Patterico's Pontifications

1/24/2019

New York Celebrates A Woman’s Right To Abortion Up To Birth

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:10 pm



[guest post by Dana]

On Tuesday, the 46th anniversary of the Roe decision, New York cheered at the passage of the Reproductive Health Act, which was signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The law provides increased protections for innocent unborn babies women to legally have abortions up to the point of birth:

New York state has enacted strong new legal protections for abortion rights. The new law, signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday, safeguards rights laid out in Roe v. Wade and other court rulings, including a provision permitting late-term abortions when a woman’s health is endangered, The Associated Press reports. The state’s previous law, which had been on the books for nearly 50 years, only permitted abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy if a woman’s life was at risk.

Governor Cuomo celebrated the passing of the bill in the Democrat-led Senate and Assembly on Tuesday, which happened to be the 46th anniversary of the Roe decision. “In the face of a federal government intent on rolling back Roe v. Wade and women’s reproductive rights, I promised that we would enact this critical legislation within the first 30 days of the new session — and we got it done,” Cuomo said in a statement.

There is a dramatic difference between an abortion necessary to save the life of a mother vs. an aspect of a woman’s *health*, as one is specific, and the other is wide-open and could mean anything, involving any number of factors and varying degrees of subjectivity:

The legislation provides a further exception to permit abortion at any point during pregnancy if a health-care practitioner deems it necessary for the mother’s life or health — the exception that was defined in Roe companion case Doe v. Bolton as “all factors — physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age — relevant to the wellbeing of the patient.” In other words, abortion will be available to women essentially on demand up to the point of birth. The RHA will also decriminalize abortion, moving it from the state’s criminal code to the public-health code.

Also included in the law is the authorization that midwives and physician assistants can now perform some abortions

As Christina Fadden, chair of New York State Right to Life, explained:

The Reproductive Health Act (RHA) was sold to the public saying it merely ‘updates’ the law by codifying Roe v. Wade into our statute, which is not true. RHA has made abortion a ‘fundamental right’ and prohibits all limits on abortion, which not even Roe v. Wade did.

Further insulting unborn baby girls everywhere, Gov. Cuomo celebrated the decision by directing state landmarks, including One World Trade Center to be lit up in pink to “shine a bright light forward for the rest of the nation to follow.”

Untitled

Celebrating along with Gov. Cuomo and New Yorkers, was the head of Planned Parenthood, Dr. Leana Wen, who never misses an opportunity to try and convince us that abortion is standard medical care:

Untitled

Obviously, the passage of the law means no such thing. Just because the State gave its blessing and sanctioned the murder of babies at any stage in a pregnancy, does not make it “standard medical care”. How utterly disingenuous of Dr. Wen to make such an illogical claim. If the state of New York said that abortion is murder, and then outlawed it, would Dr. Wen agree that abortion is indeed murder because the State said so? Of course not. This is transparently childish and intellectually dishonest. And just because the State says something is legal, does not make it moral. Apparently we haven’t learned that lesson yet. But of course the goal has always been to normalize this horrific standard medical care, dehumanize its innocent victims by denying their undeniable humanity, and remove any remnant of a long-held moral respect for the sanctity of life from our culture. Safe, legal and rare was just a cheap gimmick to make the pro-abortionists feel righteous about their death march and convince others that there would always be limits to abortion.

I know it goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: A full-term 7 lb. baby who is to be the recipient of an incision made at the base of its tiny skull in order to have its brain necessarily sucked out to collapse its skull might strenuously object to Wen’s casual standard medical care rhetoric. In fact, I’m betting that their pitiful, silent screams are just that.

–Dana

1/23/2019

Revisiting the Covington Catholic Situation [Updated]

Filed under: General — JVW @ 1:33 pm



[guest post by JVW]

Since the original post continues to be hotly debated, I thought I would add some more thoughts as the situation has evolved.

1. Commenter Calfed raised a very good point yesterday. Perhaps the Covington Catholic boys did not bring MAGA gear with them to the march; perhaps they just purchased the gear from street vendors at some point during the day. This makes sense, as the hats and other items did seem to be new, and it would explain why they would be wearing all of that stuff as they waited for the bus. In retrospect, I jumped the gun by blaming the fellas and, especially, their chaperones for permitting it, and I regret that I failed to consider that possibility. My point that MAGA-wear is inappropriate for a march that is designed to be non-partisan, however, stands. See my explanation here for why I believe that.

2. The more this plays out, the more I see Nathan Phillips as a bad actor in this mess. I was at one point willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he may really have been trying to defuse the situation, even if he did so in a ridiculously poor manner, but now it seems almost entirely clear that he is a professional agitator who sought confrontation and was savvy enough to immediately run to the media so that his mendacious side of the story dominated the early narrative.

3. A note on military service. Brotherico (always a pleasure to have him comment) brought some excellent perspective on whether Mr. Phillips can be considered a Vietnam Veteran in comments he made here and here. The upshot is that though Mr. Phillips never saw combat action in Vietnam — or even served “in-country” (i.e. on Vietnamese soil) — because he was in the military during the 1964-75 period of action in Vietnam, he is officially classified by the government as a Vietnam veteran. This is, of course, a separate matter from the instances when Mr. Phillips has led people to believe he was a combat veteran. For another perspective, retired Navy SEAL Don Shipley, who produces YouTube videos exposing stolen valor frauds, especially those who claim to be ex-Special Forces, acknowledges that Mr. Phillips does not seem to have claimed to be a combat veteran, though he seriously doubts that Mr. Phillips ever served as a Recon Ranger.

4. Since this story first broke, the Twitter wars have only escalated. It seems now that we are, typically, hardening into two opposing camps: one which believes that the CC boys are the victims of a coordinated smear job initiated by the obnoxious Black Hebrew group, picked up by Nathan Phillips and his Native American activist buddies, and finally endorsed by a media horde eager to exact a pound of white male Catholic MAGA flesh; and an opposition (maybe even a “Resistance” if you will) which insists that a group of teenage boys attacked both the Black Hebrew group and the Indian chanters because they were flexing their privileged white male conservative Catholic oppressor muscles. This is how we get Donald Trump; this is how we get Elizabeth Warren.

The worst people of all are still the Twitter jockeys who are calling for — or at the very least openly musing about — violence being done against these kids, especially Nicholas Sandmann. Hollywood and other entertainment types seem to be the most likely blue-checks to indulge in this vile practice, suggesting why today’s cultural offerings tend to be so putrid. Because the rationale for wishing violence on a teenager is nearly always expressed as offense at the “smug” look on young Mr. Sandmann’s face, I thought it appropriate to offer this meme floating around the Internet. And, yes, this is a real quote from the book.

Facecrime

UPDATE: Megan McArdle has one of her typically excellent takes on the whole situation. Sorry to have to point you to Twitter to read it, but I think that’s the only place she has published it.

– JVW

1/22/2019

The Non-Stop Hilarity of Rudy Giuliani

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:16 am



This New Yorker interview with Rudy Giuliani is gold. Rudy is always entertaining, as the nearly senile septuagenarian lawyer who might say anything next. But this interview is great even for him.

First, there are the tapes that totally contradict the BuzzFeed story — and also, tapes? What tapes? Oh yeah, tapes. Well, the tapes have nothing to do with this:

Did President Trump’s lawyers or you yourself reach out to the special counsel’s office after the story, as has just been reported?

I can’t discuss that. President Trump would not have done that. If anybody would have done it, obviously it would have been his lawyers, and I really can’t discuss that. That would be confidential.

Do you—

But I can tell you, from the moment I read the story, I knew the story was false.

Because?

Because I have been through all the tapes, I have been through all the texts, I have been through all the e-mails, and I knew none existed. And then, basically, when the special counsel said that, just in case there are any others I might not know about, they probably went through others and found the same thing.

Wait, what tapes have you gone through?

I shouldn’t have said tapes. They alleged there were texts and e-mails that corroborated that Cohen was saying the President told him to lie. There were no texts, there were no e-mails, and the President never told him to lie.

So, there were no tapes you listened to, though?

No tapes. Well, I have listened to tapes, but none of them concern this.

Then there is the insane ranting about his possible legacy as the guy who lies for Trump:

Saying things for Trump, not always being truthful about it—do you ever worry that this will be your legacy? Does that ever worry you in any way?

Absolutely. I am afraid it will be on my gravestone. “Rudy Giuliani: He lied for Trump.” Somehow, I don’t think that will be it. But, if it is, so what do I care? I’ll be dead. I figure I can explain it to St. Peter. He will be on my side, because I am, so far . . . I don’t think, as a lawyer, I ever said anything that’s untruthful.

You crazy, Rudy.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

1/21/2019

Let’s All Act Dreadfully Regarding the Covington Catholic HS boys

Filed under: General — JVW @ 8:22 pm



[guest post by JVW]

Dana, Patterico, and I were trading email last night discussing which one of us wanted to address the big contretemps over the weekend regarding the boys from Covington Catholic High School and Nathan Phillips of the Omaha Tribe of Native Americans. Dana and I both concluded that this was a ridiculous story that had snowballed into something unimaginably stupid and that neither one of us looked forward to trying to unpack it. The host wisely kept quiet. I eventually told them that I would take a hack at addressing it, but I spent a couple of hours reading through accounts of what happened and various opinions concerning it, and I came away no more excited about sharing my opinions than I was going in.

Suffice it to say, this whole kerfuffle was a misanthrope’s dream. I am just going to assume that everyone here has a basic idea of what happened, because, honestly, one of the things I struggled with last night was trying to recount the events and the various spin that was spun by advocates and agendavists (yeah, I just made up that word). If you haven’t yet seen what happened, take an hour (if it’s worth your time, and it’s probably not) and watch the brief three minute clip that circulated Saturday morning (the events took place the day before), then watch a different video with more context, and finally watch the longer version (fast-forward though as much as you want) that started to make the rounds later that evening and yesterday.

Here’s what I think about all of what happened:

1. The boys were stupid to wear their MAGA gear to the rally, and their chaperones were asleep at the wheel for permitting it. Sure, you can give me the free speech argument, but I’m pretty sure these boys were on a school-sponsored bus tour and the school had every right to dictate the day’s dress code. I would also fault the boys if they showed up wearing I’m With Her regalia, or John Kasich clothing, or even Kamala Harris duds. That brought a partisan element to an event, the March for Life, that should have been party-neutral.

2. The Black Hebrew Israelites didn’t do anything to shake my image of them as a bunch of nut jobs. I was acquainted with a fella some years ago who fell for their flim-flam and became more than somewhat unhinged (or perhaps his association with the group just shone a light on his existing problems with reality). The way these grown men provoked the boys with racial slurs is typical of the thuggishness of so many members of that sect.

3. Nathan Phillips’s actions here are either self-aggrandizing or intentionally inflammatory. To hear him tell it, he waded into the crowd of boys to defuse the situation brewing between them and the Black Hebrews. But if that’s true, why did Mr. Phillips not speak to any of the boys — perhaps introduce himself to them and talk them like a respected elder might to young men — instead choosing to bang his drum and chant his prayer face-to-face just inches away from a young man? At best Mr. Phillips tried to help in a tense situation but badly blundered; at worst he was hoping to draw attention to himself by confronting the young MAGA kids. Also, let’s ask how we would feel if Mr. Phillips had done the same thing to a 16-year-old girl. Wouldn’t that come off as creepy and menacing? I also join those who think that Mr. Phillips is not an accurate chronicler of the truth. There is a cacophony of noise on the video, but I don’t hear any chants of “build that wall” that he claimed to hear, and I have a hard time buying into his claim that he feared for his safety in the presence of those boys.

4. Regarding that now infamous young man in the video, Nicholas Sandmann (I use his name because he has gone public with his side of the story), as an old man sitting here today I wish he hadn’t stood there staring down Mr. Phillips, but I have a very strong feeling that 16-year-old JVW would have done pretty much the exact same thing. A young boy loaded up with testosterone in the presence of his friends as they are verbally sparring with another group is not suddenly going to back down to an old man beating a drum and chanting in his face. If he had, the left side of the Internet would no doubt be crowing about how a brave Native American elder stared down an unruly MAGA teen and made the boy back down, and I know that a 16-year-old isn’t going to let himself be in that position. Dammed if he did; dammed if he didn’t.

5. And what would 2019 be without an immediate internet lynch mob assembled to punish the boys. Naturally the trolls and the keyboard commandos emerged with calls for doxxing all of the boys, leading to at least one Covington Catholic student who was not present at the march being harassed with death threats after being mistakenly identified in place of young Mr. Sandmann. The usual cacophony of Hollywood half-wits, intersectionality idiots, and journalism jackasses certainly thought it appropriate to issue snap judgements. Sadly, even some conservative outlets decided not to get left behind in the parade and also bought into the idea that the boys were entirely to blame, only to then walk back their reactions with apologies and mea culpas when the other videos began to emerge (pseudo-conservatives took part as well). And of course, there are those media hacks who continue to double (and triple) down on their initial wayward perspectives.

6. Finally, perhaps the worst offender of all was the school itself along with the Diocese of Covington. Instead of protecting their young charges, instead of calmly calling for a timeout on the hate in order to gather all facts and make an informed judgement, they surrendered to the mob by issuing a statement blaming the students for the entire situation. Imagine you are a parent of a Covington Catholic student; how satisfied are you that your son is going to be in a supportive environment with adults who look out for his well-being in return for your $8,000 tuition check? Considering that bashing Catholics — especially bashing white male Catholics — is one of the new hip progressive hobbies (although, to be sure, the Church does itself no favors with its inexplicably poor decisions), considering that members of Congress, from Ted Lieu (Dem – Twitter) to the boys’ homestate Congressman in an adjacent district all thought it proper to pile on, the last thing these boys need is for their own side to covet the forty thirty pieces of silver of secular approval. Fortunately for the boys, their own Congressman, Thomas Massie, did excellent work in making the case against the rush to judgement. The people of Kentucky’s Fourth District are lucky to have Rep. Massie on the case. [Disclosure: I went to college with Rep. Massie and am friends with his chief of staff.]

There’s plenty more to pontificate about, but I’m going to wrap it up here. There’s work to be done for sure: some young men who could behave with more decorum in public settings, several chaperones who ought to take seriously the idea that their charges are representatives of the school and community, plenty of activists who have to stop thinking that they can intimidate and harass with impunity, lots of media members who really should quit falling for stories that neatly confirm their deeply-held biases, and uncountable numbers of outside observers who need to stifle themselves rather than regurgitate some predictable hot take that is appropriate to their side.

– JVW

BuzzFeed Is Probably Not Entirely Wrong About Trump, You Know

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:25 pm



I have been at the forefront of warning people not to take anything Jason Leopold says at face value — especially when he is relying on anonymous law enforcement sources. However, my best guess is that there is something to what BuzzFeed is saying about Trump having been involved in discussing Michael Cohen’s false Congressional testimony with him in advance. One reason I think that? Rudy Giuliani is all but admitting it. Here’s the whole ten-minute trainwreck of a clip:

Much of this is Clintonian parsing of what the word “deal” means — it depends on what the meaning of “deal” is. But remarkably, Giuliani does not deny that Trump talked to Cohen about the testimony in advance. He says he doesn’t know one way or another. Then Giuliani hints that maybe he (Giuliani) is actually lying about that, and actually does know that Trump had the conversation, but can’t acknowledge it because it’s attorney-client privilege. Then Giuliana ultimately comes out with this gem: “And so what if he talked to him about it?” Giulianai’s position appears to be: sure, Trump talked to Cohen about his testimony, and believes that what Cohen was going to testify to was the truth.

Here’s the critical 90 seconds, if ten minutes is too much for you:

TAPPER: But you just acknowledged — but you just acknowledged that it’s possible that President Trump talked to Michael Cohen about his testimony.

GIULIANI: Which would be perfectly normal, which the president believed was true.

TAPPER: So it’s possible that that happened, that President Trump talked to Michael Cohen about his testimony?

GIULIANI: I don’t know if it happened or didn’t happen. And it might be attorney-client-privileged if it happened, where I can’t acknowledge it. But I have no knowledge that he spoke to him. But I’m telling you, I wasn’t there then.

TAPPER: So…

GIULIANI: It’s not significant, because the version he gave to the…

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: Well, Michael Cohen is — but he’s convicted of — I mean, one of the things he pled — pleaded guilty to, I believe, is lying to Congress about the Trump Tower deal.

GIULIANI: Well, which time? Which time, Jake?

TAPPER: Well, I’m talking — well, he…

GIULIANI: You can pick your time.

TAPPER: Right, but about the Trump Tower deal, about the Trump Tower deal.

GIULIANI: He under oath — under oath — but he’s pleading guilty to get a reduced sentence, which means he’s saying what the prosecutor wants him to say. If Corsi…

TAPPER: But you just acknowledged that President Trump might have talked to him about his testimony.

GIULIANI: And so what if he talked to him about it?

TAPPER: Well, is it not possible that Michael Cohen had that conversation…

GIULIANI: If it’s the truth.

TAPPER: I’m just asking you for what happened or what didn’t happen.

GIULIANI: It’s not possible. Not possible.

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: Michael Cohen left the conversation thinking, well, this is what the boss wants me to say; the boss wants me to say…

GIULIANI: Not possible.

(CROSSTALK)

GIULIANI: The guy driving this testimony was Michael Cohen. In other words, you and I are in a deal together. You are the guy running it. I’m the guy sitting that is back there doing 50 other things. When it comes time to remember what happens, I go to you and you tell me what happened. I don’t tell you what happened.

TAPPER: Well, let me ask you…

GIULIANI: So, Michael Cohen was telling people what happened.

I don’t know if the president was briefed by him or wasn’t. He certainly was briefed by his lawyers, all attorney-client privilege.

TAPPER: Right.

GIULIANI: But I can tell you this. Michael Cohen’s lawyers believed him at the time.

Full transcript here.

So ultimately, this probably isn’t going to come down to whether Trump and Cohen talked about his testimony. He almost certainly did. Trump is just going to say that he believed what Cohen said. And when documentary evidence comes out to show Trump was aware of facts inconsistent with Cohen’s testimony — and I’ll betcha Mueller has such evidence — Trump is going to say he didn’t remember any of that. And his superfans will believe him.

So BuzzFeed overstepped by saying they have proof that Trump told Cohen to lie. What’s much more likely is that Trump and Cohen agreed Cohen would testify to x; there’s evidence to show Trump knew the truth was not x, and Trump is going to shrug it off as a case of “who can remember every deal they have in the works with the Kremlin?” and his superfans will buy it.

So, although nobody ever knows anything for sure, that’s my best guess as to what happened and how this is all going to play out. We’ll know soon enough whether I’m right or wrong.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

1/20/2019

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 155

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:56 am



It is the second Sunday after Epiphany. Today’s Bach cantata is “Mein Gott, wie lang, ach lange?” (My God, how long, ah, how long), composed for the second Sunday after Epiphany in 1716:

Today’s Gospel reading is John 2:1-11:

Jesus Changes Water Into Wine

On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”

“Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”

His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.

Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.

Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”

They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words:

Jesus knows the right time
to cheer you with help.
When the troubled times disappear,
His whole heart will be open to you.

. . . .

Then be, o soul, be at peace!
If it appears to your eyes
as if your dearest Friend
has departed completely from you;
if He has left you for a brief time,
heart! believe firmly,
it will be only a little time,
before instead of bitter tears
He will grant you the wine of comfort and joy
and flowing honey in place of wormwood!

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

1/19/2019

Brian Stelter and His “Reliable Sources”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:48 pm



Offered without further comment.

OK, I lied; I’ll offer further comment.

There’s nothing wrong with having Ben Smith and Anthony Cormier on a show about media. Stelter should have Jason Leopold on as well. The issue is not simply their presence on the show. The issue is whether they, and the sources upon which they based their recent blockbuster story, are going to be treated as “Reliable Sources.”

And based on Stelter’s track record — including having Dan Rather on his show and treating him as some sort of journalism laureate — Stelter is not going to raise the real questions that need to be raised. Such as: how do you hire a guy who maintained for months that Karl Rove had been indicted — and who doubled, tripled, and quadrupled down on that story when the world could see how dubious it was? And how could you publish a story this momentous based on anonymous sources, co-authored by a guy with that track record?

And: if you claim that there are documents supporting your story, where are they? Did you bring them with you today? You didn’t? Why not?

So yeah, Brian Stelter, I want “to pursue and promote reliable info” and “to advocate for a better media ecosystem.” But I don’t think your laughably named show is the way to do that.

Prove me wrong. Do your job on Sunday. Don’t tepidly raise Mueller’s denial, give these guys a platform to pretend that their story is still solid, and act like it’s a he said/she said situation. Even if Trump did what they are accusing him of — and believe me, I think that’s quite possible — there is a Big Problem here. If you want to advocate for a better media ecosystem, you should damned well treat it like the problem it is.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

1/18/2019

Beware of Jason Leopold, One of the Reporters Who Broke the Blockbuster BuzzFeed Story (UPDATE: Special Counsel Says Story Inaccurate)

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:01 am



Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last twelve hours, you’ve heard about the BuzzFeed story alleging that there is documentary evidence that Trump instructed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about the Trump Tower Moscow deal:

President Donald Trump directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter.

Trump also supported a plan, set up by Cohen, to visit Russia during the presidential campaign, in order to personally meet President Vladimir Putin and jump-start the tower negotiations. “Make it happen,” the sources said Trump told Cohen.

. . . .

The special counsel’s office learned about Trump’s directive for Cohen to lie to Congress through interviews with multiple witnesses from the Trump Organization and internal company emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents. Cohen then acknowledged those instructions during his interviews with that office.

This is a genuine “whoa if true” moment. If the President of the United States instructed his personal lawyer to lie to Congress about the extent of a proposed business deal with Russia, that is impeachable.

But hold up. Let’s look at the names on that BuzzFeed story again. Why does the name Jason Leopold sound familiar? Oh, right: because he told us confidently in 2006, again and again, based on anonymous law enforcement sources, that Karl Rove would be indicted.

Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald spent more than half a day Friday at the offices of Patton Boggs, the law firm representing Karl Rove.

During the course of that meeting, Fitzgerald served attorneys for former Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove with an indictment charging the embattled White House official with perjury and lying to investigators related to his role in the CIA leak case, and instructed one of the attorneys to tell Rove that he has 24 business hours to get his affairs in order, high level sources with direct knowledge of the meeting said Saturday morning.

I mean, he had a case number for the case (06 cr 128) and everything. It was solid, man! Solid!

NARRATOR: Rove was never actually indicted. Leopold, and his sources, were dead wrong. Laughably so. And he was a laughingstock at the time. I remember it well and wrote about it right here, again and again.

Leopold already had credibility issues when the Rove series of articles broke. The idea that you’d take his word on anything … well, let’s just say I don’t recommend it.

That said, the pair that broke the current BuzzFeed story has been out front on the Cohen story for a while. As I noted in November:

Oddly enough, and I feel weird saying this, but a BuzzFeed story from May 17, 2018 co-authored by (shudder) Jason Leopold appears to have gotten a lot of this right before anyone else did — in particular the extent to which Cohen had continued to push the Trump Tower Moscow deal months after January 2018, when (according to what Cohen had told Congress) the deal had supposedly been dead

The reporter who is not Jason Leopold sounds very confident:

But he has not seen the evidence himself.

Leopold was 100% confident about Rove. I mean 100%. I’m glad it’s the other reporter who dealt with the sources. Still…

This, I’ll believe when I see it in Mueller’s report.

If I do, and if the evidence is solid, I will be foursquare behind impeaching and removing this guy. Heck, I’m already threesquare behind it.

Meanwhile, the drama in D.C. continues, with Pelosi (maybe) delaying the SoTU, and Trump retaliating by canceling her trip to visit the troops in Afghanistan. What a show! Sure would be a shame if it came to an end, wouldn’t it?

UPDATE: Ouch.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back, where discussion is unfailingly civil.]

1/17/2019

NYT Writer Calls For Open Borders To Everyone Who Wants To Move Here

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:22 pm



[guest post by Dana]

The New York Times, demonstrating once again that diversity does not include political thought, published an op-ed by recently hired columnist Farhad Manjoo, who attempts to convince us that open borders would be a good thing for the U.S.:

[T]here’s one political shore that remains stubbornly beyond the horizon. It’s an idea almost nobody in mainstream politics will address, other than to hurl the label as a bloody cudgel.

I’m talking about opening up America’s borders to everyone who wants to move here.

Imagine not just opposing President Trump’s wall but also opposing the nation’s cruel and expensive immigration and border-security apparatus in its entirety. Imagine radically shifting our stance toward outsiders from one of suspicion to one of warm embrace. Imagine that if you passed a minimal background check, you’d be free to live, work, pay taxes and die in the United States. Imagine moving from Nigeria to Nebraska as freely as one might move from Massachusetts to Maine.

There’s a witheringly obvious moral, economic, strategic and cultural case for open borders, and we have a political opportunity to push it. As Democrats jockey for the presidency, there’s room for a brave politician to oppose President Trump’s racist immigration rhetoric not just by fighting his wall and calling for the abolishment of I.C.E. but also by making a proactive and affirmative case for the vast expansion of immigration.

It would be a change from the stale politics of the modern era, in which both parties agreed on the supposed wisdom of “border security” and assumed that immigrants were to be feared.

As an immigrant, this idea confounds me. My family came to the United States from our native South Africa in the late 1980s. After jumping through lots of expensive and confusing legal hoops, we became citizens in 2000. Obviously, it was a blessing: In rescuing me from a society in which people of my color were systematically oppressed, America has given me a chance at liberty.

But why had I deserved that chance, while so many others back home — because their parents lacked certain skills, money or luck — were denied it?

When you see the immigration system up close, you’re confronted with its bottomless unfairness. The system assumes that people born outside our borders are less deserving of basic rights than those inside. My native-born American friends did not seem to me to warrant any more dignity than my South African ones; according to this nation’s founding documents, we were all created equal. Yet by mere accident of geography, some were given freedom, and others were denied it.

This is so stunningly naive, convoluted, and simplistic, it boggles the mind. To Manjoo, any border security by default, is bad, immoral, xenophobic, and flat-out un-American. To which I say, tell that to Americans who have lost loved ones at the hands of immigrants who should not have been in the U.S. in the first place. While Manjoo wants to put out the welcome mat to anyone and everyone, those walking through the devastating aftermath of the unnecessary loss of their loved ones might see it a bit differently. Their loved ones are dead, but they would not be dead if that immigrant had not unlawfully crossed the border into the U.S. They would not be dead if that immigrant had been prevented from crossing the border through stricter security measures. Period. In the minutiae of border discussions, this pivotal point is conveniently ignored by individuals like Manjoo and the open-borders crowd. It has to be. To confront it would be to accept that the argument to open the border is severely flawed.

I’m uninterested in taking time to debate Manjoo’s claims, one by one, because the inherent dangers and risks that come with open borders speak for themselves. This is some childish pie-in-the-sky thinking that, when we apply basic common sense, becomes self-refuting. With that, it will be interesting to see if and when the new progressives in Congress make their move toward an open border. They will not only have to successfully convince the hoi polloi that this is a viable policy position in the best interest of the U.S., but also convince their own leadership, including Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, both of whom supported legislature to provide border fencing in 2006. (See Secure Fence Act of 2006.)

Untitled

Officer Singh was a legal immigrant from Fiji, who like Farhad Manjoo’s family, jumped through the necessary hoops to become a U. S. citizen. This unlike Gustavo Perez Arriaga, who illegally crossed into the U.S. via the Arizona border and has been charged with the murder of Officer Singh. Because Arriaga should not have been the U.S. in the first place, Officer Singh’s death was preventable.

–Dana

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

Trump: Maybe Someone Should Investigate Michael Cohen’s Father-in-Law

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:09 am



Dat’s a nice fahder in law ya got dere. Be a shame if someone was to investigate him:

In an interview with FOX News on Saturday, Trump called Cohen “weak,” accused him of lying to prosecutors in order to get a reduced sentence, and hinted — unprompted and without evidence — that he possessed damaging information about Cohen’s family.

“[Cohen] should give information maybe on his father-in-law, because that’s the one that people want to look at,” Trump told FOX News host Jeanine Pirro. “That’s the money in the family.”

There has been no public indication during the investigation of Cohen that his father-in-law is or was the subject of any criminal inquiry.

“It’s an absolutely shocking violation of norms for the chief executive to suggest a retaliatory investigation against the relative of a witness against him,” said Kenneth White, a former federal prosecutor and criminal defense attorney with Brown, White & Osborn LLP. “This is Nixonian ‘enemy list’ stuff, but instead of the public finding out about it through secret tapes and insiders, the president is saying it openly on TV.”

. . . .

One day after Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison, Trump tweeted that Cohen agreed to plead guilty only “to embarrass the president and get a much reduced prison sentence, which he did – including the fact that his family was temporarily let off the hook.”

I know that many readers here will not find Trump’s threats a “shocking violation of norms” but as business as usual from the Lunatic in Chief. However, the fact that Trump engages in regular surprising violations of norms should not dull our senses to the point where we allow this sort of behavior not to shock us.

If Democrats get around to mounting a genuine effort to impeach Trump, this should be among the articles of impeachment.

Meanwhile, Rudy “Bug Eyes” Giuliani seems to be leaving open the possibility that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, saying his past denials of collusion have related only to Trump personally:

President Trump’s legal spokesman Rudolph W. Giuliani on Wednesday night appeared to grant the possibility that members of Trump’s campaign did, in fact, collude with the Russians during the 2016 presidential election campaign.

And in the process, he contradicted dozens of previous denials that both the Trump team (and Trump himself) have offered.

“I never said there was no collusion between the campaign or between people in the campaign,” Giuliani told CNN’s Chris Cuomo, before getting cut off.

“Yes, you have,” Cuomo said.

Giuliani shot back: “I have not. I said ‘the president of the United States.’”

Here’s the clip:

Kinda hard to deny collusion by the campaign when Trump’s campaign manager gave internal polling data to Konstantin Kilimnik, whom Mueller has described as someone who has “ties to a Russian intelligence service and had such ties in 2016.”

I suspect the next shoe to drop will relate to additional evidence of Trump’s knowledge of the Trump Tower meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya. If I’m right, that evidence will be waved off impatiently by Trump superfans as well.

And the drama continues…

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

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