Patterico's Pontifications


Not a good month for Air America

Filed under: Current Events — Justin Levine @ 10:34 pm

[posted by Justin Levine]

DRJ has already posted the fact that Air America’s shrillster host Randi Rhodes got suspended. But some may have also missed the news that Executive VP for Air America Tom Athans recently got caught up in a prostitution sting operation (Athans also happens to be married to Michigan Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow).

According to the Detroit Free Press, Athans was not charged  with solicitation. He was merely cited for driving with a suspended license (though would be interesting to find out why we had a suspended license to begin with).

Detroit Free Press recently released the arrest report here [PDF file].

A couple of notes –

Upon reading the arrest report,  I couldn’t help but note the irony of the prostitute in question asking her johns to meet her near “Big Beaver Road”.

Another irony: Is it just me? Or does Senator Stabenow (Athan’s wife) bare a passing resemblance to Dr. Ruth Westheimer?

As the resident libertarianish bachelor here at, I must comment on the pretty good deal that Athans got in terms of his choice of prostitutes. Only $150 for the ‘Lewinsky’ services of Alycia Martin? Let me say what the married and more emotionally mature posters at this site might be too bashful to say: That’s a great deal dude. Who knew that Craigslist has such bargains?

Compare what Former NY Governor Elliot Spitzer got for $4,000. Admittedly, that was for the ‘full cadre’ of services in that instance. But $150 bucks compared to 4-grand?? That’s over a 2600% mark-up. Learn to value shop people! (* Though obviously you should not be inspired from Pattercio’s own website to engage in activity that would be contrary to California law. I’m just sayin’…)

– Justin Levine

The Interesting Ethics of Chuck Philips: Protecting His Own Dishonest Sources While Risking the Lives of Law Enforcement Informants

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:53 pm

As I was re-reading a recent interview of Chuck Philips, this passage caught my eye:

Philips often uses anonymous sources, referencing nothing about a source’s physical description and rarely citing just how close the source is to the story. . . . He said he has to protect his sources from death and that even a slight clue could ID them.

“But when you’re writing about a murder, some of the people who talked to me would be killed if they were identified in any way. . . . Now I’m at the point where I can give my old stories to the people I approach and say, ‘This is how I write, and this is how it will happen. I’ve never burned anybody, and I’m not gonna burn you.'”

Philips has “never burned anybody,” eh? Well, this Randall Sullivan article says different.

Sullivan describes how an informant named “Psycho Mike” wore a wire for the FBI, trying to get Amir Muhammad to make incriminating statements about the murder of Biggie Smalls.

Almost immediately after this encounter, Psycho Mike said, someone had leaked word of the FBI investigation to Chuck Philips, who promptly produced a story for the Times that “penned me out as the source of going down to San Diego with a wire.” . . .

[T]he Times’ decision to reveal the informant’s street name was, [investigator Sergio Robleto] believes, like “signing his death warrant.” Within days of the article’s publication, Robleto says, Bloods gang members found Psycho Mike’s secret location, roughed him up on the street and promised to come back later and “take care of [him] for good.” He disappeared immediately after this incident . . . ..

The message is clear. If you’re Chuck Philips’s source, you’re protected — even if you give him forged documents. But if you’re a law enforcement informant, then to hell with you.

Hillary Clinton: “That’s a No” … Maybe

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 8:18 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Did Hillary Clinton tell Bill Richardson that Obama could never win the general election? In light of this CBS News report, maybe:

“In an exchange with reporters at a press conference earlier today, Hillary Clinton was asked about reports that while, she was seeking his endorsement, she told Gov. Bill Richardson, D-N.M., that Barack Obama could not win the general election if he were the nominee. Clinton responded, “You know we have been going back and forth in this campaign about who said what to whom and let me say this about that. I don’t talk about private conversations. But I have consistently made the case that I can win because I believe I can win. You know, sometimes people draw the conclusions that I’m saying somebody else can’t win. I can win, I know I can win. That’s why I do this everyday. I’m in it to win it.”

The reporter pressed Clinton saying, “Is that a no?” To which Clinton responded, “That’s a no.”

But later, a senior Clinton spokesman told reporters that Clinton did not mean to imply that she was not referring to what she allegedly said to Richardson about Obama. Instead, the campaign explains that Clinton took the follow up question to mean that she “does not talk about private conversations.”

A parsing Clinton. Just like old times.


Obama on the Issues: Concealed Carry

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 7:58 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

See-Dubya posting at Michelle Malkin’s blog has a post on Barack Obama’s recent statement against concealed carry:

“I am not in favor of concealed weapons,” Obama said. “I think that creates a potential atmosphere where more innocent people could (get shot during) altercations.”

That may be music to liberal ears but it’s a sour note to most Americans.


Randi Rhodes Suspended from Air America

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 7:44 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

I wasn’t going to post on this because Air America is not interesting to me, but I think this story will be around a day or two.

Randi Rhodes has been suspended from Air America for “abusive, ad hominem language.” I’ll say:

“Air America host Randi Rhodes called both Geraldine Ferraro and Hillary Clinton “whores” in a recent appearance, seen below. Rhodes, who hosts a weekday radio show on Air America, said to the cheering crowd, “What a whore Geraldine Ferraro is! She’s such a fucking whore!” She then proceeded to say, “Hillary is a big fucking whore, too” to a mixed audience reaction. “You know why she’s a big fucking whore? Because her deal is always, ‘Read the fine print, asshole!'”

Video at the link.


Stupid Criminals, Vol. 2

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 6:36 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

This is Vol. 2 (Vol. 1 is here) in my continuing but infrequent series of posts on criminals who didn’t have the best plan:

“Wig? Check. Handgun? Check. Photo ID? Best left at home.

A woman wearing a wig walked into a bank Thursday and filled out an application to open an account. Then, she whipped out a semi-automatic pistol and demanded cash from a teller.

But her plan was less than foolproof, authorities said. She fled on foot without getting any money — and left behind her account application, complete with her former address and a copy of her photo identification. She was in police custody within an hour.

“We’re probably not dealing with the smartest person in the world,” Warren Police Commissioner William Dwyer said.”

The police said the woman, who is in her mid-30’s, needed money and turned to robbery. The police commissioner said they see a lot of that because of the bad economy.


April Fool’s Day Radio Hoaxes [Shameless plug alert]

Filed under: Humor,Miscellaneous — Justin Levine @ 5:07 pm

[posted by Justin Levine]

As the world’s foremost authority on the subject [PDF link], I gotta pay my respects to KXOL in Los Angeles for pulling off a good one. [h/t: Franklin Avenue]

They managed to hit the sweet spot between outrageousness and believability that is required for any broadcast hoax – an increasingly difficult feat to pull off when most are on their guard for April Fool’s Day.

– Justin Levine

Elvis Sightings

Filed under: General,International,Politics — DRJ @ 4:41 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Elvis died in 1977 but he remains popular with fans and politicians the world over. As shown in this June 2006 article, he’s certainly a favorite of former Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi:

“President Bush and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi have made it to Graceland.

It’s a presidential first as Mr. Bush accompanies Koizumi on a pilgrimage to the estate in Memphis that was home to rock ’n’ roll legend Elvis Presley.

Koizumi is an unabashed Elvis fan. He shares a Jan. 8th birthday with the late singer and once put out a charity record album titled: “Junichiro Koizumi Presents My Favorite Elvis Songs.” No kidding!”

The same article also noted that American politicians are not immune to Elvis’ appeal:

“Perhaps more than any other president, Bill Clinton felt a certain kinship to Presley. They were both sons of the South who rose from very humble beginnings.

But only one President claimed to have been a relative of Elvis.

“Elvis is kin to me on my mother’s side,” Jimmy Carter once boasted. “Our families came from Union County, North Carolina, and Elvis is my cousin.”

Mr. Carter said that when Elvis would come to Atlanta, “we would visit with him (and) obviously attend his concerts.”

Even at today’s NATO summit, President Bush noted that French President Sarkozy is the “the latest incarnation of Elvis.”

It seems that Elvis is more popular than ever.


Could Hillary Win the Popular Vote?

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 2:56 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Most analysts say that Obama’s delegate lead is insurmountable and it probably is, but a couple of stories out today suggest that Hillary could still win the popular vote in the Democratic primary. This article by Sean Oxendine published at RealClearPolitics analyzes the remaining primary states on a county-by-county basis to show why Hillary has a shot at winning the popular vote:

“One of the most common arguments against Hillary’s ability to win the popular vote, and hence have an argument to present to Superdelegates, has been the fact that she hasn’t won over 60% of the popular vote in more than a handful of states. To win the popular vote, she will have to win over 60% of the popular vote in at least a couple of states, maybe more. Contrary to many people, I think this is possible, given this map [of remaining primary states].”

Oxendine’s analysis finds support in a blog post at The New Editor that shows Obama’s raw vote lead is largely due to his home base of Cook County:

“In the race for the most popular votes in the Democratic Party’s presidential primary contests, Sen. Barack Obama’s lead over Sen. Hillary Clinton is about 711,000 votes — not including Florida or Michigan — according to Real Clear Politics.

Of Sen. Obama’s 711,000 popular-vote lead, 650,000 — or more than 90% of the total margin — comes from Sen. Obama’s home state of Illinois, with 429,000 of that lead coming from his home base of Cook County. That margin in Cook County represents almost 60% of Obama’s total lead nationwide.

Interestingly, Sen. Obama’s 429,000-vote margin in Cook County alone is larger than the winning margin of either candidate in any state.”

What if Hillary Clinton ends up winning the popular vote? It seems to me that she has a good argument that denying her the nomination is no different than what Democrats claim happened to Al Gore in Florida and the 2000 election.


Yagman’s Prison Address

Filed under: Crime,Scum — Patterico @ 12:02 pm

In an Alan Mittelstaedt piece notable for its lack of connection from reality (Chuck Philips made a simple mistake! Yagman will be vindicated on appeal!), there appears one useful bit of information — Stephen Yagman’s new address . . . in prison:

Stephen Yagman
FCI Butner Low
Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 999
Butner, NC 27509

Make sure to send him a friendly note.

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