Patterico's Pontifications


Obama Administration: No Response to a Nuclear Iran

Filed under: International,Obama,Terrorism — DRJ @ 10:10 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Hot Air posts on the New York Times‘ Saturday night bombshell — Secret Gates memo warns that U.S. has no strategy for dealing with a nuclear Iran. Here’s Allahpundit’s summary:

“Of course they didn’t prepare alternatives. How could they possibly fathom that diplomacy might fail? The core plank of “smart power,” such as it is, has always been the Obama charm offensive. Simply by being the anti-Bush and offering an open hand to Iran, he would convince Tehran to unclench its fist and open a dialogue. Bush was the problem (he always is!) and once the problem was removed, solutions would inevitably follow. So why bother developing a Plan B? The result: Iran’s now enriching uranium to 20 percent purity and rolling out advanced centrifuges, which means nuclear “breakout” capacity, i.e. the ability to build a bomb quickly even if they haven’t yet done so, won’t be long in coming.
The fact that western powers had been waltzing with Iran over its nuke program for fully seven years at that point might have given them a clue that no action would be taken, but that’s “smart power” for you.”

Allahpundit speculates about why this was leaked now and also blames Bush for (1) focusing on Iraq instead of Iran, and (2) knowing a Democratic President would fumble the ball. Sorry, but I’m not buying that. Republican Presidents have enough to worry about without being responsible for their Democratic successor’s foul-ups.

However, it is interesting to ponder why this January memo was leaked now. After reading the New York Times’ questions to President Obama in this April 5th interview, the similar questions make me think they already had Gates’ memo or knew of its contents. Whether or not this is the case, Obama’s response focused on the success of his upcoming nuclear summit as the solution to Iran’s nuclear threat:

“But our expectation is not that there’s just some vague, gauzy statement about us not wanting to see loose nuclear materials. We anticipate a communiqué that spells out very clearly, here’s how we’re going to achieve locking down all the nuclear materials over the next four years, and different countries, depending on their circumstances and vulnerabilities, taking very specific steps in order to assure that that happens.”

The summit is over and the clear communiqué didn’t materialize, so it’s not that surprising the Gates memo did.


Beldar: Obama Only Pretends to Re-write Every State’s Domestic Laws to Benefit Gays and Lesbians

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

[Guest post by DRJ]

Beldar is not impressed with President Obama’s much-heralded decision that reportedly mandates hospitals extend rights to partners of gay men, lesbians and allow same-sex couples to share medical power of attorney.


Fox News Pulled the Plug on Hannity’s Tea Party Appearance

Filed under: Media Bias — DRJ @ 7:11 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Several sources report Fox News and Roger Ailes pulled the plug on Sean Hannity’s appearance at a Cincinnati Tea Party event:

“Fox News pulled the plug at the last minute on Sean Hannity’s tea party show yesterday from Cincinnati because execs were unaware the appearance was being used to sell tickets to the event – but the story isn’t over.

We hear execs at FNC, including CEO Roger Ailes, remain furious because they were blindsided by Hannity’s staff.”

I understand why a media outlet might want to distance itself from outright support for people and causes but should that also apply to commentary journalists? It’s not unusual to see commentary journalists taking sides, and maybe it’s better that we know where they stand.

Further, is there really any difference between what Hannity did and the White House press’s willingness to trade access for positive stories — especially since Hannity doesn’t pretend to be neutral and is open about what he believes and when he profits.


Zombie: Outing the Crashers in San Francisco

Filed under: Government — DRJ @ 6:52 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Zombie was on the lookout for Tea Party crashers in San Francisco.

The pink “Infiltrator” signs and “I’m with Stupid” signs seem to work but my favorites were the determined potheads who failed in their efforts to infiltrate the Tea Party. So, instead, they engaged the police and Ayn Rand supporters in debates about legalizing marijuana.

PS — I liked this New York Tea Party sign: “Turbo Tax Will Not Let Me List All My 15,000,000 Dependents”


Obama’s NASA Speech

Filed under: Media Bias,Obama — DRJ @ 4:57 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Newsbusters posts this from MSNBC:

“The following exchange was aired during MSNBC’s live April 15 coverage at around 12pm Eastern:

ALEX WITT: Right now on MSNBC, President Obama gets ready to head to NASA to try to build support for his efforts to revamp the nation’s space program. Although the international space station will remain active, plans to send astronauts back to the moon are being scrubbed for now and that is dividing, not only Congress, but also some of the few people who have actually stepped foot on the lunar surface. Let’s bring in NBC’s Jay Barbree who’s live for us at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Jay, good day to you.

JAY BARBREE: Good day to you Alex.

WITT: Okay so this is really, there’s a dividing line here between these very few elite men.

BARBREE: It sure is. Well I’ll tell you it’s really not. You have, you have Buzz Aldrin, who is – has his oldest son Andrew Aldrin is a, is the chief planner of the Launch Alliance Group, the Delta 4 rocket and the Atlas 5 rocket and they are the people who are trying to get the job of hauling the Orion spacecraft into space and they’re going to downsize it so they can put them on these rockets. So what – they’re trying to do that. Neil Armstrong and all the rest of the guys, they see what’s happening here. We do not have a conceivable…I can’t get the word out. They do not have continuation of the space program.

WITT: Okay.

BARBREE: But I’m a little disturbed right now, Alex. I just found out some very disturbing news. The President came down here in his campaign and told these 15,000 workers here at the Space Center that if they would vote for him, that he would protect their jobs. 9,000 of them are about to lose their job. He is speaking before 200, extra hundred people here today only. It’s invitation only. He has not invited a single space worker from this space port to attend. It’s only academics and other high officials from outside of the country. Not one of them is invited to hear the President of the United States, on their own space port, speak today. Back to you Alex.

WITT: Alright Jay I can understand why that would certainly get you a bit upset. I will say, on behalf of the Obama administration, they contend that 2500 new jobs will be created, even more, they say, than the 2012 Constellation would have created, that program. So I know all this remains to be seen, but understandably we get why you’re upset, right now. Along with many others down there. Let’s see if the President clears that up later today. Jay thanks so much.

I’ll remember two things from this story: Every Barack Obama promise has an expiration date, and MSNBC’s Alex Witt thinks her job is to speak for the Obama Administration.


The Nuclear Club

Filed under: International,Terrorism — DRJ @ 4:56 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Is Iran poised to join the world’s nuclear club … next month?


Europe Faces a Week of Volcanic Ash Cloud

Filed under: Environment,International — DRJ @ 4:55 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The fallout from Iceland’s volcanic ash cloud is hitting Europe like a ton of bricks:

“Millions of people faced worsening travel chaos Saturday as a volcanic ash cloud from Iceland moved further south and east, forcing European countries to extend flight bans into next week.

France decided to shut the three airports in the Paris area and others in the north of the country until 8:00 am (0600 GMT) on Monday due to the ash cloud that has caused the biggest airspace shutdown since World War II.

Italy also said it would not allow any flights until 0600 GMT Monday, Ireland shut its airspace until 1200 GMT Sunday and Britain and Germany lengthened bans on most flights in their airspace until 0600 GMT Sunday.

Additionally, British Airways cancelled all its flights due to have arrived in and depart London on Sunday.

Winds blowing the massive cloud eastward from Iceland to Russia will continue in the same direction for at least two days and could go on until the middle of next week, the Icelandic Meteorological Office said on Saturday.”

Poland has been forced to shut its airspace, making it virtually impossible for the world’s leaders to attend the funeral for the Polish President killed last week in a plane crash on his way to a World War II memorial service in Russia.


L.A. Times Editors Spit on Gates’s Memory and Botch the Facts in the Process

Filed under: Crime,Dog Trainer,Race — Patterico @ 3:03 pm

Several of you have written asking for comment on the death of Daryl Gates, and the L.A. Times‘s ridiculous editorial which blames Gates for the 1992 riots and a lot of other things.

I asked Jack Dunphy for comment, and he has prepared a piece for Pajamas Media which he will link and excerpt here when it appears. I have seen a draft and it does a far better job than I could of dismantling the editorial, so I will wait for that. For now, I will make two observations of my own.

First, the editorial is misleading when it says this:

The most fateful day of his life arrived less than a year later, on April 29, 1992. A Ventura County jury devoid of African Americans acquitted the four officers involved in the King beating on charges of assault and excessive force.

Not true. One of the officers was not acquitted of all assault charges. The jury did acquit three of the officers entirely, and acquitted the fourth, Officer Laurence Powell, on several counts — but it also hung (8-4 in favor of acquittal) on the charge of assault under color of authority against Powell.

Second, a personal story about Daryl Gates, which I may or may not have told before.

I could have forced him on to one of my juries once.

It was 1998 or 1999, and I was doing misdemeanors in Alhambra. Gates was among the people in the audience for a DUI and resisting arrest trial. The defense exercised all 10 of its peremptories and I had three left. There were three people in the audience.

If I had exercised my remaining three peremptories, I could have forced him onto the jury.

I didn’t, because while I knew he would be a good juror, I thought of him as a polarizing figure — someone that some of the other jurors might react to negatively. Prosecutors have to get 12 people to agree. I was afraid that would be troublesome with Gates on the jury.

As it happens, the case hung anyway. I now think to myself: you should have gotten him on. Maybe he could have explained to the jurors how the defendant’s actions would be considered resisting arrest.

Also, it would have been fun.

Anyway, Daryl Gates didn’t cause the riots. I’d say the editors of the Los Angeles Times were probably more responsible for the riots, because they (like all news media) failed to adequately report how weak the prosecution case was, and how strong the defense arguments were. The first few seconds of that videotape, which were hardly ever shown on TV, showed an aggressive Rodney King rushing officers, oblivious to Tasering and commands to stop. L.A. Times editors failed to explain the significance of this to the public — leading to shock at verdicts that should not have been a surprise at all, had the paper done its job properly.

Plus, over the years, the editors have incited racial tension in this city on countless occasions by hyping flawed studies claiming to find racial injustice in the system, without reporting those studies’ lack of adequate controls. Regular readers know I have discussed this, time and time again.

So, when assessing fault for the riots, the editors, instead of spitting on Gates’s memory with him freshly dead, should take a look in the mirror.

They might also blame, you know, the rioters themselves. I always had this crazy idea that they were primarily responsible.

But that’s me: a prosecutor, always wanting to blame the perpetrators for their own crimes. If only I were a newspaper editor, I would realize that crimes aren’t the fault of the perpetrators. They are the fault of society, and the police, and everybody but the person who actually commits them.

I guess I have a lot to learn. Won’t you please teach me, Times editors??

We’ll link Dunphy’s piece when it comes online.

The “New Normal” Unemployment

Filed under: Economics,Obama — DRJ @ 1:45 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Unemployment during the Obama Administration:

Obama economic adviser Christina Romer’s explanation:

“While acknowledging serious concern that some Americans face long-term unemployment, Romer pushed back against economists who have asserted that high joblessness is now built into the economy and has become the “new normal.”

“The overwhelming weight of the evidence is that current very high and very disturbing levels of overall and long-term unemployment are not a separate structural problem but largely a cyclical one,” Romer said in her speech. “That is far from being the ‘new normal,’ it is the ‘old cyclical,'” Romer said.”

It look like the new normal to me, and one side effect may be that IRS tax receipts will continue to decline.

H/T Hot Air.


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