Patterico's Pontifications


President Obama: Apathy Keeps Minorities From Polls

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:12 pm

[guest post by Dana]

President Obama made an interesting and provocative admission today during a radio interview with Rev. Al Sharpton when discussing voter i.d. laws:

“Most of these laws are not preventing the overwhelming majority of folks who don’t vote from voting,” Obama said during an interview with Rev. Al Sharpton. “Most people do have an ID. Most people do have a driver’s license. Most people can get to the polls. It may not be as convenient, it may be a little more difficult.”

“The bottom line is, if less than half of our folks vote, these laws aren’t preventing the other half from not voting,” Obama said. “The reason we don’t vote is because people have been fed this notion that somehow it’s not going to make a difference. And it makes a huge difference.”

It’s ironic, too, considering the Obama Justice Dept. charge that voter i.d laws suppress (Democratic) voters by placing undue hardships on poor and minority voters, as well as Holder’s own claims of voter i.d. laws amounting to a poll tax.

On a side note, commenter Charlotte made a smart observation on the Supreme Court Allows Texas Voter I.D. Law thread:

How is it that Mozambique, with a per capita GDP of $ 435 and an illiteracy rate of 48%, has just held an election requiring photo ID for its electorate, but so many on the left baulk when similar requirements are legislated in the US.


Non-political Post – Great TV

Filed under: General — JD @ 9:00 pm

[guest post by JD]

It never ceases to amaze me at how much better FX, USA, and the other smaller cable networks are at producing original content than the big networks are. My personal favorites, Sons of Anarchy and Justified, are in a league that the major networks could never even dream of. Downtown Abbey, Breaking Bad, House of Cards, White Collar, Burn Notice, Covert Affairs …. all leaps and bounds beyond the mainstream crap.

What say you? What are your favorites?


White House Edits Embarrassing Joke By Obama Out of Official Transcript

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:54 pm

The Blaze:

The official transcript of a fundraiser speech President Barack Obama delivered at a private residence in Chicago Monday afternoon failed to include a joke he made about finding unpaid bills on his Chicago home’s desk.

“One of the nice things about being home is actually that it’s a little bit like a time capsule. Because Michelle and I and the kids, we left so quickly that there’s still junk on my desk, including some unpaid bills — I think eventually they got paid — but they’re sort of stacked up. And messages, newspapers and all kinds of stuff,” Obama said during his address, according to the pool report.

That joke about unpaid bills, however, didn’t make it into the official transcript.

Instead, as noted by Politico’s Jennifer Epstein, the quote leaves out the reference to finding the stack of bills. It only quotes the president as saying that “there’s still junk on my desk, including some — newspapers and all kinds of stuff.​”

The Associated Press’ Josh Lederman explained on Twitter that finding the quote required reviewing the tapes of the event.

At Hot Air, they reveal that the transcript now says “inaudible” instead of the bit about Obama not paying his bills. Hmm. It was audible to the reporters. Funny how it got inaudible exactly at the embarrassing part!

The joke is obvious and others have already made it:

Is this why his credit card got declined?

But in all seriousness: you can’t trust a thing they say.

David Corn Falsely Smears Rand Paul as a Truther

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:05 am

David Corn, lefty hack from Mother Jones, has a hit piece designed to take out Rand Paul. It’s full of spin and exaggerations, but let me highlight one particularly nasty piece of dishonesty:

Jones’ show has also been a hub of the so-called truther movement, which claims that the 9/11 attacks were mounted or permitted by the US government. During Paul’s 2010 Senate campaign, it was revealed that his campaign spokesman was a truther (as well as a death-metal musician with racist and satanic tendencies). When a Kentucky newspaper asked if Paul agreed with this view, his campaign replied that it was a “complicated situation” with “truth on both sides.”

Well. That’s a strong charge. First Corn claims that Paul’s campaign spokesman was a 9/11 truther, defined as someone who “claims that the 9/11 attacks were mounted or permitted by the US government.” Then Corn claims that Paul’s campaign sanctioned this view.

I looked into this. It wasn’t hard. What Corn says simply isn’t true.

Paul’s campaign spokesman was dismissed after several aspects of his online life were distorted in the press. Relevant here is a letter he wrote to a Kentucky newspaper in which he defended Ron Paul’s position that the 9/11 terrorists were motivated in large part by the United States’s military actions in the Middle East. Ron Paul, an adamant noninterventionist, has long argued that the United States’s penchant for becoming embroiled in military expeditions overseas has unintended consequences. One of those consequences is that it motivates people to plot terrorist attacks on the United States.

The point of my post is not to defend this claim on its merits — although it is certainly beyond dispute that the 9/11 terrorists were motivated in part by the U.S. presence in the Middle East, as is evident to anyone who has read bin Laden’s diatribes. I don’t think this mitigates the terrorists’ responsibility for their awful and indefensible actions on 9/11, but I don’t know if Ron Paul (or Rand Paul) thinks that either.

What I do know is that this argument is very different from saying that “the 9/11 attacks were mounted or permitted by the US government.”

And when Paul’s campaign said the issue was complicated, with truth on both sides, they weren’t saying: “Maybe the government was behind 9/11. Who can say?” They were saying: “We don’t want to be distracted by this controversy, which is why we have fired this guy, but there are aspects of what he said about U.S. foreign policy and interventionism that we can’t honestly disavow.”

That’s very different from what Corn claims.

In short, David Corn is simply lying. Shocking, I know.

(Corn’s claim about the spokesman’s supposed racist tendencies appears to be more exaggeration, for what it’s worth. You can follow the links and see for yourself.)

This post, by the way, is not link bait. Although Rand Paul recently linked this blog when it defended his comments about what the CDC says about Ebola, I doubt very much that he will be linking this post — although he is certainly welcome to, if he likes. The post speaks the truth, but it’s my impression that Paul is currently downplaying the aspects of his previous foreign policy statements that might make GOP donors nervous. My guess is that, even though this post shows that Corn is lying about him sanctioning Trutherism, Paul will take a pass on anything that draws further attention to his noninterventionist statements from the past.

The details, for those who are interested, are in the extended entry.


Feds Preparing For A “Surge” Scenario

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:05 am

[guest post by Dana]

Of course, while given the perfect cover of a public very distracted by Ebola, the administration has been quietly working to prepare for an expected surge of immigrants to live and work in the U.S.:

Unnoticed until now, a draft solicitation for bids issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Oct. 6 says potential vendors must be capable of handling a “surge” scenario of 9 million id cards in one year “to support possible future immigration reform initiative requirements.”

The request for proposals says the agency will need a minimum of four million cards per year. In the “surge,” scenario in 2016, the agency would need an additional five million cards – more than double the baseline annual amount for a total of 9 million.

“The guaranteed minimum for each ordering period is 4,000,000 cards. The estimated maximum for the entire contract is 34,000,000 cards,” the document says.

The agency is buying the materials need to construct both Permanent Residency Cards (PRC), commonly known as green cards, as well as Employment Authorization Documentation (EAD) cards which have been used to implement President Obama’s “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA) program. The RFP does not specify how many of each type of card would be issued.

How big of a surge are we really talking? Consider this:

Jessica Vaughan, an immigration expert at the Center for Immigration Studies and former State Department official, said the document suggests a new program of remarkable breadth.

The RFP “seems to indicate that the president is contemplating an enormous executive action that is even more expansive than the plan that Congress rejected in the ‘Gang of Eight’ bill,” Vaughan said.

In conjunction with this, one should take note of current unemployment rates across the country.

I think we can assume that this indicates the president’s plans are likely to be far more wide-reaching than we originally anticipated.


Barack Obama Tells An Inconvenient Truth

Filed under: General — JD @ 4:33 am

[guest post by JD]

I am sure that Pryor, Landrieu, Begich, Braley, Shaheen, Grimes, and the rest were really excited to hear this.

“Well, look, here’s the bottom line,” said Obama, “We’ve got a tough map. A lot of the states that are contested this time are states that I didn’t win. And so some of the candidates there, you know, it is difficult for them to have me in the state because the Republicans will use that to try to fan Republican turn-out. The bottom line is, though, these are all folks who vote with me. They have supported my agenda in Congress. They are on the right side of minimum wage. They are on the right side of fair pay. They are on the right side of rebuilding our infrastructure. They’re on the right side of early childhood education.
“So, this isn’t about my feelings being hurt. These are folks who are strong allies and supporters of me. And I tell them, I said, you know what, you do what you need to win. I will be responsible for making sure that our voters turn up.”

I don’t know if this was accidental truth telling, or my initial impression, that he is just trying to dispel the idea that he is not universally adored, even within his own party, which would be too much for his notoriously thin skin to handle. Regardless, he did them no favors.

The ads should write themselves. I emphasize should.

I particularly enjoyed the last sentence – “I will be responsible for making sure our voters show up”. So, it is Obama’s fault when they lose.



Wendy Davis: Desperation Is So Ugly

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:28 pm

[guest post by Dana]

While we’ve already ascertained that Wendy Davis has no shame, she nonetheless continues to surprise. With her hometown newspaper now endorsing her opponent, Davis (who continues to trail Greg Abbott) pulled out all the stops today, and did what desperate politicians on the left do — she played the race card:

What set this in motion was a reasonable and sound response from Greg Abbott to the editorial board of the San Antonio Express-News on Sunday as they attempted to equalize current legal proceedings over gay marriage to the historical debates over interracial marriage:

“Right now, if there was a ban on interracial marriage, that’s already been ruled unconstitutional,” Abbott pointed out. “And all I can do is deal with the issues that are before me … The job of an attorney general is to represent and defend in court the laws of their client, which is the state Legislature, unless and until a court strikes it down.”

When I said I wasn’t clear if he was saying he would have defended a ban on interracial marriage, he said, “Actually, the reason why you’re uncertain about it is because I didn’t answer the question. And I can’t go back and answer some hypothetical question like that.”

Asked about the similarities some see between the ban on gay marriage and past prohibitions on interracial marriage, Abbott said, “Well, the Supreme Court has disagreed with that” by holding that sexual orientation isn’t due protected-class status in the way that race is.

(Meanwhile, Greg Abbott’s wife Cecilia Phalen Abbott — a San Antonio native and granddaughter of Mexican immigrants who could make history in the process by becoming the first Latina first lady — offered no comment.)


Dana Milbank Badly Misinforms His Readers on Libertarian Views

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:38 am

It’s been on my back burner to respond to this diatribe by Dana Milbank, claiming that NIH Director Francis Collins was telling the truth when he said that there would have been an Ebola vaccine but for budget cuts. Milbank goes on and on about the horrible budget cuts that NIH supposedly suffered from, defends origami condoms, etc. But this passage really got my attention:

Even hard-core libertarians tend to agree that medical research and public health, like national defense, are among the few things that should be a federal responsibility. Eric Cantor, the recently deposed House majority leader, made a big push for government funding of medical research.

I’m sorry? Milbank is citing Eric Cantor as an example of a “hard-core libertarian”?? Let’s review some of Cantor’s super-libertarian record:

Cantor helped usher the 2008 bailout to passage. He was the Chamber of Commerce’s most important ally in reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank in 2012, and was expected to play the same role again this year. He voted for the insurers’ and drug makers’ beloved Medicare prescription drug bill in 2003, and for the Republicans’ pork-filled energy bill in 2005.

I was suspicious of Milbank’s claim because the “hard-core libertarians” I am familiar with don’t even necessarily believe national defense should be handled by the government. (I disagree with them.) So I suspected they would not be big fans of federal funding for medical research.

I decided to look into the views of one fairly prominent “hard-core libertarian”: Ron Paul. Guess what? He believes medical research should be done privately. (Sorry, it’s a Prison Planet link, but that’s the only place I can find it.) Here’s Paul:

The issue is not whether the federal government should fund one type of stem cell research or another. The issue is whether the federal government should fund stem cell research at all. Clearly there is no constitutional authority for Congress to do so, which means individual states and private citizens should decide whether to permit, ban, or fund it. Neither party in Washington can fathom that millions and millions of Americans simply don’t want their tax dollars spent on government research of any kind. This viewpoint is never considered.

Federal funding of medical research guarantees the politicization of decisions about what types of research for what diseases will be funded. Scarce tax resources are allocated according to who has the most effective lobby, rather than on the basis of need or even likely success. Federal funding also causes researchers to neglect potential treatments and cures that do not qualify for federal funds. Medical advancements often result from radical ideas and approaches that are scoffed at initially by the establishment. When scientists become dependent on government funds, however, they quickly learn not to rock the boat and stick to accepted areas of inquiry. Federal funds thus distort the natural market for scientific research.

It’s impossible to know whether Milbank is just lying — or whether he really believes what he said, and has no idea what actual libertarians think. Either way, he is badly misinforming his readers.

The Not-So-Great Orator On The Campaign Trail

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:36 am

[guest post by Dana]

In light of the president’s slipping popularity , especially in key states, many Democrats have avoided appearing with him on the campaign trail.

However, tonight he joined Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown of Maryland and spoke at a rally for Brown. Unfortunately, the Great Orator didn’t have the best of nights:

“You’ve got to vote,” Obama repeated over and over at a rally for Brown in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, near Washington.

“There are no excuses. The future is up to us,” Obama said.

The crowd just wasn’t feeling it:

While the 8,000 crowd at the first event gave him an enthusiastic welcome, his repeated urging of them to turn up and vote apparently failed to impress. By the end of his address, around half of the crowd had departed.

A steady stream of people walked out of the auditorium while he spoke, and at one point a heckler interrupted his remarks to complain about his handling of the immigration issue. The President told the heckler he would be better protesting at members of Congress who he said had blocked all attempts to resolve the crisis.

If you are curious about all the possible reasons to walk out on the president, here you go.


Remember When They Said This Wouldn’t Happen?

Filed under: General — JD @ 5:55 am

[guest post by JD]

This is happening. Now.

You will be made to conform.


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