Patterico's Pontifications


Obama’s Hypocrisy in His 2009 Speech to Veterans: The Hypocrisy You’ve Heard About . . . and the Hypocrisy You Haven’t

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:14 pm

You may remember this Obama quote from 2009:

Today, I can announce that we’re taking another step. I have directed my Chief Performance Officer, my Chief Technology Officer and my Chief Information Officer to join with Secretary Shinseki in a new reform effort. We’re launching a new competition to capture the very best ideas of our VA employees who work with you every day.

We’re going to challenge each of our 57 regional VA offices to come up with the best ways of doing business, harnessing the best information technologies, breaking through the bureaucracy.

And then we’re going to fund the best ideas and put them into action. All with a simple mission—cut those backlogs, slash those wait times and deliver your benefits sooner. I know, you’ve heard this for years. But with the leadership and resources we’re providing, I know we can do this. And that is our mission.

Taken together, these investments represent an historic increase in our commitment to America’s veterans—a 15 percent increase over last year’s funding levels and the largest increase in the VA budget in more than 30 years. And over the next five years we’ll invest another $25 billion more.

These are major investments, and these are difficult times. Fiscal discipline demands that we make hard decisions—sacrificing certain things we cannot afford. But let me be clear. America’s commitments to its veterans are not just lines in a budget. They are bonds that are sacrosanct—a sacred trust we are honor bound to uphold. And we will.

Flashbacks are a bitch, aren’t they?

Yes, you’ve probably already been reminded of that speech. But here’s what you may not remember. That quote above is from a speech that Obama delivered on August 17, 2009 to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Phoenix. Here is what else he told the vets:

Already, I’ve put an end to unnecessary no-bid contracts. I signed bipartisan legislation to reform defense procurement so weapons systems don’t spin out of control. And even as we increase spending on the equipment and weapons our troops do need, we have proposed cutting tens of billions of dollars in waste we don’t need.

Think about it. Hundreds of millions of dollars for an alternate second engine for the Joint Strike Fighter—when one reliable engine will do just fine. Nearly two billion dollars to buy more F-22 fighter jets when we can move ahead with a fleet of newer, more affordable aircraft. Tens of billions of dollars to put an anti-missile laser on a fleet of vulnerable 747s.

And billions of dollars for a new presidential helicopter. Maybe you heard about this. Among other capabilities, it would let me cook a meal while under nuclear attack. I’ll tell you something. If the United States of America is under nuclear attack, the last thing on my mind will be whipping up a snack.

It’s simple enough. Cut the waste. Save taxpayer dollars. Support the troops. . . . [I]f Congress sends me a defense bill loaded with that kind of waste, I will veto it.

Tough talk. And equally ironic in view of actual events. From earlier this month — May 9, 2014 — we get this story: Obama’s New Helicopter Fleet Could Cost $20 Billion:

The Pentagon has awarded a contract to begin development of the most expensive helicopters ever made.

Each helicopter will probably cost at least $400 million. The entire project, to build at least 23 helicopters, has been estimated to eventually cost between $10 billion to $17 billion. By comparison, the project could pay the combined defense budgets of Finland, Norway, and Sweden for one year ($16.9 billion).

The passengers for this enormously expensive helicopter fleet? The President of the United States and his entourage.

. . . .

The president’s helicopters must have a full suite of defensive countermeasures to throw off the targeting and guidance systems of missiles. They must be “hardened” against the electromagnetic pulse of a nuclear blast that could fry electronics and knock out everything from smartphones to helicopters.

Yes: the electronics must be hardened against a nuclear blast, so that you can still run helicopters, smartphones . . . and of course all your basic kitchen items, so you can whip up a meal.

This man is utterly shameless.


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:00 pm

Pretty quick, and relatively mild. Still.

UPDATE: Preliminary report: magnitude 3.8, 10.5 miles southwest of San Pedro (and me).

L.A. Times Calls Jay Carney “Bespeckled”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:39 pm

Jay Carney resigned today. (Good riddance, by the way.) The L.A. Times article on Carney’s resignation describes him in this way:

Bespeckled and mild-mannered, Carney is known for a disciplined and rigid style of briefing the press during the daily on-camera back-and-forth at the White House. He generally sticks closely to pre-written talking points, except when interjecting a bit of editorial direction and media criticism aimed at his former reporter colleagues.


Judge for yourself:

Screen Shot 2014-05-30 at 5.34.57 PM
Above: the bespectacled, but not particularly bespeckled, Jay Carney

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the definition of “bespeckled” is: “Mark[ed] or cover[ed] with a large number of small spots or patches of color.”

I don’t quite think Carney is spotted, but he does wear glasses. I’m guessing that’s what they meant.

Hey, it’s not like language is their business or anything . . .

P.S. In case they try to quietly correct it, the article is preserved in its original state here.

UPDATE: Yup, they corrected it — without any note. It never happened, do you hear me? Never happened.

In fact, you’re not even seeing this screenshot on your screen:

Screen Shot 2014-05-30 at 7.52.18 PM

What did we ever do before the Internet?

SWAT Team’s Stun Grenade Burns Child, Leaves Him in Coma

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:32 am


A family is in shock after a SWAT team threw a stun grenade into their 19-month-old son’s crib during a midnight drugs raid, leaving the baby in a medically induced coma with severe burns.

Wisconsin mother Alecia Phonesavanh, her husband, Bounkham, and their children including toddler, Bou Jr., were visiting her sister-in-law in Atlanta, Georgia, when police raided the home early Wednesday.

Phonesavanh said officers threw a stun grenade, which landed in the sleeping child’s crib.

. . . .

Deputies said they bought drugs from the house and came back with a no-knock warrant to arrest a man known to have drugs and weapons, WSB reported. They arrested Wanis Thometheva, 30, during the raid.

Darby told WSBTV that the entire police unit is upset over the incident, which was an accident.

There is a horrible picture at the link which I do not care to reproduce here.

Don’t treat this like the cops intended this. They didn’t. When the story says deputies are distraught over this, I believe it. Cops don’t go into law enforcement to hurt small children.

But look: if you use stun grenades in the service of a no-knock warrant like this, tragedies like this are going to happen. The question that police (and members of the public who pay the police) have to ask themselves is this: is it worth this kind of risk to arrest people for the crime in question? If the crime is murder, you might have one answer. If the crime is selling drugs, you might have another.

And if the answer to that question (should we use this tactic knowing the risk?) is “no” . . . then don’t do it.

P.S. I might add: don’t sell drugs out of a house with children. It’s a rough and violent business and people get hurt, even when police don’t enter the picture.

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