Patterico's Pontifications

5/2/2016

OK Then

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:26 pm

I have tried to be an optimist. At least through tomorrow’s election.

I’m sorry. Explain how I am supposed to be an optimist.

I give up.

Video: Ted Cruz vs. Low-IQ Trumpkin

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:38 pm

It’s a perfect metaphor for the whole primary season. Facts, logic, and reason vs. . . . a totally uninformed voter. You know those yutzes who Jimmy Kimmel talks to on Hollywood Boulevard — the ones who know who Snooki is, but can’t name the vice-president, or any two of the three branches of government? This Trumpkin makes those people look like a cross between Stephen Hawking and that guy who can solve the Rubik’s Cube in 12 seconds while holding it above his head.

It’s a long clip, but I’ll summarize and paraphrase it:

TRUMPKIN: What you gonna do about our Second Amendment!

CRUZ: I have fought for the Second Amendment and other constitutional rights my whole life, while Trump says he hates guns and will put a leftist on the Supreme Court.

TRUMPKIN: Lyin’ Ted! He has a mistress! Trump gonna build a wall!

Do not accuse me of exaggerating until you have seen the whole thing.

UPDATE: Whoops. Dana already posted about this. Well, now you get to see what we both said about it. But comment on her post.

Ted Cruz Confronts Trump’s Chumps In Indiana

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:01 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Given that truth and facts don’t matter to Trump supporters, some might think this was just a waste of time. But I don’t think so. Cruz was able to use the opportunity to clarify his positions, and correct the record about Trump’s claims. Although we’ve seen this same level of patience and composure from Cruz before while facing a hostile crowd, it nonetheless remains inspiring to watch, and admirable to see demonstrated in a candidate. And Cruz is right: Donald Trump would never stand before a hostile crowd like this and patiently respond to their direct attacks just to make sure his positions were clearly understood by the voters. Mostly because Trump doesn’t respect voters enough to do that, and also because he himself is apparently unsure of what it is, exactly, that he believes about any number of issues on any given day.

Ultimately, the Trump supporters validate Cruz’s claim at the end of the video:

With all respect, Donald Trump is deceiving you. He is playing you for a chump.

Watch the whole thing.

–Dana

Ed from SFV Reports from the Front Lines

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:57 am

Here is another guest post from Ed from SFV, this time about volunteering for Ted Cruz. — Patterico

It was a miserable, raw, and rainy day here in Northern Indiana. It felt more like late winter than early Spring.

I decided to go to the local Cruz office, not far from my home, and see if there might could be something I could do. I walked in and was surprised to see that young man from DC (I’ll call him John) whom I met at the rally on Thursday. The office was as bare bones as could be. Not much heat, either. Yet, there was a warmth to that space. A reassuring, nice, warmth.

There were a few rows of tables with some specialized phones. I quickly surmised one of these would have my name on it. The walls were sparsely decorated with some Cruz posters. Some bottled water and soda (Coca Colas to all y’all in Georgia) was on a table or in a cooler adjacent to the door. About half a dozen folks were manning phones. Only one was actually conversing the moment I walked in.

John gave me a big smile as he recognized me from the rally and I told him to put me to work. He handed me a written template of suggested phrases/talking points I might use with anyone I spoke with. Then, he gave me a quick tutorial on how to navigate the 3″ x 4″ screen which had corresponding buttons next to certain words which would populate. Some of these prompts said things like, “Not Home,” “Success,” “Refused,” “Bad Number,” and so on and so forth. Depending on the option chosen, a new set of prompts, with text at the top, would appear. Or, that call attempt would end immediately and the screen would return to the home page.

I asked John if there were any particular things I should avoid saying or doing and just as before at the rally, it was basically all about common sense. One gentle reminder he gave to me was that none of this was personal. If I ran into a belligerent person, I needed to be sure to not take offense. He said I should, “Just talk to them as you would to anyone about the election.” More rocket science, eh?

I was told this proprietary phone system and the numbers we were to call all came out of a place in Texas. I quickly noticed that all the calls were within a pretty finite geographical area in Indiana. It made perfect sense to me and it was an area one would expect significant support for Ted. If folks in that area turn out, Ted has a great chance to win.

I could overhear a few other calls as I settled in. To get started, I entered the common password. I hit the button indicating i wanted to make a call. Instantly, a name and the phone number I was calling appeared on screen. There would be bad numbers, answering machines answering, no answer, whatever. Most calls would not be answered by a live person, as expected. John had explained to me that Indiana law did not allow for us to leave messages, so we were to simply hang up (using the buttons/prompts) taking care to not say anything which could potentially be seen as leaving a message.

Most folks I reached were nice; a few were simply cordial. Once in awhile, I ran into a hornet who was not at all pleased that a political campaign (in some cases specific outrage that Ted’s campaign was calling), and not too many times, someone who was a Trump person, full stop. Again, pretty much what could be expected.

The only difficult times were when we had someone complain that we should stop calling them. Most of these were Ted supporters and I felt badly that we were serving to antagonize them. I sure as heck know how I would feel if I were on the other end of multiple contacts!

My absolute favorite encounter was with a lady who let me know in no uncertain terms that she was going to vote for Kasich. I asked if she would tell me the #1 reason she had reached that decision. “I am making sure that Donald Trump won’t win!!!” Hmm. I took that opening to explain to her that Kasich himself has said that the strategic vote to make, if stopping DJT was the priority, was to vote for Ted on Tuesday. She responded, “I don’t care about any of that. I am voting for KASICH to stop Trump!!!!!!” I tried to reiterate that only a vote for Ted could do that this week, but she interjected, “Listen, I am going to vote for Kasich and then in November I am going to vote for HILLARY!!!!!!!!” Click.

I had some very nice conversations with folks for whom morality, or the “Christian” way was the most important thing. It was a privilege to speak to them. I am confident that I was able to show them that Ted was the most consistent man. I invoked Ted’s famous reading of “Green Eggs and Ham to his daughters in the middle of a filibuster as the best window into his soul. This really resonated with most of them. I could almost see them smiling.

Other typical things the folks wanted to discuss: Who can beat Hillary? What about the debt – isn’t DJT the best guy to handle this? Ted’s likeability/niceness, and the perceived lack thereof. The inevitability of a DJT nomination. Here again – just exactly what one would expect. Not brain surgery. Just basic stuff. I loved telling Ted’s story, or his positions on these and other matters. The best moment for me was with a caller I didn’t even dial.

One of my compadres was speaking to a Vet who said he had a 100% disability. He had explained that he loved Ted’s concept for a flat tax, but he was very concerned that this would result in a VAT which would he would end up paying to his care providers. (Someone had given him this false information.) I was asked to come speak to him as the impression was that I was the most conversant with a wide range of issues.

No. I am not worthy. I won’t lie, though. That was a wonderfully affirming moment for me. I heard somewhere that it is better to give than receive. Well, if I were not there volunteering, I would never have had that affirmation. Must be true!

I spoke to the man for some minutes and it was entirely clear he knew his stuff. He was very intelligent. A little scared, too. I assured him that this VAT talk was a hyper-technical point, but that yes, there would be some added business taxation that seemed like a VAT. I also forcefully assured him that there was no plan to enact any new tax on vets receiving care. I told him that if I caught the slightest hint of such a thing, I would make it my business to work against Ted. He seemed pleased with what we had talked about, but did not promise to vote for Ted. He said he would look into some of the things I had discussed. I made a deal with him…if anything I said was wrong or misrepresented Ted’s true position, he was to vote for someone else. If I spoke the truth, he would vote for Ted. Done.

Closing time came and I asked John if he had any breakfast/brunch plans. I recommended a locally owned family place right on the same street as the office we were in. A couple of folks quickly asked me about it. You see, they were from Florida and were in the area and decided to work for Ted this weekend. Wow.

I had another great day. Because I gave a wee bit, Ted will most definitely have a few dozen more votes than he would otherwise have had. Not boasting. It’s true. Now, multiply that by however many folks like me who are having that same success. You think maybe those several thousand votes might could make a difference?

I’ll return later today to my front line position, in a cold, spare room, with some other committed, faithful, and good people. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll have the chance to meet up again someday under a Cruz presidency.

— Ed from SFV

Does Donald Trump Act Like a Tough Guy to Compensate for . . . Something?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:48 am

Politico has an endlessly fascinating piece about the Sniveling Coward (cached link; no links for bullies):

Who was really doing the deals that made Trump famous? Wayne Barrett will tell you the only signature that really mattered on a contract belonged to Trump’s father, Fred. What broke up Trump’s first marriage? Harry Hurt III writes that Ivana “confided to female friends that Donald had difficulty achieving and maintaining an erection.” How did a man who came perilously close to personal financial ruin sell himself as a master dealmaker? By exaggerating everything, including his net worth, which Timothy O’Brien revealed was far less than advertised.

As much fun as it has been to have an election where we discuss the genitalia of one of the candidates, we don’t need Donald J. Trump using the U.S. military as a substitute for his own allegedly failed sexual equipment.

I could quote the piece endlessly . . . there is the time his dad told an author that he hoped Donald’s plane crashed with him in it; the fact that he inherited $150 million from his dad (conservatively); and so much more. But I think I’ll leave it right there. It is absolutely worth your time.

The Patterico Music Project: The Lyrics to “Wrong Side of the Road”

Filed under: General,Music,Music by Patterico — Patterico @ 12:01 am

Yesterday I debuted a song written by me in the early 1990s, and recently re-recorded by Steve Bertrand of the great rock group The Tories. In case you haven’t heard the song, here it is. It’s under three minutes, very upbeat, and Bertrand’s production values are absolutely wonderful.

Below are the lyrics to that song. It’s a silly but fun song about the dangers of going against the grain. I don’t recommend reading them on their own. Instead, you should hit the play button, listen to the song, and read the lyrics as you listen to Steve belt them out.

WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD

Headed down the road
Double yellow line on my right
There’s cars swervin round me
And the drivers’ expressions are
Such a funny sight

On the wrong side of the road
I don’t want to take it slower
On the wrong side of the road
I’m hopin I don’t get pulled over
I never knew just how much fun it was
On the wrong side of the road.

Well I’m feelin all romantic
Like a salmon swimmin up stream
And I’m driving ‘gainst the grayness
Towards the pure white light of someone’s
Headlight beams

On the wrong side of the road
There’s no need to pretend
On the wrong side of the road
Knowin that your life might end
This is the way to go
Wrong side of the road

Nobody is pretending not to stare
They all know that I’m crazy
Everybody is pretending not to care
Could it be they’re too lazy
Or that they’re not pretending?

I’m a bit iconoclastic
And I’m cuttin off constraining chains
And I’ll show a thing or two
To the people who said that I
Ain’t got no brains

On the wrong side of the road
I’m going against the grain
On the wrong side of the road
I’m going through the window pane
I always told the truth
But I ended up lying
On the wrong side of the road

There are some serious metaphors and similes in there, but it’s all lighthearted and in good fun. Bonus points for those who identify some of the double meanings in the lyrics. They’re kind of obvious but it’s still fun to get you looking for them.

Tomorrow I’ll let you hear the original recording I made around 1991. It’s, um, not as good as Steve’s. I’ll expound a little bit more on the merits of Steve’s production in tomorrow’s post, by way of contrast to mine.

5/1/2016

Here We Go Again

Filed under: General — JVW @ 5:41 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Per tradition on May 1, the far left takes to the streets to celebrate the workers holiday of May Day, a tradition established in the late 19th century by socialist, communist, and anarchist groups — you know, the same people that made the 20th century so lucrative to the military industrial complex. Now largely organized and celebrated by labor unions and the open borders crowd, the holiday is usually marked by parades in large urban areas, some of which can very easily go awry.

Here in Los Angeles, the May Day demonstrations have unsurprisingly been taken over by advocates for higher wages and amnesty for illegal immigrant groups. While this militancy mixed with radicalism leaves a sour taste among many of those who otherwise might have sympathy for the plight of those who come here to escape their dysfunctional homelands, bold ethnocentric demonstrations have frankly become commonplace in the Age of Obama. Here’s a photo from today’s downtown Los Angeles rally, taken by Los Angeles Dog Trainer Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Rick Loomis:

Note the prominence of a foreign nation’s flag — a foreign nation, it should be noted, whose government has been actively working for years to undermine U.S. immigration policy. Use of the Mexican flag by Latino activists in California is a controversial topic, with debate raging whether it is a sign of hostility to assimilation or merely a relatively benign declaration of ethnic pride. However, the upside-down display of the flag of the United States can hardly be seen as anything other than a provocation by leftists seeking to harshly criticize the country of their residence.

I’m a self-described squish on immigration: I like to think that if I lived in some dysfunctional third world hell hole that I would be desperate to come to a nation that values (or at least used to value) hard work and the rule of law, but I also know that not everyone who comes over the border respects and honors the traditions and characteristics of this country. For the life of me I don’t see any possibility that the militant and assertive identity politics grievance mongering of the left will win over people like me to the cause of amnesty as a key part of immigration reform. Yet the leaders of the immigration far left are so confident in the righteousness of their cause and in its inevitability that they are apparently just fine with driving people like me away since I refuse to endorse the more radical aspects of their cause. So be it.

– JVW

The Patterico Music Project: “Wrong Side of the Road” Performed by Steve Bertrand

Filed under: General,Music,Music by Patterico — Patterico @ 1:30 pm

It’s time for Song #5 in the Patterico Music Project.

For new readers, the idea here is that I wrote some songs 25 years ago and recorded them on a primitive TASCAM cassette recorder. Over the past 2-3 years, I got the idea of trying to enlist some artists I respect to re-record some of those songs. Today’s version is a short, fun song titled “Wrong Side of the Road,” recorded by Steve Bertrand. (More about him in a moment.) Here is the song. It’s incredibly well-produced (unlike my original):

The artist, Steve Bertrand, is formerly of a band called The Tories, a band that Mrs. P. and I used to go see regularly in Los Angeles at a place called Genghis Cohen. (Teen pop idol Shaun Cassidy was a fan of theirs too, and we met Shaun outside one of those shows.) These days Steve makes his living doing various (mostly) music-related jobs, primarily for television.

Here is a live performance of the first Tories song I ever heard, “Not What It Appears”:

Hey, if Magic Johnson likes it, it’s gotta be good!

Here is Steve performing one of his solo songs, “Seven Days Without You,” in a beautiful acoustic version:

Check out his web site at SteveBertrand.com. If you know anyone who needs any work done with music production, he’d be a good choice.

And check out some of my other songs recorded by other artists:

All can be accessed at my SoundCloud page at soundcloud.com/patterico.

Lyrics and the original version to come in subsequent posts.

Happy Easter to Orthodox Christians

Filed under: General — JVW @ 9:37 am

[guest post by JVW]

Just wanted to wish a very Καλό Πάσχα, Paste Fericit عيد فصح سعيد, and Счастливой Пасхи to our Orthodox readers and friends. (And send sincere thanks to Google Translate.)

– JVW

4/30/2016

Consider These

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:06 pm

[guest post by Dana]

I wanted to bring to your attention several interesting items I read this week.

First, former NBC and CNN anchor Campbell Brown has written a revealing piece about why she believes that TV news is responsible for the rise of Donald Trump. (Because they’ll do anything for ratings, even if it means handing over complete editorial control):

I really would like to blame Trump. But everything he is doing is with TV news’ full acquiescence. Trump doesn’t force the networks to show his rallies live rather than do real reporting. Nor does he force anyone to accept his phone calls rather than demand that he do a face-to-face interview that would be a greater risk for him. TV news has largely given Trump editorial control. It is driven by a hunger for ratings—and the people who run the networks and the news channels are only too happy to make that Faustian bargain.

Trump gets about six appearances on the major networks for roughly every one his rivals Ted Cruz or John Kasich get. In fact, Trump’s exposure has been three times greater than that of Cruz and Kasich combined. He received 50 percent of the exposure when there were more than a dozen candidates—a percentage that has only grown. Of course, by now, you’ve all also read the figure of close to $2 billion worth of free media the New York Times cited for Trump’s TV bonanza. And that story was back in March. No campaign’s advertising budget can compete.

So yes, I believe Trump’s candidacy is largely a creation of a TV media that wants him, or needs him, to be the central character in this year’s political drama. And it’s not just the network and cable executives driving it. The TV anchors and senior executives who don’t deliver are mercilessly ousted. The ones who do deliver are lavishly rewarded. I know from personal experience that it is common practice for TV anchors to have substantial bonuses written into their contracts if they hit ratings marks. With this 2016 presidential soap opera, they are almost surely hitting those marks. So, we get all Trump, all the time.

Second, Jay Nordlinger observes that some things are simply unbridgeable:

There is a gap between people who think that Donald Trump ought to be president, or is fit to be president, and those who don’t. And that gap, I’m afraid, is unbridgeable.

Very likely. The clearest evidence at this time of just how unbridgeable is the gap between Trump’s brand of populism and Cruz’s unwavering conservatism is that many voters, in good conscience, will not be voting for Trump in the general election if he becomes the party’s nominee.

Third, there was rioting at the Trump rally in Southern California this week as hundreds of rioters attempted to shut down the speech of a presidential candidate as well as destroy both private and public property:

…stomping on cars, hurling rocks at motorists and forcefully declaring their opposition to the Republican presidential candidate.

Traffic came to a halt as a boisterous crowd walked in the roadway, some waving American and Mexican flags. Protesters smashed a window on at least one police cruiser, punctured the tires of a police sport utility vehicle, and at one point tried to flip a police car.

One Costa Mesa police officer was struck in the head by a rock thrown by a protestor, authorities said.

About five police cars were damaged in total, police said, adding that some will require thousands of dollars’ worth of repairs.

This nicely sums up up the collective idiocy:

“I’m protesting because I want equal rights for everybody, and I want peaceful protest,” said 19-year-old Daniel Lujan, one of hundreds in a crowd that appeared to be mostly Latinos in their late teens and 20s.

“I knew this was going to happen,” Lujan added. “It was going to be a riot. He deserves what he gets.”

Of course the MSM worked hard to soften the image of the rioters and their political motivations. It’s almost as if the media believes if anyone should have their rights to speech curtailed, it’s Trump.

And lastly, demonstrating that she is a natural at this sort of thing, Hillary Clinton, on the semi-heels of having offended the black community, has now added Native Americans to her list of Offended Minority Groups. This latest offense took place during an interview when she was asked about Trump and his criticisms of her and she responded:

*I have a lot of experience dealing with men who sometimes get off the reservation in the way they behave and how they speak.

Clinton’s National Political Director Amanda Renteria tried to smooth things over:

About the use of an expression today that has some very offensive roots…Divisive language has no place in our politics. @HillaryClinton meant no disrespect to Native Americans. She wants this election to be about lifting people up, not tearing them down.

No comment from Elizabeth Warren.

For the record, consider if Clinton’s comment had been made by any of the male candidates in the running:

I have a lot of experience dealing with women who sometimes get off the reservation in the way they behave and how they speak.

Imagine the furious accusations of sexism that would come, only to be followed by any number of Hillary women cards being played in righteous anger!

Untitled

–Dana

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