Patterico's Pontifications


Pamela Geller’s New Ad Campaign: The Winning “Draw Mohammed” Cartoon On Public Buses

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:57 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Pamela Geller is making yet another stand in her fight to protect freedom of speech in America. The American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), which she co-founded with Robert Spencer, has announced its new ad campaign with a statement from Geller:

“[b]ecause the media and the cultural and political elites continue to self-enforce the Sharia without the consent of the American people by refusing to show any depictions of Muhammad or showing what it was in Texas that had jihadists opening fire, we are running an ad featuring the winning cartoon by former Muslim Bosch Fawstin from our Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest in Garland, Texas.”

The application for the ads to run on buses and trains in the D.C. area is currently under standard review by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).

According to Geller:

Let the American people see what the cowardly press is censoring in accordance with the blasphemy laws under the sharia (Islamic law).

Drawing Muhammad is not illegal under American law, but only under Islamic law. Violence that arises over the cartoons is solely the responsibility of the Islamic jihadists who perpetrate it. Either America will stand now against attempts to suppress the freedom of speech by violence, or will submit and give the violent the signal that we can be silenced by threats and murder.

Reactions to her plan are about what you would expect: hysterical headlines and tiresome arguments, such as this one from Juan Williams:

“I think Ms. Geller is doing it intentionally to provoke a controversy,” Williams said. “I think that’s what happened down in Texas.”

“It is fierce bullies like Juan Williams who want to impose the Sharia,” Geller responded. “This is the Sharia, Juan.”

Geller then mentioned a comment Williams made in 2010 about how he gets “nervous” when he sees “people who are in Muslim garb” on airplanes. Geller said she found that remark “offensive.”

“This has nothing to do with that,” Williams responded. “What I see you doing, I think, is trying to provoke, unnecessarily, controversy, and at times offending and demeaning Muslims who regard your actions as not only provocative but offensive.”

Geller said that Williams comments were more offensive than her planned bus ads.

“Muslims that support free speech will not be offended. Muslims that want to impose the Sharia will be offended. And frankly, your offensive remarks are far more humiliating to Muslims than my running ads about a cartoon that the media refuses to run,” she said. “I did not make the cartoons a flashpoint. The jihadis made the cartoons a flashpoint.”

Geller sums it up:

“There is nothing about this cartoon that incites violence. It is within the established American tradition of satire. If America surrenders on this point, the freedom of speech is a relic of history,”


Federal Judges Suggest Obama Is Disingenuous in DAPA Amnesty Case

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:48 am

As JD noted last night, a panel of the Fifth Circuit yesterday upheld the temporary injunction halting Obama’s amnesty. Basically, the judges said that Obama could exercise prosecutorial discretion and not prosecute/remove certain aliens deemed a lower priority, but probably could not deem them to be here lawfully such that they could obtain work permits, driver’s licenses, and other privileges of those here lawfully.

I read through the opinion last night and was struck by a couple of passages. In this one, the majority judges noted language in the amnesty decree that purported to make the amnesty discretionary and “case by case” — but said, in essence, that this language was disingenuous: designed to make it seem discretionary when it actually is not:

The agency’s characterization of both the DACA and DAPA criteria exudes discretion—using terms such as “guidance,” “case-by-case,” and “prosecutorial discretion.” But a rule can be binding if it is “applied by the agency in a way that indicates it is binding,” and the states offered evidence from DACA’s implementation that DAPA’s discretionary language was pretextual.

That’s a nicer word for disingenuous, which itself is a nicer word for “bullshit” — but you get the point. In this regard, the court (as had the trial judge below) noted that Obama had declared that he wouldn’t even go after people who don’t qualify for the amnesty:

Although a person who expected to be denied DACA relief for discretionary reasons would be unlikely to apply, the self-selection issue is mitigated by the district court’s finding that “the [g]overnment has publicly declared that it will make no attempt to enforce the law against even those who are denied deferred action (absent extraordinary circumstances).” Texas, 2015 WL 648579 at *50.

Finally, in a passage that seems to be little remarked upon, the judges chided the Justice Department for arguing two opposite positions in separate cases:

[The government] claims a stay would improve public safety and national security, provide humanitarian relief to the family members of citizens and lawful permanent residents, and increase tax revenue for state and local governments. To the contrary, however, and only by way of example, on March 16, 2015, the Attorney General, in opposing a motion to stay removal in an unrelated action, argued to this very panel that “granting a stay of removal . . . would impede the government’s interest in expeditiously . . . controlling immigration into the United States.” Presumably, by referring to “the government’s interest,” the United States is referring to “the public interest.”

In other words, in a recent case, the federal government took the position that they wanted to remove someone from the country, and the court should not issue a stay of that removal because, hey, we have to control immigration. But in the topsy-turvy world of defending amnesty, where the Justice Department is forced by politics to defend a Presidential position that runs exactly counter to enforcing immigration laws, the government says the exact opposite: you need to let us keep people here even if maybe they are illegal, because of all the wonderful benefits we receive from their presence in the country.

The fact that both these arguments were made to the same panel of judges is just a bonus.

It was subtle, but the decision yesterday amounted to the judges calling B.S. on Obama’s lies.


Certifiable Idiot Marie Harf Promoted

Filed under: General — JD @ 8:03 pm

[guest post by JD]

We are in the best of hands. After informing us last week that Iraqi forces had held the line outside the city of Ramadi while ISIS had already taken over the city. She has a list of objectively idiotic statements a mile long.  

So, naturally, she was promoted to be the head of strategic communications for the almost equally inept Sec Kerry in the Iranian nuclear negotiations. 

WTF. I honestly hope we have been duped by The Onion. 


5th Circuit Upholds Injunction Against Obama’s Illegal Amnesty

Filed under: General — JD @ 11:57 am

[guest post by JD]

It’s a start.


NYT: How “Established by the State” Ended Up in ObamaCare

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:36 am

It’s a question I have asked Halbig hacks ever since I first heard of the case: how did those words “established by the state” end up in the law anyway? The New York Times says it kinda sorta has the answer:

The answer, from interviews with more than two dozen Democrats and Republicans involved in writing the law, is that the words were a product of shifting politics and a sloppy merging of different versions. Some described the words as “inadvertent,” “inartful” or “a drafting error.” But none supported the contention of the plaintiffs, who are from Virginia.

“I don’t ever recall any distinction between federal and state exchanges in terms of the availability of subsidies,” said Olympia J. Snowe, a former Republican senator from Maine who helped write the Finance Committee version of the bill.

“It was never part of our conversations at any point,” said Ms. Snowe, who voted against the final version of the Senate bill. “Why would we have wanted to deny people subsidies? It was not their fault if their state did not set up an exchange.” The four words, she said, were perhaps “inadvertent language,” adding, “I don’t know how else to explain it.”

I always enjoy these arguments that the phrase just happened to appear in the legislation on its own. By now, if you’re a long-time reader, it’s an old gag — but I like to established by the state just throw those four words in randomly, in the middle of sentences, just to show how they can accidentally pop up in the middle established by the state of a sentence without anyone ever intending it established by the state to happen.

This is a slightly more plausible explanation:

Russ Sullivan, the staff director for Democrats on the Finance Committee, gave a similar account. The language in the law providing tax credits through state exchanges was “a holdover from what we had in the Finance Committee,” which originally assumed that “every state was going to set up an exchange,” Mr. Sullivan said.

The idea of a federal backstop came later, he said, when people started asking what would happen if some states did not set up an exchange.

In other words, the people who wrote it falsely assumed every state would establish an exchange. Later, some people decided that wasn’t necessarily true, and established a federal backstop but forgot to change the original language. This actually seems plausible to me.

The question is: what do you do when many of the people voting for the bill assumed it said one thing, but it actually says another? Are we really just to alter clear language simply because some of the supporters later say it doesn’t read the way they assumed it did?

Under that argument, you could say the bill provides for subsidies for low-income people who qualify for Medicaid. After all, the drafters of the bill couldn’t possibly have meant to deny subsidies to low-income people — the very people who need subsidies the most. Yet that is exactly what ObamaCare does, because lawmakers assumed (there’s that pesky issue of poor assumptions again!) that every state would expand Medicaid. So why provide subsidies for the poor when Medicaid would fill the gap?

Under the theory that “we can make the law say anything we claim we meant it to say,” leftists could simply shrug off the insignificant detail that the law does not provide subsidies to low-income people, and give it to them anyway. I’m honestly shocked Obama hasn’t tried that, but maybe he’s waiting for the outcome of this case. If the Supreme Court sanctions the “to hell with the language” policy, he can have the IRS make a “rule” that says low-income people get subsidies too. Add to the mix the lovely Chevron rule that unconstitutionally makes omnipotent kings out of bureaucrats, and Obama can “fix” any “problem” caused by Congress’s failure to actually enact what a group of leftists believes is the “spirit” of the law.

Anyway, I used to think the outcome of this case would matter, but let’s face it. Republicans will give out the subsidies that Democrats never actually voted for in the first place, because to do otherwise would run counter to the inviolate principle that We Must Always Make Government Bigger or Else Voters Might Get Upset. It’s all about the realism, you see.

We had a pretty good country up until the 1930s or so.


Seeing Memorial Day Through The Eyes Of A Veteran, The Democratic Party, And The RNC

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:01 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Tomorrow is Memorial Day. Originally known as Decoration Day, it is the day set aside to honor and remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.

Retired Army Staff Sgt. Luke Murphy, who served two tours with the 101st Airborne Division’s 187th Infantry Regiment and lost his right leg as a result of a roadside bomb blast in 2006, shares his thoughts about Memorial Day in a brief yet poignant essay:

As a wounded veteran who served two tours in Iraq, I’ve been asked to give speeches at Memorial Day celebrations. It’s one of the hardest jobs I’ve ever done.

Veterans Day is easy. Fourth of July, a piece of cake.

But Memorial Day, that’s a tough one.

Service members like me think about the soldiers we lost pretty often. I remember when he was alive, all the stuff we did — the training, combat and even just hanging out together off duty. Then my mind usually goes to the day of his death. I remember where I was when I heard about it, or what it felt like to see him catastrophically wounded. I picture their faces. They’re young; they never get old.

When soldiers die, they don’t just roll over and quit like in the movies. They fight like hell. They do whatever they can to stay alive — sometimes that’s their hardest fight. And sometimes they lose.

And sadly:

Memorial Day is supposed to remind Americans what other people have sacrificed for them. But sometimes, I think nobody’s paying attention.

They’re too self-absorbed.

After reading Murphy’s essay, I saw this:

God Bless Jake Tapper:

The Republican National Committee shames itself as well:



Real Rape And Pretend Rape Are Not The Same Thing

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:15 pm

[guest post by Dana]

This is a *real* rape:

A 22-year-old woman was raped by five men on a minibus in Dhaka, the Bangladeshi capital, authorities said, in a case with chilling echoes of the fatal attack on a woman in New Delhi in 2012.

Police say the woman was waiting at a bus stop for a ride home after work on Thursday night when a minibus stopped in front of her and two men forced her aboard. They and three other men inside the bus took turns raping her for an hour and a half while the bus slowly drove around the Jamuna Future Park area in northeast Dhaka.

Five men assaulted a young woman for 90 minutes while the bus driver leisurely drove around town to accommodate the evil taking place behind him.

To make matters worse, the victim’s sister said they had to visit three police stations before an official agreed to take the report.

This is not a *real* rape. It’s a damn television show. Stop acting like it’s the same thing when it’s not.


[I]t always makes me snicker right cruelly whenever someone on the left declares himself offended by a work of art. Art should shock you! they say. Art should challenge you! they say. But by you they mean you, not them; they have no need or desire to be shocked or challenged out of their pristinely moral positions.


Ireland Legalizes Gay Marriage

Filed under: General — JVW @ 11:52 am

[guest post by JVW]

Story here.

Imagine the novelty of legalizing gay marriage through the will of the people expressed by popular referendum and not by judicial fiat. Why, that would never fly over here.


Intolerant Lesbian Couple Demand Money Back From Tolerant Shop Owner

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:18 am

[guest post by Dana]

A Lesbian couple in Canada who patronized a local jeweler for their engagement rings are now demanding their money back – in spite of having nothing but good things to say about the business:

“They were great to work with. They seemed to have no issues. They knew the two of us were a same-sex couple,” White said.

“I referred some of my friends to them, just because I did get some good customer service and they had good prices.”

However, when a friend went to visit the shop, he saw a sign that read: “The sanctity of marriage is under attack. Let’s keep marriage between a man and a woman.”

Upon hearing about this, Nicole White and Pam Renouf went to demand their money back:

A worker at Today’s Jewellers in Mount Pearl told the couple that the sign is part of their beliefs, and that they can post whatever they want in their store.

“It was really upsetting. Really sad, because we already had money down on [the rings], and they’re displaying how much they are against gays, and how they think marriage should be between a man and a woman.”


“They just said that that’s their beliefs, and they think they can put up whatever they want. I just said it was very disrespectful, it’s very unprofessional and I wanted a refund,” White said.

“I have no issues with them believing in what they believe in. I think everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. But I don’t think they should put their personal beliefs inside their business.”

White and Renouf hope to get a refund when the man who sold them the rings returns to town next month — but it’s not guaranteed.

White said the rings were meant to be a symbol of love, but now the bands seem tainted.

“I think every time I look at that ring, I’ll probably think of what we just went through,” White said.

Tainted bands!!!

Co-owner of the shop Esau Jardon claims he has been putting up signs representing his beliefs for 11 years without complaint. As an immigrant, one of the reasons the tolerant Jardon moved to the country was because of its “freedom of rights”, including freedom of religion and speech:

“I feel really bad that [White] feels that we would in any way try to hurt or discriminate against her, but we will not retract from what we believe. I cannot say, ‘Well because you feel bad, I will stop believing what I believe,'” he said.

“When I walk on Church Street in Toronto, where I am right now, and I see [LGBT rainbow flags], and I see a lot of signs and a lot of things on public property, I don’t have a problem with them. I accept it. I chose to come to Canada… and we accept the whole package… I don’t discriminate against that, nor do I come and tell them to take them down. For the same reason, I ask to have the same respect in return, especially when it’s in my own business.”

Jardon is refusing to apologize and refusing to bow to social pressure in spite of having to shut down his Facebook page:

When asked if he would offer a refund to the couple, Jardon said he won’t be bullied into apologizing for his beliefs or to work for free.

He said the finished rings are ready to be picked up; White and Renouf just have to pay the balance.


UPDATE BY PATTERICO: I believe he ended up giving them a refund. You vill express der correct opinions.


Hillary Clinton, The Media … And “Playing The Freak”

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:40 pm

[guest post by Dana]

A little fun at Hillary’s expense:

NEW YORK—Having grossly miscalculated the resources required for an 18-month presidential bid, Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton announced Tuesday she had ended her race for the White House after blowing through $2 billion of campaign funds in a single month. “Admittedly, my staff and I haven’t kept a close enough eye on our financials over the past few weeks, and certain of our expenditures, such as the 800,000-square-foot Hillary For America headquarters we broke ground on in Des Moines and those seven backup campaign buses, appear to have been poor decisions,” said Clinton, who faulted several crucial missteps, including the licensing of every song in the Fleetwood Mac catalogue for her campaign appearances and sending two pounds of direct-mail solicitations each day to every man, woman, and child in the nation. “While it seemed a winning strategy at first, buying up all the primetime commercial blocks on every network affiliate in all 50 states was probably ill-advised, as was hiring our 3,000-member campaign team in Puerto Rico, which does not have any electoral votes.” The former secretary of state went on to say she was confident the lessons she had learned from her mistakes this time around would only make her a stronger candidate in 2020.

This is not from The Onion, but surprisingly it’s from the New York Times:

“Mrs. Clinton and the news media have changed. She seems less a presidential candidate than a historical figure, returning to claim what is rightfully hers.And the press corps, both blessed and cursed with live streaming, tweeting and Snapchatting technologies, is armed with questions devised to win the moment. The result is a carnival atmosphere. It is not clear what Mrs. Clinton gains politically from playing the freak.”

Today I heard a political adviser state the obvious: that from the start, Clinton’s strategy with the media has been very simple: ignore them, thereby ignore the scandals. While it may be working at the moment, it’s not sustainable because sooner rather than later, she is going to need them. And in spite of a building resentment from media members, they will be there for her when she’s ready. Maybe then, the press and Clinton will begin to forge that brand new relationship she talked about, right?

“It’s maddening,” an anonymous print journalist complained to the Daily Mail. “We can’t do our job if the Clinton campaign freezes us out and tells us there aren’t any more events for the day—and then they race to Waterloo for an event. Don’t they understand that they need us as much as we need them?”

A cable television news correspondent, likewise anonymous, sarcastically told the London-based outlet: “Maybe by this point next year Hillary’s people will be clamoring for us to interview her as Elizabeth Warren and Martin O’Malley make mincemeat out of her”—a reference to former Maryland governor O’Malley (who is expected to enter the race soon) and Massachusetts Senator Warren (who insists she will not).

This TV journalist added: “But for now dodging the press just comes off as arrogant and imperial. Which is not the model she ought to be trying to emulate. I mean, really: If you hold a campaign party and there are 100 of us flying in to Iowa to cover you, the least you can do is tell us the event exists. We don’t expect you to feed us or mix us martinis. Just don’t make this presidential campaign marathon any harder or more idiotic than it needs to be.”


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