Patterico's Pontifications

8/29/2019

Oh, So That’s What He Meant

Filed under: General — JVW @ 7:38 pm



[guest post by JVW]

Here is a companion piece to Dana’s excellent post from earlier this afternoon. Remember Joe Biden’s laughable gaffe three weeks back?

It turns out that maybe there is something to the notion that Dinosaur Joe does prefer “truth” over facts. Jack Crowe at National Review Online has the story:

During a campaign stop in New Hampshire on Friday, Joe Biden fabricated an emotional story about pinning a medal on a reluctant Navy captain in honor of his daring attempt to rescue a downed comrade in Afghanistan.

Addressing a crowd of over 400, Biden recalled how the captain rappelled down a 60-foot ravine under fire to rescue the body of a fallen American soldier only to resist when then-vice president Biden tried to pin a Silver Star on his chest to honor his efforts.

“He said, ‘Sir, I don’t want the damn thing!’ ” Biden shouted, recounting the apocryphal event. “’Do not pin it on me, sir! Please, sir. Do not do that! He died. He died!’”

“This is the God’s truth,” he added. “My word as a Biden.”

“God’s truth.” “My word as a Biden.” Interesting constructions, those. Now, as Paul Harvey liked to say, the rest of the story, as it appears in the Washington Post:

Biden visited Kunar province in 2008 as a U.S. senator, not as vice president. The service member who performed the celebrated rescue that Biden described was a 20-year-old Army specialist, not a much older Navy captain. And that soldier, Kyle J. White, never had a Silver Star, or any other medal, pinned on him by Biden. At a White House ceremony six years after Biden’s visit, White stood at attention as President Barack Obama placed a Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award for valor, around his neck.

This is nothing new for the former Senator turned Vice President, as the WaPo traces the story of Dinosaur Joe’s fable back to the 2016 campaign when he took to the stump on behalf of Hillary Clinton and other Democrats. The 2016 version of the speech was set in Iraq, featured an Army Captain pulling a dead soldier out of a burning Humvee, but once again included the reluctant and anguished hero trying to refuse the honor. Later in the campaign, the then VP stitched the two stories together in his own inimitable way:

Three weeks later, stumping for Jason Kander, an Afghan War veteran running for the Senate in Missouri, Biden told both the Iraq and Afghanistan versions back to back in a single speech. First it was the Navy captain who rappelled down the ravine in Kunar. “He died. He died. I don’t deserve it,” Biden quoted the medal recipient as saying. Then he segued to the Army officer, the burning Humvee and Iraq. “This is the God’s truth,” Biden said. “As I approached him in a full formation . . . ‘Sir,’ he whispered to me, ‘Sir, please don’t. Please don’t pin that on me. He died, Sir. He died. I didn’t do my job. He died.’”

The Bezos Bugle being the Bezos Bugle, they naturally try to let Slow Joe off easy at the end, wondering if the current President’s impulse for tall-tales and urban myths might make voters more understanding of Mr. Biden’s penchant for malarky and flapdoodle. We’ve reached peak mindlessness when the debate boils down to “our candidate’s bullshit is less offensive than your candidate’s bullshit,” but welcome to 2019. They also track down an army enlisted man to whom VP Biden presented a bronze star, and manage to pull a quote from him that is favorable to the old codger.

But I think the moral of the story is that “my word as a Biden” is pretty much worth squat.

– JVW

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey: I’m Really Sorry I Wore Black Face In College Skit

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:41 pm



[guest post by Dana]

At this point, shouldn’t we just assume that every white politician in the Deep South who is over 40 years of age wore black face during their college years at least one time? Because, you know, it sure seems like a thing:

Gov. Kay Ivey on Thursday issued an apology for appearing in a racist sketch during her time as an undergraduate at Auburn University in the 1960s.

Audio surfaced of a 1967 interview given by Ivey and her then-fiance, Ben LaRavia, in which LaRavia recalled a party at Auburn’s Baptist Student Union. Ivey participated in at least one sketch at the party, where LaRavia said she wore blackface.

“She had on a blue coveralls, she had put some black paint all over her face, and we were acting out this skit called Cigar Butts,” LaRavia said in the interview, which the governor’s office released with Ivey’s statement. “I could not go into a lengthy explanation, but to say the least, I think this skit, it did not require a lot of talent, as far as verbal talent. But it did require a lot of physical acting, such as crawling on the floor looking for cigar butts and things like this.”

LaRavia says Ivey got a “big reaction” from the audience. Ivey then says “that was just my role for the evening” before turning the discussion to a story about being unable to remember a joke for the end of the show.

Although Ivey doesn’t remember being in the skit, she nonetheless apologized for her participation:

“[I] sincerely did not remember the sketch” but said she would “not deny what is obvious.”

“While some may attempt to excuse this as acceptable behavior for a college student during the mid-1960s, that is not who I am today, and it is not what my Administration represents all these years later.”

“As such, I fully acknowledge — with genuine remorse — my participation in a skit like that back when I was a senior in college.

Ivey informed the leaders of the Alabama Legislature to express her regrets. Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro, who is African American, said after Ivey called him to personally apologize, that:

If the governor “could take ownership of it,” they could move forward.

Dear Gov. Ivey,

It’s okay. Nobody cares. Not really. Sure, you may have to endure a few difficult days or weeks of criticism and media scrutiny, but when the hullabaloo dies down, you’ll still be the sitting Governor.

*waves at Gov. Northam*

Oh.

Wait.

Sweet Home Alabama, I forgot…

Ignore what I just said…

…you know, Gov. Ivey, it’s just a crying shame about that pesky “R” after your name because, little lady, you’re really screwed. But be sure to pick up a copy of Roots anyway…

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

Trump Team Lies About Trump’s Lies

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:21 pm



[guest post by Dana]

That Trump lies is nothing new, we’ve seen it over and over again. But it’s interesting to see the lengths his people are now going to lie about his lies:

On Wednesday night, Trump reelection campaign press secretary Kayleigh McEnany did an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo. It was, uh, contentious. But one part of the back-and-forth between the two really… stood out:

CUOMO: You don’t think this President has lied to the American people?

MCENANY: Let me finish, Chris.
CUOMO: You–

MCENANY: No, I don’t think the President has lied.
CUOMO: –have to answer that question, first.

MCENANY: I don’t think the President has lied.
CUOMO: He has never lied to the American people?

MCENANY: No, I don’t think the President has lied.

Here is the relevant portion of the exchange:

This exchange comes after White House communications director Stephanie Grisham told the Washington Post explained why Trump’s lies aren’t lies and that people are just too dimwitted to grasp the unique, nuanced way in which he communicates:

“I don’t think they’re lies. … I think the President communicates in a way that some people, especially the media, aren’t necessarily comfortable with. A lot of times they take him so literally. I know people will roll their eyes if I say he was just kidding or was speaking in hypotheticals, but sometimes he is. What I’ve learned about him is that he loves this country and he’s not going to lie to this country.”

Stupid people, ignore the lies, he loves America!

We are also reminded that this sort of defensive bending of the truth by the administration is nothing new:

Kellyanne Conway made this same argument in the earliest days of Trump’s presidency, when she told NBC’s Chuck Todd this about the false claim that Trump’s inauguration drew the largest crowd ever: “You’re saying it’s a falsehood. And they’re giving — Sean Spicer, our press secretary — gave alternative facts.”

You can read the linked piece in its entirety to see specific instances of the President’s lies.

I just want to leave you with this one because it happened as recently as two days ago: Trump falsely claimed that Melania Trump had gotten to know Kim Jong Un:

“The first lady has gotten to know Kim Jong Un, and I think she would agree with me he is a man with a country that has tremendous potential,” Trump said.

Melania Trump was not present for any of Trump’s three meetings with Kim Jong Un, and there is no evidence she has ever spoken to Kim.

Grisham addressed the stupid people in the room who can’t seem to grasp Trump’s “truths”:

“President Trump confides in his wife on many issues including the detailed elements of his strong relationship with Chairman Kim — and while the First Lady hasn’t met him, the President feels like she’s gotten to know him too.”

Bend it like Trump.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

Inspector General Report Out on Comey

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:19 am



The document can be read here.

I’ve not had a chance to read it and will consequently not comment on it now.

UPDATE: Comey appears to be treating the report as some kind of vindication:

My initial scan of the report suggests it is no vindication at all. Far from it. The report appears to fault Comey for disclosing “sensitive investigative information, obtained during the course of FBI employment, in order to achieve a personally desired outcome.” The report says that Comey “set a dangerous example for the over 35,000 current FBI employees” who have similar access to non-public information.

Donald Trump’s tiny fingers are no doubt hovering over the keys on his iPhone as we speak, but no official word yet from the Twittermeister as of the time of this update.


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