Patterico's Pontifications

4/18/2011

Contempt of Cop

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:56 pm


EMBED-NYPD Arrests Guy For Cracking A Joke – Watch more free videos

Obama Then and Now: Signing Statements

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:04 pm

Then:

Now:

One rider – Section 2262 — de-funds certain White House adviser positions – or “czars.” The president in his signing statement declares that he will not abide by it.

Hope?

Change?

Hypocrisy.

Is This “Race-Baiting”?

Filed under: General — Stranahan @ 8:03 pm

[Guest post by Lee Stranahan]

I believe that if the guy they are yelling at was revealed to be Clarence Thomas, many people on the left would justify this behavior.

- Lee Stranahan

S&P Sends D.C. a Wake-Up Call

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:13 pm

From S&P’s statement today:

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said today that it affirmed its ‘AAA’ long-term and ‘A-1+’ short-term sovereign credit ratings on the U.S. Standard & Poor’s also said that it revised its outlook on the long-term rating of the U.S. sovereign to negative from stable.

Our ratings on the U.S. rest on its high-income, highly diversified, and flexible economy. It is backed by a strong track record of prudent and credible monetary policy, evidenced to us by its ability to support growth while containing inflationary pressures. The ratings also reflect our view of the unique advantages stemming from the dollar’s preeminent place among world currencies.

“Although we believe these strengths currently outweigh what we consider to be the U.S.’s meaningful economic and fiscal risks and large external debtor position, we now believe that they might not fully offset the credit risks over the next two years at the ‘AAA’ level,” said Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Nikola G. Swann.

“More than two years after the beginning of the recent crisis, U.S. policymakers have still not agreed on how to reverse recent fiscal deterioration or address longer-term fiscal pressures,” Mr. Swann added.

In 2003-2008, the U.S.’s general (total) government deficit fluctuated between 2% and 5% of GDP. Already noticeably larger than that of most ‘AAA’ rated sovereigns, it ballooned to more than 11% in 2009 and has yet to recover.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reaffirms what we have been saying here for days: we can’t tax our way out of this financial crisis:

Consider the Internal Revenue Service’s income tax statistics for 2008, the latest year for which data are available. The top 1% of taxpayers—those with salaries, dividends and capital gains roughly above about $380,000—paid 38% of taxes. But assume that tax policy confiscated all the taxable income of all the “millionaires and billionaires” Mr. Obama singled out. That yields merely about $938 billion, which is sand on the beach amid the $4 trillion White House budget, a $1.65 trillion deficit, and spending at 25% as a share of the economy, a post-World War II record.

Get it? You could take 100% of what millionaires make and it still wouldn’t come close to solving the problem.

Does Obama get it? Here he is yesterday:

Now, if you look at the House Republican budget that they’ve proposed, you would have to cut education by 25 percent; you’d have to cut transportation spending by 30 percent. It does make Medicare into a voucher program. That fundamentally changes our society. It’s not compelled by the numbers; it’s compelled by their insistence that people like myself, millionaires and billionaires across the country, shouldn’t pay anything more in taxes, shouldn’t go back to the rates that existed back in the 1990s, when wealthy people were doing well — and, in fact, they want to give more tax breaks to those folks.

If we go back to the rates in the 1990s, you hack, it won’t pay for a fraction of what you want to continue to do.

Yeah, the Cartels Are Terrible, But at Least It’s Only Mexico’s Problem . . .

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:38 pm

. . . or is it?

The house on Knightner Road is small, blue and white, with a stone front porch and a string of Christmas lights still hanging. Here, crack cocaine was sold to drive-up customers a few miles from the state Capitol in Columbia.

The one on Pound Road in rural Gaston, just south of Columbia, is a brown-and-white trailer, with a gravel driveway and woods out back. Here, federal law enforcement officers surprised Frediberto Pineda, who had 10 kilos of cocaine worth $350,000 in his possession.

Six months went by between the first FBI inquiries into cocaine trafficking at the house on Knightner Road and Pineda’s arrest. But for the bureau, he was a prize worth waiting for. A member of Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel, he had quietly settled in central South Carolina, put down roots and began managing one of the gang’s new outposts in the United States.

As the cartels expand up and out from the Southwest border, they are sending waves of men like Pineda, many of them trained in Mexico, to run their U.S. operations. In the last few years, they have established a prosperous retail industry, with cartels staking out “market territories,” lining up smuggling routes, and renting storage bins and drug houses.

Coming soon: displays of dead bodies and severed heads, in your hometown!

Muslim Thugs Threaten Women Who Do Not Wear Veils… In London

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 2:17 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

From the Daily Mail:

Women who do not wear headscarves are being threatened with violence and even death by Islamic extremists intent on imposing sharia law on parts of Britain, it was claimed today.

Other targets of the ‘Talibanesque thugs’, being investigated by police in the Tower Hamlets area of London, include homosexuals.

Stickers have been plastered on public walls stating: ‘Gay free zone. Verily Allah is severe in punishment’.

And they give us a specific example:

An Asian woman who works in a pharmacy in east London was told to dress more modestly and wear a veil or the shop would be boycotted.

When she went to the media to talk about the abuse she suffered, a man later entered the pharmacy and told her: ‘If you keep doing these things, we are going to kill you’.

The 31-year-old, who is not a practising Muslim, said she has since been told to take holiday by the pharmacy owners and now fears she may lose her job.

She said: ‘Why should I wear a hijab (headscarf) or burqa? I haven’t done anything wrong.’

I wrote the other day that in regard to veils

…it is reported that in many European cities that veils are so common that when westernized women come in they are harassed to the point that many women will wear veils that ordinarily wouldn’t….  In that sense a regime of requiring women to remove their face coverings might stop that sort of thing from happening here.  It might be a case of the freedom of those Muslim women being pitted against the freedom of the liberated women.

Because of the private violence and coercion enforcing this tradition, the freedom of a woman not to wear a veil might be threatened in part by those who wear them, even voluntarily.  And of course this kind of conduct makes it hard to be certain how voluntary any of it is.

And with that in mind, we might be therefore less quick to judge the French for their Burqa ban.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Conservative’s Lack of Vision…And James O’Keefe

Filed under: General — Stranahan @ 12:58 pm

[Guest post by Lee Stranahan]

The Republican’s biggest problem going into the 2012 elections is that there’s nobody presenting a clear, forward looking vision of the future. The issues are important, obviously, but the kind of leadership that wins votes for either party is the sense that the candidate has some unique, confident view of what the future will bring. It’s not enough to just criticize the current administration. The doom and gloom about spending may be warranted and citing the founding fathers may be inspiring but neither is an effective substitute for a passionately stated sense of what is to come next.

So, who’s doing that? Who even looks like they are capable of doing it?

If you want to know why Donald Effing Trump is surging in the polls, it’s because he at least sort of kind of has that sense of forward looking – he has to as a businessman – and he’s got the field of quasi-visionaries more or less all to himself. Sarah Palin Is chipper on the stump but isn’t really projecting forward and I’ve never been convinced she’s going to actually run, anyway.

Which brings me to James O’Keefe.

Playboy has a really great article by Jordan Lieberman on O’Keefe online right now and if somehow you can avoid being distracted by girls smiling at you from the surrounding ads, it’s well worth a read. It’s not a hit piece but a well-researched profile of one of the most effective and controversial young conservatives in America today. (And the others in contention for that title are largely people who’ve worked with O’Keefe at some point, like Lila Rose.)

As the article points out, O’Keefe and Hannah Giles took down ACORN in a few months. That was something the right has been trying to do for decades. But all that efficacy seems to be in another dimension from conservative electoral politics. That’s in part because the tactics of O’Keefe and Giles are a product of the high-tech present day. O’Keefe has said, “This ain’t your father’s 60 Minutes” but it’s still, by and large, your father’s Republican party.

The GOP doesn’t know how to integrate an O’Keefe. The rank and file laud him and the opposition clearly hates his guts but the Republicans still have acknowledged old-time mediocrities like John Boehner running the show.

And now I’ll circle back to that vision thing. Lieberman concludes his piece with advice for O’Keefe and I think it’s good advice for all conservatives as well. Substitute ‘The Republican Party” for “O’Keefe” in the following paragraph.

If O’Keefe were my client, I would hand him a flowchart of the positive people and the parasites in his life. Then I would take away his internet connection until he could come up with a long-term plan. And I don’t mean a new hit list of liberal targets to lampoon. He needs to figure out how to leverage what he’s accomplished into a paying gig that doesn’t rely on the generosity of anonymous wealthy donors with an ax to grind.

Is anyone going to heed that call?

- Lee Stranahan

In Which I Will Be Running For the Hills Now

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 9:58 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

We had a bunch of tornadoes over the weekend here in Virginia, leading to this story this morning:

Va. Nuclear Power Plant Shuts Down After Storm

Dominion Virginia Power reports that an apparent tornado touched down on the switchyard supporting the Surry Power Station and the facility’s access road Saturday. The storm cut off the electrical feed from the grid to the station, which is located in Surry County, Va.

Both reactors at the station shut down automatically as designed and backup diesel generators started immediately to provide the electricity necessary to maintain both units.

A spokesperson for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission says no release of radioactive material occurred beyond minor releases associated with normal station operations.

Oh noes!  We are Fukushimaed!  Run for your life!

Ah no, it sounds like no biggie, actually.  I mean one tornado is a lot less than the flood, plague of locusts, etc. we saw over in Japan.  But I did have a moment as I waited for the page to load, where I worried before any facts came in that it might be a big deal.

And incidentally tornadoes are rare enough here that when one hit the British in the War of 1812 it was considered a potential act of God, as Cracked points out with tongue in cheek:

While the Brits probably felt the burning of Washington was a righteous act of retribution, they definitely pissed off the wrong deity when they desecrated the U.S. capital. With the city in flames, God punished the redcoats with the sort of smiting usually reserved for characters straight out of the Old Testament.

A goddamn tornado touched down — which almost never happens in the capital — and plowed a path of instant terror right through downtown D.C., uprooting trees, lifting cannons and tossing the hapless redcoats around like maple leaves. The British were forced to flee the city after learning exactly whose side God was on — after all, he did nothing when the Americans torched Canada.

Hmm, you would think that if you were claiming that the battle turned on God’s smiting, you would ease off on the Goddamn’s.  You know, just to stay on the Big Guy’s good side.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Watts Up With Taking Content Without Attribution? (Update: Watts Responds and Johnson Shouts “Squirrel!”)

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 7:41 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

Update: Mr. Watts replies in his post as follows:

I don’t follow tweets, I only broadcast them from my blog for the convenience of thos[e] who do, so it went into the bit bucket. But I’ll be happy to make a mention that you also found the same thing when you visited the UNEP URL – Anthony

Also apparently Charles Johnson thinks it is really important to make fun of me for not knowing what I admit I didn’t know, what UTC is (apparently it is universal atomic time).  I had assumed it was an Asian time zone because I happened to know it is exactly 12 hours difference in the Philippines, because I have family (wife’s side) living there and because it was on a site called “Asian Correspondant.”  He takes all this to mean that I have something against foreigners, which is strange given that at one time my wife was one.

If you are having trouble figuring out what it has to do with any of the issues in the post, you aren’t the only one.  This all amounts to him shouting “squirrel” to distract anyone who might have paid attention.  But you see Charles is mad at me because I have been calling him out for month, pointing out how he was caught on this site lying about calling Rachel Corrie “St. Pancake” (he has a soft spot for memory-holing) and impotently threatened Patrick’s job.

I will correct the record on one thing.  He did make a comment on about how there was an Islamofascist on stage at Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity and previously I said he said nothing on the subject.  When I challenged him on that, he linked to one comment.  Not a whole post, mind you.  Nothing on the main page.  No, you have to dig deep into the comments to find condemnation of it, with words that are ironically appropriate:

For someone who personified peace and love and all that stuff, to suddenly come out and sound so bloodthirsty was a nasty surprise.

Gee, its kind of like a guy making a blogging name of himself by proving CBS to be liars, then taking them at face value.  The whiplash is kind of hard to take.

We now resume the original post, as is.

————————————

One of the big stories this morning is that Glenn Beck is being accused by the Daily Caller of taking material without attribution.pl

Oh yeah, I really hate it when people do that.

For instance, yesterday I was surfing around on my phone (my landline internet was down), and I see this post over at Instapundit:

HIDE THE DECLINE (CONT’D): The UN ‘disappears’ 50 million climate refugees, then botches the cover-up. “Apparently, they’ve never heard of Google Cache at the UN.”

And given my post on Friday, I got excited that maybe I had been linked, or perhaps Gavin Atkins who caught the original mistaken prediction in the first place got the Instalink (which would give this site a trickle-down Instalanche, surely).  I mean I didn’t remember precisely how I said that about the UN. and the Google cache, but it was something like that.  So I followed Insty’s link and…  well, look at it.  It’s a bit by Anthony Watts of Watts Up With That?  Not this site or Gavin’s.

(Now are you starting to why I spelled the title that way?  And are you groaning, too, at the sheer awfulness of that pun?)

So I was a little crestfallen.  But I thought maybe I or Gavin would get attribution and at worst I would get Patrick a third level trickle-down Instalanche so I read the article in detail.  And as I read it, not only did I not see my name or post mentioned anywhere in the article, they also didn’t mention Gavin’s post catching the disappearing act.  Read the Daily Caller story carefully and follow the links.  They link to Gavin’s original post pointing out that they were wrong about the 50 million refugees, but not to his follow-up post discussing the U.N.’s attempt to send that bad prediction down the memory hole, which had a link to my original post.  Indeed if you read the Daily Caller article, you would have no idea that anyone besides Anthony Watts caught the U.N. Stalin-photoing* that embarrassing prediction.

And I won’t go through all the gory details, but it is pretty clear that my discovery came first.  Now, of course, the post itself was slightly “backtimed” so that Patrick’s post polling our readers stayed on top.   But we have ample proof that the post was originally posted by 11:09 a.m. Eastern time, because there were a flurry of emails back and forth when someone accidentally deleted it.  That was after I sent out emails and twitters announcing the post, leading Liberty Chick to tweet:

(more…)

Rand Paul: Sure, I’ll Raise the Debt Ceiling …

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:23 am

… in exchange for a balanced budget amendment.

I have said it before and I’ll say it again: a balanced budget amendment is the only way we’ll ever fix the spending problem. Sorry, voters — the Constitution says we have to! A workable version should trigger automatic across the board cuts in the manner of Gramm-Rudman, and require large supermajorities for so-called emergencies.

And we are close to approval in enough state legislatures.

Is it a perfect solution? Perhaps not, but like democracy as a form of government, it’s the least imperfect one. Rand Paul has the right idea.

Say it with me: No raising of the debt ceiling without a balanced budget amendment.

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