Patterico's Pontifications

6/10/2007

Jefferson: Freezer Money Was Really the FBI’s

Filed under: Crime,Scum — Patterico @ 1:34 pm

If you’re going to lie, you might as well come up with a doozy:

[Rep. William J.] Jefferson [(D-La.)], who was indicted on charges that he used the power of his office to enrich himself and his family, emerged from U.S. District Court here with rhetorical guns blazing. “I’m going to fight my heart out to clear my name,” he said.

The case against Jefferson became notorious after it was disclosed that the congressman, according to the indictment, accepted $100,000 in marked bills from an investor in a fledgling digital technology firm. The indictment said Jefferson told the investor, who had agreed to cooperate with the FBI, that the money would gain him access to the Nigerian market. The FBI later reported finding $90,000 of the marked bills wrapped in foil and “concealed inside various frozen food containers” in a freezer in Jefferson’s home.

“The $90,000 was the FBI’s money,” Jefferson said Friday in his first public explanation. “The FBI gave it to me as part of its plan — part of their plan — that I would give it to the Nigerian vice president, but I did not do that.

Good enough for me.

And probably good enough for the voters in his district.

Everybody Counts or Nobody Counts

Filed under: Crime,Dog Trainer,General,War — Patterico @ 11:59 am

In Section B of the print edition of the Los Angeles Times today is a list of all the military deaths in the country. Section B is called the “California” section — yet the paper finds space in that section to list 34 deaths of military personnel from Indiana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Utah, and other states across the country. The paper does this every week.

Meanwhile, in the same Los Angeles Times, victims of violence in Compton and other parts of South Los Angeles often don’t even get mentioned in the print edition of the paper — even though these deaths are happening locally, right under the editors’ noses. The online-only Homicide Report lists 16 people killed since May 29 — in Los Angeles alone. They’re not all gang members, either — for example, Quanisha Pitts was a 17-year-old girl out on a date.

The report of her death appears only in the online-only Homicide Report. Quanisha Pitts’s story didn’t merit a single word in the “California section.” And that is common for deaths in South Los Angeles — a place that, last time I checked, is in “California.” What’s more, it’s in “Los Angeles,” which I believe is the area theoretically covered by the “Los Angeles” Times.

Both military deaths in Iraq and murders in Los Angeles are important. Both are symptomatic of a larger and newsworthy problem.

But only one set of deaths is getting any prominence in the Los Angeles paper — and it’s not the one most relevant to Los Angeles.

Make of that what you will.

P.S. Thanks to Michael Connelly’s character Harry Bosch for the title of the post.

Idiotic Comment of the Week

Filed under: Buffoons,Crime,General — Patterico @ 10:41 am

Are we shocked to learn that it came from Andrew Sullivan? It’s about — of course — Paris Hilton:

[F]ar from undermining democracy, this little story about this pathetic, pampered wretch can only restore a little faith in the criminal justice system. It’s almost enough to make up for O.J.

Right, Andrew. Some overhyped socialite going to jail on a probation violation is almost enough to make up for O.J. Simpson getting away with killing two people.

Add Andrew Sullivan to the long list of people who have completely lost any sense of perspective over this nonsense.

Did Lee Baca Put the Safety of His Jail at Risk by Pandering to a No-Talent Celebrity?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:43 am

There is a serious issue arising out of this Paris Hilton nonsense — and it’s not necessarily the was-she-treated-better-or-worse question that seems to fascinate people so. (For the record, I think she was treated better by Lee Baca, and probably worse by the City Attorney and judge, due to her (unearned) celebrity. All in all, call it a wash.)

The issue is this: Sheriff Lee Baca has a whole jail to run, and he might consider the impact that his decisions have on his inmates as a whole:

An insider at the prison in Lynwood, California, said: “The women inside the jail are seething. They say if you’re a rich white girl you get special treatment.

“They are furious that while Paris had her own special cell with a panic button, was given better food and was kept away from the general population, she was still released early.

“There are girls in here with cancer, TB, and with MRSA. They aren’t allowed to go home and are treated by prison medical staff.

“The prisoners think if you’re rich and pretend you’re sick you can get away with murder.

“Many of the girls have been locked down in their cells all day because they are so furious. The jail is full of screams about Paris.

“Prison bosses fear this could simmer over into violence.”

The deputies in the jails must have been thrilled at Sheriff’s Baca’s decision to release Hilton. What was he doing getting personally involved in that decision anyway?

Meanwhile, however, I may have underestimated the trauma Ms. Hilton suffered, as evidenced by this quote from when she was back at home:

[O]nce back at her luxury home, Paris celebrated by inviting her family round.

A pal said she had sent her assistant shopping and arranged for her make-up artist to visit.

The pal said: “It’s so cruel what has happened to her. She wasn’t allowed to wax or use a moisturiser. Her skin is so dry right now.”

I had no idea!


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