Patterico's Pontifications


Pelosi Victory Lap: We Rushed Omnibus Vote So Republicans Could Not Find Out What Was in It

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:09 am

You have to pass the bill before you find out what’s in it.

Roll Call:

As the House on Friday overwhelmingly passed the $1.1 trillion government spending bill, Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi shook hands on the chamber floor.

Screen Shot 2015-12-20 at 11.34.10 AM
Can you feel the love tonight?

The omnibus bill does not block or restrict in any way Syrian or Iraqi refugees from coming to the U.S. It does not defund Planned Parenthood. It does not defund Obama’s illegal executive amnesty. It does not defund sanctuary cities. It funds ObamaCare but delays two unpopular taxes under ObamaCare that might fuel opposition to the law. It will increase the debt with spending and tax cuts that are not paid for by spending cuts.

And now, Nancy Pelosi is not just doing a victory lap — she is bragging about how this was shoved down Republicans’ throats before they could learn what was in the bill:

“We’ve had to sort of calibrate how we presented this to members because … we were afraid [Republicans] might pull things out if more Republicans knew about what was in the bill,” she continued, explaining all the hesitation from Democrats in the hours after the bill was made public.

Earlier in the week, she had instructed members in a closed-door meeting to “keep on their long faces” and not speak publicly about everything Democrats won in the omnibus, according to a senior House aide. She wanted them to avoid speaking about provisions they fought to include, as well as poison pill policy riders they insisted be removed, instead suggesting they just say they were “still reading the language” when asked how they planned to vote.

“Now they’re done, that’s it. There’s no way they can change the rule or anything like that; the speaker said it’s closed,” said Pelosi on Friday, “so we feel pretty good about bragging about what’s in the bill to get our votes and also not risking changing anything in the bill.”

Justin Amash on Facebook:

The story below [the Roll Call story] illustrates the brokenness of Washington, where only a few individuals negotiate nearly $2 trillion in provisions and tell the rest of Congress to take it or leave it. I voted no on this disgusting omnibus bill that harms Americans and bankrupts the next generation.

No wonder Paul Ryan wanted to change the rules to make it harder to get rid of the Speaker.

NYT Claims Deletion Of President Obama’s Unflattering Comment Was Space-Saving Move, But Then Adds 116 More Words To Report

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:44 am

[guest post by Dana]

Earlier this week I posted about two things you can count on: President Obama watching TV to get his news (or in this case, not watching enough TV to understand why Americans might be tense after a terrorist attack on the homeland), and the New York Times carrying water for him as they happily deleted an unflattering and revealing comment he made during a private meeting with political reporters.

Here is what was deleted with no accompanying Editor’s Note:

In his meeting with the columnists, Mr. Obama indicated that he did not see enough cable television to fully appreciate the anxiety after the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, and made clear that he plans to step up his public arguments. Republicans were telling Americans that he is not doing anything when he is doing a lot, he said.

Responding to reader complaints about the stealth deletion, T. Becket Adams of the Washington Times, posted the New York Times’ explanation for the edit:

Thanks for the question. There’s nothing unusual here. That paragraph, near the bottom of the story, was trimmed for space in the print paper by a copy editor in New York late last night. But it was in our story on the web all day and read by many thousands of readers. Web stories without length constraints are routinely edited for print.”

Ah, a space-saving move. Okay, then. But let’s look at NewsDiffs’ comparison of the space-saving deletion, before and after:


To put a fine point on it, Sean Davis observed that while the New York Times trimmed 66 words in a space-saving move, they added 116 more. And with this space-saving deletion, the president ends up not looking quite as foolish. Unfortunately, that can’t be said of the New York Times. As a reminder, this is the same New York Times that had the temerity to editorialize about an assumed “campaign of deception” with regard to CMP’s Planned Parenthood videos. At this point in time, they really should reconsider ever using the term “deception” in any kind of editorializing or reporting, no matter the subject at hand.

It’s a mystery to me why they still try to pretend they are something that they clearly are not.


Hillary Demonstrates Why Eric Posner’s Proposal to Curtail Free Speech Is Dangerous

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:19 am

The other day I wrote about anti-speech law professor Eric Posner and his crazy idea to shut off Americans’ access to ISIS Web sites. Popehat piled on here. Posner replied to his critics (naming none) here, and Popehat called Posner’s rebuttal a lie here.

But Hillary Clinton, in last night’s debate, made it clear why Posner’s proposal is so dangerous. Hillary made a claim about ISIS showing people videos of a Republican candidate to recruit jihadis.

Many people will be running their mouths over the next day or two about whether her claim is true, whether she has evidence for it, and so forth. That’s not the point of this post. My point here is this:

If Posner’s law passed, Hillary could claim anything she wanted to claim about what ISIS Web sites say. And you would not be allowed to check her claim.

In the age of the Internet, we have learned beyond doubt that what we always suspected is true: you can’t trust anyone. Candidates lie to you. Big Media covering candidates lies to you. The “fact-checkers” who claim to correct others’ lies . . . yes, they lie to you too.

And the way we learn this is by checking primary sources. Sorry, guys, he didn’t really say that in the video. The candidate never made that claim. Nope, you guys are lying. We know because we examined the evidence ourselves.

Posner “reassured” people that there would still be a place for people to look at ISIS Web sites, saying “the law could contain broad exemptions for people who can show that they have a legitimate interest in viewing ISIS websites.”

And who would decide if their interest was legitimate?

Why, the government.

So the government would hand-pick the people fact-checking their claims.

Eric Posner doesn’t much care about any of this, because I bet you he thinks there’s nothing wrong with what Big Media says. He probably thinks the fact-checkers always get it right. He probably thinks that the Democrats don’t lie, and that the Republicans lie all the time but are set straight by Big Media and fact-checkers. He thinks we can trust government to decide who has legitimate access to ISIS Web sites.

If he thinks that, he is a fool. Based on his recent pieces, that conclusion would not be surprising.

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