Patterico's Pontifications


The Unified Theory of Obama Fail

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 9:23 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Dan Collins looks behind the Obama Administration’s offshore drilling decisions:

“Meanwhile, what’s not receiving a lot of focus is Obama’s own economic interests in preventing Gulf drilling. As I mentioned yesterday, Obama’s wealth is largely held in two Vanguard funds. Vanguard was among the companies that dumped BP stock shortly before the disaster. It now turns out that BP informed the office of mineral managment that there were problems with the well back in mid-February. That led to the sacking of Birnbaum, no doubt, though Pelosi tried, with her usual mendacity, to blame it on burrowed-in Bush holdovers. Apart from the timing of the stock dumping, and the revelation that the feds had indeed been informed earlier on of potential problems, there’s the issue of Soros’ timely investment in Petrobras, backed up by US billions. Many of us found it scandalous that Obama was opposed to US offshore drilling before the disaster, but ready to invest in offshore drilling for Brazil, which, environmentalists will tell you, has the greatest biodiversity on the planet. Those rigs represent an enormous investment. If there’s a moratorium, they’re not going to wait around for it to be lifted: instead, they will move to where they are permitted to be utilized, in this case, Brazil.

China is backing Cuba to perform drilling in the Gulf. Other countries will no doubt wish to up their stakes. Those operations will be completely outside of US control.

But for Obama and company, that’s not a bug, but a feature, because what they really want to do is convert the US economy away from oil towards biofuels, wind, and other renewables, despite the disastrous economic consequences already experienced by nations that tried to bottle unicorn farts. That they have significant investment in such projects is entirely justifiable in their eyes, because of the benefits they naively believe such schemes will confer. These projects are to be mandated by the EPA power grab and the imposition of cap-and-trade schemes, benefitting the likes of Franklin Raines, and justified through the cultivation of climate hysteria.”

Dan rightly concludes the Obama Administration’s inability to “come to grips with the spill” is because they see this as an opportunity.


Poll: Texas Think Barton’s Apology Was a Major Mistake

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 pm

[UPDATE 6-24-10 8:20 p.m.: Shockingly, Jeff Goldstein has lied about my position yet again. Let me make this clear: see that P.S. below where I say I am NOT advocating surrendering principles for power? I wrote that BEFORE he dishonestly and selectively quoted the below post to suggest that I advocate surrendering principles for power. I wrote it precisely because I knew how he would twist my words, and so I wanted to go on record saying the exact opposite so it would be clear what a shameless liar he is.

Which, it is.

Original post follows.]

Public Policy Polling reports:

Only 18% of voters think that BP deserved the apology Barton sent its way last week to 65% who think it did not. Barton doesn’t even get much support from Republican voters on that front- only 23% of them say it was right to apologize to BP. With Democrats and independents the numbers are even lower at 17% and 12% respectively.

. . . .

This episode is having a negative impact on how voters in Texas perceive Barton overall. Only 21% have a favorable opinion of him while 28% see him negatively. 42% of voters in the state think he should resign from his leadership position to 31% who think he should remain in it.

The poll also reports that Texans agree with Obama’s actions in pressuring BP to set up the escrow fund.

If only Republicans had doubled down on the apology and backed Barton to the hilt! What a missed opportunity!

. . . to completely fuck ourselves.

Let’s say it together, outlaws: persuading the public doesn’t matter. Elections don’t matter. Only principles matter. Precious, precious principles that can’t be put into effect because we have nobody in power.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I must go write another post about how angry I am at something Obama did.

P.S. And no, I am NOT saying abandon principles in favor of winning elections. That would be stupid and would make elections pointless exercises in achieving power for its own ends, which would be ridiculous. I am saying we need not face a choice between adhering to principles and persuading voters. We should be able to do both — if we’re smart about it, and willing to admit when our brethren are being stupid about it (rather than doubling down on their stupidity, as some seem to advocate).

Sincere thanks for SPQR for alerting me to the need to clarify this for the benefit of others who might seek to willfully misread me. Tough to imagine that could happen, I know . . .

UPDATE: OK, I think this is slightly less compelling than it seemed at first blush. The .pdf of the full results is here. The question asked certainly doesn’t give Barton’s side of things:

Do you think BP deserves an apology for being asked by the president to compensate the oil spill victims?

The results would be more convincing if they could have found a neutral way to convey Barton’s concerns, the Obama response, and let the respondent decide. (Feel free to tell me how you would word such a question concisely and neutrally for a telephone poll.) Admittedly, this question is fairly one-sided as posed.

Me, I think the results would not have been much different unless the question were loaded in Barton’s favor. But it’s tough to know until they ask a better question.

U.S. Beats Algeria; Advances to Round of 16

Filed under: Sports — DRJ @ 8:12 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The U.S. World Cup soccer team beat Algeria 1-0 on a 91st minute goal to advance to the Round of 16. Do you feel the magical buzz?


Wimbledon Tennis Match is Longest Ever

Filed under: Sports — DRJ @ 7:27 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

A Wimbledon tennis match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut has been halted on the second day due to darkness. The match is tied at 59-59 in the 5th set and will resume Thursday.



BP’s Cleanup Mistake? Relying on Government Models

Filed under: Government — DRJ @ 7:20 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Wall Street Journal reports BP and other offshore oill companies relied on government data when planning how to respond to an oil spill — models that proved to be hopelessly wrong:

“BP PLC and other big oil companies based their plans for responding to a big oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on U.S. government projections that gave very low odds of oil hitting shore, even in the case of a spill much larger than the current one.”

President Obama has vowed to make BP pay. Perhaps he should also apologize … or at least vow to stop putting lawyers in charge of science.

MORE: Judge Andrew Napolitano explains it to a skeptical (and, as usual, overly emotional) Shep Smith.


Christians Arrested at Dearborn Arab Festival

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Religion — DRJ @ 6:01 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Four Christians were reportedly jailed last Friday at a Dearborn, MI, Arab festival:

“Police in the heavily Arab Detroit suburb of Dearborn say they arrested four Christian missionaries for disorderly conduct at an Arab cultural festival.”

The link above goes to Hot Air where the post states the Christians were handing out literature. The BlogProf says he has corresponded with one of the arrested men who also attended last year’s Dearborn festival, and he apparently claims they weren’t even doing that:

I received this note from David Wood of Answering Muslims:

Muslims threatened to kill Nabeel and me if we showed up again at Arab Fest in Dearborn, so we went there yesterday. They didn’t kill us. Instead, police arrested us and we got to spend a night in jail (along with two others who were video recording us). Interesting city. I feel a documentary coming on. Title: “Welcome to Dearborn.”

Is it now illegal to preach Christianity in Dearborn, Michigan? Have Sharia rules been imposed there?

David added in a later note:

Yes, we’re banned from handing out literature, but we didn’t do that. We followed the rules, and still got thrown in jail. They flat out lied about us. We can prove they lied with the video footage (just like last year), but the police took our cameras and won’t let us have the footage. There’s major oppression of anyone who criticizes Islam.”

I’d like to hear more from the police because this sounds like the arrests were made based on trumped-up disorderly conduct charges. If so, a lawsuit and court order might convince the Dearborn police not to pick the easy way out. Frankly, though, I hope there is a better explanation because it shouldn’t be this easy to get Americans to put the Sharia way over U.S. Constitutional law.


Feds Shut Down Louisiana Dredging

Filed under: Government,Obama — DRJ @ 1:19 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Obama Administration has reportedly shut down Louisiana efforts to create sand berms that protect the coast from oil.

There should be a government hierarchy in areas declared national disasters (has the Louisiana coastline been declared a disaster area?) so FEMA can overrule decisions by agencies like the Fish and Wildlife Department. Of course, that assumes FEMA wants to overrule this decision.


Home Sales: Back to the 60’s

Filed under: Economics — DRJ @ 11:46 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

From Ed Morrissey at Hot Air, New Home Sales Collapse in May:

“I was born in 1963, a year in which the US sold 300,000 new homes. Forty-six years later, we may be back to the same pace, thanks to ill-advised government intervention that sapped the demand for new homes. The annualized rate of new-home sales fell to a 46-year low in May, which had a 33% drop from April’s figures.”

The drop was, of course, unexpected.

I have the feeling most people in the Obama Administration don’t really understand why America needs vibrant home construction and offshore oil drilling industries. After all, they have homes and all the gas they need.


Rebel GOP Senators

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 11:31 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

“Rebel” and “Senator” aren’t words you usually see together — unless you count John McCain’s claim to be a maverick — but Politico reports that could change after the November elections if candidates like Rand Paul and Sharron Angle are elected.

According to some former Senators quoted in the article, that’s not good because you can’t get anywhere in the Senate unless you try to get along. The exception was former GOP Tennessee Senator William Brock, who said it was refreshing and good for politics to see candidates who aren’t “there for a career but there because they care about what’s going on and want to make a difference.”

I’m with Brock, and I wonder if these true believers in government think it’s a good idea for BP to chose it’s Board of Directors based on how they get along together or who acts best at the yacht races. My guess is they’d be in favor of a few rebels there.


Obama Removes McChrystal

Filed under: Obama,War — DRJ @ 11:00 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

President Obama has removed General Stanley McChrystal as top commander and replaced him with General David Petraeus. McChrystal’s removal is based on the poor perceptions created in his recent Rolling Stone interview, which is ironic since he’s described the war he leads as a war of perceptions.

McChrystal’s replacement is General Petraeus, U.S. CentCom commander and commander of the MNF in Iraq, proving there’s no rest for the weary. If Petraeus can pull this off, it’s time to bring back the 5th star.


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