Patterico's Pontifications


More Self Defense in Texas, Updated

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 9:17 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

A few days ago, I blogged about a story in which two Texas teens were killed and a third was injured in a San Marcos home invasion that appeared to be a clear case of self-defense. (If you’re having trouble remembering the story, it may jog your memory that several comments discussed the couch on the porch and the ramshackle nature of the home.)

The police report adds a few new details:

“According to an arrest affidavit for Frank Castro — the 17-year-old charged with aggravated robbery in San Marcos following a botched home invasion that left two teens fatally shot and another seriously injured — he and his associates were trying to steal drugs.

Castro, Rudy Tinoco, John Alvarez and Jordan Mendez entered the the home in the 900 block of Chestnutt Street about 2 a.m. armed with pellet guns and a Ruger pistol, according to the affidavit.

Castro told police that a resident at the house they knew as Harry Potter was known to sell large quantities of hydroponically grown marijuana, according to the affidavit. Castro said they went to the house to rob the man, who police have not identified, of the drug.”

I wonder if Harry Potter is his real name?


Don’t Like Obama’s Speech? You Shouldn’t Be Raising Children

Filed under: Media Bias,Obama,Politics — DRJ @ 8:10 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

So said an NBC commentator (*) John Harwood on the NBC Nightly News about those who objected to Obama’s school speech:

“This is one of the ridiculous controversies I’ve ever seen, and so far as I can tell, the biggest danger to kids in this whole thing is that a lot of the parents complaining aren’t smart enough to raise them very effectively. Because if you think that a President coming into their school and saying ‘Work hard and stay in school’ is a danger to your kids, you’ve got some problems.”

(*) I don’t know who this man is but he appears to be an NBC commentator. Let me know if you can identify him. The speaker is apparently John Harwood, CNBC’s Chief Washington correspondent.

In addition, reporter Andrea Mitchell said conservatives are using an “echo chamber” of resources to make it “much harder for any President to make his voice heard.”

Poor President Obama. His only chance to be heard is his weekly townhall meetings and radio addresses, daily press conferences by his press secretary, a nationwide speech to America’s schools and an exclusive primetime address to Congress.


Democrats Show Republicans How It’s Done

Filed under: Obama,Politics — DRJ @ 6:48 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Obama Administration and Democrats were incensed that Americans objected to Obama’s proposed speech to schoolchildren, labeling the objections as everything from silly to paranoia. Compare that to the Democrats’ after-the-fact reaction to a similar speech by President George H.W. Bush:

“The controversy over President Obama’s speech to the nation’s schoolchildren will likely be over shortly after Obama speaks today at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. But when President George H.W. Bush delivered a similar speech on October 1, 1991, from Alice Deal Junior High School in Washington DC, the controversy was just beginning. Democrats, then the majority party in Congress, not only denounced Bush’s speech — they also ordered the General Accounting Office to investigate its production and later summoned top Bush administration officials to Capitol Hill for an extensive hearing on the issue.”

So Democrats authorized a GAO investigation and held an extensive Congressional hearing? That seems a bit … hysterical, especially since it came after they heard Bush’s speech and knew it was as unremarkable as Obama’s ended up.




Filed under: Blogging Matters — DRJ @ 6:31 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

We’ve set up an email address to make it easier to contact a moderator or send a tip: -at-

Just replace the “-at-” with “@”.

This doesn’t mean someone will always be on duty to read your email, or that we’ll use your tips, or that we can speed things up. But we’ll do our best and appreciate your input, and we hope this will make it easier for you to reach someone if needed.


The Unvetting of Van Jones

Filed under: General — Karl @ 1:22 pm

[Posted by Karl]

The Obama administration has been pushing the line that the (forced) resignation of its “green jobs czar” Van Jones is a story about botched vetting. However, Fox News confirmed what members of past administrations already knew — that Jones was investigated by the FBI (and perhaps others), regardless of whether Jones filled out the standard questionnaire for presidential appointees.

The Obama administration didn’t need no stinkin’ questionnaire to know who Van Jones — communist-cum-eco-socialist Truther — was:

Mr. Jones was a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, which was established, funded and celebrated as the new intellectual vanguard of the Democratic Party. The center’s president is John Podesta, who was co-chair of Mr. Obama’s transition team and thus played a major role in recommending appointees throughout the Administration.

As lefty blogger-activist Jane Hamsher noted, Jones was exceedingly well-known within the Sorosphere:

I first met Van Jones when he was honored last year by the Campaign for America’s Future at their gala dinner. He was being swarmed by all of the liberal institutional elite, who just could not be more full of praise for the impressive environmental leader and prison reform organizer. Everybody wanted Van Jones on their board. Everyone wanted him at their fundraisers. Everyone wanted a piece of his formidable limelight.

Now he’s been thrown under the bus by the White House for signing his name to a petition expressing something that 35% of all Democrats believed as of 2007 — that George Bush knew in advance about the attacks of 9/11. Well, that and calling Republicans “assholes.” I’m pretty sure that if you search through the histories of every single liberal leader at the CAF dinner that night, they have publicly said that and worse.

Although folks on the right may like to focus on that poll showing that over one-third of Democrats are Truthers, a note of caution is in order. As with polls on “birthers,” such numbers are more a function of heuristics than deeply-held opinion. Hamsher’s suggestion that the intellectual vanguard of the Democratic Party — which is certainly better informed about Trutherism than the average person — is sympatico with Jones is a far more damning indictment than the poll.

That there are more Van Joneses lurking in the bowels of the Obama administration is a near-certainty. Consider the case of Chas Freeman, Israel-hating, Saudi-shilling apologist for the Butchers of Beijing. Like Jones, Freeman blamed the US for 9/11 — and he probably would be in charge of drawing up National Intelligence Estimates today, if not for those meddling bloggers.

These sorts of views are not disqualifying to the Obama administration because — as Andy McCarthy points out — Pres. Obama “is not Mr. Magoo — haplessly gravitating to Truther Van and Ayers and Dohrn and Klonsky and Davis and Wright and the Chicago New Party and ACORN, etc.”

It is the nature of Pres. Obama and his fellow travelers that the administration needs to have swept under the proverbial rug. Making the story about vetting serves the Obama administration on several levels. It deflects blame to a relatively anonymous bureaucracy, but more important, suggests that the Jones appointment is an aberration.

However, the tactic of shifting the story from substance to process carries its own measure of risk. First, over time, people may yet come to learn that the Van Jones hire was not an isolated incident, resulting in a loss of credibility. Second, people are already figuring out that Pres. Obama is pursuing a raft of left-wing policies; this cannot be covered up with a midnight resignation. Third, a narrative of incompetence is corrosive. Incompetence of this sort has little political traction — until the administration is seen as doing a big thing badly, like Hurricane Katrina or the Iranian hostage crisis. Should that sort of event occur, Obama’s weakened political infrastructure may collapse under its own weight.

Bonus:  Anyone who doubts Hamsher’s assessment can read apologia for Trutherism at The New Republic and NewsweekHamsher herself was doing the same on MSNBC today.


Obama Implies Illegals Will Be Covered by His Health Care Plan

Filed under: Immigration,Obama — Patterico @ 7:21 am

Nice catch by Ed Morrissey, who notes that in a speech in Grand Junction, Colorado, Obama said:

So just to recap here, if you’re one of nearly 46 million people who don’t have health insurance, you will finally have quality, affordable options.

Only trouble is, according to the Census Bureau, almost 10 million of that 46 million figure are illegal immigrants.

Surely Obama knows that. If he didn’t, that would be stunning ignorance.

And if he does know it, then he’s promising the illegals that they will be insured under his plan.

UPDATE: In comments, Foo Bar provides links suggesting that the number of uninsured illegals is around 7 million. The Census data covers “noncitizens” and does not specify how many are illegals; the 9.4 million in Ed Morrissey’s post includes some legal noncitizens. So my claim that “almost 10 million . . . are illegal immigrants” is apparently off by almost 3 million. Thanks to Foo Bar for the correction.

The main point stands: Obama claimed that all 46 million uninsured would get new options under his plan — even though 46 million may be uninsured (and don’t get me started on the percentage who are uninsured by choice), millions of those are illegals. Obama says they are among the group that “will finally have quality, affordable options.”

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