Patterico's Pontifications

10/2/2009

Always Dress for Success

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 9:14 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

A New York City man arrested on robbery charges escaped Wednesday from a Manhattan courthouse after he was mistaken for an attorney:

“[Ronald] Tackman was brought to court from the Rikers Island jail Wednesday for an appearance on a string of robbery charges.

He had been wearing a business suit when a court officer spotted him and mistook him for an attorney.”

Tackman was spotted exiting a bus on Thursday and taken back into custody. The New York Post has Tackman’s photo and more on his flamboyant criminal history.

– DRJ

Olympic Politics

Filed under: International,Obama — DRJ @ 3:00 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Chris Rudge, CEO and Secretary General of the Canadian Olympic Committee, explains how the IOC thinks:

This is a world that is driven by 115 very unique and special people, who look at the world as the IOC members and then there’s world royalty, and then there’s heads of state and then there’s major corporate leaders and then there’s the rest of you riff raff, and so they’re accountable only to themselves,” he said, “There are lot of quid pro-quo exchange favors there and these decisions can become very, very personal. The merit of the bid is important, but the world politics is important.”

Rudge remarked that if he were American, he would find the final tally “insulting” but U.S. IOC member Anita De Frantz says while the vote was “shocking” she disagrees.

“I think the best explanation is that a number of members wanted to go to a different part of the world,” De Frantz said. “

President Obama’s concession speech was very gracious, and I join him in congratulating Brazil and Rio de Janeiro. It should be a festive Olympics.

– DRJ

“Obama’s French Lesson”

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 1:31 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Today’s don’t-miss read is this Krauthammer column. Here’s a small taste:

“Bismarck is said to have said: “There is a providence that protects idiots, drunkards, children, and the United States of America.” Bismarck never saw Obama at the U.N.”

Leading up to that, Krauthammer explains Obama’s naive foreign policy, Sarkozy’s irritation (to put it mildly) with Obama’s approach to dealing with Iran and nuclear weapons, and another example of Obama’s supreme ego.

As Don Imus said in another context, this won’t end well.

– DRJ

NAMBLA Supporter Inspired Obama’s Safe Schools Czar

Filed under: Government,Obama — DRJ @ 1:19 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Following up on an earlier post about Obama’s new Safe Schools Czar Kevin Jennings, the Washington Examiner reports Jennings was inspired by Harry Hay, a gay rights pioneer who was a strong supporter of NAMBLA:

“Kevin Jennings, President Obama’s Assistant Deputy Secretary of the Office of Safe and Drug FreeSchools at the U.S. Department of Education, is in hot water this week for having failed to report that a 15-year-old sophomore student in his school had told him of having sex with an older man.

But failure to report what appeared to be a case of statuatory rape of a child may be the least of Jennings’ worries. Lori Roman of Regular Folks United points to statements by Jennings a decade or more ago when he praised Harry Hay of the North American Association for Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), which promotes the legalization of sexual abuse of young boys by older men.

Roman provides damning details and links here. She also notes that Jennings wrote the forward “to a book called Queering Elementary Education. And another fellow you may have heard of wrote one of the endorsements on the book jacket—Bill Ayers.” Ayers, of course, is the Weather Underground bomber from the 1960s who is just an “acquaintance” of Obama.”

Roman’s link includes the transcript of a speech Jennings gave in 1997. Here is the portion concerning Harry Hay and NAMBLA, but read the entire thing:

One of the people that’s always inspired me is Harry Hay, who started the first ongoing gay rights groups in America. In 1948, he tried to get people to join the Mattachine Society [the first American homosexual “rights” group]. It took him two years to find one other person who would join. Well, [in] 1993, Harry Hay marched with a million people in Washington, who thought he had a good idea 40 years before. Everybody thought Harry Hay was crazy in 1948, and they knew something about him which he apparently did not—they were right, he was crazy. You are all crazy. We are all crazy. All of us who are thinking this way are crazy, because you know what? Sane people keep the world the same [sh*tty] old way it is now. It’s the people who think, ‘No, I can envision a day when straight people say, ‘So what if you’re promoting homosexuality?’ Or straight kids say, ‘Hey, why don’t you and your boyfriend come over before you go to the prom and try on your tuxes on at my house?’ That if we believe that can happen, we can make it happen. The only thing that will stop us is our lack of faith that we can make it happen. That is our mission from this day forward. To not lose our faith, to not lose our belief that the world can, indeed, be a different place. And think how much can change in one lifetime if in Harry Hay’s one very short life, he saw change from not even one person willing to join him to a million people willing to travel to Washington to join him. You can see the same changed happen in your lifetime if you believe you can.”

There’s more on Harry Hay here. In addition to being a long-time gay rights activist, Hay was known for his “persistent support of NAMBLA’s right to march in gay-pride parades.”

– DRJ

We’re No. 4! (Updated)

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 12:36 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

With the strong support of President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Oprah, Chicago came in fourth out of four in the race for the 2016 Olympics:

“Chicago was bounced in the first round, bringing an audible gasp from the crowd. The elimination came so quickly—more than an hour before the final announcement—that people were still excitedly talking among themselves when IOC President Jacques Rogge announced: “The city of Chicago, having obtained the least number of votes, will not participate in the next round.”

Many weren’t sure what Rogge had said, and turned to each other to ask. Some just stood for a few minutes, staring at the screens, and at least one flung his hands into the air in a crude gesture toward the TVs. Within seconds, people began filing out of the plaza, though many stayed to see Rio de Janeiro ultimately chosen as the winner.”

The President is disappointed:

“President Barack Obama is “disappointed” Chicago missed getting the 2016 Olympic Games but doesn’t regret putting so much on the line to argue for it, his chief spokesman said Friday.

Talking to reporters aboard Air Force One as Obama and his wife Michelle flew back to Washington, Robert Gibbs said Obama “feels obviously proud of his wife for the presentation that she made.” Mrs. Obama had gone to Copenhagen ahead of her husband and had lobbied hard for the Summer Games to be brought to her hometown and his adopted hometown.

“Absolutely,” Gibbs replied, when asked whether Obama was glad he’d made such a large commitment to lobbying for the Games. He said the president “would never shy away from traveling anywhere, talking to anyone about this country.

But he can’t find the time to talk to General McChrystal and Fox News. [EDIT: Obama has spoken with McChrystal twice in two days: Once by video on Thursday and again Friday in Copenhagen.]

And did Obama just throw Michelle under the Copenhagen bus?

– DRJ

UPDATE 1: Via Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., check out the fun Top Ten Reasons Chicago Didn’t Get the Olympics.

UPDATE 2 — This Houston Chronicle blog has Dan Rather’s analysis:

“By any objective analysis, he gambled, and he lost,” Rather said. “At a time that we have two wars, Afghanistan and Iraq, the economy is still not in ideal shape, health care (is) hanging in the balance, people, and not just people who are opposed to President Obama, some of his friends said this is a bit of a gamble, because with all these big, abiding problems he takes time out to advertise his home town for the Olympics. ‘Is this the best use of his time? Is this real presidential leadership?’ I want to emphasize that is not my own view, but that view is out there.

“If he had come back with the Olympics, a great deal of that would have been muted. But since he didn’t, it’s inevitable that there will be talk that he wasted his time, and at a bad time.”

The Most Unbelievable Clip You’ll See All Week

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:21 am

This is a must-watch: Democrat Senator Tom Carper defiantly saying that of course he’s not going to read the health care legislation, because everybody knows it’s incomprehensible. So why would you bother to read that gibberish when nobody can understand it anyway?

You think I’m exaggerating?

I don’t expect to actually read the legislative language, because reading the legislative language is among the more confusing things I’ve ever read in my life. . . . When you get into the legislative language, Sen. Conrad actually read some of it, several pages of it, the other day, and I don’t think anybody had a clue, including people who had served on this committee for decades, what he was talking about.

You have to laugh, to keep from crying:

This is Exhibit A in support of Beldar’s proposed amendment requiring legislators to read bills they vote on:

Every time I deal with a federal statute in the context of giving legal advice to a client — which is an utterly basic function of being a lawyer — I have to actually read and then understand the statute. My failure to do so would be malpractice per se — something absolutely indefensible, something never excusable under any circumstances. As soon as I admitted or it was otherwise proven that I didn’t read and understand the statute, the only question in a malpractice case would be the size of the damage award against me.

But if that’s an utterly basic function of being a lawyer who merely advises private clients on how the law may or may not apply, shouldn’t it be an even more basic function of a law-maker, a legislator, who creates the laws that apply to an entire country?

Seems pretty basic to me.

Poland Recently Criminalized Justifying Pedophilia

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:08 am

I already knew that Poland had recently passed a law requiring chemical castration for pedophiles. But I didn’t know about this part:

Polish MPs have passed legislation making it obligatory to chemically castrate certain sex offenders.

Under the law anyone found guilty of raping children under 15, or close relatives, will be given drugs to lower their sex drive. . . . They were part of a bill that also increases jail terms for incest and paedophilia, and criminalises any attempt to justify paedophilia.

I wonder what the foreign minister’s wife thinks about this.

Thanks to Jackie T.

ObamaCare Rock: How a bill gets to the Senate floor

Filed under: General — Karl @ 6:27 am

[Posted by Karl]

What happens after the Senate Finance Committee works its way through the Baucus bill? In theory, Sen. Schumer and other libs could vote against it for failing to include a “public option,” but that would just be too funny to be true. So how does ObamaCare get to the Senate floor? Lefty blogger (and fmr. Capitol Hill aide) David Waldman has a useful overview of the process.

If the Democrats are serious about trying to ram ObamaCare through using the budget reconciliation process, the Baucus bill and the Kennedy-Dodd HELP bill would have to go through the Budget Committee. But that committee does not do any of the reconciling. Instead, it is required to essentially bundle the two bills together. Waldman adds:

Here it should also be noted that I have been unable to determine clearly whether or not the HELP bill, as it now stands, would even qualify for inclusion in a reconciliation bill. I am not certain whether it complies with the reconciliation instructions contained in the budget resolution which kicked this process off back in April.

Keith Hennessey has similarly noted that in reconciliation, the bill must not increase the long-term budget deficit, in any year beyond 2014 or by more than $5 billion in any of the four decades beginning in 2020. Hennessey wrote that “may be practically impossible,” which is why I am less sold on the threat of reconciliation than Hennessey has been lately.

The alternative to reconciliation seems to be a merged bill put together by Sen. Maj. Ldr. Harry Reid and the relevant committee chairmen (Harkin and Baucus, possibly Conrad). Reid has the power to bring such a bill to the floor through the magic of Senate Rule XIV. However, as Waldman notes, this is where the GOP enters the picture:

The Senate won’t have a formal debate on the ground rules for consideration of the bill the way the House will. They work their deals out privately and off the floor, if a deal can be reached at all. Anything they work out will then be memorialized in an unanimous consent request made and agreed to on the floor. That’s where they’ll make any agreements regarding what amendments might be offered, whether they’ll permit “painless filibusters” that require certain amendments (or all amendments, possibly) to garner 60 votes in order to succeed, etc. It’s highly likely that this would be the point at which public option opponents would use procedure to write out the possibility of passing any amendments that would put it back into the bill. Republicans might be tempted to forgo the opportunity to try to block the bill from coming to the floor at all, in exchange for an agreement that would virtually assure them that there’d be no public option in it, at least at this stage.

If there’s no unanimous consent agreement reached to bring the bill to the floor, Democrats have the option of trying to bring it up by a majority vote on a “motion to proceed to consideration” (or “motion to proceed” for short). That’s just what it sounds like: a motion that the Senate begin consideration of some bill or resolution. But like just about anything else in the Senate, that motion is debatable, which means it’s subject to a filibuster. You can, and these days often do, find yourself having to file for cloture on a motion to proceed. If that’s the case, you’ll have to make the motion, file for cloture, vote on cloture, and if you win, you then have to vote on the motion. Just winning cloture doesn’t do it by itself. Assuming you pass the motion (which would need just a majority), you get to move on to actually considering the bill itself. And if it required cloture just to get to a vote on whether or not to vote on starting debate, you can bet the bill itself will require a cloture motion, too. Which would be (at least) a third vote before you even get to a vote on final passage. Just two of those votes would require 60, though — the cloture motions. The motion to proceed and the vote on final passage would only require a majority. (Emphasis added.)

So there is another reason to think that the Democrats are likely to dump “public option” in the Senate.

There remains the much larger problem with the bill as John Hood reminds us:

It is critically important that we all understand what will happen if a Baucus-type bill passes even without a government-run plan or government-sponsored cooperatives. Once the federal government enacts a mandate that businesses or individuals purchase government-approved health insurance — along with new regulations that essentially abolish real insurance in favor of mandatory, prepaid health care for all comers — the resulting political dynamic will lead inevitably to the unraveling of the private market and a government takeover in the future. Once lawmakers and the special-interest lobbyists they listen to gain the ability to dictate the details of health plans to unwilling buyers, consumer-driven health care will be doomed.

The problem, then, isn’t a “public option.” It’s a government mandate.

The GOP is only now getting around to this key realization. In addition to pointing out that the mandate is an assault on liberty that will likely result in soaring premiums and soaring healthcare costs (and from there to rationing), Republicans might start pointing out that ObamaCare is not insurance, it’s welfare.

Addendum: After this piece was posted at the HotAir Greenroom, Sen. Harkin said Republicans will not be at the table when the Senate merges the health-care bills, which was to be expected. Sen. Reid said there will be a “public option” in whatever bill comes out of Congress, which has to be his public position, both to placate the left and establish a negotiating position with the GOP.  Of course, the Dems would love a strong “public option” if they can get it, but the public statements of all sides should be taken with a grain of salt at this juncture.

–Karl


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