Patterico's Pontifications


Close Call in Burbank

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 10:55 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

There was a near miss at the Burbank airport this week:

“The near collision – at least the third such incident in the state since February to prompt federal investigations – occurred Monday at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, but was not disclosed by the National Transportation Safety Board until Friday.

It was not immediately clear why the incident was not reported earlier. A call to the NTSB was not returned Friday.

The Boeing 737-700 carrying 119 passengers and five crew members was landing from Oakland when a Cessna 172, which was involved in a practice maneuver known as “touch and go” on another runway, arrived at the intersection at about the same time.

The planes came within an estimated 200 feet vertically and 10 feet laterally of each other, the Federal Aviation Administration said.”

The incident was blamed on an “excellent controller who made an unusual, and unfortunate, mistake.” I consider “10 feet laterally” to be more than a mere mistake but maybe I’m overreacting. What do the pilots out there think?


Biden Promises More Jobs

Filed under: 2012 Election — DRJ @ 7:55 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

President Obama is on vacation so, in his absence, Vice President Biden took over the role of making promises:

“Vice President Joe “I Still Have My Job How About You?” Biden was at yet another political fundraiser today and admitted that he got in White House trouble last month for predicting job growth nationally.

So naturally the garrulous VP did it again today in Pennsylvania.

Speaking for Mark Critz, a Democrat running for a House seat who’s “the real deal” as opposed to some others who Biden says have been “real turkeys,” the Obama administration’s chief gaffemeister said:

We’re going to be creating somewhere between 100 and 200,000 jobs next month, I predict.

Which is a pretty wide range.

Then, to ensure he’d be in trouble again, the long-time senator added:

Even some in the White House said, ‘Hey, don’t get ahead of yourself.’ Well I’m here to tell you some time in the next couple of months we’re going to be creating between 250,000 jobs a month and 500,000 jobs a month.”

He’s a keeper. Or not.

Instead of listing potential challengers President Obama may face in the 2012 Democratic Presidential primary, NPR should start counting all the people who could replace Biden on the ticket.


Let’s Eat Healthy

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 7:17 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Obama Administration and First Lady Michelle Obama have taken an interest in what Americans eat. For example, Mrs. Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign is aimed at fighting childhood obesity and the FDA announced it plans to limit salt in processed foods.

I wish people and government would keep their noses out of Americans’ private lives but clearly I’m out-of-step in Obama’s world. So to thank them for their interest in our private lives, here’s some friendly advice to the vacationing Obamas — your diet sucks:

“Obama and first lady Michelle Obama landed in the Blue Ridge Mountains and made a quick stop at Twelve Bones Smokehouse on the way to their resort. The White House said the first couple ate ribs, macaroni and cheese, greens, baked beans, corn bread and corn pudding and washed it down with sweet tea.

And then a short time later, they set about working off the meal; the Obamas went on a mountain hike and the president then hit the golf course.”

Lay off the carbs, folks. There aren’t enough golf courses in Asheville to walk that diet off, especially when you ride a cart.


Elite College Admissions

Filed under: Education — DRJ @ 7:14 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The TaxProf writes about how America’s elite buy their way into elite colleges:

“My wife and I scrimped and saved to send our two kids to an exceptionally strong private school in Cincinnati, and we are thrilled by the great college choices our kids have had. But we have been surprised by the college admissions results over the past two years at their high school — not by the thumb on the scale in favor of racial minorities, athletes, and legacies, but by the extent of the admissions bump enjoyed by students from wealthy families. Such students have fared better in the admissions process than non-wealthy students with higher test scores, higher grades, and richer extracurricular and leadership activities.”

I agree with his conclusions but what amazes me is so many people still play the elite college game. Does he really believe the only or best path to success in life is through elite colleges? If so, things will never change.


Remember November

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 6:44 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Republican Governors Association wants Americans to pledge to Remember November:

“Remember November so that we can return America to its founding principles of freedom, personal responsibility and economic liberty. We Remember November so we, our children, and grandchildren can live with the freedoms our founding fathers intended.”

The link is a compelling video but it won’t let me embed it here.


UPDATE — They uploaded it to YouTube so I’m embedding it now:

Palin Testifies in Email Hacker Case

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 3:22 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Sarah Palin testified today in a Tennessee criminal case in which student David Kernell is charged with hacking her email account:

“As her husband Todd looked on, Palin told jurors she first discovered her account had been breached when watching a TV news report from the campaign trail in Michigan. The Secret Service and a campaign aide later confirmed it was true, she said.

Palin testified that her “gov.palin” e-mail account and red Blackberry were her primary means of keeping in touch with her family in Alaska as she campaigned as the Republican vice presidential nominee. She said the breach caused a huge “disruption” in her family members’ personal and professional lives.

“Friends and family had to change their contacts and e-mails,” she told reporters outside the courtroom of the fallout from the hack job. “It’s not right, it’s not legal, it’s not fair and decent…I don’t think an illegal action like this was a college prank.”

Palin’s daughter Bristol testified she received hundreds of “unsolicited phone calls and text messages, some threatening, after the alleged hacker exposed her cell phone number.”

Meanwhile, Kernell’s attorneys portrayed his act as a “silly prank” but the evidence paints a conflicting picture:

“Prosecutors showed jurors copies of e-mails and Internet postings filled with obscene language that were traced back to Kernell.

“He definitely talked about how he didn’t believe in what she wanted to do,” David Omiecinski, Kernell’s roommate at the University of Tennessee, said, although adding that Kernell said nothing about hurting Palin.

Kernell shared Palin’s private information with the world, including a cell phone number that belonged to her daughter, Bristol, according to prosecutors. He was arrested in October 2008.

Kernell’s roommate said the defendant bragged openly about what he did. But Davies told jurors that his client didn’t attempt to get rid of any evidence on his laptop and that he cried when he found out that the FBI was investigating him. “He really couldn’t have done more to let people know what he had done than he did,” Davies said.

Palin’s family friend Ivey Frye told jurors that the hacker sent “vile” and “vulgar” e-mails to Palin’s children and other relatives and friends, and that all their e-mail addresses were exposed.”

Mr. Kernell may have to take the stand.


Arizona Governor Signs Immigration Bill

Filed under: Immigration,Law,Obama — DRJ @ 2:37 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Governor Jan Brewer has signed Arizona’s controversial immigration bill:

“Gov. Jan Brewer ignored criticism from President Barack Obama on Friday and signed into law a bill supporters said would take handcuffs off police in dealing with illegal immigration in Arizona, the nation’s gateway for human and drug smugglers.

With hundreds of people surrounding the state Capitol, protesting that the bill would lead to civil rights abuses, Brewer said she wouldn’t tolerate racial profiling. She said critics were “overreacting.”

“We in Arizona have been more than patient waiting for Washington to act,” Brewer said after signing the law. “But decades of inaction and misguided policy have created a dangerous and unacceptable situation.
The bill, sent to the Republican governor by the GOP-led Legislature, would make it a crime under state law to be in the country illegally. It would also require local police officers to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are illegal immigrants.”

Earlier today, President Obama referred the bill to the Department of Justice to examine its legality:

“That includes, for example, the recent efforts in Arizona, which threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe,” Obama said.”

Obama has, of course, already made up his mind on this … just like he made up his mind that the police officers “acted stupidly” when they arrested Henry L. Gates, Jr.


Next Up: Immigration Reform

Filed under: Immigration,Obama — DRJ @ 2:18 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Obama Administration has brought us health care reform, financial reform, and next up may be immigration reform:

“Speaking in the Rose Garden where 24 active-duty U.S. service members from more than a dozen countries became Americans, Obama said their efforts to earn their citizenship is a reminder “of how we must remain both a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws.”

“This includes fixing America’s broken immigration system,” he said.

The president said that while disagreements have gone on for years, “surely we can all agree that when 11 million people in our country are living here illegally, outside the system, that’s unacceptable.”

He called for “common-sense, comprehensive immigration reform grounded in the principles of responsibility and accountability.”

Some think the unacceptable part is that they are allowed to live here illegally. Others are simply amazed at the Obama Administration’s refusal to “pivot” to the economy and jobs. Why are Obama and the Democrats taking on so many polarizing and unpopular reforms? I subscribe to Byron York’s answer — they want to ram through as much as possible while they still control Congress:

“So why are Obama, Pelosi and Reid going forward? There are five possible explanations.

1) They’ve lost their minds.

2) They are very smart and know something we don’t.

3) They’re out of touch with the public’s concerns.

4) They want to be able to tell the most ardent supporters of reform that they tried.

5) They’re fully aware that the public doesn’t want “comprehensive” reform but are racing to do as much as they can before the elections take away their power to defy the public’s wishes.

The first possibility is highly unlikely. The second is less so, but still pretty unlikely. The third is plausible, but not probable. The fourth is arguable. And the fifth? It makes a lot of sense, especially in light of the Obamacare experience.”

Will Obama “Go for it”?


ObamaCare Costs Increasing Already

Filed under: Government,Health Care — DRJ @ 1:27 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Instead of saving money and providing better healthcare as President Obama and the Democrats promised, ObamaCare will cost more than it saves:

“The report from Medicare’s Office of the Actuary carried a disclaimer saying it does not represent the official position of the Obama administration. White House officials have repeatedly complained that such analyses have been too pessimistic and lowball the law’s potential to achieve savings.

The report acknowledged that some of the cost-control measures in the bill — Medicare cuts, a tax on high-cost insurance and a commission to seek ongoing Medicare savings — could help reduce the rate of cost increases beyond 2020. But it held out little hope for progress in the first decade.

“During 2010-2019, however, these effects would be outweighed by the increased costs associated with the expansions of health insurance coverage,” wrote Richard S. Foster, Medicare’s chief actuary. “Also, the longer-term viability of the Medicare … reductions is doubtful.” Foster’s office is responsible for long-range costs estimates.”

There’s more:

“The report’s most sober assessments concerned Medicare.

In addition to flagging provider cuts as potentially unsustainable, the report projected that reductions in payments to private Medicare Advantage plans would trigger an exodus from the popular alternative. Enrollment would plummet by about 50 percent. Seniors leaving the private plans would still have health insurance under traditional Medicare, but many might face higher out-of-pocket costs.

In another flashing yellow light, the report warned that a new voluntary long-term care insurance program created under the law faces “a very serious risk” of insolvency.”

According to NRO, Medicare funding cuts could put 15% of America’s hospitals out of business so it’s unlikely that Congress will follow through on those Medicare cuts, raising ObamaCare costs even more. This comes on top of recent news that over 60 doctor-owned hospitals will not be built because of ObamaCare’s regulations that prohibit physician-owned facilities except those that already exist or in rare cases.


What GM Didn’t Tell Us About Its Important Announcement

Filed under: Government — DRJ @ 12:57 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

GM used other bailout funds to make this repayment and American taxpayers may be on the hook for $14-$20B more if GM doesn’t become profitable:

In other words, GM exists to make sure its employees get their pension, and the American government has guaranteed those pensions.


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