Patterico's Pontifications

4/27/2016

Mike Lee for Supreme Court

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:53 am

On a day when all you are going to read elsewhere are handwringing think pieces about Trump’s inevitability, let me give you something different. I think any GOP nominee should consider Mike Lee for the Supreme Court.

This is not my original idea, of course. Ted Cruz has said “Mike Lee would look pretty good in a robe.” But it’s an idea I want to see pushed.

I don’t have time to expand on Lee’s virtues this morning, but I recently finished reading Mike Lee’s excellent book The Lost Constitution, and after reading it (and his short e-book attacking the ObamaCare decision) I am confident that he would make an excellent Supreme Court justice. He is every bit as solid as Ted Cruz on constitutional principles, but has a more congenial personality. He would never go wobbly, and would be a perfect replacement for Antonin Scalia. I think Lee has the capability of being one of the greatest Justices in history, on par with Clarence Thomas (whom I consider to be one of the two greatest of my lifetime). And as a U.S. Senator, he has an advantage in the confirmation process.

What’s more, Lee would bring a non-elitist ethic to the Court. He is not a Harvard or Yale guy (he went to Brigham Young University). He has the High Court experience, having clerked for Justice Alito, but he also knows what it’s like to be a business lawyer (albeit one with an appellate specialty). He knows what the political process is like, from his time in the U.S. Senate.

The only “problem” is that his views are well-known and on the record, and therefore subject to attack. But after John Roberts, I think it’s time a president put up someone whose views are not a relative mystery. Whether the President is Ted Cruz or (God help us) Donald Trump, they should consider Lee for the High Court.

More on this when I review the book.

4/26/2016

This Is How Stupid They Think We Are, This Is How Brazen They Are

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:25 pm

[guest post by Dana]

This is what the president announced today:

US President Barack Obama confirmed plans to dramatically increase the American troop presence in Syria by deploying an additional 250 personnel, bringing the total to 300. He said the troops would help drive out the Islamic State terrorist group.

“Just as I have approved additional support for Iraqi forces against ISIL (Islamic State, previously ISIS/ISIL – RT), I’ve decided to increase US support for local forces fighting ISIL in Syria,” Obama said.

“A small number of US special operations forces are already on the ground in Syria,” he said. “Their expertise has been critical as local forces have been driving ISIL out of key areas. So given the success, I have approved the deployment of up to 250 additional US personnel in Syria, including special forces, to keep up this momentum.”

This is spite of his continual assurances there would be no boots on the ground in Syria:

When a State Dept. spokesman was confronted by a reporter about the president’s obvious contradiction, he lied through his teeth, and without batting an eye brazenly denied the administration had ever said there would be no boots on the ground in Syria:

–Dana

UPDATE: The best way to do this is to watch the first video at :16 for about four seconds. Then go to the second video, start it at around 2:10, and keep watching until you are ready to throw things around the room.

Open Thread: Pennsylvania Primary

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:55 am

Also Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island, and Maryland. Leftist Central. It will be a slaughter.

UPDATE: Each of these leftist states has been called for Trump. No surprises there.

4/25/2016

Carly Fiorina Vetted By Cruz Campaign

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:22 pm

[guest post by Dana]

A senior strategist to Carly Fiorina said today that Fiorina is being vetted as a potential running mate for Ted Cruz:

“Normal stuff,” said Sarah Isgur Flores, who served as deputy campaign manager during Fiorina’s bid, when asked about the process. She added that Fiorina has met with members of the Cruz campaign and has given them financial disclosures and other documentation. Flores added that “no offers” have been made.

Ted Cruz confirmed that they are vetting a short list of potential running mates:

“We have acknowledged some time ago that we have begun a vice presidential search process,” Cruz said. “Any responsible candidate just a couple of months out from the convention would begin that process. We’ve begun examining both a long list and now a shorter list. And that naturally includes a vetting process. At this point, no decisions have been made in terms of who a nominee would be, or what the timing would be of the announcement.”

Commentators have suggested that announcing a VP choice now could put some needed juice back into Cruz’s post-New York campaign.

If you are thinking that Marco Rubio, who collected and holds 171 delegates, would be a good choice, too bad. As recently as three days ago, he said it’s a no-go:

“I have no intention of being vice president,” Rubio said in a Friday interview with Univision. “I’m always looking for a way to serve the nation, but I don’t believe that it will be as vice president and I’m really not seeking it, I’m not requesting it, and it won’t happen.”

Of course, Paul Ryan said the same thing about not running for Speaker of the House – five times! – and look where he is today: Speaker of the House and releasing his second campaign-styled ad. Not that he’s running for anything.

Who would you like to see on the ticket with Ted Cruz?

–Dana

Virginia Governor Two-Fer: Let’s Make Convicted Felons Feel Good About Themselves And Get Hillary Clinton Elected!

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:54 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Last week, purple-state governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia signed an executive order which re-established voting rights to convicted felons who have served their sentences. This would impact 206,000 convicted felons. Felons whose various crimes were not limited to murder and armed robbery, but also rape, sexual assault, and child molestation. The governor pulled the race card out of his back pocket to justify the move which conveniently comes months before a presidential election, claiming that the order was aimed largely at rectifying Virginia’s “long and sad history” of suppressing African-American voting power.

“We benefit from a more just and accountable government when we put trust in all of our citizens to choose their leaders,” McAuliffe said Friday from the steps of the state Capitol, where a gospel choir warmed up a jubilant crowd. “It has taken Virginia many centuries, unfortunately, to learn this lesson. But today, we celebrate its truth.”

Given that Virginia is a swing state to watch, push back from Republicans was swift. Speaker of the House William J. Howell said bluntly:

“The singular purpose of Terry McAuliffe’s governorship is to elect Hillary Clinton president of the United States,” Howell said. “This office has always been a steppingstone to a job in Hillary Clinton’s Cabinet.”

In the face of such criticism, McAuliffe played dumb: Election?? What election?? Well, not quite, but he might as well have:

“Well, I would tell the Republicans, ‘Quit complaining and go out and earn these folks’ right to vote for you. Go out and talk to them,’ ” he said in response to a question about people saying his order was an election-year ploy to help Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton.

“I think some of the language that has come out of the Republicans, I would tell them to be very careful at how they frame this, very careful of their rhetoric.”

…I’ll do everything I can to get disenfranchised voters entrenched,” he said.

It works when you welcome people back into society and make them feel good about themselves.

Well as long as the convicted felons feel good about themselves then that’s okay said no violent crime victim ever.

Interestingly, MSNBC wasn’t fooled by McAuliffe’s move either:

But with Virginia shaping up as perhaps the single most pivotal swing state in the nation, it’s not impossible that the move could also tip the 2016 election for the Democrats.

McAuliffe, it’s worth noting, served as a top fundraiser for President Bill Clinton, and remains a close ally of the Clintons. Now there’s a small chance that with Friday’s order, he has helped put Hillary Clinton in the White House.

Of course, the fact that Democrats may get a boost from the move is irrelevant to whether it’s good or bad policy—and there’s growing support for the notion that people who have served their time should be full participants in society. Still, it’s hard to believe the political benefits didn’t cross the governor’s mind.

Hillary Clinton, who once smeared the 12-year old victim of a violent rapist she was defending and then laughed about it later, welcomed the violent felons with open arms:

“Proud of my friend (Terry McAuliffe) for continuing to break down barriers to voting.”

Donald Trump, who once donated $25,000 to McAuliffe’s gubernatorial campaign, criticized the executive action:

“That’s crooked politics,” Trump told his supporters during his Monday afternoon campaign rally in Warwick, Rhode Island. “I would win Virginia.”

“They’re giving 200,000 people that have been convicted of heinous crimes…the right to vote. They know they’re going to vote Democrat,” the Republican frontrunner said. “That could be the swing,” referencing Virginia in the general election

Today, Hans A. Von Spakovsky and Roger Clegg presented their argument that McAuliffe’s executive action is “likely an unconstitutional state action”:

He is following the example set by President Obama: If you don’t like a law or a constitutional limit on your authority, just ignore it. Rewrite, change, or bend it. The New York Times inadvertently gave the game away when it said that McAuliffe’s “action effectively overturns a Civil War–era provision in the state’s Constitution.”

McAuliffe’s willingness to do anything (and to say anything) to achieve partisan political goals shows a complete contempt for the rule of law and for the constitutional republic that is the United States. What a sad day for the great state that was the home of Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, James Madison, George Mason, and the father of our country, George Washington.

–Dana

Cruz and Kasich Campaigns Cooperating

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:49 am

New York Times:

Senator Ted Cruz and Gov. John R. Kasich of Ohio have agreed to coordinate in future primary contests in a last-ditch effort to deny Donald J. Trump the Republican presidential nomination, with each candidate standing aside in certain states amid growing concerns that Mr. Trump cannot otherwise be stopped.

Ted Cruz’s campaign has released the following statement:

Having Donald Trump at the top of the ticket in November would be a sure disaster for Republicans. Not only would Trump get blown out by Clinton or Sanders, but having him as our nominee would set the party back a generation. To ensure that we nominate a Republican who can unify the Republican Party and win in November, our campaign will focus its time and resources in Indiana and in turn clear the path for Gov. Kasich to compete in Oregon and New Mexico, and we would hope that allies of both campaigns would follow our lead. In other states holding their elections for the remainder of the primary season, our campaign will continue to compete vigorously to win.

John Kasich’s campaign has released the following statement:

Donald Trump doesn’t have the support of a majority of Republicans – not even close, but he currently does have almost half the delegates because he’s benefited from the existing primary system. Our goal is to have an open convention in Cleveland, where we are confident a candidate capable of uniting the Party and winning in November will emerge as the nominee. We believe that will be John Kasich, who is the only candidate who can defeat Secretary Clinton and preserve our GOP majority in the Congress.

Due to the fact that the Indiana primary is winner-take-all statewide and by congressional district, keeping Trump from winning a plurality in Indiana is critical to keeping him under 1237 bound delegates before Cleveland. We are very comfortable with our delegate position in Indiana already, and given the current dynamics of the primary there, we will shift our campaign’s resources West and give the Cruz campaign a clear path in Indiana.

In turn, we will focus our time and resources in New Mexico and Oregon, both areas that are structurally similar to the Northeast politically, where Gov. Kasich is performing well. We would expect independent third-party groups to do the same and honor the commitments made by the Cruz and Kasich campaigns.

We expect to compete with both the Trump and Cruz campaigns in the remaining primary states.

Bold emphasis is in the original. Note that Cruz’s statement is more honest. But each statement has (obviously negotiated) “clear the path” language for the other candidate in particular states.

Shiitake mushrooms just got real.

Whiny McWhineface has released the following statement:

I’m tempted to read the Kasich/Cruz deal as an indication that Kasich is finally serious about opposing Trump. But I think it’s just evidence that Kasich wants to get to a convention. Close enough for now.

It sure would be nice to see Mike Pence endorse Cruz. Let me rephrase that: if Mike Pence does not endorse Cruz, he’s dead to me.

Now let’s get to work.

UPDATE:

I can easily visualize the stupid grin on Kasich’s face as he says this.

4/24/2016

Cruz Collects More Delegates

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:24 pm

Politico (cached link, no links for bullies):

Cruz crushes Trump in weekend delegate fight

Ted Cruz notched another delegate landslide Saturday, stretching his advantage in a competition that might never occur: the second ballot of a contested Republican National Convention in July.

Cruz won at least 65 of the 94 delegates up for grabs Saturday (he may have won more than 65, but Kentucky’s 25 delegates haven’t revealed their leanings). The Texas senator has so thoroughly dominated the fight to send loyalists to the national convention that if front-runner Donald Trump fails to clinch the nomination on the first ballot, Cruz is well-positioned to surpass him — and perhaps even snag the nomination for himself — when delegates are free in subsequent convention rounds to vote for whomever they want.

It’s all going to come down to Indiana (where Trump leads by 5 points in the polls) and California (where Trump leads by 15 in the polls per the RCP average, and 27 points if you believe Fox Trump News).

I’m trying to be optimistic, but it ain’t easy. When you’re depending on California Republicans, you’re in trouble.

Trump 2005: I “Won’t Do Anything” to Take Care of My Kids

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:09 pm

This would play well in a general election:

“Do you actually change diapers?” host Anthony Cumia asked Donald Trump on the Opie and Anthony show in November of 2005.

The then 59-year-old businessman, whose wife Melania was pregnant with his fifth child and her first, responded bluntly: “No, I don’t do that.”

There’s a lot of women out there that demand that the husband act like the wife and you know there’s a lot of husbands that listen to that,” Trump added. “So you know, they go for it.”

It goes deeper than that. He did nothing to take care of the kids, except provide the money:

“I mean, I won’t do anything to take care of them. I’ll supply funds and she’ll take care of the kids. It’s not like I’m gonna be walking the kids down Central Park,” Trump said in the interview. He repeated the same sentiment to Stern two years laters, saying, “Melania is a wonderful mother. She takes care of the baby and I pay all of the costs.

Trump’s five children — Ivanka, Eric, Donald, Tiffany, and Barron — have been a highly visible part of his presidential bid and have all publicly praised their father as a parent.

You gotta say nice things if you want to stay in the will.

But Trump himself has described himself as hands off, and, in the same 2005 interview with Howard Stern, expressed disdain for his ex-wife Marla Maples for suggesting he walk their daughter, Tiffany, down the street.

“Well, Marla used to say, ‘I can’t believe you’re not walking Tiffany down the street,’ you know in a carriage,” Trump said. “Right, I’m gonna be walking down Fifth Avenue with a baby in a carriage. It just didn’t work.”

I don’t envy this man.

More at the link, including a bit about his suggestion to Maples that one of his now daughters be aborted (“Well, what are we going to do about this?”).

BuzzFeed. Best oppo research of the campaign.

4/23/2016

Saturday Night Music

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:57 pm

Chris Stamey and Peter Holsapple doing Gene Clark’s classic song “Here Without You”:

House of Freaks: Sun Goes Down.

The singer, Bryan Harvey, was murdered along with his wife and two daughters in a home invasion robbery on New Year’s Day 2006 in Richmond, VA.

UPDATE: So I don’t end the post on such a depressing note, here’s Stephen McCarthy from the Long Ryders (also of Richmond) doing a few seconds of an old Merle Haggard tune to tease their upcoming tour.

Trump Still Hasn’t Paid Veterans the Charity Money

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:33 pm

Your Republican frontrunner:

Trump campaign’s adviser for veterans issues can’t account for $6 million raised for veterans charities by the billionaire—and from the sounds of it, couldn’t care less.

“I could ask, but it’s not high on my priority list,” Al Baldasaro, a New Hampshire state representative, told The Daily Beast.

. . . .

Questions have lingered about whether that money has actually been dispense[d] to those charities—since the fundraiser, numerous media organizations have investigated whether the charities have received the $6 million. The investigations span the ideological spectrum: the progressive MSNBC and the conservative Weekly Standard have been unable to find all the funds; as have The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, and The Daily Beast.

The money simply hasn’t been found.

In early March, CNN was able to track down $2.9 million, citing the Trump campaign. In early April, The Wall Street Journal traced $2.4 million of the promised funds.

What these investigations have yielded is a solid conclusion that, thus far, Donald Trump and his nonprofit have dispensed, at maximum, about half of the $6 million to the listed beneficiaries. Nearly three months—85 days—have passed since the fundraiser.

“I don’t track that,” Baldasaro told The Daily Beast. “I’m not concerned about it, because I know [Trump is] an honorable, honest guy… you guys just want to say, ‘gotcha.’”

Baldasaro tried to minimize his responsibility in the issue, saying that “it’s not that I’m the lead veterans adviser” or a paid staffer. But then he later acknowledged that he’s “the only one that talks about veterans for Trump.”

“It’s not high on my priority list,” he said, when pressed on why he didn’t account for the $6 million in order to put the issue to rest. “I agree with you on looking into it. I just wish I had a little more time… My veterans constituents have never asked us that question.”

He’ll give them the money as soon as he turns over his tax returns.

Never.

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