Patterico's Pontifications


U.S. Threatens Not to Recognize Results of Honduran Election in November

Filed under: International,Obama — DRJ @ 9:44 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Obama Administration is threatening not to recognize the results of the Honduran Presidential election scheduled for November:

“Based on conditions as they currently exist, we cannot recognize the results of this election. So for the de facto regime, they’re now in a box,” said State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley. “And they will have to sign on to the San Jose accords to get out of the box.” He was referring to the plan for Zelaya’s return, which was negotiated in the Costa Rican capital.

The announcement amounted to a gamble that the threat would finally force the de facto government to back down. So far, that government, led by longtime congressman Roberto Micheletti, has resisted intense international pressure, both economic and political. Its members argue that Zelaya’s removal was legal because he had violated the constitution by organizing a referendum that could have allowed him to evade the one-term limit for the presidency.”

The United States also formally terminated $30M in aid to Honduras.

This goes against everything America stands for in the world: Free elections, democracy, and the rule of law. The Obama Administration was willing to work with Ahmadinejad in Iran despite credible evidence the election had been fixed, but now it’s willing to negate a democratic election before it’s even held? This is wrong.


Van Jones Open Thread

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 7:57 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Van Jones is profane about Republicans, but he says he’s sorry for it.

Van Jones is a truther, but he says he didn’t mean it.

Van Jones is Obama’s green jobs czar, but some say he won’t be after Monday.

H/T Hot Air.

UPDATE 9/4/2009: Van Jones is a “Free Mumia” supporter? If so, how long until he says he isn’t?


Police Officers Take Over a Town

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 7:27 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Remember President Bill Clinton’s promise to add 100,000 new police officers? Seven of them may have ended up in Jericho, Arkansas but, if so, it didn’t work out that well:

“Now the police chief has disbanded his force “until things calm down,” a judge has voided all outstanding police-issued citations and sheriff’s deputies are asking where all the money from the tickets went. With 174 residents, the city can keep seven police officers on its rolls but missed payments on police and fire department vehicles and saw its last business close its doors a few weeks ago.

“You can’t even buy a loaf of bread, but we’ve got seven police officers,” said former resident Larry Harris, who left town because he said the police harassment became unbearable.

Sheriff’s deputies patrolled Jericho until the 1990s, when the city received grant money to start its own police force, [Thomas Martin, chief investigator for the Crittenden County Sheriff’s Department] said.

Police often camped out in the department’s two cruisers along the highway that runs through town, waiting for drivers who failed to slow down when they reached the 45 mph zone ringing Jericho. Residents say the ticketing got out of hand.

“When I first moved out here, they wrote me a ticket for going 58 mph in my driveway,” 75-year-old retiree Albert Beebe said.”

Investigator Martin says the police were so busy writing tickets that they wouldn’t even answer the phones. But things apparently came to boil last week when Fire Chief Don Payne was shot as he disputed a ticket — in court:

“It was anger over traffic tickets that brought Payne to city hall last week, said his lawyer, Randy Fishman. After failing to get a traffic ticket dismissed on Aug. 27, police gave Payne or his son another ticket that day. Payne, 39, returned to court to vent his anger to Judge Tonya Alexander, Fishman said.

It’s unclear exactly what happened next, but Martin said an argument between Payne and the seven police officers who attended the hearing apparently escalated to a scuffle, ending when an officer shot Payne from behind.

Doctors in Memphis, Tenn., removed a .40-caliber bullet from Payne’s hip bone, Martin said. Another officer suffered a grazing wound to his finger from the bullet.”

This is so ridiculous it’s humorous, but government like this is no laughing matter.


ObamaCare morons add insult to injury

Filed under: General — Karl @ 2:45 pm

[Posted by Karl]

At the moment, the blogosphere is abuzz with the story of the ObamaCare supporter who bit off the finger of 65-year-old William Rice, a critic counter-protesting a MoveOn rally.

MoveOn had the good sense to call the violence regrettable, but some lefty bloggers could not help themselves.  Virtually all of them covering the incident rely on the account of a MoveOn supporter who claimed that Rice provoked the confrontation.  Mary Katharine Ham has the other side of the story, which suggests the attacker crossed over to confront the counter-protesters, possibly committing an assault against Rice before Rice threw a punch.  Regardless, none of the cutesy lefty bloggers wants to consider that biting off a man’s finger is mayhem — a felony far more serious than simple battery.

MKH also notes that TPM’s Josh Marshall and Air America both went with the angle that Rice was treated under Medicare (though the pinky was apparently unable to be reattached).   And the commenters at various lefty blogs complain of hypocrisy, completely oblivious to the idea that seniors oppose ObamaCare because (1) it is going to be partially financed by cuts in Medicare; and (2) putting millions of more people in the system in a short period of time will likely interfere with seniors’ access to the system. (Not that this reaction is surprising; some on the left were equally fixated on the irrelevant question of whether Kenneth Gladney was insured after lefty thugs beat him outside a town hall in St. Louis, incorrectly claiming he was uninsured.)

Vicious, classless and stupid is no way to go through life, lefties.  And it’s certainly no way to build support for ObamaCare.


Who is Boycotting Obama’s Speech to Students?

Filed under: Education,Obama — DRJ @ 1:21 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

President Obama plans to give a speech to students on Tuesday, September 8, 2009. It’s become a controversial topic, chiefly because of the instructional materials issued by the Department of Education, materials that Obama staffers helped write. Some parents say they will keep their children home from school as a boycott, especially in states like Utah, Kentucky and Texas. California school officials note materials used in schools must be vetted by local school boards, and these school districts may tape Obama’s speech and decide later whether to air it in classrooms.

In addition, the Baseball Crank notes that on September 9, school hasn’t started yet in places like New York, Boston and LA so these parents won’t need to boycott. If I lived in those towns, I’d ask local school officials if they planned to tape the speech to use later.

I’m not a fan of a school boycott because it hurts the student, although I would feel differently if parents believe their child’s school will be presenting inappropriate materials. Of course, in that case I’d be worried about more than just Tuesday. Instead, I’d use this as a welcome opportunity to respectfully express my concerns to school officials. Conservative parents need to remind school officials that we are watching and interested.


Biden Hints at Obama’s Health Care Speech

Filed under: Health Care,Obama — DRJ @ 11:22 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Vice President Joe Biden is talking about health care reform as President Obama takes a break at Camp David and prepares for his address next week to Congress and the nation. Biden said Obama will discuss the options for health care overhaul and “what he thinks those pieces have to be and will be.”

The link quotes a supporter who agrees Obama should get specific about health care reform, saying Obama needs to “get into the nitty-gritty and embrace very concrete proposals.”

I can’t wait, can you? A one-hour speech from Obama as he either (a) rambles on using feel-good words and the need for bipartisanship to convince Americans to trust him [or, as steve sturm notes in the comments, tries to guilt us into health care reform], or (b) discusses the details of health care reform including pre-existing conditions, employer and individual mandates, insurance clearinghouses, subsidies to the poor (no doubt to be paid for by taxes on “the rich”), payroll tax hikes, small business exemptions, Medicare and Medicaid caps, implementing preventive care programs, and taxes on soft drinks and junk food and other options on how to pay for it all.

There’s one positive for health care that could come from this speech: It may cure insomnia.


ObamaCare: Public option + trigger = exit strategy?

Filed under: General — Karl @ 9:56 am

[Posted by Karl]

There is a rumor (most likely floated by White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel) that Pres. Obama is secretly negotiating with Sen. Olympia Snowe for a healthcare reform that would phase in a government-funded health insurer if private insurance companies fail to meet quality and cost benchmarks over a certain period of the time. Allahpundit scores this as an “Uh-oh,” but the devil is in the details.

Sen. Snowe has pushing the notion of a “public option with trigger” for months, and it has been the Left expressing dismay over the idea. True believers like Robert Reich say Snowe is fronting for Big Pharma and health insurers, with conditions that would be easily met by other pieces of the emerging legislation. Rahm Emanuel has been floating the trigger idea since January, again to the dismay of lefty groups like MoveOn. The left notes that congressional Republicans crafted a similar trigger for the Medicare prescription-drug benefit in 2003 — and it has never been triggered. For the left, the “public option” deferred is the “public option” denied.

However, it is a proposal that serves the administration’s interests. Pres. Obama reportedly would like not only to pass a takeover of health insurance based on an individual mandate, but also to get back some of the post-partisan image he had as a candidate. Some administration officials welcome a showdown with the left wing of the party to achieve these goals. The maneuver would also lure Blue Dog Democrats to the bill — and many Blue Dogs still expect to pass some healthcare reform bill.

This tactic carries its own measure of risks for the administration. The first risk is that the progressives continue to balk and refuse to vote for a final bill with a trigger. This seems unlikely, but most of them are from safe seats and plan to hold those seats long after the Obama presidency, so there could be some rebellion at the margin.

The second (and larger) risk is that a proposal designed to grab the center holds only a handful of votes. That is what happened in the dying days of HillaryCare in 1994. Those proposals never made it to any sort of vote.

The third risk is that whatever momentum is left for ObamaCare rests on the notion that politically, failure is not an option on healthcare reform. The theory that Democrats in swing districts are better off voting for an unpopular takeover of one-sixth of the economy has always seemed counter-intuitve. Now, Sean Trende has done a regression analysis of the 1994 midterm election showing that holding all other things equal, had Democrats gone ahead and passed HillaryCare, their losses likely would have been even greater than they were. Trende notes:

Right now, almost all of the 60 or so Democrats in Republican PVI districts have cast a controversial (in Republican districts) vote on Obama’s stimulus plan. Many of them have voted for cap-and-trade. Unless public opinion changes substantially, many of them will be pressured to cast an extremely controversial vote on the health bill. These Democrats don’t need this vote.

In short, the “public option with trigger” might appeal to Pres. Obama and Sen. Snowe, but there is no reason for Democrats of any stripe to adopt it as their own. That may be why similar healthcare compromises failed last time around.


New Crew at “At the Movies”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:17 am

The same way I want to dig up Ronald Reagan sometimes, I often find myself wanting to dig up Gene Siskel.

Roger Ebert has always been a dreadful joke of a movie critic. Any movie that hackishly promotes the liberal point of view is GENIUS!!!1!! And art-house movies? They’re the best!

Siskel had both feet on the ground. I didn’t always agree with him, but he was a fairly reliable barometer.

Now comes word that the losers who have most recently been doing the “At the Movies” program having been given their papers. I don’t watch the show but my wife does, and I often see a few minutes at a time when I’m in the room with her. These punks are the reason we recently ended up watching one of the worst movies of all time: “World’s Greatest Dad.” “World’s Worst Movie,” more like. I predicted the entire ending, which was not hard. My eye-rolling muscles were badly strained by the end.

Anyway, back to these “At the Movies” morons who recommended that tripe. One of them is a young punk and the other guy is just an idiot.

Anyway, now A.O. Scott and Michael Phillips are taking the helm. I remember seeing Michael Phillips as a guest reviewer before. I guess he’s OK. Scott I don’t know.

But I still miss Gene Siskel.

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