Patterico's Pontifications

6/2/2011

#Weinergate: Why Won’t Patriot Talk on the Phone?

Filed under: General — Stranahan @ 8:31 pm

[Guest Post by Lee Stranahan]

The Smoking Gun put up a piece this morning about PatriotUSA76, the mysterious Twitter persona at the center of the @RepWeiner scandal. As I wrote yesterday, one of the reasons I’m very skeptical of ‘Dan Wolfe’ is that he’s refused to speak on the phone with….well, anyone. I’ve talked to 3 people who wanted to have phone conversations with ‘Wolfe’ and he declined. This has led to my speculation could, in fact, be a woman.

There could be other perfectly logical reasons for not wanting to talk on the phone, of course. Here’s what Wolfe said…

Wolfe then went on to state that his ex-wife was suing him for custody of their two children and “for lots of other stuff right now. Her attorneys are after everything I own.” Additionally, he reported that, “I have an ex girlfriend who has mental problems causing issues for me at work. My business is suffering as a result.”

Explaining his hesitation to speak on the telephone,Wolfe wrote that his ex-wife (working in conjunction with a former girlfriend of his) had twice secretly recorded him and that the resulting tapes had “gotten me in a lot of legal trouble.” As a result, he contended that if his ex-wife’s attorney “got a hold of a call recorded with me on it they’d have a field day with that. I want to try to avoid.”

That makes no sense. None.

First off,  how would a phone call with Breitbart get recorded by his ex-wife and crazy ex-girlfriend?

Second, how would this be used against someone in a custody battle? I mean – Andrew Breitbart isn’t THAT controversial.

Third, Wolfe had zero reticence to say a lot of potentially offensive stuff on his Twitter feed – and that could used in a custody fight as well.

This is another point against Wolfe’s credibility as far as I’m concerned.

- Lee Stranahan

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: I don’t think that, in the usual instance, a mere reluctance to talk to people is at all strange for someone who has broken a national story that harms a powerful politician’s career. However, I think Lee’s theory makes more sense if you understand certain points, some of which you know and some of which you may not. The key thing to understand is that nobody is trying to exonerate Weiner — in fact, if Lee’s theory is true, Weiner may be trying to cover up some things worse than sending a lewd picture. Here are some points I want to make sure you all understand:

  • Weeks ago, PatriotUSA76 (whom I’ll just call “Patriot”) said he was aware of compromising photographs of a “big-time Congressman” being in the hands of a top 5 conservative blogger.
  • Patriot has been uniquely obsessed with Weiner, which suggests the “big-time Congressman” was Weiner.
  • Patriot’s explanation of how he happened to see the tweet makes almost no sense. It would take too long to explain why right now; trust me, it requires a pretty big coincidence. Which could happen, of course. I’m not saying it couldn’t.
  • Patriot isn’t simply reluctant to talk; his proffered explanation is bizarre. A private conversation with Breitbart might end up appearing online and somehow be used by his ex-wife, or something? My forehead is lined as I make a very quizzical expression.
  • Many of you claim the yFrog angle has been debunked. What you haven’t been told is that this is not really true. If you sign up with yFrog, and (as they ask you to) agree that yFrog can access your Twitter account, you can indeed have pictures posted by e-mail, if someone knows your secret yFrog address. I confirmed this with George Gooding. The opponents of the theory cite Weiner’s claimed unfamiliarity with yFrog as proof that he didn’t have an account. I say: why believe anything he says?
  • So if Patriot is, or knew, a Weiner paramour who had a compromising photo and knew Weiner’s yFrog e-mail address, they could post it. This is speculation and I am not saying it’s true — but it would explain Weiner’s odd blanket denial of sending the Tweet, but curious accompanying refusal to blanketly deny it’s him.

The main problem with the theory is the Seattle tweet that came earlier in the night, which we know Weiner wrote. Lee’s theory is that perhaps Patriot saw that tweet and seized on it (and the woman’s response) as the perfect time to send off the photo. Could be; also seems like a bit of a stretch.

I say all this, not really to subscribe to the theory, but to show that a) it is not designed to exonerate Weiner, and b) to explain why Patriot’s odd behavior seems potentially relevant. Again, this all hits home much better if you understand how staggeringly unlikely Patriot’s story is that he just happened to see the tweet, which is something that depends upon the mechanics of Twitter that Lee and I experimented with last night. Bottom line is: for Patriot to a) see the tweet on Weiner’s page and not on a Twitter client; b) not have followed Weiner; and c) know that the tweet was up for only 1-5 seconds — all claims that he has made — is just a story that doesn’t ring true. And with him being the source — and having prior knowledge of photos of a big-time Congressman — I can’t help but wonder what is going on.

Quote of the Day

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 7:04 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

“Trial or not, John Edwards is the Charlie Sheen of American politics — great hair and no chance for rehabilitation,” said Democratic consultant Jack Quinn.

It’s been a while since I have seen a funny Charlie Sheen reference.  Anyway, it’s all on the impending indictment of John Edwards and you should read the whole thing.

Basically the theory of the case is pretty simple.  It works like this.

1. These people gave money to keep the Reille Hunter story a secret.

2. This benefited his campaign by preventing a revelation that would have completely destroyed it.

3. Therefore, that money was an undeclared campaign donation to Edwards, and thus illegal.

And of course Edwards defense is to claim that really, it was just to save his late wife’s feelings.  Of course if he really wanted to save his wife’s feelings, he might have waited until she was dead before seeing other women, but hey, who cares?  I mean it’s not like a President should have character or something.*  Seriously, it’s like as if you think that if you grant a person massive amounts of power that we should feel they have a moral core that might prevent them from abusing that power, or something.  How parochial!

—————————

* Note: I am being sarcastic here.  I know, sometimes it can be hard to tell on the net.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

The Damage Done By Schwarzenegger’s Infidelity

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 1:50 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

The Daily Mail has this insight into the life of Schwarzenegger’s love child.  You should really read the whole thing, but here’s a sample:

Jorge said the whole family feels ‘stupid’ for not realizing Schwarzenegger was the father of Joseph before.

He said: ‘I felt kind of like I should have known something. I feel stupid for believing Roger [Mildred's ex-huband] was his dad.

‘We would all joke to Joe ‘Arnold’s your dad’ because he just looks so much like him. Joe would just laugh it off.

‘But we never had any idea, we thought it was a funny joke. But it was real. When we said it to Mildred she would brush it off and just say ‘you guys are funny’.

‘We always thought the father was Rogelio. He has some family with blonde hair and blue eyes so we had always thought there was something in his genes.’

And we get to the damage done by his infidelity, as well as Mildred’s (I am not letting her off the hook, although you have to be concerned about what kind of pressure he might have put on her):

Rogelio, estranged from the family for ten years, only found out Joseph wasn’t his child when the shocking news broke.

Jorge said: ‘He had never even questioned Joseph was his. He feels betrayed.’…

And Jorge hopes Schwarzenegger will soon find time to sit down and talk to his son Joseph and give him some kind of explanation for not telling him he was his father.

‘I hope Arnold is going to take him aside and talk to him about all this. He has not done so far as far as I know. But Joseph needs to speak to his dad.’

Jorge is very optimistic about the kid’s ability to cope with it all, and I am hoping he is right.  But Schwarzenegger has significantly damaged these lives as well as that of the family he had with Shriver.

And, interestingly enough, his conduct directly touched on Schwarznegger’s job:
(more…)

Fareed Zakaria: America’s Problem is That We Love Our Constitution Too Much, or Something…

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 7:41 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

It’s self-fisking, but worth watching for the sheer smug idiocy of it all.

Hat tip: The Blaze.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

The Purpose of This Post is Not to Show Congressman Weiner Being Evasive…

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 6:46 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

…or to point out that Weiner all but admits taking a photograph of himself like the infamous picture. That’s all there, of course, but only mildly interesting given what has gone before.

No, the purpose of this post is to show you how much Rachel Maddow is his lapdog in this interview.

Seriously, jump ahead to about 4:10 in the clip and watch her work her way up to the question of whether the photo is of him.  The most shameful moment is when she says, “let me ask you whether you want to answer that question…”

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Now, truthfully no reporter can coerce cooperation. This isn’t like court where if a person is called to testify (and can’t invoke a privilege against testimony, such as the privilege against self-incrimination), the judge can throw that person in jail for contempt until his or her tongue loosens. But that is not the attitude a reporter should take, especially when dealing with a public official. The attitude you should take is that the people have a right to know the answers to these questions. By asking him for permission to ask a question, she is demonstrating that she has no business claiming to be a reporter, who fearlessly pursues the truth, and as appropriate speaks truth to power. She demonstrates that she is a lapdog, at least for one political party.

As for Weiner, may I suggest that if you are not following Lee’s twitter feed (@stranahan) you really, really should be. He is pursuing an interesting theory that on one hand might exonerate Weiner of the charge of sending the pic, but also might explain why he is acting like he has something to hide. It’s just a theory, but it would very eloquently explain what we are seeing.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]


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