Patterico's Pontifications


Fallout from the Voting Rights Act Case: Texas Can Now Implement Its Voter ID Law

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:30 pm

And Eric Holder (at least currently) doesn’t have a thing to say about it:

Just hours after the Supreme Court handed down a ruling that guts parts of the Voting Rights Act, Texas is moving forward with a controversial voter ID law that state Attorney General Greg Abbott hopes to implement right away.

“With today’s decision, the state’s voter ID law will take effect immediately,” Abbott said in a statement to the Dallas Morning News. “Redistricting maps passed by the Legislature may also take effect without approval from the federal government.”

The Texas law requires voters to show photo identification to vote—a measure that was blocked by the Justice Department, arguing the law could discriminate against racial minorities. At the time, Attorney General Eric Holder called the law a “poll tax.”

A “poll tax.” Absurd.

Justice Roberts struck a blow for common sense today. (A small one, to be sure. But still.)

Weiner Leads NYC Mayor Poll

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:03 pm

My initial reaction to this is a shrug. It’s not my city. Why should I care?

But then I go back and look at what Michelle Malkin said on June 7:

Remember: Democratic women on Capitol Hill stood by Weiner and his Twitter tawdriness until a critical moment almost exactly two years ago this week: It was the moment news broke that among the bevy of online groupies he hit on, Weiner had communicated with at least one teenage high school student in Delaware.

Weiner had flirted with the underage girl through Twitter direct messages using a macho line about donning “cape and tights” — a quip he had also used with an adult woman with whom he had exchanged raunchier sexually explicit messages. Conservative blogger Patrick Frey ( first uncovered the evidence. Fox News then broke the news in the mainstream press that Delaware police had visited the girl’s home and questioned her about her online communications with Weiner. The 17-year-old said she had met Weiner on a school trip to Washington.

At his watershed press conference circus on June 6, 2011, Weiner claimed he “never had an intention of having a relationship with underage women” and blustered that the girls he communicated with “weren’t young, per se.” Per se? Just a few days later, Weiner was forced to admit that he had exchanged “at least five private messages on Twitter” with the Delaware girl, not two messages as initially reported. He also denied that any messages to the teen were “explicit” or “indecent.”

If his opponents don’t care to raise that issue, and NYC media don’t care to raise the issue, why should a blogger in Los Angeles care?

I’ll tell you why. Because I was in the center of the story, and was threatened by someone who told me not to write about Weiner, and was then SWATted . . . possibly by people obsessed with the notion that Weiner was hacked, as well as by an insane desire to exact revenge for journalism about a notorious convicted bomber.

P.S. The New York Times did get around to publishing that article they accidentally published, and then withheld for so long, about Weiner’s victims:

Customers taunt Lisa Weiss. “Talk dirty to me,” they joke. “We know you like it.” Colleagues refuse to speak with her. Strangers mock her in nasty online messages.

“Clearly she’s got mental issues,” declared the latest.

Anthony D. Weiner’s improbable campaign for mayor of New York City is a wager that voters have made peace with his lewd online behavior, a subject he has largely left behind as he roils the race with his aggressive debating style and his attention-getting policy proposals.

But for the women who were on the other end of Mr. Weiner’s sexually explicit conversations and photographs, his candidacy is an unwanted reminder of a scandal that has upended their lives in ways big and small, cutting short careers, disrupting educations and damaging reputations.

I don’t think Weiner cares a bit about the damage left in his wake.

It remains to be seen, I guess, whether New York voters do.

Snowden Buying Unfriendly Countries’ Cooperation with Information

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:34 pm

Allahpundit on reports that Snowden is paying off hostile countries by revealing our secrets:

This is why it gets stupider by the day to say that the story of his escape is merely a distraction from the far more important story of U.S. surveillance capabilities. How is it “distracting” to know there’s a guy running around in China and Russia with huge stores of state secrets, essentially blackmailing the government to let him leak selectively with impunity or else he’ll leak indiscriminately? On what planet is that a non-story?

It depends upon what you think is important. If you’re wedded to the narrative of Snowden-as-hero, then he Struck a Blow for Truth and Justice, and it hardly matters that he is furnishing unfriendly countries with information that has zero to do with exposing surveillance of U.S. citizens — but gives those countries a propaganda victory, or perhaps something even more valuable, like a technical roadmap of our surveillance network. To make a whistleblower omelet, you gotta crack open a few choice secrets for our enemies, to encourage them to facilitate your escape from the country you’re trying to save. As Rick Ellers says, Snowden needed to “ingratiate” himself:

Greenwald said he would not have published some of the stories that ran in the South China Morning Post. “Whether I would have disclosed the specific IP addresses in China and Hong Kong the NSA is hacking, I don’t think I would have,” Greenwald said. “What motivated that leak though was a need to ingratiate himself to the people of Hong Kong and China.”

But I’m sure Mr. Putin isn’t requiring much from Snowden in the way of information.

By the way, Dersh has some pretty harsh words for Ellison (Via Hot Air Headlines):

ALAN DERSHOWITZ: Well, it doesn’t border on criminality — it’s right in the heartland of criminality. The statute itself, does punish the publication of classified material, if you know that it’s classified. And so, Greenwald — in my view — clearly has committed a felony.

And for him to take umbrage at the question — now, he’s right though that the government doesn’t usually go after the publishers. They don’t go after The New York Times, The Washington Post, in the Pentagon papers case, though they could have! They don’t go after other newspapers — in the WikiLeaks case — though they could have. They’ve made a discretionary decision to go after the leaker but not the publisher.

Look, Greenwald’s a total phony. He is anti-American, he loves tyrannical regimes, and he did this because he hates America. This had nothing to do with publicizing information. He never would’ve written this article if they had published material about one of his favorite countries.

The more I learn about Snowden, the more I find his actions distasteful — and I haven’t seen anything he revealed that is obviously a violation of the Fourth Amendment. When media outlets broke the SWIFT story during Bush’s tenure, I was outraged. While I was torn about prosecuting the journalists, I wanted to explore whether the journalists should be prosecuted if they knowingly helped reveal classified information about an effective and legal program — and I leaned slightly towards the view that prosecution was wise. Tell me why I should not feel the same way about this. I know it’s very fashionable to say that it’s unthinkable to “prosecute journalists for journalism” — but if national security information is legitimately classified, helps us fight terrorism, and is knowingly revealed by a “journalist,” I don’t know that such actions are obviously beyond prosecution.

As I said in 2006, a lot of it comes down to whether the journalist is exposing wrongdoing or whether they are just telling our secrets. Often they think they are doing the former when they are just doing the latter.

Does a spy get to be a hero if he is revealing secrets to “We the People” as well as Russia and China to buy off their cooperation?

UPDATE: Thomas Ellers weighs in:


I’m too SUPER-IMPORTANT to be prosecuted. So good DAY, sir!


Snowden Took the Consultant Job to Gain Access to Classified Intelligence

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:37 am

That seems like it should be relevant to whether he is viewed as a hero or a traitor.

My pal Ken at Popehat says Snowden is being prosecuted for revealing secrets to “We the People.”

Trouble is, he’s revealing them to our enemies too.

Wonder if Rick Ellensburg knew what Snowden was going to do before he did it.

Government vs. Terrorism As The Biggest Threat: More Thoughts

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:31 am

Yesterday I ran a poll asking readers to say whether they are more frightened/concerned by government or by terrorism. I am including the poll here again in this post because I would like as many people as possible to answer it. Please answer the poll now if you have not already, before proceeding to my comments under the fold.

Which frightens/concerns you more: government or terrorism? free polls 


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