Patterico's Pontifications

2/25/2016

GOP Debate Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:02 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Here we go again. Another debate, and another opportunity to watch Donald Trump boast, brag, bully, punch, and pulverize his opponents. Oh. And make up crap, which will go unchallenged.

This is the night Trump must be cut down to size. Unfortunately, Rubio and Cruz have wasted a lot of time stupidly bitch-slapping each other for second place. But since there is no chance of a Rubio/Cruz team double-punching Trump, and Rubio said he won’t go after him, it’s up to the authentic Conservative to do the job. Ted Cruz needs to take off the gloves and come at Trump with everything he’s got. Him him on his dishonesty, hypocrisy, double-talk, flip-flops, empty rhetoric, liberal beliefs, and even his New York values. Throw the kitchen sink at him, Ted, because God knows he’s given you plenty of material to work with. TIME TO GET LOUD!! This single debate will essentially determine the presumptive nominee of the GOP, so what you waiting for??!!

Anyway, the debate begins at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time and you can watch it on on CNN.

–Dana

Mizzou Fires Melissa Click

Filed under: General — JVW @ 2:43 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Details here. It would have been hard to envision any other outcome, much as my cynical side wanted to believe that the university would string this out long enough to have it fade from memory and then give her a slap on the wrist. There was no way in the aftermath of this that they could grant her tenure, and keeping her around as a lecturer or a permanent assistant professor weren’t viable options.

From the linked article:

In interviews with The Missourian, Faculty Council Chair and law professor Ben Trachtenberg called the decision to fire Click “terrible” and Faculty Council member Angela Speck said it was “ridiculous that she should be fired without due process.”

The law professor is entitled to his opinion, but notice how he makes no attempt to ground it in any sort of statutory requirement that the faculty has to protect a crybully who attempts to enforce her rancid ideology on others. As for Angela Speck, Professor of Astrophysics, she is apparently named for Angela Davis, so we should appreciate that she started life with the odds stacked against her. Further proof that ability in a STEM fields is no guarantee of logical insight into other academic disciplines.

I thought that Mizzou would wait until the start of their spring break (March 26) in order mitigate the chances of disruptive demonstrations by the Concerned Students 1950 crowd, but I guess they wanted to give Click the opportunity to ply her wares at some other institution of higher learning. Or perhaps they need this much time to find somebody to carry on her urgent research into Fifty Shades of Grey and other pop culture banalities.

UPDATE: Earlier stories on Melissa Click located here.

– JVW

Democrat Senators: Ignorant or Lying About the Constitution

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:45 am

Ed Whelan quotes Senator Dick “Dick” Durbin lying about the text of the Constitution:

Sen. Durbin (9:35): There is no constitutional precedent for what the Republicans announced today. Not only did they say we won’t consider the President’s nominee, we won’t have a hearing, we won’t have a vote, Senator McConnell the Republican leader said “I won’t even meet with this nominee.” That has never happened before in history. The Constitution which we’ve sworn to uphold is very clear when it comes to Article two, section two. The President shall appoint a nominee to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court and the Senate shall by advice and consent vote on that nominee. Those are not, uh, vague words. Those are words that impose a responsibility on the Senate which the republican leader is ignoring.

Those are not vague words — and also, as Whelan notes, those are not the words of the Constitution:

No, Senator Durbin, Article II, section 2 of the Constitution does not say what you claim it says. It says, rather, that the president “shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint … Judges of the Supreme Court” (and other federal judges). It nowhere imposes on the Senate a requirement to vote on any nominee.

Whelan takes apart Durbin in other ways; click the link for the rest.

Democrat Senators are unintentionally engaged in high comedy on this issue:

More details on that insane idea here. Just one leetle problem:

Meanwhile we learned a couple of days ago that all the worries about the GOP caving appear to be for naught:

Key Republican senators on the Judiciary Committee emerged from a closed door meeting in Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office Tuesday united in their determination not to consider any nominee to replace Antonin Scalia until the next president takes office.

Tuesday was the first full day the Senate was back in session since Scalia’s death Feb. 13.

“We believe the American people need to decide who is going to make this appointment rather than a lame duck president,” said Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TN).

When asked if they would start the process after the new president took office or if they would consider doing it in the lame duck session, Cornyn replied “No, after the next president is selected. That way the American people have a voice in the process.”

I told you. You people are so cynical!

Today’s Anti-Trump Links: February 25, 2016

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:28 am

“I don’t think Ivanka would do that [pose for nude photographs] inside the magazine,” Trump says, speaking for his daughter. “Although she does have a very nice figure. I’ve said that if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps, I would be dating her.”

I don’t believe in abortion except in cases of rape, or Donald Trump.

Avi Woolf: Goodbye for Now; Eat at Arby’s

[T]he easy betrayal of all principles for a transparent con-man who flashes money, gold, and women draped in a flag like the crassest of rap singers demonstrated just how shallow support for anything above the level of bread and circuses is in 2016. Maybe it was always like this.

Spare me the specific complaints on policy — whether it comes to immigration, foreign policy, or political correctness. It’s emotional bullshit rationalization and we both know it. Trump was repeatedly exposed as a fraud and an inconsistent one at that on everything you hold dear, yet you still protect him as though he were your sister.

. . . .

The GOP in Congress will have no choice but to agree to Trump’s actions or launch a civil war that will gut the already gutted party. They will become just as corrupt as their master. Good people like Paul Ryan, Mike Lee, and even Mitch McConnell, who were slowly learning to become more attentive to voters’ interests, will be forced to revert to the crude stereotype of the “establishment” talk radio always told you they were. The GOP will be dead in the water, a mere appendage to the Democrats.

. . . .

Mass tariffs and protectionism will only harm you. Many businesses will simply not expand to hire, shut down, or invest in automation. The transition to a world where robots do more work, which could have taken place slowly without so many labor regulations and laws which make you too expensive to hire, will take place at warp speed. Instead of being able to gradually adapt and change to the new situation, you will be hit with a freight train of change. Your “protected” job will last a few years, if that, after which you will simply be unemployable. Trump, and the donor and elite classes you so despise, will suffer not at all.

This is a good transition into the next piece, which articulates something I have thought for a while, and have said in comments and tweets . . . but may not have posted about: namely, in many ways, Trump would actually be worse than Hillary or Bernie.

Me, I’m going to save the wailing, gnashing of teeth, and ripping out large tufts or hair until at least next Tuesday, and possibly until March 15. But if things continue this way, I agree with Tom Nichols: I’ll Take Hillary Clinton Over Donald Trump.

Star-struck, low-information celebrity cultists will vote for Trump under any circumstances because they do not know any better and do not care. For them, Trump is whatever they want him to be, and they will never change their minds. The rest of us, however, have a much more difficult choice to make. Will we really oppose Trump to the point of accepting any alternative, including Hillary Clinton?

The answer, at least for me, is: Yes. If forced into a choice between Clinton and Trump, I will prefer Hillary Clinton.

. . . .

My hands almost could not type those words, because I think Hillary Clinton is one of the worst human beings in American politics. She has few principles that I can discern, other than her firm conviction that she deserves the Oval Office for enabling and then defending her sexually neurotic husband. She lies as easily as the rest of us breathe. She has compromised national security through sheer laziness at best, and corrupt intent at worst. If elected, she will enrich Wall Street and raid the public coffers while preaching hateful doctrines of identity politics to distract America’s poor and working classes.

But Trump will be worse. Morally unmoored, emotionally unstable, a crony capitalist of the worst kind, Trump will be every bit as liberal as Hillary—perhaps more so, given his statements over the years. He is by reflex and instinct a New York Democrat whose formal party affiliation is negotiable, as is everything about him. He has little commitment to anything but himself and his “deals,” none of which will work in favor of conservatives or their priorities.

I agree with Nichols’s contempt for most Trump voters and for Trump himself. I don’t agree with everything in his article. I think we would have a chance at good judges with Trump, and none with Hillary or Bernie. (We’d have great nominees with Cruz; of that I have no doubt.). I don’t consider it an imperative that Hillary win; if I did, I would consider voting for her, and I will never vote for her. But I will support any conservative third party alternative, even if it assures Hillary’s victory, and I will otherwise wash my hands of the whole thing.

My reason for preferring Hillary is that a GOP Congress will oppose Hillary’s leftist policies. It will enact Trump’s leftist policies. I’d rather have the former.

2/24/2016

In The Name Of Diversity: Conservative Writer’s Speaking Engagement Cancelled By College Funded With Tax Payer Dollars

Filed under: General — Dana @ 4:59 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Whenever we see the heavy-handed authoritarianism of the collective Social Justice Warrior rearing its ugly head with a stranglehold on speech, it’s good to remember that these are the very people who believe that it is they who should make up the rules up for everyone else. We know that the left has never been about free speech, and certainly never embraced with an open-mindedness, opinions differing from their own. They are a narrow-minded, bigoted group who oppose liberty and individualism at every turn. And only those who see the world filtered through their own stiflingly limited prism are allowed to escape the heel of their boot.

Just days before he was scheduled to speak at Cal-State University of Los Angeles (CSULA), conservative writer Ben Shapiro, whose appearance was part of the CSULA Young Americans for Freedom’s (YAF) lecture series, was informed that his appearance had been cancelled. Fittingly, the title of Shapiro’s scheduled talk was “When Diversity Becomes a Problem”.

In his email to the YAF, CSULA President William Covino, who shamefully buckled under to a real fear of diversity by student protesters, determined that a Conservative speaker in a sea of liberals was simply not representative of diversity:

“After careful consideration, I have decided that it will be best for our campus community if we reschedule Ben Shapiro’s appearance for a later date, so that we can arrange for him to appear as part of a group of speakers with differing viewpoints on diversity. Such an event will better represent our university’s dedication to the free exchange of ideas and the value of considering multiple viewpoints.”

Yet as YAF points out, providing”differing viewpoints on diversity” hasn’t always been such a big concern for CSULA. Consider the roster of previous speakers at the college where no effort was made to offer differing points of view:

• Dr. Cornel West addressed “Post Racialism”
• Alia al-Saji spoke on “Cultural Racism: Muslim Veiling, Embodiment, and the Nature of Culture”
• Kimberlé Crenshaw addressed “Racing to Post Racialism: Critical Race Theory, Constitutional Law, and Sustaining Communities”
• Serene Khader lectured on the topic, “Do Muslim Women Really Need Freedom?”
• Angela Davis and Tim Wise will address in a video lecture “Exploring Whiteness” this Wednesday

Diversity, thy name is hypocrisy.

Kudos to Shapiro who isn’t knuckling under:

“The campus fascists have taken over,” Shapiro told Breitbart News. “I pay taxes in the state of California; I’m paying for these whiny children to be indoctrinated by radical leftists. For CSULA to pretend that they’re trying to provide balance isn’t just stupid, it’s insultingly stupid. I am the balance, and they’re too afraid to let me speak. These aren’t diversity warriors. They’re jackbooted thugs. If they want to call the men with guns to shut down free speech, they’ll demonstrate clearly just who they are. I’ll be there on Thursday. See you there, snowflakes.”

Shapiro notes that given this is viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment, if the police attempt to stop him from speaking tomorrow, he will sue under 18 USC 1983.

CSULA and other public institutions of higher learning indulge childish fears when they become little more than a tax-funded playpen for big babies demanding to be protected and pacified in their safe spaces so their beliefs and viewpoints cannot be challenged.

Oh. Did I mention that Shapiro is also an Orthodox Jew??

–Dana

Your Anti-Trump Links for February 24, 2016

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:50 am

Let’s give this guy authority over the IRS and DoJ:

Patterico assignment desk: find the protestor that Donald Trump said he’d like to punch in the face, and ask him if he is willing to challenge Donald Trump, a 70-year-old man with Secret Service protection who can issue threats easily, to a boxing match. I wanted to do this myself, but can’t find the guy’s identity anywhere.

There was a Nevada entrance poll (of dubious value) saying Trump won the Latino vote. I think I found the Latinos they polled:

P.S. I do not agree with the tweeter’s baseless accusation that the Trump campaign was behind this, and have said so publicly. That’s Trey Gowdy style shenanigans.

David Marcus asks: How Close Was Trump to the Mob?

As one of a handful of people within reach of the most powerful office in the world Donald Trump must explain why so much of his early career is peppered with appearances by powerful underworld figures. Had Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, or Scott Walker bought so much as a used car from a known mafioso, it would be front-page news. Trump bought a piece of land for $1 million from the son of Philadelphia’s former mafia Don, and used it to launch a gambling empire.

It isn’t only Trump who has a responsibility here. The news media, which is enjoying his playful romp through electoral politics, needs to wake up on this story. Trump isn’t just fooling around this time. He wants to play in the big leagues, and in the big leagues they play hardball. The major investigative news outlets in this country with the resources and wherewithal to seriously scrutinize Trump’s ties to the mob need to start doing so, sooner rather than later.

Former mafia members need to be interviewed. Transcripts of wiretaps and interviews with the major players in Atlantic City and New York crime syndicates need to be reviewed. The work of Barrett and Johnson, among others over the past decades that show Trump’s underworld connections, need to be re-examined. Gary Hart and John Edwards learned that a serious run for president exposes all the dirty laundry, Trump needs to know that truth applies to him, too.

Yeah, it’s a stupid question to ask. I can’t imagine Hillary doing anything with it.

Note that what Marcus is asking for here, is for Trump to be held to the same standard the media applies to other candidates. Which may remind some of you of my recent post, where I noted the media’s utter refusal to do exactly that — even as Trump goes around saying “nobody does more than me about x” and “nobody knows more than me about y.” Well, the day that was published, I made an appearance on Doc Washburn’s radio show — the most listened-to talk radio program in Arkansas. It is fortuitous that Doc Washburn tweeted out a link to the audio of the interview yesterday, on the same day when Trump made the claim: “Nobody reads the Bible more than me.” Enjoy:

2/23/2016

Trump: A Fraudster, An Authoritarian, a Liar, and a Despot in Waiting

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:42 pm

A few links about the looming disaster for our Republic that is Donald Trump:

Michael Isikoff:

Here’s a part of the political calendar that nobody in the Republican Party seems to have noticed: This spring, just as the GOP nomination battle enters its final phase, frontrunner Donald Trump could be forced to take time out for some unwanted personal business: He’s due to take the witness stand in a federal courtroom in San Diego, where he is being accused of running a financial fraud.

In court filings last Friday, lawyers for both sides in a long-running civil lawsuit over the now defunct Trump University named Trump on their witness lists. That makes it all but certain that the reality-show star and international businessman will be forced to be grilled under oath over allegations in the lawsuit that he engaged in deceptive trade practices and scammed thousands of students who enrolled in his “university” courses in response to promises he would make them rich in the real estate market.

Read it all. Or, if you’re a Donald Trump fan, ignore it all.

Walter Shapiro:

Candidate Trump represents something that goes far beyond pedestrian fears of damage to the Republican brand or the loss of Senate and House seats. He is the embodiment of the authoritarian temptation that has imperiled liberty since the days of the Roman Republic.

At every stage of the campaign, he has thumbed his nose at democratic norms. Start with his admiration for Vladimir Putin. Instead of position papers, Trump offers the voters fact-free assertions about the Mexicans paying for a wall and the Chinese knuckling to his superior negotiating ability.

Never in modern history has a serious presidential candidate displayed such contempt for responsibilities that come with the Oval Office and custody of the nuclear codes.

His ignorance of the nuclear triad and his claim that he gets his foreign policy expertise from watching TV talk shows symbolizes something larger — an ego that makes Napoleon seem self-effacing.

Equally alarming is the brazenness of Trump’s lies. He insists that he never called for a 45 percent tariff on Chinese imports — and still clings to that denial even after the New York Times released a tape of him saying just that.

A liar? Who cares?

And, in a piece that Trump-haters like me find delicious from beginning to end, Matt Walsh:

Dear Donald Trump Fan,

I’m going to tell you the truth, friend.

You say you want the truth. You say you want someone who speaks boldly and brashly and bluntly and “tells it like it is” and so on. According to exit polls in South Carolina, voters who want a president who “tells it like it is” are an essential demographic for Trump, just as they’re an essential demographic for Judge Judy and Dr. Phil. You say you want abrupt and matter-of-fact honesty, and you want it so much, you’ll make a man president for it regardless of whether he defies every principle and value you claim to hold.

Personally, I think you’re lying, and I’m going to test my theory.

. . . .

By your logic, then, you should be filled with an immense and irresistible affection for me when I call Donald Trump a crooked, underhanded con artist and you a reckless, ignorant dupe. You should fall madly in love with me when I accuse Donald Trump of being a spoiled, overgrown brat and you of being a cultish groupie enamored with fame. You should well up with pride and salute me as I mention that Donald Trump is a stuffed, soiled diaper sagging in the pants of American politics and you’re the poor, pitiful sap trying to elect it president. You don’t have to agree, but man, isn’t it refreshing that I’m willing to tell you what’s on my mind?

. . . .

I’m just telling it like it is here, friend. I’m telling you what’s on my mind. I’m being completely and painfully honest with you. I don’t believe your anger. I think you want a spectacle, not a solution. A celebrity, not a statesman. A circus performer, not a leader. I think you want to be entertained. I think you’re not taking this seriously enough. I think you’re intellectually lazy so you’ve accepted authoritarianism as a stand-in for strength. I think you’re following the trend of the day. I think you’re wrapped up in media hype.

In other words, I think your anger, if it exists, is misplaced. You should be angry at yourself, because if this country falls finally and irrevocably into despotism, it’ll be your fault. You’ll have chosen it. You’ll have elected it and applauded it. That, my friend, is what makes me angry.

Me too. I have been saying this for a while.

I don’t expect to change any hearts of minds with this. I’m saying, as clearly as I possibly can: America, you’re fucking this up. Do not tell me I didn’t tell you so. I did. Quite clearly.

Justin Amash Endorses Ted Cruz

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:19 pm

Regular Patterico readers know my admiration for Congressman Justin Amash, a principled libertarian conservative who explains his votes on Facebook and adheres to the Constitution in every decision he makes. It is pleasing to me, then, that Amash — a former Rand Paul supporter — published a post today titled Why I Trust Ted Cruz:

[W]e owe it to our beliefs to find constitutional conservative political allies who not only respect our philosophy but also fight for our views to be heard.

We have found such an ally in Senator Ted Cruz.

Ted is not a libertarian and doesn’t claim to be. But he is a principled defender of the Constitution, a brilliant strategist and debater who can defeat the Democratic nominee in the general election, and the only remaining candidate I trust to take on what he correctly calls the Washington Cartel.

The recent passing of Justice Antonin Scalia reminds us of the importance of electing a president committed to nominating justices to the Supreme Court who will uphold the Constitution and the Rule of Law. Because the Court has not lost a conservative in many years, this selection may become the most influential act of the next president. Replacing Justice Scalia with a poorly chosen justice could alter our country’s identity on critical issues such as education, health care, criminal justice, privacy, and even the very meaning of the Constitution.

In this regard, history has given us a uniquely qualified candidate—Ted Cruz served as a Supreme Court clerk (an extraordinarily selective job held each year by fewer than 40 lawyers who work directly with the justices to shape the Court’s opinions) and has the rare distinction of having argued many cases before the Supreme Court. The importance of these credentials cannot be overstated in the current context.

But the Supreme Court is not the only thing at stake. Our entire constitutional system is under threat.

An effective president for the people is going to face massive fights with the lobbyist class and Washington elites. It is not enough for a president to have smart advisers and well-rehearsed lines. Whether or not we agree on every issue, libertarian and conservative Republicans must choose a president who has the courage to stand up for the American people in the face of relentless attacks. Ted has shown that he is a true leader who can defend the principles of our constitutional republic, takes libertarian ideas seriously (even when he disagrees), and will not back down from the battles that must be fought.

Since Ted arrived in the Senate, he has stood shoulder to shoulder with the House Freedom Caucus, of which I am a member. Ted has consistently led the fight in the Senate against the Washington Cartel’s trillion-dollar omnibus spending bills. And while his Senate colleague Marco Rubio pays lip service to inclusivity while actually advocating unwelcoming and unpopular GOP positions from past decades, Ted Cruz recognizes that we grow the Republican Party by embracing new approaches that genuinely reflect our support for limited, constitutional government.

Take, for instance, Ted’s opposition to cronyism and corporate welfare. Unlike his competitors, Ted understands that when we allow the government to pick winners and losers, the American people lose. He isn’t afraid to challenge the rampant corruption in Washington, and he isn’t afraid to champion economic freedom. Ted won the Iowa caucuses with a principled stand against subsidies, even though pundits warned that no one could win the state without pandering to the ethanol lobby.

My faith in Justin Amash continues. Kudos to him for this great piece.

Nevada Open Thread

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:14 pm

Trump will win. Another pointless battle for second between Cruz and Rubio.

UPDATE: Reports from Twitter describe utter chaos.

UPDATE x2:

Judge Allows Hillary Staff To Be Deposed About Illegal Email System

Filed under: General — JD @ 5:12 pm

[guest post by JD]

This Judge is one of the only reasons we know what we know about Hillary’s illegal email system.
Today he gave the green light for subpoenas and depositions for various State Dept staff – Mills, Abedin, and the rest of the cast of derelicts – in the Judicial Watch case that has kept her illegal actions in the headlines. This case runs parallel to the FBI/DOJ mockery, and more closely involved their intentional efforts to lie and mislead on FOIA requests during and after her tenure. It seems the ongoing discovery will focus on their roles in setting up the system, their knowledge of the system, and how they chose to lie about the existence of content from that system in almost every FOIA request during and after her tenure.

Throw in the questions you would like to see asked in the depositions in the comment section.   

Any Republican similarly situated to Hillary would be run out of office, and scorned by the party. Lesser mortals are routinely convicted and jailed for far less than what we have seen from this cast of criminals. 

—JD 

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