Patterico's Pontifications

9/22/2013

Ted Cruz on Fox News Sunday; And a Democrat’s Wish that Cruz’s Aide’s Children Die

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:51 pm



For once you have someone who is actually taking a stand, actually trying to do something, and actually taking a risk doing it.

It will be interesting to see if it works.

As for me, I am fed up with doing things to win elections. If we aren’t going to use the power we have to do anything, why have the power at all? The House is the one place we have a majority. If we can’t use that majority to fight to prevent a fundamental transformation of the relationship between the government and the individual, what’s the point?

Before you watch the clip, a little background to understand why Cruz is talking about filibustering the bill to defund ObamaCare that he encouraged House Republicans to pass, and that they did pass on Friday. The long and short of it is this: GOP Senators can’t filibuster a Harry Reid amendment to that bill to add funding for ObamaCare. The only way to prevent funding for ObamaCare to be rammed down our throats, procedurally, is to filibuster this bill. It sounds weird, but procedurally it’s the only option they have.

With that understood, watch the clip:

Cruz is very well spoken here. He’s trying to create a grassroots uprising. After all, people — Democrats and Republicans both — are starting to see how ObamaCare is adversely affecting them. I have heard lower income people who appear to be Democrats talk about how their hours were cut back to 24 hours a week because of ObamaCare. I have seen people I know are Democrats talk about how they are losing their insurance from ObamaCare. This is a disaster, and people are starting to see the reality. Cruz hopes to capitalize on this realization.

As you can see from the clip, some House Republicans are getting annoyed at Cruz for taking a stand, because taking a stand is uncomfortable to them. They’d rather do a one-year delay of ObamaCare, because they are weak and too worried about standing up. They’re mad at Cruz for acknowledging electoral reality in the Senate, and publicly saying that, eventually, it’s going to come back to the House. Well, guess what, Peter King? He’s right. Fundamentally, you guys are going to have to stop getting upset at Cruz for telling the truth. Maybe it means the political heat is on you — but the House is where we have the majority, and that’s where the heat is going to be.

By offering to filibuster a bill using the only mechanism available, Cruz is sticking his neck out as far as possible — without lying and pretending as though a Senate win is likely.

SOMEWHAT RELATED POINT: A fella named Allan Brauer had some fun the other day telling Cruz aide Amanda Carpenter that he hoped her children would die because of Cruz’s opposition to ObamaCare:

But Allan Brauer, communications chair of the Democratic Party of Sacramento County, took his criticism to another level, writing a shocking threat aimed at [Cruz aid Amanda Carpenter’s] two children.

“May your children all die from debilitating, painful and incurable diseases,” he tweeted from his account, which he says does not represent the view of the organization he works for.

His comment sparked outrage, but he continued to defend his stance in the hours after posting the message, complaining that he was “being attacked on Twitter for wishing one of Ted Cruz’s pubic lice to experience the pain her boss is inflicting on Americans.”

Nice.

This is the type of “argument” we are used to seeing from Brett Kimberlin supporters — like Neal Rauhauser, who wished for Dick Cheney to be shot and Republicans hung in the streets; or Bill Schmalfeldt, who fantasized about the murder of myself and Ken White; or Matt Osborne, who wrote a lengthy and detailed fantasy about the torture of Rush Limbaugh; or Occupy Rebellion, who routinely told enemies that their wives should be raped and their children harmed. (I discovered Osborne’s torture fantasy post today; read it yourself to see just how demented this man is.) Each of these people uses their opponents’ political positions as an excuse to go around suggesting that it would be appropriate for various atrocities to happen to these opponents and their families. I have been on the other side of many of these inappropriate suggestions, with my livelihood and my family the subject of creepy suggestions. I feel Amanda Carpenter’s pain.

But increasingly I see people approve of this type of rhetoric, even when uttered by people with more influence than trolls with fewer than 20 followers.

(This sort of rhetoric probably occurs on both sides, but — perhaps because I am a conservative and read conservative-leaning sites — I see it more from the left. The right is not immune, though, from Internet obsessives who make violent threats, try to destroy people personally, and engage in other immoral behavior that they somehow rationalize to themselves and their readers. But mostly I see it coming from the left.)

It is a disturbing trend to see such rhetoric coming from so-called “respectable” people, as opposed to Internet narcissists and obsessives who sit around the house all day nursing their grudges.

That said, Brauer is an Internet buddy of torture fantasist Matt Osborne, so maybe we shouldn’t be too surprised. And maybe he ain’t all that respectable.

What he is, now, is out of a job. As Ken White explained recently, the First Amendment protects us from government squelching our speech because of our viewpoint — but speech has consequences, and ought to. Maybe Brauer saw his fellow travelers like Osborne and Rauhauser engaging in such rhetoric and getting away with it, but forgot that, unlike them, he had an actual life and something to lose.

To bring this full circle, Ted Cruz has a lot to lose with this gambit, but if it works, we all have a lot to gain. I wish Cruz luck, and I applaud his remarkable political courage.

It’s truly nice to see someone with actual principles in politics, isn’t it?

9/20/2013

Peter King Says Ted Cruz Is a Fraud

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:25 pm



OK then.

I say Peter King is unserious and kind of a buffoon.

9/19/2013

Quick Links, Including Letten Lawyers and DoJ Misleading a Court

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:08 am



Judge overturns guilty verdicts based on sock-puppet antics of Jim Letten’s lawyers. The judge issues a blistering ruling (.pdf) including significant criticism of DoJ in Washington. This blog has covered this issue before and the ruling will merit more time and attention when I am less slammed at work. (Now you know why the blogging pace has been slower in recent days.)

Lee Stranahan: Duping The Idiots: The Left’s Frankfurt School Denialism.

Robert Stacy McCain: “Perhaps you should ask Patterico what manner of mischief Neal Rauhauser has perpetrated over the years . . .” from Mopery with Intent to Lurk.

9/18/2013

Popehat Seeks Help for Bloggers Sued by Brett Kimberlin, Receives Spam Attack

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:45 am



Regular readers will recall that Kenneth P. White (Ken from Popehat), and Ron Coleman (from Likelihood of Confusion) successfully defended me against a frivolous lawsuit brought by Nadia Naffe. Now Ken is putting out the Popehat signal for people who have been sued by anti free speech thug Brett Kimberlin.

The post is titled The Popehat Signal: Help Fight Evil In Maryland. The post opens in this way:

I could have titled this post with more subtlety. I could have said rather neutrally “Help Bloggers Sued In Maryland,” or the slightly more argumentative “Help Bloggers Fight Against A Frivolous Lawsuit,” or the more direct “Help Bloggers Fight A Career Vexatious Litigant” or “Help Bloggers Sued By A Convicted Drug Dealer, Perjurer, And Bomber.”

But sometimes only the most direct language will do. There is evil in this world. This is an example. The plaintiff in this case, Brett Kimberlin, has spent his life doing evil. The lawsuit at issue here is part of his pattern of abuse of the courts to silence critics of evil.

Will you help?

Ken’s post is clear-eyed, detailed, documented, persuasive, and sets forth a concise case for why many consider Brett Kimberlin to be an evildoer, and an enemy of free speech. I can’t do it justice. Read it all.

And then note this interesting coincidence:

Today Popehat’s twitter account got hit with about 20,000 spam followers in the course of a couple of hours. That attack followed, by about an hour, my posting the Popehat Signal seeking help for bloggers sued by Brett Kimberlin. Some of the bloggers sued by Brett Kimberlin have also been attacked by surges of spam followers.

But I’m sure all that is just a coincidence.

To be specific: I noted recently that Aaron Walker, William Hoge, and Stacy McCain have been sued by Brett Kimberlin. (Other defendants include Ali Akbar and an anonymous blogger called Kimberlin Unmasked.) Twitchy reported that, last week, Walker, Hoge, and McCain were subjected to spam attacks that occurred after the filing of the lawsuit. Twitchy also noted that, a couple of days ago, I was also subjected to a similar attack, after opining that this style of attack was characteristic of Kimberlin’s associate Neal Rauhauser:

This hasn’t bothered me, but I believe McCain and some of the others used Twitter’s email notification to be informed of new followers, and had their email accounts buried with thousands of emails. Having a large percentage of spam followers also puts your account at risk for suspension. McCain, Walker, and Hoge made their accounts private to deal with the situation. Since I don’t use email notifications, and have been assured by Twitter that my account will not be shut down because it has too many spam followers, I am not perturbed in the slightest.

But it is revealing as to the way that Kimberlin and/or his supporters try, in ways both large and small, to make life difficult for his critics. It is this type of activity — assuming, as seems logical, that it is not a coincidence — that causes so many people to consider Brett Kimberlin and his supporters to be censorious thugs who hate free speech.

Go read Popehat’s post now to see how you can help fight evil.

9/17/2013

Navy Yard Shooter Previously Arrested for Shooting

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:32 am



At an unoccupied car:

Aaron Alexis, the man identified by Washington D.C. police as a suspect in this morning’s tragic attack on a US Navy Yard, was previously arrested by Seattle police in 2004 for shooting out the tires of another man’s vehicle in what Alexis later described to detectives as an anger-fueled “blackout.”

Because Seattle police have received numerous inquiries about the incident, we are posting the details, detective logs, and the original report for the May 6, 2004 case.

At about 8 am that morning, two construction workers had parked their 1986 Honda Accord in the driveway of their worksite, next to a home where Alexis was staying in the Beacon Hill neighborhood.

The victims reported seeing a man, later identified by police as Alexis, walk out of the home next to their worksite, pull a gun from his waistband and fire three shots into the two rear tires of their Honda before he walked slowly back to his home north of the construction site.

It’s not immediately clear to me whether the witnesses were in the car when the shooting happened. If they were not, the truth is that most states do not punish a shooting at an unoccupied vehicle terribly harshly. With hindsight, the average citizen looks at a story like this and wonders whether more could have been done, but unless someone has a long record, you generally can’t lock up people for a long time for something like this.

9/16/2013

Big Media Names Wrong Person As Mass Killer For Umpteenth Time

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:40 pm



Allahpundit has the details, but I think he’s being too nice:

By my count, this makes three times in slightly more than a year where someone in professional media has misidentified a killer publicly. Ben Howe reminded me that Brian Ross didn’t pull his infamous theory about tea partiers after the Aurora shooting out of thin air; he googled for James Holmeses in Colorado and that led him to a tea-party site listing a “Jim Holmes” from Aurora as a member. In the hours after Newtown, CNN reported that it was Ryan Lanza, not his brother Adam, that was the gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary, a mistake that blew up so quickly that Lanza had to pause during his family’s implosion to update his Facebook page to tell the world they had the wrong man. And now, within the past few hours, a double whammy from CBS and NBC:

CBS News and NBC News retracted reports about the identification of the Washington Navy Yard shooter on Monday, just minutes after each network reported that the suspect in question was a Navy chief petty officer named Rollie Chance.

Didn’t the New York Post put a picture of the wrong guys on their front page just after the Boston Marathon bombings? Yes, they did.

So this makes four times Big Media has misidentified a killer publicly in recent months. In fact, it seems far more likely that they will do so than that they won’t.

Thank God for the elevated standards of Big Media!

Open Thread: Navy Yard Shootings

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:59 am



Be skeptical of early reports.

9/14/2013

Syria Deal Reached

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:11 pm



New York Times:

The United States and Russia reached a sweeping agreement on Saturday that called for Syria’s arsenal of chemical weapons to be removed or destroyed by the middle of 2014 and indefinitely stalled the prospect of American airstrikes.

However, the joint announcement, on the third day of intensive talks in Geneva, also set the stage for one of the most challenging undertakings in the history of arms control.

“This situation has no precedent,” said Amy E. Smithson, an expert on chemical weapons at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. “They are cramming what would probably be five or six years’ worth of work into a period of several months, and they are undertaking this in an extremely difficult security environment due to the ongoing civil war.”

Sure, it’s unworkable. But it defers an embarrassing vote, and so it’s politically helpful to Obama.

And, in the end, isn’t that the only thing that matters?

9/13/2013

Americans for Whatever Barack Obama Wants Feeling Pretty Stoked by Assad’s Game-Playing

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:32 am



The Great Ad-Libbed Charade Diplomatic Solution to the Great Ad-libbed Syrian Crisis is hitting some rough spots. John Kerry is rejecting Assad’s one-month timetable to submit data on his chemical weapons. Apparently, Kerry is shocked to learn that the immediate turnover that he had proclaimed could never happen, is not going to happen.

When it finally becomes so clear that Assad and Putin are playing games that even the media gets it, what then? Go back to Congress? I doubt it. With useful idiots like John McCain and Lindsey Graham arguing that Obama could still bomb Syria, even without Congessional approval, Obama still obviously has unilateral action on the table. The idiots argue that Presidents have acted unilaterally many times before, citing a list of supposed precedents — even though, as Tom Woods notes:

[T]he great presidential scholar Edward S. Corwin pointed out that this lengthy list of alleged precedents consisted mainly of “fights with pirates, landings of small naval contingents on barbarous or semi-barbarous coasts, the dispatch of small bodies of troops to chase bandits or cattle rustlers across the Mexican border, and the like.”

To support their position, therefore, the neoconservatives and their left-liberal clones are counting chases of cattle rustlers as examples of presidential warmaking, and as precedents for sending millions of Americans into war with foreign governments on the other side of the globe.

This video is still relevant: Second City’s Kickstarter campaign to kickstart World War III, by Americans for Whatever Barack Obama Wants. My favorite is the Obama supporter who describes himself as a “scholar on social policy and a barista.”

Thanks to Simon Jester for that.

California Allows (More) Illegal Immigrants to Get Driver’s Licenses

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:11 am



I don’t see how this could go wrong:

Laboring late into the night Thursday to finish their work for the year, state lawmakers acted to allow many more immigrants who are in the country illegally to obtain California driver’s licenses, a measure Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign.

. . . .

The driver’s license measure would significantly expand the number of immigrants in the country illegally who could have such documents. Some young, undocumented residents are already eligible for licenses under state law, if they qualify for temporary federal work permits.

“This bill will enable millions of people to get to work safely and legally,” Brown said in a statement issued immediately after the bill passed. “Hopefully, it will send a message to Washington that immigration reform is long past due.”

The bill, AB 60, by Assemblyman Luis Alejo (D-Watsonville), originally would have provided licenses to immigrants who could show that they pay taxes or otherwise work in the United States. But it was changed to ask the Department of Motor Vehicles to determine what documentation would be required.

The bill requires a special mark and notation on the licenses, the initials DP (driver’s privilege) instead of DL (driver’s license). The notation would say the document “does not establish eligibility for employment or public benefit.”

Countdown to the lawsuit arguing that such a notation is unfair and unconstitutional in 5…4…3…2…1…

It’s still illegal to come to this country, er, illegally . . . right?

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