Patterico's Pontifications


Offended POTUS: American Citizens Should Have Remained In Custody In Communist Country

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:55 am

[guest post by Dana]

While there has been much debate about President Trump’s use of Twitter since he took office, his “shoot from the hip” style is less likely to meet with approval from an increasing number of supporters. Here at Patterico’s Pontifications, there have been numerous posts about the president’s Twitter habit and the unintended consequences of such an immensely powerful, yet self-indulgent president who lacks self-control but has (now) 280 characters at his disposal. I have maintained that the President does himself no favors tweeting, as he inevitably steps on any positive achievements by his administration because he cannot resist lashing out at individuals whom he feels slighted by, or is determined to have the last word about some petty issue, or worse, uses Twitter to provoke notoriously unstable and dangerous world leaders. His defenders will say this is a unique strategery on his part. Others will say that his tweets are simply a way to distract from the more troubling and consequential events taking place in his administration that he would prefer not be in the headlines.

Case in point: Two days before President Trump was due to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping on his 10-day trip to Asia, three UCLA men’s basketball players were arrested for shoplifting in China. President Trump brought up the issue with the Chinese president during a meeting with him. As a result, the players were released and allowed to return to the U.S.

On Wednesday, President Trump appeared to publicly challenge the young men to acknowledge his role in their release:


I don’t know whether Trump’s tweet made this happen, or whether the young men were sincerely appreciative and had planned to express their thanks from the get-go, but all three players thanked Trump for his help:

“To President Trump and the United States government, thank you for taking the time to intervene on our behalf. We really appreciate you helping us out,” Cody Riley, one of the three UCLA players, said at a press conference in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

LiAngelo Ball, another of the players, said he “would also like to thank President Trump and the United States government for the help that they provided,” and Jalen Hill, the third involved player, said, “Thank you to the United States government and President Trump for your efforts to bring us home.”

Following the press conference, LiAngelo Ball’s father, Lavar Ball, was asked about President Trump’s involvement in helping his son. He response was less than gracious or grateful a few days ago, and continues to be today:

“Who?” LaVar Ball told ESPN on Friday, when asked about Trump’s involvement in the matter. “What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.”

As long as my boy’s back here, I’m fine,” LaVar Ball told ESPN. “I’m happy with how things were handled. A lot of people like to say a lot of things that they thought happened over there. Like I told him, ‘They try to make a big deal out of nothing sometimes.’ I’m from L.A. I’ve seen a lot worse things happen than a guy taking some glasses. My son has built up enough character that one bad decision doesn’t define him. Now if you can go back and say when he was 12 years old he was shoplifting and stealing cars and going wild, then that’s a different thing.

Queue the President of the United States who, being unable to resist lashing out at being dismissed in such a manner, upped the ante with those 280 characters at his disposal:


Several hours later, he tweeted this:


Now. I’m hard-pressed to see how anyone would defend a sitting President of the United States who says publicly that it would be better for American citizens to be locked up by the brutal Communist regime of China rather than be back home free on American soil because his feelings were hurt by an ungrateful dad. We are not talking about a private citizen reacting this way. We are talking about the man holding the most powerful position in the world. And yet the President of the United States couldn’t resist lashing out at the senior Ball because he took a shot at him. The President has yet again taken the focus off of his own good work by making outlandish comments. To excuse him with a wave of the hand,it’s just Trump being Trump is similar to the classic it’s just Joe being Joe. Unfortunately, Trump’s lack of self-control on Twitter almost guarantees that this is what Sarah Sanders Huckabee will be confronted with at today’s scheduled press conference and will once again awkwardly struggle to put a positive spin on a self-imposed injury by the President. Further, because support for President Trump is already dismally low in the black community, it wouldn’t be surprising if the senior Ball comes out the winner in this kerfuffle by seeing an uptick in sales at his his company, Big Baller Brand. After all, free publicity. You would think a man who touts his business acumen and success as much as President Trump has, would have at least thought about this unintended consequence.

Additionally, it has been suggested that President Trump picking a fight with Lavar Ball had racist overtures:

“The black man was not appreciative of what the white man did for him and it’s a dog whistle to say the least.”

This doesn’t seem like the President Trump we’ve come to know on Twitter. Instead, as we’ve seen throughout his presidential run and time in office, the President is an equal-opportunity, thin-skinned reactionary when feeling publicly challenged, dismissed or criticized. Every race, gender and religion is a potential target for him, no holds barred. However, these specific comments may have also been red meat for those in his base who are indeed racist.

(For those of you annoyed that I am posting about Trump’s Twitter habits again, I guess be glad I didn’t post about President Trump calling out Al Franken for his sexual misconduct. I would have titled that post “Pot Meet Kettle”.)

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Charles Manson’s Death Reminds Us Why We Need the Death Penalty

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:30 am

Andrea Ruth had a post earlier today about the death of Charles Manson. Andrea’s post extensively covered Manson’s crimes and said good riddance to this evil man. In this post, in addition to agreeing with Andrea’s sentiments about Manson, I want to take a moment to remind us all that we need the death penalty.

Prosecutors who have a former defendant on death row know that there is always a chance that the murderer will outlive us, no matter how young we were when the penalty was imposed. Vincent Bugliosi was not quite 35 years old when he convicted Manson of the Tate-LaBianca killings. Bugliosi lived to the age of 80 — yet Manson still outlived him.

This is particularly outrageous in the case of Manson. Here is the roll call of the dead — the people Charles Manson was convicted of murdering: Abigail Ann Folger, Wojciech Frykowski, Steven Earl Parent, Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Leno La Bianca, Rosemary La Bianca, Gary Hinman, and Donald Jerome “Shorty” Shea. Manson was indeed sentenced to death, but the sentence was overturned (along with that of Sirhan Sirhan and 103 others) in 1972, when the California Supreme Court declared the state’s death penalty unconstitutional. Since the imposition of the death penalty, only 13 executions have been carried out in California. The last was in 2006, and as of August, 747 inmates remained on Death Row.

Most people don’t realize how difficult it is to get to the point where someone is subject to execution. The death penalty in California requires that a jury convict the defendant of at least one murder in the first degree, and at least one special circumstance. Examples of special circumstances include murder for financial gain, murder in the course of rapes, robberies, and other specified felonies, poisoning, and infliction of torture, to name a few. Most cases in which special circumstances are charged are even not tried as death penalty cases. The penalty is typically reserved for “the worst of the worst” — people who have zero chance of rehabilitation. The jury has the opportunity to consider a wide range of possible mitigation as well as aggravation, and twelve people must unanimously agree that death is appropriate after taking all of those factors into consideration.

Appeals of death penalty cases are notoriously long. As absurd as it seems (and is), some inmates have even claimed in recent years that the length of the appeals process is itself cruel and unusual punishment — even though appealing the case is their own choice, and many appeals are frivolous and designed for the express purpose of delay. Frustration with this regime has led California voters to recently pass an initiative to speed up the process.

Manson had his day in court, was convicted of nine murders, was sentenced to death, and given a reprieve by the courts. He spent the rest of his life making a mockery of the system that spared him, carving a swastika into his forehead, and generally showing that he did not deserve to live.

His life was spared, and some of his confederates could even be paroled.

Manson prosecutors used to attend parole hearings to oppose parole for Manson family members convicted of murder. But they can’t do that when they themselves are already dead.

Whether you agree with the death penalty or not, surely we can all agree that the remaining Manson family members should not be paroled. At Hot Air, Ed Morrissey (a death penalty opponent for religious reasons) says:

Manson died where he belonged. Let the parole board and Governor Brown take that as a victory, and apply that lesson to the other Manson “family” convicts.

I would argue that Manson belonged in a gas chamber when he died, but the courts took that option away. Given that reality, prison is where they should all die. It will still be a far more merciful death than those suffered by the Manson family’s victims.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

Al Frankenstien, Serial Groper

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:58 am

Details here. For extra partisan points, treat these allegations in a completely different manner from the way you treated those against Roy Moore. Hint: lame, easily refuted distinctions are the best way to paper over your tribalist double standard.

UPDATE: Link fixed. There is a new accuser.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

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