Patterico's Pontifications

6/12/2009

Holocaust Museum Shooter Left a Note (Updated)

Filed under: Crime,Obama,Terrorism — DRJ @ 2:05 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

James von Brunn reportedly left a note in his car that included these statements:

“You want my weapons – this is how you’ll get them. The Holocaust is a lie. Obama was created by Jews. Obama does what his Jew owners tell him to do. Jews captured America’s money. Jews control the mass media. The 1st Amendment is abrogated – henceforth. See: holywesternempire.org. JVB swore (LT USNR) to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Jews – Bolsheviks – Zionist are America’s enemies. See: Talmud – Sanhedrin “Kill the Best Gentiles!”

UPDATE: Strong words from von Brunn’s son:

“I cannot express enough how deeply sorry I am it was Mr Johns, and not my father who lost their life,” the shooter’s Florida-based son said.

Erik von Brunn said his father’s hatred for racial minorities and Jews destroyed his family, and resulted in the divorce between him and Erik’s mother.”

— DRJ

Congress Passes “Historic” Anti-Smoking Legislation

Filed under: Government,Obama — DRJ @ 1:09 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Although (or maybe because) he’s still struggling with his smoking addiction, Barack Obama spoke approvingly today of new tobacco legislation that “for the first time will give the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate what goes into tobacco products, demand changes or elimination of toxic substances and block the introduction of new products.”

The legislation also calls for bigger warning labels, bans tobacco-related sponsorships of sports and entertainment events, also bans advertising within 1000 feet of schools and playgrounds, and restricts sales of sweetened, candy, light or mild cigarettes. The goal is to reduce the number of total smokers, especially teen smokers.

I’m not a smoker and the people in my family aren’t either so it’s easy to take a “So what?” attitude to this law. But it’s one more step in giving the government control over our lives. Next, I expect Congress will expand the FDA’s oversight and regulation of alternative medicine and health food products.

— DRJ

Obama Fires AmeriCorps IG; Michelle Involved? (Updated)

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 9:56 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Washington Examiner has background on Obama’s sudden firing of Gerald Walpin, the Inspector General (IG) of the the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS):

“The White House is going ahead with firing Walpin. The firing apparently stems from Walpin’s investigation of a non-profit group, St. HOPE Academy, run by Kevin Johnson, the former NBA star who is now mayor of Sacramento, California (and a big Obama supporter). “[Walpin] found that Johnson, a former all-star point guard for the Phoenix Suns, had used AmeriCorps grants to pay volunteers to engage in school-board political activities, run personal errands for Johnson and even wash his car,” the AP reports. In April, the U.S. attorney declined to file any criminal charges in the matter and criticized Walpin’s investigation. But at the same time Johnson and St. HOPE agreed to repay about half of the $850,000 it had received from AmeriCorps.

Bottom line: The AmeriCorps IG accuses prominent Obama supporter of misusing AmeriCorps grant money. Prominent Obama supporter has to pay back more than $400,000 of that grant money. Obama fires AmeriCorps IG.”

Youth Today reports some decisions were made by Michelle Obama:

“Some decisions about CNCS are being made by First Lady Michelle Obama, according to service advocates (who asked not to be named). Last week, Mrs. Obama announced that her chief of staff, Jackie Norris, would move to CNCS as a senior adviser. Officials said yesterday that Norris is scheduled to arrive on June 22.”

Hope and Change, folks.

— DRJ

UPDATE 6/13/2009: Byron York has more.

NOW Inducts Letterman Into Media Hall of Shame

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:52 am

NOW has inducted David Letterman into its “media hall of shame,” even as Letterman has clarified that he hadn’t meant to target Willow Palin, but rather Bristol Palin.

Why that somehow makes it appropriate, I have no idea. Why her family is an appropriate target of late-night TV jokes — funny or not — I have no idea.

I have to say that, if I were a member of NOW, I might actually have been more offended at the comparison of Palin to a “slutty flight attendant.” On one level it’s a fairer shot because at least it’s directed at Palin herself. The problem is, I’ve never seen Palin present herself in a “slutty” fashion. What did Palin ever do to deserve that remark — other than, of course, to be attractive? Is being an attractive woman somehow offensive to David Letterman?

Sen. Conrad Reveals Trouble for Obamacare

Filed under: General — Karl @ 5:41 am

[Posted by Karl]

Late on Thursday, the WaPo’s Ezra Klein found out that Obamacare is running into more problems than he thought. Here’s the summary:

Earlier today, Sen. Kent Conrad, the North Dakota Democrat who chairs the Senate Budget Committee, introduced a “potential compromise” on the public plan: A system of federally-chartered co-ops that could offer a non-profit alternative to the for-profit insurance industry. In this telling, the co-ops preserve the central feature of the public plan — they’re a competitor to the traditional insurance industry — but are free from the baggage of government control.

I spoke to the Senator this evening about the co-op model, and he said a few things that surprised me. First, his search for an alternative was on behalf of the G-11 — the key Senate powerbrokers on health care. Second, it proceeded from the premise that the public plan doesn’t have the votes. All Republicans are opposed and, according to Conrad, “at least three Democrats.” And third, he thinks reconciliation is basically out as a viable option for comprehensive health reform. (Emphases added.)

Klein certainly should have known that trying to railroad Obamacare through as part of the budget reconciliation process would be problematic in the Senate. Indeed, I blogged his explanation of why this was so back in March.

For that matter, Klein’s own reporting on efforts to weaken or delay any public plan also should have warned him that the patient was suffering from internal bleeding. Since then, there have been only more stories about centrist Senators, Blue Dogs in the House and the AMA distancing themselves from any “strong” public plan.

So, what to make of Sen. Conrad’s latest trial balloon? Here is his spin:

The co-op structure came to mind because it seems to fulfill at least some of the desires of both sides. In terms of those who want a public option because they hope to have a competitive delivery model able to take on the private insurance companies, a co-op model has attraction.

And for those against a public option because they fear government control, the co-op structure has some appeal because its not government control. It’s membership control, and membership ownership.

Also the co-op model has proven very effective across many different models. Ocean Spray in the cranberry business, and Land of Lakes in the dairy business, and Puget Sound in the health care business.

What Conrad does not say is that Ocean Spray settled a lawsuit a few years ago which alleged that the co-op engaged in anti-competitive practices and abused its dominant position to drive rivals out of business. Conrad also did not mention that the Health Care Purchasers Association on Puget Sound pretty much had the field to itself after Washington state passed a disastrous (and now mostly-repealed) Clinton-style healthcare takeover. Thus, it does not seem as though Conrad’s co-ops are much more about competition than the “strong” public plan. The good news is how quickly the Democrats are already having to find new ways to try to fool the public.

–Karl


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