Patterico's Pontifications


How to Talk Texan in One Easy Lesson

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 10:41 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

President Bush visited VP Cheney at his Virginia home today. By West Texas standards, their conversation included this lengthy and heartfelt exchange:

“Former President George W. Bush arrived at the McLean, Va., home of former Vice President Dick Cheney, newly returned from a hospital stay from his fifth heart attack.

“Lookin’ good,” said Bush.

“Holding up,” said Cheney.”


The Trials of Milton Dwayne Gobert

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 8:47 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

There is news outside Washington, D.C., such as the capital murder trial of Milton Dwayne Gobert in Austin, Texas:

“Gobert is accused of stabbing his ex-girlfriend’s friend, 30-year-old Mel Cotton, to death while attempting to rob and kidnap her.

Cotton’s son, who was 5 years old at the time, witnessed his mother’s murder. He was also stabbed during the attack. The boy survived, and now at 11 years old, is expected to testify sometime later this week.”

Cotton’s son Demetrius testified yesterday in chilling detail, and today the medical examiner testified Cotton suffered 107 stab wounds to her “ear, head, chin, chest, arms and elsewhere. She had 38 on her left upper chest.”

After the medical examiner’s testimony and outside the presence of the jury, Gobert complained today that his leg brace is uncomfortable:

“Gobert raised the complaint during a break in testimony, shortly after medical examiner Elizabeth Peacock told the jury that Mel Cotton, whom Gobet is accused of killing, had suffered 107 stabbing and cutting wounds.

While the jury was out of the room, Gobert spoke directly to Judge Bob Perkins about the leg brace that goes up his left leg and is designed to lock if he tries to run to limit his ability to move.

“I am here all day and my leg goes to sleep,” he said.

Gobert is wearing the leg brace, which goes up past his knee on one leg, under a pair of black pants. During jury trials, sheriff’s officers use the braces instead of chains that hold inmates legs together so defendants are not unfairly prejudiced by appearing to be in custody. Gobert said earlier in the trial he was wearing an anklet that was more comfortable.

That anklet, a sheriff’s security officer told Perkins, is designed to shock an inmate if they try to run, similar to a Taser. It was being used on a test basis and is not readily available, he said.”

The Judge denied Gobert’s request.


Rangel Admonished by Ethics Committee

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 7:37 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Democratic Congressman Charles Rangel confirmed Thursday night that the House ethics committee determined he violated House rules in connection with two trips to the Caribbean:

“The House ethics committee says in a three-page report that Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., “violated the House gift rule” by accepting travel to Antigua in November 2007 and St. Maarten in November 2008 paid for by corporate funds.”

Rangel is not happy to find out he’s expected to talk to and supervise his staff when it comes to free trips to the Caribbean:

“Common sense dictates that members of Congress shouldn’t be held responsible for what could be the wrongdoing or the error of their staff unless they think the member knew or should have known. And there is nothing in the record on that,” Rangel told reporters Thursday night.

“I have to now deal with my lawyer to figure out what the hell they mean,” he added. “…That what a staff member does but a member doesn’t know it –- the member could be charged and admonished publicly for it? I think right now I will let the general community make its own judgments based on what the ethics committee has said and I’ll get back to you with a longer statement afterwards.”

Rangel also had a run-in with a CNN reporter and a heated exchange with the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House ethics committee.

He’s taking this well.


Obama Gets Schooled

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:02 pm

The Health Care Nightmare

Filed under: Health Care,Obama,Politics — DRJ @ 4:18 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Republicans’ nightmare is that health care legislation will be rammed through via reconciliation and voters will blame Congress and not just the Democrats. The Democrats’ nightmare is that Obama means it when he says he will pursue this until November because elections have consequences:

“What I do know is this, if we saw movement, significant movement, not just gestures, then you wouldn’t need to start over because essentially everybody here knows what the issues are, and procedurally it could get done fairly quickly.

“We cannot have another year long debate about this. So, the question I’m going to ask myself and I ask all of you is, is there enough serious effort that in a month’s time or a few week’s time or six week’s time we could actually resolve something? And if we can’t I think we got to go ahead and make some decisions and that’s what elections are for. We have honest disagreements about the vision for the country and we’ll go ahead and test those out over the next several months until November. Alright?”

At the link, Obama is also quoted as saying “people don’t have 7-8 hours a day to work some of these things through.”

Poor babies. Work is hard.


Obama’s Rules of Order

Filed under: Health Care,Obama — DRJ @ 4:00 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

One of President Obama’s favorite philosophers is Reinhold Niebuhr who is famous for his Serenity Prayer:

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,” he began, “the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

DRJ’s Addendum is that it helps to make fun of things you don’t like but can’t change … which in my case is Obama’s health care legislation and summit. That’s probably why I like Obama’s Rules of Order courtesy of Ace.


Reconciliation Day is Coming

Filed under: Health Care,Obama — DRJ @ 3:16 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Politico reports that the Democrats’ push for health care legislation and reconciliation will begin next week:

“After a brief period of consultation following the White House health reform summit, congressional Democrats plan to begin making the case next week for a massive, Democrats-only health care plan, party strategists told POLITICO.

A Democratic official said the six-hour summit was expected to “give a face to gridlock, in the form of House and Senate Republicans.”

I’ve decided boredom, not gridlock, is the worst thing about government. If it weren’t such a bad bill, reconciliation would be a welcome change from the boredom of listening to Obama’s lectures.


“Because I’m the President”

Filed under: Health Care,Obama — DRJ @ 1:19 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

There will be many quotes from today’s health care summit that will get attention. This one may be at the top of several lists:

“Almost two hours into the summit, President Obama says “we’re running over” because opening statements took too long.

“There was an imbalance on the opening statements because I’m the president,” he says as participants laugh, and he adds that he didn’t count his own time.”

And this one:

“With the summit, McCain said, Obama was finally making good on his promise as a candidate to put health care overhaul negotiations on television so the U.S. public could see the process.

“Both of us during the campaign promised change in Washington,” McCain said. “In fact, eight times [as a candidate] you said that negotiations on health care reform would be broadcast on C-SPAN cameras,” he said. “I’m glad that more than a year later they are, here. Unfortunately, this product was not produced in that fashion, it was produced behind closed doors.

“Special deals for the special interests and favored few” should be removed from the health care legislation, McCain said.

Obama said in response, “Let me just make this point, John, because we’re not campaigning anymore. The election’s over.”

“I am reminded of that every day,” McCain said, forcing a smile.”

I also noticed this quote that probably won’t get much, if any, attention:

“We can have a debate about process, or we can have a debate about how we’re going to help the American people,” Obama told McCain. “The latter debate is the one they care about more.'”

I’m not sure I agree with Obama’s statement, although on the surface it sounds like something most people would agree with. I think Obama’s quote shows he has finally abandoned the pretense of being all things to all people by appealing to process and substance. Instead, he returned to his Democratic roots and is focusing on substance — that is, he returned to promising just results instead of a fair and equal process. The problem with this is that someone has to decide what “just” results are. Whether it’s Sarah Palin’s ‘death panel’ or Keith Olbermann’s ‘life panel’, government is ultimately the decider under ObamaCare and that will lead to inconsistent and difficult-to-appeal results.

I think Americans believe in fair and equal process and are instinctively leery of promises to give everyone the results they want. That’s one of many reasons why Americans are questioning Obama’s health care legislation and why they believe it’s the Democrats, not the Republicans, who have the burden to convince us they’re right in today’s health care summit.


Health Care Summit Open Thread

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:26 am

Leave your comments about this farce below.

My $100 Offer to Eric Boehlert of Media Matters

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:49 am

I am offering Eric Boehlert of Media Matters the easiest $100 he ever made.

All he has to do to earn the $100: unequivocally state whether James O’Keefe pretended to be a pimp at ACORN offices. If Boehlert makes the statement publicly — with no weasel-words, no two-stepping, and no qualifications — I will PayPal him $100.

I made this offer to Boehlert on Twitter yesterday. He’s ignoring me. He even posted one Twitter message in which he said: “Leave me alone!”

Mr. Boehlert, I have you on the ropes. You think I am going to leave you alone? Have we met?

Here’s why Boehlert is ignoring me. He has spent days writing piece after piece about the Terribly Important Issue of whether James O’Keefe was dressed as a pimp at ACORN. But that is a red herring and he knows it. Because no matter how O’Keefe was dressed, he pretended to be a pimp at ACORN.

If Boehlert admits that, the trivial nature of his manufactured controversy over O’Keefe’s mode of dress will become painfully evident.

And if he wants to deny that O’Keefe posed as a pimp, let him do so clearly. And we’ll have that debate. I’d welcome it.

He won’t do either. And that’s why I feel perfectly confident that he will never act to collect the C-note I am offering — even though it would require nothing more than typing a simple 8-10 word sentence. For example, this sentence would earn Boehlert $100:

James O’Keefe did not pose as a pimp at ACORN.

That’s $10 a word! Or Boehlert could earn himself a picture of Ben Franklin with this sentence:

James O’Keefe posed as a pimp at ACORN.

That’s $12.50 a word. Does even George Soros pay that well? I ask you!

Boehlert wouldn’t even have to shave George Soros’s back!

P.S. If anyone wants to up the ante, tell me in the comments.

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