Patterico's Pontifications


Jan Crawford is Back

Filed under: Judiciary,Obama — DRJ @ 10:34 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Jan Crawford, formerly known as Jan Crawford Greenburg when she worked at ABC News, is now working at CBS and blogging at Crossroads. Crawford explains the title of her blog, her absence from the internet in recent months, and her name change in her first post.

Crawford was a panel member on Bob Schieffer’s Face the Nation yesterday (transcript here) where she talked frankly about President Obama’s approach to terrorism:

BOB SCHIEFFER: Jan, some people, critics of the President are saying that perhaps the response to this was one of the low points of this administration.

JAN CRAWFORD: Well, I mean when you’re talking about the Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano coming out and insisting that the system worked and Press Secretary Robert
Gibbs saying on this program last week, pretty much the same language that the system has worked. That’s a problem. I mean obviously the American people can look out there and go, well, you know, it didn’t.

But it’s not just those sound bites. I mean those are sound bites. The reason that’s an issue for Obama is that it goes to the bigger question of the competency of his government and the trust that people have in that government. You look at polls. Polls show that the trust in government is an all time low. Domestically, obviously, stimulus plan hasn’t worked. Unemployment is high. And so now we have a situation where a terrorist can get on an airplane, seemingly could have been caught if some officials had just done a basic Google search of the database. And the Homeland Security secretary is insisting the system worked.

BOB ORR (overlapping): Bob, can I just–

JAN CRAWFORD: That doesn’t you know work. We’re in a–what people are going to want to know is, you know does Obama have a plan? What is his plan to fight this long-term war against a determined Jihadist enemy? What’s the plan and do Americans have the trust that Obama is confident to fight that long-term war?

Crawford also made two bold predictions, one about politics and the other about sports:

JAN CRAWFORD: Justice John Paul Stevens will retire from the Supreme Court at ninety, giving Obama his second nomination. Solicitor General Elena Kagan will be the nominee replace to him.

And I’m not saying in the order of importance, but the University of Alabama will win the national championship on Thursday.”

Welcome back, Ms. Crawford. You’ve been missed.


Brit Hume’s Advice to Tiger Woods

Filed under: Media Bias,Religion — DRJ @ 8:09 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Today’s hot topic discussion is brought to us by … Brit Hume?

Here is the original Hume clip. The clip above shows Hume on Bill O’Reilly’s show discussing his earlier comments, and it includes an excerpt from the original clip.

A person doesn’t have to be a Christian to have morals or to believe it’s important to be loyal to his or her spouse. Thus, I don’t blame religion for its followers’ failings unless the religion endorses sinful behavior.

Nevertheless, I don’t think it’s wrong for journalists to talk about religion. My impression is some pundits object to Hume’s advice as inappropriate in a media forum. If so, I think they are trying to separate media and religion in the same way some want to erect a wall between church and state. I don’t agree with that view. Atheists and believers in any profession should be able to speak up in America.


ObamaCare: The unsurprising non-conference

Filed under: General — Karl @ 7:18 pm

[Posted by Karl]

The New Republic stretches the meaning of “EXCLUSIVE” on ObamaCare:

According to a pair of senior Capitol Hill staffers, one from each chamber, House and Senate Democrats are “almost certain” to negotiate informally rather than convene a formal conference committee. Doing so would allow Democrats to avoid a series of procedural steps–not least among them, a series of special motions in the Senate, each requiring a vote with full debate–that Republicans could use to stall deliberations, just as they did in November and December.

“There will almost certainly be full negotiations but no formal conference,” the House staffer says. “There are too many procedural hurdles to go the formal conference route in the Senate.”

First, the Democratic leadership was looking at forgoing a traditional conference committee in favor of a ping-pong (or pong ping) strategy for passing of ObamaCare since before passage of the Senate version. Second, the strategy eliminates a whopping three procedural hurdles — and they are so procedural that the only difference would be another 90 hours of delay (as was the case with passing the Senate version before Christmas).

Philip Klein, who has done yeoman’s work on blogging ObamaCare, is not convinced that House liberals will stand for the final bill being cooked up in a small backroom. But steamrolling House liberals is likely the real reason the leadership does not want a real House-Senate conference. Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Raul Grijalva whines:

“I am disappointed that there will be no formal conference process by which various constituencies can impact the discussion. I have not been approached about my concerns with the Senate bill, and I will be raising those at the Democratic Caucus meeting on Thursday. I and other progressives saw a conference as a means to improve the bill and have a real debate, and now with this behind-the-scenes approach, we’re concerned even more.”

House progressives needs to brush up on their chick-lit: If they aren’t calling you, they just aren’t that into you.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus will reportedly demand an agreement from Obama that health care coverage for illegals who earn a path to citizenship will be addressed in an immigration bill. This is textbook Wimpy: I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman can tell people he will confront Pres. Obama over the deal the White House cut with PhRMA. But when he asks Obama, “Are we interested in protecting the profits of the drug companies or protecting seniors?”, we already know he’s going to side with drug companies. Waxman can indignantly flare his nostrils, but the reality is that the drug companies already steamrolled Waxman in his own committee.

The non-conference may produce a lot of sound and fury from House liberals, but it will signify nothing. Progressives have not shown the cojones of a Joe Lieberman, who was willing to let the bill die until to got what he wanted. (And that, as much as anything, explains lefty hysteria toward Lieberman.)


Jordanian Suicide Bomber Responsible for CIA Deaths in Afghanistan

Filed under: War — DRJ @ 1:06 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The suicide bomber responsible for the explosion that killed 8 CIA agents and security personnel in Afghanistan was a Jordanian informant:

“[A] former senior intelligence official confirmed an NBC News report Monday that the bomber was Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, a 36-year old doctor from Zarqa, Jordan. He was arrested over a year ago by Jordanian intelligence, and was thought to have been flipped to support U.S. and Jordanian efforts against al-Qaida.”


Third Gatecrasher at Obama State Dinner (Updated x2)

Filed under: Government,Obama — DRJ @ 12:18 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Via Hot Air and Newsmax:

“Michaele and Tareq Salahi were not the only uninvited guests at the White House state dinner in honor of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

At the last minute, someone from the Indian diplomatic delegation invited a man to attend the White House event on Nov. 24 without the knowledge or consent of the White House.

As with the Salahis, the Secret Service ignored the fact that the man was not on the guest list and failed to conduct a background check on him.”

The Secret Service discovered the added guest after watching surveillance “video of arriving guests and attempted to match the images with the guest list.” It was only then that they spotted an “African-American man wearing a tuxedo who had not been invited” who appeared to be with the Indian delegation.

In commerce, you get what you pay for but I don’t think that’s true when it comes to government.


UPDATE: The Washington Post reports a Congressional source identified the third man as D.C. party promoter Carlos Allen, who like the Salahis may have attended the reception but not the dinner. As explained in the Washington Post article and in the following quote, the State Department is getting some of the blame:

“Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton said the new discovery may implicate not only the Secret Service, which is under the jurisdiction of the Homeland Security Committee, but also the State Department: “This incident, along with the terror attempt on a Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas Day by Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab may well show that the State Department is a weak link in U.S. security.”

In a Politico article, Carlos Allen denies he was at the dinner but it’s not clear if he denies being at the White House (despite a contrary statement by the Politico article):

“But Allen, the CEO of HUSH Society magazine, told POLITICO Monday afternoon that he was not at the White House on Nov. 24.

“I did not attend the state dinner,” Allen repeated three times.”

Finally,the Secret Service waited almost 6 weeks to reveal this information despite knowing about the third gatecrasher shortly after the event.

UPDATE: A man claiming to be Allen’s lawyer says Allen was there, was invited, and that he stayed for the dinner:

“Mr. Allen traveled to the White House in a State Department van with a group of Indian chief executives who had gathered at The Willard, a downtown Washington hotel where they also underwent security screening.

A spokesman for the Indian Embassy, Rahul Chhabra, said the embassy “did not seek or facilitate any access” for Mr. Allen. An American official said it was unclear how Mr. Allen, clad in a tuxedo, knew about the meeting spot. “He shows up at the exact right time,” the official said, “in the exact right room, in the exact right hotel, in the exact right attire.”


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