Patterico's Pontifications

5/25/2020

Memorial Day

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:13 pm



Remember the fallen.

Today I choose to remember especially Ramadi press officer Major Megan McClung and the two soldiers who died with her that day: Army Capt. Travis Patriquin and Army Spec. Vincent Pomante III.

Trump’s New Inspector Generals and Nominees Are Worthless

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:22 am



#FAKENEWSBEZOSPOST:

The political appointee President Trump installed last week to investigate waste, fraud and abuse at the Transportation Department is the same official in charge of one of the agency’s key divisions.

That means Howard “Skip” Elliott is now running an office charged with investigating his own actions.

Elliott serves simultaneously as the Transportation Department’s inspector general and head of the department’s pipeline and hazardous materials agency, whose mission includes enforcement of safety regulations on nearly 1 million daily shipments of gas, oil and other dangerous compounds.

This is part of a pattern of dismissing inspectors general and replacing them with unqualified people beholden to the agencies they are supposed to be overseeing:

Elliott’s appointment was the fifth in two months in which Trump, chafing from oversight he perceived as criticism, replaced a career investigator with an appointee considered more loyal to the president. In three of the cases, Trump has installed new leadership drawn from the senior ranks of the agencies the inspectors general oversee.

. . . . [S]everal White House nominees awaiting Senate vetting for permanent roles do not meet traditional qualifications for the job.

. . . .

[R]ecent nominees to high-profile inspector general offices, including at the Defense Department, HHS and the CIA, have far less leadership experience. They lack a deep background in auditing or investigations, raising concerns about whether they can succeed in roles they may not be prepared for, according to four current watchdogs, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk candidly.

This is part of Trump’s gutting of any oversight of his administration — by Congress, by law enforcement, and now by inspectors general. And naturally, no Senate Republican is doing anything about it. Senators Grassley and Romney have mouthed concern but taken no steps to actually do anything.

Par for the course. Now watch this drive.

Trump Threatens To Pull Convention Out Of NC Over State Limits On Gatherings

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:21 am



[guest post by Dana]

President Trump has threatened to pull the Republican Convention out of North Carolina if Gov. Roy Cooper doesn’t allow the event at the venue site:

President Donald Trump on Monday threatened to pull the Republican National Convention out of North Carolina in August unless Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper can guarantee “full attendance” at the event, which typically draws tens of thousands of people. Republicans, Trump tweeted, “must be immediately given an answer by the Governor as to whether or not the space will be allowed to be fully occupied. If not, we will be reluctantly forced… to find, with all of the jobs and economic development it brings, another Republican National Convention site.”

“In other words, we would be spending millions of dollars building the Arena to a very high standard without even knowing if the Democrat Governor would allow the Republican Party to fully occupy the space,” Trump added in another tweet.

North Carolina has begun a phased reopening of the state, but large gatherings are still banned. The governor has thus far refused to deviate from the plan. In an interview with CNN, Cooper said of his decision:

“This is not political. This is not emotional. This is based on health experts, data and science and that’s it for everybody to see. No one is being favored or disfavored over the other.”

The Republican convention is scheduled for Aug. 24 – 27. As a reminder, North Carolina has 15 electoral votes which are critical to Trump’s re-election. GOP officials say that they expect 50,000 attendees in Charlotte for the convention.

The numbers:

At least 24,056 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus, and 790 have died as of Monday morning, according to state and county health departments.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Sunday reported 497 new cases of the virus, a drop from the 1,107 reported Saturday — the largest single-day increase since the start of the pandemic and the first time the state topped 1,000 new cases in a day.

Officials attribute Saturday’s spike to an increase in testing, with an all-time high of 26,378 daily tests completed.

The state has been averaging 673 daily cases over the last seven days as of Sunday.

It’s absurd for Trump to demand that he be given a guarantee by the governor, at this point in time. Neither the governor, nor Trump have any idea what level of outbreak North Carolina will be experiencing come August. It would be irresponsible for the governor to give his guarantee to Trump. I find it even more irresponsible, and unconscionable, for the President of the United States to leverage the economy and livelihood of North Carolinians in this way.

–Dana

5/24/2020

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 152

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:01 am



It is the seventh Sunday of Easter. Today’s Bach cantata is “Tritt auf die Glaubensbahn” (Step upon the path of faith):

Today’s Gospel reading is John 17:1-11:

Jesus Prays to Be Glorified

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:

“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

Jesus Prays for His Disciples

“I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.

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

The Savior is destined
in Israel for destruction and resurrection.
The noble stone has no flaw;
even if the evil world
injures itself so sorely upon it,
indeed, hurtles over it to hell,
this is because it wickedly runs at it
and God’s grace
and mercy will not recognize!
Yet blessed is
a chosen Christian,
who grounds his faith upon this cornerstone,
since through this he will find salvation and redemption.

. . . .

The clever world is annoyed,
since God’s Son
has left His exalted throne of honor,
since He has clothed Himself in flesh and blood
and suffers in human form.
The greatest wisdom of this earth
must, before the counsel of the Highest,
become the greatest foolishness.
What God has determined
reason cannot possibly fathom;
this blind guide misleads the spiritually blind.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

5/23/2020

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:44 am



[guest post by Dana]

Here are a few interesting news items to chew over. Feel free to share anything that you think readers might find interesting. Make sure to include links.

First news item

Mask shaming:

Second news item

How not to stop stop the spread of a highly contagious virus:

A Great Clips hairstylist exposed dozens of clients to coronavirus while showing symptoms, Missouri health officials say.

The stylist at a salon franchise in Springfield served 84 clients and exposed seven coworkers, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department said Friday. The hairstylist also visited a Dairy Queen, Walmart and fitness center, officials said.

Third news item

Trump serves reporters confusing word salad about coronavirus test results:

“I tested very positively in another sense,” Trump added. “I tested positively toward negative, right? So no, I tested perfectly this morning. Meaning I tested negative. But that’s a way of saying it. Positively toward the negative.”

Given the above, I’m thinking sooner rather than later :

It’s been more than six months since President Donald Trump claimed to have started his annual physical at Walter Reed hospital but the White House is declining to explain why he has yet to complete the yearly doctor’s examination.

Senior administration officials did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for comment about the delay — despite Trump announcing this week he was taking an unproven and potentially dangerous drug after being exposed to an aide who tested positive for coronavirus.

Fourth news item

Two old white guys have a slap fest:

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired back at President Trump on Twitter late Friday night after the president again scolded his former ally for recusing himself from the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Mr. Trump has thrown his support behind Session’s Senate rival Tommy Tuberville in Alabama’s upcoming election.

“3 years ago, after Jeff Sessions recused himself, the Fraudulent Mueller Scam began,” Mr. Trump tweeted. “Alabama, do not trust Jeff Sessions. He let our Country down. That’s why I endorsed Coach Tommy Tuberville… the true supporter of our #MAGA agenda!”

Sessions responded with a fiery tweet of his own: “Look, I know your anger, but recusal was required by law. I did my duty & you’re damn fortunate I did. It protected the rule of law & resulted in your exoneration. Your personal feelings don’t dictate who Alabama picks as their senator, the people of Alabama do.”

Fifth news item

Oh, come on!:

President Trump is considering establishing a panel to review complaints of anticonservative bias on social media, according to people familiar with the matter, in a move that would likely draw pushback from technology companies and others.

The plans are still under discussion but could include the establishment of a White House-created commission that would examine allegations of online bias and censorship, these people said. The administration could also encourage similar reviews by federal regulatory agencies, such as the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Election Commission, they said.

“Left-wing bias in the tech world is a concern that definitely needs to be addressed from our vantage point, and at least exposed [so] that Americans have clear eyes about what we’re dealing with,” a White House official said.

Sixth news item

Remember them still:

Millions of us have been there on the battlefield. We saw the aircraft get hit. We were on the bridge when last contact with the submarine was made. We saw the tank after it exploded in flames. I lost two of my captain commanders two weeks apart in Vietnam. Wonderful officers in their late 20s, older men in the eyes of an infantry lieutenant. The first killed as we extracted under fire was hit in the small of the back by the only rounds to strike the Chinook helicopter. The second killed during an all-night barrage of enemy artillery on our battalion. I crawled over to him and retrieved his .357 Magnum revolver since I was wounded and could not load my M16. His mother wrote me several beautiful letters in later weeks. In the last communication she asked if I had “prayed with her son as death approached.” I could not recreate for her the scene. The whiplash of machine gun fire across the landing zone. The pouring rain and the mud, and the hundreds of casualties hoping to survive. The ongoing combat mayhem that is incompatible with prayer.

Our troops are out there today in harm’s way across the face of the Earth. Sixty thousand have been killed or wounded since the 9/11 attacks to protect us from the terrorists who wish to destroy us and our freedom. In this war, 1,000 of our casualties have been women. They now join their brothers in shedding their blood.

So, on this Memorial Day, as we face such sadness for our threatened way of life, let us also honor the memories of those courageous young Americans who disappeared into history so that we could remain free and live under our Constitution.

I am reminded of a passage in the famous 1914 poem by Laurence Binyon:

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.

Don’t be these people:

(h/t Paul Montagu)

Have a good weekend.

–Dana

Joe Biden To Black Voters: If You’re Trying To Decide Between Trump Or Me, ‘You Ain’t Black’

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:11 am



[guest post by Dana]

So, this happened:

Joe Biden defended his legislative record in an often contentious Friday morning interview with Charlamagne Tha God, the host of the popular radio show “The Breakfast Club,” and argued that his presidential campaign was doing enough to reach out to black voters. At one point, Biden argued that black voters undecided on whether to vote for him or for President Trump “ain’t black.”

Transcript:

Charlamagne tha God: (17:15)
Listen, you got to come see us when you come to New York VP Biden.

Joe Biden: (17:18)
I will.

Charlamagne tha God: (17:19)
Because it’s a long way until November. We got more questions.

Joe Biden: (17:22)
You got more questions but I tell ya, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.

Charlamagne tha God: (17:28)
It don’t have nothing to do with Trump. It has to do with the fact I want something for my community. I would love to see-

After criticism came from both sides of the aisle because WHOSE SAYS SOMETHING LIKE THAT, Biden was compelled to apologize for his gaffe explain himself in a phone call with members of the U.S. Black Chambers:

“I should not have been so cavalier. I’ve never, never, ever taken the African American community for granted.”

“I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy. I shouldn’t have been so cavalier. … No one should have to vote for any party based on their race, their religion, their background,” Biden said. “There are African Americans who think that Trump was worth voting for, I don’t think so. I’m prepared to put my record against his. That was the bottom line and it was ah — it was really unfortunate I shouldn’t have been so cavalier.”

Hm, was that being “cavalier,” or was that just being flippant, disrespectful, and arrogant? I’m going with the latter three…

Black Republicans were vocal in their criticism of Biden:

…Michigan Senate candidate John James, who addressed Biden in a tweeted video: “You challenging me and millions of other people out there on their blackness, descendants of slaves, from you is some seriously condescending, out of touch bullcrap,” and he questioned whether Biden should “even be running for president in the Democratic Party who says they’re for black people.”

South Carolina Senator Tim Scott told reporters on a Trump campaign call, “I thought to myself, I’ve been black for 54 years. I was struck by the condescension and the arrogance.” Scott urged his Senate colleagues to disavow Biden’s remarks and added, “Race baiting in the 21st century is an ineffective tool to attract one of the most intelligent voting blocs in the nation. He should respect African-American voters as individuals, not as a part of a group or a monolithic group of people.”

Biden’s senior advisor, Symone D. Sanders defended Biden, saying the comments were made in jest:

“The comments made at the end of the Breakfast Club interview were in jest, but let’s be clear about what the VP was saying: he was making the distinction that he would put his record with the African American community up against Trump’s any day. Period,”

Here are a few varied responses to Biden’s comments from the black community:

And then there was bit of insight from The Root:

First, he keeps calling Charlamagne, “man.”

“I’m following the rules, man.”

“Totally different, man.”

This is Biden’s version of a blaccent. This is the thing he’s doing to make himself cool and hip to the young black community. Imagine a white guy calling you his main man; that’s the way Biden says it. Except, he doesn’t realize he’s playing himself and the community he’s supposed to be reaching out to. Biden isn’t alone in this.

This is a thing that out-of-touch white politicians do all the time. I call it the Love Don’t Co$t a Thing move. It goes like this: Can’t Buy Me Love is a teen romantic comedy that premiered in 1987. It’s an underrated classic that centers around a geeky kid using his savings to pay a cheerleader to help him be cool. When Hollywood wanted to re-create the success of Can’t Buy Me Love, they went and grabbed a young Nick Cannon to star in a remake called Love Don’t Co$t a Thing. Two things are wrong with this idea: The first is that black audiences didn’t like the original movie. The second is that in order to get black audiences to come out, the studio had to hip-hop the title up a bit with that dollar sign for an “s.” What the studio didn’t realize and what Biden doesn’t realize is doing that is degrading and shows just how out of touch they are with the community they’re trying to reach.

You don’t endear yourself to black people by trying to talk the way you believe they do. You endear yourself to black people—hell, all people—by being genuine…

During the interview, Biden also confirmed that he was considering a black woman as a running mate:

Biden also “guaranteed” that he was considering a black woman to serve as his vice president. CBS News reported that Biden is vetting Amy Klobuchar, who is white, as a potential vice presidential pick. She is one of several contenders being scrutinized for the job by Biden aides.

“I guarantee you, there are multiple black women being considered. Multiple,” Biden said.

Biden may feel compelled to choose a black woman for the vice president slot because of his gaffe. But if it blows over and is dismissed with an exasperated “Oh, that’s just Joe being Joe” eyeroll, then his options for a vice president remain open.

So why did Biden act as if he was entitled to the black vote? Because he really believes he is, of course:

He said it because he meant it. It’s not just that he believes his record on racial issues is better than Trump’s, it’s that he’s willing to demagogue racial identity to help his party. He did it eight years ago, infamously, when he told a black audience that Republicans want to “put y’all back in chains.” Whatever the particulars of his record and Trump’s, he uttered a party orthodoxy this morning so commonplace that I think you could take literally any Democratic politician in the country with literally any Republican opponent and they’d offer the same view (privately) of whether they’re entitled to black votes or not.

Bearing in mind that Biden is a long-practiced politician and a spectacular schmoozer with all the accompanying ambition (obviously), I think he jumped at the opportunity to remind black voters that, because he is in their corner, they should be in his corner. In other words, it was just politics as usual for the Democrat. Not a flattering picture of Biden, and certainly not a flattering picture of how Biden views black voters. But there were also practical political reasons that prompted Biden’s (risky) cringe-inducing-foot-in-mouth-over-familiarity:

First, after becoming VP to the first black president and then turning the tide of this year’s primaries via black voters in South Carolina, he may believe he’s got enough cred banked with black Americans that he’s entitled to be racially presumptuous in a way most whites aren’t. He has special privileges. Not so special that he can get away with anything — he’s not going to call anyone “my nigga,” I hope — but special enough that, sure, he’ll amiably question your blackness if you support Trump. His problem is that his self-perceived privileges aren’t clearly defined even to him, which led to him crossing the line this morning.

Second, he may be panicked that he’s underperforming with black voters. Sure, he still leads Trump head to head in every national poll, but the battleground polls haven’t been quite as solid for him and some of the data even in national polling has looked worrisome for his campaign among nonwhites…

Put it all together and Biden may be feeling anxious about his hold on the black vote. He’ll win it by a landslide, needless to say, but the exact margin of that landslide will matter to the final outcome of the election. He wants to duplicate Obama’s gigantic edge among African-Americans in 2008 and 2012 and maybe feels like he *should* be duplicating it because of his bio — but he isn’t, at least not yet. So maybe that anxiety led him into an unusually crass and desperate formulation of what black voters supposedly owe him this fall.

Meanwhile, Democratic strategists and party officials are hoping to convince former President Obama to use his immense popularity to draw in more voters and critical Democrat constituencies that are crucial for a Biden victory. Biden’s attempt to define what makes someone black certainly certainly wasn’t helpful to the cause.

–Dana

5/22/2020

Can the California GOP Mount a Comeback?

Filed under: General — JVW @ 2:29 pm



[guest post by JVW]

Those of us who have been in California for two decades or longer have seen a slow, inexorable decline of the Republican Party in the state. When I arrived, Pete Wilson had won reelection as governor two years earlier, and though Bill Clinton would win the state for a second consecutive election later that fall (after six straight elections where the Golden State had gone for the GOP candidate), exactly half of California’s 52 Congressional districts elected Republicans that year. Nearly a quarter-century later, the tide as emphatically turned as Hillary Clinton won the state by over three million votes and just two years later Democrats took 46 out of the state’s 53 House seats. Combined with a decade of Democrat governors and now super-majorities in both state legislative houses, the GOP has been reduced to the parsley garnish on the politial steak dinner plate.

But could that be changing? The first significant pushback to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s lockdown order came from Huntington Beach, in a nominally-Republican congressional district that a Democrat managed to capture two years ago. Though the state ended up swatting down Huntington Beach’s attempt to reopen the beach before the state had granted authorization, it’s not hard to imagine that Huntington’s move greatly accelerated the state’s plans and forced them to relax their stringent plans. And now even the governor’s fellow Democrats are pushing him to speed up the process for returning to some semblance of normality. Gov. Newsom, who just last week was warning us that restrictions would likely last throughout the summer, is now optimistically suggesting that sporting events — sans stands manned with tanned fans — could return to the state as early as two weeks from now. We can try to believe that these developments coincidentally arose independently of the protests, but it seems far more likely that state Democrats are starting to understand that they may have overreacted just a wee bit.

A second shoe dropping was last week’s special election where Republican candidate Mike Garcia won a surprise victory to serve out the remainder of disgraced Democrat Katie Hill’s term in California’s 25th Congressional District. Though the party registration is divided equally between Republicans and Democrats, the donkey party bailed out on the race once their candidate beclowned herself with an intemperate remark about Mr. Garcia’s military service, and the party decided to cut bait and hope to win the seat back in the general election this fall, when they presume Democrat turnout will be higher.

And finally, one of the most positive developments is that the few remaining GOP legislators in Sacramento seem to have coalesced around a workable agenda which involves cutting spending, holding taxes as low as possible, and removing the ridiculous levels of red-tape that Democrats have used to tie up businesses over the past decade-plus. Republican Senator John Moorlach, a CPA who served as Orange County Tax Collector during the county’s bankrupcy in the mid-1990s, has been at the forefront of pushing for budget and regulatory reforms. Though super-majority Democrats can easily swat aside his bills, Sen. Moorlach has started to attract some support form across the aisle among those Dems who are starting to understand that their party’s hyper-progressivism might be a constraint upon getting the economy restarted. This past week, Sen. Moorlach introduced a bill that would have entered California into a multi-state licensing compact where nurses from the Golden State would be licensed to practice in other states who have signed on to the compact, and vice-versa. This bill was supported by hospitals, the AARP, health insurance providers, and dozens of other stake-holders, but was opposed by the California Nurses’ Association, a militant left-wing union whom progressive Democrat legislators are loathe to cross. Despite this, the bill was narrowly defeated in committee on a 5-4 margin, with two Democrats bucking the powerful union and voting in support of the compact. Could it be that even some Democrats are beginning to understand that business as usual is not going to pull us out of this economic malaise? Sen. Moorlach is also taking the lead on challenging Sacramento Democrats to get serious about budget and spending reform, so here’s hoping his efforts bear at least some fruit.

As I’ve written before, I am not going to be making any predictions for this November’s election, in the Golden State or anywhere else. But I am pleased to see that perhaps at long last the California GOP is getting its act together and providing at least the appearance of opposition to the Sandersista socialists in Sacramento.

[UPDATE]: Sorry folks, this post was kind of a mess. I accidentally published it a couple of hours ago, so I copied it, trashed it, and then pasted it into a new post. But I guess in that process a portion of the post got deleted by mistake, so when it was published the second time around I was horrified to discover that some paragraphs were missing. I’ve tried my best to reconstruct it, but I beg your forgiveness if it seems somewhat slap-dash (because it is).

– JVW

Covid-19 In The Future: Three Scenarios

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:49 am



[guest post by Dana]

A new analysis by Michael Osterholm, an epidemiologist from the University of Minnesota, was released today. Osterholm and his team presented three possible scenarios of a world continuing to live with Covid-19. According to the analysis, the scenarios are “depicted as seascapes, their waves of different heights and widths approaching the unseen and unsuspecting beachcombers on a placid shore.” Here are their three depictions:

In one future, a monster wave hit in early 2020 (the current outbreak of millions of cases and a projected hundreds of thousands of deaths globally by August 1). It is followed by alternating mini-waves of much smaller outbreaks every few months with only a few (but never zero) cases in between.

In the second scenario, the current monster wave is followed later this year by one twice as fierce and even longer-lasting, as the outbreak rebounds after a summer when a significant drop in the number of cases and deaths led officials and individuals to let down their guard, relax physical distancing more than was safe, and fail to heed (or even detect) the early warning signs that a new outbreak was gathering force. After this doubly disastrous second wave, the sea is almost calm, marred only by an occasional wave of cases that number barely one-fifth of what the fall and spring of 2020 saw.

In the third possible future, the current wave creates a new normal, with Covid-19 outbreaks of nearly equal size and, in most cases, duration through the end of 2022. At that point, the best-case scenario is that an effective vaccine has arrived; if not, then the world experiences Covid-19 until at least half of the population has been infected, with or without becoming ill.

The common thread running through the three scenarios is that there is no chance that Covid-19 will end this year. And here’s why:

The reason is the same as why the disease has taken such a toll its first time through: No one had immunity to the new coronavirus.

Epidemiologists suggest that there will need to be a population immunity of a little more than 50% in order for the pandemic to quiet down.

Ulimately:

Society must referee… “a three-way tug of war” among a trio of competing needs: to keep cases and deaths low, to preserve jobs and economic activity, and to preserve people’s emotional well-being.

–Dana

5/21/2020

Gorgeous Actress and Husband Throw in the Towel

Filed under: General — JVW @ 7:56 pm



[guest post by JVW]

Lori Loughlin, who first captured my aching teenage heart in the 1985 comedy Secret Admirer (with C. Thomas Howell and Kelly Preston, the future Mrs. John Travolta), has ended her battle against the Justice Department:

Lori Loughlin and [husband] Mossimo Giannulli have agreed to plead guilty in the college admissions scandal case and to each serve time behind bars after more than a year of maintaining their innocence.

The Massachusetts District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday that the couple will plead guilty at a yet-to-be-determined court date. Loughlin will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, while Giannulli will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and to honest services wire and mail fraud.

If the judge accepts the terms of their plea agreement, both will do time in prison. Loughlin would serve two months and pay a $150,000 fine along with two years of supervised release and 100 hours of community service. Giannulli, meanwhile, would serve five months in prison, pay a $250,000 fine with two years of supervised release and 250 hours of community service.

This is of course an outgrowth of the “Varsity Blues” scandal in which wealthy and connected parents undertook a variety of underhanded methods to land their children spots in selective universities. Both Patterico and Dana have covered the story since it first broke last spring. The Loughlin/Giannulli duo will be the twenty-third and twenty-fourth defendants to plead guilty in this matter. They had intended to argue that they were assured the money they had paid counted as legitimate donations to charitable causes. But two weeks ago the judge rejected a pre-trial motion seeking to suppress evidence based upon alleged government misconduct, and Ms. Loughlin and Mr. Giannulli thus faced an uphill battle to win acquittal in the jury trial that was scheduled to begin this coming fall.

I still think that the government wasted resources and time chasing these parents and threatening them with jail time, especially in light of the fact that we are currently emptying our cells due to social justice concerns, budgetary reasons, and the COVID-19 virus. The fact that the Loughlin/Giannulli duo will serve their sentences at worst in tennis prison or, more likely, in home confinement doesn’t change my mind. I’ve been consistent in my belief that private universities should only be accountable to their faculty, students, and alumnae/i with respect to the composition of each freshman class, and if they choose to fill it with legacy admits, athletes & artists, or the children of the well-connected then that is entirely their business. If a student lies and/or cheats to gain admission, that is between the student and the institution and not a matter of concern for the federal government. Turning this into a matter of wire and mail fraud strikes me as overreach, though I concede that I have lost the battle where this case is concerned.

But at least I’ve established that I will never turn my back on my teenage crushes. [Video mostly safe for work, in a PG-13 sort of way.]

– JVW

FBI: Shooting At Corpus Christi Naval Air Station Is Terrorism-Related

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:49 pm



[guest post by Dana]

The incident happened this morning:

A shooting that injured one security guard at the Naval Air Station Corpus Christi in Texas on Thursday has been determined to be terrorism-related, FBI officials said.

The shooting unfolded at about 6:15 a.m. local time when the suspect sped through a gate, activating vehicle barriers which stopped the car, a defense official told ABC News.

The driver then got out of the car and began shooting, before being “neutralized,” the defense official said.

“We have determined that the incident this morning at the Naval Air Station Corpus Christi is terrorism related,” said Leah Greeves of the FBI. “They are working diligently with local, state and federal partners on the investigation, which is fluid and evolving.”

No reason has been given for why the incident has been determined to be related to terrorism. Also, a search is underway for a second “person of interest”.

Note: This comes just days after Attorney General Barr announced the link between the NAS Pensacola shooter that killed three sailors in December to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and called it an “act of terrorism”.

–Dana

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