Patterico's Pontifications


Bill Clinton Says Hillary is a “World-Class Genius”

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 8:30 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Bill Clinton is campaigning for Hillary in New Hampshire and he thinks Hillary is a world-class genius:

“Calling the ability to help others the most important quality in a president, Clinton first compared the successes of his administration in creating jobs and other areas to the failures of the Bush administration before finally turning the focus to his wife, a New York senator.

“The reason she ought to be president, over and above her vision and her plans is that she has proven in every position she has ever had in life, whether it was in elected office or not, that she is a world-class genius in making positive changes in other people’s lives,” he said.”

Bill Clinton’s speech is a classic illustration of the difference between liberals and conservatives:

“Change vs. experience has been a theme of the Democratic presidential race, and Clinton said the two are not mutually exclusive.

Again, he defended himself before praising Hillary Clinton, calling it an oversimplification to say that in 1992, he was the change candidate to George H.W. Bush’s experience. “When I came here, I was 46, but I was the senior governor in America,” Bill Clinton said. “I had worked hard on the very economic issues I said I’d try work on as president for years and years and years.”

Clinton lauded his wife for her early work for the Children’s Defense Fund, her efforts to improve education in Arkansas when he was the state’s governor and her work in the U.S. Senate, repeatedly and forcefully calling her “an agent of change.”

She’s got the right vision, big plans and a proven ability to change lives for the better. Experience and change are only opposed in values if you’re so experienced you don’t have any energy left and you can’t cut it, or if your experience is in fighting change,” he said. “But if you know how to do things, and you prove it over a long time that you can make change in other people’s lives, I think that is a pretty strong recommendation.

Conservatives want government to get out of the way so they can make things happen in their own lives. Liberals want government to make things happen for them. There are risks and benefits to each approach but I, for one, don’t feel so pessimistic or afraid that I want the government to make life’s most important decisions for me.


Hillary Clinton Signs on to “Deport the Criminals First” (Updated)

[Guest post by DRJ]

It looks like Hillary Clinton has joined the Deport the Criminals First society but you won’t believe her version:

“Alice Hardcastle, 40, told Clinton that her 18-year daughter, Elace, was killed two years ago in “an automobile accident at the hands of a foreigner.”

“He didn’t get any kind of hard punishment which is OK with me now, it wasn’t then but it is now,” she said. “I want to know what your view is on the immigration.”

After expressing her thanks and sorrow, Clinton answered with the same five-point answer that virtually every advocate of “comprehensive immigration reform,” including all the Democratic frontrunners gives: A litany of tough-sounding measures, followed by a riff on the sheer impracticality of mass deportation, the safety value of forcing immigrants to “register,” and, quietly at the end, a plan for legalization.

The question was so raw, and the tough talk in Clinton’s answer seemed particularly fierce, particularly on the point of deporting illegal immigrant criminals.

“If they commiteed a crime…we have to deport them immediately, no questions asked, no legal process,” she said. “You put them on a plane to wherever they came from.”

Hardcastle said Clinton had told her what she wanted to hear. She said she agreed that mass deportation would simply be too expensive, and that her focus was on deporting those who “do bad things.” They hugged, and Clinton told Hardcastle that the mother’s decision to forgive the driver has “choked her up,” Hardcastle said.”

I’m not sure what to think of this anecdote. First, it is not what I expect from a Democrat, especially one with Hillary’s background who is committed to legal process. Second, I can’t find other reports of this incident except the Politico link.

Was this a real quote from Hillary Clinton? It’s so surprising that it almost seems like a joke but if it did happen, this is big news.

UPDATE 12/22/2007: Hillary’s questioner was identified as Alice Hardcastle and this event apparently occurred in Tipton IA. Mrs. Hardcastle’s discussion with Hillary concerned the death of her daughter, Elace Hardcastle, at the hands of a “foreigner.”

Here’s an article on the death of Elace Hardcastle. Elace died two years ago in Coral Gables FL where she apparently lived. She was one of several teenage passengers in a car that veered out of control due to high speed. The driver, a male teenager named Kristien Rodriguez, was apparently charged with recklessness in the death of Elace and his passengers but there’s nothing in the article or that I can find elsewhere that suggests Rodriguez was a legal or illegal immigrant. Of course, that’s not dispositive since his legal status may not have been an issue if the community is a sanctuary city, but it’s hard to see how Rodriguez’s status had anything to do with Elace’s death.


Christmas Gifts

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 2:37 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

It looks like I’m in charge around here now that our host is apparently on his way to his native land, which means I can post on all the goofy things that are on my mind.

Right now the main thing on my mind is Christmas. The best thing about Christmas is that our kids are old enough so we don’t have to find a must-have toy but young enough to still want to be home with us. We adults are young enough to be healthy and active and old enough to know how to savor each moment. That’s a win-win right there.

While there aren’t as many gifts under the Christmas tree now that the kids are older, we eat well now that we’ve become Food Network aficionados (thanks Ina, Giada, and Tyler) and the kitchen is a fun place to be around the holidays.

Our most extravagant Christmas gift was a red two-seater Fiat convertible purchased almost 30 years ago – long before the kids were around. It was so much fun but it was so expensive to maintain. Our auto mechanic, with whom we became good friends as a result of that car, told us Fiat stood for Fix It Again, Tony. He was right.

In recent times, my favorite gift was also vehicle-related but it didn’t cost near as much as the Fiat. We live in West Texas and traveling anywhere is a long drive. You learn to stay on the road if you want to get anywhere so we don’t stop except for gas.

Texas is dotted with historical markers and I’ve always been interested in them. I guess other people also wonder what the markers say but aren’t willing to stop and read them, because there’s a book entitled “Why Stop?” that catalogs most of the Texas historical markers. My family gave me that book for Christmas a couple of years ago and it’s still my favorite gift, not only because they cared enough to give me what I really wanted but also because they (reluctantly) have let me read aloud what every sign says. In fairness, while that book is my favorite gift, it might be my family’s least favorite.

However, one thing never changes. The worst Christmas gift is always fruitcake … but rum cake is pretty good.


Alternatively . . . Christmas in Singapore, Honey?

Filed under: General,Humor — Patterico @ 6:22 am

A blog post on the New York Times web site makes a lot of points (I forget what they all were) and then says this:

The last time I flew Singapore Airlines, the flight attendants, all of whom were stunningly beautiful narrow-waisted young women, all but bowed as passengers walked onto the plane. In business class, the attendants got down on their knees to give passengers complimentary foot massages.

The pleasures of first class are not detailed, but the reader is implicitly invited to let his imagination soar.

I’ll be checking to see whether we can re-book our flight to Fort Worth, Texas on Singapore Airlines. Wish me luck!

Liberal Talking Points on Iraq: “We’ve Ethnically Cleansed most of Baghdad”

Filed under: War — DRJ @ 12:20 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

On September 10, 2007, Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va) assured us the “surge has failed to achieve its objective and must be defined as a failure.” Now he explains why violence is down in Baghdad:

“Sure, there’s less violence, but that’s because we’ve ethnically cleansed most of Baghdad.”

It seems Rosa Brooks of the LA Times agrees although she doesn’t credit Moran (while it looks like Moran’s statement preceded Brooks’ column, it’s possible Brooks wrote her column first):

“It’s against this backdrop that we should evaluate the success of the Bush administration’s troop “surge” in Iraq. Yes, violence is down. Some of that is because of the surge itself: More troops — and smarter counterinsurgency tactics — have indeed translated into a reduction in violence. But violence also is down because the process of “sectarian cleansing” is nearing completion: Sunnis have been driven out of Shiite neighborhoods, Shiites out of Sunni neighborhoods, the Kurds have retaken their own historic territories and smaller minorities have been shoved to the side.”

The dictionary definition of ethnic cleansing is “the expulsion, imprisonment, or killing of an ethnic minority by a dominant majority in order to achieve ethnic homogeneity.”

Let’s assume Moran and Brooks used the term “cleansing” in its most benign form to mean expulsion or segregation by ethnicity or religious sect. (It’s much easier to make that argument for Brooks than Moran because Brooks specifically recognizes benefits from the surge and notes that “[s]ectarian segregation isn’t ideal, but it beats genocide.”) It’s not surprising to learn that, during wartime, Iraqis have moved to segregated areas for security or family reasons. In fact, it makes sense to do so.

However, the use of a term like “ethnic cleansing” isn’t a benign term. It suggests sectarian killings and perhaps even that American troops condoned or participated in genocide in Iraq. Whether by design or not, suggesting the US condones or participates in ethnic cleansing is inflammatory and adversely affects the American military in Iraq.

If these are the newest liberal talking points on Iraq, shame on them.


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