Patterico's Pontifications


Distraction to the Head

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:17 pm

View the video:

Listen to the lawyer for the police union:

“Unfortunately these things never look good on video. Sometimes officers have to use force when dealing with bad guys,” said Dammeier. “The officer initially came upon the suspect alone. The suspect hadn’t been searched and was a parolee and a gang member. The individual officer saw some movement. He feared the parolee might have a weapon or be about to get up. So the officer did what is known as a distraction blow. It wasn’t designed to hurt the man, just distract him.”

Did you see all that movement?

High five!

P.S. Boot to the head.

P.P.S. In case it wasn’t crystal clear, my point is that the defense of the officer is laughable. The gang member who evaded the cops is scum who needs to be prosecuted, but this defense of the cop doesn’t pass the laugh test.

To Speak or To Misspeak, That is the Question

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 5:54 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

On Monday, Barack Obama was joined by health care leaders as he announced an estimated 2 trillion dollars in health care savings that would result from reducing health care spending by 1-1/2% a year over the next 10 years. Obama reportedly repeated this claim on Wednesday, alarming several health care leaders who claim they had not committed to make specific cuts.

Subsequently, the director of the White House Office of Health Reform acknowledged that Obama had misspoken … until she took it back an hour later:

“Nancy-Ann DeParle, director of the White House Office of Health Reform, said “the president misspoke” on Monday and again on Wednesday when he described the industry’s commitment in similar terms. After providing that account, Ms. DeParle called back about an hour later on Thursday and said: “I don’t think the president misspoke. His remarks correctly and accurately described the industry’s commitment.”

Obama makes governing look so easy.


Wayman Tisdale (1964-2009)

Filed under: Sports — DRJ @ 3:35 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Basketball player Wayman Tisdale has died after a 2-year battle with cancer. He was 44.

Wayman Tisdale was a stellar basketball player for the University of Oklahoma Sooners and played 12 years in the NBA. He still holds OU’s career scoring record, career rebounding record, and the school’s single-game scoring record. Tisdale is one of only 10 three-time college All-Americans and played on the U.S. team that won the gold medal in the 1984 Olympics. And if that’s not enough, he was a successful jazz musician with several albums in the Billboard Top 10 and had one of the most infectious smiles I’ve ever seen.

My condolences to his family, friends, and legions of fans.


Government Pressures Bank of America

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 2:02 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The AP summarizes a Wall Street Journal article (subscription required) that reports the U.S. government is pressuring Bank of America to name new directors with more banking experience to its Board of Directors. However, the government doesn’t own an interest in BOA and most of BOA’s problems arise from acquiescing to government pressure to acquire Merrill Lynch.

I think I understand: BOA needs new directors because the old management and directors didn’t know when to ignore government pressure. So should BOA ignore this government pressure, or not?


Jon Stewart: Always Read Obama’s Fine Print

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 1:07 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Via Instapundit and Ann Althouse, Jon Stewart takes a second look at Obama’s recent decisions and reminds viewers to always read the fine print:

Yes We Can.
(But that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to.)

Stewart’s video lasts about 5 minutes. Enjoy the whole thing.


The Left’s latest conspiracy theory

Filed under: General — Karl @ 12:00 pm

[Posted by Karl]

On Wednesday, Col. Lawrence B. Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, claimed that the Bush administration authorized Egypt to waterboard top al Qaeda camp commander Ibn al Shaykh al Libi in order to generate phony intelligence connecting Iraq and al Qaeda, as a pretext for the invasion.

The story took a day to go from a lefty blog to CNN.  Wilkerson told the cable net, “I couldn’t walk into a courtroom and prove this to anybody, but I’m pretty sure it’s fairly accurate.”

In fact, Wilkerson’s claim is completely bogus, as CNN could have easily discovered:

Al Libi’s original testimony regarding Iraq-al Qaeda links occurred months before Wilkerson says waterboarding was used to get this admission out of him. We know this because the DIA filed a report saying that it did not trust al Libi’s testimony regarding the training of al Qaeda operatives in Iraq in February 2002 -– two months before Wilkerson says the Bush administration authorized the Egyptians to use harsh interrogation methods on al Libi.

So, when Wilkerson writes that “the [Bush] administration authorized [the] harsh interrogation [of al Libi] in April and May of 2002” and al Libi “had not revealed any al Qa’ida-Baghdad contacts” until then, he is clearly wrong. Al Libi, according to the DIA, first discussed this putative tie between the Iraqi regime and al Qaeda before Wilkerson says that harsh interrogation techniques were authorized by Vice President Cheney.

At The New Republic, James Kirchick is even more harsh:

[T]he more important thing people should know about Lawrence Wilkerson is that nothing he says can be taken at face value.  The man is a third-rate conspiracy theorist and a borderline bigot.

However, even Kirchick leaves out that Wilkerson, now teaching at George Washington University and the College of William and Mary, assigns the Mearsheimer/Walt “Israeli Lobby” paper to his classes:

“I think it contains a lot of what I call the blinding flashes of the obvious,” Wilkerson says. “But that said, [they are] blinding flashes of the obvious that people whispered in corners, not said out loud at cocktail parties, where someone else could hear you.”

Nothing paranoid there, nosiree.

Of course, Wilkerson’s latest baseless accusations have been picked up by lefty conspiracy-theorists like Andrew Sullivan and Joe Conason (and are spreading throught the Sinisphere), without checking the timeline or even wondering why Wilkerson never made the claim until now.  It does not matter to them — Wilkerson is their new plastic turkey.

Update: FWIW, Wilkerson offered a disjoined non-response to the Weekly Standard.


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