Patterico's Pontifications


Breaking Story: Shootings in San Bernardino [UPDATED]

Filed under: General — JVW @ 12:24 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Hot Air is updating the story. As of 12:20 pm Pacific Time the reports are that 20 people have been shot. Some unconfirmed reports on Twitter are claiming that 12 are believed killed. A local television news station is also reporting that same number of deaths, and that police are looking for up to three white males dressed in military gear as suspects. [Edit: Cleaned up some clunky wording in my original post.]

Expect some very heated arguments in the coming days.

UPDATE: Bob Owens, the editor of Bearing Arms, is also providing updates on Twitter. He is apparently following the action on police scanners.

UPDATE 2: Predictably, the LA Dog Trainer already has an editorial up (and, no, I’m not going to link to those jackwaggons) excoriating everyone who thinks the Second Amendment is (1) a part of the Constitution and (2) applies to individual citizens and not the militia. They denounce the Heller decision, the NRA, gun manufactures, and pretty much everyone who doesn’t fully agree with Dianne Feinstein on this issue, and more or less drone on as if they were all auditioning for a guest column on the Huffington Post or Slate. I don’t recommend anyone bother reading it.


Big Media Ignores Obama’s Boneheaded Comment in Paris About Mass Shootings

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:48 am

It’s odd. I can’t find stories in the New York Times, or Los Angeles Times, or Washington Post, about Obama’s absurd statement yesterday about the Planned Parenthood shooting:

I mean, I say this every time we’ve got one of these mass shootings; this just doesn’t happen in other countries.

Obama said this in Paris — which was, you might recall, the site of a rather large mass shooting just last month. As well as a few other recent ones.

Had a Republican said something this stupid, it would have been good for three days of media gloating. They would throw it in the candidate’s face at every opportunity. But there’s barely a peep from our major news sources about it.

I can’t find anything at the New York Times.

I can’t find anything at the Los Angeles Times.

I can’t find anything at the Washington Post (except in a blog, about which more below).

Oh, they know about it. An AP story at the New York Times Web site is titled Obama Says He Hopes Shooting at Colorado Clinic Spurs Action:

President Barack Obama said Tuesday he hopes the shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado spurs conversation and action on deterring gun violence.

Obama, speaking at a global warming conference, said it will ultimately be up to Congress, states and local governments to act in ways that prevent people intent on committing violence from getting weapons.

They just left out his whopper about how these shootings don’t happen in other countries . . . like the one he was in when he said that.

Can you say “whitewash”?

I should note that this isn’t just about the president saying something dumb. The fact that it is so glaringly not true undercuts his argument for gun control, which is why Big Media is so studiously avoiding it — like they might ignore someone passing gas in a room full of people dressed in tuxedos and formal dresses.

There are stories about him running his mouth yesterday about climate change (WaPo, WaPo, Reuters at NYT)) or about terrorism (LAT). But — and please correct me if I’m wrong — I don’t find a single instance of the kind of coverage we would see of a Republican making such a boneheaded remark.

There is one glaring exception: the Washington Post does host the Volokh Conspiracy blog, which published a post titled Fact check: Obama claim that ‘I say this every time we’ve got one of these mass shootings; this just doesn’t happen in other countries.’

Is the president’s statement about “other countries” accurate? No. For example, on Nov. 20, 2015, mass shooters attacked a hotel in Mali, murdering at least 19 people.

Although President Obama has relatives in Kenya, his statement suggests a lack of awareness of events there. On April 2, 2015, criminals murdered 142 students at the University College Campus of Garissa, in northeastern Kenya. Among the other mass shootings in Kenya in recent years are those as Lamu (29 murdered, July 5-6, 2014), Mpeketoni (53 murdered, June 15-17, 2014), Majembeni and Poromoko (15 murdered, two days after Mpekoni) and the Westgate Mall in Nairobi (67 murdered, Sept. 21, 2013). Kenya, by the way, has extremely strict laws against the possession or carrying of firearms, as well as bows, as I detailed in a Quinnipiac Law Review article with Joanne Eisen and the late Paul Gallant.

On Saturday, Boko Haram attackers murdered four people in Nigeria, and four more in Niger. Last weekend, four Egyptian policemen were murdered in a drive-by shooting. As reported by CBS News the day before Thanksgiving, “Two massacres that killed 15 people in less than 12 hours rocked Honduras and left the country’s top cop in tears on Wednesday.”

And that’s not even mentioning the rather glaring examples of mass shootings that had occurred in Paris, the very town in which this buffoon made his statement.

But a blog is not the same as a multi-day multimedia pile-on. And you all know, deep in your bones, that’s what would have happened to a Republican.

This is why people don’t trust the media.

Ted Cruz: Maybe the U.S. Should Not Go Around Toppling Dictators

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:18 am

At The Week, Michael Brendan Dougherty published a piece yesterday titled The blindingly obvious political attack that every 2016 candidate should use against Hillary:

Just 350 miles from the tiny European member state Malta, ISIS has set up a colony in Surt, Libya. This Libyan outpost is now receiving veteran fighters and administrators from the burgeoning theocratic blob that has spread across Syria and Iraq. It is from this redoubt in Surt that the Islamic State can project power across North Africa, according to an in-depth report from The New York Times.

Now that we’ve seen the Islamic State lash out on European soil, the prospect of them establishing a statelet 400 miles from Italy should give us pause. How did they get there? How was Surt made ready to be the Islamic State’s caliphate away from the caliphate?

Look no further than the woman most likely to become our next president, Hillary Clinton. Using American power to help overthrow Moammar Gadhafi’s government was her signature idea as secretary of state. Surely, the Arab Spring rebels would handle the mop up. Alas, it didn’t turn out that way.

However, beyond a tut-tutting tweet from Jeb Bush, don’t expect any of Clinton’s 2016 rivals for high office to criticize her for it. The Republican Party is now congenitally unable to criticize the result of a war without promising to double — nay, Supersize — its awful consequences.

Bad timing, Mr. Dougherty! Because look what Ted Cruz said just yesterday (beware annoying auto-play videos at the link):

“Senator Rubio emphatically supported Hillary Clinton in toppling [Muammar] Qaddafi in Libya. I think that made no sense,” Cruz told Bloomberg Politics in a wide-ranging and exclusive interview during a campaign swing through Iowa. He argued that the 2011 bombings that toppled the Libyan leader didn’t help the fight against terrorists. “Qaddafi was a bad man, he had a horrible human rights record. And yet … he had become a significant ally in fighting radical Islamic terrorism.”

“The terrorist attack that occurred in Benghazi was a direct result of that massive foreign policy blunder,” Cruz said during a drive eastward from a town-hall event near Iowa City to another in the town of Clinton…

“If you look at President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and for that matter some of the more aggressive Washington neo-cons, they have consistently mis-perceived the threat of radical Islamic terrorism and have advocated military adventurism that has had the effect of benefiting radical Islamic terrorists,” he said…

Cruz has a similar complaint about Syria:

On Syria, Cruz inveighed against Rubio and Clinton, Obama’s former secretary of state, for supporting a no-fly zone and arming “the so-called moderate rebels.” “I think none of that makes any sense. In my view, we have no dog in the fight of the Syrian civil war,” he said, arguing that Rubio and Clinton “are repeating the very same mistakes they made in Libya. They’ve demonstrated they’ve learned nothing.”

“The enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend,” Cruz said. “If the Obama administration and the Washington neo-cons succeed in toppling [Bashar al-] Assad, Syria will be handed over to radical Islamic terrorists. ISIS will rule Syria.”

I made similar points recently in a post titled Democrat: ISIS Would Not Be So Strong If U.S. Did Not Topple Dictators, in which I agreed with a Hawaii Democrat that we have destabilized regions like Libya and Iraq by toppling dictators willy-nilly, without regard to what comes next.

I’ve always loved Ted Cruz’s economic and constitutional positions. It’s nice to see him lining up with me on foreign policy as well. He rejects the utopian radical libertarian ideal that the world will be full of sunshine and lollipops if we just stop being so aggressive. But he is also rejecting the neocon philosophy that always seems to want war, everywhere. Cruz rejects the notion that we must topple a Bad Guy because he is a Bad Guy, because he understands that there are often Worse Guys waiting in the wings.

I like this guy more every day.

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