Patterico's Pontifications


Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Lifted

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:04 pm

This is a move that I have long supported, as loyal readers know. Here is a post of mine from 2005 making the argument that the policy is wrongheaded.

Yet another way I am suspiciously non-conservative . . . at times.

Anyway, congratulations to gays who are serving our country with distinction and can now do so without having to hide who they are.

White House gives the budget game away

Filed under: 2012 Election,Politics — Karl @ 6:19 pm

[Posted by Karl]

Right from the horse’s mouth — Pres. Obama was never interested in a bipartisan debt-reduction deal:

“It is fair to say we’ve entered a new phase,” said Dan Pfeiffer, Mr. Obama’s communications director. But he disputed what he called the conventional wisdom behind the president’s shift.

“The popular narrative is that we sought compromise in a quixotic quest for independent votes. We sought out compromise because a failure to get funding of the government last spring and then an extension of the debt ceiling in August would have been very bad for the economy and for the country,” Mr. Pfeiffer added. “We were in a position of legislative compromise by necessity. That phase is behind us.”

In this new phase, Mr. Obama must solidify support among Democrats by standing pat for progressive party principles, while trusting that a show of strong leadership for the policies he believes in will appeal to independents. Polls consistently suggest that perhaps the only thing that unites independents as much as their desire for compromise is their inclination toward leaders who signal strength by fighting for their beliefs. (Emphasis added.)*

Sherman, set the Wayback Machine for July 22, 2011 (not even two months ago), to the middle of the negotiations about raising the debt ceiling:

[GOP leaders] Boehner and Cantor were ready to accept up to $800 billion in revenue measures as part of a grand bargain. But when that number jumped, in part because of pressure from Democrats, the talks broke down. (Emphasis added.)

Obama had demanded another $400 billion or so in taxes.  And the amount Obama is demanding now as part of his fundamentally deceptive proposal is about the same, a bit less than $1.3 trillion in taxes.

The House GOP negotiators were willing to meet Obama more than halfway to his ultimate position.  He wrecked the “grand bargain” and helped bring about the S&P credit downgrade.  He now pushes again for the full loaf.  David Brooks looks like an even bigger sap and Andrew Sullivan looks like an even bigger loon.

*The combination of income growth and casualties explains 70% of the variation in the vote of pure independents.  In fact, the relationship between the economy and elections is stronger among independents than among partisans.  Evaluate the Pfeiffer/NYT theory accordingly.


Hammertime: Pass this Bill, Right Now!

Filed under: General — Karl @ 12:05 pm

[Posted by Karl]

Pres. Obama’s demand for immediate passage of his so-called jobs bill inspired Mary Katharine Ham’s Van Halen parody. I contributed the opening line, but my favorite — featuring VP Joe Biden — is pure MKH.


See This Video Before Its Yanked

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 8:30 am

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

We don’t know very much about this girl, probably out of respect for her privacy.  Still she lives in Brazil and before her recent surgery, she hid her face, like this:

Call me weird, but I think she was adorable even before the surgery (yes, based on seeing her whole face), but you can see how self-conscious she is in that image and I won’t even try to guess what it was doing to her little heart to feel ugly as she did.  Anyway, at the WaPo, there is video of her before and after the surgery to repair a cleft lip, including her reaction when she is shown what she looks like.

The only problem is whoever shot the video added KT Tunstall’s “Suddenly I see” as background music.”  Oh, it’s a cute touch, but I am willing to bet they didn’t clear it with the artist first, so there is a real danger it will be yanked for copyright issues.  So go watch like immediately.  You’ll be glad you did.

That being said, Ms. Tunstall, let me make a suggestion on the odd chance that you or your record company is listening.  I know in the law of copyright, you have to be very protective, that you can’t tolerate people trampling your copyright without endangering your entire right to control it at all.  But at the same time, I don’t think anyone wants to see you cause this to get yanked, so…  Make a simple deal with whoever made the video, like that they credit your song at the YouTube site or something.  Some small contribution so you can say that you willingly sold the right to use the song in the soundtrack to this video and allowing everyone to be happy.  Because if it gets yanked, that is bad publicity, and if it stays, that seems like good publicity.

Via Hot Air.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

An Apology From A (Connecticut) Supreme Court Justice

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 5:45 am

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

You may or may not know of the Kelo decision. For those who don’t or those who need a refresher, here’s the short version.  The city of New London, Connecticut, wanted to basically force a number of people out of their homes in order to give their land to a private companies in a plan to build facilities for Pfizer and shopping centers and the like for the increased business the city hoped Pfizer and the other new owners would generate.

But the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution states that:

nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

And the courts have taken that to mean that the taking can’t occur at all, unless it is for a public use.  In Kelo, the United States Supreme Court found that the taking was lawful in the context of this integrated development plan, in part because the public would benefit from the increased taxes.  It was a rare moment of unity for liberals and conservatives when the decision came down, because both sides offered withering criticism of this decisions.  Conservatives were angry at the violation of property rights, while liberals for the implication that you could take someone’s house as long as you plan to give it to someone who pays more in taxes—typically a person who is richer than the other person.  And the bad irony of it all is that Pfizer never did build the facility that was the keystone for this whole development plan that cost these people their family homes.

But of course none of this would have happened if the Connecticut Supreme Court hadn’t first given New London the thumbs up.  If they had ruled that the state version of the takings clause prohibited this action, it would have been impossible for the Supreme Court to rule as it had: there wouldn’t have been federal jurisdiction over the matter.  And now via Reason we learn that the Hartford Courant is telling how at least one justice who sat on the Connecticut Supreme Court felt he had done the wrong thing:

If a state Supreme Court judge approaches a journalist at a private dinner and says something newsworthy about an important decision, is the journalist free to publish the statement?

I faced that situation at a dinner honoring the Connecticut Supreme Court at the New Haven Lawn Club on May 11, 2010. That night I had delivered the keynote address on the U.S. Supreme Court’s infamous 5-4 decision in Kelo v. New London. Susette Kelo was in the audience and I used the occasion to tell her personal story, as documented in my book “Little Pink House.”

Afterward, Susette and I were talking in a small circle of people when we were approached by Justice Richard N. Palmer. Tall and imposing, he is one of the four justices who voted with the 4-3 majority against Susette and her neighbors. Facing me, he said: “Had I known all of what you just told us, I would have voted differently.”

The justice later clarifies his comments so that what it amounts to is that if he knew that New London would never put into action its grand schemes, he would have voted differently.  Which might be true, or might be the ego of a judge who never wants to admit he made the wrong call given the facts he knew at the time.  I report, you decide.  But it’s also a useful reminder of the real world effects of court decisions.  Many families lost their homes.  And it may not reverse things, but it was big of Justice Palmer to at least say this much.

Oh, and read the whole thing.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

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