Patterico's Pontifications


Media Swoons Over Dear Leader (To Be)

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:38 pm

Today in North Korea, the national press followed around Dear Leader. The most important news outlet in the country wrote odes to his supposed common humanity, even though the world knows he lives a life of luxury that far exceeds that of the peons he pretends to bond with. The same state propaganda organ dwelled on the food he ate. Another state-dominated site praised his Great Skill at making videos. And when it looked like he might make an appearance, everyone ran like mad, like a herd of crazed sheep, just for the chance to spend a moment somewhat near the Dear Leader.

Scary and creepy, these places with a cult of personality. Sheesh.

Oh, wait. That wasn’t Kim Jong-un. That was Hillary Clinton.

NYT: Hillary Clinton, Just an Unrecognized Burrito Bowl Fan at Chipotle

Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign is all about “everyday Americans,” she made clear in announcing it on Sunday.

On Monday, she showed how unassuming she herself could be.

NYT: Hillary Clinton’s Chipotle Order: Above Average

On Monday, Hillary Rodham Clinton ordered a burrito bowl at a Chipotle outside Toledo, Ohio.

. . . .

At the time of this writing, much about Mrs. Clinton’s order was still unknown. We do know that it was a chicken bowl (with guacamole, according to ABC News). Less known, but critical: Did she get rice and beans, which are free with the order? What about fajita vegetables, or more than one kind of salsa? Even more important, from a calorie perspective: Did she include cheese and sour cream?

(Yes, yes, it was “tongue in cheek.” It was still a full-length piece in the New York Times.)

Vox: Review: Hillary Clinton’s announcement video is surprisingly bold, fascinating filmmaking

Hillary Clinton’s video announcing her run for president in 2016 is a fascinating piece of filmmaking, and it does something I haven’t seen a political campaign ad do in quite this way. . . . [I]t could change how these sorts of announcements are approached for the foreseeable future.

Journalists run — literally run — towards the rather luxurious-looking “Scooby Van”:

Benny Hill Vine version (make sure to turn on the sound for the Yakety Sax).

Hillary’s campaign manager explains the strategy, courtesy of Steven Crowder:


P.S. Have you seen Chelsea’s $10.5 million apartment? It’s across the street from hubby’s $4 million “starter pad.”

She’s just like you and me!!!!

Dennis Quaid’s Likely Fake Tantrum

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:53 pm

TMZ breathlessly declares: “Dennis Quaid went absolutely berserk on the set of a movie.” Video (language warning):

“Dopey the Dick,” you say? Kind of hard not to think of this:

Consensus is that this time, it’s not Ellen calling the shots, but probably Jimmy Kimmel.

TMZ does cover its posterior a bit, conceding at the end of the post: “It’s possible the whole thing is fake … he’s an actor, after all.” And as Fox News drolly observes:

It’s not clear when the video was taken, and according to the International Movie Database, Quaid currently does not have any movies in production.

You don’t say.

UPDATE: And the reveal. H/t Gazzer. Don’t blame Jimmy Kimmel. Credit goes to Funny or Die.

It’s Now Been One Year

Filed under: General — JVW @ 8:44 pm

[guest post by JVW]

On this day one year ago the evil Islamic militants of Boko Haram abducted 276 schoolgirls from a government school in Nigeria. Though 53 of them later managed to escape, to date the other 223 remain unaccounted for. Our own Dana covered the issue a couple of weeks later. In addition, sympathetic parties here in the U.S. led by our influential celebritocracy responded with a massive hashtag campaign waged on social media to convince the militants to return the girls.

BringBackOurGirls 2

Amazingly enough, Boko Haram has turned out to be unusually resistant to this coordinated tactical maneuver conceived by the cream of the Washington-Hollywood power elite.

Sarcasm aside, the facts are this: the world can be an ugly place, and is probably at its ugliest where Islamic radicals feel they have free rein to impose their backwards beliefs upon all whom they encounter. Whether it is the kidnapping of schoolgirls or the slaughter of Christians, this crisis can’t be addressed with snappy hashtags delivered by actors who are practiced at looking dour and concerned as they flit their way from exclusive event to exclusive event. And that should go double for our elected leaders who ought to have no real excuse for such perfunctory theatrics except for the fact that today we seem to elect them based upon the most superficial of criteria.

As Dana reminded us last year, these girls deserve to remain in our prayers.


Jack Dunphy on the South Carolina Shooting

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:36 pm

Jack Dunphy:

I’m in no way suggesting that witness Feidin Santana planned it this way when he shot the video, but the video is timed precisely to show that portion of the incident most damning to Slager. As the video opens we can hear the sound of a siren and that of a Taser being activated. We hear a voice, presumably Slager’s, saying something inaudible, followed by “I’ll shoot you.” When Slager and Scott come into view, at about 0:17 into the video, the two are an arm’s length apart, with Scott appearing to turn away and Slager reaching for his holstered pistol. The Taser wires, which connect the device to two darts fired from it, can be seen extending between Scott and Slager, and the Taser itself can be seen landing on the ground five to six feet behind Slager. Feidin Santana has said that Scott did not grab the Taser, but if he didn’t, how else to explain how it ended up on the ground behind Slager?

I suspect that Slager’s defense will be to claim that Scott did indeed grab the Taser, a claim not entirely unreasonable given where the device landed before the shooting. And I suspect he moved the Taser in a panicked attempt to bring the evidence into conformance with his mistaken perception of what had occurred. If a suspect gains control of an officer’s Taser and is preparing to use it against him, deadly force can be justified in defense. But once the threat has ended, so too must the use of deadly force. I think when Slager drew his weapon, he truly believed Scott still had the Taser. He had made the decision to fire, and he was unable to process the change in circumstances that made the use of deadly force unreasonable and therefore unlawful.

And this is where Slager all but shredded his only potential defense. If he had left the crime scene undisturbed, if he had allowed the evidence to speak for itself, any presence of Scott’s DNA on the Taser could only be explained by his having grabbed it as Slager claimed. As things now stand, if Scott’s DNA is found on the Taser, prosecutors can argue it was transferred by Slager’s handling of it after handcuffing Scott. In acting as he did, Slager not only destroyed his own credibility, he tainted the very forensic evidence that might have supported his already weak claim of self-defense.

Whatever Slager’s crimes, there is still a moral distinction to be made between a cop who errs, even as catastrophically as he did, and someone who kills in the course of a robbery or a gang feud or some other act of depravity. When the process has run its course, he will have earned the punishment the law prescribes for him. He has tarnished the police profession and made our job more difficult, but I cannot bring myself to hate him.

There is also a legal distinction between someone who kills in a premeditated fashion because, say, he hates rival gang members, and someone who uses deadly force unreasonably with an honest belief that he needed to use it. The former may be guilty of first-degree murder, while the latter may be guilty only of voluntary manslaughter. (Whether Slager had such an honest belief depends on the entirety of the evidence, but it is not an absurd notion.) These is also a distinction between a killer with no job-related duty to detain the decedent, who encounters no physical force from the decedent, and someone like Slager who does have such a duty to catch bad guys, who seems to have encountered resistance and force along the way.

To me, there are still unanswered questions. I have seen posts such as this one claiming that perhaps the Taser wire in the video was hanging off of Slager and not Scott — suggesting that Scott may have Tased Slager. The post in question has a picture of Slager with his left pants leg rolled up, as if he is showing an injury. I don’t know whether the analysis holds water or not, but it’s worth thinking about. I am not aware of whether Slager claimed that he was actually Tased himself (I see people confidently asserting what his claims are, or are not, but I am not sure what the basis for these confident assertions are), but I think that issue could be relevant to his state of mind. So yes, I persist in stubbornly refusing to leap to the confident judgments that most of the rest of the world has leapt to.

I think Dunphy has good insights here, but then, he always does.

Chuck Todd Reprimanded by World for Claiming Recycled Hillary “Scooby Van” Stunt Was “Spontaneous”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:40 am

In short order, Zeke Miller at TIME resurrected this quote from Daniel Halper’s book Clinton, Inc., about Hillary’s 2000 Senate run:

They were driving around New York in an armored brown van, “which we had called the mystery machine, the Scooby Doo van, which was an interesting thing to drive and learn to manipulate,” the agent tells me in an interview. That’s because Hillary and her staff objected to the customary limo the First Lady would normally use. They complained the “optics” weren’t right for an aspiring senator who wanted to look like she was a woman of the people—and not a product of the White House.

Yeah, nothing says “spontaneous” like a recycled stunt done for reasons of “optics.”

A few people let Chuck Todd know. I piled on, because justified piling on is fun:

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