Patterico's Pontifications

3/6/2008

Another Obama Adviser in the News (Updated)

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 7:54 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

An unfortunate Obama adviser tried to go “off the record” after she called Hillary Clinton a monster:

“An adviser to Barack Obama called Hillary Clinton a “monster” during an interview with the Scottish newspaper The Scotsman.

In what the newspaper described as an “unguarded moment,” Obama foreign policy adviser Samantha Power said Clinton was stopping at nothing to catch up to Obama in the Democratic race.

“She is a monster, too — that is off the record — she is stooping to anything,” Power, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, told the newspaper.

In saying it was “off the record,” Power tried to withdraw her remark, but the newspaper explained at the bottom of its story that the interview with Power, who was promoting her book, was established as “on the record” in advance. The newspaper wrote that it was “too late” for her to retract her comment.

Power also told the newspaper that Clinton was appealing to low-income voters by trying to suggest Obama would endanger their jobs. “The amount of deceit she has put forward is really unattractive,” she said.”

I’m sure it’s no fun for a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist to make news rather than report it.

All in all, it was not a great day for Obama advisers.

UPDATE 3/7/2008: Obama adviser Samantha Power apologized for her remarks about Hillary Clinton and resigned from the Obama campaign.

I wonder if her resignation was because of the monster comment or because of her contemporaneous remarks that Obama would have trouble fulfilling his promise to pull out of Iraq?

— DRJ

News on the Times Square Bombing (Updated)

Filed under: Terrorism — DRJ @ 5:11 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Someone is taking credit for the Times Square bombing of a military recruiting office:

“Police are investigating letters that arrived at congressional offices containing a photo of the New York Times Square military recruiting office before it was bombed and the words “We did it.”

A law enforcement official, who spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing, confirmed the letter’s contents and said police are investigating.

At least eight congressional offices have received the letters, FOX News has learned.”

Here’s an AP report of an email from Sen. Feinstein’s office about the message:

“A few offices on the House side have received a letter today addressed to `Members of Congress’ with a picture of a man standing in front of the Times Square recruiting station that was bombed in New York today with the statement `We did it.’ He is standing in front of it with his arms spread out and he’s attached his political manifesto.”

Most people think this sounds like domestic terrorism. If so, who?

UPDATE 3/7/2008: As noted by several commenters, the “We did it” messages were coincidental and unrelated to the Times Square bombing. In related news, the New York Times has an interesting article on the similarities between this bombing and two earlier bombings of Manhattan-area consulates:

“The British Consulate in 2005. The Mexican Consulate last year. And on Thursday, the Times Square military recruiting station. Three bombings with similar devices at three high-profile locations in Manhattan, each occurring at nearly the same time of day, in the predawn hours; each inflicting little damage; none injuring people.

And in each case, someone — most likely a man — seen pedaling away on a bicycle with a hooded jacket or sweatshirt hiding his face.”

Thus, this might be the work of a bicycle-riding serial bomber. Wiki says the Unabomber was named based on his FBI codename: “UNABOM” for “UNiversity and Airline BOMber.” Is this the Manhattan Government Bomber?

— DRJ

Vaccines and Autism

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 4:29 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The government wall between vaccines and autism is starting to crumble, although just barely:

“Government health officials have conceded that childhood vaccines worsened a rare, underlying disorder that ultimately led to autism-like symptoms in a Georgia girl, and that she should be paid from a federal vaccine-injury fund.

Medical and legal experts say the narrow wording and circumstances probably make the case an exception – not a precedent for thousands of other pending claims.

The government “has not conceded that vaccines cause autism,” said Linda Renzi, the lawyer representing federal officials, who have consistently maintained that childhood shots are safe.

However, parents and advocates for autistic children see the case as a victory that may help certain others. Although the science on this is very limited, the girl’s disorder may be more common in autistic children than in healthy ones.”

The girl who is the subject of this case is now 9-years-old. In 2000, she received 5 vaccines in one day, aggravating an underlying mitochondrial condition that led to worsening brain function consistent with autism. The government did not address what about the vaccines was at fault.

I’ll say it for all the naysayers and save you the trouble: This is a rare abnormality. Vaccines do enormous good and we’d all be in trouble without them. The studies show vaccines are overwhelmingly safe, and they are an important tool in the medical arsenal. This is all true, however …

The problems are two-fold. First, we don’t have a good grasp of what abnormalities may be aggravated by vaccines. Second, by definition, children have poorly developed immune systems and vaccines can have unexpected adverse effects in people with very poor immune systems. In fact, the CDC Guide to Contraindications in Vaccines states that vaccines are contraindicated for people with disorders like HIV and severe immune deficiency, and I think it’s more difficult than some care to admit to know where the dividing lines should be drawn.

On the plus side, the medical community will have to deal with this now and that’s good.

NOTE: More at Volokh.com. I guess it’s possible that vaccines caused Hannah’s mitochondrial defect but I assumed she had a pre-existing defect that was aggravated by vaccines. Clearly, the first option is more troubling but even the second is cause for concern because it illustrates that pediatricians don’t know who can safely be vaccinated and who can’t.

— DRJ

The Media, Obama, and the Chicago Way

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 3:24 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Everyone (Hot Air, Instapundit, etc.) is linking this excellent Rick Moran post so click and read the whole thing, but here’s a taste:

“Many of us familiar with Chicago politics have been wondering for months at the apparent disconnect of the media regarding Obama’s relationship to the Chicago political machine. Where did they think this guy came from?

The lack of curiosity by the press about Obama’s connections to one of the most corrupt city governments in the United States should be one of the big media stories of this campaign. While it is true that Obama’s connections to the Machine are not as extensive as many other politicians, I’ve got news for you Obama apologists; try running for any office in Chicago – local, state, or federal – and see how far you get without support from the regular Democrats.”

Moran begins with an analysis of Obama’s first state senate race and ends with today’s Sun Times: “Did Rezko find jobs for Obama staffers?”

NK has been saying this for months so this one is for you, NK.

— DRJ

Obama Adviser Speaks Candidly (Updated)

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 10:50 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Barack Obama has campaigned on the theme he will change how things are done in Washington. He asks people to believe in change and he’s even run an ad entitled Candor.

In keeping with that promise, his foreign policy adviser Susan Rice spoke candidly regarding “the foreign policy credentials of both Democrats against the tableau of Mrs. Clinton’s 3 a.m. phone call advertisement about who would be best prepared for an international crisis” while our children sleep:

“Clinton hasn’t had to answer the phone at three o’clock in the morning and yet she attacked Barack Obama for not being ready,’’ Ms. Rice said. “They’re both not ready to have that 3 a.m. phone call.”

Ba-da-boom.

H/T Instapundit.

UPDATE: See Beldar’s comment that explains the context of Ms. Rice’s comment and shows her point was that only an incumbent can know what it’s like to answer the 3AM phone call.

— DRJ

Rick Ellensburg Taken Apart by Protein Wisdom Blogger

Filed under: 2008 Election,General — Patterico @ 6:38 am

Rick Ellensburg:

Having paid only casual attention to it in the past, I spent several hours yesterday morning reading every “Rezko” article I could find in an attempt to understand as much as possible about the allegations. The point isn’t that there is no credible evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of Obama, although that’s unquestionably true. It’s far beyond that. There aren’t even any theoretical allegations or suggestions as to what he might have done wrong at all.

It’s not news that Ellensburg and his various sock-puppets are making untrue assertions. But it’s worth noting when someone takes apart such assertions as thoroughly as Karl at Protein Wisdom does here.


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