Patterico's Pontifications


Brainstorming the BP Oil Spill

Filed under: Environment,Obama — DRJ @ 6:32 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Obama Administration has seriously called on James Cameron to help resolve the BP Oil Spill:

“Federal officials have called on director James Cameron to help stop the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, according to The Associated Press. The “Titanic” and “Avatar” director spent Tuesday in Washington brainstorming about the spill, and brought some engineer and techie friends with him, one source says.”

Who should the White House call — ExxonMobil, Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell, Anadarko and Marathon, who with BP are some the largest offshore drillers in the Gulf? Or James Cameron, the director of the movie Titanic? Only a Democrat would pick Cameron.


The White House Job Suggestion Department

Filed under: 2010 Election,Obama — DRJ @ 6:18 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

There are two members in the “The White House Offered Dangled Me a Job if I Wouldn’t Run for Office” Club — Joe Sestak and Andrew Romanoff:

“Colorado U.S. Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff confirmed Wednesday that Jim Messina, President Barack Obama’s deputy chief of staff, suggested three administration jobs that would be available to him last September if he dropped his plans to run against U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, who had the support of the White House.

Romanoff said he informed the White House that he would stay in the race. The revelation comes days after the White House confirmed that Rep. Joe Sestak was approached about an unpaid position in the administration if he dropped his campaign against Sen. Arlen Specter. But in this case, Romanoff was offered paid positions in the administration, a clear difference from the Sestak case.

In a statement to the media, Romanoff attached an email from Messina – dated Sept. 11, 2009 – listing the three jobs, two at USAID and one as director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, with a page-long set of job descriptions.”

Both Romanoff and the White House insist no job offers were made. Apparently they were just dangled. Is this illegal? I don’t know but it’s questionable politics for a candidate who promised he was someone different. Some might even say it’s Obama’s version of The Chicago Way.


End to USC Probe Near?

Filed under: Sports — DRJ @ 12:19 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Rumors are the NCAA’s report will be issued soon in a four-year investigation of the Trojans’ athletic program. Heisman winner Reggie “I am USC and I represent USC” Bush isn’t worried:

“Meanwhile, out on the West Coast, the football powerhouse that is Bush’s alma mater, Southern California, braced for possible NCAA sanctions expected to be handed down later this week, stemming from the alleged gravy train Bush was on in Los Angeles when he won the Heisman Trophy and was part of a national championship team as a Trojan.

“None, just whatever happens, happens, ” Bush said when asked his thoughts about Southern Cal. “What I’m really focused on is where I’m at right now, where I’m at with the Saints’ team right now, and so just really looking toward the future.”

Bush maintained, as he has all along, that he did nothing untoward while at Southern Cal. Still, there has been speculation that should the NCAA rule some or all of Bush’s glorious undergraduate days occurred when he should have been ineligible, then the Downtown Athletic Club in New York City, which awards the Heisman Trophy, might be compelled to strip Bush of that coveted prize.

To be sure, that speculation has not come from any former Heisman Trophy winner or any one else who votes on the award. The Orange County Register on Tuesday published a survey of 50 Heisman Trophy voters from 25 states, and 58 percent of those polled said Bush should not lose the Heisman.

Bush said he’s not devoting any thought to the matter at all.

“That hasn’t even crossed my mind, ” he said. “I’m not even worried about it.”

I don’t know if Bush will lose his Heisman but if it is rescinded, would it go to runner-up Vince Young? And what will happen to USC?


Mickey Kaus Campaign Ad

Filed under: 2010 Election — DRJ @ 11:30 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

This was posted last week but I don’t think anyone has posted or linked it here. If it was, it’s good enough to post again:


Natalee Holloway Suspect Sought (Updated)

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 11:25 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

ABC reports Joran Van Der Sloot, a suspect in the death of Natalee Holloway, is the prime suspect in the death of a Peruvian girl:

“Joran van der Sloot, the 22-year-old Dutch playboy twice arrested in the mysterious disappearance of American Natalee Holloway, has been named the prime suspect in the death of a young Peruvian woman found dead in a Lima hotel today, five days after she disappeared.”

Details at the link.


UPDATE: Van der Sloot has been taken into custody in Chile.

McCain Takes on Obama Over Israel

Filed under: International,Obama — DRJ @ 11:19 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

John McCain says President Obama shares some blame for the Israel flotilla controversy:

“This is another step in a chain of unfortunate events beginning with President Obama’s insistence there be a freeze as a precondition for peace talks [with the Palestinians]; a freeze on settlements in Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, not a settlement,” he said on Fox News on Tuesday night. “The mistaken belief that pressuring Israel on settlement freeze would somehow move them closer and show the Arab world that they were putting pressure on Israel has backfired.”
“The fact is that this nation has stood by Israel,” he said. “And now, people around the world, including Israel’s enemies, are not so sure.”

The Israelis have also released a new video of the flotilla raid that shows activists throwing stun grenades at the Israeli soldiers and hosing them with water:


Dying Gulf Coast Marine Life

Filed under: Environment — DRJ @ 11:01 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

The New York Daily News reports on the dying marine life:

“Here’s what President Obama didn’t see when he visited the Gulf Coast: a dead dolphin rotting in the shore weeds.

“When we found this dolphin it was filled with oil. Oil was just pouring out of it. It was the saddest darn thing to look at,” said a BP contract worker who took the Daily News on a surreptitious tour of the wildlife disaster unfolding in Louisiana.

His motive: simple outrage.

“There is a lot of coverup for BP. They specifically informed us that they don’t want these pictures of the dead animals. They know the ocean will wipe away most of the evidence. It’s important to me that people know the truth about what’s going on here,” the contractor said.

“The things I’ve seen: They just aren’t right. All the life out here is just full of oil. I’m going to show you what BP never showed the President.”
BP’s central role in the disaster cleanup has apparently given the company a lot of latitude in keeping the press away from beaches where the oil is thickest.

On Monday, a Daily News team was escorted away from a public beach on Elmer’s Island bycops who said they were taking orders from BP.

BP spokesman Toby Odone denied the company is trying to hide the environmental damage; he noted BP has organized press visits to the spill zone and said BP cannot tell cops what to do.”

Unfortunately the leak may continue for months. Current efforts to stop the flow have hit a snag — the blade cutting the riser is stuck — while the oil is drifting toward the beaches of the Florida Panhandle.


Obama Administration Seeks to “Reinvent Journalism”

Filed under: Obama — Patterico @ 6:30 am

Andrew Malcolm:

The Federal Trade Commission has just released a major staff study of modern American media titled “Potential Policy Recommendations to Support the Reinvention of Journalism.” And….

…silly you thought the private business of journalism was doing that by itself in its own stumbling ways without the help of the Washington branch of the Chicago Democratic political machine.

The study notes those industry-wide revival efforts and adds:

There are reasons for concern that experimentation may not produce a robust and sustainable business model for commercial journalism. History in the United States shows that readers of the news have never paid anywhere close to the full cost of providing the news. Rather, journalism always has been subsidized to a large extent by, for example, the federal government, political parties, or advertising.

True, there have been government subsidies over the decades in the form of below-cost postal rates and printing contracts. But this FTC study is rated R for anyone who thinks the federal government, the object of copious news coverage itself, has no business deciding which sectors of the private media business survive and thrive through its support, subsidies and encouragement with things like tax incentives.

Is it crazy to think of the Government under Obama having a heavy hand in the business of journalism? Malcolm observes:

Well, two years ago who’d have thought the feds would own General Motors with major holdings in a bunch of banks and financial institutions, reshaped the healthcare industry, spent $787 billion on who-knows-what to create some jobs, have rewritten a package of new financial regulations to corral Wall Street and still not be securing the U.S.-Mexico border?

Well, some of us actually aren’t that surprised, and predicted all along that Obama’s policies would be disastrous. And I’ll go out on a limb and predict that he’s going to try this too.

But it has to be fought, tooth and nail. Once the Government officially gets its claws into the press — and blogs will follow, make no mistake — it will never let go. And once the Government controls the flow of information to its citizens, our republic will be nothing but a memory.

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