Patterico's Pontifications


‘Miracle on the Hudson’ Simulation

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 8:43 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]


Simulation of Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger’s US Airways flight (Cactus 1549) that landed in the Hudson River on January 15, 2009.

Here are more animations and here is actual video of the landing with audio.

H/T Instapundit.


“If Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Is Acquitted, President Obama, Will You Release Him?”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:26 pm

That is a question President Obama will never answer.

If Obama were to answer yes, he would not be re-elected. The answer would haunt him and damage him irrevocably.

What if Obama were to answer no? Allahpundit is convinced that, if Obama were somehow forced to answer the question, that’s what his answer would be — meaning that the trial would be a sham:

There’s no way they’re letting KSM go. It doesn’t matter what the verdict is or what the judge decides; for reasons of pure national and political survival, Obama and Holder will find a way to reimprison this scum if the trial somehow ends up in acquittal. Which means this is actually the opposite of due process. It’s a stacked deck, right from the get go. So why even bother playing cards?

There is no good answer to the question, which is why they will never answer it. I told Jake Tapper tonight that he ought to ask it and he replied: “ive asked Gibbs that before; they refuse to say one way or another.” He linked this post, which has transcripts of Gibbs repeatedly ducking the identical question as to other terrorists:

TAPPER: Two questions about developments today. One regarding the Ghailani trial — him being flown to the United States — if any of the detainees who are brought to trial through the U.S. criminal courts, or even through military commissions — if any of them are found not guilty, will the administration let them free?

GIBBS: Well, I’m not going to get into hypotheticals about…

TAPPER: Forget the military commissions.

GIBBS: I’m not going to get into hypotheticals about the court cases either.

TAPPER: Well, this is an important part of — you’re talking about a credible justice system; bringing these people to justice. You’ve spoken at great length about this — the president has. If they are found not guilty, will they be found…

GIBBS: Well, let’s discuss that if it ever comes to fruition.

TAPPER: But isn’t that what is underlying a credible justice system? The idea that if you’re found not guilty, you’ll be free?

GIBBS: Sure.


GIBBS: But I’m not going to get into hypotheticals about how certain cases may or may not play out.

TAPPER: So you’re not willing to commit to freeing people if they’re found not guilty?

GIBBS: I’m not willing to get into playing hypothetical games.

TAPPER: It’s not a game, Robert. It’s a question about the credibility of a justice system.

MAJOR GARRETT, FOX NEWS: Just the principle of it.

GIBBS: No, it’s — I’m not debating legal principles. I’m just not getting into the hypothetical back and forth of what happens on a case.

TAPPER: OK. So the Obama administration is refusing to say that if someone is found not guilty, they will be set free?

GIBBS: Jake, I am not going to get into the hypotheticals about specific outcomes of cases.

TAPPER: I’m not asking you to talk about a specific case. I’m talking about in general.

GARRETT: For all the detainees brought to the system — into this system of justice, which this administration said can and has in the past handled adequately — more than adequately, according to your talking points this morning, the terrorism cases brought before it in whatever venue — if that justice system, which the administration says should be trusted, renders a verdict of not guilty, is that person released?

GIBBS: We will talk about what happens about a verdict when a verdict comes.

TAPPER: Well, then how is the world supposed to have any confidence that this new system of justice that you guys are ensuring is going to be the case with detainees, is actually credible?

GIBBS: We think the Southern District of New York has a very good record, as it relates to trying and convicting terror suspects.

TAPPER: I believe what your — the facts sheet said this morning — was that it has a 90 percent success rate.

GIBBS: I think 90 is pretty good.

TAPPER: I’m not questioning whether 90’s pretty good. I’m asking you about the 10 percent.

GIBBS: And I’m, in this specific case, not going to get into those hypotheticals.

I still think someone should ask the question about KSM. Tapper would be a good person to ask it, as would Major Garrett. I know this: whoever asks him should be someone who won’t accept the sort of gobbeldygook offered by Gibbs above as an answer.

Obama’s First Year

Filed under: Immigration — DRJ @ 4:29 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

It won’t be easy for President Obama to top his first year in office — a year that has focused on a new Supreme Court Justice, health care reform, cap and trade legislation, stimulus programs and budget deficits. Not to mention Obama’s decisions regarding foreign policy, Afghanistan, Guantanamo, and detainees. What else is there?

Immigration reform and amnesty:

“Though it would seem unlikely that our President would introduce a controversial immigration reform strategy on the cusp of a healthcare decision in the Senate, he did indeed do that today.

DHS Secretary Napolitano introduced a broad outline for reform during a speech to the Center for America Progress this morning. In it she cited the many advances DHS has made in securing the US Border with Mexico. One of the centerpieces of this effort is the screening of 100% of southbound rail shipments for weapons and cash. While that sounds like a good thing for Mexico the logical question is this: What percent of northbound rail shipments are “screened” and what does “screening mean? Not to sound cynical but this Administration does not have a good record when it comes to spin and telling the absolute truth. The President demonstrated that clearly last week with Healthcare Reform.

The plan calls for a path to citizenship for the 11 million illegal aliens already in the US. On this the administration also seems a bit out of touch. That the vast majority of Mexican illegal invaders according to a recent Zogby Poll have no interest in becoming American Citizens and regardless would hold primary allegiance to Mexico is apparently lost on the President and Secretary Napolitano.”

I think it’s foolish to energize conservatives this way but maybe the Administration believes it only has a limited time to push for its policies. In that case, the first requirement of any immigration reform should be to Deport the Criminals First.


William Jefferson Sentenced

Filed under: Crime,Government — DRJ @ 4:25 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Former Louisiana Democratic Congressman William Jefferson has been sentenced to 13 years in prison:

“William Jefferson, the former U.S. congressman caught with $90,000 in marked currency stuffed in his freezer, was sentenced to 13 years in prison for using his office to solicit bribes.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III in Alexandria, Virginia, today sentenced Jefferson, more than three months after a federal jury here found him guilty on 11 of 16 counts. He had faced as many as 20 years on each conviction.”

Jefferson is 62 so he could theoretically be in prison until he’s 75.


Congratulations, Foxfier

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 3:53 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Congratulations to the Foxfier family on the birth of their new baby girl. Best wishes for your speedy recovery, Foxfier, and a few good night’s sleep.

H/T John Hitchcock.


Winning the War in Afghanistan

Filed under: Obama,War — DRJ @ 1:19 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Army says individual troop morale remains constant but unit morale is down in Afghanistan, in part because there aren’t enough mental health workers like the ones scheduled to deploy from Fort Hood:

“The new survey on Afghanistan found instances of depression, anxiety and other psychological problems are about the same as they were in 2007. But it also said there is a shortage of mental health workers to help soldiers who need it, partly because of the buildup Obama already started this year with the dispatch of more than 20,000 extra troops.

Efforts already under way to get more health workers to the Afghan war could be hampered somewhat by last week’s shooting. The psychiatrist charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder was slated to go to Afghanistan. Some of the dead and wounded also were to deploy there to bolster psychological services for soldiers.”

How ironic if the act of a suspected Muslim jihadist in America has eroded our ability to fight the war in Afhganistan. Wouldn’t that be exactly what he set out to do?

On the other hand, I’m not convinced the problem is really a shortage of mental health workers since, presumably, that should show up as reduced individual and unit morale. Instead, could it be because the War is on hold while President Obama decides what to do next?

EDIT: In the comments, steve points out the troop survey is 5 months old, so it can’t reflect the military’s opinion of Obama’s August-to-November decision-making (or lack thereof). Instead, it surveys opinion since Obama took office in January 2009 and issued his new AF-PAK strategy in March 2009.


October Deficit Kicks Off New Fiscal Year

Filed under: Economics — DRJ @ 1:07 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Obama Administration has kicked off the New (Fiscal) Year with a record monthly deficit:

“What better way to kick off Barack Obama’s first full budget year as President than with a deficit that exceeded the White House’s own projections as well as analysts’ expectations? The federal government busted the budget worse than last October by $20 billion with a deficit of $176.36 billion for the month. That used to be considered a decent deficit target … for an entire year.”

Happy New Year, suckers!


It’s Come to This

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 1:02 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

A Texas woman is accused of pretending to have cancer in order to raise money for breast implants:

“A Texas woman lied about having breast cancer and spent $10,000 raised at a benefit to have her breasts enlarged, authorities said.

McLennan County sheriff’s investigator James Pack said in court records obtained by the Waco Tribune-Herald that 24-year-old Trista Joy Lathern shaved her head to look like a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy. She was arrested Nov. 4 and is charged with theft by deception.

Pack said Lathern, formerly of Robinson, wanted breast implants to try to save her seven-month marriage. Her husband, William Lathern, filed for an annulment the day she was arrested.”

Lathern and her husband have two young sons, and he was apparently unaware of any fraud. It appears her co-workers were similarly misled when they gave up vacation time so Lathern would have time off for chemotherapy.

However, a local spokeswoman for Susan G. Komen for the Cure said “she hoped the case would make donors more aware” before they donate their time and money. How sad that the lesson she learned is not to trust people. I’ll remember that the next time the Susan G. Komen Foundation asks me for a donation.


Lawyer: Hasan May Be Paralyzed

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 12:20 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

John P. Gilligan, the attorney for Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, says his client may be paralyzed:

“The Army psychiatrist accused in the fatal shootings at Fort Hood may be paralyzed from the waist down after being shot multiple times during the attack, his attorney told The Associated Press on Friday.

Civilian attorney John Galligan said Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan told him that he had no feeling in his legs and extreme pain in his hands. Hasan, who was shot four times by civilian police officers, said doctors told him the condition may never improve.”

I’m sure Hasan hurts but if he was the shooter, then his own acts led to his injuries. If that’s the case, I hope when people consider Hasan’s pain, they compare it to the suffering he caused so many innocent people.


Who Failed?

Filed under: Deport the Criminals First,General — Jack Dunphy @ 10:03 am

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

The Los Angeles Times reports on a woman who was murdered by her estranged boyfriend as two LAPD officers sat in their car outside her apartment. Once alerted to the attack, the officers went to the apartment but a metal security door prevented them from entering. One officer shot through a window and struck the suspect. The woman and the suspect were taken to a hospital where they both died. The reader comments to the story are dominated by, what else, people blaming the police for the woman’s death, most often in a semi-literate fashion.

It remains to be seen what failures, if any, were committed by the LAPD in this case, but there is one government agency that unquestionably failed this poor woman, and thus far I’ve seen no reporting on it. The estranged boyfriend had been deported less than a year ago after convictions for various felonies, but he nonetheless thought nothing of returning to Los Angeles and resuming his criminal habits.

The officers of the Border Patrol strive bravely to do their job even as the country lacks the political will to see that job done effectively. Save some outrage for those who, for political reasons, allowed this evil man unfettered passage into the country.

–Jack Dunphy

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