Patterico's Pontifications


Ron Johnson: Hillary Outburst Was a Dodge

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:42 am

Well, duh.

The Republican senator whose aggressive line of questioning prompted an eruption Wednesday from Hillary Clinton during a hearing on the Benghazi attacks suggested her angry outburst was just a dodge.

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson pressed Clinton on why her office wasn’t able to immediately discover whether the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. consulate in Libya were executed by terrorists or spontaneous protesters. He repeatedly asked her why she didn’t pick up the phone that day and find out the facts, to which Clinton eventually responded sharply, “With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. What difference, at this point, does it make?”

“I’m not sure she had rehearsed for that type of question,” Johnson told BuzzFeed Wednesday afternoon, after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing. “I think she just decided before she was going to describe emotionally the four dead Americans, the heroes, and use that as her trump card to get out of the questions. It was a good way of getting out of really having to respond to me.”

I’ll say it if he won’t: yeah, she rehearsed it.

She saw how Barack Obama had dodged the very same issue in the very same way in the debates, seemingly with success. HOW DARE YOU! WE ARE TALKING ABOUT DEAD AMERICANS!! HAVE YOU NO SHAME, SIR!

Well, yeah. We’re talking about dead Americans YOU failed to protect, who YOU lied about. After all, you had $16 million for Kindles but no cash for security.

I have to say, though, that Sen. Johnson is a day late and a dollar short. When someone throws you the “What difference does it make?” softball, you don’t watch it float over the plate and let the crowd think you just got burned by a 100-mile-per-hour fastball. You knock it out of the park. Everybody knows what difference it made. It made a difference to whether the Administration was telling the truth. Whether Barack Obama told lies to keep his terrorist fighting credentials burnished.

Johnson should have been the one pounding the table.

Love their photo, by the way. I guess shrill is the new passionate.

Democrat Proposes (Barely) Increased Penalties for SWATting in California

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:34 am

L.A. Times:

Alarmed that pranksters have called 911 to report false emergencies at the homes of celebrities including Justin Bieber and Tom Cruise, two Southern California legislators have proposed laws to get tougher with anyone engaged in “swatting.”

A bill announced Wednesday by state Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) would allow longer sentences for and greater restitution from those convicted of making false reports to the police. Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca asked for the measure.

A similar proposal has been introduced by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles).

“The recent spate of phony reports to law enforcement officials that the home of an actor or singer is being robbed or held hostage is dangerous, and it’s only a matter of time before there’s a tragic accident,” said Lieu.

I haven’t had a chance to look at the actual language to see what would change, so we’re dependent on the L.A. Times description, which makes it sound like . . . not much:

Gatto and Lieu both propose that those convicted of making false 911 reports be liable for all costs associated with the police response. Such pranks are “a complete waste of law enforcement resources,” said Gatto.

The Assemblyman’s measure, AB 47, would also increase the maximum fine for conviction from $1,000 to $10,000 and make it easier to file murder charges if someone is killed in a swatting incident.

Existing penalties for false 911 reports include up to one year in jail, but an offender may get probation with no jail time. Lieu, a military reserve prosecutor, wants to set a minimum sentence of 120 days in jail.

Lieu’s proposal also would make it easier to charge someone with a felony if a victim is hurt as a result of a prank call. In felony cases, the penalty could increase to three years in jail. And prosecutors would no longer have to show that the prankster knew injury or death would occur.

I would imagine it’s already possible to collect restitution for the costs of response. I’m not sure how they would make a murder charge easier, but I’m for that — although I would think you could already pursue a murder charge under existing law. From this description, all this bill really does is set a “mandatory” minimum jail time for a misdemeanor, and make it easier to file a three-year felony. Big whoop, says me.

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