Patterico's Pontifications


Political Timing (Updated x2)

Filed under: Health Care,Obama,Politics — DRJ @ 8:58 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Massachusetts has scheduled a special election for January 19, 2010, to replace Senator Ted Kennedy. Democrat Martha Coakley will face Republican Scott Brown. Coakley leads but Brown is narrowing the gap in this traditionally blue state. However, if Brown should win, Democratic leaders may prolong certification of the election so his vote won’t impact Obama’s health care reform plans:

“The U.S. Senate ultimately will schedule the swearing-in of Kirk’s successor, but not until the state certifies the election.

Today, a spokesman for Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin, who is overseeing the election but did not respond to a call seeking comment, said certification of the Jan. 19 election by the Governor’s Council would take a while.

“Because it’s a federal election,” spokesman Brian McNiff said. “We’d have to wait 10 days for absentee and military ballots to come in.”

Another source told the Herald that Galvin’s office has said the election won’t be certified until Feb. 20 – well after the president’s address.

Since the U.S. Senate doesn’t meet again in formal session until Jan. 20, Bay State voters will have made their decision before a vote on health-care reform could be held. But [current Senator Paul] Kirk and Galvin’s office said today a victorious Brown would be left in limbo.

In contrast, Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-Lowell) was sworn in at the U.S. House of Representatives on Oct. 18, 2007, just two days after winning a special election to replace Martin Meehan. In that case, Tsongas made it to Capitol Hill in time to override a presidential veto of the expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.”

H/T Hot Air.


UPDATE: William A. Jacobson at Leg*al In*sur*rec*tion looks into whether SEIU is behind some anti-Brown push-polling in Massachusetts.

UPDATE 2: Via GatewayPundit, Brown appeared on Sean Hannity tonight and promised to be the 41st vote against ObamaCare.

Intelligence Mistakes

Filed under: Government,Obama — DRJ @ 8:50 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The buck may stop at President Obama’s desk but the typos just keep coming from the Obama Administration:

“On Thursday, President Obama presented his official White House review in a national address and said, “Ultimately, the buck stops with me.”

Presumably, however, Obama was not responsible for the review’s misstatement of the date on which Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s father met with U.S. authorities to warn them of his son’s radicalism, or for Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair’s subsequent misidentification of the flight that Abdulmutallab allegedly tried to bomb.”

If you’re counting, the Administration’s report said Abdulmutallab “boarded Northwest Flight 153 for Detroit” instead of Flight 253. It also said Abdulmutallab’s father met with embassy officers in Abuja, Nigeria, on November 18. The actual date was November 19. A similar error pre-dated the terror attack:

“Prior to the attempted bombing, a misspelling of Abdulmutallab’s name was responsible for the State Department’s initial mistaken belief that he did not hold a valid U.S. visa.”

Mistakes happen and that’s part of the reason for redundant systems. But sometimes the answer is for people to work harder and more carefully at their jobs. It’s time everyone, including government workers, learned that simple fact.


Pete Carroll Leaving USC? (Updated)

Filed under: Sports — DRJ @ 7:42 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The LA Times reports USC football coach Pete Carroll may soon become the coach of the NFL Seattle Seahawks:

“The Seattle Seahawks, who today fired coach Jim Mora, are close to reaching an agreement with USC’s Pete Carroll to be their next coach, The Times has learned.
Although the Seahawks and Carroll are close to a deal, which is believed to be a five-year contract to become president and head coach at $7 million a year, nothing has been signed, said sources close to the situation who are not authorized to speak on his behalf.”

Seattle’s current coach, Jim Mora, was fired today after just one season.


UPDATE 1/11/2010: Surprise, surprise:

“A source with knowledge of the situation told’s Andy Katz that USC’s notice of infractions included both football and men’s basketball, which may make the timing of Pete Carroll’s departure to the Seattle Seahawks a bit more interesting based on what will come out of the report. The NCAA had folded the two investigations into one so it can review the entire athletic department’s culpability in any possible infractions. That is par for the course in investigations since a failure to monitor can be applied to the entire department.

Per NCAA policy, schools have 90 days to respond to the notice of allegations before a hearing is set on the committee on infractions calendar. That means USC received the notice more than three months ago since a hearing date has been set by the NCAA.The committee on infractions will meet Feb. 19-21 in Tempe, Ariz., and according to a source, USC will be the focus of that meeting with the committee.”

Scheduling Problems

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 7:10 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Fans of the TV series LOST are rejoicing tonight because the White House confirmed it would not schedule President Obama’s first State of the Union address on February 2, the night LOST’s last season debuts on ABC:

“Fans of ABC’s “Lost” can breathe a sigh of relief.

The millions of viewers eagerly waiting to see what happened to Juliet, Jack, and the Swan station at the end of last season’s cliff-hanger no longer have to worry that the answers to their questions will be delayed because of President Obama’s first State of the Union address.

President Obama will not pre-empt the premiere of the show’s final season, set to air on Tuesday Feb. 2, the White House said today.”

Last year at this time, I suspect some of these LOST fans were equally dedicated Obama fans who would have protested as much if an Obama appearance were in jeopardy instead of a LOST episode. I guess that’s the risk politicians and all celebrities take if their popularity is based largely on emotion or passion.

Speaking of passion, Rasmussen’s passion index has Obama at minus 14 and his approval/disapproval rating at minus 8.


Abdulmutallab Indicted

Filed under: Law,Obama,Terrorism — DRJ @ 6:49 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Northwest Flight 253 bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was indicted today in Detroit on 6 charges:

“A six-count indictment handed down Wednesday charges Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, attempted murder and other charges. No terrorism charge has been filed to date.”

The maximum penalty Abdulmutallab currently faces is life in prison, but Obama Administration counterterrorism adviser John Brennan already says he will be offered a deal:

“U.S. investigators have said Abdulmutallab told them he received training and instructions from al-Qaida operatives in Yemen. His father warned the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria that his son had drifted into extremism in Yemen, but that threat was never fully digested by the U.S. security apparatus.

Obama’s counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, has said Abdulmutallab would be offered a plea deal in exchange for valuable information about his contacts in Yemen and elsewhere.”

Given the Obama Administration’s recent negotiations with and release of terrorists, including “key members” of terror cells responsible for the death of Americans, it’s not surprising the Administration is willing to negotiate with Abdulmutallab. The likely result is that Abdulmutallab will someday go home, perhaps even before he’s an old man, and there will be more Abdulmutallabs.


Unemployment Still at 10%

Filed under: Economics,Obama — DRJ @ 1:56 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Last month’s decline in job losses did not hold, and the US “unexpectedly” remains at 10% unemployment. What should the government do about this? At this point, the Obama Administration’s best bet may be to ask the BLS to issue its unemployment reports on Friday nights. Meanwhile, geoff at Innocent Bystanders updates his Stimulus chart with the new data:


In another chart, geoff shows the cumulative job loss is “over 8 million, with not much sign of slowing.” And in a separate post, he illustrates “Job Security the Government Way.”


NBC’s Dilemma: Jay or Conan?

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 1:47 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Faced with a late-night ratings slump since it replaced Jay Leno with Conan O’Brien, apparently NBC has decided to split the baby:

“The network has a plan in the works to restore Jay Leno to his old spot at 11:35 each weeknight for a half-hour, while pushing the man who replaced him, Conan O’Brien, to a starting time of 12:05 a.m. Mr. O’Brien would then have a full hour.”

Nevertheless, Leno appears to be the winner for now:

“For Mr. Leno, who made no secret that he was unhappy about being moved from “The Tonight Show,” the change represents something of a vindication, even if his crown has been tarnished by his 10 p.m. experience. Mr. O’Brien faces a more unpalatable choice: accept a demotion to 12 a.m. and stay on NBC, or leave for another network, thereby breaking his lucrative contract with NBC.

The exact terms of Mr. O’Brien’s contract are not known, but he is rumored to have built into the deal he made five years ago to stay at NBC a guarantee that he would host “The Tonight Show” or NBC would owe a penalty of as much as $45 million. If his show continues to be called “The Tonight Show,” NBC may not be in breach of his contract, which could compel Mr. O’Brien to stay at NBC even if another network makes him an offer.”

I’d like to read that contract. I’d really like to hear the conversation between Conan and his lawyers if they tell him NBC isn’t in breach and won’t have to pay a penalty, even though they gave part of his time slot to Jay Leno.


Strange Bedfellows: James Rainey and Charles Johnson

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 7:45 am

If a conservative wants attention and kudos from Big Media, there’s one sure-fire way to do it: make solid arguments that are rigidly supported by the facts. Ha, ha! I’m joking of course. The actual way to the media’s heart is to harshly criticize conservatives. Meghan McCain and Kathleen Parker discovered months ago that vapid arguments and soft-headed thinking are no obstacle to gaining the Strange New Respect of a liberal media, as long as you’re willing to throw a conservative or two under the bus.

Charles Johnson is the latest darling of Big Media. Later this month he will be the subject of a New York Times Magazine article, and today he is lionized by none other than our old friend James Rainey, in a piece called A blogger’s parting with the right:

Back when he built his Little Green Footballs website into a favorite of the conservative right, Charles Johnson liked to write about the “Loony Left” and “Bush Derangement Syndrome.”

. . . .

Imagine the surprise among conservatives to learn — in a series of postings over nearly the last two years, and then in an official declaration of estrangement a little more than a month ago — that their darling did not love them anymore. Maybe he never did.

Rainey, of course, is the dupe of ACORN who had to eat crow after a video entertainingly destroyed his one-sided account of Hannah Giles and James O’Keefe’s visit to ACORN L.A. offices. Rainey later doubled down, manufacturing a quote by O’Keefe to portray him as a self-admitted truth-bender in the “mold” of Michael Moore.

Who better to lionize Charles Johnson, who increasingly seems to ignore inconvenient truths that get in the way of his own very one-sided world view?

Johnson’s knack for ferreting out fakes and hypocrisy has been impressive. But hyperbole sometimes overshadows his analytic approach. He’s not immune to the throes of passion he has disparaged on both the left and right.

Do you think Rainey is about to tell a story about how Johnson has exaggerated claims against conservatives? For example, how he claimed without proof that conservatives had created a racist Photoshop? Or how he bans conservatives for disagreeing with them? Or how he ignores e-mails from conservatives who correct his factual misstatements?

Uh, no.

He jumped on a lame and misbegotten attempt by conservatives last year to force the Los Angeles Times to release a videotape of Palestinian Americans meeting with then-candidate Barack Obama, even though the paper had promised a confidential source not to do so.

I love this:

I won’t pretend to have read enough of the husky, pony-tailed blogger’s work to give a full report card on his tactics, or politics.

Translation: I don’t know a damned thing about Charles Johnson. But who can resist a story about “A blogger’s parting with the right”?

Is Charles Johnson the new Meghan McCain? Or the new Kathleen Parker?

“What On Earth is This Government Doing?”

Filed under: Terrorism,War — DRJ @ 12:14 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

After reading the report that Nidal Hasan may plead insanity, I’m reminded of this December 2009 Andy McCarthy post that claims Jihad supporters are teaching at Fort Hood:

“It’s been brought to my attention by several reliable sources that the Defense Department has brought Louay Safi to Fort Hood as an instructor, and that he has been lecturing on Islam to our troops in Fort Hood who are about to deploy to Afghanistan. Safi is a top official of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and served as research director at the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT).

Worse, last evening, Safi was apparently permitted to present a check (evidently on behalf of ISNA) to the families of the victims of last month’s Fort Hood massacre. A military source told the blogger Barbarossa at the Jawa Report: “This is nothing short of blood money. This is criminal and the Ft. Hood base commander should be fired right now.”

ISNA was identified by the Justice Department at the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing conspiracy trial as an unindicted co-conspirator. The defendants at that trial were convicted of funding Hamas to the tune of millions of dollars. This should have come as no surprise. ISNA is the Muslim Brotherhood’s umbrella entity for Islamist organizations in the United States. It was established in 1981 to enable Muslims in North America “to adopt Islam as a complete way of life” — i.e., to further the Brotherhood’s strategy of establishing enclaves in the West that are governed by sharia. As I detailed in an essay for the April 20 edition of NR, the Brotherhood’s rally-cry remains, to this day, “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Koran is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.” The Brotherhood’s spiritual guide, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who issued a fatwa in 2004 calling for attacks on American forces in Afghanistan, openly declares that Islam will “conquer America” and “conquer Europe.”

Unfortunately, there’s more at the second link.


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