Patterico's Pontifications


Hillary And The White House: Getting Lost In The Tangled Web

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:03 pm

[guest post by Dana]

(Hillary’s email scandal is getting messier by the day. With each new revelation, it gets that much harder to keep things straight.)

It’s always tough to keep the thread of a “story” simple and tight. The more people involved, the more complicated it becomes. One loose thread, and the whole thing threatens to unravel. Ari Fleischer points out the difficult position the White House now finds itself in with regard to Hillary’s brewing email scandal:

“It’s an extraordinarily delicate dance they have to do to not throw someone overboard, but not get anyone in the White House in deeper trouble.”

On Friday, Josh Earnest attempted to address when the White House learned about Hillary’s private email account and server:

White House spokesman Josh Earnest, when asked about what the White House knew, said senior officials were emailing Clinton while she was secretary of state and a few noticed she wasn’t using a .gov email address. However, he did not say when they noticed it and whether red flags were raised.

He also said he had no idea when President Obama first found out and claimed he wouldn’t be surprised if Obama only learned about it from “newspapers.”

Par for the course and surprising no one, President Obama confirmed Earnest’s suggestion and claimed that he learned of this scandal – as he has with so many other scandals involving his administration – via the news:

President Obama only learned of Hillary Clinton’s private email address use for official State Department business after a New York Times report, he told CBS News in an interview.

CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante asked Mr. Obama when he learned about her private email system after his Saturday appearance in Selma, Alabama.

“The same time everybody else learned it through news reports,” the president told Plante.

It’s interesting that the president, Josh Earnest and Valerie Jarrett all denied knowing Hillary used a private account maintained by servers at her residence.

How is that possible?

“The White House, State Department and Hillary Clinton’s personal office knew in August that House Republicans had received information showing that the former secretary of state conducted official government business through her private email account — and Clinton’s staff made the decision to keep quiet.”

Further, if one of them knew, do you think that individual would sit on the information?

John Cook, the executive editor for investigations at Gawker Media, said in 2013, after emails from Clinton to Sidney Blumenthal, a former aide to President Bill Clinton, leaked, he “alerted” White House press secretary Josh Earnest that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was using a private email account.

Cook said it was “strange,” President Obama said Saturday he learned about Hillary Clinton exclusively emailing all official State Department business using her private email account when she was serving in his administration from the news, because Cook explained, “I alerted his spokesperson in 2013. I saw it coming from the White House. It’s not like we published a story and they missed it. I emailed Josh Earnest, who is now his spokesperson, and said this email address exists. Does it comport with the presidential records act and freedom of information act. I got no response.”


UPDATE BY PATTERICO: “On the news,” eh? That’s also how he found out about the IRS scandal. (Obama said: “I first learned about it from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this.”)

And the VA scandal. (Jay Carney said: “I believe, we learned about them through reports.”)

Also Fast and Furious, DOJ wiretapping of reporters, and Air Force One being used for a photo op in lower Manhattan.

This video is an oldie but a goodie, and still relevant today:

“Predestination” Explained: An Allegory (Spoilers)

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:05 pm

I saw the time travel movie “Predestination” last night. If you haven’t seen it, don’t read any further unless you don’t intend to.

Like any good time travel movie, the movie leaves you saying “Whaaa?” But I noticed a consistent theme: the movie is clearly intended on some level to be an allegory — for the life of Christ. I have not seen this theme discussed anywhere else on the Internet, so I thought I would discuss it here. (One important point: this post assumes your familiarity with the plot of the movie, which would be well-nigh impossible to explain anyway.)

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son…

The key event of the movie is that Hawke/Snook (or “John/Jane” if you prefer) sacrifices his son (which began life as his daughter) to save the world from evil. This fact alone starts one thinking about the possibility of a parallel to Christ, but there is much more to it.

Making the parallel much clearer is the fact that the son thus sacrificed is not just John/Jane’s son — but also John/Jane himself. The central conceit of the movie — and I warn you again, this is a major spoiler — is that the two main characters, played by Ethan Hawke and Sarah Snook — are in fact the same person. Indeed, a third character is also the same person: Snook’s baby that Hawke steals from the nursery. Three separate people are really one and the same . . . like the Holy Trinity. In this connection, I found it interesting that, in a conversation in the bar, Snook tells Hawke that the father of her baby and the baby itself are both ghosts . . . like the Holy Ghost.

The birth of John/Jane is problematic, and one of the jokes in the movie is the question: which came first, the chicken or the egg? The punchline of the joke is “the rooster.” In the movie, the birth is puzzling and miraculous: essentially, the baby is the product of two people who are the same person, which is impossible — leading Robertson to tell Ethan Hawke that he was special, because he was the only person in history without ancestry:

You are more than an agent, you are a gift given to the world through a predestination paradox. You are the only one. Free from history, ancestry. You must complete your mission.

A gift given to the world, free from history or ancestry. The parallels to Christ are unmistakable here. It is notable in this context that John/Jane, who gives birth to the baby, was (very pointedly) a virgin until she is impregnated by the male version of herself.

At the end of the movie, Hawke kills the older version of himself, to prevent a great tragedy from happening. Similarly, Jesus chose to sacrifice Himself — and on some level He knew it was going to happen and He embraced it. One can put the blame on Pilate or the crowd, but — although Christ had a choice — the self-sacrifice was, in a sense . . . inevitable.

After killing himself, Hawke gets back in the time machine — essentially rising after his own death to face an eternal life, looping back through the same loop, seemingly for all time. Similarly, Jesus rose again on the third day.

The movie says that Hawke helped spawn a small group of other time travelers, and that he made them better agents — people who were themselves able to go out into the world and do good works of their own. How many of these people were there? I do not think it is a coincidence that there were 11; the movie (again quite pointedly) says so. There were 12 apostles of Christ — but if you count only the ones appointed by Christ (this excludes Matthias) then there were only 11 after Judas committed suicide.

In the bar, Snook tells Hawke: “Let’s face it. Nobody’s innocent.” Everyone is tainted by original sin, in other words — which is the reason Christ came to Earth: for the forgiveness of (original) sin. Snook says everybody just uses other people for their own ends. Hawke says: “Maybe. Maybe not.” Because there is one person not doing that: him. (Both of him.) In the same conversation, Snook talks about looking for a purpose, and Hawke suggests that love could be that purpose — which was Christ’s central message. (Christ had two rules, and two rules only: love God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as you love yourself.)

As if to whack you over the head with the symbolism, the orphanage where the baby is left is called the “Good Shepherd.” Jesus says in John 10:11: “I am the good Shepherd.”

Just some food for thought, concerning what I think was a very interesting movie.

P.S. The story is based on a short story called “–All You Zombies–” by Robert Heinlein. Written in a single day in 1958, Heinlein’s story is just 13 pages; you can read it here (.pdf) in minutes.

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