Patterico's Pontifications

8/8/2009

Bravo, Honduras

Filed under: International,Obama — DRJ @ 11:17 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Dan Collins notices some good news in the Miami Herald:

“Signaling a policy shift, the Obama administration is now saying that Manuel Zelaya was responsible for his own ouster in Honduras — and stopping short of calling for his return.”

I hope this also means the Obama Administration will restore the defense and humanitarian aid to Honduras that it suspended after Zelaya’s ouster.

— DRJ

The War Comes Home to Boise, Idaho (Updated)

Filed under: War — DRJ @ 10:30 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Badger6 is back and blogging about fellow soldier SSG George Nickel, the sole survivor of a Falluja IED who brought the war home to Boise, Idaho. Teflon Don is also thinking about SSG Nickel.

UPDATE: Scott Jacobs at The Jury Talks Back has information on the George G. Nickel Fund.

— DRJ

Obama’s Objectives for Afghanistan

Filed under: International,Obama,War — DRJ @ 9:04 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Remember the Bush Administration’s much ridiculed color-coded system for Homeland Security threats? Six years later, the Obama Administration is introducing another color-coded system to help Congress keep track of progress in Afghanistan and Pakistan:

“Along with an array of dozens of numerical indicators, a system of red, yellow and green indicators will help White House and congressional policymakers spot which objectives are in trouble, which are unchanged since the last report, and which are showing significant progress.”

The Administration’s plan reportedly has 9-10 objectives and is described as ambitious:

“The matrix is referred to in the West Wing as “the SIP” — Strategic Implementation Plan. Officials says it’s ambitious enough that they joke it should have been named the GULP.”

It’s good to have goals and objectives but it sounds like the main goal is to give Obama cover if he decides not to send in more troops:

“One aide said: “If the only thing you could change is add more troops and everything else stays the same as today, I think that would be a tough sell because the President would say, ‘Well, wait a second. Do you mean we’re going to throw more troops at this problem? Where’s the civilian effort? Where’s the economic development effort? What’s going on in Pakistan that influences what’s going on in Afghanistan? And how about our international partners? What exactly have they ponied up?’

“So, if I were to take to the President of the United States
a solution that said, ‘Look, let’s dial up the troops,’ he’s going to say, ‘Wait a second. This is like one tenth of the problem here. What about the rest of the story?'”

— DRJ

Nancy Pelosi and the AstroTurfers

Filed under: Government,Politics — DRJ @ 8:07 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Check out this post and photos by El Marco at LookingAtTheLeft regarding Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to Denver’s Stout Street Clinic. The post explains the story behind an intriguing photo in yesterday’s Denver Post in which an Obama supporter was shown ripping up a protester’s sign. The sign had photos of Nancy Pelosi with the caption “Pants On Fire.”

— DRJ

Tim Rutten Gets One Right

Filed under: General — Jack Dunphy @ 5:22 pm

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

You won’t find a headline like that here often, but L.A. Times columnist Tim Rutten makes some valid points in his latest column. Writing on William Bratton’s announced resignation from the LAPD, Rutten questions the propriety of Bratton’s relationship with Michael Cherkasky, for whom Bratton will work after leaving the LAPD in October. Bratton worked for Cherkasky prior to joining the department in 2002, and he in effect answered to him as Cherkasky served as the appointed monitor reporting to the judge overseeing the LAPD’s federal consent decree.

“Both Bratton and Cherkasky have records of unimpeachable integrity,” Rutten writes, “but a decent sense of responsibility toward the crucial public institutions with which they’re involved ought to preclude such conduct.”

My only quibble with Rutten’s column is his assertion that the city “surely would have lost” the federal lawsuit that engendered the consent decree. I am informed that there were veteran lawyers in the city attorney’s office who were confident in their ability to prevail in the trial, as did the city of Torrance when faced with a similar challenge from the Justice Department.

–Jack Dunphy

Shaking a Wobbly Economy

Filed under: Economics,Government,Obama — DRJ @ 4:35 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

There was a time when Democratic leaders criticized Presidents for record unemployment and deficits, but that was with a Republican President. Now Democratic leaders aren’t complaining when Democrat Barack Obama presides over record deficits and thinks losing “only” 247,000 jobs in July 2009 is a positive sign that the recession may have turned the corner.

Obama also thinks this is a good time for health care reform that expands coverage to all Americans, and he claims health insurance reform is vital to long-term economic recovery:

“We’ve begun to put the brakes on this recession and … the worst may be behind us,” Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday. He cited Friday’s Labor Department report that showed a dip in unemployment, but said, “We must do more than rescue our economy from this immediate crisis. We must rebuild it stronger than before.”

He added: “We must lay a new foundation for future growth and prosperity, and a key pillar of a new foundation is health insurance reform.”

This is an interesting change in terminology. Has Obama deliberately changed his focus from health care reform to health insurance reform? If so, it may be because people generally like their health care providers more than they like their insurance companies.

So is this a good time for universal health care/insurance reform? I don’t see how. As Mike K points out, even the French system may be on shaky ground and the last thing a wobbly economy needs is more shaking.

— DRJ

The CBO and the Cost of ObamaCare

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 3:03 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air highlights a CityJournal article by Dr. Stephen T. Parente of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. Parente claims the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of Obama’s health care reform understates its cost by over $1T — more than double the CBO’s estimate. Morrissey concludes that someone should talk to Director Douglas Elmendorf and tell him that the CBO should “check its models once again.”

Maybe someone already did … which could explain why the CBO’s estimate was based on older data and may be understated.

— DRJ

NK Explains ObamaCare

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 2:22 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

NK explains Obamacare. And if you aren’t in the mood for serious economic analysis, he also reminds us that Greek women are more than big weddings and good food.

— DRJ

Deadly Air Crash Over the Hudson (Updated)

Filed under: Current Events — DRJ @ 2:00 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Hudson River was the scene of a deadly air crash around Noon EST today as a small airplane collided with a tour helicopter. There are no survivors.

TV news reports say the plane hit the helicopter from the rear, severing one of the plane’s wings and the helicopter’s rotors. The plane reportedly carried 2 adults and a child, while the helicopter’s occupants included the pilot and 5 Italian tourists.

My condolences.

UPDATE: Fox News has photos.

— DRJ

Justice Sotomayor Takes Oath

Filed under: Judiciary — DRJ @ 1:53 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Justice Sonia Sotomayor has become the newest member of the U.S. Supreme Court today after taking the oath of office. Chief Justice Roberts administered the oath and then said she could “begin work as associate justice without delay.”

The Court is scheduled to begin hearings on September 9.

— DRJ

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