Patterico's Pontifications



Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:39 pm

At Lawyers, Guns, and Money, they have announced that Scott Eric Kaufman, otherwise known as SEK, has died. Apparently an illness this year turned into organ failure.

I first found SEK’s blog in December 2007, and recommended it in this post. I instantly thought it was hilarious. SEK had a real gift for writing about real-life situations in a humorous manner that expressed amazement at whatever bizarre situation happened to be unfolding before him at the time — and he seemed to genuinely encounter a lot of bizarre situations . . . like walking in on undergraduates having sex in his office, or the time his school applied $2640 to a $12.50 overdue library fine, and gave him a hard time about undoing it.

I never met SEK. Before he left Orange County for Louisiana, we had loose plans to meet for dinner, but it never happened. We talked on the phone a few times . . . which, I never quite understood how he did it, because he was deaf — but he had some device that made it work. He explained it to me, but I didn’t really understand it.

Our last interactions online were not terribly friendly, unfortunately. I don’t feel like revisiting the details. They weren’t ugly, exactly; just not . . . terribly friendly. I’m pretty sure that if he had not gotten sick, and you pointed me to the conversation, I would tell you I was right. But he did get sick, and he did die . . . and it leaves me thinking: that dispute wasn’t really all that important.

It’s a lesson I hope to remember.

Here’s the weird part. There’s this thing that happened somewhat recently. I can’t be sure exactly how long ago. I would estimate 4-6 weeks ago. I don’t know if it’s after he got sick or not. I don’t know how long he was sick.

I was taking the dog for a walk. My cell phone rang. I looked at it, and it said it was an incoming call from Scott Eric Kaufman. A lot of thoughts can go through your head in a short time. Hey, look, it’s Scott calling. Hey, we probably haven’t talked in years. It’s nice that he’s calling. I miss talking to him. I’d like to talk to him again. I picked up the phone on about the second ring, and said: “Hello?”

“Hello? Hello? Hello?”

But there was nobody there.

Trump Not To Pursue Charges Against ‘Crooked Hillary’

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:43 am

[guest post by Dana]

During the presidential campaign, the refrain of “lock her up, lock her up” become part of Trump’s go-to rhetoric used to rally supporters. Now, in spite of that, and in spite of promising that if he won the election, he would “instruct his attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor to look into Clinton’s situation,” it was announced this morning that President-elect Trump will not be pursuing any prosecution of Hillary Clinton. Instead, it appears he would like to be a part of the healing process …

Senior spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway explained the decision:

“I think when the President-elect, who’s also the head of your party, tells you before he’s even inaugurated that he doesn’t wish to pursue these charges, it sends a very strong message, tone, and content” to fellow Republicans, Conway said in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

Conway said Clinton “still has to face the fact that a majority of Americans don’t find her to be honest or trustworthy,” but added that “if Donald Trump can help her heal, then perhaps that’s a good thing to do.”

“Look, I think he’s thinking of many different things as he prepares to become the President of the United States, and things that sound like the campaign are not among them,” she added.

As a reminder, here are a few times he used the issue to rally the base:

“Remember I said I was a counter-puncher? I am,” Trump said at a San Jose rally in June, referencing an anti-Trump speech Clinton gave. “After what she said about me today, her phony speech, that was a phony speech. It was a Donald trump hit job, I will say this: Hillary Clinton has to go to jail, ok? (Cheers) She has to go to jail, phony hit job. She’s guilty as hell.”


“She gets a subpoena, she deleted the emails, she has to go to jail,” Trump said at a Lakeland, Florida, rally

According to this report, Trump’s decision involved a desire to protect the Clintons:

“I don’t want to hurt the Clintons, I really don’t. She went through a lot and suffered greatly in many different ways.”

With that, some are voicing disappointment at his decision. From Breitbart, the headline reads, “Broken Promise: Trump ‘Doesn’t Wish to Pursue’ Clinton Email Charges.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, released a statement:

Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog agency that sued to get more of Clinton’s State Department emails released, urged Trump on Tuesday to “commit his administration” to investigating Clinton, while promising to continue its own litigation and investigations to help uncover possible scandals.

For Trump to refuse to do so “would be a betrayal of his promise to the American people to ‘drain the swamp’ of out-of-control corruption in Washington, DC,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton warned in a statement. “President-elect Trump should focus on healing the broken justice system, affirm the rule of law and appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Clinton scandals.”

But, it appears that Trump remains optimistic about his supporters:



And some will indeed cut him slack and claim that this now allows him to look ahead and focus on more important matters.

Questions: At any point, did Trump expect President Obama to preemptively pardon Clinton on his way out the door, in spite of what Obama has said about not doing last-minute pardons? In light of today’s decision, what would happen if Congress decides to make a referral to seek prosecution? How vulnerable would elected Republicans become if he did seek to pursue a prosecution, and what might the fallout look like?

And there is this:

For Hillary, on the other hand, a pardon is no vindication. History will show even more clearly that the mark of scandal can never be cleansed from her escutcheon. Her unfavorable rating, already high for a major party’s presidential candidate, will not fall with the remove of years. The chances of getting a Democratic Congress in 2018, not to mention the election of a Democrat to the presidency in 2020, will not be increased by their association with a pardoned felon.

A pardon will not erase the Clintons’ corruption, but with the decks cleared, Trump and conservatives could possibly forge a positive, forward-looking challenge to the stale ideas of the Left. As good as a pardon would be for Clinton’s hopes of staying out of prison, it would be better for her erstwhile political opponents and better still for the average American. President Trump should do the right thing, as President Ford did, and help put our long national nightmare behind us.

It’s good to bear in mind that given this is Donald Trump we’re talking about, it’s highly possible he will stick his finger in the air, check out which way the prevailing winds are blowing and then change his mind.

And I have to admit, there is something absolutely delicious in picturing Hillary Clinton yet again being totally humiliated by none other than Donald Trump! as he extends her this favor.


Media Proves Trump Was Right About Their Dishonesty

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:00 am

When I first read the story in the New York Post claiming that Donald Trump had blasted the press in an “off the record” meeting, my initial reaction was: if the press leaked it, that shows he’s right.

But then I realized: these quotes could have been cleverly planted by a pro-Trump source. Yes, one source called the meeting a “total disaster,” which sounds like a member of the press. But the same quote said Trump gave the press a “Trump-style dressing down.” And another source referred to Martha Raddatz as “a horrible network correspondent who cried when Hillary lost who hosted a debate.” This was starting to sound less like a member of Big Media and more like John Barron, Trump’s alter ego.

Well, it’s now crystal clear that some of the leakers of this “off the record” meeting are from the press, as we learned from a New Yorker piece published today. I’ll bleep the bad language from the sniveling, peevish reporters. Get ready for a belly laugh:

The over-all impression of the meeting from the attendees I spoke with was that Trump showed no signs of having been sobered or changed by his elevation to the country’s highest office. Rather, said one, “He is the same kind of blustering, bluffing blowhard as he was during the campaign.”

Another participant at the meeting said that Trump’s behavior was “totally inappropriate” and “f**king outrageous.” The television people thought that they were being summoned to ask questions; Trump has not held a press conference since late July. Instead, they were subjected to a stream of insults and complaints—and not everyone absorbed it with pleasure.

“I have to tell you, I am emotionally f**king pissed,” another participant said. “How can this not influence coverage? I am being totally honest with you. Toward the end of the campaign, it got to a point where I thought that the coverage was all about [Trump’s] flaws and problems. And that’s legit. But, I thought, O.K., let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. After the meeting today, though—and I am being human with you here—I think, F**k him! I know I am being emotional about it. And I know I will get over it in a couple of days after Thanksgiving. But I really am offended. This was unprecedented. Outrageous!”



Let’s start with the obvious point with which I began the post: This was supposed to be an off-the-record meeting. These press “sources” have no business talking about it — and the fact that they do, shows that they are liars, just like Trump said.

There is no overriding public interest that justifies their breaking their promise to keep this meeting off the record. What reason could there possibly be? To let the public know Donald Trump was rude to the press? He’s rude to the press all the time! Is it earth-shattering news that Trump is whiny, thin-skinned, vindictive, and obnoxious? Of course not! That’s how he’s been his whole life! What made them think he was going to stop being that way now?

No, the media sources who broke their word to keep this meeting confidential are untrustworthy snakes who have no justification for their actions. I hope the identities of these “sources” are leaked. They should be.

It’s nice to see that the press can be every bit as whiny and dishonest as Trump.

The press thinks we’re on their side because Trump acts like a petulant fishwife, boo-hooing about all the unfair coverage he has supposedly gotten. Wrong, press! Speaking for myself, I hate both of them. This is like watching Martin Shkreli and Justin Bieber in a celebrity boxing match. You’re not really rooting for either side. You just want it to be vicious, prolonged, and bloody . . . on both sides.

[Cross-posted at RedState.]

Via Twitter, President-Elect Cancels Today’s Scheduled Meeting With NYT Publisher And Editors [UPDATE: Meeting is Back On]

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:32 am

[guest post by Dana]

Last night I posted about President-elect Trump’s heated off-the-record meeting with media big shots in NYC. Though considering the number of leaked quotes, “off-the-record” was a stretch. The meeting was to have been a prelude to today’s on-the record meeting with the New York Times’ publisher and reporters. However, in the wee hours of the morning, the President-elect cancelled the meeting, and claimed that the agreed upon rules had been unexpectedly changed. He also inferred they were changed by someone other than himself:




The NYT responded to the sudden change in plans:

We were unaware that the meeting was canceled until we saw the president-elect’s tweet this morning. We did not change the ground rules at all and made no attempt to. They tried to yesterday — asking for only a private meeting and no on-the-record segment, which we refused to agree to. In the end, we concluded with them that we would go back to the original plan of a small off-the-record session and a larger on-the-record session with reporters and columnists.

All of which makes one question whether he ever intended to meet with them in the first place.

President-elect Trump also announced that instead of meeting with the NYT today, he will continue meeting with prospective members of his administration. Individuals, he says, who will be running our government for the next 8 years


UPDATE: So it appears that Trump has reinstated the meeting with the New York Times’ publisher, editors and reporters.

UPDATE 2: The New York Times is now reporting that sources inside the Trump camp are blaming Reince Priebus for the cancellation confusion:

Three people with knowledge of Mr. Trump’s initial decision to cancel the meeting said that Reince Priebus, the incoming White House chief of staff, had been among those urging the president-elect to cancel it, because he would face questions he might not be prepared to answer. It was Mr. Priebus who relayed to Mr. Trump, erroneously, that The Times had changed the conditions of the meeting, believing it would result in a cancellation, these people said.

Where Southern Culture Came From

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:00 am

What makes Southern culture distinctly Southern? Where did the Southern accent come from? Why do folks from the South often say “howdy” instead of hello, define courage as “grit,” call distilled liquor “moonshine,” or say “yonder” to refer to something distant? Where do terms come from like “young ‘uns” . . . or “fixing to” do something (meaning “about to” do something).

It all comes from Celtic culture. Large parts of the South were settled in waves by people from Northern Britain — mainly Scotland and Ireland — and these speech patterns originated there.

I didn’t know that until I saw this lecture from Liberty Classroom by Brion McClanahan:

Andrew Jackson, Sam Houston, and John C. Calhoun are examples of this culture.

As I mentioned earlier this week, Liberty Classroom is having a giant sale this coming weekend, from Black Friday, November 25, through and including Cyber Monday, November 28. I am also offering you the chance to write a guest post here, or commission a post from me — and enter a contest to win a year of Amazon Prime, paid by me. Details here.

Join during the Black Friday weekend through this link:


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