Patterico's Pontifications

4/29/2016

On Mike Pence’s “Major Announcement”; UPDATE: Will Endorse Cruz

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:07 am

Breitbart claims to have an exclusive regarding Mike Pence making a major announcement about the GOP presidential race today. No, I won’t link it.

I rather expect that it will be an endorsement of Ted Cruz. If so, it’s welcome, but the timing of it suggests it is not exactly a profile in courage. This is an endorsement that should have done Tuesday or Wednesday. It appears Pence feels pressured to endorse Cruz for posterity. The fact that he apparently wants to bury the news on a Friday afternoon — as if he were Obama dumping news of Hillary’s criminality — suggests that he won’t be actively campaigning for Cruz like Scott Walker did.

The fact that Breitbart, a pro-Trump site, has it as an exclusive is disquieting. There is no way he is endorsing Trump, of course, but if his “major announcement” is that he is not endorsing anyone, Trumpers would like that. They might even want to push it to Breitbart.

Any way you slice it, it looks like Pence is scared of the Trumpers and the effect they might have on his re-election prospects. If he continues to behave like a scared little girl, my patience with him will be at an end. This is no time for the weak. We need a Mike Lee type coming out with passion in support of Ted.

If Pence manages to do that, with gusto, I may forgive him the poor timing. But for God’s sake, man: step up.

UPDATE: This just came over the transom, as they used to say:

4/28/2016

Guest Post by Ed from SFV: “Ted and Me”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:11 pm

Our own Ed from SFV met Ted Cruz today. He asked Ted Cruz the second most important question I can think of. (The most important question, of course, would have been: “Do you read the Patterico blog?”) And he got a straight answer. Ed wrote up his experience for us, and what follows is his account. I thank him for writing it up and sharing it with us. — Patterico

I just had a profoundly American experience. I’d like to share some of it with you.

Ted Cruz was in town (South Bend, IN) and the public was more than welcome to come see him. The appearance was planned for the early news window (5 – 6 PM, ET). I decided to not miss this chance and to get there super early so that I might score a front row seat.

I was the first to arrive. Already there was a husband/wife team who were honchoing things with the folks who ran the venue and with local security and police. All I wanted to do was to bring a chair to the entrance to the hall so I could sit for the couple of hours until the event, and be assured of my line position.

They asked if I might be willing to help out a little and I said, “Sure!” So, I became a volunteer for Cruz. It turns out that this gentleman, with his own cash, fronted the campaign some resources and money to help establish a local Cruz campaign office, which had just opened. He’s a retired local policeman and his wife is a PhD in Psychology. They could not have been nicer or more appreciative.

A few minutes later, a very young man from DC, via South Carolina, arrived. He was an actual advance man for the national Cruz campaign. He was very nice and had a very few details he wanted to be sure we handled. The biggie was signage. While he loved that many folks would come out to support Ted with hand-made signs and such, he wanted to make certain that any messaging was well within certain approved parameters. To my knowledge, we had no need to alter or refuse any of the signs which were brought. Pretty basic stuff, eh?

Only a very few minutes before Ted and Carly arrived on site, more national staff appeared, and an obvious Secret Service presence made itself known. I had no interactions with any of these. Well, almost none.

The first thing to do was to figure out how to handle the lines of folks which were sure to develop prior to opening the doors of the hall. You see? It’s the everyday, mundane, that really matters. This wasn’t about high-level concepts or imagery, or highfalutin’ considerations. Or even donating money. It’s just a few folks deciding to help out a little bit, doing a little here, and a little there, to elect a president.

We decided where to place those who had printed off tickets which had been offered the night before. Anyone without such a ticket would be asked to sign in with a name and basic contact info. By NO means was it a requirement to sign in. All were welcome. Full stop. We arranged a couple of tables to facilitate this process. Rocket science, right?

A little while later came about a dozen young, fresh faces asking if they could help out. They were from Notre Dame, St. Mary’s, and Holy Cross College (Yes, the place Rudy first matriculated). The fellas came armed with those fun posters of Ted all tatted up with the cigarette hanging from his mouth, and some more conventional posters, as well. Did we have any tape they could use? Nope. So…we all went on a search for tape. Some was found and they went to town. The long entrance hallway and the environs just outside the hall entrance were soon festooned with Cruz posters.

We had a few of the young college ladies man the tables helping non-ticketed folks sign in, and to go out into the lines which were now growing and ask folks to sign a “Commitment to Ted” card, if they were so inclined. Their energy was very well received by everyone. Go figure, right?

The media started drifting in. We had no specific rules to offer them. There was a stage for them to set up, and an audio multi in which they could plug for direct audio from any speaker’s microphone. I took the chance to chat with the local guy I most respect. I mentioned how Nate Silver of 538 had written that despite the publicly-available poll numbers, he was giving Ted a 53% chance of victory here. [Now up to 58%! — P] He had never heard of this and appreciated the tip. All he knew was that Trump was looking pretty good to win. Well, now he knew otherwise. Because I was there and engaged him.

The doors opened and some care was taken to get various demographics of folks seated so that they might be seen by the cameras. The big concern was what to do with some open areas adjacent to the entranceway Ted and Carly would be using. We quickly confirmed with security that these spaces were meant to be occupied and we made darn sure they were full. Those folks were thrilled that they were assured to be within a very few feet of Ted and Carly. An easy and obvious win-win. But, nobody had really thought that one out in advance. Yet, again, pretty basic, common sense, made it happen.

Oh. Here was my contact with the Secret Service. Apparently, I went through an area which was supposed to have been secured. All I knew, as a brand-spanking new volunteer was that I was to find the local Cruz man so he could seat me. Ooops. An agent was NOT amused. He questioned me aggressively as to how I showed up in his space. I believe he was exasperated that I had so easily, albeit innocently, arrived there. He was going to take me by my elbow and escort me right back to the point I should not have entered. I called out to the local organizer, asking where I was supposed to be. He pointed to a spot. The agent relented, but was sure to escort me there, even if it was the “wrong way” to get there.

I ended up being placed in the very first row behind the stage. Since I had no thought that I was going to be seen on camera, I was dressed down. I looked like a giant blue popsicle. If you see footage from the speeches, you may see me upstage left, behind a big Secret Service dude (different guy).

A high ranking local State Senator came out to emcee. He quickly introduced another local pol who was a preacher. He gave a brief invocation and then led us all in the Pledge of Allegiance. My friends, this was as Norman Rockwell a moment as I have ever experienced. We were then treated to a video of Ted and of Carly. I found it to be inspiring and very well done.

Out came Carly. Her tone was one of gratitude and of awe for America. There was some verbiage attacking DJT and HRC, but her message was decidedly humanizing. She spoke of what it was like to be on the bus with Ted for weeks. She related how when the national championship basketball game was down to Villanova’s final possession, Ted threw down some cash on the table declaring that the Wildcats were going to make the winning basket. They did.

She increased the cadence and urgency in her speech to a rousing conclusion. She brought us to our feet and introduced Ted, Heidi. and their girls. Ted was first with his girls in hand and they stepped up to the stage. I was no more than 10 feet from them as they did. Heidi was right behind. The crowd is cheering wildly and some upbeat music was blaring. I focused on the girls. They were happy, and even started dancing with each other.

Then, Ted went to take the hand of the older one so as to hold it high with him as the crowd was cheering. She resisted, and then looked like she might start crying. A nanny swooped right in and picked her up and took her to the back area behind the curtains. In that moment, I fully felt the pressures and difficulties they must be facing every day. Why should they have to share their Daddy with all these strangers?! Forget laws and politics and governance and ideology. This was basic humanity playing out right in front of me. As much as I appreciate what Ted has been going through, and all the slings and arrows he has endured, it is the sacrifice of his family that I will forever recall.

Ted gave his basic stump speech, adding in a very humorous description of DJT wearing HRC’s blue pantsuit! To my ears, the strongest reaction he got was when he strongly declared his support for Israel. Here, in the middle of Christian Indiana, the most intense feeling was for Israel.

He ended his talk and immediately dove into the front of the audience rope line for pictures, autographs, handshakes, and so on. He gave each person a moment or two and verrrrrrry patiently waited as selfies were being set up. He had two agents, one on either side of him, and a lead campaign staffer right behind him who had a Sharpie pen at the ready when Ted needed it to sign something.

It seemed like forever until he could make his way around to the rear of the stage where I was. Then, oh no! He reversed his course and went right over to some college students who had brought a Holy Cross College sign. He delighted in talking with them. Again, he took a lot of time with them. Eventually, he started making his way around again. As he got closer to me, I was most interested in trying to pick up his vibe. Who was this guy, really? The thing that stood out, from a small distance, was how interested in US he was. An elderly lady was telling him some personal tale of woe, and he could not have been more solicitous. There’s only a few hundred folks who want to shake his hand, but Ted decided she was the important priority. I was later told by national staff that this is how he is at every stop.

So…here he is. I’m going to get a chance to talk to him! STOP. Huh? Oh. A young lady in a wheelchair had been brought up next to where I was standing. Just as Ted was about to grasp my hand, he saw her. (Imagine the sound of metaphorical screeching tires) Ted instantly whirls to the agents, instructing them to make it possible for him to come inside the line to be with her. They did not like this, but grabbed the line up and Ted hunched down under it. I helped him keep his balance. He got close to the profoundly mentally handicapped girl and thanked her for coming to see him. She visibly brightened but did not communicate verbally. Ted got closer and spoke some encouraging…No. Loving, words. Again there was no real response. Ted stayed there, just smiling at her. And he did not move.

Yes, the optics of his visit with the young lady were magnificent. But, I am telling you…that was the last consideration on this man’s mind.

A few seconds in a situation like that can seem like forever. It’s chaotic as heck. Ted had his family waiting for him so they could be together for the rest of the evening (this was the last campaign event for the day). Ted stayed with the wheelchair-bound young lady for at least a full minute altogether. It was a lifetime.

I helped him back up and over to “his” side of the rope and then I took his hand. With all the sincerity I could muster, I said, “Ted, I hope you will, win or lose the election, lead the fight for an Article V Convention.” I had his full attention. He looked me directly in the eye, keeping my hand, with body language indicating congruence with his words, replied that he would fight for “underlying amendments” to get us there. I repeated, “Article V?” He said again, his eyes still locked on mine, with a slight nod of his head, “I’ll fight for necessary underlying amendments.” He was careful to not say the words “Article V.” He did not accept my language by just saying “Yes/No.”

It was entirely clear to me that he had seriously contemplated what I was saying and he gave me a truthful answer. It was not exactly what I wanted to hear. Yet, there is no doubt in my mind that he recognizes the peril the Constitution is in and that it needs a lot of support/strengthening – the type that can happen under Article V.

Then Ted was on to the guy next to me. He stayed in that line until he had DOUBLED BACK across the entirety of the stage, giving everyone their moment or three. I was/am blown away.

Carly had also come back out and was very much the same with everyone. She was every bit as lovely and gracious as you can imagine. I chose to not try to take any of her time/energy. I did revel in the good feeling she was bringing. It could not have been more clear that she feels blessed and that she is still experiencing an afterglow at having been named Ted’s VP choice.

The biggest takeaway for me was Ted’s base HUMILITY. It’s of a sort that is unmistakable. It is genuine. It is from a very deep place within. He is extremely comfortable with who he is and he believes fully in this fight. My goodness, what a man.

With all that I am, I declare those who insist that he is creepy, or arrogant, or egotistical, or speak any number of other epithets as to his character, to be LIARS. Their yelps are not coming from a place of truth, nor of love. Most everything Ted says and does, and his very being, are from the very best place for both.

In the morning, I’ll show up at the nascent campaign office and see if some small thing I can do leads to something like the election of a president.

Ed from SFV

The Will to Believe

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:16 pm

I had an idea recently. Much as I used to do in collecting examples of the Los Angeles Times‘s errors and bias, I thought I would pore through my archives and categorize all the reasons the Sniveling Coward is a joke of a candidate. I would find every post that discussed his lies, exaggerations, ignorance, and buffoonery, organize them by category, and publish it. I’d do it before that critical Indiana vote — which, by the way, I still think he’s going to win.

Maybe the sites that used to link here, but never do any more, would notice and link me for old times’ sake. If you can change just one vote and all that.

But then I read this bit by Thomas Sowell.

At this late date, there is no point itemizing the many things that demonstrate Trump’s gross inadequacies for being President of the United States. Trump himself has demonstrated those gross inadequacies repeatedly, at least weekly and sometimes daily. Those who do not believe their own eyes and ears are certainly not going to believe any words of mine, or of anyone else.

What William James called “the will to believe” is still as powerful today as it was when he coined the phrase more than a century ago.

It’s hard to argue that Sowell is wrong.

John Boehner: Ted Cruz Is “Lucifer in the Flesh” While Trump Is My Golfing and Texting Buddy

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:58 pm

The Orange Brotherhood has to stick together:

Former House Speaker John Boehner isn’t buying Sen. Ted Cruz’s pitch to unite the Republican Party against Donald Trump.

In a talk at Stanford University Wednesday, the plainspoken Ohio Republican called the Texas senator “Lucifer in the flesh,” adding that he found Cruz difficult to work with in Congress.

“I have Democrat friends and Republican friends,” Boehner said, according to the Stanford Daily. “I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.

Cruz sparred with Boehner throughout his speakership over funding the government, most notably in 2013, when the government shut down for more than two weeks. Cruz’s allies in the House helped force Boehner out of Congress last year.

Boehner, an avid golfer, said he and 2016 front-runner Trump are “texting buddies,” and that they’ve played golf together over the years. He stopped short of endorsing his policies, but said he would vote for Trump in the general election if the New York businessman becomes the GOP nominee.

Good. Ted Cruz could not receive a greater gift this evening, in my view. John Boehner is gone from Congress, but his spirit lives on in its halls. John Boehner represents everything that is wrong with Congress. In a sane world, this should sew up Indiana for Cruz.

We’ll see what happens in the world we’re living in.

P.S. Boehner was lying about having “worked with” Cruz. Cruz knocked that down in a press conference. Start watching around 13:10:

In a nutshell, Cruz says he has barely ever spoken to Boehner except to exchange pleasantries, and that Boehner refused to talk to Cruz and Mike Lee during the “shutdown.” Cruz makes the point that Boehner is really upset at the people who wanted their Congressmen to make a real effort to defund ObamaCare. (It is worth noting that, as Mike Lee notes in his book The Lost Constitution, the defund effort came on the heels of Obama unconstitutionally rewriting provisions of the law to benefit Democrats politically. If Obama was going to be held accountable for his actions, it would have to be through the power of the purse. The need to check Obama’s unconstitutional rewriting of the law is a point rarely made when the “shutdown” is discussed.) It is worth watching Cruz at length, since (for people who prize rationality and logic) he is incredibly effective.

P.P.S. If you’re a couch potato who likes him some teevee and wants to be entertained and gets bored by policy talk, go ahead and skip Cruz’s response. You’re likely a Trumpkin anyway and impervious to rational argument.

Ted Cruz Has John Boehner’s Number: “What Made John Boehner Mad Is That I Led A Movement Of People To Hold Washington Accountable”

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:48 pm

[guest post by Dana]

During an interview , retired Speaker of the House John Boehner went after Ted Cruz, accusing him of being “Lucifer in the flesh” and saying that he was difficult to work with:

I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.

However, that wasn’t the worst thing Boehner said. The worst thing, which was also the most revealing thing, had nothing to do with Ted Cruz:

Boehner described other Republican candidates as friends. In particular, the former speaker said he has played golf with Donald Trump for years and that they were “texting buddies.”

So much for Trump’s claim about being the “outsider” in the race. It doesn’t get much more inside than John Boehner.

Cruz responding, pointed out the obvious:

“Tell me again who will stand up to Washington? Trump, who’s Boehner’s “texting and golfing buddy,” or Carly & me?”

In the end, it all comes down to this:

[T]he former Speaker did say he would vote for Trump in the general election if he becomes the Republican nominee. He said he would not, however, vote for Cruz.

So remind me again, who’s the real outsider??

ADDED: Sen. Mike Lee brilliantly called out John Boehner on Mark Levin’s show today. It’s an awesome and well-deserved shredding of Boehner:

–Dana

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Whoops. We double-posted. In order to keep the commentary in one place, I’m closing comments on this excellent post (which adds value and should be read) and asking you to comment here.

“Trump’s Appeal Explained — Again”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:51 am

Allahpundit highlighted this call to Rush Limbaugh. It is worth listening to, because I think this guy’s attitude is representative of a lot of people.

RUSH: I’m glad you made it through, Sean. Thanks so much.

CALLER: Thanks. I just wanted to make a point, at least my perspective on the support of Trump. I reluctantly support him but I do straight… I mean, I do support him, and it’s not about conservatism. It’s not, as some people say — and I’ve heard it on your show, too, from a lot of callers calling in. It’s not really about, “Well, you know, people are being fooled that he’s not really conservative.” It’s not. I know he’s not a conservative. The fact is, to put it simply, Trump will fight. Not only will he fight, he’ll fight dirty, and the thing is we gotta get that. We have to have someone that’s gonna fight in the mud, ’cause that’s where our opponents are. That’s where our opponents have been.

RUSH: Fight who?

CALLER: The Democrats. I mean, look at what happened after 9/11. Remember it was like a month or two after that, and then Kennedy came out and he started slamming George Bush. You know, all of his supporters were waiting for him to stand up and defend himself, and he didn’t. For eight years, he just let the Democrats plaster him. And then what happens? Obama gets elected, and he rams Obamacare down our throats. What were Reid and Pelosi doing? They were locking people out of committee meetings, remember that?

What was our response? Did we fight back? No. We didn’t fight back. So then what did we do? We have a landslide victory. We give them the House. Do they do it? Do they repeal Obamacare? No. They do nothing. They say, “Well, we can’t do anything ’cause we don’t have the Senate.” Okay, we give you the Senate. What do they do? “Oh, you know, we’re not gonna do anything ’cause we’re gonna take our only weapon off the table before we do battle with these people.”

We’re sick and tired of fighting with people who won’t fight, and when it comes to down to Cruz, you know, my instincts with Cruz is that, yeah, he’s a nice guy. And don’t get me wrong, if he magically wins this nomination, of course I’ll support him. But the problem is, I suspect he won’t fight. Three days ago there was an article in Breitbart where he’s being interviewed and he said, “You know, if I’m elected, “he said something to that effect of, “I’m not gonna get personal. This is gonna be about issues.”

Okay, great. You just handed them the election, ’cause you know what they’re gonna do? They’re gonna make it personal against you and you’re gonna be like the new George Bush just sitting up there like Jeb. You won’t fight. You’ll just sit there and take it and we’re gonna lose again. And the thing is, Trump, you know what? I disagree with probably 80% of the stuff that he believes in, or he purports to. But the thing is, I think we’re facing an existential crisis. It comes down to immigration, illegal immigration —

RUSH: Okay.

CALLER: — and Obamacare.

RUSH: Stop. You don’t need to say any more. You just said everything in about five words. “I don’t agree with 80% of what I think Trump stands for, but I’m voting for him.” That is why the Republican establishment is about ready to commit harakiri. They can’t figure this out.

Pretty much. Right now a lot of Trump people are nodding their heads thinking: “Exactly right! They don’t get it!”

And Cruz people are shaking their heads, at the very same time, thinking: “Exactly right! We don’t get it.”

I think I am hearing this caller loud and clear. This caller wants to win, and doesn’t really care what the policies will be. He thinks ObamaCare is part of an “existential threat” but is voting for a guy who said he likes the mandate and wants to provide health care for everyone and the government will pay for it.

To me? The caller sounds like a complete idiot.

Rush laughs when he says “they can’t figure this out” as if he is in the know. But I wonder if, when he says “they,” he means “we.”

These are the people deciding your fate, ladies and gentlemen. Sleep soundly!

4/27/2016

Cruz & Carly For the Win

Filed under: General — JVW @ 12:38 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Earlier today, Ted Cruz announced that he would be holding a major press conference n Indianapolis at 2:00 pm Pacific Time. Fox News and others are now reporting that Cruz will announce that he has designated Carly Fiorina as his running mate should he win the GOP nomination. Ms. Fiorina was rather gratuitously insulted by the current GOP front-runner this past fall, to which she responded in kind.

I thought that Carly Fiorina and Scott Walker were the two candidates who suffered the most from a certain reality television celebrity sucking all of the air (or, in this case, the news coverage) out of the GOP primary race this past fall. In my book, the two of them were the best candidates in the non-Washington category, but were swamped by the siren call of celebrity. I hope this announcement portends lots of appearances by Ms. Fiorina on the campaign trail, especially since she has no qualms about telling it like it is where Hillary Clinton is concerned, much to the wailing consternation of sensitive and fussy lefty journalists.

Here’s hoping.

– JVW

Trump.

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:54 am

You know you want to talk about him. But I don’t want to write about him. So:

Trump.

Mike Lee for Supreme Court

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:53 am

On a day when all you are going to read elsewhere are handwringing think pieces about Trump’s inevitability, let me give you something different. I think any GOP nominee should consider Mike Lee for the Supreme Court.

This is not my original idea, of course. Ted Cruz has said “Mike Lee would look pretty good in a robe.” But it’s an idea I want to see pushed.

I don’t have time to expand on Lee’s virtues this morning, but I recently finished reading Mike Lee’s excellent book The Lost Constitution, and after reading it (and his short e-book attacking the ObamaCare decision) I am confident that he would make an excellent Supreme Court justice. He is every bit as solid as Ted Cruz on constitutional principles, but has a more congenial personality. He would never go wobbly, and would be a perfect replacement for Antonin Scalia. I think Lee has the capability of being one of the greatest Justices in history, on par with Clarence Thomas (whom I consider to be one of the two greatest of my lifetime). And as a U.S. Senator, he has an advantage in the confirmation process.

What’s more, Lee would bring a non-elitist ethic to the Court. He is not a Harvard or Yale guy (he went to Brigham Young University). He has the High Court experience, having clerked for Justice Alito, but he also knows what it’s like to be a business lawyer (albeit one with an appellate specialty). He knows what the political process is like, from his time in the U.S. Senate.

The only “problem” is that his views are well-known and on the record, and therefore subject to attack. But after John Roberts, I think it’s time a president put up someone whose views are not a relative mystery. Whether the President is Ted Cruz or (God help us) Donald Trump, they should consider Lee for the High Court.

More on this when I review the book.

4/26/2016

This Is How Stupid They Think We Are, This Is How Brazen They Are

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:25 pm

[guest post by Dana]

This is what the president announced today:

US President Barack Obama confirmed plans to dramatically increase the American troop presence in Syria by deploying an additional 250 personnel, bringing the total to 300. He said the troops would help drive out the Islamic State terrorist group.

“Just as I have approved additional support for Iraqi forces against ISIL (Islamic State, previously ISIS/ISIL – RT), I’ve decided to increase US support for local forces fighting ISIL in Syria,” Obama said.

“A small number of US special operations forces are already on the ground in Syria,” he said. “Their expertise has been critical as local forces have been driving ISIL out of key areas. So given the success, I have approved the deployment of up to 250 additional US personnel in Syria, including special forces, to keep up this momentum.”

This is spite of his continual assurances there would be no boots on the ground in Syria:

When a State Dept. spokesman was confronted by a reporter about the president’s obvious contradiction, he lied through his teeth, and without batting an eye brazenly denied the administration had ever said there would be no boots on the ground in Syria:

–Dana

UPDATE: The best way to do this is to watch the first video at :16 for about four seconds. Then go to the second video, start it at around 2:10, and keep watching until you are ready to throw things around the room.

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