Patterico's Pontifications



Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:20 pm


The federal government mistakenly made public a 266-page report, its pages marked “highly confidential,” that gives detailed information about hundreds of the nation’s civilian nuclear sites and programs, including maps showing the precise locations of stockpiles of fuel for nuclear weapons.

What could go wrong?

Sotomayor: At Least She’s Consistent

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 9:07 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Greg Sargent at reports that, in a 1994 speech, Sonia Sotomayor made a “wise woman” comment that is “virtually identical to the ‘wise Latina’ one from 2001 that has generated so much controversy:”

“Here’s what [Sotomayor] said in the 1994 speech:

Justice O’Connor has often been cited as saying that “a wise old man and a wise old woman reach the same conclusion in dueling cases. I am not so sure Justice O’Connor is the author of that line since Professor Resnik attributes the line to Supreme Court Justice Coyle. I am not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, if Prof. Martha Minnow is correct, there can never be a universal definition of ‘wise.’ Second, I would hope that a wise woman with the richness of her experience would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion.

That’s virtually identical to the comments from 2001 that have generated days and days of controversy.”

Sargent apparently views this as an important find that supports Sotomayor’s confirmation, reasoning that since Senators did not object to her statement in the 1998 confirmation hearings then they should not object now. However, in an update, Sargent notes that Politico’s Ben Smith suggests this “also makes it harder for the White House to cast it as a slip of the tongue,” while Michael Goldfarb of the Weekly Standard says it skewers the “poor choice of words” defense.

Maybe, just maybe, Sonia Sotomayor actually believes Latina women are wiser than everyone else.

UPDATE: Tom Maguire has more thoughts. So is she a sexist or a racist?


Who in 2012??

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:12 pm

So, you’ve had it with mealy-mouthed conservatives like Newt Gingrich, who called Sonia Sotomayor a racist and then walked it back; or Mike Huckabee or Mitt Romney, whom you don’t trust on social issues. You’d love to see Sarah Palin run in 2012, but in the back of your mind you wonder whether she would get run over by the media (again). If Rush or Mark Levin ran for office, you’d vote for them, but they won’t — they’re having too much fun (and making too much money) on the radio.

You think John McCain lost, not because voters rejected the Bush era, but because he just wasn’t conservative enough.

Here’s a chance to test that theory: Dick Cheney for President in 2012.

I’d vote for him. So would you.

And he would lose overwhelmingly.

Still, a doctrinaire conservative can dream, can’t he?

Via Hot Air.

Barack Obama, Muslim-American

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 7:11 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Or as Jake Tapper says, “the emergence of President Obama’s Muslim roots”:

“The other day we heard a comment from a White House aide that never would have been uttered during the primaries or general election campaign.

During a conference call in preparation for President Obama’s trip to Cairo, Egypt, where he will address the Muslim world, deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Denis McDonough said “the President himself experienced Islam on three continents before he was able to — or before he’s been able to visit, really, the heart of the Islamic world — you know, growing up in Indonesia, having a Muslim father — obviously Muslim Americans (are) a key part of Illinois and Chicago.”

What a difference an election makes.


Obama’s Mideast Tour Begins

Filed under: International,Obama — DRJ @ 12:08 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

King Abdullah welcomed Barack Obama today as he begins his Middle East tour in Saudi Arabia:

“After landing in Saudi Arabia beside a red carpet in 106-degree heat, the president and his top aides shook hands with King Abdullah. Then the presidential party rode dual escalators up to a marbled Royal Reception Room for the opening talks of the trip.

“I thought it was very important to come to the place where Islam began and to seek His Majesty’s counsel and to discuss with him many of the issues that we confront here in the Middle East,” Obama said after arriving at the king’s royal farm.”

Aides say Obama wants to “build a bridge to the Arab and Muslim worlds” but his reluctance to visit Israel suggests he may build those Muslim bridges at Israel’s expense.

Either way, Osama bin Laden is not impressed.

UPDATE: I didn’t see Karl’s post on a related topic before I posted this. My apologies to Karl, and feel free to discuss this topic in the comments at Karl’s post.


Obama’s speech to “the Muslim world”: Who cares?

Filed under: General — Karl @ 12:07 pm

[Posted by Karl]

The media and punditocracy are ramping up the hype for Pres. Obama’s allegedly “historic” Speech to the Muslim World in Cairo tomorrow. Christopher Dickey preemptively laments that Obama will not use the occasion to apologize for every grudge Muslims nurse against the evil American empire. Joseph Loconte notes that so far, Obama has not followed through on his campaign rhetoric about his ability to address the failures of contemporary Islam. Paul Wolfowitz hopes Obama will use the Cairo speech to recommit to “the freedom agenda,” but fears he will not. Wolfowitz and Reza Aslan both note that Obama is not even speaking to the “Muslim World” in all of its diversity, but really to Arab (and perhaps Persian) Muslims. Lisa Anderson, provost of the American University in Cairo, suggests Obama’s real audience is domestic. She is probably closest to the truth.

Although the latest Gallup poll shows that U.S. leadership approval ratings are up in a number of Arab nations, the numbers remain dismal and are actually down in Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories. (An earlier Gallup poll showed a plurality thinking that the outcome of the US presidential election would not make a difference to their countries.) Polling in Arab countries by Shilbey Telhami and Zogby International shows that — much like America — Obama is personally popular but deep skepticism remains on policy issues. Considering that the Obama administration plans on keeping large numbers of troops in Iraq, has no viable plan for closing Guantanamo Bay, etc., Obama’s honeymoon with the Arab street — modest as it is — will likely be short-lived.

Furthermore, the oppression that prevails throughout most of the Mideast means that in the short-term, public opinion does not matter as much as the opinion of the oppressors. When Obama finishes speaking to the Muslim World, it is far more likely than not that the Muslim World will still not be speaking to him. The president’s platitudinous piffle will undoubtedly send a thrill up the collective leg of the lapdog press here in America. Elsewhere, it will be remembered about as well as his equally “historic” trip to Turkey last month.

Cross-posted at HotAir, with an Update from Allahpundit:

Update (AP): My thoughts exactly. To believe that half an hour of pap will advance the ball in the Middle East, you’d have to believe that tensions there are based largely on “cultural misunderstandings,” not wholly irreconcilable goals like the right of return. It’s worth doing simply because it’s a costless exercise, but as with anything Obama does, the media hoopla is wildly disproportionate to the actual effect. A productive use of righty bloggers’ time this afternoon will be to seize on the passages inevitably touted by the press as “breakthroughs” and then comb through Bush’s speeches for their analogs, of which there are bound to be many. Exit question: Will The One address the lingering “cultural misunderstanding” about whether the Holocaust happened? It’d be nice to find common ground on that, at least.


No Right to Self Defense?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:33 am

At The Jury Talks Back, Kevin Murphy brings to the attention of readers a Seventh Circuit case that suggests that states may constitutionally eliminate the right of self defense. If the case’s logic were accepted, we would have a Constitution that supposedly protects a woman’s right to abort her fetus for any reason or no reason — but that doesn’t protect your right to defend yourself if attacked.

That doesn’t sound right to me.

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