Patterico's Pontifications


Nebraska Reacts to Ben Nelson

Filed under: Health Care,Politics — DRJ @ 10:22 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Nebraskans are reacting to Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson’s health care negotiations that will give the State several valuable perks, but it’s not pretty:

“Gov. Dave Heineman “contacted me and he said this is another unfunded federal mandate and it’s going to stress the state budget, and I agreed with him,” the Nebraska Democrat said. “I said to the leader and others that this is something that has to be fixed. I didn’t participate in the way it was fixed.”

But Heineman expressed anything but gratitude, saying he had nothing to do with the compromise and calling the overhaul bill “bad news for Nebraska and bad news for America.”

“Nebraskans did not ask for a special deal, only a fair deal,” Heineman said in a statement Sunday.

That criticism is only a taste of what Nelson has received since announcing Saturday that he would become the 60th vote needed to advance the landmark legislation.”

There were also negative responses from anti-abortion and fiscal responsibility groups, responses that Nelson labeled as “orchestrated” and “laughable.” Nelson’s home state supporters included an advocacy group for the poor and the Nebraska Democratic Party.


Democratic Profiles in Courage, 2009 Version (Updated)

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 8:14 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Success brings out the best in some people. Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse are not those people:

  • Alan Grayson wants to send an internet critic to jail for 5 years.
  • Sheldon Whitehouse says ObamaCare opponents are all birthers and racists, then denies saying it.
  • And this is what they do when they’re winning.

    — DRJ

    UPDATE Prof. Jacobson notes Senator Whitehouse’s vacillating standards on military funding. In 2007 during the Bush years, Whitehouse voted to defund the troops … but now:

    “The lowest of the low was the Republican vote against funding and supporting our troops in the field in a time of war. As a device to stall health care, they tried to stop the appropriation of funds for our soldiers. There is no excuse for that. From that there is no return.”

    Second FLDS Guilty Verdict

    Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 8:01 pm

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    Allan Keate, the second of ten FLDS men indicted on sexual assault and related charges, has been found guilty in an Eldorado, Texas, courtroom:

    “Outside the makeshift courthouse, lead prosecutor Eric Nichols stepped into the harsh light of television cameras at about 10 p.m. and read a prepared statement.

    He said Keate’s victim, 15 years old at the time of the assault, which occurred around April 2006, had been in a “celestial marriage” twice.

    Celestial marriages are unofficial religious betrothals that FLDS members use to practice polygamy.

    Nichols said Keate had given away three of his daughters in marriage to older men. Two of those daughters were 15 and one was 14, and the last was given away to Warren Jeffs, then prophet of the FLDS who has been imprisoned for aiding in child rape by transporting a young girl across state lines.”

    In an earlier trial, Raymond Merrill Jessop was convicted of a second degree felony of sexual assault of a child and sentenced to 10 years and an $8,000 fine. Because Keate was “prohibited from marrying or living with the victim under the appearance of marriage,” his charges were enhanced to a first degree felony with a penalty range of 5-99 years. The jury sentenced Keate to 33 years in prison.

    The defense contended the charges were a political persecution and pointed to the Texas Attorney General’s appearance in the courtroom as support for that claim.

    H/T daleyrocks. Good find, daley.

    — DRJ

    Obama’s First Year: U.S.-Cuban Foreign Relations (Updated: Losing Lebanon)

    Filed under: International,Obama — DRJ @ 6:53 pm

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    Barack Obama promised a new foreign policy that would be more diplomatic and modest. He rejected the cowboy approach of George Bush for a “new era of cooperation.” Foreign leaders like Fidel Castro responded by endorsing Obama as the better candidate because he “far surpasses McCain in intelligence and serenity.”

    Less than a year later, the rhetoric from Cuba sounds more like the Bush years than the dreams of his successor:

    Cuba’s foreign minister called President Barack Obama an “imperial and arrogant” liar Monday for his conduct at the U.N. climate conference, a reflection of the communist island’s increasingly fiery verbal attacks on the U.S. government.

    Bruno Rodriguez spent an hour and a half lambasting Obama’s behavior in Copenhagen, telling a news conference, “at this summit, there was only imperial, arrogant Obama, who does not listen, who imposes his positions and even threatens developing countries.”

    Rodriguez wasn’t the only Cuban voice attacking Obama. Fidel Castro also had harsh words for Obama in recent days:

    “Rodriguez’s comments Monday echoed remarks by former President Fidel Castro, who in a weekend opinion column called Obama’s speech in Copenhagen “deceitful, demagogic and full of ambiguities.”

    Last week, the elder Castro, who stepped down as head of state in February 2008, wrote that Washington is looking to solidify its control over Latin America and that Obama’s “friendly smile and African-American face” hide his government’s sinister true intentions for the region.”

    Think words don’t matter? Consider Cuba’s recent actions that appear to be deliberate provocations:

    “Rodriguez would not answer questions about the status of an American citizen who was detained in Cuba on Dec. 5 while working as a U.S. government contractor.

    Castro first publicly mentioned the detention Sunday, when he told the Cuban Parliament that the American was arrested for distributing illegal satellite communications equipment.

    “The United States won’t quit trying to destroy the revolution,” Castro said, referring to the armed rebellion that brought his brother Fidel to power on New Year’s Day 1959.

    “In the past few weeks we have witnessed the stepping up of the new administration’s efforts in this area,” he said, adding that the arrest “demonstrates that the enemy is as active as ever.”

    American diplomats in Cuba have requested — but not yet received — Cuba’s permission for consular access to the detainee, whose name has not been released. Rodriguez refused to say whether his office would grant the request.”

    Gird your loins, Obama supporters and Americans. The world Cuba is testing Obama “like they did John Kennedy.”

    — DRJ

    UPDATE: Don’t miss the first comment by Mike K that links an article about the tragic consequences of Obama’s personal engagement strategy on the emerging democracy in Lebanon.

    California Court Denies Polanski Appeal (Updated x2)

    Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 4:04 pm

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    A California appeals court upheld a trial court decision and denied Roman Polanski’s appeal asking that his child sex case be dismissed for prosecutorial and judicial misconduct:

    “In a unanimous decision, a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeal 2nd District said a lower court judge did not err a year ago when he ruled that the acclaimed director, then a fugitive in France, had to surrender to U.S. authorities before pursuing the misconduct claims.

    Lawyers for Polanski, now under house arrest in Switzerland pending possible extradition to Los Angeles, had argued earlier this month that the “fugitive disentitlement doctrine” cited by Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza did not apply to the filmmaker because of the egregiousness of the misconduct alleged. But in a decision today, the justices disagreed.”

    The appeals court recognized the seriousness of Polanski’s misconduct claims and urged the parties to address them. In light of this ruling, the only way Polanski can raise a claim of misconduct is by coming back to LA, willingly or unwillingly.

    — DRJ

    UPDATE: In the comments, Beldar provides a link to the court’s opinion. Don’t miss Beldar’s analysis in this comment and also in this one. My thanks to Beldar for the link and the analysis.

    UPDATE 2: Polanski is completing work on a movie while under house arrest.

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