Patterico's Pontifications


California To Get Some Texas Illegals

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:06 pm

Spreading the pain:

The Border Patrol will fly nearly 300 Central American migrants from south Texas to California for processing, an official said Saturday, as the government seeks to ease the workload on agents at the nation’s busiest corridor for illegal crossings.

There will be two flights Monday with 140 passengers each — one bound for San Diego and one for El Centro, about 100 miles east of San Diego, said Paul Beeson, chief of the Border Patrol’s San Diego Sector.

The two flights were expected to continue every three days, Beeson told The Associated Press, but it’s unclear for how long. They will be mostly for families with young children but also carry adults. There will be no unaccompanied children.

The flights to California are the government’s latest response to a surge of Central Americans entering Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, where the Border Patrol has made more than 174,000 arrests since Oct. 1. Most are from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency will decide whether the Central Americans remain in custody or are released while they are in deportation proceedings. ICE spokeswoman Lauren Mack declined to comment on how the agency will respond.

There’s nowhere to keep them, so they’ll be released.

So they’re just taking these people and scattering them across the Southwest. That’s . . . just lovely.

Another Tri-Tip Done Sous Vide

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:24 pm

After much experimenting with sous vide, I find that I like aspects of grilled food, and aspects of sous vide. Sous vide gives you tenderness and even cooking. Grilling gives you that excellent outside texture.

Tonight, I experimented with doing a tri-tip in a little different way that I hoped might combine the benefits of each. First, I put the meat in the sous vide machine at 134 degrees Fahrenheit for 7 1/2 hours. (It’s recommended to cook these for 8-24 hours, so this was under the minimum time they recommend, but already far longer than the pasteurization time needed.) Then I slapped them on the grill at 400-500 degrees for four minutes a side (far more than the 30 seconds to a minute they recommend).

The result was heavenly. I lost none of the Maillard reaction you get that makes the sear necessary. But the inside was immensely tender and just the right shade of pink. (It didn’t hurt that, unlike my initial effort, I have now learned to cut against the grain — a process that requires cutting the piece of meat in the middle, and then cutting each one a different direction.)

I may experiment with even shorter sous vide times in the machine. (I once tried 24 hours, the highest recommended time, and I do not recommend that — the meat had essentially turned to mush. Tasty mush, but mush.) I think longer grilling times and shorter sous vide times will get me the best of both worlds: meat that is cooked perfectly throughout, but which retains that grilled texture that makes grilled food so appealing. I definitely recommend that anyone who gets the machine lean towards the shortest cooking times possible.

Did anyone who got one of these machines (I know a couple of you did) enjoy the results? If so, let me know.

P.S. The promo pack is still available on Amazon, but it’s now $479. When I recommended it to you, it was at a historically cheap $395. Shoulda listened to me then!

Disgrace: A Uniform Not Good Enough To Wear To A High School Graduation, Even If You Proudly Wear It To Serve Your Country

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:15 pm

[guest post by Dana]

A young Marine from New Hampshire, Lance Cpl. Brandon Garabrant, 19, was one of three U.S. service members killed by a roadside bomb Friday morning. Only last year, Brandon Garabrant was graduating from high school.

What makes this story particularly awful is that this fine young man had requested permission to wear his uniform to his commencement exercises. His request had been turned down by school officials. At the time of his request, they attempted to justify their denial:

School officials say they have spoken with the student council, as well as with faculty members with military experience or who have family in the military.

The consensus is that all students should dress alike, and no one should be singled out.

“I think this is a celebration of a class much like a celebration of a team, a group that’s been together,” said Principal Brian Pickering.

Several school officials, including a member of the graduation committee, met with WBZ-TV today.

They say they are thrilled with Brandon’s accomplishment but say graduation is about unity.

There is also concern that if an exception is made, it will open up the door to other requests down the road.

“You begin to wonder where to draw the line,” said Pickering.

Upon hearing of Lance Cpl. Garabrant’s death, Governor Maggie Hassan released a statement:

The entire State of New Hampshire is devastated by the tragic loss of Lance Corporal Brandon Garabrant, who was bravely serving his nation in Afghanistan. Our service men and women courageously sacrifice every day to protect their fellow citizens and defend the enduring value of freedom that is our very core, and in doing so, Lance Corporal Garabrant made the ultimate sacrifice.

Garabrant’s high principal also released a statement on behalf of the school:

On behalf of the entire ConVal community I extend my deepest sympathy to Brandon’s family and friends. We are all shocked and deeply saddened by his passing and we are incredibly grateful for his service to our country.

Suffice it to say, I’m at a loss over this and will only note that the New Hampshire state motto is: Live free or die.


California’s New Budget Joke

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:36 pm

[guest post by Dana]


California is a beautiful state. No doubt about it. Golden sunshine, stunning coastline, great beaches, breathtaking forests, endless deserts, small towns, big cities. Something for everyone.

Unfortunately, our state motto appears to have changed to: A bloated budget is a better budget! This speaks to the fact that what we do lack in our great state is a sane government. Californians are held hostage by the looney left, who, to put it mildly, believe that big spending is the duty of all governments. And of course, as is always the case, the middle class gets stuck with the bill.

With that, Governor Jerry Brown just signed our new budget. Here are some of the more troubling items in the new budget:

Record Level of State Spending – General Fund spending spikes year-over-year in Brown’s budget by over $12 billion, taking general fund spending up to a new record high of $108 billion. If you actually compute total state spending from all fund sources, total state spending hits a new record high of $230 billion! Many of these spending increases are reflected in significant increases in entitlement programs, ensuring that California continues to be a leader in providing the most generous social welfare program funding in the country.

Swimming Pools – Courtesy of taxpayers all over California, the people of the relatively small border town of Calexico will receive millions of dollars for a very large swimming pool. But there’s more. The budget also contains millions to fix some cracks in the large, iconic “Neptune Pool” at the historic Hearst Castle on California’s central coast.

Local School Districts Required to Reduce Reserves – In a blatant flexing of political muscle by the California Teachers Association, a last-minute change in the budget will put severe restriction on local school districts to keep healthy reserves–their “rainy day funds”–to protect themselves against future economic downturns. The motive of the unions here is to force school districts to spend that money, knowing that some of those funds will be spent on the salaries and benefits of their members.

Drug Felons on Welfare – Until the enactment of this budget, state law prohibited convicted drug felons from receiving any benefits from two of the state’s largest welfare programs, CalWORKS and CalFresh (food stamps). But not anymore–now, instead of just vouchers, they will be eligible for cash (ka-ching!). The projected cost increase of this new policy: $50 million!

Unoccupied Governor’s Mansion – The State of California owns a 137 year old Governor’s mansion. It has been unoccupied since then-Governor Reagan and his first lady, Nancy, abandoned it for a house in the Sacramento suburbs. Even though Governor Brown has no plans to live in it afterwards, the state budget contains $2.5 million bucks to renovate the mansion.

Blank Check for High-Speed Rail – You would never know how unpopular the high-speed rail (HSR) boondoggle is in public opinion polls if you looked at Brown’s budget. The budget includes $250 million in spending on HSR from funds coming in from the state’s dubious cap-and-trade carbon emission program. It also establishes that in future years, hundreds of millions will be spend on HSR with no future vote of the legislature required – it’s on perpetual auto-pilot! Even worse, the HSR Authority will undoubtedly issue revenue bonds against this future revenue, borrowing money now to be repaid later. Oy.

More Funding for Abortions – One of the most controversial aspects of California’s budget is the substantial amount of taxpayer funding for “pregnancy termination services.” This year’s budget provides for a staggering 40% increase in the reimbursement rate for abortions in the MediCal program. Well over $5 million in taxpayer funds is set aside to fund abortions. Sick.

Coastal Commission Power Grab – It pays to be the Assembly Speaker. Just ask the current occupant of the job, Toni Atkins. The Assemblywoman had been trying for years to expand the power of the California Coastal Commission, a controversial government entity because of its wide-ranging control over private property along our state’s coastline. Atkins had not been having luck passing a bill to give the Commission the power to levy fines independently without going to a judge. Somehow this power grab ended up in the final language of the budget.

California dreaming has taken on a whole new meaning.


Obama Addresses Immigration Crisis the Way You Think He Would

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:22 pm

Don’t you try to tell me that Obama isn’t taking this illegal immigrant crisis seriously. According to a faceless functionary who visited the Rio Grande Valley, the Obama administration “has put on an extraordinary inter-agency effort” to handle the crisis. For proof, look no further than New Mexico, where a brand-spanking-new detention center is being opened up:

New detention facilities will be opened to house immigrant families caught crossing the border illegally amid a surge from Central America, the Obama administration said Friday.

The first will be a 700-bed family detention facility at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia, New Mexico, the Homeland Security Department said. The training center is home to the Border Patrol’s training academy.

700 beds! Wow! That ought to pretty much take care of the problem, don’t you think?

Mayorkas said about 39,000 adults with children have been apprehended at the border since the start of the budget year in October. The administration has released an unspecified number of them into the U.S. in recent months with instructions to report later to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement offices. Mayorkas, the No. 2 official at the agency and former head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, told reporters he didn’t know how many people have been released or subsequently appeared as ordered.

OK, maybe not.

Funny how they never seem to know the numbers . . . when the numbers would clearly be embarrassing. In the initial days of ObamaCare, they claimed they had no clue how many people had signed up — even though they did know, and lied, because almost nobody had signed up. Here, I guarantee you they know how many people they have released — and are lying, because they’re releasing almost everybody, and virtually none of the people they release are coming back.

As an aside: it’s sad to see Mayorkas, a former U.S. Attorney for Los Angeles, participating in the dishonesty.

Mayorkas said the administration will also send more immigration judges, ICE attorneys and other immigration officials to the region to help process immigrants caught crossing the border illegally and, when possible, quickly return them to their home countries.

Immigrants crossing the border illegally have overwhelmed U.S. immigration agencies. More than 174,000 people, mostly from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, have been arrested in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley this year.

But there’s 700 more beds in New Mexico! And they don’t know how many of those 174,000 they have released — including gang members and cartel footsoldiers — but it can’t be much more than 99%. So rest easy, America. Obama is on the case!

Patterico and Prestige

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:05 pm

Above the Law has this post about the most “prestigious” law firms, in 1998, 2008, and 2015. (The notion of law firms as “prestigious,” by the way, is an amusing example of lawyers’ blinkered worldview. Outside the legal community, who cares if you are working for a law firm that is considered “prestigious”? Yet countless thousands of lawyers toil away in these billable hour factories, consoling themselves with the idea that, while they have no actual lives to speak of, at least they are sacrificing their life force to a firm that is “prestigious.” Anyway.)

There was one paragraph that captured my attention:

Comparing the 1998 rankings to the 2015 rankings, Cravath and Wachtell swapped places, and there was some minor shuffling among the usual top 7. But the #8 firm in 1998, Shearman & Sterling, is all the way down at #28 in the 2015 rankings. What happened, Shearman?

What happened? Why, they lost Patterico! That’s what.

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