Patterico's Pontifications


Chuck Hagel Out

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:41 am

[guest post by Dana]

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has resigned been fired:

The officials described Mr. Obama’s decision to remove Mr. Hagel, 68, as a recognition that the threat from the Islamic State would require a different kind of skills than those that Mr. Hagel was brought on to employ. A Republican with military experience who was skeptical about the Iraq war, Mr. Hagel came in to manage the Afghanistan combat withdrawal and the shrinking Pentagon budget in the era of budget sequestration.

But now “the next couple of years will demand a different kind of focus,” one administration official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. He insisted that Mr. Hagel was not fired, saying that he initiated discussions about his future two weeks ago with the president, and that the two men mutually agreed that it was time for him to leave.

But Mr. Hagel’s aides had maintained in recent weeks that he expected to serve the full four years as defense secretary. His removal appears to be an effort by the White House to show that it is sensitive to critics who have pointed to stumbles in the government’s early response to several national security issues, including the Ebola crisis and the threat posed by the Islamic State.

Hagel disagreed publicly with the president over ISIS. He should have known better:

He raised the ire of the White House in August as the administration was ramping up its strategy to fight the Islamic State, directly contradicting the president, who months before had likened the Sunni militant group to a junior varsity basketball squad. Mr. Hagel, facing reporters in his now-familiar role next to General Dempsey, called the Islamic State an “imminent threat to every interest we have,” adding, “This is beyond anything that we’ve seen.” White House officials later said they viewed those comments as unhelpful, although the administration still appears to be struggling to define just how large is the threat posed by the Islamic State.

Added: President Obama on the 2013 confirmation of Republican Secretary of Defense Hagel:

I will be counting on Chuck’s judgment and counsel as we end the war in Afghanistan, bring our troops home, stay ready to meet the threats of our time and keep our military the finest fighting force in the world. Most of all, I am grateful to Chuck for reminding us that when it comes to our national defense, we are not Democrats or Republicans, we are Americans, and our greatest responsibility is the security of the American people.



Hillary: She’s Nice Enough And Now She Smells Enough

Filed under: General — Dana @ 4:09 pm

[guest post by Dana]

When asked about Hillary Clinton’s efforts to distance herself from him as she moves toward a possible run in 2016, President Obama commented that he believed the American people want “that new car smell” in their next president:

“They wanna drive somethin’ off the lot that — that doesn’t have as — as much mileage as me,” he told George Stephanopoulos on This Week.

Really? Obama is all of 53! But Hillary, on the other hand, is 67 years old. An old, smelly woman. A post-menopausal grandma who wears dowdy, matronly pantsuits. And smells. Hillary, the old failed Edsel trying one last time to sputter and chug her way to the White House while spewing copious amounts of exhaust and smelly pollutants. But voters don’t want old or smelly. Apparently they want a sharp, fresh smelling, leather-upholstered sports car that can traverse any highway and byway, or the halls of Congress, with speed and efficiency while looking sleek and stylish. Message sent and received: Hillary was once nice enough, and now she smells enough. Is the Great Orator unaware of his foot-in-mouth disease or did we long ago conclude his seemingly innocent linguistic jabs are actually made with shrewd calculated intent? Women of a certain age are wondering. And if Joe Biden – who is 72 years old – runs in 2016, will the president comment on his aging unsavory odor, too?


Schoolhouse Rock: “I’m An Executive Order, And I Pretty Much Just Happen”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:03 pm

“Oh, that’s adorable! You still think that’s how government works!”

Thanks to Simon Jester.

Random Links – Some Amusing, Some Less So

Filed under: General — JD @ 11:01 am

[guest post by JD]

Congress made me do it. Because of that Clause in the Constitution that says I get to do what I want if Congress doesn’t do what I proclaim. . Later on, he advances the mendacious ideas that raw numbers of EO’s shows he respects the process, and how they can get rid of his EO by passing legislation.

Al Sharpton defends his four million plus in deliquent taxes, because Trayvon, Ferguson, and racists.

Rep Pelosi wages her own war on women, refusing to accommodate a pregnant veteran amputee who couldn’t make it to DC to vote on Dem leadership. It turned out to have been a power play, since Rep Duckworth was supporting someone other than SanFranNan’s choice for a committee leadership position. The Dems selected the opponent of Pelosi’s hand picked choice.

Imagine if the Republicans had done this.

Chuck Todd declares Gruber fallout to be a political back and forth story, unworthy of national media coverage. That reminded me of how Gosnell was a local crime story. [UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Sarah Kliff agrees with both!]

MFM lapdog John Harwood declares that Gruber flapdoodle just serves to make mad people madder, and is not a story worth covering. . Good dog, John.

And, from the You Cannot Make This Up Files … Lumbersexuality and the toxic rapey beard culture. You really have to read it in its entirety to get the profound ignorance pushed by these ever-aggrieved social justice feeling warriors.

Last but not least, the term freshman is rapey. . Elon has not banned the term freshman, but has replaced it with first year, which is more inclusive. Get a load of that job title – Inclusive Community Wellbeing Coordinator, and then wonder why Higher Ed costs so much, an leaves so many behind.



Damn You, AutoCorrect Siri!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:34 pm

My brother in law blamed Siri for this text today:

Screen Shot 2014-11-22 at 7.21.37 PM

Not to worry, Justin. I have the next version of WordPress. Which means, I guess . . .

Insert your obvious joke in the space below — if you have the ability.

Because If You Don’t Laugh, You Just Cry

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:53 pm

[guest post by Dana]

If anyone thought that after the midterm trouncing, the president would back off on his immigration plans, then they have not been paying attention. There has never been any indication that this president is open or willing to receive and accept criticism, whether from his own party or even especially from the American people. In this he remains consistent. Besides, one man’s flagrant disregard for the Constitution is just another man’s moral imperative, right?

“When members of Congress question my authority to make our immigration system work better, I have a simple answer: pass a bill.”


Anyway, via Rand Paul, a little amusement in spite of the whole debacle.

Starter pack for presidents who think they’re kings:


Gruber’s take on the immigration move by the President:


Saturday Afternoon Music: California Edition

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:07 pm

Two songs about my current home from artists that I have seen in the last week. First, “California” from Radney Foster, who I had the pleasure of watching perform last night at The Mint in Los Angeles:

Get More:

Second is “California Wasted” by Toad the Wet Sprocket, which the family got to see last weekend at The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano:


Stop Being Culturally Arrogant, White People!

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:23 am

[post by Dana]


I think we are supposed to be abuzz about the “bold”new cover art from the New Yorker. Artist Bruce McCall:

“It’s not profound, you know—nothing I do is profound—but I wanted to address the whole kerfuffle over the Redskins’ name,” Bruce McCall says.

Rather than viewing the team name as a “badge of honor” like owner Dan Snyder, McCall has a different take:

“This is 2014, and it seems a little late to be dealing with that stuff,” McCall says. “It should have been quashed a long time ago. We did everything to the Indians that we could, and it’s still going on. It seems crude and callous. Names like the Atlanta Braves come from another time. So, in my cover, I’ve brought the cultural arrogance of one side back to the sixteen-hundreds and the first Thanksgiving dinner, just to see what would happen.”



Emperor Obama Amnesty Lies Open Thread

Filed under: General — JD @ 5:06 pm

[guest post by JD]

I listened for 2 minutes. Then barfed.



“Net Communism” — A “Net Neutrality” Rant

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:41 am

It seems to me that the Net Neutrality proponents are trying to repeal the laws of supply and demand through legislation. Such efforts always end badly. We should re-label the effort “Net Communism.” Let me explain.

The Internet promotes this illusion of a Shangri-La world of unlimited access to unlimited data for free. Of course, we all realize (if we think about it) that this isn’t quite the case. You have to pay at both ends of Al Gore’s information superhighway.

On the receiving end, whether you access the Internet through your phone or your computer, you typically have to pay an ISP for access. You could go to a Starbucks and grab their free WiFi, but somebody has to pay for that access (hint: it’s Starbucks). They pay for it, and provide it to you for free, to lure you there and sell you overpriced coffee-style drinks and pastries. But someone has to pay.

On the serving end, you must pay as well. As you have probably noticed (since you’re here) I have a Web site. I pay to maintain the URL, and I pay hosting fees to a company that hosts the site on a server. Because I don’t pay thousands of dollars every month, the server capacity I can purchase is limited. I share a server with several other sites that also typically do not need a dedicated, gold-plated server. This arrangement typically suits my needs, but the site is not necessarily able to sustain a link from Matt Drudge. (I have found this out before.)

If I am dissatisfied with this state of affairs, and wish to have a site that can easily withstand a Drudge link, I will have to pay more. There is good reason for this: bandwidth, like most resources, is scarce. If a Drudge link hits my site while my site is on a shared server, it slows down traffic for all the other sites. If I pay more money to the hosting company, they can now afford to invest in capital (a new server) that can help them better satisfy my needs. If I don’t pay them more money, they are typically going to choke off some of my traffic, to ensure that all the other sites don’t go down.

But what if I could somehow convince the government to order the ISP to treat my Web site “equally” — even though I don’t pay more? Then, instead of having an incentive to increase capacity (you pay us more and we’ll give you more bandwidth), the hosting company would have no choice but to allow that Drudge link to pound the shared server, melting every site on it.

That’s because the government’s order to the hosting company would be a price control. In effect, the government would be ordering the hosting company to provide $10,000 a month worth of access for $80.

And what happens when price controls are instituted? If you answered: “shortages” you get the gold star.

Without the ability to charge higher hosting fees, our hosting company has no incentive to produce more bandwidth, and the Internet will slow to a crawl for any company (or other Web site) on that server.

Then, if history holds, all the Web sites on that server harmed by the government’s actions would . . . complain to the government, which would announce New Regulations to Solve the Problem.

My understanding of Net Neutrality, and you can correct me if I am wrong, is that ISPs would be disabled from doing exactly what the hosting companies are doing in my example. You have these companies like Google (which owns YouTube) or Netflix, which are cramming the tubes of the Internet with their bandwidth-hogging video content. But they don’t want to pay the ISPs the necessary fees to make sure their massive amounts of content get delivered. They want to have the government regulate the tubes, and tell the ISPs “you have to treat us equally, even though we are overwhelming your bandwidth.”

If Google and Netflix had to pay the ISPs fees that correspond to the degree that they are flooding the tubes with their high-bandwidth content, that would provide an incentive to the ISPs to provide more bandwidth. If these companies don’t pay extra . . .

. . . well, someone is still going to have to pay. Either this situation is going to result in 1) higher fees by users to access the Internet, or 2) less bandwidth, and slower service to everybody. If we’re lucky, maybe both!

And then, we will need to complain to the government, which will then announce a new round of regulations to address the problem.

And, if history holds, you’re gonna love those regulations. Mr. Glenn Reynolds, we have determined your Web site is too popular. In the interest of fairness, we need to make sure that these statist leftist bloggers over here will have the same “access” to the Internet that your site does — meaning we are going to order the ISPs to open up the pipes for those lefties, or subsidize their content, all in the interest of “fairness.”

The world has tried a system where government claimed to make everyone equal, and removed all market incentives in the process. It was called “communism,” and it failed. Communism created a political elite that was better off than the rabble, and a miserable rabble that suffered from socialism’s basic inability to calculate profit and loss and thus properly allocate resources. Black markets sprang up everywhere, but it wasn’t enough to alleviate the suffering, and the system collapsed — but not before millions died in the name of dictators like Stalin who claimed to pursue “equality.”

TANSTAAFL. (Google it, while you still can.)

To me, “Net Neutrality” is really “Net Communism.” I plan to start using that term to describe it, and I encourage readers to do the same.

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