Patterico's Pontifications


Sarah Palin Hints Again at 2012 Run As Christie Emphasizes the Need to Attack Entitlements

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:01 pm

Tomorrow morning, John Hawkins will publish a flash poll of conservative bloggers on their presidential favorites. I voted for Chris Christie. Why? Because a) he’s walking the walk in New Jersey, and b) man, he can talk the talk:


[T]he irony of Christie’s rise to superstardom is that, for all the goofing we do on Democrats and their “messaging” obsession, that’s really his key selling point. Messaging. It’s not that his solutions to Jersey’s budget problems are somehow novel or ingenious, it’s that (a) he’s willing to back the obvious solutions to the hilt, no matter the political risk, and (b) he has a genuine gift for persuading people that this is the right thing to do, notwithstanding the sacrifices involved. And of course, the second point affects the first one: It’s because Christie can sell fiscal conservatism, red in tooth and claw, like virtually no one else that the political risk to him is less than it is to anyone else.

Meanwhile, it’s clearer than ever that Sarah Palin is running:

Escalating speculation about a possible presidential run, Sarah Palin offered a teasing hint Thursday of the type of candidate she would like to see in 2012: a multi-tasking mother with experience at the state and local level who has already been a vice presidential nominee.

. . . .

“I look at those poll numbers and I say, ‘If I’m going to do this, I obviously gotta get out there and let people know who I am, what I stand for, and what my record is,’ ” said Palin, adding that prospective candidates need to get into the contest “soon” so that voters can begin to take their measure.

I know that, until Christie gets the nod from the big-time talk show hosts, certain folks among the “staunch conservative” crowd will continue to run him down, and go with Palin as their preferred candidate. But I think Ann Coulter showed clear thinking when she said that, if we don’t run this guy, and we go instead with another candidate (whether it be Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, or, God help us, Mike Huckabee) we’re going to lose. None of them can make their points the way Christie does in the clips above.

I wish Palin could, because I think physical attractiveness counts a lot in a presidential election, where huge numbers of low-information voters cast their ballots according to the silliest criteria possible. She has that attractiveness, and Christie doesn’t.

She also has the right ideas. On fiscal issues, which I think weigh most heavily on us right now, so does Christie. The difference is not the ideas. It’s the presentation. It’s the confidence you feel that the person standing in front of you has a clear vision and a spine and a way to articulate their vision.

Palin may have the first two. But she has not mastered that last skill.

If she’s our nominee, I’ll support her. But right now, while nobody has yet announced, I’m throwing myself in with Ann Coulter. We have to draft this guy Christie somehow.

UPDATE 2-18-11: Christie has won Hawkins’s poll.

Updates on John Wiley Price’s Black Supremacist Outburst

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 4:39 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

For starters, I have finally tracked down a much longer clip that shows the previous speaker calling him “Chief Mullah.”  And judge for yourself, but I think it’s very hard to claim that he was misunderstood as calling him a moolie or something like that:

(Hat tip to Black Spin’ Paul Sheppard who essentially “gets it,” too.)

Notice for example he later compares Price to Mubarak, making it clear that Islamic-style tyranny was on his mind.  And notice, too, that Price didn’t throw out the race card in a spontaneous outburst, but paused, deliberated and then threw it out.  Imho, he did it on purpose to distract from the substance of those criticisms.

Now, you might say it is a bit much to call Price a black supremacist.  But consider the words of Mike Hashimoto at the Dallas Morning News:

Yet in Price’s case, what he said also means this: “I don’t need a single white person to get re-elected for the rest of my life. This job pays $126,802 a year, and that’s just the salary part. Now that I have a county judge who will do what I want and a Commissioners Court that will vote the way I want, I will do as I please. I am the most powerful single official in Dallas County. If you don’t like it — especially if you’re white — well, go to hell.”

White supremacy has two definitions.  The first is a claim that white people are superior to other races.  The second is to claim that white people should reign over the other races—be supreme in rank.  And isn’t that Price’s attitude, only with the black people placed in the superior position?


Breaking: Ugwuonye Arrested!

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 12:25 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

The other day I introduced you to Ephraim Chukwuemeka Ugwuonye, Esq. in a post discussing  Bruce Fein’s ethics.  In it I mentioned obliquely the controversy the man had with the Nigerian Embassy.  Specifically this is what they claimed he did.  He came into possession of a $1.6 million tax refund check on behalf the embassy, but then pocketed the money himself, alleging that they owed him all that and more for unpaid legal fees.

Well, let me offer some free legal advice.  If a country accuses you of embezzlement, don’t go back to that country.  At least if you don’t want to be arrested.  And yes, he did.  And yes, he was.  From the WAPO:

Nigeria’s antigraft body says it is questioning a lawyer accused of pocketing a $1.6 million U.S. tax refund due to Nigeria’s embassy in Washington, D.C.

A spokesman for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said Wednesday it is holding Ephraim Emeka Ugwuonye, a Nigerian lawyer entrusted with the sale of four embassy properties in D.C.

Femi Babafemi said he was arrested Saturday at Lagos’ international airport and that it had been a year since the body first sought his arrest.

He said Ugwuonye is facing several charges including the appropriation of $1.6 million which the IRS refunded to the Nigerian embassy after it sold properties worth a total of about $26 million between 2005 and 2007.

No comment from Ugwuonye, as of yet.  SaharaReporters, a site which has been sued by him in the past for alleged defamation, has more:

Mr. Babafemi said Mr. Ugwuonye was still being interrogated, adding that the detained attorney claimed that he was in Nigeria to attend a wedding ceremony. SaharaReporters could not determine if it was his own wedding.

Mr. Ugwuonye has had a troubled career in recent years, earning professional rebuke by regulatory authorities in the US.  In an ironic twist in 2010, he forfeited the companies used in the real estate transactions with the Nigerian Embassy to the state of Maryland for failure to pay property taxes on them.  An official in the office of the State Comptroller in Maryland described Mr. Ugwuonye at that time as a “deadbeat resident agent.”  A source told SaharaReporters that Mr. Ugwuonye is also currently facing a professional conduct inquiry by the Attorney Grievances Commission in that state.

Since SaharaReporters broke the news regarding the real estate transactions, Mr. Ugwuonye had sued us as well as other Nigerians who commented about the transactions for libel. He has also harassed several Nigerians by private e-mail threatening to sue them. He lost his libel case against Mobolaji Aluko, an engineering professor at Howard University as well as a blogger.

The EFCC said they plan to charge Mr. Ugwuonye to court for fraud in order to recover monies he illegally took from the Nigerian government.

That plan will be tested.  SaharaReporters has learned that since Mr. Ugwuonye’s arrest, several powerful Nigerians have been putting pressure on the EFCC to drop the charges.

“This is an easy one to predict,” an analyst said today. “In two weeks this story may not exist.”

(Emphasis added.)  We’ll see how that turns out.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Updates on Lara Logan and the Revolutions in the Muslim World

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 11:44 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Yeah, I am kind of sweeping two tangentially related topics together, but I try to keep my posts to only five per day, and I am bucking up against  that ceiling.

Anyway, first we learn that she’s out of the hospital, although still recuperating.  Tomorrow it will have been a full week since the attack, suggesting something of the brutality of it.

At the same link we learn she got a call from Obama.  Ugh.  Nothing against Obama himself—I mean every president in my lifetime would have done the same thing—but why does the President feel like he has to make the call?  We really need to get away from the idea that the President is supposed to be a great moral leader or something like that.

In a related item, Richard Cohen pretty much agrees with me that CBS should not have suppressed this story:

As I’m sure even Logan would admit, the sexual assault of woman by a mob in the middle of a public square is a story. It is particularly a story because the crowd in Tahir Square was almost invariably characterized as friendly and out for nothing but democracy. In fact, some of the television correspondents acted as if they were reporting from Times Square on New Year’s Eve, stopping only at putting on a party hat. In those circumstances, a mass… sexual assault in what amounted to the nighttime version of broad daylight is certainly worth reporting….

Still, the assault and its undertones of pogromist anti-Semitism (Logan is not Jewish) is very troubling and, at the very least, suggests that not everyone in Tahrir Square that night had democracy on their mind. I feel badly for Logan and wish her well. But she’s a newswoman, and what happened to her in Tahir Square was news. CBS should not have withheld that story.

So, I am agreeing with Richard Cohen.  That feels really weird…

And on a similar note Michael Graham goes for the jugular: CBS complicit in news coverup.

I don’t object very strenuously in the ordinary situation where a woman is sexually assaulted and we tell the world what happened to her, but not her name.  But they reversed that exactly, here, telling us who it happened to, and not what happened.  And that is the wrong call.  The first instinct of any news organization is to share more information, not less.

Also the Daily Beast has more about the harassment women face in Egypt.  So it had less to do with the revolution than Egyptian culture, or so Ursula Lindsey claims.

Meanwhile, are you having trouble keeping up with what countries are having protests?  Well, Marian Wang has wrapped it all up and put a bow on it, here.  Or well, got a lot of it.  One interesting wrinkle is from Glenn Reynolds:

Dave Foulk, a Knoxville radio news guy, emails: “I just spoke with a person in Bahrain, and they indicated to me that Saudi tanks and APC’s were coming across the causeway into Bahrain. Says the video of it is on YouTube. This individual was spot-on with warnings of protests the other day.” I couldn’t find the video on YouTube, but stay tuned.

I believe that would be the first time a neighboring country sent troops in to quell unrest in this rash of protests.  The House of Saud must be getting worried.

I feel that we are very close to a real tipping point here.  Hopefully we will tilt toward more freedom.  We can only hope.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

In Which I Take Back Everything Nice I Ever Said About Lawrence O’Donnell… (Update: Run For Your Life! Chris Matthews Has Issued a Call to Arms!)

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 10:48 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Hey did you ever crash at a friend’s place for free?  Have you ever spent the night in the bed of a lover, also without helping out with that night’s rent?  Or did you merely, as a child, live with your parents rent-free?

Did you then declare that rent you saved as income to the IRS?  If you didn’t then Lawrence O’Donnell thinks you are a tax criminal.

Yes, really.

For a much more sane discussion on the topic, and on the same network, we have this discussion with Paul Ryan explaining why he sleeps in the office. (Video won’t embed correctly. Sorry.)

The Blaze correctly argues that discussing this nontroversy took away from more serious issues.  At the same link, for instance, you can see Ryan discussing the recent union protests in his state.

As for the Wisconsin protests, Althouse has tons of good stuff given that this is her home state.  Just go to the main page and keep scrolling.  But this post, with the signs depicting a lynching, calling the newly elected governor a dictator and so on…  gosh, it makes you think all that talk of civility is just a way to say “shut up, Republicans!”

Update: Democrats sleep in their office all the time, too. And a big Hat Tip to Jim Treacher for the O’Donnell video.

Update (II): And speaking of using the so-called new civility to try to shout down conservative or Republican ideas, we have this video of Chris Matthews issuing a “call to arms.”

Of course he was one of a chorus of people who suggested that the violent rhetoric of the right led to violence, which leads me to question his sincere commitment to civility and peaceful language.

Update (III): Here’s a fairly devastating video from Wisconsin protests:

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

A Major Defection for Live Action

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 8:12 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Live Action is that group that has been posting O’Keefe style videos showing a fake pimp and prostitute going into Planned Parenthood, and looking for help and advice on running a brothel of underage illegal immigrants—sex slaves in all but name—and getting a shocking amount of help.  And there have been more videos, I just haven’t had the chance to pass them on to you.  If people were less ideological, the feminists would be the most angry.  I mean is about the exploitation of these young girls for sex and Planned  Parenthood’s willingness to exploit that.  Doesn’t that ring any feminist’s bells?

Instead, all principles must be sacrificed on the altar of abortion.

But today we learn that Live Action has managed to obtain a major defection:

A former director and eight-year employee of Planned Parenthood has left the organization to join one of its chief nemeses — pro-life group Live Action.

Oh, and it gets better (or worse, depending on your perspective):

A veteran of the pro-choice cause, Johnson says that incidents like those shown in the Live Action sting videos are not uncommon.

“I can tell you from experience that Planned Parenthood often turns a blind eye to sexual abuse and trafficking – what you see in Live Action’s videos is not a rare occurrence,” Johnson said. “But ignorance is no defense, especially when it has turned their clinics into a safe haven for those who sexually exploit women and girls. This is not a training problem so much as it is an ideology problem. I am humbled and eager to begin this partnership with Live Action so that together we can expose the serious harm Planned Parenthood poses to the most vulnerable among us.”

That’s gonna leave a mark.  Read the whole thing.

Related: PA Governor sends six state workers packing over Gosnell case.  Well, good for him.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

I Know This is Wrong, But I Am Really Having a Hard Time Not Enjoying it Anyway (Again)

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 6:51 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Update: There are claims that the story is bogus.  Of course there were claims that the John Edwards story was bogus, too, so who knows?

The abuse of people in prison is wrong.  When a man is sentenced to prison, he is not sentenced to be beaten, or raped, by guards or fellow prisoners.  It is additional punishment and punishment should be given only by a court of law.  And indeed the beating and/or rapes only have a tangential relationship to the evil in their soul—it is much more closely related to issues such as who is stronger or more vicious.  And when you learn that a black man is beaten (although not raped) by skinheads because he bragged about sleeping with white women, then the wrongness of it takes on an additional dimension.

So what makes it really, really hard not to feel schadenfruede about the story of a black man being beaten by racist skinheads in prison?  Because the man is O.J. Simpson.

Disgraced gridiron great O.J. SIMPSON was beaten unconscious in a brutal prison yard attack, The ENQUIRER has learned exclusively.

That would be the National Enquirer, which has enjoyed strange new respect ever since they broke the story about John Edwards.

Inmates cheered as a muscular young skinhead knocked him to the ground, punching and kicking him to a bloody pulp and inflicting injuries so severe he secretly spent nearly three weeks in the infirmary before he recovered.

The humiliating beating left 63-year-old Simpson in agony – and threw him into a spiral of depression so deep that he’s now afraid to venture out of his cell, divulge sources.

You can read the whole thing for details.  And it is wrong.  He was not sentenced to that.  I am not kidding or winking at this.  The prison officials need to get control of the situation; indeed, that needs to be done in general.  Being beaten and/or raped should not be part of the punishment in American prisons.

But, God help me, I can’t help but enjoy it a little in this case.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

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