Patterico's Pontifications


NFL Bad Lip Reading

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:12 pm

All I know is that this is a bad guy, and this is a good one.

Thanks to Ken White on Facebook.

President Obama Will Not Meet With Netanyahu Next Month

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:10 pm

[guest post by Dana]

As if the White House’s angered response to Boehner’s invite to Netanyahu didn’t make them look small and petty already, it was announced today that the president will not be meeting with Netanyahu next month when he comes to the United States to speak before Congress:

The official White House explanation was that Netanyahu’s visit fell too close to the Israeli election and the Obama administration wanted to avoid the appearance of taking sides.

“As a matter of longstanding practice and principle, we do not see heads of state or candidates in close proximity to their elections, so as to avoid the appearance of influencing a democratic election in a foreign country,” National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said.

Honestly, I don’t think there’s any reason to worry that President Obama might be seen as taking sides with Netanyahu in much of anything these days.


Added: Commenter “scrubone” points out that President Obama was willing to meet with New Zealand’s PM John Key in the run-up to the country’s election. They met at the White House in June 2014. The election took place in September 2014.

Wacky Al Gore: For 90 Trillion Dollars, We Can Rebuild Every City In The World And Make Them Car-Free!

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:08 pm

[guest post by Dana]

As you know, the World Economic Forum is currently taking place in Davos. It’s where the beautiful people and the ruling class put their heads together, squint really hard and try to solve world problems.

This year, as it usually goes, our betters hypocritically arrived in their private jets – 1,700 of them this year – to figure out how to solve global warming… The irony and hypocrisy does not seem to penetrate their collective gilded bubbles. Anyway, we all know that global warming continues to be a vexing problem to the left. As such, Al Gore believes he has figured out a way to fix the problem. And what a doozy of a solution it is. Frankly, when I read about his proposal, I was compelled get down on my knees to thank God that Bill Clinton didn’t expire in the middle of one of his many dalliances because Gore – One. Seat. Away. From. The. Presidency. and almost elected president! Talk about dodging the crazy-bullet. So, with the help of former president of Mexico Felipe Calderon, the proposal was presented:

As part of a presentation from the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate (GCEC), Calderon and Gore argued that the fight against global warming will necessitate new, car-free city designs: urban areas, after all, are responsible for around 70 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions. Calderon told the conference:

We cannot have these cities with low density, designed for the use of cars… We recommend those cities should have more density and more mass transportation.

Designing cars out of every city and future city would apparently require a mere $90trn in infrastructure investment.

Summing it up:

The theory is that urban sprawl has caused people to be dependent on automobiles to get around. Most automobiles use internal combustion engines to move. Internal combustion engines exude greenhouse gasses. Greenhouse gasses are inexorably raising the temperature of the Earth that, if not stopped, will cause life to become unsustainable. For this reason, we have to spend $90 trillion to gather everybody in every city into huge centralized habitats connected by rail or other transportation systems,

Further, as if stacking us up like sardines in high-density housing and taking away our automobiles isn’t punishment enough, Gore is teaming up with singer Pharrell “Happy” Williams to fight climate change with a concert. And boy, oh boy, what a special concert it will be according to singer Williams:

“Instead of just having people perform, we literally – and I can’t go into it now because some interesting surprises are coming out soon – but we literally are going to have humanity harmonize all at once.

The former vice-president and almost-president (FVP-AP) sternly exhorted:

[W]ith putting a price on carbon to speed up the transition to renewable energies, “we need to put a price on denial in politics. People need to stop financing denial.”

The worldwide sing-along is set for June 18. No word yet on when the bulldozers will start rolling.


Open Thread: Late-Term Abortion Bill Scuttled

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:50 am

“Open thread” is the cop-out term used by a blogger who has to go to work and has insufficient time to form an informed opinion on a topic. Newspapers and other lefty outfits across the country are reporting this story in this manner:

Abortion bill dropped amid concerns of female GOP lawmakers

House Republican leaders abruptly dropped plans late Wednesday to vote on an anti-abortion bill amid a revolt by female GOP lawmakers concerned that the legislation’s restrictive language would once again spoil the party’s chances of broadening its appeal to women and younger voters.

Voices on the right are making the case that the bill is no different from another one these women supported last year, and that the pulling of the bill reveals the worst about GOP incompetence and lack of spine.

The reason I feel uninformed is because when I read about a provision that requires women claiming rape (as a justification for their late term abortion) to report the crime to authorities, my first reaction is: my, that sounds like a recipe for a lot of fake rape charges. (Also, if the claim is legitimate, the provision creates a built-in defense for rapists in cases where the woman waits to have an abortion.)

Finally, I’m not generally thrilled with federal legislation in an area like this that should be reserved to the states.

So on the one hand, I hate late-term abortions with a passion. And I think Roe v. Wade and its progeny are a constitutional abomination. On the other, I have concerns about federalism and about creating incentives to fabricate rape claims.

Lacking sufficient time to weigh these factors and reach a cogent opinion, I am punting this to the collective wisdom of the readership, while I go off to work. Therefore:


Air Marshal Whistleblower Wins in Supreme Court

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:28 am

A friend of the blog, Robert MacLean — whistleblower, patriot, and former air marshal — has won his case in the Supreme Court.

For background, I’m going to do something unusual and reprint the entire contents of a previous post, because it’s relevant, and I said it then as well as I could say it today:

The New York Times recently reported:

A majority of the justices seemed ready to side with a fired air marshal on Tuesday in a Supreme Court argument over whether he was covered by a federal law protecting whistle-blowers.

In 2003, the air marshal, Robert J. MacLean, received a secret briefing about a terrorist threat affecting long-distance flights. Two days later, he was told by text message from the Transportation Security Administration that to save money, the agency was canceling assignments requiring an overnight stay.

He complained to his superiors, saying the move would imperil public safety. When they failed to act, he contacted a reporter for MSNBC. The resulting news coverage promptly led to a reversal of the travel policy.

When the government later identified Mr. MacLean as the source of the report, it fired him for disclosing sensitive information without authorization. Mr. MacLean challenged his dismissal under the Whistleblower Protection Act, which insulates federal workers from retaliation if they disclose “a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety.”

Mr. MacLean is a friend of the blog, and provided me exclusive insights seven years ago, in posts like this one and this one. For non-clickers, here is part of what Mr. MacLean told me in one of those old posts:

After 9/11, immediately putting thousands of air marshals on flights was the right decision. But now, the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) misuse of the air marshal program as a visual deterrent is one of the worst threats to aviation security right now.

With the current checkpoint bypass and pre-boarding policies that TSA and the airline companies insist on, an air marshal team is going to get ambushed and their weapons will be used to take another plane down. Air marshals right now are sitting ducks with the current strategy.

But then we got Barack Obama — and he has been great to whistleblowers. Hope and change. So we now have nothing to worry about, folks.

Nothing to worry about.

Good luck to Mr. MacLean. He and people like him represent what is best about this country: people willing to stand up for what’s right, in the face of powerful vested interests. I have nothing but respect for Mr. MacLean and people like him.

UPDATE: Mr. MacLean needs work. If any Patterico readers know of a position for an honest, upstanding guy, email me.

Mr. MacLean won yesterday, 7-2. Justices Sotomayor and Kennedy dissented. The opinion is here. Congratulations to Mr. MacLean.

The good guys win, for once.

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