Patterico's Pontifications


Santorum to Fight Fire with Fire

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:08 pm

From Hot Air’s quotes of the day:

Whether Mitt Romney wins or loses the Michigan and Arizona primaries on Tuesday, his advisers are warning donors and other supporters to prepare for a longer, more bruising and more expensive fight for the Republican presidential nomination that may not be settled until at least May…

Mr. Santorum is likewise preparing to fight on for weeks or months, enticed by new party rules that award delegates in early primaries and caucuses based on each candidate’s share of the votes. “The race is going to go a long time,” he said as he left the stage, promising to “fight fire with fire.”…

Which reminded me of something my daughter said tonight, apropos of nothing. She said: “Why do people say you should fight fire with fire? You just get more fire.”

Indeed, Lauren. Indeed.

The Onion Weighs in on Linsanity

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:40 pm

The Onion reports:

Ben & Jerry’s, the iconic ice cream brand famous for flavors borrowed from a broad swath of the culinary spectrum, has apologized for including fortune cookies in its “Taste the Lin-Sanity” frozen yogurt sold at a Harvard Square location in Boston.

The Vermont-founded company has replaced the fortune cookies in its honey-swirl, Jeremy Lin-inspired variety with waffle cones.

This just in: that isn’t the Onion. It’s ESPN and it’s a real story.

Thanks to Dana.

David Shuster and Keith Olbermann About to Be Sued for Defamation by James O’Keefe?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:56 am

Keith Olbermann in December:

OLBERMANN: “The Rumpus Room with Johnny Olson” will not be seen tonight on Dumont, so we can instead bring you “Countdown,” the longest continuously-running 8PM news hour on cable. Unless you consider Fox — “news.” We’re live each night at 8 Eastern. Every night is a “Best Of ‘Countdown'” night.

James O’Keefe — activist, pseudo-journalist, and convicted felon infamous for his ambush-style, selectively-edited interviews — faces a possible civil sexual-harassment suit.

. . . .

OLBERMANN: He’s on — O’Keefe that is — federal parole after he was charged with felony for attempting to maliciously interfere with Senator Landrieu’s office telephone system in New Orleans. Did he seem, especially in that context, fazed at all by what was going on in the courtroom?


There are several falsehoods there. O’Keefe is not a convicted felon. He pled to a misdemeanor. He is not on “parole.” He is on “probation.” He did not attempt to maliciously interfere with Senator Landrieu’s telephone system. As I noted yesterday and have noted in the past, the U.S. Attorney conceded that there was no evidence that O’Keefe intended to tamper with the phone system or commit any felony. This is from a document signed by the U.S. Attorney:

O'Keefe Government Admission 1

Olbermann is staring a lawsuit in the face, and he’s not the only one. As I reported yesterday, David Shuster made the exact same misrepresentation while hosting for Olbermann’s crappy show, calling O’Keefe a “convicted felon.” After I sent O’Keefe a link to my post, O’Keefe threatened to sue Shuster:

One last chance, @DavidShuster. Put in a correction today or legal action against you is imminent. I can and will prove you lied w/ malice.

No correction appeared, but Shuster did reappear on Twitter a couple of hours ago to pimp the inaccurate segment:

In case you missed it, my segment on @andrewbreitbart’s hypocrisy given @jamesokeefeIII via @CountdownKO

I’ll be sending O’Keefe a link to this post as well. Shuster and Olbermann had better issue retractions, pronto. It may be too late for Shuster. We’ll see if Olby is similarly arrogant and dismissive of the truth. Given his history . . .

Independent Voter Bunkum

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 8:26 am

[Posted by Karl]

I generally enjoy Charlie Cook’s work, which made his bunkum on independent voters all the more disappointing:

It’s misleading to say that the state of the economy determines whether a president will win reelection. But it is fair to say that when a White House incumbent is running for a second term, the election is first and foremost a referendum on that president; the single most important factor that voters consider in assessing a president is the state and direction of the economy. That is the default factor unless something happens to shift a race’s dynamic and make the election more like a choice than a referendum. At least, that’s what I’ve always thought.


But now I wonder whether the economy will drive this election to the usual extent—or to the extent I had thought. More specifically, will the Republican Party nominate a candidate who can credibly compete for the independent voters whose support is so important in general elections?

Independents represented 29 percent of the electorate in 2008. In last year’s combined Gallup polls, though, they were 40 percent—a record high. In 2000, Republican George W. Bush won the independent vote by 2 percentage points over Democrat Al Gore but narrowly lost the overall popular vote. In 2004, Democrat John Kerry actually carried independents by 1 point but lost the national popular vote by 3 points. The winner of the independent vote doesn’t necessarily win the general election. But a candidate has to be very competitive among independents to have a chance to win. In 2008, the GOP’s John McCain lost the independent vote by 8 percentage points and the election by 7 points.

As political scientists like Alan Abramowitz have noted, Cook’s basic thrust is incorrect and undercut by his own examples.  The major fallacy here is thinking of “independents” as a cohesive voting group, when they are anything but: (more…)

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