Patterico's Pontifications


Disgraced Former U.S. Attorney Throws the Book at James O’Keefe

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:15 pm


The headline just writes itself. This is comedy gold.

You have to watch the video, as descriptions don’t do it justice. Basically, the guy in charge of the U.S. Attorney’s Office that prosecuted O’Keefe for a B.S. petty violation screams at O’Keefe, calls him a “hobbit” and a “spud” (racism against the Irish?!) and an “asshole.” Then he grabs O’Keefe’s book from him just so he can throw it at O’Keefe.

My. It would be fine to have this guy in charge of your future, wouldn’t it?

Letten, it should be remembered, resigned in disgrace after his top assistants were caught sock-puppeting comments about a case they were prosecuting and lying to a judge about it. One of those sock-puppeting assistants had haughtily proclaimed about O’Keefe: “We don’t try cases in the press.”


P.S. I have been dying to write this post ever since I first saw the video of Letten’s antics back in early July, and teased it on Twitter (note the dates of the tweets):

P.P.S. More exclusive information about Letten and O’Keefe in the morning. I have a feeling you’ll be interested.

Obvious Hate Crime Is (Not) Obvious

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:40 am

The following is three-day-old news. So sue me. I was on vacation.

USA Today reports on an obvious hate crime by two young white males on a black World War II vet:

Spokane police said Friday they have arrested one of two teenagers wanted as suspects in the beating death of an 88-year-old World War II vet who was wounded at Okinawa.

Delbert Belton, known as “Shorty,” died Thursday from head injuries suffered in the attack Wednesday night outside the Eagles Lodge.

KHQ-TV reports that the 16-year-old is being held in juvenile detention but will be charged as an adult and faces first degree murder and first degree robbery charges.

Police had released the photos of two teenagers seen in area surveillance footage.

The case is gaining nationwide attention because the perpetrators were white and the victim, a World War II hero, was black. Touré has brought the case to the attention of the public on Twitter and plans to speak about it today on MSNBC. Already Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have begun preparations for marches for justice across the country, demanding justice for Belton. Colin Powell has said that anything less than a first degree murder conviction would be “suspect.” On networks across the country, round-the-clock coverage has been promised, and speculation abounds about whether, after the George Zimmerman case, an acquittal here might be the spark that sets off a nationwide race ri —

[Like many things I write, this next bit probably works best if you hear it being said in the voice of Norm MacDonald, using the voice he uses when he is doing an obvious “bit.”]

Hold the fort! I’ve just been handed a piece of paper with some writing on it. Please excuse me for a moment while I just take the piece of paper I have been handed, and read the words that have been placed upon it for me to read.

[Silence. Norm’s lips move silently.]

Huh. How about that.

It appears that the story I was reading to you was accurate, with the exception of one small detail: the suspects are black and the victim is white. And the person who brought it to the attention of Twitter was not Touré, but James Woods.

Well, I don’t see a story here, fellas, do you?

[Fade to black.]

Defunding ObamaCare: The Possibility of Failure Cannot Prevent Us From Making the Attempt

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:21 am

“The effort to defund ObamaCare has failed. It was my hope that we could fight this law, which marks a new level of government control over our lives, and defeat it before it was implemented. I was wrong to think that we could get this done at this time and in this way, but I will never stop fighting until the goal of repealing this law is finally achieved.” — Ted Cruz, September 29, 2013, on the failure to defund ObamaCare.

“Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the air and the navy did all that bravery and devotion to duly could do. If any blame or fault is attached to the attempt it is mine alone.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower, July 5, 1944, on the failed D-Day invasion.

“Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace. These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice. . . . Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Man’s search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts. For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind.” — Richard M. Nixon, July 21, 1969, after confirmation of the deaths of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the Moon.

As we contemplate the fight to defund ObamaCare, the prospect of failure weighs heavily on Republicans’ hearts. The question on many people’s minds is: if we fail, what will that mean for Republicans’ election prospects?

Perhaps the better question is: if we fail, what will that mean for freedom?

Men have faced the prospect of failure before, in embarking on undertakings whose prospects for success seem obvious now, with the virtue of hindsight.

Dwight D. Eisenhower wrote a message in his own hand that he was prepared to deliver in July 1944 if it became clear that D-Day had not been successful. The message, quoted above, shows that Eisenhower knew there was no certainty that we would win the day in Normandy — something that had to weigh heavily on his mind given the catastrophe of the Battle of Dieppe, the previous attempt at an invasion of the European mainland.

William Safire drafted a speech, excepted above, for Richard Nixon to deliver in the event that humanity’s first attempt to have men walk on the Moon was a disastrous failure. Given the deaths of Gus Grissom, Edward White II, and Roger Chaffee in Apollo 1, success certainly did not seem assured — and as students of the landing know, there were many points where everything could have gone (and almost did go) disastrously wrong.

I hope Ted Cruz does not have to deliver the short address I have written above, but he might.

Any time we embark on any worthwhile fight, we must consider the possibility of failure.

But we must also not allow the possibility to frighten us into not trying in the first place.


Normandy American Cemetery

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:35 pm

While I was away, I was visiting places like this.

Screen Shot 2013-08-25 at 7.34.21 PM

More photos to come, in coming days and weeks.

P.S. Thanks very much to JD for keeping things going while I was on vacation — and congratulations to him on his strong showing in the grueling triathlon torture event he put himself through!


Greenwald Threatens to Publish Classified Documents on Britain; Classified Documents on British Anti-Terrorism Efforts Published

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:57 am

But of course Greenwald is not responsible. If I were in British intelligence, though, I might take a hard look at Thomas Ellers or Ellison. Let’s start with Greenwald’s recent threat:

“I will be far more aggressive in my reporting from now. I am going to publish many more documents. I am going to publish things on England, too. I have many documents on England’s spy system. I think they will be sorry for what they did,” Greenwald, speaking in Portuguese, told reporters at Rio de Janeiro’s airport where he met Miranda upon his return to Brazil.

The implication is crystal clear, even thought weasel boy tried to walk it back after he realized how petty and unprofessional it made him look:

Greenwald said in a subsequent email to Reuters that the Portuguese word “arrepender” should have been translated as “come to regret” not “be sorry for.”

“I was asked what the outcome would be for the UK, and I said they’d come to regret this because of the world reaction, how it made them look, and how it will embolden me – not that I would start publishing documents as punishment or revenge that I wouldn’t otherwise have published,” he said in the email.

Oh, of course not! Nobody could have possibly read your statements as any kind of threat!

You are a dishonest hypocrite, reporting I said you’d be sorry when I really said you’d come to regret it!


Britain runs a secret internet-monitoring station in the Middle East to intercept and process vast quantities of emails, telephone calls and web traffic on behalf of Western intelligence agencies, The Independent has learnt.

The station is able to tap into and extract data from the underwater fibre-optic cables passing through the region.

The information is then processed for intelligence and passed to GCHQ in Cheltenham and shared with the National Security Agency (NSA) in the United States. The Government claims the station is a key element in the West’s “war on terror” and provides a vital “early warning” system for potential attacks around the world.

The Independent is not revealing the precise location of the station but information on its activities was contained in the leaked documents obtained from the NSA by Edward Snowden. The Guardian newspaper’s reporting on these documents in recent months has sparked a dispute with the Government, with GCHQ security experts overseeing the destruction of hard drives containing the data.

Or perhaps not so coincidentally, eh, Rick Ellensburg?

I had nothing to do with it! It was Ellison the whole time!


Toure’s Turdlets of Wisdom

Filed under: General — JD @ 6:25 am

[guest post by JD]

Slavery partly to blame for high unemployment in African-American communities. Toure has proven itself to be incapable of embarrassment.

Someone should ask him how decades of Dem policies and programs in cities like Chicago and Detroit have worked out.




Another Leftist Racist Hoax

Filed under: General — JD @ 8:49 pm

[ Guest post by JD ]

When real life does not conform to Teh Narrative, leftists just go out and do what they claim conservatives want to do, and then blame conservatives for leftist actions.

This is exactly what happened at Oberlin. A series of hate speech and Klan sightings all blamed on TeaBaggers, turns out to have been perpetuated by some OfA leftists. Shocking, I know.

The Oberlin administration appears to have known who was responsible yet still embarked on their quest to indoctrinate their students about hate crimes that did not exist.

Lena Durham has chosen to not yet comment.


Treasury IG Report Run-Around

Filed under: General — JD @ 6:00 am

[guest post by JD]

This is one of those “you can’t make this stuff up” stories.

Obama’s IRS scandals are fascinating. In an oft overlooked release of IRS info for political means, Austan Goolsbee spoke publicly about the evil Koch Brothers tax returns. It was originally said to have been turned over to the Treasury IG to investigate, and apparently their investigation has been done for over 2 years. Having said that, it seems like the IRS will not even confirm existence of an investigation into the release of private info, and now will not release the results of the report, due to privacy concerns for the person that violated the privacy laws.

George’s investigation concluded in August 2011. Since then, Koch Industries senior vice president and general counsel Mark Holden has repeatedly requested a report summarizing the agency’s findings from multiple federal agencies but has been summarily denied by all of them. “TIGTA sent me to the IRS, the IRS sent me back to TIGTA, but none of them would release the report or any information about the investigation,” Holden says.

It has been a Kafkaesque march through the federal bureaucracy. In August 2011 a TIGTA special agent told Holden in an e-mail that “the final report relative to the investigation of Austan Goolsbee’s press conference remark is completed, has gone through the approval process, and would now be available through a FOIA request.” Holden’s request, however, was denied. “Because your request is for law enforcement records concerning a third party, TIGTA can neither admit nor deny the existence of responsive records,” the agency wrote him. He was instead referred to the Internal Revenue Service. After lodging a request there, he was sent back to TIGTA, only to be told, “Our previous response . . . also responds to this request” and “we are closing our file in this matter.”

Asked why the potential victim of a crime is prohibited from viewing TIGTA’s findings, TIGTA communications director Karen Kraushaar declined to go into detail, telling me only that “federal confidentiality law, including Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code, prohibits us from disclosing any information concerning our review of such allegations. Therefore, we regret that we cannot provide you with any further information.”

The agency divulged no more information to Senator Grassley. On requesting the report, he was told by George in a letter that, owing to the confidentiality provisions affecting individual tax records, “TIGTA could not provide information regarding action, if any, TIGTA might have taken beyond its review of the allegations.” As a result, George said, he was “unable to respond to any of the questions” Grassley posed about the investigation’s findings.

Non-responsive to the victim, and to a US Senator.

Transparent BS.



Creepy Ted Cruz

Filed under: General — JD @ 6:55 am

[guest post by JD]

The Daily Beast has a hard-hitting exposé on Ted Cruz in college, going back and interviewing roommates, friends, etc … We now know as much about Ted Cruz, before he even announces a run, as we do about a sitting President.

They are just getting started.


UPDATE BY PATTERICO: This fella Mazin, the big source for the article, sounds like a real ass. I like Cruz even better now that I have heard Mazin’s low opinion of him.

UPDATE x2 BY PATTERICO: I decided to research Mazin a little further and found him on Twitter, where he surprised me a little bit by claiming to be friends with Ken White of Popehat, and also by claiming to be somebody who gets criticized by his leftist pals for supposedly being a neocon. And he is highly critical of Roman Polanski, unlike much of the typical Hollywood leftist establishment. Hmmm. Maybe he’s not such a bad guy, I thought — so I returned to the article to see why I had initially had such a strongly negative reaction to the guy.

I think my annoyance stemmed from his extraordinaily hyperbolic statements ( “I would rather have anybody else be the president of the United States. Anyone.” Really? Murderers, rapists, and robbers? Hitler worshippers? Movie executives?) combined with the assumption that we were supposed to give such over-the- top statements special credence because he had personally known Cruz. I had initially suspected that what Mazin really didn’t about Cruz was his politics — although I certainly am willing to believe that, as a result, he also disliked Cruz as a person.
But it irked me that his (seemingly mostly politically driven) dislike was given faux credence because he happened to know Cruz.

Now that there are hints that he is not an entirely dyed in the wool
Hollywood leftist, I wonder whether I was wrong to assume this was a political hit.

But if I’m wrong, he certainly doesn’t give ANY specifics to show me why. What specifics does Mazin cite as to why he disliked Cruz, other than that Cruz was a confident conservative who once read a book trashing Karl Marx? As best as I can tell, Mazin didn’t like the design of Cruz’s bathrobe, or the fact that Cruz tried to talk to girls.

It could be that the Daily Beast trashed Mazin’s actual substantive concerns about Cruz — although Mazin has not yet said so on his Twitter timeline. Based on what’s in the article, though, it comes off a little like Mazin is saying: yeah, Cruz was a strong and unapologetic conservative and in my opinion was a little quirky, therefore he would be the absolute worst person in all of America to lead this country — worse than violent criminals, neoNazis, and Justin Bieber — and you need to believe me because I was his college roommate.

Is that really the argument? If so, no sale.


Benghazi Accountability

Filed under: General — JD @ 2:57 pm

[guest post by JD]

The 4 underlings that got thrown under the bus and scapegoated under Hillary have been reinstated by Kerry‘s intensive review of the facts, which shockingly enough, has led to no disciplinary action as a result of this phony scandal.



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