Patterico's Pontifications


Convicted Bomber Brett Kimberlin and the Left’s Defense of Him

Filed under: Brett Kimberlin,General — Patterico @ 6:55 pm

Socrates/Prepostericity has the post.

Sockpuppet Friday: The Praise Me More Edition!

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 9:53 am

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

As usual, you are positively encouraged to engage in sock puppetry in this thread. The usual rules apply.

Please, be sure to switch back to your regular handle when commenting on other threads. I have made that mistake myself, a lot.

And remember: the worst sin you can commit on this thread is not being funny.


And for a little Friday frivolity, I meant to post on this a few days ago, but it got pushed aside.  If  one wanted a window into the galling egotism of Nancy Pelosi, there are few better examples than this.  The DNC was proposing a resolution honoring Pelosi’s years of service as Speaker of the House, but apparently Nancy felt there was insufficient praise in the draft:

The Democratic National Committee wanted to honor Nancy Pelosi Thursday — but its praise wasn’t good enough for the House minority leader. When the DNC’s Resolutions Committee brought up a resolution commemorating Pelosi’s years as speaker of the House, Pelosi’s daughter sought to alter the proposal at her mother’s behest, adding some of the accomplishments that the elder Pelosi felt the committee had overlooked.

“I have some friendly amendments,” said Christine Pelosi, a political strategist, at the committee’s session during the DNC Winter Meeting at the Marriott Wardman Park hotel Thursday afternoon. She is a member of the committee.

“You think I’m kidding,” Christine Pelosi added, to surprised laughter from the room. The proposed changes, she indicated, came out of a discussion with her mother.


[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Obama Administration Deliberately Allows Guns Into Mexico; How Many Have Died As a Result?

Filed under: Crime,General,Immigration — Patterico @ 7:30 am

You know what seems like a good idea? Flooding Mexico with guns!

Federal agent John Dodson says what he was asked to do was beyond belief.

He was intentionally letting guns go to Mexico?

“Yes ma’am,” Dodson told CBS News. “The agency was.”

The idea was some cockamamie scheme to trace guns:

ATF managers allegedly made a controversial decision: allow most of the weapons on the streets. The idea, they said, was to gather intelligence and see where the guns ended up. Insiders say it’s a dangerous tactic called letting the guns, “walk.”

One agent called the strategy “insane.” Another said: “We were fully aware the guns would probably be moved across the border to drug cartels where they could be used to kill.”

. . . .

For months, ATF agents followed 50-caliber Barrett rifles and other guns believed headed for the Mexican border, but were ordered to let them go. One distraught agent was often overheard on ATF radios begging and pleading to be allowed to intercept transports. The answer: “Negative. Stand down.”

It was such a good idea, one of the guns we deliberately allowed into Mexico was found at the scene of a murdered federal agent:

Then, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered. The serial numbers on the two assault rifles found at the scene matched two rifles ATF watched Jaime Avila buy in Phoenix nearly a year before. Officials won’t answer whether the bullet that killed Terry came from one of those rifles. But the nightmare had come true: “walked” guns turned up at a federal agent’s murder.

A perceptive reader who I believe does not wish to be named writes to wonder if Brian Terry was the only one.

Three people suspected of smuggling guns to Mexico were arrested in a Dallas suburb on Monday after federal investigators traced the gun used in the killing of a U.S. agent in Mexico to one of them, officials said.

Agents of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives arrested the suspected gun smugglers in morning raids in the southern Dallas suburb of Lancaster, Texas, ATF spokesman Tom Crowley said. Crowley referred questions on other details to the U.S. Justice Department in Washington. The agency planned to issue a news release.

The ATF said the gun was used in a Feb. 15 shooting of two federal agents who were driving on a highway near the northern city of San Luis Potosi on Feb. 15. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata was killed and agent Victor Avila was wounded.

How were they tracing the guns across the border? Was this murder also the result of guns that the Obama administration deliberately allowed into Mexico?

Keep a close eye on this one.

Regardless of whether that is the case, it is clear that this was a stupid idea in any event. Who knows how much violence has increased due to the new availability of thousands of assault rifles and other powerful weapons?

But hey, at least our agents are armed and able to fight back. With bean bags.

Border Patrol agents shot beanbags at a group of suspected bandits before the men returned fire during a confrontation in a remote canyon, killing agent Brian Terry with a single gunshot, records show.

So you know the decisionmaking going on here is top notch.

Meanwhile, Obama is praising Mexico for “courage” in the drug war.

As my correspondent says: “They need more than courage given that we’re intentionally flooding Mexico with guns.”

One Rutten Misquote Corrected; One To Go

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 7:15 am

Well, they corrected one of Tim Rutten’s misquotations. One!

Political novel: Tim Rutten’s Feb. 2 Op-Ed column about Simon & Schuster’s promotion of the political novel “O” cited two passages it said were from the book, saying they demonstrated the author’s partisanship. Neither passage actually appeared in the book. They were both taken from a parody that appeared on the website of the British newspaper the Guardian.

I would love a more transparent correction, in the form of a Rutten column (or a portion thereof) devoted to explaining this in more detail. Wouldn’t you? Is there anyone who wouldn’t click a link to hear Tim Rutten’s story about how he read a transparent parody and failed to get it? Would you pass on his explanation of how he read shocking quotes in that parody that purported to be from a book he had “reviewed” days earlier, quoted those parodic words in a follow-up piece about the book . . . but somehow failed to notice that the quotes weren’t really in the book?

Tim, you can bring a lot of eyeballs to the site by laying this all out, baby. Plus, it would be a little more forthright than hiding behind this plain vanilla correction.

Also, Tim: your other quote-that-wasn’t-a-quote remains uncorrected. Get on that, would you? If not, I’m going to have to get on it for you.

“It is Probably Something I Will Remember the Rest of My Life;” Updates On the Northwestern University Sex Show Story

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 6:50 am

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

That is a quote from an AP article discussing the ongoing controversy I mentioned yesterday about a sex show conducted after class at Northwestern university.  The funny thing is I am not sure if he means that in a positive or negative way:

“It is probably something I will remember the rest of my life,” said senior Justin Smith, 21, one of the students who stuck around voluntarily after class when students were told about what they were about to see.

“I can’t say that about my Econ 202 class and the material that I learned there,” Smith told The Chicago Tribune.

Nonetheless, I believed there was enough happening in this story to justify an update of my post yesterday.  First, at one point as this controversy started to catch fire, one person from Northwestern University defended this conduct as follows:

“Northwestern University faculty members engage in teaching and research on a wide variety of topics, some of them controversial and at the leading edge of their respective disciplines,” said Alan K. Cubbage, vice president for University Relations. “The University supports the efforts of its faculty to further the advancement of knowledge.”

But apparently the University President feels differently.  The AP wrote, for instance:

Northwestern University president Morton Schapiro said he was “troubled and disappointed” Thursday after news surfaced that a professor concluded a discussion of bondage and other sexual fetishes in his human sexuality class by having a woman take off all her clothes, climb on stage and graphically demonstrate the use of a sex toy, the school has acknowledged.

In response, Shapiro said in a statement that there would be a “full investigation” into wrongdoing on the part of psychology professor John Michael Bailey.  Although the incident took place during an optional session, “I feel it represented extremely poor judgment on the part of our faculty member.”

“I simply do not believe this was appropriate, necessary, or in keeping with Northwestern University’s academic mission,” Schapiro said.  “Many members of the Northwestern community are disturbed by what took place on our campus.  So am I.”

This is all apparently taken from his official statement, which you can read here.

Now, yesterday, I wrote following: “I myself have to say that 1) if there is informed consent before this happens, and 2) none of the University’s money is going to this, I don’t think I would care even if I had a child enrolled  in that school.”  Well, it turns out that the second part of that may have been violated.   The Chicago Sun-Times reports that:


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