Patterico's Pontifications


Police Prosecutions in Freddie Gray Death Come to a Merciful End

Filed under: General — JVW @ 10:17 am

[guest post by JVW]

Faced with their dismal record in court thus far, the Baltimore’s State Attorney’s Office has dropped all charges against the last three officers accused in the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody. Trials of the four officers that had previous taken place ended in one mistrial and three acquittals.

Beleaguered State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby played the feminine card at a news conference earlier today, telling reporters that “as a mother” this decision to halt the prosecutions greatly affected her. She also once again accused the police of protecting their own, claiming that there was “a reluctance” on the part of police to investigate and “an obvious bias” that they brought to the investigation. Standing next to Ms. Mosby, Gray’s mother Gloria Darden accused police of lying, claiming “I know they lied, and they killed him.”

After having 211 homicides for the entire year in 2014, Baltimore’s number rose to 344 last year and stands at 167 year-to-date for 2016. Gray’s arrest and death took place in April 2015.

The Baltimore Sun has an interesting run-down of reaction to these developments. It would appear that Ms. Mosby retains significant support in Baltimore’s African-American community, notwithstanding the wasted resources devoted to these prosecutions. Ms. Mosby declined to answer questions at her news conference, citing civil lawsuits that have been filed against her.

Previous posts concerning the sad Freddie Gray situation can be found here.


John Hinckley to Go Free

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:18 am

Not to worry. He’s all better.


Handicapping Hillary’s Huge Homily [Updated]

Filed under: General — JVW @ 3:13 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Barring some weird and unforeseen (but entirely welcome) developments, Hillary! Rodham Clinton will take to the podium on Thursday night to accept the nomination of the Democrat Party for President of the United States of America. While the race appears to be neck-and-neck, she is fighting against the dual and intertwined perceptions that she represents the unacceptable status quo in Washington, DC and that she is largely dishonest and untrustworthy to occupy the office one held by revered giants like Franklin Pierce and Jimmy Carter. Indeed her rising unfavorable ratings are only somewhat ameliorated by the equally poor favorability ratings of her main opponent.

So Mrs./Senator/Secretary Clinton has a pretty Herculean task in front of her come Thursday: to soften her image as a scheming yet reckless shrew who feels entitled to the office she seeks by sheer virtue of her longevity on the Washington scene. To accomplish this goal, she needs to firm up support among dissatisfied backers of Bernard Sanders (who now know that the playing field was titled against their candidate from the get-go) by reinventing herself as a progressive reformer, while still sending clear signals to moderates and independents who increasingly appear to be the ones who will decide this election that she is not enthralled to the far-left agenda of the Occupy crowd or to Black Lives Matter and other discredited grievance groups.

The biggest question then is how does she address the issue of the massive distrust she has engendered through her (and her husband’s) history of influence-peddling, feather-nesting, vindictiveness, and perfidy. I see a number of possibilities here, so let’s take a look at some of the major ones.

1. Avoid It Altogether — Hillary! Hiding
Advantage: She avoids bringing up the reasons why she is so largely disliked. She can instead focus on her — cough, cough — qualifications for office and list her lifetime accomplishments (such as they are).
Disadvantage: It would be seen as the dog that didn’t bark. Even her media sympathizers would have to point out that she remains defiant and unapologetic at a time when she is strongly disliked. It could end up turning off the very people to whom she needs to appeal.

2. Address It Ambiguously — Hillary! Hints
Example: “We are a party with the compassion for forgiveness and new starts. Heaven knows none of us are perfect and at times we have all needed forgiveness, and I want you to know that I appreciate the great support you have shown me this week.”
Advantage: It allows her supporters to claim she has addressed the elephant in the room. They can claim that she has “apologized” (even if she hasn’t) and it is now time to move on.
Disadvantage: It may be seen as too cute, a sort of “you know what I’m talking about but I won’t say it out loud” kind of message. People trying to make up their minds about her might see it as personifying her arrogance and reluctance to admit wrongdoing.

3. Blame Others for Her Wrongdoing — Hillary! Hater
We all know that she has a history of blaming others for her various foibles. The “vast right-wing conspiracy” is out to get her. Monica Lewinsky is a deluded stalker. Every other Secretary of State used private email.
Example: “You know, I have spent the last 25 years enduring partisan investigations into every aspect of my professional and private life, and I’ve been accused of pretty much everything including breaking up Destiny’s Child [that’s a semi-current allusion for all you young minority types to show that I’m a with-it grandma]. But in the end all the nasty things I am supposed to have done never turn out to be true, even if they keep talk radio and all the right-wing blogs busy for a few months.”
Advantage: Absolutely none, but her arrogance, self-regard, and moral blinders could potentially lead her to ad-lib something like this. Her staunch supporters would loudly cheer, but they’re already voting for her anyway. I’m sure her advisors would do their best to steer her away from this path.
Disadvantage: It would show the Hillary! that so many of us have come to hold in such high contempt.

4. Acknowledge Her Sins and Demand That Others Repent — Hillary! Hectors
When the Clinton/Gore campaign was busted taking illegal campaign contributions in their 1996 reelection, Bubba attempted to deflect attention away from their troubles by proposing strict new campaign finance laws. If memory serves (and I can’t find an online citation), he made passing reference to the irony of his serving as a campaign finance reform advocate by admitting he was an imperfect messenger. His wife might want to borrow that line.
Example: “And that is why I will propose new regulations governing the ability of powerful interests from Wall Street to use their wealth to lobby for favorable laws and to use their influence to avoid accountability when they violate our public trust. Now I know that I may be an imperfect messenger for this sort of reform, but I am committed to seeing it happen because the people from Main Street should be just as well represented as the people from Wall Street.”
Advantage: She would be laying it out there that yes, indeed, she regrets her past actions and vows that going forward she will at last be more virtuous than Bubba’s Girlfriend (or however that saying goes). It would be a daring outreach to moderates and independents who may find her positions to her liking, but firmly distrust her.
Disadvantage: It would put her various lies and shady practices front-and-center and would decidedly expose her as a first-rate hypocrite. You mean to tell us that you and your husband can amass $200 million from influence-peddling, but now that you have your nest egg you’re going to make sure that no one else can follow in your footsteps? Her opponents would have a field day asking her why she doesn’t renounce her ill-gotten wealth, and even the media would probably be goaded into looking more deeply into the operations of the Clintons.

5. Own Up to Her Malfeasance — Hillary! Honorable
Example: “I’m sure you are wondering why my $12,000 Armani jackets have been replaced tonight by sackcloth and ashes. [. . .] I know now that in pursuit of winning elective office I have compromised all of the principles that largely drew me to a life of public service. [. . .] And that is why I am tonight announcing that I respectfully decline our party’s nomination as President and will retire from public life and dedicate my remaining years to serving people in need.”
Advantage: It would probably raise her favorability rating by 40 points. Tina Fey would make a movie based on this situation which would get great reviews but do mediocre box office. Dems would probably get a nominee that would crush the GOP candidate.
Disadvantage: We might yet end up with President Bernard Sanders. Bubba would file for divorce immediately.

Naturally there are other scenarios that I did not cover, as well as combinations of the above scenarios (Hillar!y Hints or Hillary! Hectors would almost surely be combined to some degree with Hillary! Hater, for example). But just given those five, I see the odds of each one being part of her Thursday address as being the following:

Hillary! Hiding — 4:1
Hillary! Hints — 7:5
Hillary! Hater — 30:1*
Hillary! Hectors — 5:1
Hillary! Honorable — 1,000,000,000:1

* Odds that it would be all she has to say on the matter. Separately, it’s a 1:20 proposition that she will complain at least to some degree about being persecuted.

Disagree? Have another scenario for how she might address the fact that she is unlikable. Leave them in the comments.

[UPDATE:] I guess there’s another scenario I didn’t mention just because it seems so damn unlikely, but here you go:

6. Address the Situation Forthrightly and Apologize — Hillary! Honest
Example: “I know that some misguided choices I have made in my career of public service have let you down. Many times I have been in favor of ideas or policies that once seemed reasonable and practical, but have turned out to be misguided or even downright wrong. And yes, I have made personal mistakes that have caused honest and decent people to question my commitment to fairness and justice. I regret the times when I have fallen short of my ideals, I pledge to do better, and I invite you to hold me accountable.”
Advantage: It seems like that would be a pretty powerful statement. She could at once appear humble and contrite, while vowing to change. It would win plaudits from liberal editorial boards which otherwise are struggling with the issue of how to endorse her without looking like sniveling simps.
Disadvantage: It could seem yet another pivot, in which she adopts the tone of the day without any real commitment to it. It forces her to humble herself in front of others, which she has shown no inclination of ever doing. Inviting anyone to hold her accountable would be perilous for someone as fundamentally dishonest as she is.

Odds: 50:1



Disunited Democrats Dissent

Filed under: General — JVW @ 12:42 pm

[guest post by JVW]

A couple of items of interest as the Democrat National Convention gets underway in Philadelphia:

Outgoing DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was booed and heckled by her home state partisans as she addressed a morning meeting of the Florida delegation. Here is raw footage, untainted by Andrea Mitchell’s or Chuck Todd’s attempts to comment over it:

It almost makes you feel sorry for her. (Ha, ha — just kidding here. Clearly she is getting what she so richly deserves.)

And the booing wasn’t just limited to Ms. Wasserman Schultz. As Senator Bernard Sanders addressed his disappointed supporters, he received a rather pointed response when calling for the election of Hillary! Clinton and Tim Kaine. Check it out:

It takes him a full thirty-seven seconds to restore order, though I also get the feeling that he didn’t necessarily feel the need to move with too much alacrity in that regard. (Side note: wasn’t it kind of hilarious and pathetic to hear him address his young crowd as “brothers and sisters,” like the lamest elderly folksinger of all time?)

Yeah, this is shaping up to be a fun week.



Donald Trump Blows Himself…Kisses

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:27 pm

[guest post by Dana]

In a spectacular demonstration of narcissism-on-steroids, Donald Trump’s new campaign ad neatly encapsulates the priorities of the Republican nominee for president:

This even as the DNC is self-destructing before our very eyes as a result of having their concerted efforts to sabotage Bernie Sanders exposed. This even as Debbie Wasserman Schultz is resigning as party leader. This even as feminists are pushing back against Hillary for selecting a “traditional Catholic” and privileged, lily-white male as her running mate. But instead of attacking Hillary on any number of these ripe-for-the-picking issues, the Republican nominee instead chose to remind Americans that he is utterly incapable of resisting the urge to blow himself kisses.

I am going to resist the urge to say that Trump should blow it out his ass, and instead remind readers that it was the politician who audaciously spoke about the inestimable worth of the Constitution, limited government, personal liberty and voting one’s conscience who was booed.


Debbie Wasserman Schultz Kicked to the Curb

Filed under: General — JVW @ 10:42 am

[guest post by JVW]

As Democrats gather in Philadelphia to coronate Her Clintonic Majesty, the Past, Present, and Future Inevitable Next President of the United States, Hillary! Rodham Clinton, they will apparently do so without their candidate’s most loyal foot soldier. In the aftermath of a Wikileaks document dump showing that employees of the DNC actively sought to undermine the candidacy of Senator Bernard Sanders (Dem Socialist – VT), the party has announced that DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Congresswoman from Florida, will not preside over the convention nor will she have any speaking role.

This brouhaha comes as the Democrats attempt to contrast themselves with last week’s GOP convention in Cleveland, with the Philadelphia meeting stressing themes of party unity. Three of the four nights of the Democrats’ gathering feature banal themes that make use of the word “together”: “United Together,” “Working Together,” and “Stronger Together” (the fourth night features the theme “Still Getting Away with It after All These Years”). The revelations in the Wikileaks email dump that key DNC employees conspired to use Sanders’ religious faith (or lack thereof) against him in Bible Belt primaries has roiled the Sanders folks who have long complained that the DNC had tilted the primary rules to favor Mrs./Senator/Secretary Clinton. For his part, Sanders has called upon Wasserman Schultz to step down as DNC Chair — probably a fait accompli after the election is over — and he has already endorsed her far-left primary opponent who is running against her in this election cycle.

Sanders could have kept his powder dry and held off on endorsing Clinton until the convention, which would have brought an element of excitement to what otherwise promises to be a dull and overly-scripted four nights. Had he done so, he might have had more influence over her Vice-President pick and he might have even pulled the party even further to the left in the run up to November than it has already traveled. Instead, he meekly and obediently climbed aboard her bandwagon two weeks ago, suggesting that at the end of the day his candidacy was a lot more about tactics than principle, and that rather than changing the corrupt culture in Washington he merely wants to redirect it to his own ends.

The joke on Sanders is that the big money men in his new party are not going to accept some far-left lunatic in the role of DNC Chair, so look for Hillary to appoint a longstanding Washington insider and party hack and for the Senator from Vermont to go back to his role as the gadfly crank occupying the crazy end of the political spectrum. Well played, Hillary!, well played indeed.


Trump: I Entered During Ted Cruz’s Speech to Tweak Him

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:02 pm

Well of course he did.

“You know what, he’s lucky I did it,” Trump said in an interview with Bloomberg published Saturday. “I walked in and the arena went crazy. Because there’s great unity in the Republican Party and people don’t know it. Had I not walked in, I think that audience would have ripped him off the stage. I think I did him a big favor.”

Trump was also asked if he had walked into the arena during the speech in order to “tweak” Cruz.

“Tweak him?” Trump responded. “I would never do a thing like that. But yes.”

P.S. Here is a fascinating piece that will be ignored by the sheep who follow Donald Trump. Baaaaaaaaaaaa!

Trump Threatens Super-PAC Against Ted Cruz, Doubles Down on Cruz’s Dad

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:55 am

So, Donald Trump once again blamed Ted Cruz for the fact that he called Cruz’s wife ugly, once again suggested Cruz’s dad was close with Lee Harvey Oswald, and suggested that the National Enquirer deserves a Pulitzer Prize.

Then, he formed a plan to create a Super-PAC to defeat Ted Cruz in the future.

Donald Trump plans to create and fund super-PACs specifically aimed at ending the political careers of Ted Cruz and John Kasich should either run for office again, after both snubbed the Republican nominee during his party’s convention this week, a person familiar with Trump’s thinking told Bloomberg Politics on Friday.

The plan would involve Trump investing millions of his own money –perhaps $20 million or more — in one or two outside groups about six months before their respective election days if Texas Senator Cruz or Ohio Governor Kasich stand for office again. The person said Trump is willing to set up two separate super-PACs – one for Cruz and one for Kasich – and put millions into each.

The person also said that Trump would be willing to invest tens of millions more if necessary to ensure his former competitors didn’t win another race.

Trump will never actually do this, of course — a fact that keeps me from being less upset about it. But the fact that this even occurs to him, to me, means that this man is the enemy of conservatism, every bit as much as Hillary Clinton is the enemy. Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and Justin Amash are the sort of people who matter to me. Their opponents are the enemies of limited government and the Constitution . . . whether they put a D behind their name, or an R.

In case you’re inclined to attribute this to an anonymous source, and to tell yourself that Mr. The Donald would not actually consider such a thing . . . well, he broached the idea himself at his little press conference yesterday.

By the way, go ahead and watch as much of Trump’s performance as you can stand. If you can do it without retching, you have a stronger stomach than I.

And all the while, as he says these things, soulless Mike Pence stands up there and chuckles and shakes his head while smiling. Oh, that scamp Donald Trump! with his continued attacks on Ted Cruz’s dad! If you want to see what you look like after you sell your soul, you look like this:

Turns out you can still be quite presentable. Handsome and distinguished-looking, even. When you sell your soul, there is not necessarily a clear outward indication that you have sold your soul.

But you still have.

P.S. David Duke is running for U.S. Senate in Louisiana. A smattering of reaction:

Hey: if he’s the last vote to push the GOP into a Senate majority, you have to vote for him! Right? Right?

I wonder if Donald Trump would start a Super-PAC to defeat David Duke.

I actually don’t wonder; that was irony. But I think someone should ask him.

Hillary’s Friday Afternoon News Dump: Tim Kaine

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:25 am

Hillary Clinton has selected United States Senator Tim Kaine to be her . . .

Sorry, I keep trying to finish that sentence but I get hit by an attack of yawns every time.


Munich Shootings; Obama’s Head in the Sand

Filed under: General — JVW @ 11:58 am

[guest post by JVW]

At least six people have been killed in shootings at a city mall in Munich. Eyewitnesses report three shooters, and as of this moment no one has been apprehended.

Meanwhile, a commenter at Powerline directs us to this telling juxtaposition that appears on CNN’s homepage:


Shame on those dead Germans for getting in the way of the President’s moral preening.


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