Patterico's Pontifications

9/22/2019

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 105

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:01 am



It is the fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost. Today’s Bach cantata is “Herr, gehe nicht ins Gericht mit deinem Knecht” (Lord, do not pass judgment on Your servant)

Today’s Gospel reading is Luke 16:1-13:

The Parable of the Shrewd Manager

Jesus told his disciples: “There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. So he called him in and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.’

“The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I’m not strong enough to dig, and I’m ashamed to beg— I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.’

“So he called in each one of his master’s debtors. He asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’

“‘Nine hundred gallons of olive oil,’ he replied.

“The manager told him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred and fifty.’

“Then he asked the second, ‘And how much do you owe?’

“‘A thousand bushels of wheat,’ he replied.

“He told him, ‘Take your bill and make it eight hundred.’

“The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.

10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words:

Yet it is well for him who knows his Indemnitor,
who makes reparation for all guilt,
for the signature disappears
when Jesus moistens it with His blood.
He Himself lifts us up on the Cross,
He will hand over the account of your goods, body, and life,
when your hour of death strikes,
to the Father Himself.
Therefore your body, which is carried to the grave,
may well be covered over with sand and dust,
while your Savior opens the eternal courts for you.

If I can only make Jesus my friend,
then Mammon is worth nothing to me.
I find no pleasure here
in the midst of this vain world and earthly objects.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

9/21/2019

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:45 am



[guest post by Dana]

Feel free to talk about anything you think is newsworthy or might interest readers.

I’ll start:

Demonstrating feigned and craven ignorance to the fact that abortion is politics, Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttiegieg (and mayor of South Bend, Ind.) says he doesn’t want the issue politicized in light of the ghastly news that more than 2,000 fetal remains were discovered at the home of a notorious, now-deceased Indiana abortionist. This as he politicizes it himself:

Law-enforcement officials announced Friday that they had found 2,246 “medically preserved” aborted fetuses in the Illinois home of the late abortionist Ulrich “George” Klopfer, who ran a number of abortion clinics in Indiana and Illinois and died September 3.

“Like everyone, I find that news out of Illinois extremely disturbing, and I think it’s important that that be fully investigated,” Buttigieg said after several days of silence on the matter. “I also hope it doesn’t get caught up in politics at a time when women need access to health care. There’s no question that what happened is disturbing. It’s unacceptable. And it needs to be looked into fully.”

Second news item: Trump pounces:

Third news item: Claiming it’s a defensive move is the administration’s justification for sending US troops to Saudi America after the attacks on oil sites:

The United States is deploying military forces to the Middle East after Saturday’s drone attacks on major oil sites in Saudi Arabia that the administration of President Donald Trump has blamed on Iran…”The president has approved the deployment of U.S. forces which will be defensive in nature and primarily focused on air and missile defense,” U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said at a news conference Friday…Answering reporters’ questions about the deployment, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, described the troop deployment as “modest” and “not thousands.”…Esper said troops would be primarily focused on air and missile defenses…The United States will also accelerate shipment of military hardware to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, he said.

Iran warns, don’t even think about it:

“Our readiness to respond to any aggression is definitive,” Maj-Gen Hossein Salami told state media on Saturday. “We will never allow a war to enter our land.”

“We will pursue any aggressor,” he continued. “We will continue until the full destruction of any aggressor.”

Fourth news item: California dreaming turns into a nightmare as San Francisco alone has an estimated 4,000 people who are mentally ill and addicted to drugs, and innocent residents continue to pay the price for the failures of their elected officials:

Teresa Man was walking from her apartment near Fourth and Brannan streets to an 8 a.m. coffee meeting in the Financial District on the morning of Friday, Sept. 13. Like on every workday, she strolled up Third Street past the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. But this particular commute turned frightening.

She first saw the disheveled man wearing mismatched shoes — a black Adidas sneaker on his left foot and a black sandal on his right foot — pressing his face into the glass of the museum gift shop.

He, too, noticed her attire: a black sundress with white flowers in preparation for the stifling heat that would reach 94 degrees that afternoon. He asked Man what kind of flowers were on her dress and whether she had smelled them. She thought his questions were weird, and she rushed along.

Then, Man said, he told her, “I just want to smell your flowers,” grabbed her, pressed his nose and mouth into her breasts and attempted to remove her dress and bra.

“I screamed and said, ‘Get the f— off me!’” recounted the 28-year-old designer at a startup. She ran north on Third Street, and the man followed her. She told him she’d call the police if he didn’t leave her alone. He laughed and said, “The cops aren’t going to do nothing,” she recalled.

It’s one more terrifying encounter — seemingly fueled by drugs or untreated mental illness — in a city struggling to respond to these twin crises in any comprehensive, coherent way.

There are too few mental health beds. Too few drug treatment beds. A clogged psychiatric emergency room at San Francisco General Hospital that quickly releases people back to the streets. A criminal justice system that seems more intent on shifting blame than ensuring the public is safe. A mayor and board adding some new beds here and creating a task force there, but not making big change.

And finally, let’s end on a thankful note, shall we? After all, how blessed are Americans that we have such an abundance of free time that individuals can dream up and participate in some extraordinary creative mental gymnastics just to ensure that democracy doesn’t dies in darkness:

Untitled

The two are separated by race, gender and more than 100 years of history that forged an America that would probably be unrecognizable to Douglass. Still, experts say, their use of photography collapses the distance: Douglass sat for scores of pictures to normalize the idea of black excellence and equality, and Warren’s thousands of selfies with supporters could do the same for a female president.

Have a great weekend.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

9/20/2019

WSJ: Trump Repeatedly Pressured Ukrainian President To Reopen Biden Investigation

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:01 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Have at it:

President Trump in a July phone call repeatedly pressured the president of Ukraine to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden ’s son, urging Volodymyr Zelensky about eight times to work with Rudy Giuliani, his personal lawyer, on a probe, according to people familiar with the matter.

“He told him that he should work with [Mr. Giuliani] on Biden, and that people in Washington wanted to know” if his lawyer’s assertions that Mr. Biden acted improperly as vice president were true, one of the people said. Mr. Trump didn’t mention a provision of U.S. aid to Ukraine on the call, said this person, who didn’t believe Mr. Trump offered the Ukrainian president any quid-pro-quo for his cooperation on any investigation.

Mr. Giuliani in June and August met with top Ukrainian officials about the prospect of an investigation, he said in an interview. The Trump lawyer has suggested Mr. Biden as vice president worked to shield from investigation a Ukrainian gas company with ties to his son, Hunter Biden. A Ukrainian official earlier this year said he had no evidence of wrongdoing by Mr. Biden or his son.

Good point:

The surprise in this story is that he supposedly didn’t threaten to withhold the $250 million in military aid that Ukraine had been promised if President Zelensky refused to reopen the Biden probe, at least as far as the Journal’s sources know. But of course Zelensky knew that that money hadn’t been approved yet by the White House when he and Trump had their phone call. And Trump knew that he knew. If you’re waiting on a life-and-death loan from the bank and the head of the bank calls you up asking for a personal favor, does he need to literally say the words “do it or you won’t get your loan” for you to understand the consequences if you decline?

Interestingly, neither the White House, nor Joe Biden have commented on this. Further, President Trump is scheduled to meet with Zelensky next week.

This from the Daily Beast:

Ukraine is ready to investigate the connections Joe Biden’s son Hunter had with the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings, according to Anton Geraschenko, a senior adviser to the country’s interior minister who would oversee such an inquiry.

Geraschenko told The Daily Beast in an exclusive interview that “as soon as there is an official request” Ukraine will look into the case, but “currently there is no open investigation.”

“Clearly,” said Geraschenko, “Trump is now looking for kompromat to discredit his opponent Biden, to take revenge for his friend Paul Manafort, who is serving seven years in prison.” Among the counts on which Manafort was convicted: tax evasion. “We do not investigate Biden in Ukraine, since we have not received a single official request to do so,” said Geraschenko.

And I’ll just throw this up here for kicks:

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

Dear Mom and Dad: Your Kids Aren’t Experts in Science

Filed under: General — JVW @ 3:09 pm



[guest post by JVW]

About a decade or so ago I was clued in to a hilarious website called I Am Better Than Your Kids. The premise of it is that the cute artwork that your preschooler or early-gradeschooler brings home isn’t very good, even if you take to hanging it on the refrigerator or framing it and hanging it in your office. The humor isn’t for everyone; you have to see through his sometimes cruel assessment of children’s artistic efforts and realize that the butt of the joke really is snowflake culture (though we hadn’t yet fully identified it at that point) and parents who are certain their little one is the next Renoir or Matisse, albeit with a nose full of boogers. The site is still active, and parents still apparently submit their tyke’s doodlings for evaluation, knowing full well that the effort will be eviscerated. Clearly they too are in on the joke. I’m guessing this kind of humor isn’t as widely tolerated as it was a decade ago, but it’s nice to know it’s still out there.

Anyway, I thought of this site for the first time in ages when I noticed today that all of the wokest parents’ kids are preparing for the worldwide Climate Strike. Perhaps you have seen it on social media: pictures of little Emma and Noah holding up signs declaring the Earth is in a crisis and imploring — nay, demanding — that Bad Orange Man do something about it. Sixteen-year-old Greta Thunberg of Stockholm has become for environmentalism what David Hogg is to gun control, the self-righteous scold repeating the same old worn-out tropes that have yet to move the needle beyond the current crop of true believers. Nevertheless, Miss Thunberg like Mr. Hogg does not want for adoring media coverage hailing her as a young oracle for a more just future. Those of us who also had solved all of the answers to the world’s problems when we were in our mid-teens ought to be at least somewhat forbearing of this youthful aggrandizement. So with that in mind, I want to send a simple message out to their parents:

Your kids don’t know what the hell they are talking about.

Oh, it may turn out that your kids are right. Perhaps there really is a cataclysmic doom directly head of us and these are the last possible moments in which we can act, but your seven-year-old has no idea whether or not that is true, even if she has already aced the times tables up to the twelves. Your high school freshman, precocious though he may be, hasn’t read all of the pro-doom research and checked it over to ensure that the science is replicable, let alone read any research that counters the dominant narrative that we’re hurtling along to our ultimate destruction. They simply aren’t that smart.

Stop filling up impressionable young minds with your ugly disaster scenarios. Stop sending them to bed with nasty visions of a truncated life due to unimaginable catastrophe. What kind of sick society does this to children? I’ve joked about this in the past, but it’s getting less and less funny: I feel like a terrific investment would be to open a bunch of youth psychiatry clinics in order to handle the mass anxiety and depression that we’ve shoved into this young generation’s callow minds. Shame on us for ruining their childhoods with our selfish crusades.

Here endeth the rant.

– JVW

John Bolton Unleashed

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:28 am



[guest post by Dana]

Clearly, he’s got nothing to lose:

John Bolton…harshly criticized Trump’s foreign policy on Wednesday at a private lunch, saying that inviting the Taliban to Camp David sent a “terrible signal” and that it was “disrespectful” to the victims of 9/11 because the Taliban had harbored al Qaeda.

Bolton also said that any negotiations with North Korea and Iran were “doomed to failure,” according to two attendees.

All the North Koreans and Iranians want to do is negotiate for relief from sanctions to support their economies, said Bolton, who was speaking before guests invited by the Gatestone Institute, a conservative think tank.

“He ripped Trump, without using his name, several times,” said one attendee. Bolton didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bolton also said more than once that Trump’s failure to respond to the Iranian attack on an American drone earlier this summer set the stage for the Islamic Republic’s aggression in recent months.

At one point, Bolton, a previous chairman of Gatestone, suggested that had the U.S. retaliated for the drone shootdown, Iran might not have damaged the Saudi oil fields.

Coincidentally, Bolton’s comments came on the same day that Trump announced Bolton’s replacement would be Robert C. O’Brien, with whom he had “good chemistry”.

Trump pushed back on Bolton’s comments concerning a “high authority, at the very last minute” choosing not to go through with planned retaliatory strikes against the Iranians because Tucker Carlson, among others, warned that it was not a good idea:

“Well, I was critical of John Bolton for getting us involved with a lot of other people in the Middle East,” he told reporters during a visit to the U.S.-Mexico border south of San Diego. “We’ve spent $7.5 trillion in the Middle East and you ought to ask a lot of people about that.“

“John was not able to work with anybody, and a lot of people disagreed with his ideas,” Trump added. “A lot of people were very critical that I brought him on in the first place because of the fact that he was so in favor of going into the Middle East, and he got stuck in quicksand and we became policemen for the Middle East. It’s ridiculous.“

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

9/19/2019

Media Lesson Today: Not All White People Wearing Blackface Incidents Are Equal

Filed under: General — Dana @ 4:01 pm



[guest post by Dana]

It all depends on who it is wearing the blackface…

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over the years:

Untitled

It’s a funny thing to see how the media treats adored politicians when they are discovered to have worn blackface:

Untitled

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada is the latest politician to apologize (3x) for wearing blackface 50 years ago40 years ago30 years ago… less than 20 years ago. Jim Geraghty asks us to pause as we recognize the significance of this moment:

Can we all take a moment to savor the delicious irony of Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau — the walking icon of tolerance, progressivism, and cultural sensitivity, the Dreamy Diversity Guy and favorite foreign leader of so many Democrats — telling Canadians today that he is unable to say whether he wore blackface (or probably more accurately, brownface) on more than three occasions?

Why, yes, yes we can!

Details:

Time magazine revealed a photo of Trudeau wearing brownface as an Aladdin character at an Arabian Nights” party in 2001, as well as blackface to imitate Harry Belafonte in high school, and then on a third occasion in the early 1990s.

In conclusion:

In a society that wasn’t consumed by woke-scolds and “cancel culture,” we could argue that not every example of darkening the skin is the same as Al Jolson or Amos and Andy or other efforts to mock and deride an entire group of people. Nobody seems all that upset when Robert Downey Jr. played an over-the-top method actor who darkened his skin to play an African-American character in Tropic Thunder. But that would require people to recognize that, say, Megyn Kelly wasn’t being racist or malevolent when she described trying to look like Diana Ross on Halloween. And by golly, joining the outrage mob and claiming another scalp is just too much fun for people to resist.

Come on, Canada. Don’t vote against Justin Trudeau because of old party costumes. Vote against Trudeau because he’s corrupt and willing to pressure his justice minister to take it easy on a big company that supported him.

Apparently, there may be more videos of Trudeau in blackface to come. He reportedly can’t remember how often he did it. As he embarks on his apology tour, reactions from Trudeau’s fellow politicians has run the gamut.

To his credit, Trudeau came out and did the work for members of the media, who were simply unable to be straight-up in their reporting and instead resorted to incredible feats of linguistic contortions to avoid saying “blackface”:

Finally, Trudeau blamed his behavior on white privilege. So predictable:

“The fact is, I didn’t understand how hurtful this is to people who live with discrimination everyday,” he said. “I didn’t see that from the layers of privilege that I have and for that I am deeply sorry and I apologize.”

It’s always the nannies and scolds telling us how to live that have the most to hide. They’re exhausting.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

CNN To Host LGBTQ Town Hall For Democratic Candidates

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:32 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Maybe hoping to replicate their climate change town hall ratings bonanza (did anyone even watch it?), CNN is slated to host a more than four-hour long LGBTQ town hall for the Democratic presidential candidates:

Nine Democratic presidential candidates have accepted the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s invitation to participate in a CNN town hall next month focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer issues. HRC is billing the October 10 town hall in Los Angeles, “Power of our Pride,” and it coincides with the 31st anniversary of National Coming Out Day on October 11.

[…]

Two candidates will appear back-to-back each hour throughout the evening and take questions from the audience and a CNN moderator…

Businessman Tom Steyer will be interviewed by CNN’s Dana Bash at 7 p.m.
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker will be interviewed by Bash at 7:30 p.m.
Former Vice President Joe Biden will be interviewed by CNN’s Anderson Cooper at 8 p.m.
California Sen. Kamala Harris, will be interviewed by Cooper at 8:30 p.m.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren will be interviewed by CNN’s Chris Cuomo at 9 p.m.
South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg will be interviewed by Cuomo at 9:30 p.m.
Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke will be interviewed by CNN’s Don Lemon at 10 p.m.
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar will be interviewed by Lemon at 10:30 p.m.
Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro will be interviewed by Cooper at 11 p.m.

Due to scheduling conflicts, both Bernie Sanders and Andrew Yang will be no-shows. Invited guests, LGBTQ stakeholders and members of civic organizations will comprise the invitation-only audience.

Me, I’m still waiting for CNN to host a National Debt town hall, where Democratic candidates are invited to spar over the most effective way to cut spending and decrease the nation’s outrageous debt…

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

9/18/2019

Mark Meadows: James Comey Was Totally Trying to Hide This Thing He Testified to Under Oath!!!!11!1!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:22 pm



I just about went apoplectic reading a post by John Sexton at Hot Air, titled Rep. Meadows: Comey’s Congressional Testimony At Odds With What He Told IG Horowitz, New Referral Needed:

Just last month IG Horowitz released a report which concluded that former FBI Director James Comey violated bureau policy by treating official records as if they were his personal documents. Today, Horowitz testified before Congress and was asked by Rep. Mark Meadows about some apparent discrepancies between what Comey told the IG during that investigation and what Comey had said during congressional testimony last year. Rep. Meadows said a referral would be forthcoming and Horowitz agreed to look over the information.

“We’ve taken, now, your report and we’ve put it side by side [with] congressional testimony that James Comey made before the joint oversight and judiciary hearing and I’m finding just a number of irregularities,” Meadows said. . . .

. . . .

“I’ll give you one example,” Meadows said. Referring to testimony Comey gave in December of 2018, Meadows continued, “Mr. Gowdy was asking, he said ‘Did you initiate an obstruction of justice investigation based on what the president said?’ It was a very clear question. Mr. Comey said ‘I don’t think so. I don’t recall doing that so I don’t think so.’

However, on page 13 of your IG report, it says that Comey purposefully leaked the memo so that they could have a special counsel appointed to investigate obstruction of justice. So two of those can not be true. They’re at opposite dynamics in terms of what they’re constructing. And we have dozens of examples where that has happened.”

Meadows added, “So we’ll be referring those inconsistencies to you today, Mr. Horowitz, and I think that it’s important that the American people get to look at this.”

The two are not “at opposite dynamics” (whatever the heck that means) and both can be true — and guess what? Comey testified in December 2018 to the precise thing that Meadows is trying to suggest Comey tried to hide:

Mr. Gowdy: Your attorney questioned the relevance of that line of questioning by Mr. Ratcliffe. I want to take another stab at letting you know why we might be interested in it.

It’s been publicly reported, but I’m going to give you a chance to respond to it, that one of the reasons you instructed Professor Richman to provide that memo to the media was to spur the appointment of [a] special counsel. Is that correct or incorrect?

Mr. Comey: Yes, so that — to pursue the tapes.

Mr. Gowdy: Pardon me?

Mr. Comey: To pursue the tapes that President Trump had tweeted at me about. I was worried the Department of Justice, as currently led, would not go after White House tapes and that a special counsel would.

Meadows says this is inconsistent with what Sexton calls other December “testimony” from Comey (actually an interview, which you can read in its entirety here). It’s not. Here’s the full context of the relevant quote from that interview:

Mr. Gowdy: He then returned to the topic of Mike Flynn, saying: Flynn’s a good guy and has been through a lot. He misled the Vice President, but he didn’t do anything wrong in the call. Said: I hope you can see your way clear of letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go. I replied by saying I agree he is a good guy, but said no more.

Have I fairly described that paragraph?

Mr. Comey: Yes. In fact, I think you read it.

Mr. Gowdy: Do the contents of that paragraph, are they sufficient to launch an obstruction of justice investigation?

Mr. Comey: Potentially.

Mr. Gowdy: What part of it potentially could lead to the initiation of an obstruction of justice investigation?

Mr. Comey: The President asking — one interpretation of it is the President asking the FBI to drop a criminal investigation.

Mr. Gowdy: Did you act or fail to act in any way in the Flynn matter because of what the President said to you?

Mr. Comey: Act or fail to act? I didn’t abide this direction. In fact, kept it to a fairly small group in FBI headquarters so it would not have any impact on the investigation.

Mr. Gowdy: But I’m asking you specifically —

Mr. Comey: I took acts — the reason I’m hesitating is I took acts to make sure it had no impact on the investigation.

Mr. Gowdy: I’m with you, but it did not — did his comments prevent you from following the leads that you thought should have been followed?

Mr. Comey: No.

Mr. Gowdy: Did his comments prevent you from taking any act as the Director of the FBI that you thought were warranted by the other fact pattern?

Mr. Comey: No. This had — I did not abide this. And it did not affect the investigation, so far as I’m aware, in any way.

Mr. Gowdy: Did you initiate an obstruction of justice investigation based on what the President said?

Mr. Comey: I don’t think so. I don’t recall doing that, so I don’t think so.

Mr. Gowdy: Would you recall initiating a criminal investigation into the President of the United States?

Mr. Comey: Yes, I’m sorry. I didn’t personally, but I took it also to mean, did anyone else in the FBI open a file with an obstruction heading or something? Not to my knowledge is the answer.

In context, Comey is being asked whether, as the Director of the FBI, he initiated an obstruction of justice investigation based on the President’s comments to the effect that he hoped that Comey would drop the investigation of his former campaign advisor and national security advisor.

And Mark Meadows is trying to say that Comey lied, because as a private citizen he leaked a memo with the hope that it would spur the appointment of a special counsel to investigate obstruction of justice. Which Comey acknowledged in testimony in December 2018.

Meadows’s accusation is reckless, it’s uninformed, and it’s also a word we don’t use in polite company that people used to use to refer to the intellectually disabled. (Some people still do, and some presidential candidates think it’s pretty darned funny.)

It’s the accusation of a partisan hack.

Let the whatabouts and rationalizing begin!

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

Guess Who Is Being Dismissive About Estimated Size Of Crowd At Elizabeth Warren Rally?

Filed under: General — Dana @ 4:24 pm



[guest post by Dana]

This is just so rich coming from President Trump. After all, we’re talking about a president who became obsessed with the size of his inaugural crowd. It was so important to Trump that the crowd size was the largest in inaugural history that Trump sent out spokesman Sean Spicer on his first day of work to accuse the media of inaccurate reporting. Moreover, a government photographer even admitted later that he had cropped out empty spaces in his inauguration photographs so that the crowds would appear larger. Nothing less than the Biggest Crowd Ever would suffice for our new president.

Remember this exchange with David Muir of ABC News:

MUIR: And just before we leave, the President tells us he wants to show us just one more image.

TRUMP: One thing this shows is how far they go over here. Look. Look how far this is. This goes all the way down here. All the way down. Nobody sees that. You don’t see that in the pictures. But when you look at this tremendous sea of love — I call it a sea of love. It’s really something special, that all these people traveled here from all parts of the country, maybe the world, but all parts of the country. Hard for them to get here. Many of these people were the forgotten men and women, many of them. And they loved what I had to say. More importantly, they’re going to love the result.

Anyway, apparently not all seas of love are equal: President Trump dismissed the estimated size of the crowd at Elizabeth’s Warren’s rally in New York City, and followed it up with a “What’s the big deal, anyone can draw a big crowd there” sneer. This really isn’t important news, of course, but it is a reminder of the dishonest, petty narcissism of Trump, and how size continually matters to him. Pot meet kettle:

President Donald Trump on Tuesday dismissed assertions that more than 20,000 people turned out for Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren’s rally in New York on Monday evening, lobbing accusations of crowd-size inflation that have long been leveled at himself.

“Certainly, if I went to Manhattan, if I went there — No. 1, she didn’t have 20,000 people and No. 2, I think anybody would get a good crowd there,” he told reporters on Air Force One, according to a pool report. “I think you have a good crowd there if you don’t even go there, just say you’re going and how many people are in the park.”

Trump did not provide a basis for his claim. The 20,000 estimation for the rally, which packed Manhattan’s Washington Square Park, comes from the Warren campaign, but it does not yet appear to have been corroborated by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. The department has said it permitted the event for an audience of up to 10,000.

A little more detail:

“Anybody that can’t get people standing in the middle of Manhattan in the most densely populated area of the country — anybody could do that,” the president said in California to reporters traveling with him. “I think more Democrats should do it. I get these crowds in areas that nobody’s ever seen crowds before. Pretty amazing.

The event is reportedly the largest to date for a Warren appearance. She spoke at the rally, and then stayed after for four hours afterward to take photos with her supporters.

–Dana

Two Candidates’ Campaigns in Trouble

Filed under: General — JVW @ 12:50 pm



[guest post by JVW]

There is currently no shortage of seriously obnoxious candidates in the Democrat Presidential primary. Even with the departure of the eminently dishonorable Kirsten Gillibrand, a woman who perfectly tailored her deeply-held beliefs to whatever political expediency demanded at any given time, we are still left with a motley assortment of De Blasios, Warrens, Klobuchars, Buttigiegs, Bidens, and the rest: all competing for the title of Wokest of the Woke and finding new ways to have government waste your hard-earned dollars.

But I want to focus this post on two candidates who started with a good deal of promise but have seen their campaigns start to sputter and are trending the wrong direction in recent polls: the one-time leader of the field, socialist wunderrentner Bernard Sanders, everbody’s favorite Marxist crank, and Kamala Harris, whom assorted nitwits (like me) assumed would have special appeal to a party that seemed to be driven by young people and minorities.

Regarding Sanders, Politico (no links for bullies, per site policy) details some of the setbacks that the Vermont Senator has suffered in the past week including a staff reorganization in New Hampshire, a neighboring state in which the old codger has to have a good showing in order to be taken seriously as a contender (despite his staff’s assurances to the contrary), and the surprise annoucement that the Working Families Party who had backed him in 2016 would be shifting their support to his populist rival from the Bay State, Elizabeth Warren. The national polls, which consistently show Dinosaur Joe Biden leading the pack, tend to be evenly divided in the second spot between the two New England Senators, though Lieawatha’s fortunes seem to be rising over the past two months while the Commissar’s standing appears to be slipping. A second-place finish to Warren in New Hampshire five months from now, or, even worse, a third-place finish behind Warren and Biden, would likely turn her into the new populist darling and spell an early end to Comrade Bernie’s second attempt at the big enchilada.

Meanwhile, Kamala Harris’s campaign has failed to catch fire despite the advantages she would appear to have in age, sex, race, and influence of her home state. After zooming up into the mid-teens in polling and finding herself in a solid third or even second position in the polls after the first debate, she has now slipped back into the five percent level, Pete Buttigieg territory, and a significant chasm has opened up between the California Senator and the big three. The Oakland-born, Berkeley-raised, former San Francisco mover and shaker who now officially resides in Los Angeles even finds herself trailing badly in her home state, which will account for 10% of the DNC delegates selected to the Milwaukee nominating convention. It would seem that once you are murdered by My Little Aloha Sweetie, you stay dead.

It’s a long way to February and lots more could happen between now and then to reset this race, but right know I think I would much rather be Elizabeth Warren than I would Kamala Harris or Bernard Sanders.

– JVW

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