Patterico's Pontifications


Project Valour IT

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:18 pm

I’m siding with the Marines in this Project Valour IT deal. Cassandra of Villainous Company, who is one of the leaders of the Marine team, e-mails with this description:

My co-blogger Carrie and I are heading up the Marine team for Project Valour IT this year. If you’re not familiar with Valour IT, it’s a non-profit that provides voice activated software and laptops for wounded Marines, soldiers and sailors. Every cent raised goes directly to buy laptops and software. Many of these young men and women have lost the use of one or more limbs, their hands, or their sight. Valour IT gives them a way to keep in touch with their buddies back in the field, with family and friends during what can be a long and grueling convalescence. They also provide Wii’s, which have proven very good during physical therapy and often help them regain flexibility and strength while having fun.

What you do is, you click on “Marines” at the left side of this widget, and you donate.


NY 23 Race Heating Up

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 9:38 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The 23rd Congressional special election in New York pits Democrat Bill Owen, Republican Dede Scozzafava, and Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman. The race is getting a lot of attention, most notably for how it is dividing Republicans. Newt Gingrich has made several statements in support of Scozzafava while Sarah Palin recently announced her support for Hoffman.

But Fred Thompson was one of the first, if not the first, national Republican to announce his support for Hoffman. Thompson will be featured in this Hoffman ad that airs tomorrow and recently shared his thoughts on why this race is important to conservative Republicans.


Economic Charts-of-the-Day

Filed under: Economics — DRJ @ 9:03 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Via Doug Ross: Gulp.


The Profit Margin Poll (Updated)

Filed under: Health Care,Obama — DRJ @ 7:34 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The answer is probably obvious from the way I’ve written the poll but the details are here.


UPDATE: President Obama spoke about health care today at a Democratic fundraiser:

“The president said he is confident — in part because Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is so confident — that health reform will be passed this year.

The message to Democrats in the crowd was to mobilize in the final push on health care.

“It’s not going to get easier here on out, it’s going to get harder,” the president said. “Now is the time when all the special interests say, ‘Oh, this is really going to happen and we might lose some of our profits,’ and they start paying big lobbyists, and they start twisting arms. And that is why all of you are so important.”

Obama thinks Americans don’t know the correct answer to this poll. He’s probably right.

News Media News (Updated)

Filed under: Dog Trainer — DRJ @ 6:43 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Editor & Publisher reports the Top 25 Daily Newspapers’ circulation for the 6-month period ending September 2009, with the percentage change from the same period ending September 2008. Here are the top 5:

  • THE WALL STREET JOURNAL — 2,024,269 — 0.61%
  • USA TODAY — 1,900,116 — (-17.15%)
  • THE NEW YORK TIMES — 927,851 — (-7.28%)
  • LOS ANGELES TIMES — 657,467 — (-11.05%)
  • THE WASHINGTON POST — 582,844 — (-6.40%)
  • Click the link for the rest. The news for some newspapers is even worse.

    H/T Official Internet Data Office.

    — DRJ

    UPDATE: Commenter and blogger Gazzer notices that, even though Phoenix is growing, the hometown newspaper is still declining.

    John Kerry’s War Strategy

    Filed under: War — DRJ @ 5:50 pm

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    Senator John Kerry says Gen. McChrystal’s Afghanistan strategy goes “too far, too fast:”

    “Sen. John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the White House’s point man during last week’s tense talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, praised commanding Gen. Stanley McChrystal but said his plan for adding troops in Afghanistan “goes too far, too fast.”

    Kerry’s stance would aim for a modest increase in American forces, treading middle ground between Republicans who have said Obama would put soldiers and the country at risk by rejecting McChrystal’s larger request and anti-war Democrats who question whether the United States has already taken on too much in Afghanistan.

    “Under the right circumstances, if we can be confident that military efforts can be sustained and built upon, then I would support the president should he decide to send some additional troops to regain the initiative,” Kerry said.”

    It’s been 38 years since Kerry spoke before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about claims of Vietnam War atrocities and now he chairs that Committee. His solution then was to withdraw from Vietnam. Kerry’s conditional increase does not sound like what the chair of President Obama’s March 2009 Afghanistan policy review thinks is needed to avoid a stalemate in Afghanistan:

    “Bruce Riedel, a former CIA official who chaired Obama’s previous policy review in March, said more troops are needed, though he didn’t know the right level.

    “We need some kind of shock therapy,” he said. “If we stay where we are we are committing ourselves to a long-term stalemate.”

    — DRJ

    ObamaCare: The weekend ICYMI

    Filed under: General — Karl @ 8:18 am

    [Posted by Karl]

    Weekends are the news graveyard, as anyone who has witnessed a Friday doc dump knows. Accordingly, I thought it would be useful to briefly round up some of the lesser-noted ObamaCare coverage folks may have missed over the past few days.

    On Friday, James C. Capretta noted that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her “leadership aides” have claimed to reporters that they have gotten more favorable reviews of their updated bill from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), adding:

    From a process standpoint, CBO should never allow members of Congress to characterize the findings of confidential cost estimates without consequences. Undoubtedly, CBO staff is told not to share its analysis with anyone until the bill is unveiled. But if House leaders decide to go public with CBO’s apparent bottom line, CBO really should be obligated to go public with the entire analysis to ensure no misunderstanding. Otherwise CBO’s findings can be distorted.

    By Friday evening, the AP was reporting:

    Democrats have touted an unreleased Congressional Budget Office estimate of $871 billion in recent days, a total that numerous officials acknowledge understates its true cost by $150 billion or more. That figure excludes several items designed to improve benefits for Medicare and Medicaid recipients and providers, as well as public health programs and more, they added.

    About 36 moderate House Dems have warned that the House bill must bring down costs in the long term, while as many as 40 Dems may oppose bringing the bill to the floor over the subsidizing of abortion. Although the Blue Dogs are frequently threatened or bribed into submission, we should remember that Pelosi & Co. claimed they had the votes as far back as July, and we will be hearing a lot of Democratic gossip and propaganda about momentum while ObamaCare is cooked up in back rooms.

    Speaking of which, the HuffPo continues to flog the Narrative that Sen. Maj. Ldr. Harry Reid is continuing to push for the “public option” without White House support. The latter is likely true, but whether the former is just for show remains an open question.

    Also on the Senate front, the New York Times ran a piece on small businesses facing the steepest rise in insurance premiums they have seen in recent years. For those of you puzzled because the NYT rarely seems to care about the struggles of small business, note that key Sen. Mary Landrieu is very concerned about the problem. Whether ObamaCare is the solution is an issue I’ll be looking at in the not-too-distant future, but Prof. Tyler Cowen looks at how government mandates would make many people worse off.

    On the executive branch front, Pres. Obama avoided talking about healthcare reform on his trip to Massachusetts. Bay Staters still like their flavor of reform, similar in most respects to the basic elements of ObamaCare — but costs have risen at double the national rate, and the inevitable rationing has yet to bite them. Pres. Obama was in Massachusetts to raise money for Gov. Deval Patrick, a/k/a David Axelrod’s beta version of Obama. The fundraiser was half-empty, as Obama acknowledged that Partick will be in a “tough race.” How tough? The most recent Suffolk University/7News poll shows only 29% think Patrick deserves to be re-elected.


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