Patterico's Pontifications

3/30/2010

Violence Crosses the Southern Border

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 11:12 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

A prominent Arizona rancher was shot and killed Saturday and authorities suspect the perpetrator was an illegal immigrant:

“At a news conference Monday, Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever said Krentz was out checking water line and fencing on the land Krentz’s family has ranched since 1907. Krentz had weapons with him in his all-terrain vehicle but didn’t use them, according to Dever.

Investigators said Krentz apparently came upon one person when he was shot. Krentz was heard telling his brother “illegal alien” on the radio earlier Saturday, and the area of the slaying is a known smuggling corridor, according to authorities.

While Krentz was still in his vehicle, mortally wounded, he managed to drive the ATV away from the scene at a high rate of speed before becoming unconscious. The ATV still had its lights on and the engine running when authorities found it.

Foot tracks were identified and followed approximately 20 miles south to the Mexico border by sheriff’s deputies, U.S. Border Patrol trackers and Department of Corrections dog chase teams, authorities said.”

The motive may have been retaliation for turning in drug smugglers:

“Dever told a Tucson newspaper that while investigators don’t have a motive yet, retaliation has been raised as a possibility. The day before the shooting, the victim’s brother, Phil Krentz, reported drug smuggling activity on the ranch to the Border Patrol.

Agents found 290 pounds of marijuana on the ranch and followed tracks to where they found and arrested eight illegal immigrants. All were still in custody when the shooting occurred.”

New Mexico and Arizona leaders have requested an enhanced Border Patrol presence at the border in response to this killing, but it’s not just ranchers who are at risk. Both local ranchers and Border Patrol agents face heightened dangers:

“Drug smugglers have apparently set “booby traps” for U.S. Border Patrol agents on roads along the border near Deming [NM] , agency officials said Monday.

The devices consist of barbed wire stretched like clotheslines across trails used by agents on all-terrain vehicles. The lines, which are difficult to spot, are about four feet off the ground and appear to be intended to knock a rider off the ATV.”

Meanwhile, the violence continues in Juarez, including 5 men who were gunned down in an auto shop and another who was killed in his bed.

— DRJ

Reinventing Student Loans

Filed under: Government,Obama — DRJ @ 7:34 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

A side effect of the passage of health care is the Obama Administration’s reinvention of student loans into a government program. Here’s how it will work:

“Starting July 1st, when the government issues student loans, it will bypass the banks who have traditionally provided them, and directly target borrowers.

A White House press release spells it out this way, “[A]ll new federal student loans will be direct loans, delivered and collected by private companies under performance-based contracts with the Department of Education. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, ending these wasteful subsidies will free up nearly $68 billion for college affordability and deficit reduction over the next 11 years.”

But some in the President’s own party say eliminating the middle man also equals eliminating jobs.

But the President’s focus today will be more about what the bill does than what it does not.

He will also talk about the provision’s less controversial expansion of Pell Grants, as well as supporting historically black and minority institutions and caps on student loan repayments.

According to the White House, “New borrowers who assume loans after July 1, 2014, will be able to cap their student loan repayments at 10 percent of their discretionary income and, if they keep up with their payments over time, will have the balance forgiven after 20 years.”

I won’t bother complaining about how Obama is inserting the government into every area of American lives and working to shrink capitalism. But I’m curious how those loan cap recipients will react when they figure out they will have to give the government detailed proof of their annual income and expenses for 20 years, or until they pay off their student loans?

Maybe they will be so grateful for the loan forgiveness that they won’t care but most people wouldn’t like having to provide the government with a list of all their expenses and letting a bureaucrat pore over them to decide which expenses are necessary and which are discretionary … for 20 years.

— DRJ

UPDATE: More on repayment caps below.

(more…)

Piling On the Republicans (Updated)

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 6:05 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Jim Treacher says too bad if the Conventional Wisdom says right-wing websites shouldn’t pile on when Republicans make mistakes … because The DC is covering the story about how the RNC entertains at a WestHollywood bondage-themed night club anyway:

“Sorry, rightosphere, but if the GOP is going to be the party of fiscal responsibility, it needs to get a handle on this kind of stuff. If one of our reporters finds a story that might make Republicans look bad, we’re under no obligation to sweep it under the rug. Then we’d be no better than media outlets that try to hide what they know about Democrats. Not that they’d ever do that…

P.S. Not to tell Michael Steele his business, but “I couldn’t have been spending exorbitant amounts of donor money at that bondage-themed nightclub in LA, because I was spending exorbitant amounts of donor money flying back from our winter retreat in Hawaii” might not play as well as he hopes.”

They are also reporting that RNC Chairman Michael Steele wanted to use RNC funds to buy a private jet for his use.

— DRJ

UPDATE: Prof. William Jacobson at Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion is not happy with The Daily Caller:

“… the only story of “substance” broken so far by the Daily Caller was the expense of $2000 by the RNC at a strip club, for which a staffer has been fired.

While this may be a legitimate news issue, it hardly fits the Daily Caller’s mission statement, to balance out the lack of journalistic examination of the Obama administration.

The mainstream media and left-wing blogosphere (including Huffington Post) are all over every move the RNC and Republicans make, while ignoring and covering up any and all possible problems in Democrat land.

Daily Caller may have earned a news cycle by piling on, but it hasn’t earned any respect. From anyone.”

That’s a valid point but this is one of the few times I disagree with Prof. Jacobson about something. Holding Republicans accountable is as important to the future of the GOP as holding Democrats accountable, especially now that the Tea Party movement is watching both parties.

All Things Obama

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 5:47 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

I can’t decide what to talk about: Maybe Obama’s rejuvenated Presidency, exemplified by his Today Show interview where he said “Nothing succeeds like success in this town.”

Or a photo comparison of Obama vs Bush with America’s military troops.

Or maybe today’s meeting with French President Sarkozy in which Obama vowed to seek sanctions against Iran this Spring, maybe even “in weeks.”

Say, how about a caption contest (via Drudge):

Dynamic Duo

— DRJ

Global Warming vs Democracy

Filed under: Environment — DRJ @ 4:01 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Scientist James Lovelock has no sympathy for the East Anglia scientists caught fudging climate data, and he’s grateful for global warming skeptics who help maintain scientific standards. But he still thinks humans are too stupid to make good decisions about climate change and democracy is an obstacle to those decisions:

“I don’t think we’re yet evolved to the point where we’re clever enough to handle a complex a situation as climate change,” said Lovelock in his first in-depth interview since the theft of the UEA emails last November. “The inertia of humans is so huge that you can’t really do anything meaningful.”

One of the main obstructions to meaningful action is “modern democracy”, he added. “Even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being. I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while.”

Lovelock believes democracy won’t work when it comes to big problems because people are too stupid to understand the problems or the solutions. I disagree. People will buy big ideas, but global warming advocates don’t have the facts to sell their claims.

Sometimes scientists are like salesmen: They blame the buyer when it’s the product that doesn’t work.

H/T Instapundit.

— DRJ


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