Patterico's Pontifications


Trump’s Lawyer: Yeah, I Paid $130,000 to Stormy Daniels

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:30 pm

Stormy Daniels 600px

Gee, whatever for? She told us there was no affair!

Maggie Haberman at the New York Times has the scoop:

Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, said on Tuesday that he paid $130,000 out of his own pocket to a pornographic-film actress who had once claimed to have had an affair with Mr. Trump.

In the most detailed explanation of the 2016 payment made to the actress, Stephanie Clifford, Mr. Cohen, who worked as a counsel to the Trump Organization for more than a decade, said he was not reimbursed for the payment.

“Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly,” Mr. Cohen said in a statement to The New York Times. “The payment to Ms. Clifford was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone.”

The Wall Street Journal reported on this payment last month, but this is the first we’ve heard that Cohen was involved. Haberman says that, according to Cohen’s statement, he gave a similar answer to Common Cause after they “filed a complaint saying that the payment, which was made through a limited liability company that Mr. Cohen established, was an in-kind contribution to the Trump campaign.”

But no such thing happened. And Cohen never expected to get anything in return.

He just gave $130,000 to a porn star for … who knows what reason. And that is what happened, and stop asking questions about it. The End!

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

Congratulations to Leviticus on His New Daughter

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:50 pm

Longtime commenter Leviticus tells me the following information about his new daughter:

She was born yesterday, by the way, at 1:42 am (Sunday morning). By all indicators, she is a very healthy, very enterprising little baby girl. My wife did an amazing job, and is recovering well.

Our daughter’s name is Shirley Beatrix M. We’re smitten with her.

So her birthday was February 11 — just three days after my own daughter turned 18.

Upon my request, Leviticus supplied the following information as well: “She was 6 lbs 8 oz, and 19 1/2 inches.” People always want to seem to know that.

Several of you have expressed a desire to contribute to Leviticus on behalf of his daughter. I thought about setting up a GoFundMe, but they really do take a huge bite. If you PayPal me at patterico AT gmail DOT com and specify that the money is for Leviticus, I will see to it that the money gets to him. Choose the option for sending money to friends or family, since that’s what you’re doing, and PayPal won’t deduct a cent.

After a week or so, I plan to do a post announcing the total and the donors. If you want your gift completely anonymous, let me know. If you want your gift anonymous for purposes of the post, but known to Leviticus, let me know that too. If you don’t specify, you’re fair game for both.

I feel a weird sort of proprietary interest in Leviticus. I feel like I have watched him grow up on this blog. He can feel free to correct me on any of this, but the oldest comment I can find from him is from September 11, 2006 — more than 11 years ago. I’m not sure how old he was but I want to say he was in college. He seemed precociously smart, principled, and feisty. I like to believe he learned something at this blog about interacting with people, about people with opposite political views, and about maturity. Whether we can take any credit or not, he has certainly matured and has become one of my favorite commenters here. I hope to meet him, his wife, and young Shirley one day. In any event, let’s come together and show the family that we’re a real community here.

Thanks, and once again, congratulations to Leviticus. A little girl will change your life.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

Obama’s Official Portrait Unveiled, Sean Hannity Claims “Inappropriate Sexual Innuendo”

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:37 pm

[guest post by Dana]

The official portraits of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle were unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery yesterday. Certainly reactions to the non-traditional renderings have run the gamut from something brilliant, to something not brilliant.

Here are their portraits:



You can read several interesting perspectives about the artists, Kehinde Wiley (President Obama) and Amy Sherald (Michelle Obama) and their work here and here. Over at the National Portrait Gallery’s website, you can search for previous president’s and their wives’ portraits here. It’s a great website.

And proving once again that anything Obama still makes certain corners of the internet go batcrap insane, Sean Hannity tweeted this bit of madness:


In the tweet, he linked to a post at his website entitled: PORTRAIT PERVERSION: Obama Portrait Features ‘SECRET SPERM,’ Artist Joked About ‘Killing Whitey,'” once again reminding the public that he has long since gone over the deep end of conspiracy lunacy, and continues to trawl the toxic, mucky waters of Obama Derangement Syndrome.

Things just aren’t always exactly what they appear to be, or what partisan hacks need them to be:

The evidence for the former claim comes from a 2008 New York Times article—conveniently not “fake news” when it supports Hannity’s agenda—that reports Wiley’s portraits “initially depicted African-American men against rich textile or wallpaper backgrounds whose patterns he has likened to abstractions of sperm.” Hannity’s piece includes a close up of a vein in Obama’s forehead in the portrait that someone on his “staff” apparently thinks looks sperm-like.

It appears that the whole “sperm” theory originated on—where else?—4chan, where a thread was posted on Monday proclaiming, “Official Portrait of Obama has SPERM on his face!!!” That post just happened to include the same close up of Obama that Hannity used on his site.

As for the “Kill Whitey” part, that dates back to a quote Wiley gave New York magazine in 2012 about a painting in which a black woman holds the severed head of a white woman in the style of Biblical depictions by artists like Caravaggio. In other words, art.


“Women have always been decorative,” Wiley says, gesturing at the portraits around him. ‘They’ve never been actors or possessed real agency.”

Which brings us back to the lady with the severed head. Like most Wiley paintings, this one has a backstory: Her name is Triesha Lowe, Wiley explains. She’s a stay-at-home mom whom Wiley found at the Fulton Mall. Her pose is a riff on classical depictions by Caravaggio and Gentileschi, of the biblical story of Judith beheading Holofernes. And the severed head? “She’s one of my assistants.”

Several hours later, Hannity deleted his tweet and the post at his website. He offered this explanation:

Earlier today my web staff posted content that was not reviewed by me before publication. It does not reflect my voice and message and, therefore, I had it taken down.

You’re a great American, Sean. Don’t ever change!

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


“May I Touch You Here?”: Is The #MeToo Movement Emasculating Men?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:00 am

That’s not a headline I would have thought to write yesterday, or the day before that. But each new day brings a new revelation, doesn’t it?

Flash-forward a few months, and Knight, a 25-year-old Washingtonian, is sleeping with someone new. He is asking “Can I touch you here?” “Can I do this?” every step of the way, and his partner wants to know what is with all the questions. She prefers a more proactive approach.

Knight is well-prepared to date in the #MeToo era. He has completed a two-month discussion class on how to reject toxic masculinity. He still has his “Consent is sexy” T-shirt from freshman year of college. He has thought about how men have the power in courtship, and with that, the ability to abuse it. So when he meets a woman while out at a bar, rather than ask for her number and potentially make her feel pressured to give it, he will give her his number and wait for her to text.

Is it right to blame the movement? After all, this guy sounds like the sort of unreconstructed dweeb who will just never have sex, right? But the article actually opens up with an anecdote in which the poor fella does have sex, and the anecdote helps to explain where his testicles went:

Over the summer, Geoffrey Knight is in bed with a woman he is dating. He puts his hand on her breast, and she swats it away. “You need to ask before you touch me,” he recalls her saying. Knight apologizes, saying he had assumed it was okay because they had just had sex.

“You should never make that assumption,” she retorts.

Holy schnikes. It reminds one of the woman in the Aziz Ansari story, who repeatedly believed that she had sent subtle cues to suggest to Ansari how uncomfortable she was with his attempts to have sex — but muddied her message by voluntarily undressing with Ansari and fellating him more than once. Taking such silly behavior seriously apparently turns men into consent-seeking robots, offering signed contracts of consent to women who just disrobed.

None of this is to say that the #MeToo movement is not legitimate or that there is not an obvious, huge, widespread problem with men making unwanted sexual overtures and contact. There quite obviously is. But the New Norms that are being enforced by the more radical proponents of #MeToo have no effect on the men who are the real problem — while in their most extreme form they emasculate men who are trying to do right to begin with, as the quoted passages above show.

As such, these social regulations are like so many other attempts to control behavior by the left: they target the wrong people. It’s reminiscent of gun control. The thug gang members who shoot rivals on the streets couldn’t care less about your rules, while the responsible gun owners are often far too hampered by them.

As usual, leftists ruin everything with their rules, when all that is needed is a healthy dose of common sense.

P.S. Thanks to Allahpundit for the pointer on Twitter to this article, by the way. Easily half of my blog ideas come from his Twitter feed. If I thanked him every time my post was inspired by something he flagged, that’s all I’d ever do.

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

WaPo Columnist Demands Apology From Writer For Calling Out Media’s Fawning Over Murderous Regime

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:36 am

[guest post by Dana]

As both JVW and Patterico have pointed out, there was a shameful display of adoration made by Big Media professionals over Kim Jong Un’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, at the Olympic Games this past weekend. While gushing about a “charm offensive,” many members of the media willed themselves to happily ignore the true nature of the now-dubbed “Ivanka” of North Korea, as well as the totalitarian state itself. It was an easy white-washing because Trump.

It’s unfathomable that people who should know better have behaved like adolescents in the throes of some newly discovered crush. It’s especially disturbing given what we know the brutal regime dishes out to its people on a daily basis. The brutal regime that includes Kim Yo Jong:

Critics also highlighted Kim Yo Jong’s senior role in a regime accused by a United Nations inquiry of systematic torture, starvation and killings comparable to Nazi-era atrocities.

Last January, the U.S. Treasury Department blacklisted her along with six other North Korean officials for “severe human rights abuses” and censorship that concealed the regime’s “inhumane and oppressive behavior”.

”Among the upper class in Pyongyang, she is a frightening presence,” because of her relationship with her brother, said An Chan-il, a former North Korean military officer who now runs a think tank in Seoul.

But by all means, let’s try to normalize that which is foul and grotesque by fawning over a woman who is as brutal and craven as is her brother. An oppressor of the people, by any means necessary.

With that, writer Bethany Mandel exposed herself as an Insensitive Monster of the Worst Kind by accurately called out Big Media’s insanity:


Enter Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten, who huffed and puffed and demanded Mandel apologize for calling North Korea “the most brutal regime in human history”. Of course Weingarten, being the pompous gasbag that he is, conveniently chose to miss the spot-on point Mandel was making, and instead childishly pivoted – and proved her point:


The exchange continued:


When it was pointed out to Weingarten that it was at least an arguable issue, he shut that down, “It is not arguable. Please.” Please, indeed.

Exactly to whom Mandel is supposed to apologize is unknown. And Weingarten is obviously a classic example of the person who opens his yap and removes all doubt….

Comparing degrees of evil intentionally misses the point. But of course, Weingarten knows that. Or maybe he missed this:

Under the rule of Kim Jong-Un, North Korea remains among the world’s most repressive countries. All basic freedoms have been severely restricted under the Kim family’s political dynasty. A 2014 UN Commission of Inquiry found that abuses in North Korea were without parallel in the contemporary world. They include extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions, and other sexual violence. North Korea operates secretive prison camps where perceived opponents of the government are sent to face torture and abuse, starvation rations, and forced labor. Fear of collective punishment is used to silence dissent. There is no independent media, functioning civil society, or religious freedom.

Perhaps if he took some time to read his colleagues’ work, he would not be so quick to reveal himsel a fool:

North Korea’s political prisons are just as bad as — and perhaps even worse than — the Nazi concentration camps of the Holocaust, a renowned judge and Auschwitz survivor has concluded after hearing from former North Korean prisoners and guards.

Thomas Buergenthal, who served on the International Court of Justice, is one of three jurists who have concluded that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un should be tried for crimes against humanity for the way his regime uses brutal political prisons to control the population.

“I believe that the conditions in the [North] Korean prison camps are as terrible, or even worse, than those I saw and experienced in my youth in these Nazi camps and in my long professional career in the human rights field,” said Buergenthal, who was in Auschwitz and Sachsenhausen as a child, as well as the ghetto of Kielce, Poland.

Anyway, Mandel is supporting a campaign to rescue North Koreans. If you’d like to help, go here:

Your donation goes towards rescuing North Korean refugees who have managed to make it over the border into China. LiNK provides free passage over an underground railroad across China and Southeast Asia into freedom in South Korea, where North Korean refugees enjoy full citizenship.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.1613 secs.