Patterico's Pontifications


Security Clearance Optional

Filed under: Immigration — DRJ @ 8:07 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

From the El Paso (Texas) Times comes this story about El Paso’s Fort Bliss Army post:

Twelve illegal immigrants working as landscapers at Fort Bliss were detained Friday by military police and turned over to immigration authorities, an official said. All 12 had fake IDs and one had forged work papers, said Jean Offutt, the Fort Bliss public information officer. They were detained and then turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.”

I know, I know, it’s “only” landscaping. But I thought there were basic security and ID requirements for subcontractors to be allowed on a military base. I guess not.


Patterico’s Biggest Fan

Filed under: General,Humor — Patterico @ 5:17 pm

How dare anyone out there make fun of Patterico after all he has been through?! He lost his keys! He was on hold for more than an hour! He has two friggin’ kids! His wife . . . well, she’s actually really cool, but . . . Leave him alone!! All he cares about is his readers and making money off of them. HE’S A HUMAN! What you don’t realize is that Patterico is writing you all these blog entries and all you do is write a bunch of crap about him. He hasn’t performed on stage in years — since portraying Bill Burke at a Shearman and Sterling anniversary party. His blog’s motto is “Harangues that Just Make Sense” for a reason, but all you people want is MORE . . . MORE . . . MORE, MORE, MORE! LEAVE HIM ALONE! You are lucky he even blogs for you BASTARDS! LEAVE PATTERICO ALONE!! Please. Perez Hilton talked about professionalism, and said if Patterico was a professional he would never refer to Perez Hilton, no matter what. Speaking of professionalism, when is it “professional” to publicly bash someone who is going through a hard time with his spam filter. Leave Patterico Alone. Please . . . Leave Patterico alone . . . right now . . . I mean it. Anyone that has a problem with him you deal with me, because he is not well right now. Leave him alone.

Leave Patterico alone.

(Allah said there would be hundreds of take-offs on Chris Crocker’s homage to Britney Spears. I’m just doing my part to make the prophecy happen.)

(If this didn’t make any sense to you, click here. To see what a national craze this is becoming, click here and here.)

UPDATE: Because I care about you, the reader, I’ll embed the video that gave rise to this post. Why should you be the only person in the world who hasn’t seen it?

CIA Banned Water-boarding Last Year

Filed under: Terrorism,War — DRJ @ 4:59 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Sometime last year, CIA Director Michael Hayden banned the use of water-boarding in interrogations despite new legislation that reportedly gave the CIA authority to use the technique:

The controversial interrogation technique known as water-boarding, in which a suspect has water poured over his mouth and nose to stimulate a drowning reflex, has been banned by CIA director Gen. Michael Hayden, current and former CIA officials tell

The officials say Hayden made the decision at the recommendation of his deputy, Steve Kappes, and received approval from the White House to remove water-boarding from the list of approved interrogation techniques first authorized by a presidential finding in 2002.

The officials say the decision was made sometime last year but has never been publicly disclosed.
While new legislation reportedly gave the CIA the leeway to use water-boarding, current and former CIA officials said Gen. Hayden decided to take it off the list of about six “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

I assume this an administrative decision that can be changed by future CIA directors and/or presidential administrations, although it’s unlikely the rule will be changed absent extraordinary circumstances.

The information was disclosed to ABC News by “current and former CIA officials” who, if history is any indication, will not be prosecuted for the leak.


Friday Night Football

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 2:43 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

You know football has become a big dollar sport, with high-priced coaches, lucrative deals for stadium and practice facility naming rights, and televised match-ups, right?


Southwest Airlines apologizes to Attractive Passenger (Updated)

Filed under: Current Events — DRJ @ 11:35 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

You may recall Southwest Airlines passenger Kyla Ebbert who recently appeared on several TV channels to talk about her run-in with a Southwest Airlines’ employee concerning proper airline attire. Southwest Airlines has apologized to Ms. Ebbert:

“Southwest sent passenger Kyla Ebbert an apology saying it was “very sorry” on a taping of the Dr. Phil Show Friday, and Southwest president Colleen Barrett was trying to reach Ms. Ebbert via telephone.

“We searched for the naked truth, gotten down to the bare facts and she kind of caught us with our pants down,” Southwest chief executive officer Gary Kelly said Friday morning. “So we’re apologizing and we’re going to move on and hope we keep her as a good and valued customer.”

Kelly doesn’t think his people or Kyla did anything wrong although he admits Southwest could have handled it better.

UPDATE: Here is an article with more about Southwest’s response.


The Bush Administration was Not Prepared …

Filed under: Immigration — DRJ @ 10:51 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

… for the backlash on immigration reform, according to WH Press Secretary Tony Snow:

“Outgoing White House press secretary Tony Snow said today that the Bush administration had underestimated the ferocity of opposition to White House-backed immigration legislation. “I freely admit that we underestimated the (public) skepticism,” Snow said over breakfast with a group of reporters on his final day on the job.

Snow said that the White House was not prepared for the anger of foes of illegal immigration, who believed that government at all levels had failed to secure the nation’s borders. While the public backlash is aimed “not merely (at) the Bush administration,” he conceded that the White House “made some miscalculations, as well.”

Have they learned their lesson?


Giuliani gets Ad Rate from NY Times

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 6:21 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

I can’t find a link [link here thanks to NK] but I saw this on Fox News today:

In response to reports that paid $65,000 for its recent full-page ad on “General Betray Us,” Rudy Giuliani sought the same $65,000 rate for a full-page response ad in the NY Times. Initially, he was told the rate was only available to purchasers that are flexible on the date the ad will run – that is, the ad rate was available only for purchasers who gave the NY Times the option to run the ad during a 3-4 day time span. Giuliani pointed out that’s ad ran on a targeted date immediately prior to General Petraeus’ Congressional testimony.

The segment concluded with a statement that the NY Times decided to sell Giuliani a full-page ad for today at the rate of $65,000.

Smart move by Giuliani and, if this sets a precedent for full-page political ad rates, bad news for the NY Times. I doubt it will affect long-term ad rates but the NY Times must have concerns about the ad or it wouldn’t have discounted Giuliani’s ad.


G.O.P. Senators Preemptively Surrendering on Olson

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:10 am

There is an excellent editorial in the Wall Street Journal today titled Borking Mr. Olson:

Not content with having run Attorney General Alberto Gonzales out of town, the Democratic posse on Capitol Hill is already gunning for his replacement–even before he’s nominated. More preposterous still, they’re disguising this pre-emptive borking as a plea for a “consensus” choice.

The breadth of this proposed condominium appears to be on the narrow side, however, running from Harry Reid to Pat Leahy, and perhaps stretching all the way to Chuck Schumer. Revealingly, this “consensus” doesn’t seem to have room for Ted Olson, the former Solicitor General who is merely one of America’s finest lawyers.

“Ted Olson will not be confirmed,” declares Senate Majority Leader Reid. “He’s a partisan, and the last thing we need as an Attorney General is a partisan.”

Are Senate Republicans going to take this lying down? You be the judge. From a recent AP story:

“It would be unfortunate to nominate someone who can’t be confirmed,” Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. and a member of the Judiciary Committee, said earlier in the day.

. . . .

Earlier Wednesday, Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, a former Judiciary Committee chairman, said he talked with about 10 Democrats about Olson and that some made noises, if not outright threats, about blocking his nomination.

“I have been warned by a number of Democrats that they’re not going to let that happen,” Hatch said of an Olson confirmation. If the White House thinks Olson would sail through the Senate, Hatch said, “then they don’t understand the people up here.”

Yup: lying down. The article says Sessions and Hatch believe Olson would make it through, but their weak comments don’t inspire. It takes someone tough like Mitch McConnell to speak out against this putative Borking:

The bubbling controversy spilled onto the Senate floor Wednesday, when Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., warned that any holdup of the yet-to-be-named nominee would make hypocrites of Democrats who urged Bush to swiftly name Gonzales’ successor. Nomination to confirmation of new attorneys general has taken on average three weeks since the Carter administration, McConnell said.

If Democrats delay the nomination, McConnell warned, “they’ll show the American people that their concern for the department was insincere.”

The WSJ editors ask:

Is Mr. Reid saying that a Republican President can’t nominate any Republican as Attorney General? Or does he mean that President Bush can only nominate a certain kind of Republican–namely one who agrees with the Senate Democratic agenda, or short of that one who can be easily rolled?

That the latter is the real Democratic game was given away by none other than Mr. Leahy, whose own “partisanship” is so raw he can’t disguise it. Number Two on Mr. Leahy’s helpful “Checklist for Choosing the Next Attorney General” is this: “A proven track record of independence to ensure that he or she will act as an independent check on this Administration’s expansive claims of virtually unlimited executive power.”

Ironically, the AP story suggests that indeed Olson may be just such a person:

Olson has displayed some independence from Bush on at least one occasion. When former Deputy Attorney General James Comey was summoned to the White House in 2004 after refusing to sign off on Bush’s warrantless surveillance program, Olson accompanied Comey for support.

But that means nothing to the sanctimonious fraud Leahy.

Finally, the editors observe:

What’s really going on here is an attempt to intimidate Mr. Bush into nominating a candidate Democrats favor. This makes it all the more disappointing that Republican Senators have failed to speak up for Mr. Olson, with some joining the “consensus” chorus. We hope it isn’t because one or more of them are angling for the Attorney General job. Voters didn’t elect them to act as an echo of the Democrats, and they’re likely to stay in the minority for a long time–and deserve to–if they won’t stand up for the prerogatives of a President from their own party.

This is a veiled reference to (at a minimum) Orrin Hatch, as the AP article makes clear:

Hatch is another name mentioned. Several Senate colleagues have said they have spoken with Hatch about the prospect and predicted that the White House could turn to him if Bush can’t convince anyone else acceptable to Democrats to take the job.

Hatch has said he discussed the prospect with the White House but believes “it’s not going to happen.”

Is it a cheap shot by the editors? I don’t know, but I’m disappointed by Hatch’s comments, whatever motivated them.

I’d love to believe that this is all a head-feint, and that Bush still has Olson’s nomination in mind.

But it’s looking like Senators aren’t going to give him much support. The same folks who allowed the disastrous Gang of 14 deal to go through are caving on Olson before the fight even begins.

Lack of courage in individual battles is not a way to win the larger war.

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