Patterico's Pontifications


Ann Coulter Eulogizes Her Mother

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:26 pm

My condolences.

A lot of people claim to be my No. 1 fan — God bless them — but my true No. 1 fan left this world last week. My mother quietly stopped breathing last Tuesday, as she slept peacefully, holding my hand.

There are worse ways to go.

Why jump on Obama’s fantasy foreign policy?

Filed under: General — Karl @ 8:37 am

[Posted by Karl]

Yesterday, after noting that Pres. Obama’s foreign policy has been a failure with adversaries and allies alike, one commenter suggested it was much too early to lodge such criticism.  The Washington Post’s Jackson Diehl did not seem to think so, but it is a question worth addressing on its own.

Pres. Obama’s election continues a post-WWII 16-year cycle favoring relatively inexperienced Democrats preaching the gospel of Hopenchange.  Their foreign policy experiences are instructive.

JFK’s handling of the Bay of Pigs fiasco and the Vienna summit convinced Khrushchev that Kennedy was feckless, which helped precipitate the Cuban missile crisis. 

Jimmy Carter prided himself on a humble foreign policy that worked to the advantage of a mass-murdering Iranian theocracy, Soviet aggression in Afghanistan and the popularization of suicide bombings in the Mideast

Bill Clinton paid insufficient attention to the growing threat of Islamic terrorists at the outset of his presidency, with ultimately catastrophic results.

The Clinton era is mentioned — though not by name, natch — as a precedent in Dana Milbank’s David Ignatius’s must-read account of how Obama’s unprecedented disclosure of CIA operational methods is already degrading US intelligence collection:

One veteran counterterrorism operative says that agents in the field are already being more careful about using the legal findings that authorize covert action. An example is the so-called “risk of capture” interview that takes place in the first hour after a terrorism suspect is grabbed. This used to be the key window of opportunity, in which the subject was questioned aggressively and his cellphone contacts and “pocket litter” were exploited quickly.

Now, field officers are more careful. They want guidance from headquarters. They need legal advice. I’m told that in the case of an al-Qaeda suspect seized in Iraq several weeks ago, the CIA didn’t even try to interrogate him. The agency handed him over to the U.S. military.

Agency officials also worry about the effect on foreign intelligence services that share secrets with the United States in a process politely known as “liaison.” A former official who remains in close touch with key Arab allies such as Egypt and Jordan warns: “There is a growing concern that the risk is too high to do the things with America they’ve done in the past.”

Joe Biden recognized that presidents are often tested by an international crisis early in their terms.  It becomes all the more likely if America’s adversaries think the president is an easy mark.  Accordingly, the sooner that Obama realizes his foreign and national securitiy policies are dangerously naive, the better.


Site Issues Again

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:22 am

The site has received higher than normal traffic in recent days and has been straining under the pressure. Most days I have had to turn on a plugin called “WP Super Cache” which serves up cached pages to people who visited recently. The upside is that the site stays up. The downside is that comments can take forever to appear, unless someone physically clears the cache.

Sometimes people are available to do that, and sometimes they aren’t. When they aren’t, you can try clearing your own cache, and that may help comments appear. Alternatively, you can suggest to me the name of a computer tech guy who can help me with the problem.

Even though traffic is not terribly high right now, the site was very slow again this morning and I turned on this pluginyet again. More people seem to be getting through now and everything has sped back up. Comments may be bumpy again, however.

Sorry about the problems.

Robert Gibbs: Obama Never Taught Constitutional Law

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Obama — Patterico @ 7:14 am

From an April 14, 2009 White House press briefing (noted here):

Helen Thomas: Why is the president blocking habeas corpus from prisoners at Bagram? I thought he taught constitutional law. And these prisoners have been there . . .

Robert Gibbs: You’re incorrect that he taught on constitutional law.

He had a lot of people fooled besides Helen Thomas. Here is a random smattering from the L.A. Times:


That’s a stand that former constitutional law teacher Barack Obama disagreed with in the recent presidential campaign.


There are several passages in Obama’s memoir, “The Audacity of Hope,” that suggest a familiarity with the founders’ legacy. He recalls teaching constitutional law at the University of Chicago


Barack Obama likes to talk about his years teaching constitutional law . . .


Tour guides on a two-hour, $25 Gray Line (312-251-3100, South Shore Tour these days point out quite a few Obama sites as they drive through the Kenwood and Hyde Park neighborhoods: the block where Obama lives, the building at the University of Chicago where he taught constitutional law,


A president-elect who’s a former part-time constitutional law professor, even one without his BlackBerry, presumably is aware of this prohibition .. . .


And the former constitutional law professor did go on in his answers . . .

I could go on. You do know I could go on, right?

Y’all want to maybe huddle and get your stories straight and then we can come back?

OK, then.

UPDATE: The transcript was wrong. Gibbs said she was not incorrect that she taught constitutional law. I regret the error.

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