Patterico's Pontifications


Bailout Deal Struck

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:22 pm

Details here.

UPDATE: Hot Air has more.

Exceeding Debate Expectations

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 6:52 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

It’s worth remembering that last night’s debate was supposed to be about foreign policy and national security, an area that is considered to be McCain’s strength, but a third of the conversation focused on domestic economic questions.

For that we can thank Jim Lehrer and his expanded debate definition, apparently for this one debate only, that foreign policy and national security includes any question about the global/US economy. [NOTE: To all who claim that because the US economy is so big, anything we do affects the rest of the world and that makes the US economy a foreign policy matter … I agree, at least in principle. And if that’s your criteria for these debates then I expect several questions in the domestic policy debate about foreign affairs, since anything we do affects the rest of the world. Of course, that won’t happen and that’s why last night’s debate was unfair to McCain. C’est la vie.]

Therefore, when pundits say Obama was generally competitive with McCain on foreign policy and thus he exceeded expectations so he won, keep in mind that some of that debate also included questions on the economy and voters view that topic as Obama’s strength.

Similarly, keep in mind that McCain was generally competitive with Obama on the economy and thus he exceeded expectations so he won, too. Confused? Me, too, but perhaps that’s one of many reasons why the polls and pundits are all over the place on this debate.

What I do know is that the Vice Presidential debate will be Thursday, October 2, at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. The moderator is PBS’s Gwen Ifill and the debate will cover domestic and foreign policy.


Upset Weekend

Filed under: Sports — DRJ @ 1:43 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Yesterday No. 1 USC lost and today No. 4 Florida fell to Mississippi, 31-30.

EDIT: More upsets. Michigan upset No. 9 Wisconsin, and No. 3 Georgia fell to No. 8 Alabama.

Holy cow.


Border Fence Update

Filed under: Immigration — DRJ @ 12:17 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Even though the topic was national security, I only heard one mention of border security in last night’s debate and that was by Senator McCain:

“But we still have a long way to go before we can declare America safe, and that means doing a better job along our borders, as well.”

That’s not a clear statement of support for the border fence but at least he mentioned border security. Thus, it’s a good time to revisit the status of the Southern border fence.

Congress approved funding of 670 miles of vehicle and pedestrian fencing along the Southern border. To date, 345.9 miles have been completed.

The El Paso Times recently reported that nearly all of the 110-mile border fence in the El Paso Sector covering far West Texas and all of New Mexico has been contracted out at a cost of $220 million. All but one section of the West Texas-New Mexico border fence is under construction and completion is expected by the end of the year. The contract on the final section, with an estimated cost of $8 million, is pending.

Opinion on the border fence is decidedly mixed in Texas border communities. El Paso resident Michael Walsh explained why he supports the fence:

“I’m tired of living in Northern Mexico.”

Walsh isn’t exaggerating. Another El Paso Times’ article notes that “74 percent of all residents in the El Paso metropolitan area spoke Spanish at home, even if they are fluent in English.” Thus, no more than 26% of El Paso residents speak English at home.


This Video Is An Excellent Compilation Of The History Of The Subprime Mortgage Crisis

Filed under: General — WLS @ 11:25 am

Posted by WLS:

Kudos to the person who produced it.

Spread it around.

Paul Newman Dead at 83

Filed under: Current Events — DRJ @ 10:20 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Paul Newman died yesterday at his home in Connecticut of complications from cancer. He was 83.


UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Newman was always one of my top five favorite actors. I loved him in movies like Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy, Hud, and The Verdict. What’s more, he was an extraordinarily decent family man who did good works. My sympathies to his family.

If you have any criticisms of him, save them for another day, or they’ll be deleted.

Selling You a Bridge

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 9:24 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Check out the video at The Jawa Report.

EDIT: Liberal New Yorkers “welcome” McCain-Palin supporters.


Footnotes to the First Debate

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 12:22 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

The AP’s Liz Sidoti filed this report on the first debate and here is the section I noticed (emphasis supplied):

“At times, both candidates struggled to keep their composure, and their dislike for each another showed through.

When Obama assailed McCain’s tax proposals and accused him of wanting to give another $4 billion in tax breaks to oil companies, McCain smiled tightly, chuckled and said: “With all due respect, you already gave them to the oil companies.”

And, as McCain criticized Obama’s position on last year’s troop increase strategy in Iraq, Obama smirked, pursed his lips and muttered repeatedly: “That’s not true.”

Three thoughts: First, I’m sure there’s a common word that is used in lieu of “troop increase strategy.” I think it rhymes with Purge. Apparently both Obama and Ms. Sidoti prefer to avoid that word.

Second, I also noticed Obama’s smirks and gestures. It reminded me a little of Al Gore in the first Bush-Gore debate in the 2000 election.

Third, I agree Obama and McCain seem to dislike each other. Presidential campaigns can be heated, but McCain and Obama also had a run-in in the Senate that I doubt endeared them to each other. If you don’t remember it, let me refresh your memory regarding McCain’s Letter to Obama:


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