Patterico's Pontifications


A Test of the Obama Energy Plan

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 9:02 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

During the Democratic primary debates, Barack Obama said an element of his energy plan would be to mobilize Americans to use less energy. He later suggested American consumers were to blame for the nation’s energy woes because they would not reduce their energy use, followed by polls that showed little backlash from American voters.

Thanks to a power outage from a lightening lightning storm during his Hawaiian vacation, last night Obama had the opportunity to implement his plan to use less energy:

“President-elect Barack Obama’s Hawaiian vacation was darkened for 11 hours Friday night and early today when a power outage enveloped the island of Oahu.

Obama, wife Michelle, and daughters Malia and Sasha are staying in a $9 million, five-bedroom oceanfront house near downtown Honolulu. Power to the compound went out around 7 p.m. Friday and was restored just before 6 a.m. today, about the time as that of the neighbors, Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt said.”

The compound had 3 generators but the Obama family reportedly spent the evening in the dark.

Good for them.

Of course, Obama and his family won’t do without much in the next four years. But I hope this moment of nighttime sacrifice in a temperate climate makes Obama think twice about a policy that views sacrifice as the solution to America’s energy problems. If not, then I hope he has a big FEMA budget that will help people who aren’t fortunate enough to live in a temperate climate.


Drinking the Kool-Aid and Other Quotes

Filed under: Obama,Politics — DRJ @ 7:39 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

“Parties become much more pragmatic when they’ve won,”
says Joe Trippi, head of media firm Trippi Multimedia, manager of Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign, and adviser to John Edwards in 2008, explaining why organizations like may be willing to make ideological sacrifices to align their goals with Obama’s:

“At least in the initial stages, they’re going to try to work together (with Obama) to see what parts of their agenda they can get through,” [Trippi] says. And they recognize, he adds, that they will get more of their agenda passed if they don’t start trouble when they don’t need to.

If anything can be read into MoveOn’s silence on Rick Warren — the anti-gay-marriage pastor Obama has chosen to deliver his inaugural invocation — Trippi is correct.”

For now, then, MoveOn’s goal is to “make sure Congress is squeezed between a progressive president and a progressive constituency” or, as Joe Trippi puts it, members of Congress who stand in the way of Obama’s program:

“… are going to find themselves between Barack and a hard place.”

Meanwhile, Executive Director Eli Pariser puts his faith in the people:

“For his part, Pariser says he will do what his members want, no matter which way it takes the organization or what the implications are for its future. “I believe the fact that we hear something from all over the place at the same time means it probably is what we should do with the country,” he says. “I maybe drank the Kool Aid in civics class a little too much, but I think if you put your faith in that, you really don’t go wrong. People gravitate very quickly to the big things that are at the core of their problems.”

“It also makes our jobs easier,” he adds, “because we just do what we’re told.”’s leaders may have overestimated how in touch they are with the American people if the General BetrayUs ad is any indication.


Joel Stein’s Latest Cry for Attention

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Morons — Patterico @ 4:14 pm

The subtext of every Joel Stein column is “Hey! Look at me!” He doesn’t say anything that might get him a nasty look at the water cooler, but he does occasionally (and deliberately) poke conservatives in the eye, just to get some buzz — witness his “I don’t support the troops” column. (As a bonus, he often gets an award for honesty from conservatives who believe that Stein is saying what they believe all liberals think.) He’s also a lazy putz who fell for the silly “Bush gave the troops a fake turkey” canard.

I tend to think it’s best to ignore him, but I also want to make the e-mails stop.

And so, here is Stein’s latest cry for attention:

But I’ve come to believe conservatives are right. They do love America more. Sure, we liberals claim that our love is deeper because we seek to improve the United States by pointing out its flaws. But calling your wife fat isn’t love. True love is the blind belief that your child is the smartest, cutest, most charming person in the world, one you would gladly die for. I’m more in ‘like’ with my country . . . When I look at the countries like people, I love Sweden the best.

The great thing about America is that there are no laws against leaving. If you prove to me that you’re serious about staying away, Joel, I’ll even take up a collection. I’m sure the readers here can collectively afford a single one-way plane ticket to Sweden.

Why So Many Civilian Casualties? The L.A. Times Will Tell You . . . Eventually

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Terrorism — Patterico @ 11:21 am

The L.A. Times reports over 200 are dead after Israel retaliated for Hamas rocket attacks. Here’s paragraphs one and two:

Israeli warplanes and helicopters bombarded military targets across the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip today, retaliating for rocket fire into Israel but also inflicting a heavy loss of civilian life in the densely populated Palestinian enclave.

The midday waves of airstrikes killed at least 205 people, according to a Palestinian Health Ministry official in Gaza, making it the deadliest Israeli assault on Palestinian territory in years. Health Ministry officer Moaiya Hassanain estimated that one-third of the dead were civilian noncombatants and that an additional 350 Palestinians were wounded.

And paragraphs 14 and 15:

The Israeli military said the targets it attacked included Hamas security headquarters, training camps and weapons depots. In a statement, it said the “vast majority of the casualties are terror operatives.”

The military added that Hamas bore sole responsibility for any civilian casualties because it had located many of the targets “within civilian population centers.”

Sure does take a while to get to that part.

P.S. It’s too bad Obama isn’t president yet. This wouldn’t happen if he were in office.

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