banking crises enabled by an orgy of regulatory permissiveness — that was the legacy Obama assumed. In our political culture if you inherit a problem and don’t fix it, you own it. So at some point it became the popular wisdom that Iraq and Afghanistan were “Obama’s wars,” and that the recession had become “Obama’s economy.” Given the systemic burden Bush left for his successor, that judgment seems to me to be less about fair play than about short memories.

In Keller’s telling of “historical truth,” the Democrats’ initial support of those wars disappears, their control of Congress from 2006-08 magically vanishes, and our debt has nothing to do with government spending even the Obama administration admits is unsustainable.  As for the housing and banking crises, the NYT’s own business reporter seems to find responsible an unholy alliance between Wall Street, the Democratic establishment, community organizing groups like ACORN and La Raza, and politicians like Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi and Henry Cisneros. Moreover, most Americans continue to blame Bush for the economy; Keller is simply delusional on this point.  As I was unable to find any polling on who is to blame for our current wars, I would wager Keller is also indulging his imagination on this point (and one would hope people blame Al Qaeda and the Taliban for the Afghan campaign). (more…)

Good News: We Just Gave GM’s UAW Employees a Signing Bonus!

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 10:40 am

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

That would be the same GM who got a $15 billion bailout:

The United Auto Workers union won $5,000 signing bonuses for its workers and a promise to reopen an assembly plant in Tennessee as part of its tentative new contract with General Motors, according to people briefed on the negotiations.

In what is being viewed as a landmark deal, the union also preserved health care and pensions and improved profit-sharing for its roughly 48,000 members who work at G.M.

(Source.)  Mickey Kaus goes into detail about how this is bad optics for GM and his points are all valid, but I worry about what kind of unfair competitive advantage that our money is giving to GM over companies that didn’t take bailout money, like Ford.  After all, companies are always in competition for the best workers, in part.

Which might explain why Ford put out this ad featuring an allegedly spontaneous reaction of an allegedly ordinary purchaser, where he makes the case to buy a Ford because it was not bailed out.  Whether it was a spontaneous reaction or a set up, however, Ford chose that one to put out as an ad, so it’s not exactly spontaneously going out to the people.

Still whether it is a cynical message on Ford’s part or not, they have a point.  The best way to prevent bailouts like this, essentially allowing for the nationalization of certain industries, is to intentionally support the private industries over the ones subsidized by the government.  If you make it sufficiently bad business to receive a bailout, most companies will refuse to take one in the first place.

Oh, and who is this John Galt guy I keep hearing about anyway?

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

That’s a Nice Marriage You Have There, Sarah Palin… It’d Be a Pity if Anything Happened to It…

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 7:50 am

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

That’s one of several creepy subtexts in this bit by Erik Wemple of the Washington Post, an exercise of rationalizing of what almost amounts to journalistic terrorism that deserves to be fisked in detail:

Glen Rice and Sarah Palin: I don’t want to know

The Business Insider loves to push journalistic frontiers. So I grimaced this morning when the publication picked up the now-on-fire story about Sarah Palin’s alleged premarital tryst with basketball star Glen Rice. The fling is said to have occurred in 1987, when Rice was a sharpshooting hoopster for the University of Michigan and Palin was a TV sports reporter.

I even sent Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget an e-mail asking him how he could possibly explain such an atrocity as publishing this rumor, as reported in the National Enquirer and sourced from the soon-to-be- published book on Palin by Joe McGinniss. Why pry into Palin’s premarital private life?

Then I remembered: Oh yeah, the whole abstinence-before-marriage thing.

In other words, he wrote an email to Blodget and Blodget decided he was not important enough to respond to, so he instead made up a defense of his own.

Via a three-year-old CNN story:

In a 2006 Eagle Forum questionnaire, Palin indicated that she supported funding abstinence-until-marriage education programs instead of teaching sex-education programs.

“Explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support,” Palin wrote in the conservative group’s questionnaire.

Yeah, I remember that bit the first time I heard it when it was offered as the fig leaf justifying the attacks on Britol Palin for the horrible crime of being a teenager who had sex with her teenage boyfriend.  You know, because that never happens.  First they assumed she was using no birth control because she got pregnant—you know, because birth control (short of surgery) is always 100% effective.  /sarcasm  And they asserted that this was surely then the result of Sarah Palin’s advocacy of abstinence only education and when I asked for proof she even advocated for it, they pointed at this survey.

But all the CNN article he links to says is that she won’t support “explicit sex-ed programs” which really isn’t the same as saying no sex education, now is it?  In fact the first time someone showed that to me, I said, “geez, all that seems to be saying is she doesn’t want kids to practice putting condoms on bananas.”  Which is actually almost exactly what she said about it in her book, Going Rogue:


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