Patterico's Pontifications

7/22/2016

Munich Shootings; Obama’s Head in the Sand

Filed under: General — JVW @ 11:58 am

[guest post by JVW]

At least six people have been killed in shootings at a city mall in Munich. Eyewitnesses report three shooters, and as of this moment no one has been apprehended.

Meanwhile, a commenter at Powerline directs us to this telling juxtaposition that appears on CNN’s homepage:

Juxtaposition

Shame on those dead Germans for getting in the way of the President’s moral preening.

– JVW

I Guess You’ll Have to Tell Me How Last Night Went…

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:50 am

…because I tuned it out.

My mom is in town and we went for a walk around the Venice canals. We found the house where Harry Bosch visits the “boot” girlfriend in the first season of the Amazon series.

I see John Hinderaker saying of Ivanka’s speech that, sure, she suggested “new and bigger government programs” . . . but apparently her ability to read from a TelePrompTer was nevertheless so amazing that he asked: “Is there a Senate seat we could put her up for?”

If you want to know how someone as unqualified, incompetent, and unlikeable as Hillary Clinton got elected to a Senate seat in New York, there’s your answer. On both sides of the aisle, we love love love to keep electing anybody and everybody from the same family. On Twitter, some people observed that the love of the Trumps appears to be the GOP’s desire to have its own Kennedy family.

As far as Trump’s speech: didn’t watch it either. I’m more interested in the reaction of members of the GOP to Trump (and to Cruz’s speech) than I am in Trump. Peggy Noonan said of Cruz today: “What a jerk.” She loves her some Obama and some Trump, but “support the Constitution” makes you a “jerk.” After New York Attack Poodle Peter King declared Ted Cruz an “asshole,” RNC guy Sean Spicer agreed with the assessment on national television. Did he ever declared Trump a “jerk” for mocking the looks of Cruz’s wife, or for mocking John McCain’s wartime captivity? I’m going to guess no.

An illness is passing over this party, as real as the norovirus that hit the convention in Cleveland, but more pervasive and noxious. I’m going to stand clear until it passes. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. At least I won’t catch it.

P.S. If you want any further proof that the RNC is a pack of liars, and that they hate and have slandered Ted Cruz, read this post by Leon Wolf. It’s not just Trump. Increasingly, it’s the party itself.

UPDATE: Aaaand now Trump is again insinuating Cruz’s dad was involved with JFK’s assassination. And defending the National Enquirer as a news source. Enjoy, loyalists. Enjoy.

7/21/2016

Republican Convention Open Thread: Can We Take One More Night??

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:00 pm

[guest post by Dana]

This is the last night of the convention. Ivanka Trump will be introducing her father, Donald Trump, who is expected to accept the Republican nomination for the presidency.

A talking head on Fox News said that various campaign people are saying that they hope Trump stays on point, sticks to the speech, and does not go off on his own.

You can peruse an annotated version of the prepared speech here.

Anyway. Buckle up.

And get your adult beverage of choice ready.

–Dana

When Voting One’s Conscience Becomes A Threat To Others

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:39 am

[guest post by Dana]

Was there ever a more dreadful thing said by a politician ?

And to those listening, please, don’t stay home in November. Stand, and speak, and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution.

This isn’t hard: If Donald Trump has indeed convinced voters that he will guard our nation, protect our freedoms, and honor the Constitution from all enemies, then the collective conscience of America-loving voters will naturally be turned toward him on November 8. But, ironically, when freedom of thought and freedom to stand on principle is encouraged in the public square by a bold politician, it results in a fierce outcry of protest. Not the conscience! Anything but that! (One almost gets the impression that there are those who wouldn’t object too much if a political body compelled the individual vote… just this once, you know, because so much is at stake.) Clearly, a lot of Americans have not bought what’s being sold, and as a result, an appeal to the individual conscience becomes a dangerous thing with which to contend.

Unvelieveably, this is America, right here, right now. And this is the pro-liberty side of the aisle.

A lot of us still believe that all of our freedoms should be celebrated, our liberty treasured, and that working hard to protect them is a calling for every American. So when I hear a politician imploring me to vote my conscience and to think and decide as an individual, I’m not going to scream at him to shut-up. I’m going to celebrate, because the last thing I want is apparently the first thing others need: to be told what to do.

–Dana

A Message to Anyone Who Criticizes Ted Cruz for Standing Up for His Family

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:49 am

I have said since May 3 that refusing to endorse Donald Trump would be smart politics for Ted Cruz. Here are my thoughts from May 3:

Later that day, Cruz pulled out of the race. He remained mostly silent about Trump. As the other toadies like Rubio, Scott Walker, and (sadly) Rick Perry fell in line, I mocked them without mercy — and pledged that I would do the same to Cruz if he endorsed Trump.

I remained skeptical that he would endorse — but when I heard that Cruz planned to speak at the convention, I worried. To me, any endorsement of Trump, even half-assed or tepid, would have been an act of disrespect to Ted Cruz’s family. Even if he didn’t endorse, I worried that Cruz would try to walk a line and end up being too clever by half.

It still could have played out that way. But then Donald Trump’s people orchestrated the booing of Ted Cruz, for not explicitly endorsing Trump.

It was a wholly premeditated spectacle. The bully Trump planned it this way. It was to be the final humiliation of “Lyin’ Ted.”

And yet, Ted Cruz stood firm.

And with that, a speech that could have been perceived as a standard-issue extolling of constitutionalism was transformed into an epic stand on principle.

I opened this post by noting that standing on principle is Cruz’s brand. His speech last night was calculating, I believe — but the calculation was: I am the sort of person who stands on principle. My supporters like that. I am going to continue to be that sort of person.

That’s my kind of “calculation.” Especially when it comes to defending family.

Anyone criticizing Cruz today has to be willing to say: “Donald Trump could mock my wife’s looks, and slander my dad, and I would support him.” If that’s the sort of person you are — the sort of person who does not respect his family enough to stand up for them, regardless of the cost — then stand up and say so. Be proud. Own it.

And then get off my site.

If you’re voting for Donald Trump because you think he’s the lesser of two evils; because you think Hillary is clearly worse; because you reject leftism and know Hillary will foist leftism on us and only suspect Trump might . . . then you and I are cool. I respect that position. It’s not my position — but if it’s yours, I respect it, and I respect you.

But if you’re going to knock Ted Cruz for standing up against a man who bullied his family, I don’t respect you. I don’t want you here. Feel free to leave. It may make this place smaller, but it will make it better.

I do not want to see this site turned into a replication of what I watched on the convention floor last night: a group of howling apes flinging poo at a good man who stood on principle and refused to kiss the ring of a man who repeatedly insulted his family.

The GOP ought to be taking out the trash, but they’re not. I can’t control that. But I can control my space. If you can’t respect a man who stands up for his family, get out of my face.

7/20/2016

“Lyin’ Ted” to Speak Tonight

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:09 pm

Donald Trump’s tweet suggesting his wife is ugly has never been deleted.

As much as I despise this clown show, I confess: I’ll be very interested to see how Cruz handles this tonight.

UPDATE: Very well done by Cruz. In light of the boos, and the chanting for an endorsement for Trump, his refusal to endorse came across as a classy, principled, and rather pointed “fuck you” to Donald Trump. I am proud of Cruz tonight.

Melania and Staff Completely Rewrote Speech

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:45 am

Told you.

The Trump campaign declined to say who or how many senior campaign officials read or reviewed the speech. But when Ms. Trump and her staff had finished revising the speech, virtually all that remained from the original was an introduction and a passage that included the phrase “a national campaign like no other.

I told you Matt Scully had nothing to do with this.

I had the treat of turning on Mark Levin as I drove home yesterday, and got to listen to him screaming THEY’RE ATTACKING HER BECAUSE SHE’S A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN THERE I SAID IT! and that sort of nonsense.

Obama cribbed off Deval Patrick, and nobody cared. Again: to me, the great thing about this is how they deny deny deny that it’s plagiarism when it obviously is. They never ever ever ever ever EVER admit they were wrong about anything. Some of you think that’s strength.

It’s not.

Meanwhile, Facepalm Guy has been identified. He’s South Dakota State Representative Isaac Latterell.

“I just think that it’s a sad day for the Republican party,” Latterell said Tuesday night in a phone interview. “I don’t think that the candidate that was chosen has a chance of winning the election, or being different than the other nominee.”

He also said the motion was his only way to “protest what is going on in the corrupt RNC.” Latterell said he voted for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the state’s primary election.

The Republican party needs more people like Isaac Latterell, and fewer people like Donald Trump and Chris Christie and Paul Manafort who will look you in the eye and deny that the sky is blue.

Tonight, Ted Cruz and his opaque, Delphic quasi-sorta-non-endorsement for Trump! Yay!

7/19/2016

Your Non-Convention News (If Anyone Cares): Bearish on California

Filed under: General — JVW @ 9:03 pm

[guest post by JVW]

[UPDATE: Ah, hang on: I see now that Elias is claiming that there was a net increase of workers making $50,000 per year into California. That is an interesting assertion. Since he’s a newspaper columnist, his format doesn’t require him to provide links to supporting data, so I would be interested in hearing exactly where he found that number. He claims it is in the Beacon Economics report that he references, but I don’t have access to the full report so I would have to take his word for it, which I’m not really willing to do.

But my other point made in the post below stands: according to the Governor’s own numbers, the middle-class workers who come either either remain childless or when they have children they mostly leave the state for more affordable locations. This is not good for the long-term health of the California economy. – JVW]

I guess he’s never been discussed ’round these parts, but we have a columnist in the local Southern California paper The Daily Breeze (part of the Los Angeles News Group) named Tom Elias who has all of the requisite trendy lefty opinions as befits this region. One of his main recurring themes is that things in California are really quite splendid for businesses, proving that a highly-regulated progressive state can succeed and thrive. He was at it again today in a column that attempted to argue that despite what those nasty conservatives say, the wealthy are not leaving California in droves for other states:

For more than a generation, opportunistic California politicians have barraged voters with woeful tales about how the most productive, inventive, wealthy and enterprising Californians are leaving this state in droves to avoid high taxes and excessive government regulation.

These stories, used successfully by the likes of Pete Wilson and Arnold Schwarzenegger while running for governor, and unsuccessfully by failed candidates from Bill Simon to Meg Whitman and Neel Kashkari, tell of rich Californians seeking greener pastures in more laissez faire states like Texas and Idaho.

There’s only one problem with those stories: They don’t match the facts, even though they are often purveyed by folks with a financial stake in the fables, some of them business relocation experts.

As per his wont, Elias is employing an easily-wrecked strawman. In point of fact, California Republicans, especially wealthy ones like Schwarzenegger, Simon, Whitman, and Kashkari, have never claimed that the wealthy are leaving the state. The wealthy are the ones who can withstand the brutal tax and regulation policies demanded by the state’s left-wing hallelujah chorus, and wealthy progressives whose personal fortunes are already secure are largely the ones driving this demented agenda. What Schwarzenegger et al. have correctly pointed out is that California’s dreadful business environment and high cost of living inhibits job creation, especially jobs for the middle class. More on that in a moment.

Elias is such an awful thinker that he very quickly invokes Josef Goebbels to try to discredit any pushback to his puerile arguments:

It’s not just that California has outpaced the rest of America economically for most of the last 20 years. It’s not merely that innovative businesses and venture capital investments here are the largest and most successful in the world.

It’s not only that coastal California real estate, property in the state’s most populous areas, brings more cash than comparable real estate anywhere else in America except Manhattan, but also that there are plenty of buyers around with the cash to pay seemingly outrageous prices.

It’s also that truth matters little anymore, with one of the principles peddled by master Nazi propagandist Josef Goebbels in the 1930s and ’40s proving at least somewhat correct: The more often you repeat and broadcast an untruth, the more people will come to believe it.

Yep, it’s true: the layers and layers of editors that the LA News Group no doubt employs somehow failed to redline Mr. Elias’s obnoxious Nazi reference, thereby setting a new record for fulfilling Godwin’s Law.

And here’s where Elias either tries to get cute, or exposes himself as a numerical illiterate. In arguing that California still attracts plenty of well-educated people seeking jobs, he cites these figures (bolded emphasis is mine):

That especially holds when some numbers appear to back up the untruth. In terms of people leaving California, there is such a number: California had a net population outflow to other states of 625,000 residents between 2007 and 2014. Newborn children and immigrants more than made up for that loss, so don’t expect the state to lose congressional or Electoral College clout after the next Census in 2020.

[. . . ]

[O]f those who left during the latest years for which statistics exist, the vast majority earned less than $30,000 per year. A net total of 469,000 of those leaving possessed no college degree. Given the prevailing levels of rents and home prices in California, it’s easy to see their financial motive in leaving for far lower-priced states like Texas, Nevada, Oregon and Arizona.

But as lower-income residents left there was a net increase of 52,700 residents from other states making more than $50,000 per year who do have at least a bachelor’s degree. The figures come from a Beacon Economics study released this spring.

Let’s put aside the stupid notion that as long as California’s population stays stable we won’t lose any Congressional seats. (Mr. Elias, as the population of the country grows, if the number of residents in California remains flat our Congressional districts will be reassigned to other states which are rapidly growing. It’s unconscionable that you don’t know this.) Let me instead introduce some high-level mathematics to this discussion. Forgive me for getting lost in the weeds, and I completely understand if you can’t follow these complex calculations, but here is what we are looking at, per Elias:

Elias math

Yep, he seriously thinks it’s no big deal that nearly three times (message me if you want to see my advanced calculations there) as many college-educated people left the state than relocated here over that period. [Note, see my updated correction at the top of the post.]

The rest of the column is blather about how there are really good middle-class high-tech jobs in California, with only a token acknowledgement that what is considered middle-class pay no longer supports a family trying to reside in San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, San Diego, or most of the areas where jobs are being created. Entrepreneurs backed by millions in venture capital are providing some jobs in programming and marketing to those working in start-ups, but hardly paying enough to allow these workers to live comfortably in places like Silicon Valley or the Venice/Marina del Rey tech hub. I fired off a letter to the editor pointing out that Elias also ignores the demographic data from Governor Brown’s 2015-16 state budget which clearly shows that California’s population is skewing heavily towards retired senior citizens and that the number of school-aged kids (ages 4 to 17) is expected to grow at an anemic .3% (yes, that’s three-tenths of one percent) between 2014-2019 while the number of college-aged Californians (ages 18 to 24) is expected to decline by 4.5%. California’s major cities are becoming overwhelming elderly, single, and childless, and that is going to cause a loss of middle-class jobs in education, hospitality, recreation, and other key parts of the economy, just as the cities and state find themselves on the hook for greater and greater healthcare and pension costs borne by the already-overextended taxpayer. This is not going to be pretty, and shame on hacks like Elias for trying to convince us otherwise.

– JVW

I’m Reasonably Sure That Flinging Your Pee At Someone Is Not The Same As Presenting A Persuasive Argument

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:40 pm

[guest post by Dana]

From downtown Cleveland today, where clearly some protest groups are worse than others:

Activists from Black Lives Matter, Westboro Baptist Church and the KKK were in the square and, at one time, were said to be throwing urine at each other.

You know urine trouble when pee-flinging becomes your desperate go-to move because your group isn’t getting the respect you think you deserve. I can’t think of any three groups more deserving of each other.

And there were other protesters:

The smaller groups Tuesday included a Tamir Rice group, a man carrying an AR-15, a man with a sign saying “Jesus Vapes,” a woman doing yoga with a pro-police and anti-bullying sign and another person asking folks to tell their best Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump joke. The West Ohio Minutemen are there, too, they call themselves a constitutional militia group.

Thankfully no injuries or arrests.

Stay classy, America.

–Dana

It’s Trump

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:40 pm

Everyone who had pie-in-the-sky dreams of a delegate revolt, give them up. It’s Donald Trump’s Republican party now.

UPDATE: Via Dana comes this. It’s about how I feel, to the extent that I can be bothered to care.

Facepalm.

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