Patterico's Pontifications

7/21/2019

President Trump: Good Morning, America!

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:05 pm



[guest post by Dana]

This morning, President Trump tweeted his favorite political slogan, and followed it seven minutes later with an inflammatory tweet targeting the same four Democratic congresswomen he’s been publicly scuffling with since last week:

Untitled

Untitled

I’ve lost track if he’s triple-tripling down now or what, but obviously he has no intention of letting up. In Trump’s playbook, an incumbent President can never begin a re-election campaign too early. And if an opportunity presents itself and your base is on board, then jump on it.

Polling this week, done after the “send her back” rally, after his head-spinning disapproval/approval of those “incredible patriots” and after this morning’s tweet should be telling about whether his tactics are working.

I’m not going to opine on the second tweet other than to say, the man knows how to tap into his base. Please tell us what you think about the second tweet in the comments section: Smart political move? Effective strategery in action? Dunderhead move? A con man works his easy marks? Grifters gonna grift? Opportunist at work? Giving voice to what a lot of Americans think? All of the above?

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

Heh: Bernie Forced to Pay the $15 per Hour He Wants to Make Everyone Else Pay

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:55 am



So Bernie, an advocate of making employers pay $15 an hour, was not paying his salaried people the equivalent of $15 an hour. Go figure. His people got upset and now he is cutting their hours so they will be earning what he wants to make everyone else pay:

Amid a pay war within his own 2020 presidential campaign, Bernie Sanders will limit the amount of time his organizers can work to guarantee that no one is making less than $15 per hour — a wage the senator has demanded should be the federal minimum.

On Thursday evening, The Washington Post reported that some members of Sanders’ campaign have been lobbying to raise their wages. Field organizers say they make a salary of $36,000 annually but work 60 hours per week, which is an average of $13 per hour.

Unionized workers planned to send a letter to campaign manager Faiz Shakir which read that “many field staffers are barely managing to survive financially, which is severely impacting our team’s productivity and morale.” Some employees, they said, had even left the campaign as a result of the low pay.

In a statement provided to Newsweek, Shakir said that the campaign has been in discussions about pay structure changes with the United Food & Commercial Workers Local 400, the union representing the organizers.

“We look forward to continuing those discussions and obviously are disappointed that some individuals decided to damage the integrity of these efforts before they were concluded,” Shakir said. “As these discussions continue, we are limiting hours so no employee is receiving less than $15 for any hours worked.”

It’s almost as if a $15 an hour minimum wage results in some sort of cutbacks, whether it be in hours worked by existing employees or in hiring fewer employees. Unpossible!

Miss Michigan Stripped of Title

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 11:20 am



[Headline from DRJ]

Miss Michigan World America stripped of title over ‘offensive’ social media posts:

A Michigan pageant contestant and fan of President Donald Trump was stripped of her title for what she calls discrimination against her conservative political views.

Kathy Zhu, a University of Michigan student, was dismissed Thursday as a Miss World America pageant participant when the organization described the content of her social media as “offensive, insensitive and inappropriate.” according to a letter from the pageant that she posted on her Twitter account.

Zhu is a well-known political commentator and online figure, amassing approximately 80,000 followers in her Instagram and Twitter accounts combined.

“I have seen this happen before,” Zhu told the Free Press on Thursday. “It is just not okay to be prejudiced against people who just have a different political view as you.”

This is from last week but I think last week’s stories are important. They suggest we are turning into an intolerant or maybe an overly-sensitive nation.

— DRJ

Update on UK Tanker Held by Iran

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 11:05 am



[Headline from DRJ]

Splash 247 — All British ships told to avoid Strait of Hormuz:

All British ships have been told by the UK government to avoid transiting the Strait of Hormuz for an indefinite period following Friday’s seizure of the UK-flagged Stena Impero tanker.

Iranian authorities have claimed the ship hit an Iranian fishing trawler, sparking a special forces operation to take the tanker, which has since been broadcast on local television.

Other British ships in the area have resorted to switching their AIS off while transiting in recent days.

The decision follows the release of audio from moments before the seizure:

The recording from maritime security risk firm Dryad Global was obtained by NBC News on Sunday. The U.K.’s Ministry of Defence confirmed its authenticity to NBC News.

“If you obey, you will be safe,” a member of the Iranian navy is heard telling the British-flagged tanker on the radio exchange, while demanding it change course.

A British naval officer aboard the HMS Montrose, according to a call sign referred to in the audio, responds with a warning to Iranian forces.

“Please confirm that you are not intending to violate international law by unlawfully attempting to board,” the British voice says.

The audio at the link includes the Iranians advising they wish to inspect the tanker “for security reasons” and the British warship Montrose responding that the Iranians “must not impair, impede, obstruct, or hamper the passage” of the MV Stena Impera tanker through international waters.

TankerTrackers confirms the Stena Impera appears to be moored near Bandar Abbas.

The incident(s) have triggered responses in the shipping industry:

Splash also understands that many shipowners are now discussing quitting the UK ship register, a flag that has already been hard hit in recent months with a significant exodus ahead of Brexit.

— DRJ

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 3

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 9:06 am



It is the sixth Sunday after Pentecost. Today’s Bach cantata is “Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid” (Oh God, how much heartache).

Today’s Gospel reading is Luke 10:38-42:

At the Home of Martha and Mary

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

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

Ah, God, how much heartache
do I encounter at this time!
The narrow path is full of trouble
that I shall follow to heaven.

How difficult it is for flesh and blood,
that deals only with earthly and vain things,
and heeds neither God nor Heaven,
to strive for the eternal Good!
Since You, O Jesus, are now my all,
and yet my flesh is so recalcitrant,
where then shall I turn?
The flesh is weak, although the spirit is willing;
so help me, You who know my heart.
My mind stands with You, O Jesus.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

Rating the Campaign Swag

Filed under: General — JVW @ 8:26 am



[guest post by JVW]

Dem Merch

Now that the campaigns appear to be in full-swing, our attention should naturally turn to one of the key indicators in any campaign of the 21st Century: which candidate has the best campaign merchandise available at his or her website. Surely we know that our last two Presidents rode an iconic poster and a pointed-message baseball cap all the way to the White House, so these people who would move in to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue need to demonstrate some cool swag right away in order to establish themselves as serious contenders.

In light of that, I have examined the online stores of all of the candidates to try and determine who offers the best swag thus far in the election cycle. I have broken them into four groups: Those who don’t even register due to lack of interesting offerings or even lack of an online store at all, those whose products are insipid, those whose products are uninspiring, and then, at last, a final seven counted down all the way to the best campaign merchandise I have seen thus far. So here we go:

Those Who Don’t Even Register
Bill de Blasio doesn’t bother to have an online store, which is probably good because he also doesn’t appear to have any supporters. Poor Steve Bullock (yeah, I checked, he really is running) has a very pedestrian campaign site with no store. New arrival Joe Sestak also does not (yet?) offer merchandise on his site. Miramar, FL Mayor Wayne Messam’s campaign site doesn’t even load for me, so he might want to rethink going with that Venezuelan web-hosting service. And, to no one’s real surprise lunatic fringe candidate Mike Gravel also doesn’t have a store (though I did come across what I think were parody items on another site that said stuff like “Mike Gravel: Property is Theft”).

There is absolutely nothing of interest in the online stores of Amy Klobuchar, Michael Bennett, and Tom Steyer.

Tim Ryan’s store is apparently trying hard to push merchandise among the residents of Youngstown, Ohio, the center of his Congressional district, which suggests they are overstock from his last Congressional campaign. Seth Moulton has commercialized the revelation of his post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Insipid
Julián Castro cartoon portrait stickers
In perusing Secretary Castro’s online store, I see that he makes heavy use of the diacritic (acento in Spanish) over the “a” in Julián, turning it into what I guess is supposed to be a flame. They also feature a bunch of merchandise with a theme of Adiós Trump He’s selling Obamaesque stickers which the store refers to as a lotería, a word I only know to mean “lottery.” Is there another translation of the word that I am unaware of? I guess we can’t ask Mr. Castro himself, since he doesn’t actually speak Spanish, acento notwithstanding.

Kamala Harris bus rider t-shirt
I have to say, I think her logo (pictured above) with the colorful “KAMALA” is actually pretty snazzy, but I’m going to hammer her over another item she is pushing. Senator Harris, of course, famously started selling t-shirts celebrating her nasty bit of demagoguery against the hapless Joe Biden at last months debate. Just look at the shirt (link above): what kind of person would actually wear that anywhere other than at the Harris 2020 campaign office or a rally? Every single one of those shirts that are purchased this year will be at Goodwill by Christmas 2020.

Jay Inslee authored children’s book
Yep, it looks like the Washington Governor who is obsessed with climate change has written — and illustrated! — a children’s book. It clocks in at 20 pages, so for $12.50 you are paying sixty-two-and-one-half cents per page, which makes college textbooks seem like a bargain.

Robert O’Rourke “Beto” bandana
Órale, homes! If you are some güero gabacho trying to play-act as uno de la raza, you’re going to need this accessory to wrap around your newly-shaved cabeza or maybe to hold your hairnet in place, ese. This is the bandana you want to get, cabrón.

Elizabeth Warren stickers.
Raise your hand if you are surprised that the Queen of Insincerity herself is still trying to dine out on a comment that Cocaine Mitch McConnell made over two years ago while using parliamentary rules to stop Fauxcahontas from droning on about the unsuitability of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. She’ll still be flogging that moment long after she deservedly joins George Frisbe Hoar and David I. Walsh in the pantheon of forgotten Massachusetts Senators.

The Uninspiring
Cory Booker trans pride pins
One of the things I learned from this little exercise is that all of the Democrat candidates sell Pride Week merchandise and a few of them go further and sell items marketed specifically for the trans community. These “T” items are distinguished from the other Pride Week items by being issued in pink and blue only, unlike the “LGBTQetc” full color spectrum. Senator Booker’s other items are dull and unimaginative, so this is about as good as he has to offer.

Pete Buttigieg coffee mug
Color me disappointed that the openly gay guy doesn’t offer any “fabulous” items, just the blandest of bland stuff. He also has merchandise bearing the slogan “Win the era.” What the hell is that? I thought maybe he’s re-fighting the battle for the Equal Rights Amendment, but it looks like he means era as in “a fixed point of time from which a series of years are reckoned.” Unless maybe it’s a coded message for the South Bend Cubs of the Class A Midwest League to get their pitching in order. In any case, the only thing worthwhile I saw in his store are some items that remind us how to pronounce his last name. Is it too much to ask him to sell a logo baking sheet for croissants?

Kristin Gillibrand t-shirts
Not that there is anything interesting about her logo, and she offers the same old collection of shirts, caps, buttons, stickers, and signs that everyone else does. But the Poor Woman’s Hillary does have one magnificent bit of wokedness that none of her competitors seem to have picked up on: all of her clothing items are unisex (the site likes to use the term “gender neutral”) in shape and sizing, meaning there are not separate men’s and women’s versions of the garments. I’ll bet some of the other candidates are kicking themselves for not having thought of that.

Bernard Sanders throwback t-shirt
I guess the Vermont Democrat Socialist doesn’t hate free enterprise so much that he would miss out on the opportunity to sell some merchandise to the earnest young Marxists who love him so, even if he pays them “starvation wages.” Unfortunately for him, his logo and merchandise look like overstock items from his 2016 campaign, with a very similar logo and same stupid slogan. For some reason they have added a Soviet-red headband this time around. Truly the most uninspiring swag, from a campaign that you might have thought would have cooked up something more interesting.

And now for the good merchandise.

Seventh Place
Tulsi Gabbard button
I am flummoxed that Tulsi Gabbard’s site does not feature any Aloha-related items. It seems like a huge missed opportunity. She doesn’t even have floral-print t-shirts, which would seem a natural for a Hawaiian candidate. I do like her pretty sunrise logo, however, so I’m going to go with her campaign button as the best item in her online store and one that bumps her onto the good merchandise list. But please, Congresswoman Gabbard, get some floral items!

Sixth Place
Marianne Williamson logo coffee mug
It is my sad duty to report that no, Ms. Williamson is not (as of yet) selling logo crystals on her website. I would buy one in a heartbeat, even if all she had was picture jasper and not something awesome like tourmalated quartz. She does have a nice — and entirely appropriate — purple-and-pink color scheme which I think is best represented in her logo coffee mug.

Fifth Place
Joe Biden Pride tank-top.
Virtually every single Democrat candidate, at least those who have more than 2% support, produced special LGBTQetc Pride Week apparel for the various events and marches that took place. The best I saw was from Dinosaur Joe, whose campaign played upon his aviator sunglasses-wearing reputation, which is just barely whimsical enough so as not to be grating. Oddly enough, the aviator sunglasses motif doesn’t appear to be used in any Biden merchandise other than this tank.

Fourth Place
John Hickenlooper can coozie
The former Colorado governor might have the best looking logo of all of the candidates, as he takes advantage of his long name by setting it against a backdrop that suggests his state’s famous mountains while at the same time representing the stripes on the American flag (he clearly is not going for the Colin Kaepernick endorsement). Better get ’em while his campaign is still operating, which may not be all that much longer.

Third Place
John Delaney phone ring stand
Because sometimes the most hopeless candidate has the best piece of merchandise. This is a good-looking item (handmade out of Idaho wood), though unfortunately probably 99.98% of the country wouldn’t recognize the “D” logo. Who would have thought that a candidate might actually feature an item that is useful? I see that I accidentally omitted it from the merchandise mash-up picture at top, so here it is:

Delaney phone stand

Second Place
Andrew Yang math lapel pin
Don’t ask me; geeks are gonna geek out. I suppose this is his way of saying that politics is a higher-order math problem. Lots of luck inspiring voters with that, pal.

First Place
Trump plastic straws
But sorry, Democrats, none of you can hold a candle to the best piece of merchandise from President Donald Trump’s online store. No, I’m not talking about the ladies’ swim suit or the insane tweets t-shirts or the MAGA Pride Week cap or the badly-needed Trump/Pence dog hoodie. I’m talking about an item perfectly designed to elicit whoops of delight from his base while simultaneously poking a finger in the eye of his biggest detractors. It’s high-level trolling genius.

Trump straws

Let the shopping begin!

– JVW


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