Patterico's Pontifications


John Kass on Chicago’s Troubles

Filed under: Crime — Jack Dunphy @ 9:08 pm

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

John Kass of the Chicago Tribune has become the indispensable Chicago columnist. He is unflinching in his reporting on the many manifestations of corruption for which the city is so widely known, and his columns are a refuge from the simpering Obama worship found elsewhere in the paper. His latest piece is on the murder of Thomas Wortham, an off-duty Chicago police officer who was shot and killed during a robbery. Wortham survived two tours in Iraq with the National Guard only to come home and be killed on his own block.

Kass has a particular loathing for Mayor Richard Daley, under whose stewardship the city has suffered, and who made an ass of himself at a recent press event. “In anti-handgun Chicago,” Kass writes, “criminals aren’t bothered by Mayor Richard Daley’s handgun ban. They haven’t been bothered for years.”

Read the whole thing.

–Jack Dunphy

Is Obama Keeping Congress Out of the Loop?

Filed under: Obama,Terrorism — DRJ @ 7:47 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee claim the Obama Administration has failed to provide intelligence information as required by law:

“The Obama administration has failed to keep congressional intelligence officials in the loop on the investigation into the botched Times Square bombing, as required by law, the top Democrat and Republican on the Senate intelligence committee charged in a letter this week.

“Having to fight over access to counterterrorism information is not productive and ultimately makes us less secure,” wrote Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein and Vice Chairman Christopher S. “Kit” Bond in a letter to President Obama on Thursday.

The senators said the lack of information has “caused serious friction in the relationship of the committee, on both sides of the aisle, and the executive branch.”

In the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Times, the senators say U.S. intelligence agencies have repeatedly refused to provide relevant information on the probe into suspect Faisal Shahzad that would allow the committee to conduct oversight activities without hampering the ongoing investigation. Senate intelligence staffers were told that the Department of Justice had instructed the agencies not to convey information on the Times Square plot without its approval, they said.”

A Department of Justice spokesman disagreed, saying the Justice Department has not told intelligence officials not to cooperate with lawmakers.


Rand Paul’s Mouth

Filed under: 2010 Election,Media Bias — DRJ @ 6:43 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Pundits on the right and the left say Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul has a big mouth that may jeopardize his chances this November:

“Rand Paul on Tuesday beat an establishment candidate in solidly Republican Kentucky to become the GOP nominee in the race to replace retiring Sen. Jim Bunning (R). But he quickly found himself on the defensive over his views about civil rights.

Paul backtracked from comments in which he questioned whether the government should be allowed to block racial discrimination by private businesses.

And later in the week, he said that White House criticism of oil giant BP “sounds really un-American.”

His civil rights comment, in particular, resulted in two days of “bruising media coverage” that reportedly caused Paul to cancel an appearance on Sunday’s Meet the Press.

In the current climate where Democrats think government is the answer to every problem, will Paul’s suggestion that government isn’t the answer hurt him with Kentucky voters? It will if voters believe Paul is a racist as liberal website Firedoglake claims, or if they believe he is an extremist as suggested by the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein. Some may view Paul’s comments like this Washington Times editorial:

“The possibility that fiscal stalwarts like Dr. Paul the Younger and former Club For Growth President Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania might have the senatorial power to filibuster wasteful proposals must keep Ms. Maddow up at night. So it should not have come as a surprise that instead of a pleasant interview following his primary victory, the ascendant Dr. Paul was subjected to interrogation about how he would have voted on legislation pushed through Congress 46 years ago.

For all of its faults, the country is a better place in the wake of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The problem with Dr. Paul is that his intellectual honesty – a malady we wish would infect other politicians – would not let him overlook the faults. He rightly pointed out that if one accepts the ability of the federal government to decide that all customers must be accommodated, Congress could use the same power to force liberal restaurant owners to serve people carrying guns.

Ms. Maddow wasn’t interested in logical consequences, she was interested in tarring Dr. Paul and the Tea Party movement in general as racist.”

Paul has since affirmed he would have voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. So will this incident hurt his chances or is it yesterday’s news?


Chicago Boyz’ New Contributor

Filed under: Health Care — DRJ @ 5:18 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Congratulations to the Chicago Boyz on their new contributor, Mike K. Be sure to read all his posts, including his most recent: The Trend to Cash Medical Practice.

H/T Dana.


Gulf Coast Senators: Allow Some Offshore Drilling Permits

Filed under: Economics,Obama — DRJ @ 1:48 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

In a letter sent Friday, a bipartisan group of Alaskan and Gulf Coast Senators urged President Obama to lift his ban on offshore drilling permits for shallow-water wells:

“Senators from Alaska and four states bordering the Gulf of Mexico are urging the White House to lift its moratorium on new oil drilling permits for rigs placed in shallow water.

In a letter sent Friday to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and President Obama, the delegation said $135 million stands to be lost in oil revenue should the ban continue to include 57 shallow-water drilling platforms.

“We are advised that if the moratorium is not soon lifted for these shallow-water operations, as many as 50 of those rigs within the next six weeks will be unable to work and at least 5,000 jobs from the rigs alone will be lost in the Gulf Coast region,” the letter stated.

The Obama administration banned the issuing of all new drilling permits in the aftermath of the massive oil spill that is still gushing into the Gulf of Mexico after a BP-leased rig exploded April 20 80 miles from Louisiana’s coast.”

These aren’t easy decisions but oil and gas production is a main element of Louisiana’s economy. Given the current recession and high unemployment, it’s small wonder that the Louisiana and other Gulf Coast Senators are concerned about Obama’s ban on drilling.


Not Again: Obama vs Bush in 2010?

Filed under: 2010 Election,Obama — DRJ @ 12:53 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

It worked before. Will it work again?

“The White House’s mid-term election strategy is becoming clear – pit the Democrats of 2010 against the Republicans circa 2006, 2008 and 2009, including Bush.
The first glimmers of Obama’s 2010 message came in New York last week where he rallied the party faithful with a charge that Republicans drove the economy into a ditch, obstructed Democrats’ efforts to pull it out and now want back the keys. “Sounds like he wants to run against George Bush one more time, doesn’t it?” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell quipped when shown the clip on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Obama cranked up his indictment of the GOP in Ohio this week, criticizing “the ‘just say no’ crowd” and the Republicans’ “selective memory” of the economy in January 2009.

The message is layered. A shot at Bush (without mentioning his name.) A jab at congressional Republicans (although rarely saying “Republicans.”) A defense of the actions he’s taken so far.

It’s a striking approach for a president who often talks of looking forward not backward.”


Sanctuary Policies May Shield Terrorists

Filed under: Immigration,Terrorism — DRJ @ 12:13 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Via Free Republic, Judicial Watch reports Massachusetts authorities knew an accomplice of the Times Square bomber was in the U.S. illegally but did nothing because of sanctuary policies:

“Khan was recently arrested in an FBI terror sweep for his involvement in the Time Square bombing earlier this month. The Boston cab driver is one of three men who funneled money to the fellow Pakistani terrorist (Faisal Shahzad) who tried to blow up New York’s Time Square with a series of bombs hidden in a sports utility vehicle.

When Khan applied for a license to drive a taxi, he admitted in writing that he had come to the United States illegally in 1991. The application was submitted to Boston Police but no action was ever taken. Khan easily obtained the cabbie license and regularly drove around one of the nation’s busiest airports with few restrictions. In fact the Boston Police Hackney Division approved Khan’s license to drive a taxi 13 times since he first applied in 1997.

There’s more alarming information about Khan that was disregarded by Boston authorities. As a gas-station employee he somehow had enough cash to buy $190,000 worth of shares in Boston taxi medallions, according to one news report, that points out no red flags were raised. Khan doubled his money just a few years later when he sold the shares, but no one bothered to look into the matter.”

The United States has dozens of sanctuary cities.


Kagan’s Treatment of the Military

Filed under: Judiciary — DRJ @ 11:22 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

PowerLine’s Paul Mirengoff considers a Washington Post article by a Harvard Law graduate, Marine Captain Robert Merrill, who says Elena Kagan’s attitude toward the military is fair enough:

“Writing in the Washington Post, Merrill defends Elena Kagan from charges that she is anti-military. He argues that Kagan’s discriminatory treatment of military recruiters at Harvard didn’t impair military recruitment. And he recalls that Kagan hosted a Veterans Day dinner for vets every year.
Merrill’s defense of Kagan is not persuasive. Suppose a law school dean treated recruiters from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund less favorably than all other outside recruiters. Would it be a defense to say that the Fund was still able to attract recruits and that the dean invited African-American students to dinner on Martin Luther King’s birthday? Of course not.

Merrill also overlooks the fact that Kagan violated the Solomon Amendment, the federal law requiring universities that accept federal money to grant military recruiters the same access as other recruiters.

Merrill, I assume, is correct that Kagan likes and respects individual members of the military. And she would probably be perfectly okay with a military that conducted itself in accordance with her political and social preferences. But Kagan was hostile to the military we have and, more importantly, treated it less favorably than the law allowed it to be treated.”

The Harvard Law graduate gets schooled by the Stanford Law graduate.


Profiling Terrorists in the U.S.

Filed under: Education,Terrorism — DRJ @ 10:22 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

For years, experts have warned of the myth that Al Qaeda terrorists are “poor, desperate, single young men from Third World countries, vulnerable to brainwashing.” Instead, as Dr. Marc Sageman told an international terrorism conference back in 2004:

Most Arab terrorists he studied were well-educated, married men from middle- or upper-class families, in their mid-20s and psychologically stable, said Sageman, a psychiatrist at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Many of them knew several languages and traveled widely.

But when they settled in foreign countries, they became lonely, homesick and embittered, he said. They felt humiliated by the weakness and backwardness of their homelands. They formed tight cliques with fellow Arabs and drifted into mosques more for companionship than for religion. Radical preachers convinced them it was their duty to drive Americans from Muslim holy lands, killing as many as possible.”

That sounds a lot like the description of Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad and, apparently, his associates:

“Two men detained in Pakistan admitted with pride that they helped the suspect in the attempted Times Square bombing, and one of the men angrily accused his interrogators of “siding with the infidels,” a senior intelligence official said Saturday.

The pair are among six men officials say have been detained in Pakistan for alleged ties to Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani-American arrested in the United States two days after the failed May 1 attack in New York. Like Shahzad, the detainees are all from their country’s urban elite, including several who were educated in the United States.

Details about the six were released late Friday, though officials have not said when they were detained. Five were picked up in the capital, Islamabad, and one is co-owner of a posh catering company that the U.S. Embassy said was suspected of ties to terrorist groups.

The intelligence official, part of the team questioning the men, cited the two suspects as saying they did not do anything wrong and “proudly” describing Shahzad as their friend.

The official said one of the suspects had even accused his interrogators of “siding with the infidels.”

The radical mosques seem to be a pivotal factor. In addition, I’m curious how much their American college experiences contributed to any feelings of discontent and anger.


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