Patterico's Pontifications


Jackson-Lee: “In Congress, We Have to Multi-Task”

Filed under: Government — DRJ @ 10:15 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Houston Democratic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee held a town hall meeting today in Houston where she demonstrated her multi-tasking skills:

“Occasional chastising punctuated the rest of the meeting, some comments accusing her of wasting time when introducing a state politician who had joined the crowd and other jeers when she talked on her cell phone while a constituent posed a question to her.

“In Congress, we have to multi-task,” she explained.

Some constituents also complained that Jackson Lee did her best to dodge hard questions:

“Several of Jackson Lee’s constituents opposed to the health care plan complained the meetings were never posted on the congresswoman’s Web site. They also said they had called her office repeatedly but were only informed about the meetings when they called the day before it happened.
Jackson Lee is known for aggressively promoting her events by e-mailing and calling local news media. But the Houston Chronicle didn’t receive any notifications from her office about the Tuesday forum.”

I hope someone got a video of Jackson-Lee’s multi-tasking comment.



Start watching at 4:30 if you’re pressed for time. Simply amazing.

El Paso Soldier Arrested for Drug Cartel Hit

Filed under: Crime,International — DRJ @ 7:19 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

An 18-year-old U.S. soldier stationed at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, has been arrested in connection with a hit on a Mexican cartel member whose cooperation with law enforcement led to the arrest of a high-level (and possibly a rival) cartel member.

The soldier allegedly shot the victim eight times.


Race Riot at Chino (Updated)

Filed under: Crime,Dog Trainer,Race — DRJ @ 6:11 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The recent riot at the Chino state prison “began with a fight between black and Hispanic gang members.” Déjà Vu.

How will the LA Times cover this?

UPDATE 8/12/2009: This LA Times’ article and this blog entry address the role of race in the riot, but only the blog entry specifically discussed the 2005 Supreme Court decision:

“Following a 2005 Supreme Court decision that found routine racial segregation to be illegal, Chino and other California prisons are moving away from the historic practice of separating inmates by race. Inmates may now share cells with prisoners of different races. The barracks involved in the rioting had been fully integrated.

[Updated at 1:40 p.m.: But it remains unclear what role, if any, the Supreme Court decision played in the Chino problem. [Prison spokeswoman] Thornton said the court ruling only applied to prisoners in cells. The violence in Chino broke out in an area where prisoners are housed in baracks, which she said was not covered by the decision. Only two prisons with cells have been integrated since the 2005 ruling, and Chino is not among them, she said.]”


UPDATE BY PATTERICO: L.A. Times editors, February 2005:

The Supreme Court made the right decision Wednesday in all but overturning California’s policy of housing new prison inmates in cells based on their race. Clearly, the state cannot classify people solely on that basis in the year 2005, and it would be preposterous for state prison officials to continue arguing that there is a compelling reason to do so.

It is good to recall the sage advice of our betters at times like these.

Health Care Quote of the Day

Filed under: Government,Obama — DRJ @ 4:57 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Despondent words from Ezra Klein about health care reform:

“When you have to explain why your bill won’t create death panels, and what will make sure that it doesn’t, you’ve pretty much lost the argument.”

Klein concludes that some American protesters think their government is capable of madness, and he thinks “there is no answer” to that. I think he’s right.


Obama and the AARP (Updated)

Filed under: Government,Obama — DRJ @ 4:48 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Today in New Hampshire at a “tame” health care townhall meeting, Barack Obama said twice that the AARP has endorsed the Democratic reform bill. However, Jake Tapper notes that the AARP has not officially endorsed any health care bills. But it’s still somewhat true because the AARP is doing everything it can to support Obama’s health care reform.

Let’s file this under True Lies.

UPDATE: GatewayPundit thinks one of the questioners at Obama’s townhall meeting was a plant.


Obama’s Convoluted Logic on Health Care

Filed under: Government,Obama — DRJ @ 1:17 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Via Hot Air, Obama assures Americans they shouldn’t worry about nationalized health care because everyone knows government-managed businesses like the Post Office have problems competing with companies like UPS and FedEx:

Maybe we should put UPS in charge of health care.


Sen. Specter Grilled in Pennsylvania (Updated)

Filed under: Government — DRJ @ 12:38 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Here’s a YouTube video of Sen. Arlen Specter’s townhall today in Lebanon, Pennsylvania:

Specter seems overwhelmed by what hit him but there was a moment of humor at 7:56 when a questioner thanks Specter for “showing courage” by appearing before “the people who have sent you to Washington — the Republicans.”

However, one of my favorite parts is the questioner who began where this video leaves off. I’m looking to see if it’s been posted elsewhere. Let me know if you find it.

UPDATE 1: More video from Specter’s townhall, including the lady at 1:40 who is “sick of the lies” by this Administration and audio of Specter at 9:00 when he said “I don’t have any requirement to be here.”

UPDATE 2: I think the Instapundit must have seen the same report I did, because the excerpt I saw included a questioner who was “citing health bill page numbers and CBO estimates.” It was my impression that’s when Specter decided he wanted the townhall to end.


Hillary’s Quote of the Day (Updated x3)

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 10:38 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

This didn’t happen today but I had problems posting last night and it’s too good to pass up.

A Congolese student asked Hillary Clinton a question about the President’s position on a Chinese trade deal with the Republic of Congo. The student says the question was asking about President Obama’s position but the translator asked Hillary what Bill thought. This was Hillary’s testy response:

“You want me to tell you what my husband thinks?” Clinton replied, clearly irked by the thought of being her husband Bill’s spokeswoman. “My husband is not secretary of state, I am,” she replied. “If you want my opinion I will tell you my opinion. I am not going to be channeling my husband.”

Channeling Eleanor Roosevelt is one thing but never Bill.

UPDATE 1: Ann Althouse has video of Clinton as well as video from the Today Show where Meredith Viera and Andrea Mitchell speculate about Hillary’s excuses.

UPDATE 2: Jules Crittenden reviews more Hillary excuses and humorously points out the pros and cons of her approach to statesmanship:

“Humiliating earnest foreign college kids in that context is laudable for its honesty, and more pols should do it.

I dunno about you, but I can’t wait for some Russian or Iranian plant to start really goading her with something other than some obscure World Bank thing no one ever heard of.”

UPDATE 3: The State Department struggles to explain Hillary’s outburst.


Correcting misinformation about ObamaCare

Filed under: General — Karl @ 9:29 am

[Posted by Karl]

Pres. Obama sounded the alarm in his weekly radio address, seeking to correct disnformation and dispel rumors about the Democrats’ healthcare proposals. There is a lot on the web about ObamaCare that seems fishy, but rather than sending bits and pieces to, I am compiling them here in several categories:

  • Misinformation from Pres. Obama about the cost of ObamaCare.

    Let me repeat: Health insurance reform cannot add to our deficit over the next decade and I mean it.


    The bill I sign will also include my commitment and the commitment of Congress to slow the growth of health care costs over the long run.

    Pres. Obama said this one day after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office told Congress that it does not see health care cost savings in either of the partisan Democratic bills currently in Congress. Moreover, the projected $239 billion of additional deficit spending over the next 10 years may be more like $800 billion — and far more thereafter.

    Pres. Obama told the American Medical Association that:

    Making health care affordable for all Americans will cost somewhere on the order of $1 trillion over the next 10 years. That’s real money, even in Washington. But remember, that’s less than we are projected to have spent on the war in Iraq.

    That is also flat out wrong — even if you add in the cost of the war in Afghanistan. For that matter, the true cost of the Democratic bills currently under consideration in the House and Senate may be $2.1 trillion and $2.4 trillion, respectively—much higher than CBO’s figures.

    Pres. Obama and top Democrats have also claimed that they can bend the healthcare cost curve by promoting preventive care. Wrong. And that giving an independent panel the power to keep Medicare spending in check would save big money. Wrong again.


  • Misinformation from Pres. Obama on the doctor-patient relationship.

    I know that there are millions of Americans who are content with their health care coverage — they like their plan and, most importantly, they value their relationship with their doctor. They trust you. And that means that no matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.

    Not even the New York Times is buying this anymore:

    These assurances reflect an aspiration, but may not be literally true or enforceable.

    The legislation does not require insurers or employers to continue offering the health benefits they now provide. The House bill sets detailed standards for “acceptable health care coverage,” which would define “essential benefits” and permissible co-payments. Employers that already offer insurance would have five years to bring their plans into compliance with the new federal standards.

    The Senate health committee bill goes somewhat further by offering an “option to retain current insurance coverage.”

    The legislation could have significant implications for individuals who have bought coverage on their own. Their policies might be exempted from the new standards, but the coverage might not be viable for long because insurers could not add benefits or enroll additional people in noncompliant policies.

    Dallas L. Salisbury, president of the Employee Benefit Research Institute, a private nonpartisan group, said: “The president and Democrats in Congress are saying what they would like. Their promises may not be literally true because your health plan may change, and your doctor may no longer accept your insurance.”

    Indeed, under the House bill, as soon as anything changes in your plan — such as a change in copays or deductibles, which many insurers change every year — you’ll have to move into a qualified plan instead. Moreover, according to the non-partisan Lewin Group, under the House bill, about 83.4 million people would lose their current private insurance — a 48.4 percent reduction in the number of people with private coverage.


  • Misinformation from Pres. Obama about a government takeover of health care.I
  • In his radio address, he calls this an “outlandish rumor” that is “simply not true.” In reality, Pres. Obama and a raft of his supporters have admitted that ObamaCare anticipate that it will serve as a transition to European-style socialized medicine. Quite apart from the government-run plan that would inherently engage in unfair competition with private insurers, the bills currently pending in Congress would create a Health Choices Czar imposing costly mandates (like the guaranteed issue mandate that nearly doubled insurance premiums in New Jersey), driving people into the aforementioned government-run health exchanges and interfering with our right to choose our own doctors. As Michael Kinsley — no right-winger he — asks:

    If the government requires insurers to accept all customers and charge all the same price, regulates all aspects of their marketing to make sure they aren’t discriminating, and then redistributes the profits to make sure that no company gets penalized unfairly, in what sense is the industry still “private”?

  • Misinformation from Pres. Obama about government funding abortions.
  • The president calls this one “outlandish” also, but the Associated Press begs to differ:

    Health care legislation before Congress would allow a new government-sponsored insurance plan to cover abortions, a decision that would affect millions of women and recast federal policy on the divisive issue.


    A compromise approved by a House committee last week attempted to balance questions of federal funding, personal choice and the conscience rights of clinicians. It would allow the public plan to cover abortion but without using federal funds, only dollars from beneficiary premiums. Likewise, private plans in the new insurance exchange could opt to cover abortion, but no federal subsidies would be used to pay for the procedure.

    “It’s a sham,” said Douglas Johnson, legislative director for National Right to Life. “It’s a bookkeeping scheme. The plan pays for abortion, and the government subsidizes the plan.”

  • Misinformation from Pres. Obama about government-run healthcare and illegal immigration.
  • Pres. Obama further claims that it is “outlandish” to suggest that he favors providing government-run healthcare for the tens of millions of illegal immigrants currently in the US. However, Pres. Obama just said he wants healthcare reform done this year, and a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants passed in 2010. Does anyone think Obama would support a law that excluded from ObamaCare anyone with illegal status in 2009?

  • Misinformation from Pres. Obama about cutting Medicaid.
  • Again, Pres. Obama says this is simply not true. But the House bill would be paid for in part by roughly $500 billion in Medicare and Medicaid cuts. Indeed, AARP supports ObamaCare because it is trading off Medicare cuts for expanded coverage that is potentially quite lucrative for AARP.

    Interestingly, Obama’s radio address did not claim that claimed Medicare cuts were outlandish. Given his prior comments on elder care, and the disturbing way the House bill conflates end-of-life counseling with cost-containment, the president might have taken the opportunity to “dispel” the notion that seniors might suffer as AARP prospers. But maybe there was only so much disinformation he could get into a single address.


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