Patterico's Pontifications


Pelosi: Ted Kennedy Died? Great! That Ought to Help Us Pass Health Care!

Filed under: Buffoons — Patterico @ 10:41 pm

She didn’t say that, but it seems to be what she’s thinking.

Earlier DRJ told us about Robert Byrd’s plea that we rename health care legislation after Ted Kennedy.

It bears noting that Byrd was not the only Democrat to cynically exploit Kennedy’s death before the corpse had cooled to room temperature:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office sent an email to reporters at around 2:30 a.m. today, just hours after his death, calling for the passage of health care overhaul. “Ted Kennedy’s dream of quality health care for all Americans will be made real this year because of his leadership and his inspiration,” the statement read.

I encouraged readers not to make today be about remembering Kennedy’s role in the death of Mary Kopechne, or his lies about Robert Bork, or his numerous personal failings. There will be time for all that, but the day of a man’s death should not be about politics. Pelosi would have done well to remember that.

Obama Still Reading Book He Read a Year Ago

Filed under: Morons,Obama — Patterico @ 8:39 pm

The New York Post observes:

Obama is one slow reader.

The commander in chief’s list of beach books for his Martha’s Vineyard vacation includes an environmental best seller that he bragged about reading almost a year ago on the campaign trail.

Obama was so taken with Thomas Friedman’s “Hot, Flat and Crowded” that he quoted it at a rally last September in Flint, Mich., and one media outlet described it as the book that was currently on the then-candidate’s nightstand.

He’s famously smart.

Update on Vandalism at Denver Democratic HQ

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 7:40 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Updating this post regarding vandalism at the Denver Democratic Party headquarters, one of the alleged vandals identified as Maurice Schwenkler is apparently also known as Ariel Attack, a Denver-based transgender anarchist and member of the Denver Anarchist Black Cross.


Problem-Solving for Bears

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 6:54 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Snowmass (Colorado) Parks and Recreation Department found a novel way to help a stranded bear escape from a Snowmass skate park:

Stranded bear

(Tina White | Snowmass Village Police Department)

“The Snowmass Parks and Recreation Department got a call about a bear stuck in a huge bowl at the town’s new skateboard park, so crews lowered down a ladder. The bear scurried up it and then wandered off.”


A Conversation with a Well-Educated Fool

Filed under: Education — Jack Dunphy @ 2:31 pm

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

Writer David Horowitz has done the country a service by illuminating the extent to which American universities have veered to the political left, but for people whose college days are but distant memories these revelations remain, if you’ll forgive the term, academic. Seldom does the non-student come face to face with the leftist claptrap peddled on college campuses today, even as it creeps as if on cat’s feet into society at large.

But in the course of recent travel I had occasion to attend a social function at which nearly all the other guests were faculty members at a prominent Big Ten university. I found myself in conversation with one of them, a man who holds a PhD in English but whose exact position at the school now escapes me. We were discussing world politics, and as such discussions almost inevitably do, ours turned to the Middle East and Israel. I let it be known that I was a supporter of Israel, as it has been an American ally and is the lone democracy in a region chock-full of despots and tyrannical monarchies. Furthermore, I pointed out that within the memory of many alive today, an erstwhile Western democracy had engaged in a campaign to exterminate as many of the world’s Jews as possible, and that we in the civilized world therefore have a moral obligation to defend Israel from such threats as posed by Iran, whose president has advocated its elimination.

To which my interlocutor countered that the rants of Mr. Ahmadinejad are no worse than those of George W. Bush, who after all branded Iran, Iraq, and North Korea as the “Axis of Evil” in the world and is therefore every bit as deranged as Ahmadinejad, if not more so. He also accused Israel of the very type of atrocities against Palestinians as were perpetrated by the Nazis against European Jewry.

Where, I asked, had Israel engaged in the type of industrialized mass murder against Palestinians as was practiced by the Nazis? He answered that when the Israeli Defense Forces target “so-called terrorists” in, say, a missile strike that kills Palestinian civilians in addition to the intended targets, it is morally indistinguishable from loading men, women, and children onto boxcars and shipping them off to be worked to death or summarily murdered. And, he said, the United States, in dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, was as guilty of war crimes against civilians as were the Nazis.

In deference to my host and to my own sense of decorum, I resisted the impulse to attach myself vigorously to the man’s windpipe and give him a swift conk on the snout. The conversation eventually moved on to safer topics like books and movies, but I couldn’t help but wonder how much some parents were paying to have their sons and daughters exposed to such a fetid pile of rubbish.

–Jack Dunphy

How Are Federal HUD Funds Being Spent?

Filed under: Economics — DRJ @ 1:16 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

In Austin, Texas, it’s not clear how federal Housing and Urban Development funds are being spent or if the state agencies understand the rules for spending them:

“Federal auditors found that the Housing Authority of Travis County could not fully account for millions of federal dollars, including more than $2.5 million “haphazardly” transferred between its federal and nonfederal programs without proper justification, more than $600,000 in undocumented costs, and more than $3,000 that was improperly used for travel expenses.

In addition, the auditors said in a report dated Aug. 17 that the Housing Authority’s books and records were not auditable.”

The Housing Authority acknowledges mistakes were made but disputes most of the claims. The Chair of the Board of Directors also said “they were unaware that using federal funds for non-federal programs was not allowed.”


The TurboTax Defense Bites the Dust

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 12:42 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

TaxProfBlog has the bad news — Timothy Geithner’s TurboTax defense doesn’t work for an average taxpayer:

“The Tax Court yesterday rejected a taxpayer’s attempt to use the TurboTax defense successfully employed by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Hopson v. Commissioner, T.C. Summ. Op. 2009-130 (Aug. 25, 2009)”

The link includes an excerpt from the Court’s opinion that taxpayers are “not permitted to bury their heads in the sand and ignore their obligation to ensure that their tax return accurately reflected their income.”

Now we know where Geithner’s head is.


Ted Kennedy: Tributes and Politics

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 11:47 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Sen. Robert Byrd wants to rename the health care legislation in honor of the late Ted Kennedy:

“In his honor and as a tribute to his commitment to his ideals, let us stop the shouting and name calling and have a civilized debate on health care reform which I hope, when legislation has been signed into law, will bear his name for his commitment to insuring the health of every American,” Byrd said.”

In addition, President Obama ordered flags at all government buildings to be flown at half-staff until Sunday in Kennedy’s honor, and Sen. Orrin Hatch has written a tribute song in Kennedy’s honor entitled “Headed Home.”

But we still have some politics. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced he would agree to a new law that would allow him to appoint Kennedy’s successor instead of the special election required by current law. A prior law that authorized Massachusetts’ Governor to appoint a successor was changed in 2004 during John Kerry’s Presidential run when Republican Mitt Romney was Governor.


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