Patterico's Pontifications


Review of Clinton Campaign Book, Part III, Odds and Ends

Filed under: General — JVW @ 2:30 pm

[guest post by JVW]

I wanted to finish up my three-part review of Shattered by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, the book that chronicled the collapse of the campaign of the Past, Present, and Future Inevitable Next President of the United States, First Lady/Senator/Secretary Hillary! Rodham Clinton, Her Royal Clintonic Majesty. The book has been sitting on my table for a month now, and I plan to send it off to my dad as a Father’s Day present. Part I of my review is located here and Part II can be found here. In those two parts I recounted many of the personalities involved in the campaign, as well as the inside info the authors provide on some of the pivotal moments in the run-up to the 2016 elections. What is left to report are some interesting anecdotes that did not make it into the first two parts, so here they are:

1) The authors mention that the campaign’s chief strategist, Joel Benenson, had a $1 million win bonus written in to his contract. Presumably this is standard operating procedure in Washington and the other campaign flacks had similar bonus structures. This makes me even happier to see them lose.

2) I mentioned in Part I of the review that the First Creep, Bill Clinton, found himself continually flummoxed that what he and Clintonland always believed had been a successful eight year reign in the White House had somehow turned into a liability. On the primary campaign stump for his wife in South Carolina, Bubba got into it with a Black Lives Matters member who told him that his crime bill had been racist. Bubba left that encounter believing that he had deftly parried the attack and exposed the crybully as being shortsighted and obtuse, only to have the campaign team “[light] into him” and tell him that he’s pushing young blacks to the arms of Bernie Sanders.

3) Allegedly, Hillary hates Chris Van Hollen, a member of the House Democrat leadership team, who at the time was running for a Senate seat in Maryland. Van Hollen had been one of the first Democrats to jump off her bandwagon in 2008 in order to catch the Obama Express. At one point the authors quote Hillary as blurting out, “Who gives a fuck about Chris Van Hollen?” The White House and the Maryland Democrat Party try to grease the skids for Van Hollen to defeat his female African-American opponent in the primary race by not doing the traditional get-out-the-vote campaign in the black community. Hillary’s team cried foul, and after tense negotiations a bare modicum of the get-out-the-vote campaign was put in place, though Van Hollen won pretty handily anyway.

4) I mentioned in the past two posts that the authors are certainly politically-sympathetic to Hillary and the Democrats. It often allows them to overlook some ideas that might be obvious to the rest of us. For instance, the never once mention the scandal uncovered by the email leaks that Donna Brazile was feeding debate questions in advance to the Clinton campaign, yet they praise Hillary for delivering fully-conceived and detailed responses to debate questions. Later the authors tell us that “a question [debate prep head Ron] Klain asked behind closed doors about a possible no-fly zone over Syria was repeated almost verbatim by moderator Chris Wallace in the third [Presidential] debate,” yet the authors don’t stop to wonder if perhaps the Hillary campaign was still being fed questions.

5) A very telling anecdote here: Hillary in her acceptance speech at the convention wanted to put in a quote from the popular Broadway hit Hamilton, a musical that coastal progressive elites shell out $1000 to see. Hillary naturally had already seen it twice. Some alert staffers wondered if the reference will go over the heads of the vast majority of the public who are not able to jump on a plane and spend an expensive weekend in Manhattan purchasing scalped tickets to see that show, but Hillary overruled them and the reference stayed in. It serves as a great metaphor of what is wrong with today’s Democrat Party.

6) Ah, Chelsea. This is just perfect. The authors speak of a gathering of the Clinton brain trust with Chelsea and her husband in attendance. Without a trace of irony, they report the following: “As Chelsea nursed her infant son, Aidan, and asked her daughter , Charlotte, if she wanted auga — Clinton and her husband, Marc Mezvinsky, were raising their kids to be bilingual. . .” Can’t you just see Chelsea speaking a handful of Spanglish phrases to her daughter — “Do you want some agua?” “Come on honey, vamos.” — and pretending that they are raising her to be bilingual? But hey, maybe Elena, the Dominican nanny that they no doubt employ and pay under the table just like the other rich progressive parents in Manhattan, is carrying the load in young Charlotte’s linguistic upbringing.

7) Having suffered through financial problems in her 2008 campaign, Hillary was obsessed with fundraising. Immediately after the convention, at a time when she should have been out trying to connect with voters in Middle America, she instead embarked upon a series of fundraisers in Manhattan, Washington, Palm Beach, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Silicon Valley. At that point she had about 800 staffers on her payroll, as opposed to her opponent’s 130, and she really freaked out when the Republican nominee raised $80 million in July.

8) The relationship between Robby Mook and John Podesta never healed. They engaged in a nasty pissing match in front of the rest of the campaign staff at a retreat in upstate New York in June, and thereafter both men fought to freeze each other out of key decisions. That’s a preview of the kind of dysfunction that Hillary likely would have brought to her White House staff.

9) Regarding the “deplorable” remark, it was made at one of the first Hillary campaign events open to the media, and the authors claim that Hillary didn’t realize that the media was there. She was used to those types of events being closed, which makes you wonder what other sorts of things she said behind closed doors.

10) Be glad you are not this guy: “The most spirit-crushing job in modern political history — managing the Podesta email portfolio — fell on the shoulders of Glen Caplin. Every morning, for the full month before the election, 44-year-old former spokesman for Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, would put on his hipster-style black-framed glasses, roll out of bed, and come into the Brooklyn office knowing that he and his team of as many as a dozen staffers would spend the day reading hundreds or thousands of Podesta’s emails.” The part about the hipster-style glasses is perfect.

11) Huma Abedin “was such a powerful force within Clintonworld that few of her colleagues dared to cross her. But some of them had always viewed her as a major vulnerability — even a ‘national security threat’ because of her potential to prevent Hillary from winning the Presidency. [. . . ] Regardless of her level of culpability — and her defenders say she’s unfairly targeted because she’s so close to Hillary — Huma was a disaster waiting to happen.” She botches the Hillary collapse at the 9/11 memorial service because (allegedly) Hillary had been given the (alleged) pneumonia diagnosis a couple of days earlier but Huma had failed to alert anyone in the campaign and that’s why several hours went by without the campaign being able to explain Hillary’s collapse.

12) Despite what the media was confidently reporting, both campaigns knew in late October that the race was tightening. The authors report on a GOP operative “with ties to the campaign” saying on October 26: “If he keeps his fucking mouth shut for the next twelve days, there are a couple of states that are going to surprise you.” The Republican nominee’s campaign was tracking a surge in Michigan and Pennsylvania, but didn’t announce them because they didn’t trust their own data and thought the numbers might be overly optimistic. At the same time, HRC campaign knew those states (and North Carolina and Florida) were getting shaky.

13) Much has been written about Hillary’s decision to forego visiting Wisconsin (Mook wouldn’t even send campaign collateral to the local offices there), but she actually wanted to campaign heavily in Michigan in the waning days, but the Michigan staff bluntly informed her that her numbers improve in the state when the election is not on people’s radar. Besides, the campaign had already grandiosely announced that they would be targeting Arizona, and to have suddenly changed plans would have alerted the suck-up media to the idea that maybe her position wasn’t as strong as they had been led to believe.

14) For all the claims that James Comey’s “October surprise” announcement lost the election for Hillary, the authors remind us that it was a fund-raising boon for her as angry liberals sent in donations to combat what they saw has outside interference.

It’s been fun reliving this campaign, and I am hoping that we learn even more in the months and years to come. We cannot be rid of the corrupt, nasty, awful, brutish Clinton Empire soon enough. Good riddance to those people and all the empty works and all of their hollow promises.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]


Two Good Samaritans Fatally Stabbed While Trying To Protect Passengers From Deranged Individual

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:17 am

[guest post by Dana]

In Portland last night, a man killed two individuals and wounded another when they attempted to stop him from harassing two women on a train as he yelled “…hate speech toward a variety of ethnicities and religions”:

Two men were killed in a stabbing on a MAX train Friday when they tried to intervene as another man yelled racial slurs at two young women who appeared to be Muslim, including one wearing a hijab, police said.

A third passenger who tried to help was also stabbed, but is expected to survive, said Portland police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson.

Officers arrested the suspect as he ran from the Hollywood transit station into the neighborhood near Providence Portland Medical Center in Northeast Portland, Simpson said. Police are still working to identify him and the three men stabbed.

The suspect was ranting about many things, using “hate speech or biased language,” and at one point focused on the young women, Simpson said.

The suspect then turned on the passengers who tried to help, Simpson said.

“In the midst of his ranting and raving, some people approached him and appeared to try to intervene with his behavior and some of the people that he was yelling at,” Simpson said. “They were attacked viciously.”

One good Samaritan died at the scene and another at the hospital, he said. The third victim was undergoing evaluation, but didn’t suffer life-threatening wounds, he said.

An eyewitness, Evelin Hernandez, a 38-year-old resident of Clackamas, Oregon told KATU-TV:

“[The suspect] said, ‘Get off the bus, and get out of the country because you don’t pay taxes here,’ [he said he] doesn’t like Muslims, they’re criminals,” Evelin Hernandez said.

Authorities arrested 35 year old Jeremy Joseph Christian and he was booked in the Multnomah County jail on two counts of aggravated murder and one count of attempted murder, as well as misdemeanor charges.

According to Oregon Live, Christian’s criminal record, which dates back to 2002, includes felony robbery, kidnapping and weapon convictions.

CNN notes: “Investigators haven’t been able to verify whether Christian was targeting the women with slurs because police haven’t found them.” Police are hoping they will come forward to ask them questions.

Also, the Portland Mercury is reporting that Christian is a known white-supremacist, and known to Portland authorities:

On April 29, Christian showed up to the right-wing “March for Free Speech” on 82nd Avenue in Montavilla with a baseball bat in an attempt to assault left-wing protesters. The bat was quickly confiscated by Portland police officers. He ranted how he was a nihilist. He’d soon yelled racial slurs (“fuck all you n*****s”) and gave the Nazi salute throughout the day. He yelled “Hail Vinland” throughout the day.

A few Portland police officers on April 29 appeared to be familiar with Christian, but not threatened by him. They claimed he had a head injury and was mentally ill.

At the link you can view photos of Christian giving the Nazi salute, and read his anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim Facebook posts, as well as his political comments.

Prayers for the families of the two men who heroically died trying to protect the young women. And a quick recovery for the third individual.



“I Might Ask For A Second Set Of Forceps…And Pull Off A Leg Or Two, So It’s Not Partial Birth Abortion”

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:53 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Just another day at the office for an abortionist.

Yesterday, the Center for Medical Progress released yet another video on YouTube filmed during the 2014 and 2015 National Abortion Federation conventions where abortionists and those involved in the industry talked and laughed about the business of killing babies:

“An eyeball just fell down into my lap, and that is gross!” [laughter from the crowd]
– Dr. Uta Landy, Founder of the Consortium of Abortion Providers (CAPS), Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA)

“I’m like — Oh my God! I get it! When the skull is broken, that’s really sharp!”
– Talcott Camp, Deputy director of the ACLU’s Reproductive Health Freedom Project

“I might ask for a second set of forceps to hold the body at the cervix and pull off a leg or two, so it’s not PBA [partial-birth abortion].”
– Dr. Ann Schutt-Aine, Director of Abortion Services for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast

“I get a lot of oohs and ahhs from StemExpress. You know, they’re wanting livers…Last week I was in Sacramento, and she said, “I need four intact limbs.” And I said, you want what?”
– Dr. Leslie Drummond, abortionist at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte

Here’s the backstory about the video’s release:

The footage was released by Daleiden’s attorneys, former Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley and former Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Brentford J. Ferreira. The legal group, Steve Cooley and Associates (SCA), has created a media resource page where press can track progress of the case. The page includes additional video evidence of abortion industry brutality:

This morning, it was reported that YouTube had removed the Center for Medical Progress video for allegedly violating YouTube’s Terms of Service agreement.

NRO, which is closely monitoring this, is reporting that something is amiss:

Judge William Orrick — the California district judge who granted NAF and Planned Parenthood’s request for a preliminary injunction to prevent the release of this video footage — had ordered the CMP’s lead investigator David Daleiden and his attorneys to appear at a June 14 hearing to consider holding them in contempt for releasing the footage yesterday morning.

According to the attorneys defending CMP — Steve Cooley and Brentford Ferreira — they had the ability to release the footage in conjunction with California’s prosecution of Daleiden and his colleague Sandra Merritt, both of whom are facing 14 felony charges in the state for recording “confidential communications.” More clarification from the attorneys’ PR representative to National Review yesterday:

[Calif.] Attorney General Xavier Becerra has entered this footage into the public record by filing a public criminal proceeding based on it. The preliminary injunction obtained by NAF in a federal civil suit cannot bind this State criminal proceeding. (In fact, the SF Superior Court is now releasing certified copies of the court filings to the public with the links to the videos.)

It remains unclear, then, how Orrick had the authority yesterday evening to order Cooley and Ferreira to take down the footage and threaten them with contempt charges.

National Review is seeking clarification about this from CMP’s lawyers.

On a side note:

The health care reform bill passed by the House of Representatives redirects more than 400 million dollars in taxpayer funding away from Planned Parenthood to comprehensive health care centers that outnumber the abortion business at least 20 to one, and it stops the Obamacare abortion expansion by preventing taxpayer funding of health care plans that cover abortion on-demand.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Horde Of Haters Compel Women-Owned Business In Portland To Close

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:29 am

[guest post by Dana]

When these absurdities pop up, it reminds me yet again that there are none so closed-minded as those who loudly proclaim their open-minded progressivism while simultaneously dropping the authoritarian hammer on everyday Americans.

Two ambitious and hard working young women, and I have to mention that they are white because those are the rules, ran a small business in Portland known as Kooks Burritos. Due to accusations of “cultural appropriation,” Kooks Burritos is no longer in business.

Although the business had been operational for several months, and become increasingly popular, the hoopla began when the Williamette Week recently published an article about owners Kali Wilgus and Liz “LC” Connelly wherein they described how a trip to Mexico inspired them to learn how to replicate the unique and tasty tortillas of Puerto Nuevo when they got back home:

“In Puerto Nuevo, you can eat $5 lobster on the beach, which they give you with this bucket of tortillas,” Connelly says. “They are handmade flour tortillas that are stretchy and a little buttery, and best of all, unlimited.”

“I picked the brains of every tortilla lady there in the worst broken Spanish ever, and they showed me a little of what they did,” Connelly says. “They told us the basic ingredients, and we saw them moving and stretching the dough similar to how pizza makers do before rolling it out with rolling pins. They wouldn’t tell us too much about technique, but we were peeking into the windows of every kitchen, totally fascinated by how easy they made it look. We learned quickly it isn’t quite that easy.”

“On the drive back up to Oregon, we were still completely drooling over how good [the tortillas] were, and we decided we had to have something similar in Portland,” Connelly says. “The day after we returned, I hit the Mexican market and bought ingredients and started testing it out. Every day I started making tortillas before and after work, trying to figure out the process, timing, refrigeration and how all of that works.”

When they returned, they set up shop in a inside the Tight Tacos food cart in Portland. Tight Tacos describes itself as “an authentic street taquero”. The man behind Tight Tacos is Reggie Ballesteros, “a Hawaii transplant” who lived in California before landing in Oregon. Because “he couldn’t find tacos like the ones he ate growing up,” he opened Tight Tacos. And he apparently didn’t have a problem with two white girls using his food truck to make their popular breakfast burritos. (Q: Does this make Ballesteros an accomplice to two white girls’ cultural appropriation?)

Back to Wilgus and Connelly. After their interview in the Williamette Week, the aggrieved began their campaign of hate:

“Because of Portland’s underlying racism, the people who rightly own these traditions and cultures that exist are already treated poorly,” an article in the Portland Mercury reads. “These appropriating businesses are erasing and exploiting their already marginalized identities for the purpose of profit and praise.” also offered commentary: “In less than six months, Wilgus and Connelly have managed to build a business. And depending on how you look at it, their methods are either genius or the latest example of white folks profiting off the labor of people of color.”

Interestingly, writer Jamilah King, who is black (remember the rules), also said this in her report on Kooks:

The problem, of course, is that it’s unclear whether the Mexican women who handed over their recipes ever got anything in return. And now those same recipes are being sold as a delicacy in Portland.

That’s right, Jamilah. Because it’s unclear, you don’t know what transpired, and neither does anyone else. But sure, let’s infer, and assume the worst – privileged white girls stole from poor Mexican women. King, along with those whose attacks compelled the owners to shut down the business, have no clue what took place. Maybe the business partners paid a huge amount of money to the Mexican women, maybe they offered and were turned down. Maybe two American girls showing such a level of admiration, appreciation, interest and respect for the craft was enough for these tortilla makers. Why does King, or anyone else, assume that they would want compensation? Isn’t that projection of the worst kind? They’re a poor brown people in a poor land, pride in their workmanship isn’t enough, they want money!

Further, how aggravating that King chose not to focus on a tremendously noteworthy aspect of this report: Two gutsy young women built a successful business in a tough town for businesswomen in a mere six months! What a significant achievement. One that should have been cheered about by women of every color everywhere. Especially in Portland:

A new report on women owned businesses finds that Portland is one of the worst cities in the country. The data from America Express OPEN’s new report ranks Portland in the bottom ten cities in the country out of 100.

A commenter at The Mic left this fitting observation:

Sooooooo, let me get this straight. Are you all suggesting that Andy Ricker close Pok Pok? Should John Gorham close Toro Bravo? What about Expatriate? Should we force Kyle to stop serving Laotian tacos? Are you going to try and convince me you’ve never stood in line at Por Que No? Um, Bollywood Theater anyone? If learning how to make a food from another culture and selling it is now considered cultural appropriation, then why not take this issue up with the sucessful PDX businesses that have been doing this at a much larger scale for years, and stop harassing these two women struggling to start a small business.

Interestingly, Portland is home to 5 Taco Bells. Taco Bell was founded by [the very white] Glen Bell who learned how to make Mexican food by watching the cooks at of a nearby Mexican restaurant:

According to Gustavo Arellano, author of Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, Bell watched long lines of customers at a Mexican restaurant called the Mitla Cafe, located across the street, which attracted a dedicated customer base for its hard-shelled tacos.[4][5] Bell began eating there regularly, attempting to reverse-engineer the recipe, and eventually won the confidence of the proprietors such that they allowed him to see how the tacos and other foods were prepared.[4][5] In late 1951 or early 1952, he took what he had learned and opened a new stand, this time selling tacos under the name of Taco-Tia.[4][5]

Over the next few years, Bell owned and operated a number of restaurants in southern California including four called El Taco. Bell sold the El Tacos to his partner and built the first Taco Bell in Downey in 1962.

But, don’t worry. If you are in Portland and want to only patronize eateries where there is no cultural appropriation taking place, then here’s a convenient list for you: (Alternative To) White-Owned Appropriative Restaurants in Portland

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)



NYT Reporter Lifts Material from Local Reporter then Plays Dumb When Caught

Filed under: General — JVW @ 3:59 pm

[guest post by JVW]

As a follow-up to the story last night about GOP House candidate Greg Gianforte of Montana “body-slamming” Guardian reporter Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs during what Gianoforte characterizes as an unwelcome intrusion into a private interview last night, comes some typically douchy behavior from a New York Times reporter. Whitney Bermes of the Daily Chronicle newspaper in Bozeman tweeted out a picture that she took this morning when the citation issued to Gianforte. The link to the tweet is in the proceeding sentence, and I’ll attach an image here in case the tweet has trouble embedding:

Bermes tweet

And then, a mere 44 minutes later, Jonathan Martin of the NYT sent out this tweet:

Martin tweet

Note the tone of accomplishment in Martin’s tweet: “I’ve obtained a copy. . . ” He makes it sound as if he was doing good old-fashioned shoe-leather journalism and hanging out at the police station asking all the right questions and uncovering every lead. But don’t the two photos there look awfully similar, and by “similar” I mean one and the same? Note how the redacted information is the same as well as the shadow on the document from the person who snapped the photo. This coincidence was not lost on Ms. Bermes who had the following exchange with Martin:

Bermes-Martin exhange

Twitter reaction is overwhelmingly critical of Martin and supportive of Ms. Bermes, and it would appear that all of the big poo-bah media watchers have been alerted to this. I don’t think I would want to be in Jonathan Martin’s shoes right now. It will be interesting to see what if any censure he might face from his employer.

But just another reason to distrust Big Media.

[Cross-posted at the Jury Talks Back.]


Under President Obama, NSA Routinely Violated American Privacy Protections

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:03 am

[guest post by Dana]

You would think this would be a big deal, but when a quick Google search doesn’t pull up any reporting from major media outlets about it, maybe we’re not supposed to believe that the violation of Americans’ civil liberties is that big of a deal.

The National Security Agency under former President Barack Obama routinely violated American privacy protections while scouring through overseas intercepts and failed to disclose the extent of the problems until the final days before Donald Trump was elected president last fall, according to once top-secret documents that chronicle some of the most serious constitutional abuses to date by the U.S. intelligence community.

More than 5 percent, or one out of every 20 searches seeking upstream Internet data on Americans inside the NSA’s so-called Section 702 database violated the safeguards Obama and his intelligence chiefs vowed to follow in 2011, according to one classified internal report reviewed by Circa.

The Obama administration self-disclosed the problems at a closed-door hearing Oct. 26 before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that set off alarm. Trump was elected less than two weeks later.

The normally supportive court censured administration officials, saying the failure to disclose the extent of the violations earlier amounted to an “institutional lack of candor” and that the improper searches constituted a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue,” according to a recently unsealed court document dated April 26, 2017.

The admitted violations undercut one of the primary defenses that the intelligence community and Obama officials have used in recent weeks to justify their snooping into incidental NSA intercepts about Americans.

Circa has reported that there was a three-fold increase in NSA data searches about Americans and a rise in the unmasking of U.S. person’s identities in intelligence reports after Obama loosened the privacy rules in 2011.

Officials like former National Security Adviser Susan Rice have argued their activities were legal under the so-called minimization rule changes Obama made, and that the intelligence agencies were strictly monitored to avoid abuses.

The intelligence court and the NSA’s own internal watchdog found that not to be true.

(Imagine Susan Rice’s claims being deemed untrue.)

And from the ACLU:

The American Civil Liberties Union said the newly disclosed violations are some of the most serious to ever be documented and strongly call into question the U.S. intelligence community’s ability to police itself and safeguard American’s privacy as guaranteed by the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protections against unlawful search and seizure.

“I think what this emphasizes is the shocking lack of oversight of these programs,” said Neema Singh Guliani, the ACLU’s legislative counsel in Washington.

P.S. This report claims that the three major networks did not report on this during their evening broadcasts when the report was released.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)



Reporter For The Guardian Alleges He Was Body Slammed By GOP Running For Montana House Seat (Update Added)

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:09 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Late this afternoon, Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs tweeted that he had been “body slammed” by Greg Gianforte, the Republican candidate running for Montana’s House seat in tomorrow’s special election:


Audio of the incident was provided to the Guardian:

From the report:

Ben Jacobs, a Guardian political reporter, was asking Greg Gianforte, a tech millionaire running for the seat vacated by Ryan Zinke, about the Republican healthcare plan when the candidate allegedly “body-slammed” the reporter.

“He took me to the ground,” Jacobs said by phone from the back of an ambulance. “This is the strangest thing that has ever happened to me in reporting on politics.”

Jacobs subsequently reported the incident to the police. The Gallatin County sheriff’s office is investigating.

Shane Scanolon, spokesman for Gianforte’s campaign, released this statement:


Here is a clearer version of Scanlon’s statement:

“Tonight, as Greg was giving a separate interview in a private office, The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs entered the office without permission, aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg’s face, and began asking badgering questions,” Scanlon said. “Jacobs was asked to leave. After asking Jacobs to lower the recorder, Jacobs declined. Greg then attempted to grab the phone that was pushed in his face. Jacobs grabbed Greg’s wrist, and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground. It’s unfortunate that this aggressive behavior from a liberal journalist created this scene at our campaign volunteer BBQ.”

A BuzzFeed News reporter in the immediate vicinity of where the incident took place, was able, at least in part, to confirm Jacobs’ account:

Jacobs’s account was partially confirmed by BuzzFeed News reporter Alexis Levinson, who wrote on Twitter that she had been in an adjacent room during the incident.

“This happened behind a half closed door, so I didn’t see it all, but here’s what it looked like from the outside – Ben walked into a room where a local tv crew was set up for an interview with Gianforte. All of a sudden I heard a giant crash and saw Ben’s feet fly in the air as he hit the floor. Heard very angry yelling (as did all the volunteers in the room) – sounded like Gianforte…”

She later tweeted:

[B]efore the incident, she overheard Gianforte’s staff telling Jacobs that the campaign was upset with the Guardian’s previous reporting and that the candidate would likely not have time to talk to him. Jacobs then entered the side room to try to talk to Gianforte.

Fox News is reporting a firsthand eyewitness account of the incident by veteran Fox News reporter Alicia Acuna, who was there with field producer Faith Mangan and photographer Keith Railey to interview Gianforte:

As the time for the interview neared, Gianforte came into the room. We exchanged pleasantries and made small talk about restaurants and Bozeman.

During that conversation, another man — who we now know is Ben Jacobs of The Guardian — walked into the room with a voice recorder, put it up to Gianforte’s face and began asking if him if he had a response to the newly released Congressional Budget Office report on the American Health Care Act. Gianforte told him he would get to him later. Jacobs persisted with his question. Gianforte told him to talk to his press guy, Shane Scanlon.

At that point, Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him. Faith, Keith and I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the man, as he moved on top the reporter and began yelling something to the effect of “I’m sick and tired of this!”

Jacobs scrambled to his knees and said something about his glasses being broken. He asked Faith, Keith and myself for our names. In shock, we did not answer. He then said he wanted the police called and went to leave. Gianforte looked at the three of us and repeatedly apologized. At that point, I told him and Scanlon, who was now present, that we needed a moment. The men then left.

Acuna also confirms that at no time did Jacobs “show any form of physical aggression toward Gianforte.”

You can watch the Montana Sheriff’s office address the matter here. Due to it being an active investigation, the Sheriff’s office spokesman provided little information other than deputies responded to an allegation of an assault, they interviewed Gianforte and other individuals present in the room at the time. No confirmation as to whether charges will be filed. Also, no comment on whether this will have any impact on the special election. There is also no evidence or knowledge about video of the incident.

According to Dave Weigel, supporters for Gianforte’s opponent in the race, Democrat Rob Quist, are now playing audio for voters as they canvas the area. I just bet they are.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


UPDATE: Greg Gianforte has been charged with misdemeanor assault.

Today’s CBO Report

Filed under: General — Dana @ 4:43 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Fresh post needed, so very pressed for time…

Today the Congressional Budget Office released an updated score for the American Health Care Act, which I believe very few on the right are really happy about as it is nowhere near the promised full-repeal of Obamacare. However, if you read big media outlets, the CBO news is not just bad – it’s dire. That’s because everyone from Sen. Elizabeth Warren to Business Insider to NPR to the New York Times to the Washington Post are focused on a specific claim that the plan would leave an additional 23 million people uninsured.

Over at the Daily Wire, readers are provided with a bit of clarification about the 23 million number being bandied about, as well as offering some good news in the midst of the bad.

First off, it’s important to know that the CBO is measuring its estimated number of insured against the flawed March 2016 estimates; as Phil Kerpen points out, the CBO itself “acknowledged” that they were off by 5 million people in that estimate.


It’s also worthwhile noting here that the number of uninsured would grow because most people would stop buying insurance without the threat of government fine; the study also considers those who buy certain types of catastrophic insurance “uninsured.” Still, the CBO estimates that by 2026, “an estimated 51 million people under age 65 would be uninsured.”

A little good news:

The AHCA Would Lower The Deficit. According to the CBO:

[O]ver the 2017-2026 period, enacting H.R. 1628 would reduce direct spending by $1,111 billion and reduce revenues by $992 billion, for a net reduction of $119 billion in the deficit over that period. The provisions dealing with health insurance coverage would reduce the deficit, on net, by $783 billion; the noncoverage provisions would increase the deficit by $664 billion, mostly by reducing revenues.

In short, the government would spend less money on Medicaid grants, but the spending to reduce premiums would count against those savings, as well as loss of revenue from fines (good) and repeal of taxes (also good).

Final thoughts:

[T]he bill is revenue neutral, so it can be passed through reconciliation. It gives both sides their talking points: Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) is already touting the statement that premiums could drop and that it will save the government money; Democrats are already touting the drop in number covered as well as the possible effects on the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions. Not much has changed here. But both sides will now retrench politically as the Senate considers moving forward.

Read the whole thing here.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)



Round-Up of Opinion, Post-Manchester

Filed under: General — JVW @ 3:04 pm

[guest post by JVW]

In the aftermath of yesterday’s horrible bombing at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, plenty of polemicists have weighed in with their opinions. As usual, some of it is insightful and excellent, and some of it is, naturally, sheer dreck. Here are some of the most compelling things I have read on the matter today:

Bruce Bawer in City Journal:

London mayor Sadiq Khan (who recently dismissed terrorist attacks as “part and parcel of living in a big city”): “London stands with Manchester.” Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer (who, in the wake of the Pulse nightclub massacre, proclaimed a CAIR-backed “Muslim Women’s Day”—you know, the kind of event that proclaims hijabs “empowering”): Orlando “stands in solidarity with the people of the UK.” L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti (who went berserk when Trump tried to impose that temporary travel ban from a half-dozen Muslim countries): “Los Angeles stands with the people of Manchester.”

Meaningless words, all of them. But Angela Merkel takes the cake: “People in the UK can rest assured that Germany stands shoulder to shoulder with them.” Well, isn’t that . . . reassuring. In what way do such words help anybody to “rest assured” of anything? In any case, how dare she? This, after all, is the woman who opened the floodgates—the woman who, out of some twisted sense of German historical guilt, put European children in danger by inviting into the continent masses of unvetted people from the very part of the world where this monstrous evil has its roots.

Brendan O’Neill at Spiked:

After the terror, the platitudes. And the hashtags. And the candlelit vigils. And they always have the same message: ‘Be unified. Feel love. Don’t give in to hate.’ The banalities roll off the national tongue. Vapidity abounds. A shallow fetishisation of ‘togetherness’ takes the place of any articulation of what we should be together for – and against. And so it has been after the barbarism in Manchester. In response to the deaths of more than 20 people at an Ariana Grande gig, in response to the massacre of children enjoying pop music, people effectively say: ‘All you need is love.’ The disparity between these horrors and our response to them, between what happened and what we say, is vast. This has to change.

David French in National Review Online:

[. . .] After the [post 9/11] implementation of the (now) much-derided Bush strategy [of homeland security], there were a grand total of 27 terror attacks and plots — almost all of them foiled.

After the end of the Bush administration, the numbers skyrocketed, with 68 plots or attacks recorded since. A number of them, including the Fort Hood shooting, the Boston Marathon bombing, the San Bernardino mass murder, and the Orlando nightclub massacre, have been terrifying successful. Indeed, there have been more domestic terror plots and attacks since the rise of ISIS in the summer of 2014 than there were in the entirety of the Bush administration after 9/11. And make no mistake, jihadist terrorists are disproportionately immigrants and children of immigrants.

What did Bush do that was so successful? He not only pressed military offensives in the heart of the Middle East, he fundamentally changed the American approach to immigration and implemented a number of temporary measures that, for example, dramatically decreased refugee admissions and implemented country-specific protective measures that have since been discontinued.

Mark Steyn at Steyn Online:

One thinks of the famous scene in one of the most famous of the Carry On comedies, Carry On Up The Khyber, surely the most insightful film ever made about Afghanistan: as you’ll recall, the revolting Khasi of Khalabar grows ever more enraged at the British Governor’s refusal to let the shelling and destruction of Government House disrupt his dinner party. Even when the Khasi has the main course replaced with the head of a decapitated fakir, Her Majesty’s viceroy declines to let his eye be caught by these vulgar attention-seeking jihadists. The film received unenthusiastic reviews from London critics in 1968. One would not have predicted that half-a-century later it would be official British policy on the home front.

Easier said than done, alas. A couple of hours ago, as I write, the Arndale shopping center in Manchester was evacuated, somewhat chaotically, with hundreds of customers stampeding for the exits lest they be the cause of The Independent’s next carry-on editorial. The Arndale was the scene of the last big terror attack – in 1996, when the IRA totaled it. Two hundred people were injured, but nobody died, and you don’t have to be a terror apologist like Jeremy Corbyn to find the bad old days of Irish republicanism almost quaint by comparison. A few weeks ago the BBC reported that “approximately 850 people” from the United Kingdom have gone to Syria and Iraq to fight for Isis and the like. That’s more volunteers than the IRA were able to recruit in thirty years of the “Troubles”, when MI5 estimated that they never had more than a hundred active terrorists out in the field. This time maybe it’s the exotic appeal of foreign travel, as opposed to a month holed up in a barn in Newry.

If you only have time to read one of these in full, read Steyn. Brilliant as always, he traces the evolution of the targets of Jihadist attacks from Jews and other religious figures, who rouse only minor and superficial sympathy in our secularist age; to symbols of national pride, which are really ho-hum in our contemporary one-world delusions; to consumerism and popular culture, which may finally force us to take notice, or at least make a more strenuous effort to ignore.

And, of course, feel free to share interesting and insightful reflections that you come across.

[Cross-posted at the Jury Talks Back.]



At Least 20 Dead In England, Incident Being Treated As “Possible Terrorist Incident” (Updates Added)

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:15 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Multiple news outlets are reporting:

At least 20 people were killed and possibly “hundreds” of others were injures after one or more loud bangs were heard Monday night at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena in England, multiple law enforcement told NBC News.

Law enforcement sources in both Britain and the United States told NBC News there were possibly two explosions. There was no immediate information on what kind of explosions occurred, and the sources stressed that the information was preliminary and subject to change.

Multiple senior U.S. intelligence officials who are monitoring British authorities told NBC News that preliminary reports indicate that a single explosion took place outside the arena on the southwest side opposite the train station. The explosion occurred as the concert ended, catching people as they exited.

According to Mark White, Sky News’ Home Affairs Correspondent, the incident at the Manchester Arena is being treated by law enforcement as a “possible terrorist incident”.

From an eyewitness:

Majid Khan, 22, said: ‘I and my sister, along with a lot of others were seeing Ariana Grande perform at Manchester Arena, and we were all exiting the venue when around 10.40-10,45pm-ish a huge bomb-like bang went off that hugely panicked everyone and we were all trying to flee the arena.

‘It was one bang and essentially everyone from the other side of the arena where the bang was heard from suddenly came running towards us.

‘Everyone was in a huge state of panic, calling each other as some had gone to the toilet whilst this had gone off, so it was just extremely disturbing for everyone there.’

Also, according to a concert attendee who was spoke to The Daily Mail, there were lots of children and families at the show.

Updates here.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


UPDATE 1: CBS News is reporting that the injuries were consistent with shrapnel and that there are indications that nail bombs were used:

The bombs seemed to have contained nails, and that “forms of shrapnel from this explosion have been injuring people.

UPDATE 2: NBC News is reporting that:

Multiple U.S. officials say UK authorities’ forensic evidence indicates incident at Manchester Arena was a suicide attack.

UPDATE 3: ISIS has claimed responsibility for the bombing. and A statement was released, saying that “a “caliphate soldier managed to place a number of devices among a gathering of crusaders in Manchester, and detonated them.”

UPDATE 4: Salmon Ramadan Abedi has been identified as the bomber. He was reportedly laready known to British authorities.

UPDATE 5: According to CBS News this morning, the death toll has raised to 29, with 59 people injured.

Note: There is a piece in The Independent this morning with the headline, “There’s only one way Britain should respond to attacks such as Manchester. That is by carrying on exactly as before.” For the parents of 8 year old Saffie Rose Roussos, who was one of the victims in the terrorist attack, it will be impossible to carry on as before.

And there is this from the linked piece:

But if the intention of those who commit acts of terror is to disrupt ordinary life, then the only possible response is not to let that happen. That is not to say police should not track down who was responsible for such vile murder. That is not to say the security services should not step up their efforts and do all they can to stop a repeat of such slaughter.

Nor is it about what lots of Britons like to call the Dunkirk spirit, or about showing a stiff upper lip.

Rather, it is a merely an assessment of the options that are available to us, the ordinary people, those without superhuman powers.

We’re not actually equipped to do that much at all, other than to try to carry on, to not allow ourselves to be terrorised, to not stop living our lives. And that means means continuing with the general election May felt obliged to call, or keep on buying tickets to see the likes of Ariana Grande.

If the horror that played out in the aftermath of the 23-year-old singer’s concert inspires us all to do that, then she would indeed deserve the name dangerous woman.


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