Patterico's Pontifications


Politics on the Border

Filed under: Crime,International — DRJ @ 8:44 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

As if murder, violence and intimidation weren’t enough, now the Mexican cartels want to take control of local governments:

“One candidate was gunned down with his son inside his business. Another is missing after assailants torched her home. In some towns near the U.S. border, parties can’t find anyone to run for mayor.

The violence is intensifying fear that Mexico’s drug cartels could control July 4 local elections in 10 states by supporting candidates who cooperate with organized crime and killing or intimidating those who don’t.

Nowhere has the intimidation been worse than in the border state of Tamaulipas, where Mexican soldiers are trying to control an intensifying turf battle between the Gulf cartel and its former ally, the Zetas gang.

Gunmen burst into the farm supplies business of Jose Guajardo Varela Thursday and killed him and his son, after he ignored warnings to drop his bid for mayor of Valle Hermosa, a town about 30 miles (50 kilometers) south of Brownsville, Texas.

“Organized crime wants to have total control over local elections,” said Carlos Alberto Perez, a federal lawmaker for Calderon’s conservative National Action Party, known as the PAN.”

Cartel members already live in and run their drug businesses in American neighborhoods and use our cities as their drug distribution hubs.

If the cartels gain control of local border governments via elections, I fear it will make it even easier for them to cross the border and operate on American soil.


A Death in Monument

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 8:11 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Denver Post reports construction workers found a child’s body yesterday in Monument, Colorado:

“Two construction workers working in a vacant duplex called police at 4 p.m. Friday to report they found the body of a young child in the basement of a home at 764 Century Place, Unit A.

The identity, sex, race and age of the child has not been determined, Shirk said. The child could have been anywhere from 1 to 7 years old, he said.

“It was evident that the body had been there for a while,” Shirk said.”

The article says Monument, Colorado, has 18,000 residents and no pending missing child cases. If this death is ruled a homicide, it will be the first homicide in the town’s history.


Canadian Fighters Escort Plane

Filed under: Air Security — DRJ @ 5:52 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The AP/Washington Post report Canadian fighter jets escorted a Cathay Pacific jet into Vancouver because of a bomb threat:

“Canadian fighter jets escorted a Cathay Pacific airliner incoming from Hong Kong to a safe landing in Vancouver International Airport on Saturday due to a potential unspecified security threat, a North American Aerospace Defense Command spokesperson said.

The Canadian Press news agency cited Canadian Defense department officials as saying there was a bomb threat aboard the plane, which originated in Hong Kong, but they could not provide details.”

Fox News and the CBC filed similar reports, but the CBC version adds this:

“The fighter jets are authorized to respond to security threats with measures including lethal force.”

That’s an interesting difference.


Oil Spill News: It’s About Money

Filed under: Government,Obama — DRJ @ 3:51 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

BP announced it is confident its latest engineering attempt will capture some production and reduce the size of the leak:

“BP believes it can hook up its mile-long tube to suck oil from a blown-out well, despite an earlier snag with connecting two pieces of equipment. If successful, it would be the first time the company has captured any of the oil since a rig sank April 22 and millions of gallons of crude started spewing into the ocean.”

So far, BP’s efforts have concentrated on capturing production rather than capping or shutting in the well. Maybe that’s because the well looks like a good producer and BP needs the income.

The Obama Administration is also concerned about BP’s money:

“In a letter to Dr. Anthony Hayward, the group chief executive of BP, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar note the many public statements from BP officials dismissing the $75 million-per-incident statutory liability cap, and ask for a formal clarification as to whether those dismissals are company policy.

“The public has a right to a clear understanding of BP’s commitment to redress all of the damage that has occurred or that will occur in the future as a result of the oil spill,” the administration officials write. “Therefore, in the event that our understanding is inaccurate, we request immediate public clarification of BP’s true intentions.”

This follows last week’s announcement that the White House would ask Congress to amend the law retroactively to increase BP’s liability. When the White House talks, Senator Menendez responds:

“Democratic Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, is co-sponsoring legislation to raise the limit on damages awards from a spill to $10 billion from $75 million under the current law, which was passed in 1990. The cost to BP of cleaning up the spill isn’t affected by the cap.
Menendez’s legislation would apply the higher limit retroactively to the BP spill.”

So much for ex post facto laws.

This is the Obama Administration’s modus operandi: Pressuring individuals and companies to do what Obama wants, regardless of the law. Thus, they pressured banks to lend more money. They pressured GM’s CEO to resign. They pressured health insurance companies to extend coverage to children with pre-existing conditions that was omitted from the health care reform legislation.

Why worry with the legalities when you can make an offer they can’t refuse?


Conversation Between an Egret and an Intentionalist, 3

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:19 pm

Egret [writing in tracks on wet sand]: “So … you’re talking to me now, huh?”

Intentionalist: “Sure. I told you: the adjudicator has simply ruled, for purposes of enforcement, that the third party could not possibly discern the intent from the marks provided.”*

Egret [writing in tracks on wet sand]: “And the part you don’t want to acknowledge is that, as a result, the adjudicator is enforcing the text according to the way a reasonable person would interpret it. That’s what I mean by textualism, and you believe it is justified.”

Intentionalist: “But he is no longer dealing with the same text. He has rewritten the text, and so what he is doing can no longer be called interpreting.”

Egret [writing in tracks on wet sand]: “But the words are the same.”

Intentionalist: “No, the words have been rewritten, in a way that privileges the intent of the receiver and not the speaker.”

Egret [writing in tracks on wet sand]: “Nothing about what is physically on the piece of paper has physically been changed. And yet, according to you, the words and the text have been rewritten. That’s what you’re saying.”

Intentionalist: “Exactly. How could I be any more clear?”

Egret [writing in tracks on wet sand]: “Um … well, anyway. Let me put it in terms that are hopefully acceptable to you, and see if you are willing to tell me in a straightforward manner if you agree with this: A speaker causes words to appear on a page, which constitute a law. A judge is charged with enforcing the law. There are times when, as long as he does not pretend he is interpreting the legislators’ true intent, the judge is nevertheless justified in determining how a reasonable person would construe the law, and in ruling accordingly. Do you agree with that?”

Intentionalist: “The adjudicator is justified in ruling, for purposes of enforcement, that the third party could not possibly discern the intent from the marks provided, because the intent was signaled poorly.”

Egret [writing in tracks on wet sand]: I understand that you don’t want to agree that the judge in that situation is enforcing the law as written, because you believe he is somehow “rewriting” the law without changing what is physically on the paper. But I didn’t ask you to agree to that. So, instead of rewording the answer, can you just tell me whether you agree with the statement as I worded it? I just took the time to dig those words extra deep, so that they would appear bold, so I would appreciate it if you could reward my labor with a direct answer.”



Intentionalist: “Where are you going with this?”

ObamaCare Fallout: Healthcare’s on Us

Filed under: Health Care — DRJ @ 11:07 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Speaker Pelosi said this two months ago as a selling point for health care reform, and she’s still saying it — Don’t worry about working; We’ll cover your health care:

“We see it as an entrepreneurial bill, a bill that says to someone, if you want to be creative and be a musician or whatever, you can leave your work, focus on your talent, your skill, your passion, your aspirations because you will have health care.”


ObamaCare Fallout: Crowded ERs

Filed under: Health Care — DRJ @ 10:45 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Hill reports health care reform will result in even more crowded emergency rooms because there aren’t enough doctors to treat so many new patients:

“A chief aim of the new healthcare law was to take the pressure off emergency rooms by mandating that people either have insurance coverage. The idea was that if people have insurance, they will go to a doctor rather than putting off care until they faced an emergency.

People who build hospitals, however, say newly insured people will still go to emergency rooms for primary care because they don’t have a doctor.

“Everybody expected that one of the initial impacts of reform would be less pressure on emergency departments; it’s going to be exactly the opposite over the next four to eight years,” said Rich Dallam, a healthcare partner at the architectural firm NBBJ, which designs healthcare facilities.

“We don’t have the primary care infrastructure in place in America to cover the need. Our clients are looking at and preparing for more emergency department volume, not less,” he said.”

That’s what happened in Massachusetts, too, and the waits are still long. The Democrats’ answer? Rep. Jim McDermott wants government to pay for more doctors. Others see a need for more hospitals. And everyone says the money must be spent now because of the long lag times in educating doctors and building medical facilities.


Bennett May Run as a Write-In

Filed under: 2010 Election,Politics — DRJ @ 12:02 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Utah Senator Robert Bennett was recently ousted in the GOP nominating convention but he’s considering running as a write-in candidate:

“What’s next for Sen. Robert F. Bennett (R-Utah), the first scalp of the “tea party” movement, who got crushed at his state’s GOP convention last week? The senator tells “44” that while he hasn’t made any decisions, he is seriously contemplating running as a write-in candidate.

“That’s one option on the table,” said Bennett, whose base — fueled by a movement that aims to cut Washington off at its knees — denied him the GOP nomination for a fourth term.

But would it really make sense for Bennett, who clearly was repudiated by Republican voters in Utah, to make another go of it?

“There are all kinds of mixed messages,” the 76-year-old senator told us. “People are showing me polls that show I win the primary handily if I run as a write-in. Others say, ‘Forget the primary, run as a write-in in the general, then you can use the money you’ve raised for the general.'”

Still others, he said, “say, ‘Ah come on, you don’t want to be seen as a… as a… sore loser.'”

What did Bennett learn from his bruising experience?

“The senator, who has until October 10 to decide whether to run as a write-in candidate in the general Utah Senate election, said his best advice to other incumbents who face a similar possible fate is: “Spend time with your constituents. Be in touch with your constituents. We thought we were doing very well until we realized the delegates were not showing up at my meetings.”

For a three-term Senator, it’s pretty amazing he has to be reminded to be in touch with his constituents.


Law & Order Cancelled

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 12:01 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

TV’s long-running Law & Order has been cancelled so fans will have to satisfy themselves with endless reruns or the planned spin-off, Law & Order: Los Angeles.

Over the years, Law & Order had a great cast and timely plots. My favorites? I liked DA Arthur Branch (Fred Thompson) because he added balance to the PC attitude of some scripts, and it wouldn’t be Law & Order without Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston). My favorite ADA was Jamie Ross (Carey Lowell) and my favorite Detective was Lennie Briscoe (Jerry Orbach). There are too many episodes to remember, let alone pick a favorite.

What about you?


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