Patterico's Pontifications


Hotline Looks at White House Politics

Filed under: 2010 Election,Obama,Politics — DRJ @ 11:12 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Hotline and some Democrats are not impressed with the White House political staff and some even say President Bush ran a better political shop than President Obama.

One of the problems with continually comparing himself to President Bush is that, ultimately, Obama runs the risk that people will decide Bush did a better job.


What’s Next for Helen Thomas?

Filed under: Media Bias — DRJ @ 9:07 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Greg Sargent at the Plum Line says Helen Thomas’ future is uncertain.

Hearts could be waiting for this story to blow over, much like some Democrats who have put Thomas on a pedestal. After years of inflammatory rhetoric, why should Hearst and the Democrats balk at this?


Twenty-Somethings Disenchanted with Obama

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 6:36 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The youth vote was a key to Obama’s win but the Instapundit posts a letter from a 22-year-old who claims the twenty-somethings he knows are unhappy with President Obama. Apparently they’re concerned because his plans make young people pay for old people’s heath care, retirement, etc., so now they’re sorry they voted for Obama.

I sense a great earnestness and remorse in this young fellow’s letter but does he really expect us to feel sorry he and his friends are such suckers? It’s not like the taxpaying “adults” who fund America are living it up.

Then again, at least we’re not alone. Rasmussen has Obama at -10 disapprove/approve and -17 on the Passion Index.


Citizenship in the Middle East

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 4:58 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979 but it seems Egyptians are still reluctant to accept Israelis:

“A court in Cairo has upheld a ruling urging the government to consider stripping of their citizenship Egyptian men who are married to Israeli women.

The ruling requires officials to send all such cases to the cabinet, to be decided on an individual basis.”

The law is based on national security and impacts the entire family, including any children. For comparison purposes, commentators claimed it was racist and discriminatory when Israel blocked Palestinians married to Israelis from becoming Israeli citizens or residents for security reasons.

If it’s racist to refuse immigrants by marriage the right to residency, what does that make an Egyptian law that strips its own people of citizenship?


Helen Thomas “Deeply Regrets” Telling the Jews to “Get the Hell Out of Palestine”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 3:26 pm

Helen Thomas has apologized for telling the Jews in Israel to “get the hell out of Palestine”:

The apology:

I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians. They do not reflect my heart-felt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon.

This is where you do the thing where you sneeze and say the word “bullshit” as you’re doing it.

Another Reason to Worry About the Border

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 3:25 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Ultralight smugglers and, for now, the rules favor the smugglers:

“Both humanitarian concerns and legal considerations prevent law enforcement from firing on the ultralights when they spot them.

“There are rules on deadly force,” Gordon said, noting that the ultralight pilots wouldn’t survive a strafing. “If you shoot them, you’re going to kill them.”

Not everyone agrees with this policy, including an Arizona Sheriff’s deputy who worries about C4 explosives and other contraband.


Clinton Library Releases Kagan Documents

Filed under: Judiciary,Obama — DRJ @ 1:16 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Have any spare time? Dive into the 74 boxes of Kagan documents that were recently released by the Clinton Library.


Chris Christie Chronicles

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 1:06 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Powerline’s Scott Hinderaker adds Part 3 in his “What Price Christie?” series. Part 3 includes this recent Christie statement on public education and teachers:

I’m becoming a big fan of Governor Christie’s straight talk.


Capping the Spill

Filed under: Environment — DRJ @ 12:23 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The AP says the latest capping effort may be capturing a quarter or up to half of the oil but with oil staining the coast from Louisiana to Florida, the image of the leak has shifted to oil-stained beaches and oil-covered birds.

I don’t like to see those photos because they really are haunting.


Intelligence Thoughts

Filed under: Obama,Terrorism — DRJ @ 12:06 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Ed Morrissey has some thoughts about James Clapper, President Obama’s nominee for Director of National Intelligence:

“If anything, Clapper’s nomination to the post highlights both the lack of competence at the White House and the structural problems created by the reorganization of the intel communities five years ago. Why would Obama choose someone who has spent the last couple of years attempting to make the position weaker? And why are we still looking to find the next unlucky candidate to get all the blame and little authority, rather than undoing the 9/11 Commission “reform” and fixing the very obvious problems in organization, lines of authority, and turf battles in the American intelligence community? Blair’s resignation gives us an opportunity to fix those problems, but Obama seems intent on making them even worse.”

I’ll be the first to admit I don’t know much about the topic so consider this post an invitation to pontificate on the topic and educate me. But my thoughts about Clapper’s nomination are positive for at least three reasons:

  • As discussed in Ed’s post, Clapper apparently believes Saddam sent his WMDs to Syria before the Iraq War. If so, then perhaps Clapper hasn’t drunk the Democrats’ Kool-Aid when it comes to Iraq and other terrorism issues. That he has a long career in intelligence and was an investigator in the Khobar Towers bombing also makes me hope he is deadly serious about terrorism.
  • Clapper has broad experience with a range of intelligence assets. Not only has he has worked extensively with satellite intelligence resources, but his belief in human intelligence earned him the nickname Godfather of HUMINT. Thus, I am encouraged that Clapper legitimately advocates the synthesis of various elements of intelligence – human intelligence, communication, electronic, imagery, geospatial, financial and other methods – which he says “all contribute to the war on terrorism.”
  • I don’t think reforms exist that can resolve the turf wars between the CIA, the FBI, the military, and other intelligence agencies. Further, I’m not sure a monolithic intelligence agency would be effective. By choosing Clapper, I wonder if Obama isn’t acknowledging that — for now — the military plays the primary role in fighting terrorism, and his intelligence chief must have a good working relationship with the Pentagon?
  • In other words, I support Obama’s decision.

    Fire away, mates.

    — DRJ

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