Patterico's Pontifications


McCain: Toast

Filed under: 2008 Election — Patterico @ 6:50 pm

John McCain is toast.


Giuliani to Unveil a Quality-Filled “Justice Advisory Committee”

Filed under: 2008 Election,General,Judiciary — Patterico @ 6:17 pm

FOX News reports:

GOP frontrunner Rudy Giuliani will unveil his “Justice Advisory Committee” this week on a two-day swing through heavily Republican western districts of Washington, D.C., home of the first presidential caucuses in 2008.

The committee signals an important moment for building his relationship with social conservatives a he tries to convince skeptical Iowans he can compete seriously in the caucuses.

Former U.S. solicitor general under President Bush, Ted Olson, will chair the panel. Former Bush administration Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson and filibustered judicial nominee Miguel A. Estrada will be among the “who’s who” of conservative legal and judicial advisers to Giuliani.

I like the sound of that. Regular readers know I am a big fan of Estrada’s, and I like Ted Olson quite a bit as well.

Pejman sums up my feelings well:

This is no doubt reassuring from the standpoint of conservatives. It would be especially effective if Giuliani used the formation of this committee to announce that whatever his personal views concerning hot-button legal issues like abortion, he would be willing and eager to defer to a federalist solution or approach to resolving those problems. Such an announcement would cause even people who disagree with Giuliani’s personal views to respect and appreciate his legal stance and would perhaps draw more support for the former Mayor in his bid for the Republican Presidential nomination.

In other words, it’s a good start — but I’d like to see more of a commitment to judicial conservatism from the horse’s mouth. Committees are great and all — and I like the names on this list — but they’re, uh, committees. Giuliani needs to speak out about what his criteria would be in selecting Justices. It’s my biggest reservation about the man.

This is a small step towards addressing that reservation, though, and I’m mildly encouraged.

Geraldo Exploits Zina Linnik’s Uncle to Make a Political Point with Which the Uncle Disagrees

Filed under: Crime,Deport the Criminals First,General,Immigration,Scum — Patterico @ 7:07 am


The tragic [Zina Linnik] story was twisted to aggravate the immigration debate. A little girl snatched and brutally murdered. Tonight her family speaks out on why his immigrant label should be replaced by monster.

I thought this was bad enough when it turned out that the family member on Geraldo’s show — Zina Linnik’s uncle Anatoly Kalchik — said nothing about immigration whatsoever on Geraldo’s program.

But that was before I found out that her uncle actually does see this as an immigration issue:

Zina’s uncle was angry that the suspect had not been deported after being convicted in a sex crime.

. . . .

“If someone is a sex offender, or any kind of offender, he has no business being in America,” he said.

Can you imagine the rage Mr. Kalchik must have felt watching Geraldo’s segment? Watching Geraldo claim that he was going to speak out against treating this as an immigration issue, when he thought it was?

Words fail. Geraldo has no shame.

And the next time Geraldo and Michelle are on O’Reilly together, she is going to mop the floor with him. She’ll make him nostalgic for the days when people were throwing chairs at his head.

More on Those Upcoming Fred Lobbying Stories

Filed under: 2008 Election,General — Patterico @ 6:03 am

At the American Spectator, the Prowler is busy pre-spinning the upcoming lobbying stories on Fred Thompson:

Former Sen. Fred Thompson’s loose relationship with a Washington, D.C. law firm is opening the door to mischief making, and apparently the campaign of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is so broke that it has to recycle old news on obscure websites to try to do damage to other candidates. On a “new” (it went live on Saturday, July 14), “independent” blog entitled “blogoftubes,” the unknown blogger “breaks” news that Thompson “lobbied” for former Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide.

The direct link to the blogoftubes post is here. The Prowler says that the Aristide story is “part of an opposition research file that is being distributed by other campaigns” and that it is old news that “has been fully vetted and reported on for years in the Tennessee and national press.” Apparently Thompson has explained that he made one phone call to the Bush I administration at the request of an Arent Fox partner, to urge the continuation of the embargo.

Oh — you’ll never guess who that partner is. I’m just kidding; you easily can. That’s right, it’s “the former Democrat congressman Michael Barnes.”

I’m thinking that phone call will make it into that upcoming L.A. Times hit piece on Thompson’s alleged lobbying for Chile. Speaking of which, The Prowler also has more — well, not much more — on that:

It was reported last week that the Los Angeles Times, fresh from its hit piece attempting to link Thompson to a pro-abortion group client of Arent Fox, is now attempting to link Thompson to another Arent Fox client, the government of Chile.

As with Haiti, Chile was never a client of Thompson’s. Thompson has never denied the phone call on behalf of Aristide, or that he did work on behalf of Arent Fox. “There’s just no story here,” says a Thompson supporter, familiar with the situation.

The Prowler quotes a supposed opposition researcher for a rival candidate, who is open about the cynical way the lobbying stories are being exploited. The opposition researcher — if that’s who he really is — says that “there are only about three stories worth pursuing, and we just repackage them and blast them out.” Heh. Sounds more like someone impersonating an opposition researcher to me, but who knows?

David Mackett on Airline Security

Filed under: Air Security,General — Patterico @ 5:21 am

As regular readers know, I have recently been doing a series of posts on airline security. One of the air marshals I quoted, Robert MacLean, mentioned the vulnerability of overnighting aircraft — aircraft parked overnight waiting for the next flight. He told me that the person to ask about this threat was David Mackett, the president of the Airline Pilots Security Alliance, an organization of pilots concerned with airline security. I wrote Mr. Mackett and asked him if he could discuss the issue of airline security. In response, I received a lengthy and thoughtful e-mail touching on all sorts of aspects of airline security, of which the issue of overnighting planes forms only a small part.

I have reprinted Mr. Mackett’s e-mail in its entirety at Hot Air. It is a comprehensive, thoughtful, and sobering commentary on the state of airline security, and what can be done about it. Here are a couple of disturbing excerpts:

TSA misses more than 90% of detectable weapons at passenger checkpoints in their own tests, and it is not their fault, because of the limitations of technology and the number of inspections they must conduct. This doesn’t count several classes of completely undetectable weapons like composite knives and liquid explosives.

There’s more:

Today, RON (remaining overnight) aircraft are invariably unattended and unlocked all night. Commercial aircraft typically do not have locks in their doors. They are protected by roving airport police patrols and closed circuit cameras. Neither methodology is very robust. A skeleton crew of employees is also on duty who may see something suspicious, but most have gone home. Jetway doors prevent access from the terminal but the exterior aircraft doors are unlocked to anyone who pushes a stairway up to them.

There have been numerous breaches of airport perimeters (see, How Safe Are You?, Airport Perimeter Security), often by people who weren’t even trying. At least one Al Qaeda sympathizer employed as a catering truck driver was arrested after driving onto airports for months, gathering intelligence.

Finally, Mackett on the likelihood and significance of another successful 9/11:

There is no question in my mind, based on everything I hear in my position, that Al Qaeda is actively, aggressively preparing to target the United States again, and that commandeering an airliner is still the easiest, quickest method of possessing a weapon of mass destruction. I am even more concerned that the next attack could be far worse than 9/11, which, while devastating, would pale in comparison to other available targets.

Recalling World War II, the Japanese didn’t surrender after Hiroshima because they believed there was only one atom bomb. It was only after another bomb hit Nagasaki — after we proved we could do it again — that their country collapsed. Similarly, another successful 9/11 would devastate our country in ways we can’t even imagine — probably much more than the first attack, as we realize they can do it again despite our “best” efforts.

Read it all here, at Hot Air.

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