Patterico's Pontifications


Spend, Spend, Spend

Filed under: Economics,Government — DRJ @ 8:00 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The federal deficit ballooned $181B in July due to falling tax receipts and increased spending.

Meanwhile, the Democrats’ spending continues as Roll Call reports the House ordered three new luxury aircraft, two of which will be used in DC. (The Wall Street Journal reports the House actually ordered eight aircraft and notes growing resistance to these expenditures in the Senate.)

This spending binge will burden future generations like a chain, chain, chain around their necks.


Prison Riot in Chino

Filed under: Government — DRJ @ 5:28 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The California State Prison in Chino is on lockdown after a riot that left 250 inmates hurt and 55 hospitalized.

Meanwhile, the EU’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment blasted Swedish prisons for torture of inmates by leaving them in isolation for “periods of 6 to 18 months.” Government prosecutors responded that restrictions were appropriate where there is a “risk that they will jeopardize an investigation through contact with mass media or individuals close to the crime of which they are accused.”

Right about now, these Chino prisoners might welcome the safety that comes with more isolation.


Politically Incorrect Video of the Day

Filed under: Humor — DRJ @ 4:51 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Courtesy of ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live:


The Cost of Preventive Health Care

Filed under: Government,Obama — DRJ @ 3:53 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Obama Administration has pushed the cost-saving benefits of preventive health care but the CBO says preventive care won’t save money:

“Although different types of preventive care have different effects on spending, the evidence suggests that for most preventive services, expanded utilization leads to higher, not lower, medical spending overall,” [CBO Director Douglas] Elmendorf wrote.
“Researchers who have examined the effects of preventive care generally find that the added costs of widespread use of preventive services tend to exceed the savings from averted illness.”

Mike K has pointed this out on several occasions. Perhaps the Obama Administration has been listening because Linda Douglass, the infamous White House communications director for Health Reform, responded that preventive care will save money because it will be targeted.

I wonder how they will decide who gets this targeted preventive care? It could be our personal physicians but I’m betting on the government death panel.


SEIU: We Are the Victims (Updated)

Filed under: Obama,Politics — DRJ @ 2:50 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

GatewayPundit links an SEIU blog that claims its members were the victims of violence at the St. Louis townhall meeting where Kenneth Gladney was assaulted. Earlier posts on this here, here, and here.

UPDATE — A semi-related link: Blatant Astroturfing, via Hot Air. Don’t miss Leah on the C-Span video.


This Week’s North American Summit

Filed under: Immigration,International — DRJ @ 2:39 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The New York Times previews three issues at this week’s North American summit in Mexico: The American prohibition on Mexican trucks in violation of NAFTA, the “Buy American” requirement in Obama’s stimulus plan, and immigration. Surprisingly, the immigration issue doesn’t involve the United States:

“But it was Mexicans entering Canada, not the United States, that was the contentious issue.

Too many Mexicans, the Canadian government complained, were fraudulently claiming political asylum in Canada, overwhelming the system. So Canada announced last month that it would begin requiring Mexican nationals to secure visas before entering the country, a decision that sparked outrage in Mexico.

The Mexicans struck back with an announcement that Canadian diplomats and government officials would now require visas to enter Mexico.”

Mexican President Felipe Calderon hopes to convince Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper to reconsider, but Canadian officials have already said they will not reconsider the new policy.


LA Times: DOJ Will Investigate CIA Abuses

Filed under: Government,Obama — DRJ @ 8:52 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

The LA Times reports Attorney General Eric Holder will open a criminal investigation into CIA treatment of detainees:

“A senior Justice Department official said that Holder envisioned an inquiry that would be narrow in scope, focusing on “whether people went beyond the techniques that were authorized” in Bush administration memos that liberally interpreted anti-torture laws.”

The article notes there may be serious proof problems, including difficulty locating witnesses, the absence of legally admissible documentation, and problems proving the requisite level of intent:

“The U.S. anti-torture statute requires proving that an interrogator “specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering” — a daunting legal threshold.

Officials said it wasn’t clear that any CIA interrogators were ever informed of the limits laid out in the Justice Department memo.

“A number of people could say honestly, correctly, ‘I didn’t know what was in it,’ ” said a former senior U.S. intelligence official familiar with the inner workings of the interrogation program.”

There is also concern over the fallout from such an investigation:

“I don’t blame them for wanting to look into it,” said a former high-ranking Justice Department official familiar with the details of the program. “But if they appoint a special prosecutor, it would ultimately be unsuccessful, and it would go on forever and cause enormous collateral damage on the way to getting that unsuccessful result.”

Bracing for the worst, a small number of CIA officials have put off plans to retire or leave the agency so that they can maintain their access to classified files and be in a better position to defend against a Justice investigation.”

This sounds like an investigation that will target CIA field officers and supervisors. Apparently despite the “great challenges and disturbing disunity” of our times, there is something to be gained by “spending our time and energy laying blame for the past.”


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