Patterico's Pontifications

7/31/2007

Stashiu Proved Correct on Gitmo Inmates Who Can’t Leave

Filed under: Terrorism — Patterico @ 4:25 pm

In an interview with me last year, Gitmo psyche nurse Stashiu said:

There were a few detainees there who weren’t actually fighting against the Coalition, but they were fighting their own government and would have been executed if we returned them there. Since we are not allowed to ship someone where we have reason to believe they would face torture or death, they are stuck at GTMO until we can find a country to accept them without killing them. But they were combatants of some sort.

Looks like he was right:

An inmate of Guantanamo Bay who spends 22 hours each day in an isolation cell is fighting for the right to stay in the notorious internment camp.

Ahmed Belbacha fears that he will be tortured or killed if the United States goes ahead with plans to return him to his native Algeria.

Democrat House Majority Whip: A Positive Iraq Report Would Be “A Real Big Problem for Us”

Filed under: General,Scum — Patterico @ 3:53 pm

You think I’m making that up? Think again.

(Thanks to jimboster.)

The HuffPo Reaction to Roberts’s Hospitalization — Thomas Ellers Would Be Shocked!

Filed under: General,Scum — Patterico @ 2:40 pm

Reacting to the news that John Roberts had gone to the hospital, some HuffPo commenters were predictably sympathetic. Truth Matters for America documented some of the lovely HuffPo comments in this post. Among the HuffPo comments TMFA captured were this:

Well, there is a God after all….Let God’s will be done!!!!

and this:

Lets hope he is injured seriously.  Chief Justice John Roberts is a corupt right wing Bush lick ass criminal

and this:

A long stay away from the court would be fine. I won’t lie, I wish him a long painful recovery. In fact, I’m not so sure I care if he recovers.

Charming.

Normally, I wouldn’t concern myself with reporting anonymous hateful comments at a lefty site, because I don’t think blogs should generally be judged by their commenters. But under Glenn Greenwald’s own rules for deciding whether anonymous hateful comments are meaningful, these HuffPo comments count.

This portends trouble ahead. DOJ v. FBI

Filed under: General — WLS @ 1:35 pm

[Posted by WLS] 

Nothing good can come from this:  http://www.nydailynews.com/news/wn_report/2007/07/30/2007-07-30_freeze_dc_lawmen_feud_over_gonzo_.html

It appears that the breach is intentional if the “aides” are to be believed.

I think this goes back to a point I’ve made here before — Gonzales is an outsider at DOJ, and he did not bring any loyalists with him for his staff — smart people he could turn to for advice in difficult times.  The familiar faces he did find when he arrived came from outside DOJ themselves — people like Kyle Sampson who was a former Senate staffer and WH Counsel’s Office member. 

Gonzales also allowed several US Attorneys to fill slots at the top of DOJ by doing double duty or filling AAG and DAG Office positions.  Most of them had been non-DOJ types prior to being appointed US Attorneys. 

 FBI Dir. Mueller, on the other hand, is a long-time DOJ insider, going back to his days in the Reagan Administration DOJ.  When he took over the FBI he started by filling slots in his inner circle with DOJ officials he had worked with in the past, many of whom were working in big US Attorney Offices in New York, Boston, San Fran, and LA.  This was very controversial within the Bureau because those Seventh Floor Director’s Staff positions had always been held by FBI Agents who had been promoted up through the ranks.  Mueller filled out much of his senior staff with non-FBI’ers out of neccessity because Louis Freeh had left behind a layer of loyalists at the top who were not going to play ball with Mueller’s view of what needed to be changed in the FBI culture.   Since they couldn’t be fired, Mueller needed a layer of insulation. 

Over the past 3-4 years, many of Mueller’s staffers that came from DOJ have rotated through Mueller’s staff and are now back at DOJ in senior positions.  I think Mueller’s performance in hearings last week is first public salvo in a war that is about to break out between Mueller’s loyalists at DOJ, and the few senior staff people still with Gonzales at DOJ, and the goal is to force Gonzales to resign.  

Many upper-level management posistions at DOJ are unfilled because the Senate isn’t going to confirm anyone while Gonzales remains, and its hard to get qualified people to take “interim” or “acting” jobs given the circus atmosphere that exists and the limited amount of time remaining on the calendar for this administration.  This is bad for DOJ and its bad for the FBI.  Mueller is taking proactive steps to bring the issue to a head.

A very public fued between Mueller and Gonzales is something that the President probably cannot ignore.  Mueller is a no-nonsense retired Marine, and is a tremendous bureaucratic in-fighter.    He’s got a lot of allies among the GOP on the Hill, and I suspect he is reflecting their view of what needs to happen with Gonzales.

Gonzales doesn’t have much to fight back with – no one credits what he says anymore. 

It was easy for the President to ignore the braying from the Asses like Schumer, Leahy and Durbin.  But, if Mueller throws down with Gonzales, the President has only one option, and that is to pave the way for Gonzales to exit gracefully.        

Richard Cohen: Guns for Me But Not for Thee

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:10 am

Shorter Richard Cohen:

Fred Thompson says guns protect people, but he’s wrong. Guns endanger people. It’s just common sense . . .

. . . except, of course, when I want to use one to defend my home against burglars.

7/30/2007

Wonkette: We Wish John Roberts Would Die

Filed under: General,Scum — Patterico @ 3:46 pm

Wonkette:

Chief Justice John Roberts has died in his summer home in Maine. No, not really, but we know you have your fingers crossed.

B-b-but . . . I thought hate speech was a problem only on prominent righty blogs — not prominent lefty blogs. Didn’t Rick Ellensburg say so?

(Thanks to Michael E.)

Notes From A Proud Global Warming Skeptic (part 10)

Filed under: Environment — Justin Levine @ 10:17 am

[posted by Justin Levine] 

More “consensus” regarding the “science” supposedly showing that global warming is connected to an increase in hurricane activity -

Global warming’s effect on wind patterns and sea temperatures has more than doubled the annual number of hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean over the past century, says a new study by US scientists.

Excerpts from the study by Greg Holland of the National Centre for Atmospheric Research and Peter Webster of Georgia Institute of Technology were released in the United States late on Sunday.

But wait. In the name of scientific “consensus”, let’s just get a confirmation from fellow scientists at Colorado State University -

The global warming arguments have been given much attention by many media references to recent papers claiming to show such a linkage.   Despite the global warming of the sea surface that has taken place over the last 3 decades, the global numbers of hurricanes and their intensity have not shown increases in recent years except for the Atlantic (Klotzbach 2006), where recent hurricane increases are likely a result of naturally occurring multi-decadal Atlantic Ocean circulation variations.

YEARS Named Storms Hurricanes Intense Hurricanes (Cat 3-4-5) Global Temperature Increase

1900-1949                                  189                                     101                                    39

1956-2005                                  165                                      83                                     34                        +0.4 degrees C 

Scientific “consensus” at work. Gotta love it.

[posted by Justin Levine]

7/29/2007

Should Republicans Participate in the YouTube Debate?

Filed under: 2008 Election — Patterico @ 8:10 pm

Apparently people all over the Internet are debating whether Republicans should participate in a CNN/You Tube debate. Why shouldn’t we discuss it here?

I think Republicans should participate — mainly because they will look like wusses if they don’t.

I read the transcript of the Democrat version, and I understand the reluctance. The Democrat debate was dominated by questioners asking: “Why can’t you be more leftist?” And the Republican debate will be dominated by questioners asking: “Why can’t you be more leftist?”

One hard-hitting question ended this way:

Good luck. And, whoever becomes the nominee, I’m pulling for you . . . Go Democrats!

Now that’s playing hardball!

But hey, it’s CNN choosing the questions. What do you expect?

Ed Morrissey suggests that the problem be solved by letting righty bloggers pick the questions. Sorry, but that won’t work. Again, it would look wimpy.

I have an idea of my own. Do the debate, and then set up a new round for each party under these rules:

Each set of candidates answers questions picked by the candidates for the other party.

Democrats pick questions for Republicans, and vice versa.

The potential for interesting questions is limitless.

For example, if I were a Republican selecting questions for the Democrat candidates, I’d pick one from a Truther. I’d want to see the Democrats squirming, forced to choose between alienating the wacky part of their base, and alienating all rational Americans.

Are you starting to see the possibilities?

Whether my proposal is accepted or not, one thing is clear: Republicans have to do this debate. C’mon, guys. Suck it up and do it. You’re going to lose anyway. Why not go out swinging?

7/28/2007

Gonzales Perjury Investigation: Dead?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:46 pm

Regarding Alberto Gonzales’s testimony, John Hinderaker argues:

[T]here is nothing “narrowly crafted,” “legalistic” or “technically correct” about Gonzales’s testimony. It was truthful and fully accurate. He said that the legal controversy did not involve the program that was confirmed by President Bush, in which international communications where one party was associated with al Qaeda were intercepted. That is exactly what the Times reported today. The controversy involved a completely different program, which has been rumored but which the administration has never publicly confirmed. Yet the Times cannot bring itself to admit that Gonzales has been vindicated, and the Senators who called for a perjury investigation have been made to look foolish.

John also points out a false factual assertion in the New York Times coverage of the controversy.

Meanwhile, here is the entirety of Kevin Drum’s “analysis” regarding the Administration’s defense of Gonzales:

Give me a break. Are these guys serious?

Which you do agree with? Power Line’s detailed analysis — or Kevin Drum’s contentless outburst?

I feel certain that your answer depends on your politics.

P.S. Keep in mind that Power Line’s analysis depends on the veracity of anonymous sources that may have an agenda.

If those anonymous sources are correct, however, Democrats will need more than Drum-style grunts of indignation to justify a perjury investigation.

7/27/2007

The Phil Spector Trial: Shaping Up To Be An L.A. Noir Classic (and a First Amendment outrage – but whatever)

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Constitutional Law,Crime,Current Events — Justin Levine @ 2:57 pm

[posted by Justin Levine]

It may not be nearly as epic in scope as the O.J. Simpson trial, but as a huge fan of L.A. noir, I think the Phil Spector trial is one of the most interesting to come along in quite some time.

It has many of the great L.A. noir elements: Has-beens trying to hang on to their former lives, hangers-on trying to define themselves by the company they keep, people on society’s fringes reaping heartache by praying to the false gods of Hollywood sex, fame & fortune. Tragic, sympathetic and lonely figures hoping somehow that the chimerical, empty promises of this town will manage to fill the void – failing to grasp before its too late that they never do.

The entry of Hollywood Madam  Jodi “Babydol” Gibson has added even more to the spice.

As the L.A. Weekly’s Steven Mikulan reports:

(more…)

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