Patterico's Pontifications


Debra Medina, Take 2

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 11:54 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Earlier this week, Texas GOP Gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina made news in a Glenn Beck interview when she refused to condemn 9/11 conspiracies.

Now we learn that, later that same day in an interview with Victoria station KAVU, Medina reportedly said that while she believes Muslim terrorists flew into the Towers and the “U.S. government didn’t put them up to it,” it was still healthy to question. Then, unbelievably, Medina brought up “the birth certificate thing”:

MEDINA: “The 9/11 Commission report, you know, great sections of that are redacted and are Top Secret. That makes us all wonder ‘Well, what’s happening back there?’ The same is true with the birth certificate thing. I think it’s healthy that people are asking questions.”


The Filibuster

Filed under: Health Care,Obama — DRJ @ 10:31 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Recent reports suggest the Democrats are considering a series of Congressional votes to pass health care legislation. Wednesday on Hardball with Chris Matthews, Matthews asked a Democratic strategist whether the Democrats really want to open the door to a Republican filibuster:

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MATTHEWS: “A filibuster is when Senators go out and they used to just read the Bible or the telephone book. These guys and women would be able to go on the floor every night and read particular provisions of the Democratic health bill that were a problem for the voters. Would that be smart to let them do that?”

I don’t know if it would be smart but it would be informative and transparent.


2009 Winners and Losers

Filed under: Economics,Obama — DRJ @ 9:14 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Who were the financial winners after the Obama Administration’s first year? Here are a few I can think of:

  • Goldman Sachs executives earned record cash bonuses but bowed to political pressure and took the bonuses in restricted stock options instead.
  • Washington, D.C., and the federal government bureaucracy had a booming 2009.
  • Kiplinger’s top three “Best Cities” for 2009 — ranked for their “stable employment and new career opportunities” — are all heavily dependent on government jobs.
  • Last but not least, 2009 was lobbyists’ most profitable year.
  • Feel free to add more winners in the comments. I think we all know who the losers were.

    — DRJ

    Now You Tell Us

    Filed under: Obama,Politics — DRJ @ 8:09 pm

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller on President Obama:

    “He’s Beginning To Be Not Believable To Me.”

    Video at the link.

    — DRJ

    Terror Trials Back on the Radar

    Filed under: Law,Obama,Politics,Terrorism — DRJ @ 8:07 pm

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    The Washington Post reports President Obama will get more involved in decisions regarding the 9/11 terror trials, and military tribunals may still be an option:

    “Administration officials said the decision will be made soon.

    Obama gave little clue about how the administration will proceed when he was asked Sunday about the trial. But he made clear that, in a shift from last year, he is now part of the decision-making process, saying in a CBS interview that Manhattan was still an option. “I have not ruled it out,” Obama said.

    If the White House is unable to find a civilian court where the Mohammed trial can be held, and if the political pressure continues, the administration may be forced to shift to a military commission.”

    The report confirmed Attorney General Eric Holder decided to try the 9/11 and other terrorists in civilian court:

    Senior White House officials said that the decision to try Mohammed in New York was Holder’s and that no single person in the administration was responsible for handling the politics of that choice. In an effort to avoid leaks, Holder kept the decision close in the days leading up to his Nov. 13 news conference, calling New York officeholders that day to inform them. Several New York officials said they have dealt exclusively with Holder, first during the rollout of the announcement and more recently as he struggles to find another venue.”

    The Obama Administration trotted out its standard explanation for its difficulties to date — that it didn’t talk enough to the American public:

    “Officials across the administration recognize that they have been slow to respond, defend and communicate their position, prompting a flurry of forceful comments over the past week.”

    However, Attorney General Holder also implicitly acknowledged he did a poor job coordinating his decision with other officials and agencies:

    “Holder reflected on his first year as the nation’s top law enforcement official and the nature of his interaction with the White House on counterterrorism, his top priority.

    “What I’ve tried to do is re-establish the department in the way that it has always been seen at its best, as an agency that is independent, given the unique responsibilities that it has,” he said. “But to be truly effective in the national security sphere, you’ve got to involve partners outside this building. To make decisions the AG has to make, you have to involve the commander in chief and these other people. I’m part of the national security team in a way that I’m not involved in the environmental resources team, the civil rights team.”

    Somehow I doubt Holder will be pilloried for his mistakes the way Bush Administration officials were for theirs.

    Meanwhile, Jennifer Rubin skewers the Obama Administration, especially John Brennan, for its ideological approach to national security:

    “The problem here, which Sessions, Mukasey, Burck, and Perino (as well as countless others) have spotted, is that the Obami let their lefty lawyers’ ideology go unchecked, interfering with the primary duty of the administration, namely to gather information and prevent further attacks on Americans. That is inexcusable. No amount of fakery or misdirection by Obama’s advisers can conceal that.”


    — DRJ

    Health Care Talks at Blair House

    Filed under: Health Care,Obama — DRJ @ 6:54 pm

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    Dear Republicans:

    You are invited to Blair House on February 25, 2010, to discuss health care reform legislation with President Obama, White House officials, the Democratic leaders of Congress, proponents of the liberal health care agenda, and anyone else we want to invite to sit on our side. Since we are already “working to close a deal on health care before the summit,” your attendance is optional but we won’t share that with the American public. Instead, we’ll pretend we want you to attend because we value your opinion.

    Good luck, suckers,

    The Democrats

    Luge Death at the Olympics

    Filed under: Sports — DRJ @ 2:00 pm

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    A 21-year-old Georgian luger was killed today at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver:

    “Nodar Kumaritashvili lost control of his sled, went over the track wall and struck an unpadded steel pole near the finish line at Whistler Sliding Center. Doctors were unable to revive the 21-year-old luger, who died at a hospital, the International Olympic Committee said.”

    A Romanian luger was injured today as well. The track is reportedly the world’s fastest. Some lugers have exceeded 90 mph and several have questioned its safety and the lugers’ decisions:

    “I think they are pushing it a little too much,” Australia’s Hannah Campbell-Pegg said Thursday night after she nearly lost control in training. “To what extent are we just little lemmings that they just throw down a track and we’re crash-test dummies? I mean, this is our lives.”

    My condolences to Nodar Kumaritashvili’s family, friends and countrymen.

    — DRJ

    Guess Who’s Blogging Again?

    Filed under: Blogging Matters — DRJ @ 1:36 pm

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    Beldar, one of my favorite Texans and bloggers, is back and he has several new posts to choose from.

    — DRJ

    White House Prepares for Supreme Court Vacancy

    Filed under: Judiciary,Obama — DRJ @ 1:23 pm

    [Guest post by DRJ]

    CNN’s Political Ticker reports the White House is gearing up for a possible Supreme Court vacancy:

    “Most of the speculation surrounds Justice John Paul Stevens, who will turn 90 in April and is the oldest of the nine-member bench. CNN had previously reported Stevens has so far hired only one law clerk for the October 2010 term. Sitting justices may hire a full complement of four; retired justices are allowed one.

    Sources close to him say the Chicago native has given no clear indication of his plans. One longtime colleague said Stevens has neither “encouraged nor discouraged any talk about his possible retirement, and has actually been amused at all the attention” his future has generated in news reports and blogs.”

    Among notable possibilities are three women who made Obama’s short-list prior to Justice Sotomayor’s selection — Solicitor General Elena Kagan, 7th Circuit Judge Diane Wood, and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano — and others:

    “One source said if Stevens were to retire, there would be less political pressure on Obama to name another woman to the court. Souter’s exit led to universal agreement inside the White House that a woman should join Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, then the lone female on the court.

    Among male candidates would be a Washington-based federal appeals court judge, Merrick Garland, 58; and Cass Sunstein, 55, an old law school associate of Obama and head of a key White House agency.”

    — DRJ

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