Patterico's Pontifications

7/29/2020

Pulling U.S. Troops Out Of Germany: Some Will Come Home, Some Will Move To Other Parts Of Europe

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:07 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Decision made:

Spurred on by President Donald Trump’s demand to pull troops out of Germany, the U.S. will bring about 6,400 forces home and shift about 5,600 to other countries in Europe, U.S. defense leaders said Wednesday, detailing a Pentagon plan that will cost billions of dollars and take years to complete.

The decision fulfills Trump’s announced desire to withdraw troops from Germany, largely due to its failure to spend enough on defense. A number of forces will go to Italy, and a major move would shift U.S. European Command headquarters and Special Operations Command Europe from Stuttgart, Germany, to Belgium.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said some moves will begin in months and will leave about 24,000 troops in Germany. He said that while the decision was “accelerated” by Trump’s orders, the moves also promote larger strategic goals to deter Russia, reassure European allies and shift forces further east into the Black Sea and Baltic regions.

Trump says the reduction in troops is due to Germany failing to meet their financial obligations:

“We’re reducing the force because they’re not paying their bills. It’s very simple. They’re delinquent.” He added that he might rethink the decision to pull troops out of Germany “if they start paying their bills.”

Last year, Trump noted that Chancellor Angela Merkel had not paid Germany’s agreed-upon bill. Merkel claims that Germany is working toward the 2% figure:

Trump has frequently dressed down NATO counterparts and threatened to reduce U.S. military support if allies do not increase spending. Last year while in London, Trump singled out German Chancellor Angela Merkel for not meeting the 2% of GDP spending goal set in 2014.

“So we’re paying 4 to 4.3% when Germany’s paying 1 to 1.2%, at max 1.2%, of a much smaller GDP. That’s not fair,” Trump said in December. According to the NATO figures, the U.S. spends less than Trump noted, 3.42% of GDP on defense, while Germany now spends 1.38%, which is an increase of about 11% from 2018.

The reduction of troops in Germany will allow for an increased troop presence in Poland, which is something that Warsaw and Polish President Andrzej Duda have wanted. Trump and Duda have developed close ties, and back in June, when Trump hosted President Duda at the White House, he suggested that he would send some of the troops he planned to pull out of Germany to Poland.

One of the problems related to the move, and noted by Republicans, is the cost of such an undertaking (estimated by Esper to be in the range of “single-digit” billions of dollars). Also, there is the question of whether the move of troops would continue on even if Trump were to lose the election. Given that the election is around 100 days away, is this really the best time to take on a big move? And, most importantly, what about Russia?

A number of Republicans have addressed some of these concerns:

Members of Trump’s own political party have criticized the troop moves as a gift to Russia and a threat to U.S. national security. Twenty-two Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee sent a letter to Trump saying a reduced U.S. commitment to Europe’s defense would encourage Russian aggression.

Sen. Mitt Romney has gone a step further, making public his disapproval for the withdrawal. His statement is preceded by a reminder that

Romney offered an amendment to the FY21 NDAA aimed at preventing such a withdrawal and reaffirming support for Germany and our NATO allies. The amendment ultimately did not receive consideration on the Senate floor.

On the troop removal:

The plan outlined by the Administration today to remove thousands of U.S. troops from Germany is a grave error. It is a slap in the face at a friend and ally when we should instead be drawing closer in our mutual commitment to deter Russian and Chinese aggression. And it is a gift to Russia coming at a time when we just have learned of its support for the Taliban and reports of bounties on killing American troops. The move may temporarily play well in domestic politics, but its consequences will be lasting and harmful to American interests.

I hope people remember Romney’s insight into Russia and Obama’s subsequent poo-pooing him for his warnings. Oh, and this:

Old enough to remember when many on today’s pro-Trump right (correctly) dunked on the Obama Admin for ignoring Romney’s warnings about Russia

–Dana

The Supreme Court Is Leaking

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am



At USA Today, Joan Biskupic has her third of a series of four articles on the inner workings of the Supreme Court. (Here are links to parts one and two.) Today’s article details ways in which Justice Kavanaugh attempted to persuade his colleagues to sidestep difficult issues such as abortion and the Trump tax returns:

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh urged his colleagues in a series of private memos this spring to consider avoiding decisions in major disputes over abortion and Democratic subpoenas for President Donald Trump’s financial records, according to multiple sources familiar with the inner workings of the court.

In the abortion controversy, Kavanaugh wanted the justices to sidestep any ruling on the merits of a Louisiana law that could have closed abortion clinics in the state, CNN has learned. The case marked the first time in four years the justices were taking up the heated subject. Kavanaugh’s plan would have ensured the law — a credentialing mandate for doctors who perform abortions — would not go into immediate effect but also ensured that the justices would not have to put their own views on the line.

The same would have been true in the fight between Trump and the US House of Representatives. Kavanaugh’s idea — presented to the justices in an internal memo and conversations, sources said — would have had the high court avoid the subpoena fight over Trump financial documents, based on the judicial principle that courts should stay out of cases involving fundamentally political questions.

Although such insider views are nothing new — take Bob Woodward’s The Brethren and the far lesser book by Edward Lazarus as two examples I have read — these articles still raise in my mind the question: who is leaking? Ed Whelan asks the same question and has a surprising speculation as a possible answer:

This sort of flattery of the Chief would seem to focus attention on the liberal justices. We know that Justice Ginsburg has been indiscreet with Biskupic before—in an on-the-record interview -— and she has demonstrated in recent years a remarkable tendency to speak injudiciously on all sorts of matters, so she must surely be a prime suspect. But the level of detail provided Biskupic, as well as Biskupic’s own reference to “multiple sources,” makes me think that at least one of the other liberal justices might also have been a major source.

Suspicion in cases like this usually falls on law clerks. Whelan declares himself “skeptical, though, that any clerk would take the career-ending risk of leaking to Biskupic” — an odd observation, in my view, given how often they have leaked in the past. But it’s quite true that RBG has loose lips.

Something’s afoot. One would think John Roberts would want to get to the bottom of it. Or is he too pleased with how he is coming off in the articles to bother?

7/28/2020

Today in Bad Ideas

Filed under: General — JVW @ 2:42 pm



[guest post by JVW]

The state that brought you the high-speed rail boondoggle, the failed stem-cell initiative, and the never-ending increases in gas taxes to raise money (which doesn’t in fact go to improving state roads) now has a dynamite — as in “bound to explode and kill everything around it” — plan to keep funneling money into the public trough during the economic havoc caused by the coronavirus. Naturally it’s complicated; naturally the majority Democrats supporting the plan have not spent one moment pondering the unintended consequences of the plan; naturally there is a strong chance that this blows up in our faces if the legislature dares to pass it and the government signs it into law:

Democrats who control California’s Legislature on Monday proposed a $100 billion economic stimulus plan that relies on what they are calling “future tax vouchers” along with speeding up other spending during the coronavirus pandemic.

If the phrase “future tax vouchers” doesn’t fill you with and overwhelming sense of dread then I don’t know what to tell you.

The plan would allow state Treasurer Fiona Ma to issue tax vouchers that proponents said could raise billions of dollars, though they said it was too soon to provide a more detailed estimate.

Why bother with a more detailed estimate when we know it’s going to be pulled straight from the imagination of progressive policy analysts and will have absolutely no tether to economic reality? Remember how the bullet train was going to run from Los Angeles to San Francisco in just over two-and-one-half hours? This is the same sort of wish-casting that has become a hallmark of modern California policy-making.

The state would let taxpayers prepay their taxes for a future budget year at a slight, as yet undetermined, discount. Most of those likely to take advantage of the program would be wealthy enough to make it financially worth their while, said Tim Schaefer, deputy treasurer for public finance.

“It is a work in progress. A lot of it is aspirational and properly so,” Schaefer said.

[. . . ]

Sen. Bob Hertzberg of Van Nuys, one of the lead proponents, said taxpayers could prepay their taxes through 2024 under the proposal, giving the state “a three-year runway to get back on our feet” in anticipation that the economy will improve enough by then to allow the state to absorb the loss in future revenue.

Assembly Budget Committee chairman Phil Ting of San Francisco equated the vouchers to coupons that taxpayers could use later or sell.

OK, Sen. Hertzberg: the state is going to bring in $100 billion over the next four years which will help plug holes, then presumably after that the state will be able to do without $25 billion per year from 2025-28 as taxpayers use their vouchers/coupons in lieu of giving Sacramento money. This coming, naturally, as the left-wing organizations which pull the strings on legislative Democrats gleefully consider ways to extract more tax revenue from businesses and wealthy Californians. Imagine the bank who was holding your mortgage came to you and told you that if you would accelerate the next 24 months of payments by paying that entire sum over 12 months, then they would give you vouchers to cover payments for the next 12 months after that. That might sound appealing (though it would hardly make any economic sense) right up until they told you that, oh, by the way, they were also increasing your adjustable mortgage interest rate by several percentage points so that the additional 12 months of payments really only covers six months. This seems to be the deal the state is trying to cut with businesses and wealthy Californians.

Democrats said their goal is to spur jobs while aiding small businesses, particularly those that are owned by women or racial minorities. Sen. Jim Beall of San Jose pointed to estimates that 13,000 jobs are created for each $1 billion invested in infrastructure.

They offered few specifics, but said that could include expanding small business tax breaks, shielding small businesses from increased unemployment insurance costs, or encouraging more manufacturing of protective equipment needed during the pandemic.

Other efforts could include expanding low-income tax credits, encouraging more affordable housing, or protecting struggling renters and landlords, the lawmakers said.

So naturally any “help” for businesses forthcoming from Sacramento will be doled out according to one’s placement on the intersectionality index, and they will once again retreat behind the tired canard that government spending equals job creation, even though the cupboard is bare and we’re already living on dollars “borrowed” from Uncle Sucker. The reality is that our majority legislative party and governor have no idea at all how to manage this crisis, so they are true to form certain to lurch between policies that range from the unaffordable to the impractical. It isn’t going to be a very fun reckoning here in the Golden State, especially as public employees read the tea leaves and decide to retire early with their pensions rather than deal with all of this uncertainty. Here’s wishing them well as they decamp to Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, and other parts of our country far less dysfunctional.

– JVW

Out: Trump Taking Pandemic Seriously. In: Retweeting Video Making Misleading Claims About Coronavirus Cure (UPDATE) (2nd UPDATE)

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:25 am



[guest post by Dana]

Last week I wrote about Trump’s new political strategy of leaning into the pandemic. However, taking the virus seriously was apparently little more than a short-lived experiment, given the president’s retweet of a video in which a doctor claims that the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine is the cure for the coronavirus. The video was later deleted by Twitter:

Twitter has pulled a video of doctors making false claims about the novel coronavirus after it was shared by President Trump. Late Monday night, the president stumbled across the viral video that showed fringe doctors touting the controversial anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine as “a cure for COVID” and doubting the effectiveness of wearing masks. The claims made in the video directly contradicted the advice of Trump’s own public-health experts—but, despite that, he slammed the retweet button. Now, Trump’s page shows a disclaimer where the retweet once was, reading: “This Tweet is no longer available.” A Twitter spokesperson told CNN: “We’re taking action in line with our COVID misinfo policy.” Facebook and YouTube have also confirmed they removed the misleading video. Despite what Trump appears to believe, clinical trials have found that hydroxycholroquine has shown no real benefit in treating coronavirus patients, and has potentially deadly side effects.

Just this past weekend, Trump expressed some regret over his tweets, especially his retweets. I’m guessing hoping that he might be experiencing some of that regret this morning.

These are reportedly some of the views held by a Houston doctor who was part of the controversial viral video that Trump retweeted:

Immanuel, a pediatrician and a religious minister, has a history of making bizarre claims about medical topics and other issues. She has often claimed that gynecological problems like cysts and endometriosis are in fact caused by people having sex in their dreams with demons and witches.

She alleges alien DNA is currently used in medical treatments, and that scientists are cooking up a vaccine to prevent people from being religious. And, despite appearing in Washington, D.C. to lobby Congress on Monday, she has said that the government is run in part not by humans but by “reptilians” and other aliens.

More on Trump’s retweets concerning the coronavirus:

Trump also retweeted tweets defending the use of the drug hydroxychloroquine, including one that accused Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, of misleading the public by dismissing the drug.

“I have not been misleading the public under any circumstances,” Fauci responded on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Tuesday morning when asked for his reaction to Trump’s retweets.

Fauci reiterated that the “overwhelming prevailing clinical trials” that have looked at the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine have indicated that it’s “not effective” in treating the coronavirus.

In spite of plummeting poll numbers, surveys showing that the majority of Americans disapprove of the way he is handling the pandemic, and the concerted efforts of his advisers, handlers, and his own Coronavirus Task Force, the self-consumed toddler-in-chief is simply unable to grasp the severity of the pandemic and the state of the nation. In other words, Trump is just being Trump.

UPDATE: President Trump addressed questions about Dr. Immanuel (in the video) at today’s press conference:

2ND UPDATE: Just OMG:

–Dana

7/27/2020

Phase 3 Of Covid-19 Vaccine Testing Begins Today

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:51 am



[guest post by Dana]

Phase 3 of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine begins today in the U.S. According to Dr. Stephen Hoge, president of Massachusetts-based Moderna, they are “optimistic, cautiously optimistic” that the vaccine will work and that the data will eventually prove it:

The biggest test yet of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine got underway Monday with the first of some 30,000 Americans rolling up their sleeves to receive shots created by the U.S. government as part of the all-out global race to stop the outbreak.

Final-stage testing of the vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., began with volunteers at various U.S. sites given either a real shot or a dummy without being told which.

It will be months before results trickle in, and there is no guarantee the vaccine will ultimately work against the scourge that has killed about 650,000 people around the world, including almost 150,000 in the U.S.

After two doses, scientists will closely track which participants — those getting real shots, or a dummy — experience more infections as they go about their daily routines, especially in hard-hit areas where the virus still is spreading. Testing is planned at close to 90 sites, officials said.

From a test volunteer’s perspective:

In Binghamton, New York, nurse Melissa Harting received one of the first injections of the Moderna vaccine candidate. saying she was volunteering “to do my part to help out.”

“I’m excited,” Harting said. Especially with family members in front-line jobs that could expose them to the virus, she said, “doing our part to eradicate it is very important to me.”

But because a Covid-19 vaccine may go online in a comparatively short period of time (compared to the standard amount of time), there are reasons to be concerned:

The end of this global pandemic almost certainly rests with a vaccine. Experts caution, however, that it’s important to have realistic expectations about how much the first vaccines across the finish line will — and won’t — be able to accomplish.

First-generation vaccines often aren’t the ones that stop a new virus in its tracks, and experts’ hopes for an initial coronavirus vaccine are much more modest.

“Right now, we just need something that’s going to mitigate the damage this virus causes,” said Amesh Adalja, an infectious-diseases expert at Johns Hopkins University. “Maybe it doesn’t prevent you from getting infected, but it prevents you from getting hospitalized, or prevents you from dying … that would be huge.”

Questions remain about just how a Covid vaccine might work:

Some vaccines, like the one for measles, mumps and rubella, produce near-complete and long-lasting immunity. Others, like the annual flu shot, are important tools to help contain a virus but don’t achieve “sterilizing immunity.”

It’s not yet known how much protection any of the potential coronavirus vaccines might provide, or how long it would last.

“It’s hard to make vaccines against coronaviruses,” said Mark Poznansky, an infectious-disease specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital. “It doesn’t mean its not possible but it is a challenge, especially with COVID-19, where we don’t yet understand the inflammatory response to the virus and what part of the immune response is critical to prevent infection.”

While the initial evidence for COVID-19 vaccines seems promising, second- and even third-generation products will likely target more of the virus and, hopefully, generate stronger and longer-lasting immunity than the first few vaccines will offer, Poznansky said.

And of course, there are a number of questions that will be factored in when deciding who will receive a Covid-19 vaccine first, says Paul Kelleher, a professor of bioethics and philosophy at UW-Madison:

A pretty standard principle when it comes to healthcare resources is the goal of saving as many lives as possible, Kelleher says — or, when we’re thinking about a preemptive vaccine, really preventing as many deaths as possible. This utilitarian perspective aims to create the greatest benefit for the greatest number of people.

Even though this principle is a commonly used one in a public health crisis, “it’s somewhat foreign or unfamiliar for many healthcare professionals, whose main goal on a day-to-day basis in normal times is to do the best for the patient that’s in front of them,” Kelleher says. Sometimes tied to this is the concept that we should preserve those who are most essential to keeping society — and especially health infrastructure — running, because that will in turn keep more people safe.

Another idea in bioethics is the “life cycle” or “fair innings” principle, which argues that everyone should have an equal chance to live through life’s various stages, Kelleher adds. In the case of a pandemic, this would mean we should prioritize protecting young people over elderly people who have already had the chance to move through these stages.

Complicating questions abound: Should we focus on the people who are more likely to recover — like doctors in Italy, who were told to help those with the “greatest life expectancy” as hospitals were overrun and resources spread thin? Or is it our moral responsibility to protect the most vulnerable, following the principle of beneficence and the need to do good for others?

There’s also the argument of seeking out justice by prioritizing resources for those who have been treated unfairly in the past. Kelleher points out that throughout history, society has pushed some people into “social and environmental conditions that are hazardous to health,” making them more vulnerable in a health crisis like this one.

–Dana

Freedom of Expression More Protected Than Ever – Legally. Culturally, Not So Much…

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:37 am



[guest post by Dana]

A new national poll by the CATO Institute delivers some not good news:

The survey found that self-censorship has become extremely widespread in American society, with 62 percent of adults saying that, given the current political climate, they are afraid to honestly express their views.

“These fears cross partisan lines,” writes Emily Ekins, Cato’s director of polling. “Majorities of Democrats (52 percent), independents (59 percent), and Republicans (77 percent) all agree they have political opinions they are afraid to share.” The survey’s 2,000 respondents sorted themselves ideologically as “very liberal,” “liberal,” “moderate,” “conservative,” or “very conservative.” In every category except “very liberal,” a majority of respondents feel pressured to keep their views to themselves. Roughly one-third of American adults — 32 percent — fear they could be fired or otherwise penalized at work if their political beliefs became known.

Key difference:

Thanks to the Supreme Court’s First Amendment jurisprudence, freedom of expression has never been more strongly protected — legally.

But culturally, the freedom to express unpopular views has never been more endangered.

More speech, more speech, more speech…

–Dana

7/26/2020

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 71

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 9:39 am



It is the eighth Sunday after Pentecost. Today’s Bach cantata is “Gott ist mein König” (God is my King):

Today’s Gospel reading is Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52:

The Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast

He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”

He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

. . . .

The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

The Parable of the Net

“Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

“Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked.

“Yes,” they replied.

He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”

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

God is my King from long ago, who assists all that exist on the earth.

. . . .

The new regime
in every course
crown with blessing!
Peace, quiet and good health,
must always stand by the side
of the new regime.

Happiness, health, and great conquest
must newly and daily
delight you, Joseph,
so that all lands and places
may constantly enjoy
happiness, health, and great conquest!

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

7/25/2020

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:43 am



[guest post by Dana]

Feel free to share any news items in the comments. Please make sure to include links.

First news item

Tweet regret:

“It used to be in the old days before this, you’d write a letter and you’d say, ‘this letter is really bad,’ you put it on your desk and you go back tomorrow and you say, ‘oh, I’m glad I didn’t send it,’” Trump told Barstool Sports’ founder Dave Portnoy.

“But we don’t do that with Twitter. We put it out instantaneously, we feel great, and then you start getting phone calls, ‘Did you really say this?’ I say, ‘What’s wrong with that?’ And you find a lot of things,” continued the president, who is often the subject of criticism over his use of his Twitter account. “You know what I find? It’s not the tweets, it’s the retweets that get you in trouble.”

Trump went on to say he doesn’t always look closely at the tweets that he shares from his Twitter account, which has 84 million followers.

Second news item

Caught in the crosshairs of the face mask wars:

1. A grocery store employee has been suspended after they pepper-sprayed a customer who became confrontational after being asked to wear a mask and allegedly rammed the worker with a shopping cart.

The supermarket chain Ralphs confirmed on Friday that the employee involved in the July 15 altercation at a Los Angeles location has been suspended despite witnesses who said the worker was defending herself, CBS Los Angeles reported.

2. Police asked for the public’s help Friday to identify a man they say punched a barista over what may have been a dispute over the chain’s face mask policy.

The assault happened at a Starbucks on West Avenue I in Lancaster. According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, a man punched a barista when employees asked him to put on a mask as he entered the coffee shop.

Third news item

Oregon loses fight with Trump:

Oregon lost a fight with the Trump administration over federal agents’ detention of anti-racism protesters in Portland, as the president takes on Democratic-run states and cities in the run-up to the election.

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum had asked a federal judge to stop Department of Homeland Security agents and U.S. Marshals from detaining or arresting people without identifying themselves and without probable cause, a warrant or any explanation.

U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman on Friday denied the temporary restraining order she sought, saying the state had failed to prove it had any business suing the U.S. in the first place. Oregon had to show it had standing to sue on behalf of the protesters, defending people who can’t protect themselves, he wrote, and hadn’t.

Related:

The Department of Homeland Security has sent federal agents into Seattle ahead of planned protests this weekend, in a move opposed by both the mayor and the Seattle chief of police. According to U.S. Attorney Brian Moran, the agents are there to protect federal properties like courthouses—one of which was broken into last week. But Mayor Jenny Durkin and nine members of the Washington State congressional delegation, as well as several county officials, have said the move will only increase tensions in the city.

Fourth news item

Supreme Court says “yes” to entertainment gatherings, “no” to church gatherings:

A sharply divided U.S. Supreme Court denied a rural Nevada church’s request late Friday to strike down as unconstitutional a 50-person cap on worship services as part of the state’s ongoing response to the coronavirus.

In a 5-4 decision, the high court refused to grant the request from the Christian church east of Reno to be subjected to the same COVID-19 restrictions in Nevada that allow casinos, restaurants and other businesses to operate at 50% of capacity with proper social distancing.

From Gorsuch:

This is a simple case. Under the Governor’s edict, a 10-screen “multiplex” may host 500 moviegoers at any time. A casino, too, may cater to hundreds at once, with perhaps six people huddled at each craps table here and a similar number gathered around every roulette wheel there. Large numbers and close quarters are fine in such places. But churches, synagogues, and mosques are banned from admitting more than 50 worshippers—no matter how large the building, how distant the individuals, how many wear face masks, no matter the precautions at all. In Nevada, it seems, it is better to be in entertainment than religion. Maybe that is nothing new. But the First Amendment prohibits such obvious discrimination against the exercise of religion. The world we inhabit today, with a pandemic upon us, poses unusual challenges. But there is no world in which the Constitution permits Nevada to favor Caesars Palace over Calvary Chapel.

Fifth news item

Person, woman, man, camera, TV:

Sixth news item

As if the pandemic isn’t enough for Texas, Hawaii and the Carribean to worry about:

Three separate storm systems are threatening the United States and the Caribbean this weekend.

They are Hurricane Hanna in the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Douglas in the Pacific Ocean and Tropical Storm Gonzalo in the Atlantic.

Have a good weekend.

–Dana

7/24/2020

Friday Night Fun

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:14 pm



[guet post by Dana]

I’m a sucker for charming dog videos:

P.S. They look like Borzois (Russian Wolfhounds), a large breed of dog. And there appears to be four of them in one house. Yikes.

P.P.S. In light of this video, I have been informed that my home is seriously lacking enough dog noses because the single nose of the 115-pound beast that lives here just isn’t enough…

–Dana

Jeepers, Joe!

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:56 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Along with his recent foot-in-mouth racial pandering, Joe Biden just keeps on stepping in it. This time it was Asians caught in his racist projection as he attempted to say that he didn’t believe that Trump should try to hold China responsible for the coronavirus:

The average American doesn’t distinguish between Chinese people and other Asians, Joe Biden claimed, in an attempt to criticize President Trump for blaming China for the coronavirus outbreak.

“Look what he’s doing now. He’s blaming everything on China. He’s blaming everything on the Chinese,” the former vice president said during a virtual campaign event Wednesday with the Service Employees International Union.

“People don’t make a distinction, as you well know, from a South Korean and someone from Beijing,” he added. “They make no distinction, it’s Asian. And he’s using it as a wedge.”

Clearly, Joe Biden has a very low opinion of Americans, including Democrats and Republicans. He projects his own racism by stereotyping a group of people with a flippant they all look alike insult. And while I believe that in some way, Biden was also trying to tie this in with Trump’s asinine use of the inflammatory “Wuhan flu,” his insult was loud and clear. I’m long over giving any politician the benefit of the doubt-especially those who want to become the next President of the United States. He doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt because we’ve already seen too much of this from him. (I’m not going to blather on about Trump and his “Wuhan flu” bullshit. This post is about Biden.)

Meanwhile, following Biden’s inaccurate claim and racial pandering that Trump was America’s “first” racist president, radio host Charlamagne tha God has had enough. (If you recall, Biden was on-air with CTG when he made his now-infamous, cringe-worthy “if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black,” comment. He later offered a weaselly non-apology as he ultimately blamed CTG for baiting him.) Now the radio host is slamming Biden for claiming that Trump is the first racist president, and suggesting that maybe Biden should just shut his mouth:

“I really wish Joe Biden would shut the eff up forever and continue to act like he’s starring in the movie ‘A Quiet Place’ because as soon as he opens his mouth and makes noise, he gets us all killed, OK?” the radio host said. “There’s already so many people who are reluctantly only voting for Joe Biden because he’s the only option and because Donald J. Trump is that trash.”

Charlamagne…suggested Biden’s latest remarks will further contribute to the “lack of enthusiasm.”

“Old white male leadership has failed America and there is nothing worse than an old white male [who] can’t recognize the faults and flaws of other old white males,” Charlamagne told listeners. “Racism is the American way. Donald Trump is not the first. And sadly, he won’t be the last, right? He’s just more overt with his racism than most presidents in recent times.”

The “Breakfast Club” co-host accused Biden of “revisionist history,” calling his claim about Trump “a lie” that “relinquishes America of all responsibility of its bigotry.”

“How are we ever going to atone for America’s original sins if we don’t acknowledge them?” Charlamagne asked in reaction to Biden’s remarks. “How the hell can Donald Trump be the first racist president in a country where 12 presidents before him owned slaves?”

Finally, CTG addressed Biden directly:

“Joe, you got to hurry up and announce your Black woman VP [vice president] so I can be enthused about voting for her because I will never be enthused about voting for you, and you know America is a terrible place when Kanye West seems like a viable option,”

Neither of these half-lit, rich old white dimwits deserves to become our next president. God, we are just so screwed.

–Dana

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