Patterico's Pontifications


It Couldn’t Happen to a Nicer Guy: DOJ Will File Corruption Charges Against Democrat U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:18 pm

Slightly over two years ago, I wrote the following about Democrat United States Sen. Bob Menendez:

I keep hearing that the FBI is closing in. For what it’s worth.

Always trust content from Patterico:

The Justice Department is preparing to bring criminal corruption charges against New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, a Democrat, alleging he used his Senate office to push the business interests of a Democratic donor and friend in exchange for gifts.

People briefed on the case say Attorney General Eric Holder has signed off on prosecutors’ request to proceed with charges, CNN has learned exclusively. An announcement could come within weeks. Prosecutors are under pressure in part because of the statute of limitation on some of the allegations.

P.S. Keep in mind that when someone says “the FBI is closing in,” that means: “there might be an indictment sometime in the next five years or so.”

UPDATE: I now see JVW covered this earlier and floated the theory, apparently running around conservative circles, that this is retaliation for Menendez’s opposition to Obama’s Iran deal.

I can’t say for sure that the theory is wrong, of course. I can’t put anything past Obama and Holder. But the FBI works verry slowly, and I’m not inclined to besmirch the professions at the FBI and DOJ based on this theory. Keep in mind: Menendez might have known the indictment was coming, and decided to criticize Obama to set himself up as a potential martyr.

Democrats Cross Obama At Their Own Peril

Filed under: General — JVW @ 2:01 pm

[guest post by JVW]

So this has certainly been a bad week for Hillary! Rodham Clinton, also known as good ol’ Over at Tablet, Lee Smith sees the hand of the administration in all of these leaks which have caught the former First Lady/Senator/Cabinet Secretary off guard and have her in a defensive crouch. As to why Obama would target a fellow Democrat with these select leaks, Smith explains:

This week’s tarring of Hillary Clinton is part of the White House’s political campaign to shut off debate about its hoped-for deal [with Iran]. It’s not hard to see why they’re anxious. With Netanyahu’s speech forcing lawmakers and editorial writers to face up to the proposed agreement’s manifest problems, the administration fears the prospect of Democrats jumping ship and signing on to Kirk-Menendez sanctions legislation that also would give Congress oversight on the deal. So far, the White House has managed to keep Democratic lawmakers in line, no matter how much they seem to question the wisdom of the proposed deal. Hillary Clinton, gearing up for a 2016 run in which she is likely to put some distance between herself and Obama’s dubious Middle East policies, is the one major national Democratic figure who can give Democrats in Congress cover. [emphasis added]

When you think of it, this makes sense. The Presidential election is still 20 months away and much of what has been leaked to the media this week was bound to be discovered by opposition research anyway, so Team Obama has a very to-the-point method of reminding Hillary! that she had better not stray too far from the left turn that they have charted for the party, without looking like they are trying to hopelessly derail her chances for the nomination. Perhaps bitter feelings linger from the 2008 campaign or there is residual friction from her cabinet service, and perhaps the President wants some other Democrat to be the party’s standard-bearer, but placed in the context of the ongoing Iran negotiation fiasco this should probably be viewed as keeping the little lady in line.

Do you know who else is in Team Obama’s crosshairs? None other than Democrat Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey, with multiple media outlets reporting that he is on the verge of being indicted for corruption by Eric Holder’s Justice Department. Menendez, as mentioned in the Tablet article, opposes the administrations never-ending pleading with Iran, and he has also been critical of the changes in Cuba policy that the administration has announced.

Now of course it pretty much goes without saying that a Democrat Senator from New Jersey is bound to be astonishingly corrupt, so this indictment shouldn’t surprise anyone. But don’t you wonder why both of these leaks happened in the same week to two key Democrats who might rally members of their party against the feckless appeasement of the administration? And why does a Justice Department that has been so ho-hum about government corruption suddenly decide to go after a member of congress?

If the Obama Administration were a fraction as tough with state sponsors of terrorism as it is with its domestic political adversaries, Tehran would probably be a glowing parking lot by now.


Google Considers Ranking Sites According to Political Correctness, I Mean, Truthfulness

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:01 am

We all want Web sites to be truthful. But Google is considering trying to impose its version of the truth on the Internet:

In a step that critics worry will inject political bias into search results, a Google research team released a report this month on ranking search results based on how factual websites are. They propose eventually using that to change Google rankings, which are currently based on website popularity.

The Google researchers give, as an example, websites that say President Obama was born in Kenya; such sites would be penalized in Google rankings, whereas sites that correctly say he was born in the U.S. would get a boost in rankings.

That fact is not controversial, but critics worry that this is a first step towards Google playing God and effectively censoring content it does not like. They fear that skeptics of things like climate change or more immigration (both subjects that Google founders have expressed strong feelings about) might find their websites buried if this ranking system were adopted.

“I worry about this issue greatly… My site gets a significant portion of its daily traffic from Google,” Anthony Watts, who runs Watts Up With That, a popular blog that is skeptical of global warming claims, told

“It is a very slippery and dangerous slope because there’s no arguing with a machine,” he added.

This is indeed a very dangerous road. How bad is it? This bad:

The Google researchers base their truth-ratings on a database they compiled called the “Knowledge Vault,” built from sources they deemed relatively trustworthy – such as Wikipedia and Freebase, which are crowd-sourced sites they believe are largely self-correcting, and government websites.

There are currently 2.8 billion Google “facts” in Knowledge Vault, which the researchers used for their ranking system.

Yes. If you contradict Wikipedia, your site is falsehood-filled and worthless. Just to take one example: Wikipedia is the site that continually deleted a description of Brett Kimberlin as “a convicted drug dealer, bomber, and political activist.” Among the “facts” that were once approved about Kimberlin: “Since October of 2010, conservatives have hounded Kimberlin about his bombing conviction…”

You can see why it’s important to keep truths about his bombing away from the public’s eyes, while characterizing any discussion of it as “hounding.” Surely you see that, do you not, comrade? And if not, well, nice page ranking you got there . . .

And, as noted above, any Unapproved Opinions about global warming or immigration are right out.

Better that Google be the one to try this, rather than the federal government. If Google tries it, we can use a different search engine. But if the FCC tries to impose it, we are in a tougher spot, aren’t we?

UPDATE: Thanks to Instapundit for the link.

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