Patterico's Pontifications

8/4/2015

Who Will President Obama Support For 2016?

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:30 am

[guest post by Dana]

Recently, we’ve seen a push for Joe Biden to enter the presidential race. It has also been reported that it was his dying son’s wish that he run.

This weekend Maureen Dowd looked at how a Biden run might impact Hillary’s campaign:

Having Mr. Biden as an opponent could help Mrs. Clinton’s campaign in its efforts to shed the perception of inevitability that hurt her with Iowa caucus-goers in the 2008 contest. Back then, Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Biden sparred on the debate stage before Mr. Biden withdrew from the race after receiving less than 1 percent of the vote in the Iowa caucuses.

Going up against Mr. Biden again in the first Democratic debate in October could help Mrs. Clinton hone her skills and appear to be working for the nomination, said Steve Elmendorf, a veteran Democratic strategist. “You’re a better general election candidate if you have competition,” he said. “The vice president would be a formidable opponent.”

Dowd notes that President Obama is playing it close to the vest:

Mr. Obama has been careful not to undermine or wholeheartedly endorse his former secretary of state, Mrs. Clinton, or his vice president. “The president has said that the best political decision he’s ever made in his career has been to ask Joe Biden to run as his vice president,” Eric Schultz, a White House spokesman, said last week.

With that, Monica Crowley points out that Obama has not publicly committed to backing his former secretary of state in her bid for the presidency. As such, she floats an interesting idea that President Obama is quietly waiting for Biden to announce, and when he does, he will throw the full weight of his office behind Biden and simultaneously work to dismantle Hillary’s campaign:

The Clintons and the Obamas have a long history of bad blood, dating to the 2008 primary race. After Mr. Obama creamed her, he offered her the plum gig of secretary of state. Friends close, enemies closer. She tried to get her dirty tricks consigliere, Sidney Blumenthal, a top position in the State Department, which Mr. Obama pointedly denied. So she hired him anyway through the Clinton Foundation.

Through Mr. Blumenthal, she was fed all kinds of intelligence on global hotpots such as Libya, much of it inaccurate, as she circumvented traditional government communication chains via her private email server. What was she hiding from Mr. Obama? And why? Perhaps because she trusted Mr. Obama about as much as she trusted Bill.

Mr. Obama didn’t trust her, either. In a recently disclosed email, Mrs. Clinton complained that she heard “on the radio” that there was a “Cabinet meeting” that morning and wondered if she could attend. The secretary of state — fourth in line to the presidency — was frozen out, so she set up her own fiefdom.

Mr. Obama needs a successor whom he can control to ensure that the “fundamental transformation of the nation” continues. He cannot control either of the Clintons. In a revealing “tell” this week, he said, “In 18 months, I’m turning over the keys. I want to make sure I’m turning over the keys to somebody who is serious about the serious problems that the country faces and the world faces.”

So here’s the likely plan: Mr. Biden will announce that he is running for president (the reported dying wish of his late son, Beau). After a respectable amount of time, Mr. Obama will announce that while he admires all of the Democratic candidates, Mr. Biden has earned his particular loyalty. Following his presidential endorsement, Mr. Obama will then support Mr. Biden with the full weight of the White House, including the sophisticated technical infrastructure his campaigns used to win in 2008 and 2012. For years, Mrs. Clinton has begged Mr. Obama to turn it over to her, and he refused. He’s been saving it for someone else. Mr. Obama will also use his considerable influence with black and Latino voters to support Mr. Biden, which may be enough to help him significantly….

Read the whole thing.

–Dana

Democrats Protect Baby Harvesters, Block Measure To Defund Planned Parenthood

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:41 am

[guest post by Dana]

In a vote of 53-46, Senate democrats blocked a bill to defund Planned Parenthood:

Republicans fell short of the 60 votes needed to move forward with the legislation, which was fast-tracked to the floor after the release of undercover videos that show Planned Parenthood officials discussing fetal tissue from abortions.

Only two Democrats, Sens. Joe Donnelly (Ind.) and Joe Manchin (W.Va.), voted for the legislation, while two Republicans, Sen. Mark Kirk (Ill.) and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), voted against it.

McConnell voted no to preserve the option of bringing up the bill again. Kirk, who is facing a tough reelection race in 2016, had signaled he was likely to break with his party on the vote, citing the preventive health services that Planned Parenthood provides.

Sen. Lindsay Graham, who has railed against the videos, skipped the vote so he could campaign instead. However, he threw a bone to voters and reassured them that when he is elected, he would immediately defund the organization.

Interestingly, as with Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, Democrats who voted against the defunding measure made sure they did not watch the videos:

“I have not seen them,” Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire told me after the vote.

“I’m sorry, what’s your name?” asked Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii in response to a simple yes-or-no question. “Can you call my comms director?”

“I have not seen them, no,” Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania told me last week.

As New York senator Chuck Schumer stepped into a senators-only elevator, I asked him the same yes-or-no question. “Shut the door,” Schumer told an aide.

One Democrat did watch the videos, but chose to further the myth that defunding Planned Parenthood would keep millions of women from the nation’s largest health care provider instead of saving intact babies from having their organs harvested:

Only one Democratic senator, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, told me that she had seen any of the videos. McCaskill agreed that the videos were disturbing, but she added that “that’s not the point. The point is to prevent abortions by making sure that women can get birth control.”

–Dana

8/3/2015

City Attorney Confirms: Legal To Appoint Illegal Immigrants To Adivsory Boards

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:01 pm

[guest post by Dana]

In a brazen move, a city in Southern California will be the first in the state to name two illegal immigrants as commissioners:

Huntington Park may become the first city in California to appoint two undocumented immigrants as commissioners on city advisory boards, a lawmaker confirms.

City Councilman Jhonny Pineda has picked Francisco Medina to join the health and education commission and Julian Zatarain for the parks and recreation commission.

The 32-year-old lawmaker told CBSLA online producer Deborah Meron that he promised voters while running for office that he would create more opportunities for undocumented residents.

“Huntington Park is a city of opportunity and a city of hope for all individuals regardless of socioeconomic status, race, creed, or in this case, citizenship,” the councilman said in a statement. “Both these gentlemen have accomplished a great deal for the city. For that, on behalf of the city council, mayor, and our city, I want to say thank you to them both and I am confident they will do an excellent job on their commission posts.”

Pineda, ever mindful of following the law, sought confirmation from the city attorney that the appointments were permissible. He was assured that “[t]here’s nothing that requires a commissioner to be a registered voter, a documented citizen or even a resident, which technically means someone here without legal residency can serve.”

And from another official equally concerned with following the law, former Huntington Park mayor, Ric Loya, commented:

“Everybody can be involved in government, as long as it’s done legally,” he said.

And they don’t even bat an eye.

–Dana

Hillary Clinton, Just Like A Woman: Last Week I Thought The Planned Parenthood Videos Were Disturbing, This Week I Think They’re Terrific!

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:44 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Hillary Clinton’s campaign released a video today in which Hillary gives a full-throated defense of Planned Parenthood. This after claiming last week that she was “disturbed” by what was on the videos. Just like a woman, right? First she’s disturbed, then she’s not, first she’s hot, then she’s cold… It’s anybody’s guess how she’ll react when the next one is released.

Oh, and let’s not forget that last week when she said she was “disturbed” by the videos, she hadn’t actually watched them, but instead looked at pictures from them. Imagine how “disturbing” she would find the videos if she if she ever had the courage to actually watch them in all their disturbing glory.


“I’m proud to stand with Planned Parenthood, I’ll never stop fighting to protect the ability and right of every woman in this country to make her own health decisions.”

“If this feels like a full-on assault on women’s health, that’s because it is,” Clinton said in the video. “When politicians talk about defunding Planned Parenthood, they’re talking about blocking millions of women, men and young people from live-saving preventive care.”

“Unfortunately, these attacks aren’t new, they’re more of the same, we’ve seen them in Wisconsin where Gov. Walker defunded Planned Parenthood and left women across the state stranded with nowhere else to turn,” Clinton said. “We’ve seen them in Florida where Jeb Bush funneled millions of taxpayer dollars into abstinence-only programs while gutting funds for crucial family planning programs. And we’ve seen them in Texas where Gov. Perry drastically cut funding for breast and cervical cancer screenings and then signed legislation that forced health centers across the state to close their doors. .

“When they attack women’s health, they attack America’s health and it’s wrong and we’re not going to let them get away with it,” she said.

I’m curious as to why Hillary changed her tune. Perhaps she was strongly reminded by the DNC that abortion remains the end-all be-all identifier of a good Democrat and a good feminist, and that she needed to do damage control. No more lapses of judgement, no more straying from the company line, and certainly no more biting the hand that feeds her. And perhaps she was also reminded of the ever-increasing popularity of her rival and his ardent support and defense of Planned Parenthood, in spite of not watching the videos either:

“They’re not selling fetuses,” Sanders said. “And this is something, I think the tone of that discussion was unfortunate. But if the question is, do I support Planned Parenthood? I absolutely do. … I will defend Planned Parenthood. I think a lot of this attack, to be honest with you, comes from people who simply do not believe that a woman should have a right to control her own body. That’s the motive.”

–Dana

Looking At The New NBC News/Wall Street Journal GOP Poll

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:21 am

[guest post by Dana]

Here are the results of the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll of the Republican candidates as of July 30:

Trump is the first choice of 19 percent of GOP primary voters, while 15 percent back Walker and 14 percent back Bush. Ten percent support retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

All other Republican candidates earn single digit backing. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is favored by nine percent of primary voters; former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul are tied with six percent support; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio clocks in at five percent; and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Ohio Gov. John Kasich are tied with three percent apiece. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum each have one percent support, and four candidates – former HP head Carly Fiorina, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, former New York Gov. George Pataki and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore – register less than one percent support.

What that looks like:

Donald Trump – 19%
Scott Walker – 15%
Jeb Bush – 14%
Ben Carson – 10%
Ted Cruz – 9%
Mike Huckabee – 6%
Rand Paul – 6%
Marco Rubio – 5%
Chris Christie – 3%
Rick Perry – 3%
John Kasich – 3%
Bobby Jindal – 1%
Rick Santorum – 1%
Carly Fiorina – *
Lindsey Graham – *
George Pataki – *
Jim Gilmore – *

Remember that the top 10 candidates are calculated by an average of the last five major national polls and the winners will be eligible to participate in the FOX News debate. Which polls will be used are still not known. However, the Washington Post incorporated the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll numbers and concludes that these candidates will be eligible for the Fox debate:

Trump – 19.8 percent
Walker – 13.2 percent
Bush – 13 percent
Paul – 6.4 percent
Carson – 6.4 percent
Rubio – 6.2 percent
Huckabee – 5.8 percent
Cruz – 5.8 percent
Christie – 3.2 percent
Kasich – 3.2 percent

Not making the cut: Perry – 2.6 percent, Santorum – 1.4 percent, Jindal – 1.4 percent, Fiorina – 0.6 percent,Pataki – 0.6 percent, Graham- 0.4 percent, and Gilmore – 0 percent.

–Dana

Scott Walker, GOP Bitter Clinger Candidate!

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:31 am

[guest post by Dana]

This weekend, presidential candidate Scott Walker refused to cry uncle about an issue that carries no Constitutional weight, matters little to the majority of the public, and for all appearances, matters even less to the candidate himself:

“I don’t know,” the Republican presidential candidate said Saturday during an appearance before 450 donors to the political network backed by conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch. “I presume he is,” Walker continued when asked if he has had time to check since he set off a firestorm in February when he couldn’t answer if the President is Christian.

“You’re not going to get a different answer than I said before,” Walker said toward the end of a Q&A session moderated by Politico’s Mike Allen. Walker said he’s never asked Obama about his faith. “As someone who is a believer myself, I don’t presume to know someone’s beliefs about whether they follow Christ or not unless I’ve actually talked with him.”

TIME reporter Philip Elliott believes it’s important that you understand how significant and telling it is that Walker didn’t admit that which must be admitted:

Obama is Christian, attends Christian services and has spoken frequently about his Christian faith. During his 2008 campaign, he was held to account for statements made in his Christian church in Chicago. His harshest critics often—wrongly—contend that he a is Muslim.

That’s not enough to settle the matter definitively for Walker. This is as far as he would go: “He said he is, and I take him at his word.”

Bad Walker! Bad uneducated, Bible-thumping Walker! And he wants to be the next president? Seriously??

It’s telling when the media wants to force the hand of a bitter clinger who refuses to cry uncle in the way that they demand, especially when one considers that in a logical, sane and non-partisan world, one man taking another man at his word is a sign of respect.

And why was President Obama’s religion even discussed at the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce event given that the invited candidates had a limited 25 minute Q&A session? Wouldn’t such time have been better spent asking about actual things that matter and directly impact Americans, like Obamacare, the Iran deal, the economy, ISIS, our missing foreign policy, immigration, and any number of administration scandals? You know, issues that actually reveal the candidate’s positions and policies. The issues that Walker is always willing to take questions about and discuss – anytime, anywhere.

–Dana

8/1/2015

Gun Used In Pamela Geller Event Purchased Under Obama’s Fast And Furious Program

Filed under: General — Dana @ 4:42 pm

[guest post by Dana]

It is being reported that the gun used by a terrorist killed at Pamela Geller’s American Freedom Defense Initiative’s (AFDI) “Mohammed Art Exhibit and Contest” in Garland, Texas, was purchased under the Obama administration’s infamous Fast and Furious gun program:

Five years before he was shot to death in the failed terrorist attack in Garland, Texas, Nadir Soofi walked into a suburban Phoenix gun shop to buy a 9-millimeter pistol.

At the time, Lone Wolf Trading Co. was known among gun smugglers for selling illegal firearms. And with Soofi’s history of misdemeanor drug and assault charges, there was a chance his purchase might raise red flags in the federal screening process.

Inside the store, he fudged some facts on the form required of would-be gun buyers.

What Soofi could not have known was that Lone Wolf was at the center of a federal sting operation known as Fast and Furious, targeting Mexican drug lords and traffickers. The idea of the secret program was to allow Lone Wolf to sell illegal weapons to criminals and straw purchasers, and track the guns back to large smuggling networks and drug cartels.

Instead, federal agents lost track of the weapons and the operation became a fiasco, particularly after several of the missing guns were linked to shootings in Mexico and the 2010 killing of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in Arizona.

It seems that Soofi’s purchase may have slipped through the cracks:

Soofi’s attempt to buy a gun caught the attention of authorities, who slapped a seven-day hold on the transaction, according to his Feb. 24, 2010, firearms transaction record, which was reviewed by the Los Angeles Times. Then, for reasons that remain unclear, the hold was lifted after 24 hours, and Soofi got the 9-millimeter.

In spite of the Dept. of Justice sending an “urgent firearms disposition request” to Lone Wolf for more information about Soofi and the gun in order to “assist in a criminal investigation”, the FBI remains unmoved:

The FBI so far has refused to release any details, including serial numbers, about the weapons used in Garland by Soofi and Simpson. Senate investigators are now pressing law enforcement agencies for answers, raising the chilling possibility that a gun sold during the botched Fast and Furious operation ended up being used in a terrorist attack against Americans.

Not only did guns purchased in the Fast and Furious operation find their way into the hands of the Mexican drug cartels, but they also found their way into the hands of a radical Islamic terrorist inside the United States.

–Dana

At Least She Didn’t Shut Down Two Runways At A Busy International Airport, Right?

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:04 am

[guest post by Dana]

It’s a funny how some things never change with those champions of the common man.

Proving the point: Hillary Clinton took a break from her busy schedule of railing against income inequality and pointing out that “democracy can’t just be for billionaires and corporations” when she and her entourage were seen being escorted through a private entrance at the ultra-chic Fifth Avenue landmark, Bergdorf Goodman. Part of the store was put on lockdown so that Hillary would be safe from prying eyes as she was led up to the John Barrett Salon.

Clinton’s stylist, John Barrett, charges $600 for a cut and blow-dry. Hair color, which Clinton admits to, can cost an extra $600.

It reminds me of this from Hillary last year:

“The dream of upward mobility that made this country a model for the world feels further and further out of reach and many Americans understandably feel frustrated, even angry.

It’s good to see at least Hillary living the dream, even if her female Senate staffers and campaign fellows haven’t been as fortunate.

Anyway, Hillary had to rush out of Bergdorf Goodman because she had to pack for her vacation in the Hamptons. *As she passed a small crowd held back by security, she gave a nod to the little people. Lowering herself into the parked limo, she could be heard muttering to Huma Abedin, let them eat cake.

*This probably didn’t happen…

–Dana

Obama Appointee And Bundler Grants Temporary Restraining Order Against Release Of Recordings From Planned Parenthood Annual Meeting

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:53 am

[guest post by Dana]

Unsurprisingly:

A federal judge late Friday granted a temporary restraining order against the release of recordings made at an annual meeting of abortion providers. The injunction is against the Center for Medical Progress, the group that has unveiled Planned Parenthood’s participation in the sale of organs harvested from aborted children.

Judge William H. Orrick, III, granted the injunction just hours after the order was requested by the National Abortion Federation.

Orrick was nominated to his position by hardline abortion supporter President Barack Obama. He was also a major donor to and bundler for President Obama’s presidential campaign. He raised at least $200,000 for Obama and donated $30,800 to committees supporting him, according to Public Citizen.

Even though the National Abortion Federation filed its claim only hours before, Orrick quickly decided in their favor that the abortionists they represent would, ironically, be “likely to suffer irreparable injury, absent an ex parte temporary restraining order, in the form of harassment, intimidation, violence, invasion of privacy, and injury to reputation, and the requested relief is in the public interest.”

–Dana

7/31/2015

Hillary’s Problematic Yoga Emails

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:05 am

[guest post by Dana]

Because nothing raises security alarms like “yoga routines”:

The U.S. intelligence community is bracing for the possibility that former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private email account contains hundreds of revelations of classified information from spy agencies and is taking steps to contain any damage to national security, according to documents and interviews Thursday.

The top lawmakers on the House and Senate intelligence committee have been notified in recent days that the extent of classified information on Mrs. Clinton’s private email server was likely far more extensive than the four emails publicly acknowledged last week as containing some sensitive spy agency secrets.

–Dana

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