Patterico's Pontifications


Another Round of “Name the Party!”

Filed under: General — JVW @ 11:44 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Once again, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to play that fun game ”Name the Party!” where we provide for you a news item about a politician and challenge you to guess which party he or she belongs to. Today’s entry comes from an Associated Press story about a wayward state politician:

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A newly re-elected Virginia lawmaker hitched a ride from the jailhouse to the statehouse to be sworn in, even as legislative leaders discussed how to throw him out.

Del. Joseph D. Morrissey, who spends his nights in jail because of a sex scandal conviction, was back in his familiar legislative arena Wednesday but with a whole new set of circumstances: Colleagues ignored him, he was stripped of committee assignments, he had to give up his old office, and his desk on the House floor was put in a far corner.

OK, so we have a name (Joseph D. Morrissey), a state (Virginia), a legislative body (House of Delegates, though you have to infer that from reference to “the House floor”), and the outlines of a crime (something to do with sex). Let’s keep playing and go to the third paragraph:

Morrissey didn’t appear bothered by his pariah status and instead brimmed with defiant confidence. He told reporters he wasn’t worried that both parties have repeatedly denounced him and said he doesn’t belong in the oldest continuously operating legislative body in the Western Hemisphere.

“I’m confident in Joe Morrissey and I’m confident things will work out exactly the way they are supposed to,” Morrissey said.

Ah, so close! We learn that both parties have denounced him. Is he a Democrat? Is he a Republican? The suspense is just killing me! Let’s keep going:

Morrissey said he didn’t find out he had won re-election until after he had returned to jail Tuesday night. Morrissey was convicted last month of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Prosecutors accused him of having sex with a 17-year-old girl who worked for him. Morrissey and the teenager, now 18 and pregnant, have denied it.

Prosecutors said nude photos of the 17-year-old were found on Morrissey’s cellphone and allegedly shared with a friend. Morrissey, a bachelor who has fathered three children out of wedlock with three different women, has denied wrongdoing but entered the misdemeanor plea to avoid felony charges punishable by years in prison and automatic loss of his legislative position.

OK, now we know the crime for which Morrissey was convicted. He’s a sexual deviant who has a thing for underage girls. For whatever reason, it appears that he was allowed to cop a plea to a lesser charge to avoid a more severe sentence which would end his legislative career. But still, no mention of his party. Do you have any guesses? Let’s pick up at paragraph seven of the story:

An attorney, Morrissey has a history of fistfights, contempt of court citations and disbarment. He announced he was resigning his seat in December after his conviction, but promptly began running for his old seat as an independent after he said Democrats blocked him from the party nominating process.

Woah! Major clue here! The Democrats have blocked him from the party nominating process. That means he’s a Democrat, right? The version of the story that appeared in my local newspaper ended right here at paragraph seven. Do you suppose that the reporters might have given consideration to the fact that many newspapers wouldn’t make it even that far? Great work, Alan Suderman and Larry O’Dell of the AP. You kept us in suspense all the way until the latter part of the article, and unless we already know how this game generally plays out, we might still be wondering.


College Cancels “Vagina Monologues” for Prejudice Against Transgenders

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:19 pm

It’s apparently not a parody; Reason is writing about it:

Mount Holyoke College, an all-women’s college in Massachusetts, is retiring its annual production of the Vagina Monologues this year because the play is not inclusive of transgender students.

The annual production of the play is part of a country-wide tradition to perform Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues on Valentine’s Day to raise awareness about gender-based violence and usually coincides with the V-Day campaign. The proceeds are donated to sexual assault prevention organizations or women’s rights organizations.

This year, however, Mount Holyoke’s Project Theatre Board is defying tradition by permanently retiring the play. In a school-wide email from the Theatre Board, a representative from the group, Erin Murphy, explained the problems with the play and the reasoning behind its discontinuation.

“At its core, the show offers an extremely narrow perspective on what it means to be a woman…Gender is a wide and varied experience, one that cannot simply be reduced to biological or anatomical distinctions, and many of us who have participated in the show have grown increasingly uncomfortable presenting material that is inherently reductionist and exclusive,” the email, obtained by Campus Reform, said.

. . . .

“[W]e can’t present a show that is blatantly transphobic and treats race and homosexuality questionably, when one of the conditions of getting the rights to the show is that you can’t critique it or alter it,” another student said.

It’s transphobic, you see, because it assumes that women have vaginas, and excludes those who don’t. (And, I guess, includes men who do.)

That’s racist!

Campuses are evidently awash in this kind of nonsense these days. Editor Fired for Story About Boehner’s “Pickled Liver”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:50 pm

Happened today:

A associate editor was fired for a story disparaging threats against U.S. House Speaker John Boehner.

Victor Paul Alvarez told The Associated Press in an email he was fired Thursday. He said he apologized to his bosses for the “terrible mistake.”

A former bartender is charged with threatening to kill Boehner with a gun or by poisoning his drink. Alvarez’s story suggested Boehner had a drinking problem and questioned whether Boehner’s “pickled liver could have filtered out the toxins.”

This blog discussed the story here yesterday, in this post.

Alvarez’s Twitter bio now says:

My last boss said – It’s very difficult to hit the epicenter of tasteless, mean-spirited and humorless in one fell swoop – He’s right. I’m to blame. No excuse.

He seems equally chastened in the tweets I’m seeing (example).

I don’t know anything about this guy other than the crass story he wrote, but it’s nice that he seems contrite and is not trying to pin the blame on others, for the most part.

Sarah Palin: This White House? What a Bunch Of Chickens!

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:33 pm

[guest post by Dana]

In a recent interview, Sarah Palin said she thought the White House refusal to use the term “radical Islam” was a “chicken” thing to do:

“It is, in a sense, being a chicken,” Palin said, “as was made manifest when we didn’t have a high-ranking official go over and unify with other world leaders to say, ‘No, this Islamic fundamentalism that is resulting in such terror across the globe, we’re not gonna have that in our land.”

“The White House, when you talk about issues like that, they are so off base, they are so out-of-touch with the rest of America, who of course understand this radical Muslim interpretation of the Koran, that would say you get to kill an infidel just because you disagree with what their beliefs are.”

“For the White House to not want to articulate other terms that describe what it is I’m describing, tells you that they really are out-of-touch. They’re so politically correct, and yet they’re so politically wrong on just about everything, and I think that’s unfortunate.”

And when asked about a possible Mitt Romney run, Palin just wasn’t feeling it:

“We need new energy. We need new blood. We need new ideas…”

She also admitted to wanting (gasp!) the best *person* for the job of president:

‘I don’t give a flying flip about what gender the person will be,’ Palin told Norville, who asked her if electing a female president was important.

‘I want the absolute best because America deserves the best, in terms of leadership, getting this country on the right track.’

‘But yeah, it would be nice,’ she finally admitted, ‘and it will be nice to see women jump into the ring.’

This Palin chick is certainly no chicken.


No to Mitt Romney

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:31 am

Some of you think Mitt Romney was a wonderful candidate. He was certainly better than Barack Obama. He would certainly be better than Hillary Clinton. I voted for him before and (for what it’s worth, which ain’t much) I would vote for him again in a general election.

But there is absolutely no reason to favor this guy in a primary.

Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 7.20.36 AM

Conservative principles? Mitt Romney employed Jonathan Gruber before Barack Obama did. ObamaCare was directly based on RomneyCare. Romney thinks we should raise the minimum wage. He is not for the free market and he is not solid on anything I care about.

Managerial experience? I think “managing” things is overrated for a President anyway. I’d much rather have someone with his head screwed on straight, who is intent on making the government smaller, so that you don’t need to have a “manager” in the Oval Office.

Electability? The vaunted manager had an inexcusably crappy get out the vote campaign. What makes you think it would be any different the third time around?

No. Enough. A loser is a loser.

Why am I here? I came here because Mitch and Murray asked me to. They asked me for a favor. I said: “The real favor: follow my advice and fire your [expletive deleted] because a loser is a loser.”

Montana Police Officer Kills Unarmed Man, Ruled Justifiable Homicide

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:18 am

[guest post by Dana]

Last week, a Montana jury found that the killing of an unarmed man last year by Billings Police Officer Grant Morrison was non-criminal, justifiable homicide and that the Yellowstone County Attorney’s Office likely would not seek charges. According to the report, here is what led up to the shooting:

Morrison, who had pulled over the car with Ramirez and three other passengers inside around 11 p.m. on April 14, ordered them to put their hands up. But Ramirez, who was seated in the back, would not comply and reached for his waistband, police say.

“What are you doing? Why are you moving your hands so much?” Morrison can be heard saying earlier in dashcam footage taken just before the shooting. “Get your hands up. I will shoot you. I will shoot you. Hands up!”

Morrison, a five-year veteran of the force, then fired into the car. The actions of Ramirez could not be seen in the video.

According to the autopsy, Richard Ramirez was found to have been high on methamphetamine and “had enough in his system at the time that it may have been lethal to someone not accustomed to the drug.”

Colleagues claimed that Morrison recognized Ramirez as a suspect involved in a recent shooting incident involving drugs.

For his part, Morrison stated in testimony about the shooting:

“It’s the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. I wish I didn’t have to make it. I wish I just knew he didn’t have a gun, but I couldn’t take the risk.


He told the jury that he commanded all four people in the car to put their hands up and they all initially complied, but the man in the back right passenger seat, quickly identified by Morrison as Ramirez, dropped his left hand several times.

Morrison went on to say that he thought Ramirez might be reaching for a gun, especially since he’d been named as the suspect in the previous night’s shooting.

After telling Ramirez several times to keep his hands up, even warning that he’d shoot, Morrison said he reached into the car in a last-ditch effort to get Ramirez to put his hands up, with no luck.

“I was getting very scared,” Morrison said. “He pulled away from me, and he again did the exact same thing. He shoved his hand down to his side and started jiggling it up and down. I told him I was going to shoot him if he didn’t listen to me and put his hands up.”

This is not the first time Morrison has been involved in a fatal shooting. In 2013, Morrison shot and killed a suspect who did not obey the officer’s orders and reached for what turned out to be a replica BB gun.

Here is the dashcam video of the fatal shooting. Very graphic:


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