Patterico's Pontifications


CNN Analyst Mourns Hezbollah Spiritual Leader

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:03 pm

Octavia Nasr declares on Twitter:

Daniel Halper explains that Fadlallah was a Holocaust denier who has justified suicide bombings and who “is believed to be responsible for the killing of 241 U.S. Marines during the 1983 Beirut barracks bombings,” according to the New York Times.

Meanwhile, I have asked Nasr on Twitter which other of Hezbollah’s giants she respects.

Tar Balls Wash Ashore in Texas (Updated)

Filed under: Government — DRJ @ 3:09 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

A Texas official says tar balls from the BP oil spill have washed ashore near Galveston.

The Texas oil spill response plan for the Galveston Bay area is here and the master Gulf plan is here (NOTE: Both are .pdf links). As Commissioner Patterson states, Texas officials consistently forecast that any oil in Texas would be in the form of tar balls:

“Any oil reaching Texas shores is expected to be in the form of weathered tar balls, which cannot be prevented by boom deployment and would necessitate aggressive physical removal. Texas’ General Land Office (GLO) has five coastal offices equipped with boats, 4×4 trucks, trailers, ATVs, and skimmers available for response activities. Silt curtains could be deployed to protect washouts.

“The Texas GLO’s Oil Spill Prevention and Response Program is well equipped and well trained,” Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson said. “We know this could have happened off the Texas coast, so we’re ready on any given day for a spill.”

Meanwhile, initial tests of the A Whale skimmer were inconclusive because of rough seas:

“After an initial 48-hour testing period, results remain inconclusive in light of the rough sea state we are encountering,” said Bob Grantham, spokesman for the company. “Over this same period, very few other skimmers have even been deployed. Therefore, working in close coordination with the US Coast Guard, we will be undertaking an additional testing period to make operational and technological adjustments aimed at improving skimming effectiveness given the actual conditions we are encountering in the Gulf.”

Anyone get the feeling this testing period may last until the well is capped? On the other hand, the government has made one firm decision: The Obama Administration will take over control of Gulf oil spill central information website.


UPDATED 7/10/2010: For a change, there’s good news for BP. Lab tests show most of the Texas tar balls weren’t from the BP oil spill after all.

NJ Governor Chris Christie

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 1:53 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie explains his principles:

Christie is winning converts in the blogosphere. Does the national GOP have his courage and common sense principles?


Gallup, Pew find greater Patriotism on the Right

Filed under: General — Karl @ 12:14 pm

[Posted by Karl]

Both Gallup and Pew released polls for the Independence Day weekend on the state of patriotism in the United States. Gallup finds one in three Americans now say they are “extremely patriotic,” up from 26% in 2005 and 19% in 1999:

The increase in the overall percentage of Americans calling themselves “extremely patriotic” is driven largely by seniors, Republicans, and conservatives — all of whom are significantly more likely to say so than they were in 2005. Republicans’ relatively higher identification with the “extremely patriotic” label is particularly intriguing when one considers that Democrats are currently far more likely than Republicans to say they are satisfied with the way things are going in the country (41% vs. 7%, respectively). Still, the majority of Americans in each of these subgroups say they are “extremely” or “very” patriotic.


A new national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted June 24-27 among 1,001 adults, finds that more than eight-in-ten (83%) say they are either extremely proud (52%) or very proud (31%) to be an American. Just 14% say they are moderately proud (8%) or have little or no pride (6%) in being an American.
Those who give Barack Obama the lowest job ratings – predominately Republicans and independents who lean Republican – also are more likely to say that they are extremely proud to be an American than are those who give the president more positive ratings.

Gallup found 58% of GOPer’s calling themselves “extremely patriotic,” as opposed to only 20% of Democrats so identifying. The numbers were a bit closer in the Pew poll, where 69% of Republicans called themselves “extremely proud” to be an American, and 43% of Democrats answered the same.

On one level, the general results should not be surprising. After all, the Right more likely to view America in terms of preserving the core principles that make it great, while the Left is more likely to be fixated on its foibles and failures (both real and imagined). But what explains the increase in patriotism on the Right, particularly from 2006 to the present, when Democrats and progressivism has been on the rise? My hypothesis would be that the current version of the Democratic party, and the Obama administration in particular, has transformed big government into a cultural issue. The harder the Left pushes for a Eurosocialist makeover of America, the more the Right will view their opposition and their attempt to preserve what makes America great as a manifestation of patriotism.


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