Patterico's Pontifications


Specter vs Sestak in Pennsylvania (UPDATE AND BUMP: Sestak Projected to Win) (UPDATE 2: Specter Concedes)

Filed under: 2010 Election — DRJ @ 8:06 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

There are Senate primary races in Oregon, Arkansas, Kentucky and Pennsylvania, but the Pennsylvania Democratic primary may be the most interesting of them all:

“The nationally watched U.S. Senate primary between incumbent Arlen Specter and his Democratic rival, Rep. Joe Sestak, sits atop the agenda as Pennsylvania voters go to the polls Tuesday to select party nominees for a whole raft of offices, including governor and lieutenant governor.

Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. for the 4.3 million Democrats and 3.1 million Republicans enrolled to vote.”

Recent polls show the election is close. The winner will likely face Republican Pat Toomey in the general election.

Here are the Commonwealth’s unofficial election returns.


UPDATE: Toomey easily won the GOP nomination. AP and CBS report Sestak won the Democratic nomination.

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: CNN also projects Sestak as the winner over Specter.

UPDATE by DRJ: Specter has conceded (H/T jackee308):

“Arlen Specter has conceded to Joe Sestak, who will win the Democratic Senate Primary in the Pennsylvania Senatorial Election of 2010. Specter thanked Sestak for his victory and kept his concession speech short, thanking his supporters and the people of Pennsylvania.”

Another incumbent out of Congress.

More Blumenthal Controversies; UPDATE: AP Shills for Blumenthal

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 8:05 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

It’s hard to believe but GatewayPundit says things are getting even worse for Connecticut Democratic Senate Candidate Richard Blumenthal:

“Oh my.

Democratic Senatorial Candidate Richard Blumenthal held a presser today after it was discovered that he lied about serving in Vietnam. (He also lied about being captain of the Harvard Swim Team.) So, Blumenthal went before the press along with some former military men and supporters. It was a great show. Maybe tomorrow the swim team will join him on stage?

Unfortunately, one of the democratic supporters on stage with him lied about his military service, too.

Free Republic reported–
Blumenthal’s military buddy on stage is William Joseph Trumpower, aka Elliott Storm, a POW HALL OF SHAME.”

I saw the reports and footage about the Vietnam controversy, but I’m not familiar with the Harvard swim team or Elliott Storm claims. Are they correct? If so, how forgiving will Connecticut voters be?


UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Read between the lines and see if you can discern how the AP feels about Blumenthal:

“On a few occasions, I have misspoken about my service and I regret that. And I take full responsibility,” said Blumenthal, a trim, square-jawed figure with the bearing of a military man. “But I will not allow anyone to take a few misplaced words and impugn my record of service to our country.”

. . . .

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee said it was not surprised that McMahon’s campaign “cherry-picked” the quotes, “considering all of the debauchery” at the WWE under her watch. And Connecticut Democratic chairwoman Nancy DiNardo called the accusations “the lowest kind of political smear.”

Blumenthal is widely known for his dedication to veterans issues, attending numerous funerals and military sendoffs. He has spoken at hundreds of events, many times about the mistreatment veterans received after returning from Vietnam. Blumenthal is also known as a straight-arrow and a man of integrity.

So, you know, stop picking on him.

Thanks to jimboster.

Intelligence Failures

Filed under: Air Security,Obama — DRJ @ 7:33 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Senate Intelligence Committee has issued a report on the Obama Administration’s NCTC intelligence failures that culminated in the Christmas Day attempted bombing of Northwest Flight 253:

The Senate Intelligence Committee report at times contradicted the Obama administration’s assertion that the nearly catastrophic Christmas Day bombing attempt was unlike 9/11 because it represented a failure to understand intelligence, not a failure to collect and understand it.

The congressional review is more stark than the Obama administration’s report. It lays much of the blame at the feet of the National Counterterrorism Center, which Congress created to be the primary agency in charge of analyzing terrorism intelligence.

“NCTC personnel had the responsibility and the capability to connect the key reporting with the other relevant reporting,” the congressional summary said. “The NCTC was not adequately organized and did not have resources appropriately allocated to fulfill its missions.”

The NCTC is the government’s clearinghouse for terrorism information and is the only government agency that can access all intelligence and law enforcement information.

Lawmakers found that the NCTC was not organized to be the sole agency in charge or piecing together terrorism threats.”

The office of the Director of National Intelligence and the CIA agreed there had been shortfalls and said they had already taken “corrective actions,” but warned it might not be enough.


Website News

Filed under: Blogging Matters — DRJ @ 7:16 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The website changed hosts today and while the migration has been a little rocky, posts and comments seem to load faster.

Please use the comments on this post to list the things that seem strange or don’t work, and we will ask the new host to fix them in the coming days. For example, comments still lack formatting and show the name “You” until the browser is refreshed. And some readers who use Blackberrys are unable to comment at all.

We appreciate your patience over the last weeks and months, and thanks for helping us get the kinks ironed out.


ABC News Questions Obama Administration’s Lax Oversight of Offshore Drilling

Filed under: Government,Obama — DRJ @ 6:28 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Congress is holding hearings on the BP Oil Spill and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar faced some tough questions:

ABC News reports that the Administration’s MMS admitted it did not review the fail-safe mechanism as required. Instead of monthly inspections over the past 5 years, the MMS conducted 48 inspections. That’s 12 less than required and includes 4 misses during the Obama Administration’s past 16 months.

The MMS also announced its top administrator in charge of offshore leasing will step down May 31.


Eating What’s Good For You

Filed under: Government — DRJ @ 6:21 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

San Antonio is predominantly Hispanic and obesity is especially high among Hispanics. On the other hand, San Antonio’s City Manager is into fitness and doesn’t like high-calorie soft drinks and candies, so she ordered the removal of those items from city-run vending machines:

“City Manager Sheryl Sculley has declared war on sugar.

Well, at least when it comes packaged in cans and candy bars. Sugary sodas no longer have a home in the city’s 250 beverage vending machines and unhealthy foods in the 75 snack machines in city facilities are next.

“I asked the staff to remove the high-calorie soda drinks from our vending machines,” Sculley said. “I’m a fitness person, and I care about our employees, and I want them to be healthy. And I think this is a very small gesture.”
The beverage machines now contain water, juices and diet drinks.

Sculley said the policy aligns with the city’s wellness program, instituted three years ago.

“We know that statistically that people who are overweight or obese have greater health problems than those who do not,” she said. “We’re about educating community and we think we can lead by example.”

Restricting choices = Education? Sculley missed her calling in public school administration, and this education professor seems to approve:

“To help instill better habits, setting a policy can help, said Lisako McKyer, a professor in Texas A&M University’s College of Education and Human Development.

She expects some resistance, but said such regulations can help the health and safety of society. She points to seat belt laws, restricted alcohol sales, smoking bans and sidewalk installations that all have shown to decrease injuries and deaths.

“Any time you want to institute a behavior change, policy changes are really quite effective,” she said.”

The article says the policy “doesn’t ban employees from consuming fatty foods and drinks at work.” At least, not for now.


Election Day in Arkansas (Updated)

Filed under: 2010 Election — DRJ @ 2:11 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Arkansas Democrats have a choice in today’s Senate election:

“Democrats have held the Senate seat that is currently up for grabs in Arkansas for 131 years. Sen. Blanche Lincoln and Lt. Gov. Bill Halter hope to keep it that way. But the two Democrats are battling over who deserves to keep their party’s streak going.
The potentially pivotal primary is attracting national attention. Lincoln, seeking a third term and endorsed by President Obama, is running as a moderate Democrat who prides herself on finding pragmatic solutions, even if it puts her at odds with her party. Halter, backed by several labor unions, has flanked his campaign to the left of the senator and supports many positions that liberals identify with.

A third candidate, Arkansas businessman DC Morrison, has very little name ID in the state and polls show low support for him.

Lincoln led in several polls ahead of the primary election. But support for Morrison could pull away votes from her and force a run-off next month between the top two vote getters. A candidate would have to receive at least 50-percent of the vote in the primary to avoid a run-off.”

The race has been heated, with critics calling her “Bailout Blanche” and her chief opponent “Dollar Bill.”

Arkansas Republicans have even more choices, with Rep. John Boozman holding a comfortable lead over 7 opponents. Boozman will also need to get 50% of the vote to avoid a runoff.

Here is the Arkansas Secretary of State’s website for the Democratic primary results.


— It appears that Republican John Boozman has squeaked by with 51% of the vote, but the AP reports Democrats Lincoln and Halter are headed for a runoff:

“Lincoln led Halter 44 to 42 percent with more than half the state’s precincts reporting. The Associated Press projected the race was heading to a runoff.

Halter’s campaign considered Tuesday a victory, noting that he won three counties in Lincoln’s old congressional district.

Halter’s candidacy was backed by a coalition of progressive groups and labor unions angered by Lincoln’s perceived rejection of the Obama administration’s agenda.”

Kentucky Senate Primary (Updated)

Filed under: 2010 Election — DRJ @ 1:59 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Kentuckians go to the polls today to vote in the Democratic and Republican primaries. There are contests in both races, although Republican Rand Paul leads Trey Greyson by double digits. Democrat Daniel Mongiardo has a slight lead (but within the margin of error) over Jack Conway.

The polls close at 6 PM. Since Kentucky sits in the Eastern and Central time zones, results probably will not be reported until 7 PM EST.

The Kentucky Elections Division will post results here.


UPDATE: Rand Paul easily won the GOP nomination and he credited the Tea Party:

“Paul, the son of former presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, on Tuesday gave a tea party activist a key win in a statewide election that could embolden the fledgling political movement in other states. With 43 percent of precincts reporting, Paul was leading with 60 percent to Grayson’s 36 percent.

“It’s just a tremendous mandate for the tea party,” Paul said. “It cannot be overstated that people want something new; they don’t want the same old, same old politicians and I think they think the system is broken and needs new blood.”

Paul, a 47-year-old Bowling Green eye surgeon, had never before run for office and turned to the Internet fundraising model used by his father to pay for his campaign. Grayson stayed competitive drawing heavy financial support from traditional GOP donors inside Kentucky.”

I doubt this pleases Mitch McConnell and other politicians who supported Trey Grayson. Grayson is probably disappointed, too.

Student Accused of Conning Harvard (Updated)

Filed under: Education — DRJ @ 1:50 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Do the best students go to colleges like Harvard? Maybe not:

“The 23-year-old Wheeler claimed he got a perfect score on the SAT, straight A’s at prestigious prep school Phillips Academy Andover and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on his application to Harvard in 2007, prosecutors said. In reality, he had never attended either school, Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone said.

Prosecutor John Verner said in court Tuesday that Wheeler essentially stole $45,000 in financial aid, scholarship money and academic awards from Harvard.

His web of academic deceit unraveled in September when he sought the school’s endorsement for Rhodes and Fulbright scholarships and a professor found evidence that he had plagiarized from another professor, Leone said.

“This defendant’s actions cheated those who competed honestly and fairly for admissions and for the scholarships that this defendant fraudulently obtained,” he said.

Wheeler, an English major who would have graduated from Harvard this spring, tried to transfer to Yale and Brown after he got caught at Harvard, Leone said, again by falsifying his achievements and recommendations.”

Wheeler’s parents blew the whistle on him when Yale’s admissions called to verify his application. If this story is true, they did him a favor.


UPDATE: Wheeler was also accepted at Stanford:

“Fool them once, shame on Harvard. Fool them twice … shame on Stanford?

Adam Wheeler, who is accused of scamming his way into Harvard University, apparently didn’t stop there.

After being kicked out of Harvard last fall for his alleged fraud, the 23-year-old applied to and was accepted to Stanford University
for the 2010-2011 school year, reported Wednesday.
Stanford has rescinded Wheeler’s acceptance.”

Conversation Between a Statute and an Intentionalist, 2

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:15 am

Statute: “I asked you a question.”


Statute: “A few, actually.”


Statute: “If a man voted for me but didn’t read me, how can you say he has an intent that fixes the meaning of my words? What is his intent if he didn’t even read me?”


Statute: “If one group voted for me intending me to mean one thing, and another voted for me intending me to mean another, which do I mean?”




Statute: “You can’t answer any of this, can you?”*




Intentionalist: [Deletes trackback.]

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