Patterico's Pontifications


RNC Chairman Steele: Afghanistan Can’t Be Won

Filed under: Politics,War — DRJ @ 2:17 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele will spend the Independence Day weekend doing damage control because of this statement:

“Steele was fending off calls for his resignation from conservative commentators for his comment that the Afghanistan war was not a conflict the United States wanted to engage in. Steele at a Thursday fundraiser questioned why President Barack Obama did not understand that “one thing you don’t do, is engage in a land war in Afghanistan.”

MOREAllahpundit has more of the quote:

“Keep in mind again, federal candidates, this was a war of Obama’s choosing. This was not something that the United States had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in,” he said. “But it was the president who was trying to be cute by half by building a script demonizing Iraq, while saying the battle really should be in Afghanistan. Well, if he is such a student of history, has he not understood that you know that’s the one thing you don’t do, is engage in a land war in Afghanistan?”

Time for a poll:

[Note: I moved the poll beneath the “MORE” prompt because loading is slowing down the website.]


Arrests Made in U.S. Consulate Murders (Updated)

Filed under: Crime,International — DRJ @ 2:03 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Mexican authorities have arrested two alleged cartel members in the March 2010 murders of two Americans, including a U.S. Consulate worker who they claim was providing passports to cartel members. If these allegations are correct, the cartels’ corruption and violence isn’t just in Mexico anymore.


UPDATEThe AP reports Enriquez did not work in the passport/visa area.

A New Era in U.S.-Afghan Relations, Take 4

Filed under: International,Obama — DRJ @ 1:52 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

General David Petraeus is doing what President Obama promised to do — talking to allies like Afghan President Hamid Karzai:

“A phone call from Gen. David Petraeus helped persuade President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan to approve a plan to lure Taliban fighters back into society, the New York Times reports.”

President Obama’s public criticism of Karzai failed to convince him to accept the U.S. position. Petraeus is obviously not the nuanced leader Obama is.

Day 74: Waiting on the A-Whale

Filed under: Environment,Government,Obama — DRJ @ 1:32 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Day 74 after the Oil Spill and the A-Whale is still waiting in the Gulf for the Coast Guard to give it permission to start skimming oil:

My partial transcript (emphasis supplied):

“Right now the crew of this ship is waiting on final permission from the Unified Command to start skimming oil in the Gulf of Mexico. There’s a couple of issues that are being looked at right now. First of all, one of them is a safety issue. A ship this big out on the Gulf of Mexico needs about a half mile radius all the way around to operate safely, so they are trying to figure out if that’s possible.

There’s also some environmental concerns. Part of the way this ship works is that it brings in oil and water. It separates that and the water gets thrown back out into the Gulf of Mexico and they keep the oil. They’re also looking into whether or not that water that’s going to be discharged, what are the environmental impact of that. So that’s one of the things slowing it down.

But everyone aboard here thinks that it’s just a matter of time before this vessel is put in to fight the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, and the crew told us that they were being dispatched out into the Gulf of Mexico last night. They are waiting to see if they can at least do some tests for the Coast Guard to show them what that ship can do. Admiral Thad Allen said that he’s not quite ready to put this into play, that there are still some more questions that they want to look into. But he says he is hopeful that this will be a valuable tool in the fight to clean up this oil.”

This is beyond ridiculous. That the ship may be too big to easily turn or that it may not get 100% of the oil are clearly frivolous reasons to prevent it from deploying. The Obama Administration may be Hopeful things will Change but it isn’t doing much to make that happen.

Meanwhile, the newest models say there is a high chance oil will reach South Florida.


UPDATE: The U.S. also missed its June 30th 90% containment goal. Also, the skimmers returned to the Gulf after a 48-hour downtime for Hurricane Alex. Will the A Whale return with them?

Unemployment Numbers Disappoint

Filed under: Economics — DRJ @ 12:11 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The unemployment rate dipped to 9.5% but only because more and more workers are leaving the pool:

“Private employers added a smaller-than-expected 83,000 jobs in June, but the unemployment rate edged down to 9.5% as many workers dropped out of a labor market that remains very sluggish.”

A dip in average hourly earnings suggests employers won’t add more workers in the short term, and the jobs that were added are low-paying, low-skill jobs … which isn’t good news for record numbers of college students.

President Obama says it’s good news but not good enough. But the longer we go without recovering jobs, the worse the economy looks.


Quick Links

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:07 am

Several scumbags are getting some justly earned ridicule lately.

John Nolte savages Patrick Goldstein from the L.A. Times:

Nowhere in the article did Kahn claim his right-of-center politics had ever hurt his career, and yet in an attempt to paint him as a whiner, Goldstein told all of Hollywood he had. Worse, in a conscious effort to portray Kahn as a no-talent has-been, rather than mention Kahn’s long, successful relationship with a Grammy-winning producer (which made up a large part of the WSJ profile), Goldstein ignored it and instead Googled up some old credits of Kahn’s in order to present them as though they were Kahn’s entire resume. (the hard-left film site Movieline soon followed suit.)

The irony was obvious. The very same L.A. Times writer who uses every opportunity to mock the idea of a conservative Hollywood blacklist intentionally participated in the blacklisting of an artist whose politics he disagreed with. Using ridicule and provably dishonest smears, Goldstein’s goal was to make this artist a toxic joke to the whole of the industry that might employ him.

Yesterday, Goldstein pulled the exact same trick.

Andrew Breitbart savages Andrew Sullivan, investigator of Sarah Palin’s uterus and e-mail account, for declaring the reward for the contents of JournoList to be an unconscionable invasion of privacy:

Sullivan’s disgusting, ends-justify-the-means obsession with the personal family life of Sarah Palin breached every ethical and journalistic boundary known to the cosmos. Between airing Palin’s hacked private emails and making a cottage industry out of challenging the maternity of her son, Trig, sometimes the word “irony” or “hypocrisy” is not descriptive enough.

To highlight the absurdity of Sullivan’s outrage, perhaps his submission entitled “The Palin Emails” can grant you insight into a demented mind. Before divulging them in at least five separate posts, he wrote: ”They’ve leaked, of course. And they’re not pretty.”

And they weren’t meant to be public either, Andy.

Althouse savages Eric Boehlert:

Eric Boehlert continues to write about me like that even though he has no idea what the thing I wrote that he just quoted says. . . . So, Boehlert, your post is incredibly lame, but, as a law professor, I’ll give you a rewrite.

Lucky for her she has a blog where she can respond. If she tried leaving a comment it would never get published. My most recent comments on Boehlert pieces at Media Matters were left weeks ago and never appeared.

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