Patterico's Pontifications


Hillary Out

Filed under: 2008 Election — Patterico @ 10:35 pm

As of Saturday:

Bowing to pressure and the unyielding political math, Hillary Rodham Clinton will end her history-making campaign Saturday and endorse Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination, aides said Wednesday.

This time for sure!

William Jefferson’s Sister, Brother, and Niece Indicted

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:23 pm

Federal crimes: they’re a family affair:

U.S. Attorney Jim Letten announced this afternoon that 4th District Assessor Betty Jefferson, an elder sister of U.S. Rep. William Jefferson, has been indicted on a host of fraud-related charges by a federal grand jury. Also indicted were Jefferson’s daughter, Angela Coleman, and her brother, the previously indicted Mose Jefferson.

According to Yahoo News, the three relatives of the indicted Congressman

were charged via a 31 count-indictment by a federal grand jury today with conspiracy to commit mail fraud; federal program fraud; aggravated identity theft; substantive program fraud; mail fraud; and conspiracy to commit money laundering, announced U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana Jim Letten.

The press release is here.

Thanks to Lynn.

L.A. Times Staff Writer on Pellicano: “There Could Be a Cool Efficiency to How He Operated”

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 6:03 pm

Rachel Abramowitz, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer:

[W]here’s Anthony Pellicano when you need him?

I’m not advocating for a return of the gumshoe, now convicted of 76 counts of racketeering and wiretapping, but he definitely had a well-defined spot in the Hollywood food chain — fixer, interlocutor between celebrities and the populace, the man to call when your one-night stand, your nanny, your personal assistant, your housekeeper, yoga instructor, chakra cleanser, what-have-you decides to sue for slights real and imagined. Or decides to sell your intimate secrets to Us magazine and the tabloids.

Obviously Pellicano was a bully, ready to smear the less powerful with impunity. But there could be a cool efficiency to how he operated. During his recent trial, out came testimony about a college student who was impregnated by a rich financial type. Pellicano arranged for her abortion, drove her to the clinic and handed her a $120,000 check when it was over.

Unpleasant, yes, but more unpleasant than a protracted lawsuit, where all the combatants end up covered in slime?

I’m not so sure.

“[T]here could be a cool efficiency to how he operated.”

Oh, my.

That certainly is a cavalier way to describe the actions of a man who wiretapped people, threatened them, and turned their lives upside down.

Lawsuits are no fun. But if Rachel Abramowitz isn’t sure about which is worse — resolving disputes in a courtroom according to the law, or being one of Anthony Pellicano’s victims — maybe Abramowitz should talk to Anita Busch, or Bo Zenga, or Garry Shandling, or any of Pellicano’s numerous other victims.

I have a feeling we haven’t heard the last of this.

Rezko Convicted: Obama Once Again Shocked to Learn What His Friends Are Actually Like

Filed under: 2008 Election,General — Patterico @ 5:35 pm

The Chicago Tribune reports:

A federal jury today convicted developer Antoin “Tony” Rezko of corruption charges for trading on his clout as a top adviser and fundraiser to Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Rezko’s guilty verdict on 16 of 24 corruption counts could . . . prove a political liability for U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, who once counted Rezko as a friend and fundraiser, as the likely Democratic presidential nominee heads into the general election campaign against Republican John McCain.

“I’m saddened by today’s verdict,” Obama said Wednesday. “This isn’t the Tony Rezko I knew, but now he has been convicted by a jury on multiple charges that once again shine a spotlight on the need for reform. I encourage the General Assembly to take whatever steps are necessary to prevent these kinds of abuses in the future.”

“This isn’t the Tony Rezko I knew.” Reminds me of what Obama said about Rev. Jeremiah Wright:

The person I saw yesterday was not the person that I met 20 years ago.

Weird how that keeps happening, huh?

Truthing Obamafuscations: Part Three of a Continuing Series Through November

Filed under: General — WLS @ 3:53 pm

Posted by WLS:

 I’ve passed so far on the opportunity to whack Obama for his “evolving” mash of positions on talking with Iran and other US adversaries as he suggested he would during the YouTube debate last year.

But the latest Obamafuscation of this issue today in his speech to AIPAC, and the spinning of his latest change in position as no change at all simply makes it impossible to give him a further pass.

Here’s what he said in the YouTube debate that started this whole controversy:

QUESTION: Would you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea?

OBAMA: “I would. And the reason is this: the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them–which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration — is ridiculous. Ronald Reagan constantly spoke to Soviet Union at a time when he called them an evil empire. He understood that we may not trust them and they may pose an extraordinary danger to this country, but we had the obligation to find areas where we can potentially move forward. And I think that it is a disgrace that we have not spoken to them.”

This answer has gone through several modifications over the last several months as his camp has sought to walk him back from a very narrow limb, made all the more precarious by the continued nutball threats made by

Its latest iteration was given today by Obama in his speech before AIPAC:

“As president of the United States, I would be willing to lead tough and principled diplomacy with the appropriate Iranian leader at a time and place of my choosing — if, and only if — it can advance the interests of the United States.”

Now from abcnews we get this: 

Obama campaign officials insists Obama has not change his position.

It’s not a precondition to say he’ll only do it to advance our interests,” said Obama foreign policy advisor Dennis McDonough.

McDonough says Obama has never promised to meet with Iran’s leaders. He’s simply said that he is willing to meet with Iran’s leaders.

And the key word there is willing. The idea that some have suggested is that he has promised a meeting. That is not the case and never was the case. He argued then as he argued today that he is willing to meet as it advances our interests,” McDonough told ABC News.

This is just too much to take.

First, his answer to the YouTube question was short and to the point:

“I would.”

His next comment explained the reasons why he would — not conditions upon which he would.

It was a gaffe and a blunder, nothing less. 

But for him to now try and sell us on the idea that his answer had a silent presupposition, i.e., that he would do so only if it was in our interests, is nothing less than duplicitous.

Frankly, Obama’s worldview is that its ALWAYS in our interest to talk to our adversaries, and that’s why he answered in the way he did.   I’m sure he was shocked to find out after the debate that not everyone has those same Hyde Park foreign policy sentiments.   Look at his last sentence in the answer for proof of that view — its a DISGRACE? that we we haven’t met with them?!?!?!?!  

Finally, the idea that Obama’s answer is really non-commital because the question in the YouTube debate included the word “willing,” is simply parsing at its Clintonian best.

I guess what Obama really meant for the debate watchers to understand from his answer was that he was willing to meet with those hostile leaders unless he wasn’t willing to meet with those hostile leaders.

Understand?  It all depends on what the meaning of is is.   

Superdelegates Have Until Friday

Filed under: 2008 Election — Patterico @ 7:21 am

Howie, Nancy, and Harry have given superdelegates until Friday to make up their damn minds already.

Meanwhile, for those living in caves, Obama has won enough delegates to secure the Democrat nomination.

Election Results

Filed under: 2008 Election,General — Patterico @ 6:37 am

Proposition 98, which I voted for, was voted down. Proposition 99, which I voted against, was approved.

We’re looking at a runoff in the L.A. County Supervisor election to replace Supervisor Burke, between the cheeto-chomping Mark Ridley-Thomas and the scandal-hiding Bernard Parks. The newspaper reports that other local contests were less surprising:

In other contests, Cooley was securing a third term, despite his promise to quit after eight years in office. County Supervisors Don Knabe and Mike Antonovich — Republicans who have held their offices for 12 and 28 years, respectively — were also handily defeating their opponents.

Judicial election results are here. My recommendations did not all come out on top, but many did. I think the rules provide for a runoff if the winner did not capture a majority, which appears to apply to a lot of the races.

Congratulations to those who obtained clear majorities and are headed for the bench: Kathleen Blanchard and Jared Moses.

Some of my recommendations did not obtain a plurality, but came out on top headed into any runoff election. These include Mike O’Gara, Michael Jesic, and Pat Connolly. I couldn’t decide between Hilleri Merritt and Marc Chomel, but Hilleri pulled off a strong plurality, and Marc came in third. If there is a runoff, Hilleri will get my endorsement — and it doesn’t look like she’ll need it.

Oh, yeah: in other news, it looks like Barack Obama has the presidential nomination pretty well wrapped up.

Kids Say the Darndest Things

Filed under: Humor — Patterico @ 12:12 am

My kids — and, let’s be honest, my wife — are all obsessed with this Webkinz website.

Don’t ask me, I don’t understand it.

My five-year old was sick today. I stayed home with him in the afternoon. He was asking me how to spell our Webkinz password. I told him. He said: “Now I can get on Webkinz whenever I want!”

So he got a piece of blank paper from our desk drawer, knelt down on the floor, and wrote down the password.

Then he put the piece of paper next to the laptop.

When my wife got home, he said the darndest thing to her.

“I wrote down the password for Webkinz and put it next to the computer! And I’m going to leave it there until we’re all dead!

Okay then!

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