Patterico's Pontifications


Bret Stephens on the Insane Iran Arrangement

Filed under: General — JVW @ 9:46 pm

[guest post by JVW]

The headline isn’t quite fully alliterative, but I tried to come close.

Over at the Wall Street Journal, Bret Stephens unpacks the recent developments in our post-reaproachment with Iran world. Spoiler alert: the mullahs are already gleefully violating the terms they had allegedly agreed to. Stephens writes of a recent ballistic missile test, expressly prohibited by the agreement:

Earlier this month Iran test-fired a new-generation ballistic missile, called Emad, with an estimated 1,000-mile range and a 1,600-pound payload. Its only practical military use is to deliver a nuclear warhead. The test was a bald violation of the Security Council’s Resolution 2231, adopted unanimously in July, in which “Iran is called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons” for at least eight years.

Then Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei weighed in on the nuclear deal by way of a public letter to President Hassan Rouhani. “The behavior and words of the U.S. government in the nuclear issue and its prolonged and boring negotiations,” he wrote, “showed that [the nuclear issue] was also another link in their chain of hostile enmity with the Islamic Republic.”

Grant this to Khamenei: the negotiations were indeed prolonged and boring, mostly because Secretary of State Kerry lacked the guts and good sense to walk away from them. Iran now demands not just that the United States and its Western allies temporarily suspend sanctions, but that sanctions be formally and permanently lifted. Not that this is a huge deal, since by allowing this treaty to be sent to the United Nations without Congressional assent the Obama Administration has provided the green light for Russia and China to resume open and free trade with the Islamic Republic regardless of what the West chooses to do.

Stephens also points out that the very day after conducting the prohibited missile test, Iran convicted Iranian-American reporter Jason Rezaian of espionage and treason, despite complaints from the White House that the trial was — let’s see: what sort of strong term should we use to express our opprobrium? ah yes, I have it“opaque.”

When Barack Obama told us back in 2008 that the was willing to negotiate with Iran without any preconditions, should we have known that there would in fact be no conditions of any sort whatsoever? The only thing we seem to have been interested in is how deftly we could camouflage our full capitulation.


An Amish Man Went To Buy A Gun…

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:41 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Caught between a rock and a hard spot:

In a suit that brings together the Second Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), an Amish man filed a federal lawsuit in Pennsylvania last week because he wants to buy a gun without the required photo ID — and because getting that photo ID would violate his religious beliefs.

Andrew Hertzler, according to the suit, is from Lancaster County, Pa., and is an “active and practicing” member of the community; his “parents, grandparents, and siblings are all active and practicing Amish”; and he “has a sincerely held religious belief that prevents him from knowingly and willingly having his photograph taken and stored.”

“The Amish faith prohibits an individual from having his/her photograph taken,” the suit read. “This belief stems from the Biblical passage Exodus 20:4, which mandates that ‘You shall not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth,’ as well as the Christian belief in humility.”

But Hertzler’s humility caused a problem when, in June, he tried to buy a gun from a Pennsylvania dealer “using a non-photo, state-issued identification.” This wasn’t enough, according to the dealer — Hertzler was told he needed a picture ID.

Hertzler brought the matter to the attention to Senator, Pat Toomey (R), who took it to the ATF, but to no avail: he was told that a picture ID was required, no exceptions.

From the suit:

Mr. Hertzler confronts Hobson’s choice: either forego his constitutional right to keep and bear arms in defense of himself and his home, or violate his religion,” the suit read. Yet: “The exercise of one Constitutional right cannot be contingent upon the violation or waiver of another.”

“By knowingly and willingly sitting for a photograph, even for a state-issued identification document, Mr. Hertzler would be violating his religion by taking a graven image of himself,” the suit read. “Thus, Mr. Hertzler’s religious freedom has been substantially burdened — in order to exercise his fundamental right to possess a firearm for defense of himself and his home, the Government is requiring him to violate a major tenet of his sincerely held religious belief.”

A local columnist observed:

“At a time when there’s been such a loud clamor to ‘do something’ about guns — and ‘doing something’ always involves more restrictions — if the courts agree with Hertzler, it will ultimately amount to fewer restrictions.”

Note: “While the Supreme Court has not ruled on photo identification religious exemptions for such purposes as drivers’ licenses and voter ID, lower courts have generally “been willing to recognize photo identification as a compelling purpose” that outweighs religious claims, according to a Congressional Research Service study of the issue, provided the photo requirement is “applied uniformly and without exemption.”


Boehner Agrees to Two-Year Budget Deal Increasing Spending

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:41 am

Ed Morrissey:

Republicans had wanted to end the sequester on defense spending, while Democrats demanded increases in social-program spending. Each side got what they wanted — more spending.

Same old same old.

Donald Trump might be OK with this or he might not. Who knows? And his opinion could change tomorrow. He has no anti-big government principles supporting his thinking.

But, without even looking, I know Ted Cruz will be against this.

You want change? Donald Trump ain’t the guy. Ted Cruz is the guy.

Trump No Longer Dominating Polls

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:26 am

With any luck, he is well on his way towards being the thing he hates the most: a loser.

Just a day after Ben Carson blew open a double-digit lead over Donald Trump in the state of Iowa in a new Monmouth University poll, a new poll shows the New York real estate mogul’s national advantage is slipping away.

A new survey from CBS News-New York Times released this morning shows Carson narrowly leading with 26 percent support and Trump with 22 percent support, though it is within the nationwide telephone poll’s margin of sampling error.

We don’t know that he’s losing nationally, but he’s no longer decisively leading. Let’s hope it’s a trend.

I get that people want a change, but it actually matters whether the change is towards a loose cannon who loves him some big government.

P.S. Our “Would You Vote for Trump?” poll, after 957 votes, stands as follows:

12% love him.
69% would hold their nose and vote for him over Hillary.
19% (185 people out of 957) would never vote him, period.

Polling is still open.


Only On MSNBC: Being A Hard Worker Is Bad Because Slavery Or Something

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:18 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Oh, God, these people are just so utterly desperate to be relevant! And when they aren’t, because they don’t have an original thought in their heads, they just make crap up knowing someone, somewhere will buy it. Political correctness, in all its astonishingly dumb glory, is going to be what pushes rational thought and critical thinking right over the cultural cliff. And then there will be nothing left but the whiny drone of dumb, desperate people trying to out-relevant each other with their self-righteous indignation over whatever manufactured outrage they can come up with in that moment.

Cue MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry, who embarrassed herself today, but sadly lacked the necessary self-awareness to realize it. (I, on the other hand, had plenty of self-awareness for both of us as I found myself inwardly cringing when she opened her mouth…)

Anyway, when conservative Latino activist Alfonso Aguilar sang the praises of Paul Ryan and noted that Ryan is a hard worker, Harris-Perry sounded the Social Justice Warrior alarm bell. Because slaves:

ALFONSO AGUILAR: But let’s be fair. If there’s somebody who is a hard worker when he goes to Washington, it’s Paul Ryan. Not only works with the Republicans but Democrats. You know very well that I work on [the] immigration issue, trying to get Republicans to support immigration reform. Paul Ryan is somebody who has supported immigration reform, has worked with somebody like Luis Gutierrez. Luis Gutierrez is very respectful, speaks highly of Paul Ryan. This is somebody who’s trying to govern.

MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY: Alfonso, I feel you. But I just want to pause on one thing. Because I don’t disagree with you that I actually think Mr. Ryan is a great choice for this role. But I want us to be super careful when we use the language “hard worker,” because I actually keep an image of folks working in cotton fields on my office wall, because it is a reminder about what hard work looks like. So, I feel you that he’s a hard worker. I do. But in the context of relative privilege, and I just want to point out that when you talk about work-life balance and being a hard worker, the moms who don’t have health care who are working–

AGUILAR: I understand that.

HARRIS-PERRY: But, we don’t call them hard workers. We call them failures. We call them people who are sucking off the system.

AGUILAR: No, no, no, no.

HARRIS-PERRY: No, no. Really, ya’ll do. That is really what you guys do as a party.

AGUILAR: That is very unfair. I think we cannot generalize about the Republican Party.

HARRIS-PERRY: That’s true. Not all Republicans. That is certainly true.

Oh Melissa, you silly little fool. You know what hard work looks like, right here, right now? Hard work looks like character, responsibility, power, satisfaction, strength, pride, commitment and reliability in action. You know how I know that, Melissa? Because I worked today. I worked hard because I am that hard worker. Perhaps it’s a concept you are unfamiliar with, given that you spend your privileged days slumming at MSNBC creating mini-dramas and getting your SJW panties in a wounded wad, hoping to feel important and give your life some sort of meaning.

Friends don’t let friends make fools of themselves, Melissa.

Your friend,


Marco Rubio “Hates” the Senate

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:35 am

The Washington Post has an article today titled Rubio gives up on Senate: ‘He hates it’:

Marco Rubio is a U.S. senator. And he just can’t stand it anymore.

“I don’t know that ‘hate’ is the right word,” Rubio said in an interview. “I’m frustrated.”

. . . .

But Rubio had arrived at one of the least ambitious moments in Senate history and saw many of his ideas fizzle. Democrats killed his debt-cutting plans. Republicans killed his immigration reform. The two parties actually came together to kill his AGREE Act, a small-bore, hands-across-the-aisle bill that Rubio had designed just to get a win on something.

Now, he’s done. “He hates it,” a longtime friend from Florida said, speaking anonymously to say what Rubio would not.

The article leaves one a bit mystified as to what Rubio was trying to accomplish in the Senate, other than “something.” You get the impression that he is passionate about immigration reform but not much else. He came in and found that Washington was not willing to eagerly embrace his ideas, and apparently has just shrugged his shoulders and said “I’m outta here.”

Contrast that with Ted Cruz, who seems to have a clear vision for what he wants: repeal of ObamaCare, smaller government, and a return to Constitutional principles. And he seems to relish standing up for those beliefs. Rather than feeling dispirited by the fact that establishment Washington is not easily signing on to his agenda, Cruz seems energized by the fight.

The immense frustration of a Donald Trump candidacy is that his phony brand of celebrity-oriented “fighting the establishment” sucks oxygen away from the few who actually do, day in and day out. Cruz is one of those few. Marco Rubio is not.


Trump: World Would Be Better If We Still Had Saddam and Kadhafi

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:27 pm


The world would be a better place if dictators such as Saddam Hussein and Moamer Kadhafi were still in power, top Republican US presidential hopeful Donald Trump said in comments aired Sunday.

The billionaire real estate tycoon also told CNN’s “State of the Union” talk show that the Middle East “blew up” around US President Barack Obama and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, his biggest Democratic rival in the race for the White House.

“100 percent,” Trump said when asked if the world would be better off with Saddam and Kadhafi still at the helm in Iraq and Libya.

I think he’s right.

“Chopped”: A Planned Parenthood Fundraiser Theme Gets Chopped

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:30 am

[guest post by Dana]

In light of the Center for Medical Progress videos, there can be no doubt that depravity, inhumanity and barbarity are the obscene trinity that make up Planned Parenthood. Everything about them reeks of indecency.

Since the first shocking Center for Medical Progress video dropped, Planned Parenthood has been under fire. As a result of the slow drip-drip-drip of subsequent videos, the organization hired a high-profile Washington public relations firm to help with their battered image.

Along with that, Planned Parenthood and its supporters have been holding fundraising events to shore up the organization because clearly taxpayers aren’t giving enough to keep up that “crunchy” goodness needed so mama can get that new Lamborghini. What?? You think that’s a distasteful way to describe it? Of course it is. Now let’s look at the truly distasteful announcement of a Planned Parenthood fundraiser being hosted by a North Carolina bar:


From the e-vite:

Please join us on Saturday November 14th at 12 noon for another exciting round of our Chopped: Bartender Challenge to raise money and offer thanks to Planned Parenthood!

Local bartenders will compete to design craft cocktails from a list of secret ingredients to be assessed by a panel of judges. Proceeds from the one of a kind cocktails will benefit Planned Parenthood so don’t hesitate to try each one!

We’re excited to welcome Planned Parenthood volunteers and supporters for an awesome Saturday afternoon filled with stiff drinks and competition!

Come out and help us support an organization that continues to offer personalized high quality care to our surrounding community — no matter what!

Although the fundraiser’s theme is based on the popular Food Network cooking competition show, Chopped, if you run a chop-shop that is in the business of butchering babies and then harvesting their parts to sell so you can buy a new car, choosing that particular theme and using a graphic that includes a meat cleaver is certainly the very picture of disgustingly bad taste. Of course, Planned Parenthood and their supporters don’t see the dark irony in this, but why would anyone expect them to? After all, these butchers make it a practice to never say the word “baby” in their clinics, but instead refer to them as irrelevant products of conception. So, “Chopped” and a meat cleaver for a Planned Parenthood fundraiser? Big deal.

But, in spite of that, isn’t it interesting that the meat cleaver has since been removed from the flier, and the word “chopped” removed from the e-vite?


Would You Vote for Trump? Reader Poll!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:10 am

I’m curious. I think I know how this will turn out, but let’s check.

Would you vote for Trump?
I love Trump. I would enthusiastically vote for him.
I don’t care for Trump, but he’s better than Hillary. I’d vote for him over her.
I will never, under any circumstances, vote for Donald Trump.

Quiz Maker


CNN: Inflammatory And Misleading Effort To Distract Viewers From Clinton Discrepancies During Testimony

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:59 am

[guest post by Dana]

It wasn’t as if Hillary Clinton needed the support of the MSM during her testimony before Congress on Thursday. She knew it would come afterward. And it did. Boy, did it ever.

But CNN, whose lofty vision includes deliver[ing] accurate information to viewers with speed so that they are well informed at all times, just couldn’t help themselves as they broadcast this inflammatory and misleading chyron:


You can read about how the Israeli children on a school bus narrowly missed being killed by two Palestinian terrorists here.


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