Patterico's Pontifications


Major New Story from James O’Keefe Tomorrow; UPDATED WITH VIDEO: Revealed — Report on Census

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:45 pm

Fresh from pleading to a no-jail-time misdemeanor, and being slandered by every lefty news organ under the sun, James O’Keefe comes roaring back tomorrow.

Yes, I know what it will be. Yes, it will be good.

UPDATE: Here you go:

iowahawk on Twitter

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:24 pm

You can follow him here.

I’m on it too, by the way. If you’re on it and not following me, rectify that here.

The Grand Jihad

Filed under: Terrorism — DRJ @ 7:22 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Michael Walsh of BigJournalism has 10 questions for author Andy McCarthy regarding his new book, The Grand Jihad. Here’s the first question:

“Q. Why did you write this book? Surely, you’re overstating the threat to the American way of life from radical Islam.”


Iran: No Deal on American Hikers

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 7:08 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Iranian Ambassador to Iraq says there is no deal to release the American hikers held in Iran for Iranians recently released in Iraq:

“Ambassador Hassan Kazemi Qomi told The Associated Press the fate of the Americans, who have been held since July, is in the hands of the Iranian judiciary and has no connection to the release of two Iranians earlier this month.

“There were no deals,” Qomi said. “They (Americans) are in the custody of the judiciary system.”

The detained Americans—Sarah Shourd, 31; her boyfriend, Shane Bauer, 27; and their friend Josh Fattal, 27—were arrested along the Iraqi border. Iran has accused them of espionage, but their families say the three were hiking in northern Iraq’s mountainous Kurdish region and if they strayed into Iran, it was unintentional.

In a goodwill gesture by Iran, their mothers were allowed to visit them earlier in May—for the first time since they were taken into Iranian custody.

The visit, along with the release by Baghdad of two Iranians held for years in U.S. and later Iraqi custody, raised the possibility of a behind-the-scenes swap for the Americans’ freedom. The option came into focus especially after Iranian leaders suggested a link between the American trio and a number of Iranians held by the U.S. who Tehran would like to see released.”

I think the 2 Iranians the Ambassador refers to were released 10 days ago, one day after the Americans were visited by their mothers:

“Two Iranians arrested by U.S. forces in neighboring Iraq were released Friday, a day after Iran allowed three young Americans detained in the Islamic Republic since last July to meet with their visiting mothers.

Iraqi officials handed the detainees to Iran’s embassy in Baghdad this morning, and they will leave for Iran as soon as possible, a report on the website of state-owned English-language Press TV said.

The moves are the latest hints of behind-the-scenes deal-making between Iran and the West over the fate of detainees.

Iran’s ambassador to Iraq, Hassan Kazemi-Qomi, told Iranian state radio that U.S. servicemen arrested and jailed Ahmad Barazandeh seven years ago and Ali Abdollahi three years ago “on the basis of groundless accusations” and for traveling without passports.

Kazemi-Qomi described both Iranians as “pilgrims” who had traveled to Iraq to visit Shiite Muslim holy sites. Press TV said the two men were arrested in Najaf and Samarra, both hosts to important Shiite religious sites.

On Thursday, Iranian officials allowed maternal visits for Shane Bauer, Joshua Fattal and Sarah Shourd, three Americans arrested last year after allegedly crossing illegally into Iran from Iraqi Kurdistan. They are being held in Tehran’s Evin Prison.

The three, described by their supporters as innocent hikers but accused by Iranian officials of espionage, are to spend Friday with their mothers as well, said Masoud Shafii, their lawyer.”

CNN has a little bit more on the released Iranians.

Was there an Iranian-U.S. deal (via the Iraqis)? If so, was the deal to release the prisoners in exchange for the mothers’ visit, or did Iran go back on the deal after the Iranians were released?


Colleges Worried About Intern Rules

Filed under: Education,Obama — DRJ @ 5:56 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Colleges administrators are worried that the Obama Administration plans to crack down on unpaid internships:

“A group of university presidents and lawmakers on Capitol Hill are expressing alarm over what they fear could be a coming crackdown by the Obama administration Labor Department on popular student internship programs.

The Labor Department insists it has no plans to change the long-standing regulations on internships, but many educators and college officials say they fear a new regulatory push by the federal government and by a number of states will lead employers to simply drop their internship programs, seen by generations of college students and recent graduates as a key steppingstone into the work force.
Nancy J. Leppink, deputy administrator of the Wage and Hour Division, told the New York Times last month, “If you’re a for-profit employer or you want to pursue an internship with a for-profit employer, there aren’t going to be many circumstances where you can have an internship and not be paid and still be in compliance with the law.”

Drake’s Mr. Maxwell was one of 13 university presidents who signed a letter to Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis, warning that the department’s recent enforcement actions and public statements “could significantly erode employers’ willingness to provide valuable and sought-after opportunities for American college students.”

I can understand why colleges fear losing internships. Internships can be a bridge to future jobs since students who have participated in internships are more likely to get job offers. In addition, students working as interns may also count as employed in some college employment statistics.

Last month, Hot Air noted inconsistencies in the Obama Administration’s announcements on interns, especially since the rules adversely impact private sector internships. Is the Obama Administration using labor rules to push students into non-profit and government internships and away from private sector employment?


Mexico-Bound Passenger Detained

Filed under: Air Security,Terrorism — DRJ @ 1:14 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Last week the federal government issued a Terror Watch for a Somali who might try to enter Texas via Mexico:

“The Department of Homeland Security is alerting Texas authorities to be on the lookout for a suspected member of the Somalia-based Al Shabaab terrorist group who might be attempting to travel to the U.S. through Mexico, a security expert who has seen the memo tells

The warning follows an indictment unsealed this month in Texas federal court that accuses a Somali man in Texas of running a “large-scale smuggling enterprise” responsible for bringing hundreds of Somalis from Brazil through South America and eventually across the Mexican border. Many of the illegal immigrants, who court records say were given fake IDs, are alleged to have ties to other now-defunct Somalian terror organizations that have merged with active organizations like Al Shabaab, al-Barakat and Al-Ittihad Al-Islami.

In 2008, the U.S. government designated Al Shabaab a terrorist organization. Al Shabaab has said its priority is to impose Sharia, or Islamic law, on Somalia; the group has aligned itself with Al Qaeda and has made statements about its intent to harm the United States.”

Last night, a Paris-to-Mexico flight was diverted to Canada and a passenger on the U.S. no-fly list was detained. He may also be a Somali:

“Abdirahman Ali Gaall was arrested Sunday at Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, said Robert Gervais, an Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada spokesman. He was taken off and arrested under an outstanding warrant.

Gervais said details of the arrest would be made public at Gaal’s detention review hearing on Wednesday.

The Canada Border Services Agency confirmed Monday the passenger was on a U.S. no-fly list and said the man was known to them.
“He was calm as if he knew what was going to happen,” said Mauricio Oliver, a 36-year-old Mexican passenger. “They handcuffed him and they took him.”

Oliver said a flight attendant told him the man was from Somalia, but other passengers gave conflicting information about his nationality.”

I wonder if there is a connection between these stories.


Memorial Day

Filed under: General — Jack Dunphy @ 12:34 pm

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

Robert Parry, a friend of this site currently deployed with the Army in Afghanistan, sends along the below photograph, taken in Baghdad in September 2005. The soldier memorialized in the center is Sergeant Paul Neubauer, who is buried at the Veterans’ Cemetery here in Los Angeles.

We are often told but just as often need reminding: freedom isn’t free.


Israeli Commandos Attack Gaza-Bound Ships (Updated: Activists Attacked First)

Filed under: International,Obama — DRJ @ 11:35 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu canceled tomorrow’s White House meeting after Israeli navy commandos attacked ships trying to breach a Gaza blockade:

” Israel’s prime minister has cancelled a planned meeting with President Obama to deal with the escalating international crisis over an attack by the Israeli military on civilian aid ships that left at least 10 dead.

Binyamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, is in Canada and had been due to visit the White House tomorrow after a series of increasingly fractious meetings with the US over the stalled Middle East peace process.

But after Israeli naval commandos stormed the ships of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla overnight, killing up to 19 according to some reports and leaving dozens wounded, Mr Netanyahu has found his country the target of international condemnation and protest.”

The incident has provoked worldwide condemnation of Israel with some labeling it “state terrorism.” The White House issued a moderate response:

“The White House, which had been at odds with the Israeli prime minister over settlements in East Jerusalem, released a statement saying that President Obama had spoken with Mr. Netanyahu and understood his need to return immediately to Israel. In addition to regrets about the loss of life, “the president also expressed the importance of learning all the facts and circumstances around this morning’s tragic events as soon as possible,” the statement said.”


UPDATE — From Hot Air:

“It looks like Ynet’s account, which Ed linked earlier but which you should absolutely read in full, was spot on: The IDF really thought they were facing off with “peace activists” here and didn’t realize their miscalculation until they were on the boat. (See the third clip below for just how badly they misjudged.) The argument from the left is that the raid was illegal because it happened in international waters, but evidently that’s not true either: If a neutral ship is intent on running a blockade after being warned to turn back, the fact that it’s on the high seas isn’t a defense.”

In addition, the Israeli Embassy in LA has posted facts on the Gaza Flotilla and Blockade and one of the activists/organizers of the flotilla, the Turkish IHH.

Memorial Day 2010

Filed under: War — DRJ @ 9:48 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

G.M. Roper posts a Memorial Day Pictorial honoring those who died defending our Nation’s freedom and its values.


Please also join as a nation in recognizing a National Moment of Remembrance at 3:00 PM local time on this Memorial Day.

[Animation from American Flags.]


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