Patterico's Pontifications


President Obama Re-Makes Police Forces

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:05 am

[guest post by Dana]

In a continuing effort to make law enforcement officers more “user-friendly” to certain communities and help ease tensions, President Obama has announced several impending changes as part of an executive order:

The Obama administration on Monday moved to prohibit federal agencies from providing local cops with certain kinds of military equipment such as grenade launchers, high-caliber weapons and bayonets, in the wake of controversy over a “militarized” police response to unrest last summer in Ferguson, Missouri.

“We’ve seen how militarized gear can sometimes give people a feeling like there’s an occupying force as opposed to a force that’s part of the community that’s protecting them and serving them,” Obama said in Camden Monday. “It can alienate and intimidate local residents and send the wrong message.”

The list of prohibited equipment includes: tank-like armored vehicles that move on tracks, certain types of camouflage uniforms, bayonets, firearms and ammunition of .50 caliber or higher, grenade launchers, and weaponized aircraft.

However, there will be some leeway as local police will still be able to buy the equipment from private sellers.

Along with the ban on various equipment, the president also wants to “soften” the look of police officers on the street.

According to Fox News reporter Brian Kilmeade:

…Obama also thinks that police officers should have “softer looking” uniforms.

Kilmeade explained that Obama thinks that police officers are “making things worse” when they show up to inner city communities wearing military-style equipment and riot gear.

“They’re concerned about the helmet. They’re concerned about the shield. It’s sending the wrong message,” Kilmeade stated. “I used to think from the civilian point of view that that would be a reason not to riot, because the police were ready and ready to act.”

Better that citizens not be offended by the sight of police officers wearing gear specifically designed to protect them and potentially save their lives – from the very people who might be offended by it. Message received.



Asian-Americans File Complaint Against Harvard

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:23 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Speaking volumes. 2015 Grads Of Columbia University:

Speaking of Asians and universities, an Asian-American group is accusing Harvard of discrimination :

In a complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Education and the Justice Department on Friday, the coalition of more than 60 groups claims that the university unfairly holds Asian-American applicants to a higher standard. Asian-Americans have the lowest acceptance rates at Harvard University and other elite universities, the complaint alleges, despite having some of the highest test scores and overall academic achievement.

“People from all over the world came to America for equal opportunities. We are trying to bring those principles back to America,” said Yukong Zhao, a Chinese-American author who helped organize the coalition. “This isn’t just about discrimination and race. It is about justice for everyone, including (people of) all races, and social and economic statuses.”

Harvard denies the accusations, claiming to be “fully compliant with the law.”

In an effort to maintain a diverse student body, the university uses a “holistic” approach to admissions, which includes reviewing the race of the applicant.

It is this “holistic” approach that is at the heart of the complaint:

In this approach, Harvard says it reviews each applicant’s background and personal characteristics, including — when relevant — the applicant’s race or ethnicity, as one of the many factors in its admissions process.

Chunyan Li, an assistant professor of accounting at Pace University who helped recruit groups to join last the complaint, said the university’s emphasis on race in the application process is unfair.

“This approach is subjective,” Li said. “If it is all implemented objectively, than how come all Asians on average have such higher scores? What’s the fairness in this? If (Harvard) pushes for (a) holistic approach, then make it fair. If you kept emphasizing race, then there is no way out.”

As the complaint moves forward, Harvard is standing by its approach to admissions:

“We will vigorously defend the right of Harvard, and other universities, to continue to seek the educational benefits that come from a class that is diverse on multiple dimensions,”


Sidney Blumenthal’s Benghazi Emails

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:34 am

[guest post by Dana]

The New York Times provides a closer look at Hillary Clinton’s released emails. Unsurprisingly, just a few days after Clinton brushed off the possibility that Sidney Blumenthal was anything more than just an old friend to keep her from being caught in a bubble of public life, we find out he was far more than that. Without ever identifying the source, Clinton would forward his emails regarding Benghazi to her foreign policy adviser, Jake Sullivan, who would then forward them to other senior State Officials for feedback.

Note: “Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton, said that Mr. Blumenthal had not been working for the government in any official capacity at the time and that his emails to Mrs. Clinton had not been solicited.”

On the Benghazi attacks:

The day after the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on American outposts in Benghazi that killed Mr. Stevens and three other Americans, Mr. Blumenthal sent Mrs. Clinton a memo with his intelligence about what had occurred. The memo said the attacks were by “demonstrators” who “were inspired by what many devout Libyan viewed as a sacrilegious internet video on the prophet Mohammed originating in America.”

The second day after the attacks:

In a second memo the next day, Blumenthal noted “sensitive sources” in Libya said Ansar al-Sharia, an Al Qaeda-backed terror group, had planned the attacks for a month and used the protest as a cover. That information contradicted the official White House narrative at the time about the attacks’ genesis.

“We should get this around asap” Mrs. Clinton said in an email to Mr. Sullivan.”


Blumenthal also flagged a Salon article for Clinton on Oct. 1, 2012, addressing the “Jimmy Carter Strategy,” that warned of the Republicans’ potential intent to exploit the Benghazi attacks to damage President Barack Obama a month before the election. Clinton then forwarded the message to Sullivan.

“Be sure Ben knows they need to be ready for this line of attack,” Clinton wrote, referencing deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes.

In another email, this one sent to chief of staff Cheryl Mills, Clinton noted an NPR report that refuted the earlier narrative that there had been a demonstration.

“I just heard an npr report about the CIA station chief in Tripoli sending a cable on 9/12 saying there was no demo etc. Do you know about this?” she wrote in an Oct. 19, 2012, message.

Mills responded: “Have not seen – will see if we can get.



Fox And CNN Establish GOP Debate Criteria

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:15 pm

[guest post by Dana]

With the Republican presidential debates on the horizon, Fox and CNN have established individual criteria that will determine which of the 19 contenders will have a place on the stage.

Fox will accept the top 10 contenders, based on their poll numbers, for the first debate in Cleveland Aug. 6. Entrants must have formally registered for a presidential campaign with the Federal Election Commission and have paid all necessary federal and state filing fees.

CNN announced a two-tier system for its Sept. 16 debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. The top 10 candidates will debate in one group, and the remaining candidates will face off in another. Each candidate must poll at 1 percent or higher. CNN requires debate participants to have at least one paid campaign staffer in two of the early voting states and have visited two of those states at least once.

Based on Fox’s criteria and RealClearPolitics’ current numbers, Carly Fiorina and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal would be cut. This is unfortunate given that they are the diversity the party desperately needs to reach women and minority voters. (Fiorina has been tearing it up lately as she travels the country relentlessly attacking Hillary and Obama. Whether she’s running for president or vice-president, it would be a shame to not see her in action on the debate stage. Her fearlessness is something the other candidates should take serious notice of…)

And unbelievably, if outside survey numbers hold and Donald Trump throws his name in the ring, he would actually secure a spot. Over Jindal and Fiorina.

Fox, acknowledging the problem of excluding some candidates, threw a bone to the Republicans by “pledging to provide additional coverage and airtime on the day of the debate for candidates who do not place in the top 10″.

The Republican National Committee supports Fox’s plan to limit candidates.


President Obama On The Twitters

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:40 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Clearly the biggest news of the week is…President Obama is now on Twitter. He’s hip! He’s relevant! Or something like that.

I know this makes me sound old and cranky, but part of me feels that this is right up there with presidents making late night talk show appearances or being guests on Saturday Night Live – it diminishes the dignity of the office. I will now resume yelling at kids to get off my lawn…

Be warned though, if you tweet the president, they’re taking names:

Not only does the Secret Service already monitor Twitter for threats, but the White House is archiving each and every thing @POTUS tweeters say.

Judging from some of the unbelievable tweets made to him, a lot of people are either really stupid or simply don’t care about possible repercussions their names being taken.

Clearly, respecting the dignity of the office and the person that is the President of the United States is also not really high on some people’s list.


ADDED: There’s just something about the First Amendment that national news reporters and commentators are, sadly, unable to grasp.

Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post reacts to the racism on Obama’s twitter feed:

There are moments when I come thisclose to quitting Twitter. The amount of hatred squeezed into 140 characters or less by lunatics usually cloaked in anonymity is enough to make you question your support for the First Amendment and your faith in the decency of other people.


Hillary Clinton Deigns To Take A Few Questions From The Press

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:47 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Remember when Hillary promised a new relationship with the press and then went on to break that promise?

“I am all about new beginnings,” Hillary Clinton said at event honoring the late New York Times Robin Toner Monday night in Washington. “A new grandchild, another new hairstyle, a new e-mail account. The relationship with the press. So here goes: no more secrecy. No more zone of privacy. After all, what good did that do me?”

I know, funny, right? Especially the line about the new email address….

Well, after about a month (or as the WaPo notes: 40,150 minutes) of avoiding the press, Ed Henry of Fox News claims that Hillary was basically pressured (by reporters) today to break her silence:

Here is a summation:

On her relationship with Sidney Blumenthal: Clinton also answered a question about her relationship with Blumenthal, whom The New York Times reported sent her numerous memos about the security situation in Libya before the Benghazi attacks occurred. She defended her relationship with Blumenthal, saying, “I have many old friends. … I’m going to keep talking to my old friends no matter who they are.”

On the Clinton Foundation and questions about its donors: “I am so proud of the Foundation. I’m proud of the work that it has done and that it is doing,” she said, adding that she would “let the American people make their own judgments about that.”

On whether the invasion of Iraq was a mistake: Clinton has previously said her 2002 vote to authorize the Iraq war was a mistake, and she reiterated that Tuesday as the issue has come back into the headlines in recent days. “I’ve made it very clear that I made a mistake, plain and simple, and I have written about it in my book, talked about it in the past, and you know, what we now see is a different and very dangerous situation.”

On her personal wealth and whether regular Americans can “relate” to her: Clinton, asked about her wealth after personal financial-disclosure forms revealed that she and her husband made $25 million in speaking fees since 2014, said both of them remember their roots. “Obviously, Bill and I have been blessed and we’re very grateful for the opportunities that we had, but we’ve never forgotten where we came from and never forgotten the kind of country we want to see for our granddaughter,” she said. “And that means that we’re going to fight to make sure that everybody has the same chances to live up to his or her own God-given potential.”

According to Robert Costa of the Washington Post, in spite of reporters’ sustained efforts, Clinton took no follow-up questions. (Here’s a few they could have started with: Was Blumenthal paid and by whom in regard to Clinton and the Libya emails? What does she think about Mike Morrell’s (former Deputy Director of the CIA) response to whether or not foreign governments could have gotten information off of Clinton’s server and responding that “I think that foreign intelligence services, the good ones, have everything on any unclassified network that the government uses whether it’s a a private server or a public one. They are that good.” And, in keeping with the press meme this past week, if she knew then what she knows now (that her campaign would be so bogged down by one scandal after another and become stuck in the mire to the point of near non-existence), would she have chosen to put national security at risk with her private server, been utterly dishonest about Benghazi, and taken money from a number of sources under the guise of “donations” – some being paid directly to her without even being laundered through the foundation? Etc! Etc! Etc!)

(Note the strange, trance-like state Clinton seemed to be in when listening to the second reporter ask her a question. Was she stoned? Were her Spanx cutting off her circulation? Or was the automaton simply experiencing a momentary short-circuit? Not to go all Alec Baldwin, but this woman simply can’t become our next president!)



Giving Parents Yet Another Reason To Home School

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:03 pm

[guest post by Dana]

So, gender fluidity. It’s all the rage and its proponents are determined to make sure kids get indoctrinated early on, because as every good progressive knows, get ’em while they’re young!

Not content to let boys be boys and girls be girls, middle school students will be introduced to the idea that gender is not simply a male or female proposition:

One of the nation’s largest public school systems is preparing to include gender identity to its classroom curriculum, including lessons on sexual fluidity and spectrum – the idea that there’s no such thing as 100 percent boys or 100 percent girls.

Fairfax County Public Schools released a report recommending changes to their family life curriculum for grades 7 through 12. The changes, which critics call radical gender ideology, will be formally introduced next week.

The plan calls for teaching seventh graders about transgenderism and tenth graders about the concept that sexuality is a broader spectrum

The curriculum will focus on the following:

“Students will be provided definitions for sexual orientation terms heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality; and the gender identity term transgender,” the district’s recommendations state. “Emphasis will be placed on recognizing that everyone is experiencing changes and the role of respectful, inclusive language in promoting an environment free of bias and discrimination.”

Eighth graders will be taught that individual identity “occurs over a lifetime and includes the component of sexual orientation and gender identity.”

“Individual identity will also be described as having four parts – biological gender, gender identity (includes transgender), gender role, and sexual orientation (includes heterosexual, bisexual, and homosexual).”

The district will also introduce young teenagers to the “concept that sexuality is a broader spectrum.”

This is only the beginning. As students move into high school, building on the middle school foundation they will be taught that “one’s sexuality develops over a lifetime”…

Responding to the announced plan, Andrea Lafferty, president of Traditional Values Coalition, foresees a disturbing end result:

“At the end of this is the deconstruction of gender – absolutely. The majority of people pushing (this) are not saying that – but that clearly is the motivation.”

And with a straight face, School Board spokesman John Torre claimed the proposed curriculum changes have nothing to do with the board’s vote last week which made it permissible for boys who identify as girls to use the bathrooms and locker rooms of their choice.

What a coincidence…


Stephanopoulos Apology Tour Rolls On While Former Colleague Says She Doesn’t Believe He Is A Real Journalist

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:40 pm

[guest post by Dana]

As of today, George Stephanopoulos has apologized three times for his failure to disclose that he made personal contributions to the Clinton Foundation. Contrary to the original report with its manipulative title, Stephanopoulos acknowledged the donation only after he was found out. And now he has apologized three times and what, wants a gold medal for honesty? I am so over apology tours. Fully admit you screwed up and got caught, apologize for it and then do the honorable thing. Without having to be told. It’s that last bit that causes people so much trouble.

Anyway, as Eric Wemple notes, in spite of the three apologies made by Stephanopoulos, there is still the problem of ABC:

Unresolved by Stephanopoulos’s repeated meae culpae is the conduct of ABC News’s PR operation, which stands accused of “running” to Politico with the story of Stephanopoulos’s donations after having received an inquiry from the Washington Free Beacon. Staffers from the Washington Free Beacon attest that they received official statements after ABC News provided them to Politico.

Wemple has still not received a reply from ABC regarding his inquiry into the matter as discussed here.

With that, former ABC News colleague Carole Simpson doesn’t believe Stephanopoulos is a journalist:

There is a coziness that George cannot escape,” said Simpson, who toiled for two decades at ABC News, notably as the weekend anchor of World News Tonight from 1988 to 2003. “While he did try to separate himself* from his political background to become a journalist, he really isn’t a journalist.”


…Simpson said she was “dumbfounded” by Thursday’s revelation that Stephanopoulos failed to disclose $75,000 in recent donations to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation—this, as he conducted a confrontational April 26 interview with Clinton Foundation critic Peter Schweizer.

“I wanted to just take him by the neck and say, ‘George, what were you thinking?’ Clearly, he was not thinking. I thought it was outrageous,” Simpson said. “And I am sorry that again the public trust in the media is being challenged and frayed because of the actions of some of the top people in the business.”

And Simpson suggests ABC is not exactly happy with their esteemed anchor, either:

ABC has made him the face of ABC News, the chief anchor, and I think they’re really caught in a quandary here. While ABC says this was ‘an honest mistake,’ they don’t feel that way. Secretly, they are hopping mad, I am sure.”

The network chief anchors are dropping like flies. You have to wonder if there’s a bit of squirming going on at CBS right about now.

*I’m not sure what Stephanopoulos did that evidenced an attempt to separate himself from politics (Clinton), but clearly, whatever it was didn’t work.


Politico’s Absurd Piece Claiming GOP Voters Are Dying Off

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:42 am

This article by Daniel J. McCraw at Politico is a work of pure genius. Why, I can’t spot a single fallacy in it! It is titled: The GOP Is Dying Off. Literally (Google cache link):

There’s been much written about how millennials are becoming a reliable voting bloc for Democrats, but there’s been much less attention paid to one of the biggest get-out-the-vote challenges for the Republican Party heading into the next presidential election: Hundreds of thousands of their traditional core supporters won’t be able to turn out to vote at all.

The party’s core is dying off by the day.

Since the average Republican is significantly older than the average Democrat, far more Republicans than Democrats have died since the 2012 elections. To make matters worse, the GOP is attracting fewer first-time voters. Unless the party is able to make inroads with new voters, or discover a fountain of youth, the GOP’s slow demographic slide will continue election to election. Actuarial tables make that part clear, but just how much of a problem for the GOP is this?

Our rocket political scientist then runs the numbers. Why, if you take all of the people who voted for Mitt Romney, and then subtract out how many are already dead or will die, you can easily see that the GOP numbers are dwindling! No fallacies there!

What about the effect of people moving from one age bracket into another? McGraw has you covered! You see, there are a lot of teenagers who are going to become voters when they turn 18. So when you add all those new Democrats to the voting rolls, and subtract all the dead old Republican voters, the result is a Giant New Bonanza of Democrat voters!

I’m going to ask the question again, McGraw:

What about the effect of people moving from one age bracket into another? Hint: teenagers are not the only group who are moving into different age brackets.

Nowhere in McGraw’s analysis is there any mention of the fact that all people in the nation are becoming older. Indeed, it’s kind of a thing humans tend to do. As They Might Be Giants once pointed out, you’re older than you’ve ever been — and now you’re even older. (And now you’re older still.)

And this keeps happening.

Now, if McGraw has some evidence that, over time, fewer older people are voting Republican, he might have a point. But that is clearly not the case. American Thinker has the numbers, and the percentage of older voters voting Republican has steadily increased in the past two decades, from 39% in 1992 to 56% in 2012. Meanwhile, as we are constantly reminded by people justifiably concerned with the demographics of Social Security, the population in general is aging.

This fallacy is similar to the fallacy of those pushing income inequality as a problem, while ignoring the fact that people tend to move into higher income brackets as they age — acquiring both greater savings, and greater skills commanding a higher salary. Even if everyone were paid the same salary at the same age, saved at the same rate, and received raises at the same rate, there would be income and wealth disparities owing to this dynamic process.

Instead, McGraw slices off GOP voters at the older end where they are dying, adds more Democrats at the younger end where they are attaining adulthood — and blithely ignores the fact that, every day, populations of young people are turning into GOP voters as they acquire life experience and a stake in society. As you age, you learn that ideals are not what matter, results are. And you tend to vote GOP more as a result (not because the GOP gets results, but because they do a better job of giving lip service to the values of limited government and freedom).

McGraw ignores all this, and Politico says: hey, great analysis! Let’s publish that!

Par for the course.


ISIS Takes Ramadi

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:46 pm

I remember exchanging messages with Bill Ardolino when he was in Ramadi at a particularly tense time. Now the animals have it.

Next Page »

Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.1695 secs.