Patterico's Pontifications


President Obama and Gov. Perry Meet

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:03 pm

[guest post by Dana]

President Obama and Gov. Perry met in Texas today to discuss the “humanitarian crisis” on the southern border. And from the reports, it was about what you would expect.

I won’t spend much time on the president’s comments, because we already knew ahead of time what they would be, so just a quick summary: Congress (specifically, obstructionist Republicans) needs to get this done, the president doesn’t need to visit the border because the officials he has sent are reporting back to him. Extensively. So stop criticizing him. And mostly, he wants you to know this isn’t theater, he’s not interested in photo-ops, he’s interested in solving a problem. (For a look at just how not interested in photo-ops he is, check out Ace’s gallery…of photo-ops). Oh, and he wants Perry’s help to push Texas Republicans in Congress to swiftly approve the $3.7 billion needed to implement their shared goals.

While both Perry and the president were philosophically in agreement, Perry had a number of concerns, including a seeming lack of urgency on the president’s part in sending the National Guard to the border. Some highlights below and an interview with Perry at the link:

“You know, I was like, Mr. President, you can deal with this. You can unilaterally direct the Department of Defense to put those troops on the border…” he said, later adding, “The president needs to understand that the single most important thing that he can do is put the National Guard on the border to coordinate with local law enforcement, with state law enforcement, with the border patrol…”

Obama said Wednesday that he is open to the National Guard suggestion, but that he believed it would only be a temporary fix.

Perry also criticized the fact that Obama is not visiting the border on his trip to Texas so he can witness the crisis first-hand. Obama said in a press conference Wednesday that doing so would be engaging in political “theater” and not productive.

“I said Mr. President, I really want you to come and see this,” Perry said. “I said this is important for you to absorb as a father, but more importantly as the president of the United States to see the humanitarian crisis.”

Perry said Obama’s refusal to do so is no different than the criticism President George W. Bush received when he chose to fly over New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina instead of visiting the city on the ground. He said Obama sending Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is not enough.

“I’m pretty sure that if George Bush had said ‘well I sent my FEMA director multiple times’ he still would have been criticized greatly,” Perry said. “Because you need to go. That’s what governors do, that’s what presidents do. When there are natural disasters, when there are crises like these, a president needs to be there to show the American people number one that he understands.”


UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Rick Perry captures my feelings about Obama with this expression:

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 7.05.44 AM

Spinning To Defend President Obama’s Decision

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:57 am

[guest post by Dana]

As we know, the president is refusing to visit the southern border while in Texas this week because he would rather rub shoulders with glamorous stars at a high-priced fundraiser in the Lone Star state than witness firsthand the plight of thousands.

With that shameful decision, it is up to his staff to deflect and smooth over accusations and criticism that he does not care enough about the self-declared “humanitarian crisis” to see it firsthand.

Ceclia Muñoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, did her best to defend what is fairly indefensible. Note, too, that Muñoz refers to the border situation, not as the previously termed “humanitarian crisis”, but rather as the “urgent” humanitarian crisis. Urgent, and yet clearly *not* so urgent to the president.

And, on an interesting side note , let’s not forget this about Cecilia Muñoz…

Muñoz is the former Vice President for the Office of Research, Advocacy, and Legislation for the National Council of La Raza (NCLR). She was appointed as the Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs in the Obama administration in 2009, and then in 2012, she became the President’s Domestic Policy Advisor and the Director of the Domestic Policy Council.

Prior to Muñoz joining the Obama administration, La Raza received $4.1 million in federal funds. When President Obama brought her aboard in 2009, he issued a special “ethics waiver” since it violated his lobbyist ban. In 2011, it was reported by Judicial Watch that between 2009 and 2010, the funding increased from $4.1 million to $11 million — more than doubling and nearly tripling.

During 2010, La Raza also received $2.5 million in funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for reasons such as housing counseling. The Department of Education doled out $800,000, and the Center for Disease Control gave nearly a quarter of a million.

In other words, LaRaza funding more than doubled since Munoz joined this administration. There’s more at the link.


Update: Sen. John Cornyn spoke to reporters this morning about the president’s non-visit to the border.

Sen. John Cornyn called it “mystifying” that President Obama is coming to Texas later today without taking time to visit the border or any facility related to the crisis of migrant minors.

“Why in the world would the president create the impression that he has so little regard for and so little interest in this crisis?” Cornyn said this morning on a regular call with Texas reporters.

He speculated that Obama has become insulated, as presidents sometimes do, and the problem when you live in a bubble, he said, is that “sometimes you do some things that are self-defeating in the long run.”

Only that lack of perspective, said Cornyn – the deputy GOP leader in the Senate – can explain the president’s “amazingly stubborn refusal” to visit the border, a decision that signals “that in effect he doesn’t care.”

“There’s a lot he could learn,” he said.

A teachable moment, indeed, to those willing to learn.

Sen. Coburn: Emergency Funding Request In A Nutshell

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:51 am

[guest post by Dana]

Sen. Tom Coburn is less than supportive of the $3.7 billion request for emergency funding to help with the “humanitarian crisis” at the border:

[H]e opposes President Barack Obama’s request for $3.7 billion in emergency funding to address the influx of unaccompanied minors across the southwest border.

“That’s $60,000 per child we will spend, in emergency money,” the Oklahoma Republican said on CNN’s “Crossfire.”

“That shows how incompetent [the government] is.”

Coburn said providing additional resources for detention spaces and immigration attorneys to the minors is the “wrong approach.”

“We can put them all on a first class seat to their homes, that’s $8 million,’ he added.


Harry Reid: Hobby Lobby Result of Those “Five White Men” on the Supreme Court

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:06 am

He is . . . not a genius:

“The one thing we are going to do during this work period, sooner rather than later, is to ensure that women’s lives are not determine by virtue of five white men,” Reid said. “This Hobby Lobby decision is outrageous and we are going to do something about it. People are going to have to walk down here and vote.”

The Hobby Lobby was written by Samuel Alito, joined by justices John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy . . . and Clarence Thomas.

Who is still black.

Caption Contest

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:01 am

P.S. Want a hit, man?

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