Patterico's Pontifications

6/9/2010

Controversy!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:25 pm

There is apparently a controversy of some sort regarding this picture.

For the life of me, I can’t remember what it is.

Going Dutch

Filed under: Environment,Government — DRJ @ 10:29 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

What Obama should have done after the BP Oil Spill:

“Three days after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico, the Dutch government offered to help.

It was willing to provide ships outfitted with oil-skimming booms, and it proposed a plan for building sand barriers to protect sensitive marshlands.

The response from the Obama administration and BP, which are coordinating the cleanup: “The embassy got a nice letter from the administration that said, ‘Thanks, but no thanks,’” said Geert Visser, consul general for the Netherlands in Houston.

Now, almost seven weeks later, as the oil spewing from the battered well spreads across the Gulf and soils pristine beaches and coastline, BP and our government have reconsidered.”

The Obama Administration also turned down Dutch plans and assistance to dredge sand bars to protect fragile coastlines, plans it is now trying to implement. And unlike the American government, the Dutch government actually has a plan:

“Many in the U.S., including the president, have expressed frustration with the handling of the cleanup. In the Netherlands, the response would have been different, Visser said.

There, the government owns the cleanup equipment, including the skimmers now being deployed in the Gulf.

“If there’s a spill in the Netherlands, we give the oil companies 12 hours to react,” he said.

If the response is inadequate or the companies are unprepared, the government takes over and sends the companies the bill.”

Nothing beats American manpower and ingenuity when it gets started, but it sure is hard to get started.

– DRJ

California Reinvents the Primary

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 9:05 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

From Allahpundit at Hot Air:

“When I heard they were voting on a proposition that would create an “open primary,” I thought that meant the standard model — i.e., any voter is free to vote in either primary regardless of party affiliation. I … was drastically wrong.

Despite opposition from party leaders, voters approved Proposition 14 by a 54%-46% margin. The measure would allow voters to pick candidates from any political party during a primary; only the top 2 candidates would advance to a general election, regardless of party.

Supporters of the initiative said it would result in greater voter choice, and that it would lead to more moderate picks for state legislature by bringing independent voters into the primary process. But opponents said the measure would hurt third parties and independent candidates, and that the smaller number of candidates on a general election ballot would end up costing voters a choice.

Follow the link for the legal implications. ***

Ace calls this the death of political parties, which is potentially true in deep blue or deep red states where you might end up with no Republican or Democrat on the ballot in the general election. But even so, I’m intrigued by the possibilities it’ll create for strategic voting.”

Some like it and some don’t. Aphrael is one who likes it. So is California ahead of the curve or over the cliff?

– DRJ

Looking at the Arkansas Democratic Senate Primary

Filed under: 2010 Election,Obama — DRJ @ 6:51 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The White House and labor have had a falling out after the Arkansas Democratic Senate primary won by Senator Blanche Lincoln:

“Shortly after Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) emerged victorious, an anonymous White House aide began spreading word that the President Obama’s political team thought that the money unions had spent on Halter’s candidacy was a massive waste and damaging to the party.

“Organized labor just flushed $10 million of their members’ money down the toilet on a pointless exercise,” the unnamed official said to Politico’s Ben Smith. “If even half that total had been well-targeted and applied in key House races across this country, that could have made a real difference in November.”

The unions aren’t happy with the White House leaks or its message, and the conventional wisdom is that labor won’t support Lincoln in the general election. In addition, union leadership doesn’t view Halter’s loss as a defeat:

“For its part, the AFL-CIO still feels validated by its efforts. “If we can do this in Arkansas, imagine what we can do in other states,” spokesman Eddie Vale said.”

According to Rasmussen, Halter trailed Lincoln by 4-5 points when he entered the race in March. Lincoln ultimately beat Halter 52%-47%, or by 4 points, with black Obama voters giving Lincoln the edge.

The outcome suggests President Obama’s influence in the black community remains strong, but tell me again: How did the union’s $10M make a difference?

– DRJ

Dorothy Rabinowitz on Our “Alien” President

Filed under: Obama,Politics — Jack Dunphy @ 5:14 pm

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Dorothy Rabinowitz captures in words what many have been inchoately sensing for some time. A sample:

A great part of America now understands that this president’s sense of identification lies elsewhere, and is in profound ways unlike theirs. He is hard put to sound convincingly like the leader of the nation, because he is, at heart and by instinct, the voice mainly of his ideological class. He is the alien in the White House, a matter having nothing to do with delusions about his birthplace cherished by the demented fringe.

Read the whole thing.

–Jack Dunphy

“We Need to be Pro-South Carolina, Not Anti-Greene”

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 4:04 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

America has its share of eccentric politicians and political stories with South Carolina’s Governor Wanderlust and the drama surrounding Nikki Haley, but Alvin Greene — the surprising Democratic Senate candidate opposing Sen. Jim DeMint — is hard to beat:

“Alvin Greene, 32, didn’t raise any money. He didn’t have a website. And his opponent was a relatively better-known former legislator, Vic Rawl, who was already preparing for the general election.

Greene was considered such a long shot that his opponent and media didn’t even bother to check his background. If they had, they would have discovered he faces a felony obscenity charge after an alleged encounter with a college student last fall.”

Greene says Democrats should support him:

“The Democratic Party has chosen their nominee, and we have to stand behind their choice,” Greene told the AP at his home in Manning. “The people have spoken. We need to be pro-South Carolina, not anti-Greene.”

That really is the quote of the day.

MORE: AP’s story on Greene.

H/T S.

– DRJ

FBI Sting Targeted Van Der Sloot

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 3:04 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The AP reports Joran Van der Sloot had been paid $15,000 as part of an FBI sting, but he apparently fled to Peru before the sting was completed.

Prosecuting him for a $15,000 extortion plan could have yielded little or no jail time, so it was an understandable decision to try to get more evidence. I don’t think anyone could have known it would end with Stephany Flores’ death.

– DRJ

Nebraska may be Big 10 Bound (Updated)

Filed under: Sports — DRJ @ 2:55 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

A Big 12 source says Nebraska may move to the Big 10 by week’s end:

“An executive at a Big 12 school relayed to The World-Herald on Tuesday that he expects Nebraska to become a member of the Big Ten as early as Friday.”

Bye-bye Huskers from the Big 12. Or Hello, if you’re a Big 10 fan.

– DRJ

UPDATE: It sounds to me like six Big 12 schools may be headed to the PAC-10.

The Definition of a Dirty War

Filed under: Terrorism,War — DRJ @ 2:46 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Sun reports on the despicable Taliban tactics in Afghanistan:

“TALIBAN fighters are burying dirty needles with their bombs in a bid to infect British troops with HIV, The Sun can reveal.
Hypodermic syringes are hidden below the surface pointing upwards to prick bomb squad experts as they hunt for devices.

The heroin needles are feared to be contaminated with hepatitis and HIV. And if the bomb goes off, the needles become deadly flying shrapnel.”

I doubt the Taliban leaders waste their time pondering the ethics of Guantanamo or waterboarding. With adversaries like this, I don’t understand why our leaders do, either.

H/T Drudge Report.

– DRJ

The Impact of Obama’s Offshore Moratorium

Filed under: Economics,Obama — DRJ @ 2:26 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

President Obama decreed a 6-month moratorium on offshore oil exploration as a result of the BP oil spill, a decision that has sent shock waves through the Gulf Coast and the oil industry. Here is one example among thousands:

“In a letter to Louisana’s senators, Cliffe F. Laborde and J. Peter Laborde, Jr., who own and operate a small Louisiana-based shipping company that services oil rigs in the Gulf, argue that President Obama’s decision to shut down 33 deep-water wells for six months “makes no sense and should be reversed.”

“To shut down the entire industry is overkill and analogous to shutting down all commercial air traffic after one plane crash due to pilot error,” they write. The Labordes note that there are 4,000 deepwater wells out of the 50,000 total wells in the Gulf, and that “MMS conducted a safety assessment of each of the deepwater rigs in the days following the blowout and found no significant problems.”

The Labordes, who employ over 200 people and have a $14 million payroll, argue that many oil rig-related jobs will go away and might not ever return.”

The rest of the letter is available at the link.

I also received a letter from someone who worked a lifetime in the oil industry. I’m reprinting it in full beneath the “More” prompt.

– DRJ

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