Patterico's Pontifications


Bush Fails to Act in L.A. Power Outage

Filed under: Current Events — Patterico @ 9:03 pm

There was a large power outage in Los Angeles today. Poor people and minorities were the hardest hit. (I have no idea whether that’s really true, but it sounds good.)

President Bush, who failed to take any action whatsoever, spent the evening trying to wriggle out from his obvious responsibility for the crisis. Bush’s flacks, and some right-wing blogger hacks, immediately began blaming local officials — in particular a local Department of Water and Power worker who (so the Bushie line goes) inadvertently cut a cable.

Bush’s failure to act was immediately denounced by the press and the Democrats in Congress. Sen. Feinstein noted that she has repeatedly requested hundreds of billions to upgrade the grips on the wire cutters used by DWP workers, to prevent them from inadvertently snipping power cables. However, her requests have consistently fallen on deaf ears, ever since President Bush appointed that deaf guy as his liaison to Feinstein’s office.

Sen. Leahy announced plans to ask John Roberts about the outage tomorrow.

Meanwhile, we L.A. residents tried to get on with our lives as best as we could without federal intervention. At the Criminal Courts Building downtown, lights went out for a couple of seconds, then the backup generators kicked in. We shrugged our shoulders and went back to work.

P.S. BoiFromTroy says:

The bottom line from being on the ground is that today’s brief hour-and-a-half power outage was a cluster-f*ck. No one appeared to be in charge, and no one knew what was going on or what to do. There were no clear lines of communication to people to let them know whether this was a minor incident or whether–as seemed entirely possible–an act of terror, or a distraction set up to facilitate one. Cell phone lines were jammed, if you had access at all. It really does not inspire confidence for when something *really* goes wrong.

Pretty good satire, I thought when I first read it. The weird part is, I think he’s serious.

Further Hearings in the Nomination Hearing That’s 10-20 Years Ahead

Filed under: Constitutional Law,Judiciary,Law — Angry Clam @ 11:07 am

[Posted by The Angry Clam]

Some of you may remember the last time that I played judicial nominee and answered a host of questions from a group of lefty law professors.

I’m going to do that again, but today, rather than more attempts to elicit “HAHA! GOTCHA!” answers by Ralph Neas and company, I thought that I’d take up Professor Glenn Reynolds’ challenge in the New York Times. Incidentally, there are four other contributors who have submitted five questions each. Depending on time and debate generated by this post, I’ll answer those as well.

You all, of course, know him better as Instapundit, and should, if you don’t, know that he subscribes, mostly, to a libertarian world view. And with that out of the way, let’s move on to the questions.


Roberts Hearing Begins Today

Filed under: General,Judiciary — Patterico @ 7:13 am

The confirmation hearing for John Roberts begins today. I’m a working stiff, so I’ll miss it; maybe they’ll have re-runs on C-SPAN later. In any event, this all looks pretty pro forma to me.

If anyone should be paying attention, it’s Miguel Estrada, who should closely observe the way Roberts answers his questions. That way, if Bush takes my suggestion and nominates Estrada, the candidate will be prepared for his own confirmation hearing. Estrada will be able to deflect any claim that his answers are insufficient if he can validly say: “That is the same level of detail that was given by John Roberts. And he was confirmed.”

Threat Against L.A.

Filed under: Terrorism — Patterico @ 6:48 am

Al Qaeda has issued a vague threat against Los Angeles:

Yesterday, London and Madrid. Tomorrow, Los Angeles and Melbourne, Allah willing. And this time, don’t count on us demonstrating restraint and compassion.

I guess we can’t automatically discount such threats, even when they come from a former inhabitant of a Riverside goat farm. But I find it hard to get too wound up about this. Did al Qaeda call London and Madrid in advance with any specificity? How about 9/11? I don’t recall that.

The bad attacks are the surprise attacks. An announcement like this strikes me as a pure attempt to cause terror, and nothing more. I even find it oddly reassuring, as the act of announcing it suggests that there is nothing to back it up.

Goldstein on Those Competing Narratives

Filed under: Current Events — Patterico @ 6:32 am

Am I the only one who’s noticed that wisecracking smart-aleck Jeff Goldstein is writing some of the best serious stuff out there on the Katrina blame game?

I didn’t think so.

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