Patterico's Pontifications

8/24/2008

Obama-Clinton Feud is Back (Updated)

Filed under: 2008 Election,Terrorism — DRJ @ 11:16 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

On the eve of the Democratic National Convention, the Politico reports the Obama-Clinton feud has reignited. Bill Clinton wants to talk about himself and his economic legacy but his assigned topic is national security and Obama’s role as Commander-in-Chief:

“That puts [Bill Clinton] in a terrible bind, because you can’t give a ringing endorsement when you’re talking about foreign policy,” a longtime Clinton adviser said. “Obviously, the hard thing to talk about with Obama is commander in chief, of all his many talents.”

“You don’t rah-rah about commander in chief. You rah-rah about hope and change and a new party and all that. So no matter what he does, somebody will find fault with it.”

Hillary Clinton is reportedly handling the transition better than husband Bill but Obama staffers are also irked:

“Some senior Obama supporters are irritated at how they perceive the Clintons fanned — or at a minimum failed to douse — stories that she was not even vetted as a possible vice presidential nominee. This is because she told Obama she preferred not to go through the rigorous process of document production unless she was really a serious contender, an Obama associate noted.

One senior Obama supporter said the Clinton associates negotiating on her behalf act like “Japanese soldiers in the South Pacific still fighting after the war is over.”

Comparing the Clintons and their supporters to diehard Japanese soldiers is not the way to win friends (or enemies) and influence people. Nor is it a good defense to admit Hillary was never really a “serious contender” for Vice President. I guess when Obama said Hillary would be on anyone’s short list, he meant anyone’s but his.

UPDATE 8/25/2008: The Politico’s Ben Smith reports Hillary has decided she will not instruct her delegates how to vote:

“Speaking to reporters after her address to the New York delegation, Clinton offered delegates no instruction on how to cast their votes, Amie Parnes reports.

“I will be telling my delegates that I will vote for Barack Obama,” she said. “How they vote is a more personal decision. They want to have their chance to vote for me. That is what traditionally happens … some people are having to make up their minds because there are arguments pulling them both ways.”

— DRJ

Nancy Pelosi Believes in Natural Gas

Filed under: Environment,Politics — DRJ @ 6:57 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi opposes offshore drilling but today on Meet The Press, Pelosi strongly supported investment in “cheap, abundant and clean” natural gas. Natural gas is produced by drilling, including off-shore drilling.

Pelosi believes so much in natural gas that she’s put $50,000-$100,000 of her own money into a T. Boone Pickens’ investment that emphasizes natural gas:

“MR. BROKAW: You just mentioned natural gas, and you emphasized it as well in your last radio address…

REP. PELOSI: Yeah.

MR. BROKAW: …talking about the energy plan. And then we read in The Wall Street Journal that you and your husband have made a substantial investment in the plan that T. Boone Pickens has put forward, which has a heavy emphasis on natural gas as well.

REP. PELOSI: But let me see if you call substantial 03 three percent of our investments.

MR. BROKAW: Oh, it’s what, between 100 and $200,000.

REP. PELOSI: No, no, it was between 50 and $100,000, and it’s part of an, you know, entrepreneurial package. This is the package we sign up for, this is what they invest in. But that’s not the point. I’m, I’m, I’m investing in something I believe in. I believe in natural gas as a clean, cheap alternative to fossil fuels.

MR. BROKAW: But you’re also in a position to influence where the emphasis will be in where we’re moving.

REP. PELOSI: Well, that’s not–that is, that is the marketplace. The fact is, the supply of natural gas is so big, and you do need a transition if you’re going to go from fossil fuels, as you say, you can’t do it overnight, but you must transition. These investments in wind, in solar and biofuels and focus on natural gas, these are the real alternatives.”

Speaker Pelosi is fortunate that $50-$100K is a de minimus investment in her family. Most of us think $100,000 is a lot of money and believe today’s high energy prices are budget-busters. Now that Pelosi is a believer in natural gas, I hope she will let the House vote on expanded drilling on federal and off-shore lands.

— DRJ

Barack Obama is Cool

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 3:23 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

David Ignatius at the Washington Post notes how different Barack Obama’s cool leadership style is from the brawling, partisan attitudes of the Democratic leadership such as Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Ignatius spends most of the article detailing the bulldog-style, intemperate remarks, and hyper-partisanship of Pelosi and Reid but he concludes with some wishful thinking:

“It’s a virtue for Obama that he seems to be above the fray — so long as he shows the toughness and hands-on leadership to steer his party and the country out of what has been a dark, partisan period into something better and brighter.”

Barack Obama isn’t above the fray and he’s not running for coolest guy in America. He’s running for President, our nation’s highest leadership and political position. Wishing he can solve every political problem when even his own Party’s leaders are hyper-partisans is absurd and dangerous thinking.

One person can’t solve the problems of the world but a weak leader can make things a whole lot worse.

— DRJ

GPS Used to Track Truants (Updated)

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Education — DRJ @ 1:57 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

San Antonio court authorities recently announced a 6-month pilot program covering approximately 50 high school students that will use GPS ankle bracelets to track truants:

“We are at a critical point in our time where we can either educate or incarcerate,” [Bexar County Justice of the Peace Linda] Penn said, linking truancy with juvenile delinquency and later criminal activity.

Penn said students in the program will wear the ankle bracelets full-time and will not be able to remove them. They’ll be selected as they come through her court, and Penn will target truant students with gang affiliations, those with a history of running away and skipping school, and those who have been through her court multiple times.”

The Texas ACLU applauded efforts to keep kids in school but was concerned about privacy issues since students can be tracked full-time, including during after-school hours.

The article mentions that this program has already been used in other Texas communities, although I wasn’t aware of it. It’s an aggressive program and, in my opinion, a close call. There are legitimate privacy concerns but students who drop-out of school are the biggest losers. There may also be racial issues since drop-outs are often minorities, especially Hispanics, in many Texas communities.

It reminds me of that old saying: Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face. Foreclosing aggressive efforts to keep kids in school could preserve students’ privacy but sacrifice their futures.

UPDATE 8/25/2008: I didn’t realize it but this program started 10 years ago in West Texas where I live. This online article describes how successful it’s been and why it’s spreading to other cities in Texas, including San Antonio.

— DRJ

Meet the Newest L.A. Times Book Reviewer: Seymour Butz

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 11:09 am

Sigh. The kids really are in charge at the Los Angeles Dog Trainer nowadays.

A (favorable) review of a book by Sandra Tsing Loh contains the following actual line, which I am not making up:

Loh is a cunning linguist who’s honed her craft over 20 years, and it shows.

(My emphasis — which is hardly needed.)

Well, it probably got a chuckle from Sam Zell.

The review is by Mike Hunt Hugh Jass Amanda Huginkiss Susan Carpenter.

UPDATE: I found the first draft of the book review! You can read it here.

UPDATE x2: More from Amy Alkon. Also, Todd Everett apparently saw this before I did. Also, he is terribly disappointed with the lack of maturity you all have shown. (I don’t think he’d be very happy with the first draft linked in the initial update!)

UPDATE x3: The L.A. Times seems quite pleased with the buzz. I guess, to them, there’s no such thing as bad publicity.


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