Patterico's Pontifications


Jesse Jackson Said the N-Word Too

Filed under: 2008 Election,General,Race — Patterico @ 8:28 pm

He didn’t just say he wanted to cut Obama’s nuts off. He apparently also said Obama was “telling n—–s how to behave.”

This, from a guy who said: “I might add that we’re really going to begin to fight to prohibit that word in public usage as hate language.”


Bush Ends Executive Ban on Off-Shore Drilling and Oil Prices Drop 7% in two trading sessions

Filed under: General — WLS @ 5:34 pm

[Posted by WLS]

June 20, 2008 — USA Today:

Democrat Barack Obama’s campaign released remarks he plans to make at the start of a news conference in Jacksonville, Fla. in just a few minutes. The lead: Unlike Republican John McCain, he will preserve the federal ban on off-shore oil drilling.

In the advance remarks, Obama tweaks McCain. “In what is becoming a bit of a regular occurrence in this campaign, Senator McCain once had a different position on offshore drilling,” Obama says. “And it’s clear why he did –- it would have long-term consequences for our coastlines but no short-term benefits since it would take ten years to get any oil.”

Obama says that “offshore drilling would not lower gas prices today. It would not lower gas prices this summer. It would not lower gas prices this year. In fact, President Bush’s own Energy Department says that we won’t see a drop of oil from this proposal until 2017. It will take a generation to reach full production. And even then, the effect on gas prices will be minimal at best.

July 15, 2008: President Bush rescinds Executive Order banning offshore drilling.

Price of oil at close on July 14 — $145.18.

Price of oil at close on July 16 — $134.60.

“Crude-oil futures tumbled $4.14 to $134.60 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, bringing the contract’s loss to $10.58 over the past two sessions – the biggest two-day drop in crude prices since January 1991. Crude has lost $10.58 over the last two sessions, the biggest two-day price drop since January, 1991. It’s now 8.6% lower than the $147.27 record high hit last Thursday. Earlier in the session, futures slumped $6.74 to an intraday low of $132, the lowest for a front-month contract since June 12.”

Yes, I understand there was an unexpected rise in oil and gas inventories reported today, and that spooked traders into thinking that a significant decrease in demand may be beginning to make itself known. But, there is not mistaking the fact that commodities markets price NEWS into their trading, not just the number of barrels that come out of the ground on any given day.

So much for Obama’s understanding of futures trading in commodities.


The Skepticism About Obama is Beginning to Flow From Places He Can’t Afford It — The Press and the LeftWingNuts: Updated

Filed under: 2008 Election,Media Bias,Politics,Terrorism,War — WLS @ 3:17 pm

[Posted by WLS]

Update:  I’m putting this update at the top because it would have led this piece had I seen it earlier.  But the WaPo editorial page flays Obama’s speech yesterday on foreign policy.  The editorial is so strong I’m beginning to think the Post might being laying the groundwork for an eventual endorsement of McCain on the basis that Obama is just too inexperienced and too much of a lightweight to risk at this particular point in time.  Some significant excerpts:

BARACK OBAMA yesterday accused President Bush and Sen. John McCain of rigidity on Iraq: “They said we couldn’t leave when violence was up, they say we can’t leave when violence is down.” Mr. Obama then confirmed his own foolish consistency. Early last year, when the war was at its peak, the Democratic candidate proposed a timetable for withdrawing all U.S. combat forces in slightly more than a year. Yesterday, with bloodshed at its lowest level since the war began, Mr. Obama endorsed the same plan.

At the time he first proposed his timetable, Mr. Obama argued — wrongly, as it turned out — that U.S. troops could not stop a sectarian civil war. He conceded that a withdrawal might be accompanied by a “spike” in violence. Now, he describes as “an achievable goal” that “we leave Iraq to a government that is taking responsibility for its future — a government that prevents sectarian conflict and ensures that the al-Qaeda threat which has been beaten back by our troops does not reemerge.” How will that “true success” be achieved? By the same pullout that Mr. Obama proposed when chaos in Iraq appeared to him inevitable.

The message that the Democrat sends is that he is ultimately indifferent to the war’s outcome — that Iraq “distracts us from every threat we face” and thus must be speedily evacuated regardless of the consequences.


I’ve been pondering a post that tries to tie together some of the emerging themes that Obama’s campaign is beginning to fracture as the attention paid to him transitions from the cocoon of the Dem primary season with a fawning press corps, incremental policy differences, and enraptured supporters, to an arena of campaign combat where his positions will be exposed to serious scrutiny and the press is compelled to report stories that are too good to ignore, even when they hurt him. I’ve always considered it significant that Obama has NEVER before run a seriously contested campaign against an opposition that would challenge the fundamental premises of his views, and that his campaign is being mostly by Chicago pols with little or no experience in running national presidential campaigns.

But then I came across blog post by Byron York at the NRO Corner yesterday about concerns in establishment Dem circles that Obama’s campaign tactics are beginning to undermine the premise of his candidacy, and it explained pretty well the premise I had been cogitating over.

I just got off the phone with a well-connected Democrat, trying to get a better read on this Democrats-miffed-with-Obama stuff. It’s real, he said, and more serious than the mostly process concerns outlined in the Politico story. Yes, party leaders are irritated at the Obama campaign’s go-it-alone style. “Another Democrat said that they want to do this without help from anyone inside the Beltway,” my source says, “because they want to arrive in town and not owe anyone anything. Which is a big gamble, because if it doesn’t work, everyone is going to blame the hell out of them.” But the bigger problem is the after-effect of Obama’s extensive “refinements” in policy. “What they thought they would do is improve their position on issues by moving Obama to the center,” the source says. “And what they failed to account for is that in improving their position politically, they underestimated the damage to the brand that was going to be inflicted by this.”

As evidence, the Democrat cites the recent Newsweek poll, which asked, “Some people say that since Barack Obama became the presumed Democratic nominee for president, he has changed his position on key policy issues to try to gain political advantage. Do you agree or disagree?” Fifty-three percent of the registered voters polled agreed, while 32 percent disagreed and 15 percent didn’t know. “If McCain can turn him into a politician, Obama has lost his advantage,” the Democrat says.

The great potential for damage is on Iraq, of course; if Obama’s supporters believed he has changed his position on Iraq, that would be devastating. With today’s speech and his recent clarifications of policy, the Democrat believes that Obama has probably stopped the damage on that score, although his base is skeptical in a way it wasn’t before. “I think this notion that the goal hasn’t changed, but of course we are going to listen to the generals on the ground — that’s a pretty safe position for him,” the Democrat says. But other flip-flops, like FISA, this Democrat says, could hurt him.

But isn’t concern about FISA pretty much inside baseball, limited to the hard-core base, people who might complain about Obama but always support him? Yes, the Democrat says, but, “His base cares about it a lot, and he made a big deal in the primaries about how he would filibuster. It was a matter of moral principle.” And it’s not just principle involved. It’s money. What was the source of Obama’s miraculous fundraising prowess? It was people who cared a lot about things like FISA. “Where FISA and Iraq hurt him is with small donors on the Internet,” the source says. “If the brand is really damaged, then the decision to opt out [of the campaign finance system] becomes a lot riskier, because the $100 donor is the donor who pays a lot of attention to that stuff. It’s the FISA-head who gave him 100 bucks.”

That, of course, connects to the uneasiness among Democrats with Obama’s fundraising in June. It’s July 15, and he still hasn’t announced how much he raised last month. Maybe it will turn out to be huge, and he’s been coy about it. But if it is underwhelming, and perhaps even continues Obama’s recent downward trend, there will be a lot of questions among Democrats who wonder whether Obama’s financial advantage is as much of a sure-thing as they thought.

More after the jump.


Boy Samson vs. the Principled Principal

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:35 am

Principled hairgrower, or no-account rulebreaker? You be the judge:

Adriel’s parents want to enroll him at Needville Elementary School. Betenbaugh sent an e-mail to the principal, asking about kindergarten and explaining Adriel’s long hair. The principal replied that the district doesn’t allow long hair on boys.

On June 9, the family met with Curtis Rhodes, the Needville superintendent. Rhodes asked what religion upheld that Adriel could not cut his hair. The family explained there wasn’t a church or doctrine they followed, but they believe that Adriel’s hair is sacred.

Arocha said that his belief is to cut his hair after life-changing events, such as mourning the death of someone he loves.

Rhodes told the family Adriel’s hair would have to go.

The principal is apparently something of a stickler for rules:

“We have a lot of people tell us all the time that they move here strictly for the school system. This is just from the opposite side. [Arocha and Betenbaugh] want to move in, yet they want to change this part to fit how they practice or what they believe in,” Rhodes says. “A school district is a reflection of the community. We’ve consistently been very conservatively dressed, very conservatively disciplined. It’s no secret what our policy is: You’ll cut your hair to the right point. You’ll tuck in your shirt. You’ll have a belt.”

. . . .

“I’ve never had a hair past my ears,” Rhodes says. “I’m pretty much a rule follower. I’m not out to, just because there’s a rule I got to try to break it. I wasn’t raised that way, I wasn’t genetically put together that way. If they say do this, I’m going to do it.”

100 bucks says he muttered “damn longhairs!” to himself at some point during this episode.

What I find interesting is that, if the long hair stemmed from a religious belief, it would be no problem. Apparently principles are allowed only if tied to a belief in a higher being of some sort.

Thoughtcrime Excused

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:09 am

In March, I told you about a university janitor pursuing a communications degree who received a threatening letter from the university’s Affirmative Action office for the thoughtcrime of reading a historical book about the KKK during his breaks from work. (He was told it was “poor judgment” to read the book in front of black people.)

The university has apologized. But it sure took a lot of pressure to get to that point.

Congress’s Approval Rating Hits Low Point

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:04 am

The “most honest, most open and most ethical Congress in history” (a phrase coined by Nancy Pelosi) has a 14% approval rating, according to Gallup.

That’s the lowest rating since Gallup started asking the question 34 years ago.

Something to keep in mind the next time Democrats yap on about Bush’s low approval rating . . .

Gitmo Detainee Sobs on Video — But for Himself, Not from Remorse for the U.S. Army Medic He Killed

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:36 am

A Gitmo detainee cries that his interrogator doesn’t care about him, on video.

Well . . . we care about the U.S. Army medic he killed. That’s caring, right?

His family is a piece of work, too:

Following Khadr’s capture, his sister said the death of Sgt. 1st Class Christopher J. Speer was no “big deal”. His mother, who said she would rather see her sons at al-Qaeda training camps than “be on drugs or having some homosexual relation” in Canada, insulted some Canadians.

If you’re hellbent on blaming someone besides this kid for his plight, don’t blame the U.S. Government. You might start with that witch.

Poll: Obama = Panderer

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:02 am

Allah has the latest polling numbers, with a majority saying they think Obama is telling them what they want to hear.

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