Patterico's Pontifications

6/21/2019

Author Claims Trump Sexually Assaulted Her In Lingerie Department Dressing Room

Filed under: General — Dana @ 4:29 pm



[guest post by Dana]

In E. Jean Carroll’s upcoming book, “What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal,” due to be released in July, the author claims that Donald Trump sexually assaulted her after encountering him in Bergdorf Goodman. Why didn’t Elle columnist and former television host Carroll go public with her story sooner? Say like when he was running for the presidency? Well, she’ll tell you why. In her recounting of the event, she meets skeptical readers head-on:

Why haven’t I “come forward” before now?

Receiving death threats, being driven from my home, being dismissed, being dragged through the mud, and joining the 15 women who’ve come forward with credible stories about how the man grabbed, badgered, belittled, mauled, molested, and assaulted them, only to see the man turn it around, deny, threaten, and attack them, never sounded like much fun. Also, I am a coward.

Thus she joins 15 other women who have made accusations of sexual misconduct against President Trump.

According to Carroll, it began when she happened to bump into Donald Trump, whom she had met once before, in Bergdorf Goodman. She describes a light-hearted romp through the store to help him find a gift for a woman:

I am surprised at how good-looking he is. We’ve met once before, and perhaps it is the dusky light but he looks prettier than ever. This has to be in the fall of 1995 or the spring of 1996 because he’s garbed in a faultless topcoat and I’m wearing my black wool Donna Karan coatdress and high heels but not a coat.

“Come advise me,” says the man. “I gotta buy a present.”

“Oh!” I say, charmed. “For whom?”

“A girl,” he says.

“Don’t the assistants of your secretaries buy things like that?” I say.

“Not this one,” he says. Or perhaps he says, “Not this time.” I can’t recall. He is a big talker, and from the instant we collide, he yammers about himself like he’s Alexander the Great ready to loot Babylon.

As we are standing just inside the door, I point to the handbags. “How about—”

“No!” he says, making the face where he pulls up both lips like he’s balancing a spoon under his nose, and begins talking about how he once thought about buying Bergdorf ’s.

“Or … a hat!” I say enthusiastically, walking toward the handbags, which, at the period I’m telling you about — and Bergdorf’s has been redone two or three times since then — are mixed in with, and displayed next to, the hats. “She’ll love a hat! You can’t go wrong with a hat!”

I don’t remember what he says, but he comes striding along — greeting a Bergdorf sales attendant like he owns the joint and permitting a shopper to gape in awe at him — and goes right for a fur number.

“Please,” I say. “No woman would wear a dead animal on her head!”

What he replies I don’t recall, but I remember he coddles the fur hat like it’s a baby otter.

“How old is the lady in question?” I ask.

“How old are you?” replies the man, fondling the hat and looking at me like Louis Leakey carbon-dating a thighbone he’s found in Olduvai Gorge.

“I’m 52,” I tell him.

“You’re so old!” he says, laughing — he was around 50 himself — and it’s at about this point that he drops the hat, looks in the direction of the escalator, and says, “Lingerie!” Or he may have said “Underwear!” So we stroll to the escalator. I don’t remember anybody else greeting him or galloping up to talk to him, which indicates how very few people are in the store at the time.

According to Carroll, it’s in the lingerie department where things turned ugly but not until after they playfully banter about which of them should try on the lingerie that he grabbed from the counter.

At this point in her story, Carroll confirms that there is no available security footage to back up her story (Bergdorf Goodman did not retain any footage from that time), and that she didn’t report the encounter to the police but did tell two close friends about what happened in the dressing room:

I told two close friends. The first, a journalist, magazine writer, correspondent on the TV morning shows, author of many books, etc., begged me to go to the police.

“He raped you,” she kept repeating when I called her. “He raped you. Go to the police! I’ll go with you. We’ll go together.”

My second friend is also a journalist, a New York anchorwoman. She grew very quiet when I told her, then she grasped both my hands in her own and said, “Tell no one. Forget it! He has 200 lawyers. He’ll bury you.” (Two decades later, both still remember the incident clearly and confirmed their accounts to New York.)

And here’s what Carroll claims happened once inside the dressing room:

The moment the dressing-room door is closed, he lunges at me, pushes me against the wall, hitting my head quite badly, and puts his mouth against my lips. I am so shocked I shove him back and start laughing again. He seizes both my arms and pushes me up against the wall a second time, and, as I become aware of how large he is, he holds me against the wall with his shoulder and jams his hand under my coat dress and pulls down my tights.

I am astonished by what I’m about to write: I keep laughing. The next moment, still wearing correct business attire, shirt, tie, suit jacket, overcoat, he opens the overcoat, unzips his pants, and, forcing his fingers around my private area, thrusts his penis halfway — or completely, I’m not certain — inside me. It turns into a colossal struggle. I am wearing a pair of sturdy black patent-leather four-inch Barneys high heels, which puts my height around six-one, and I try to stomp his foot. I try to push him off with my one free hand — for some reason, I keep holding my purse with the other — and I finally get a knee up high enough to push him out and off and I turn, open the door, and run out of the dressing room.

The whole episode lasts no more than three minutes. I do not believe he ejaculates. I don’t remember if any person or attendant is now in the lingerie department. I don’t remember if I run for the elevator or if I take the slow ride down on the escalator. As soon as I land on the main floor, I run through the store and out the door — I don’t recall which door — and find myself outside on Fifth Avenue.

Bloomberg News has published a statement from President Trump in response to Carroll’s allegations, saying `I’ve never met this person in my life':

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CNN’s Daniel Dale posts a photograph of Trump and his first wife socializing with Carroll and her former husband:

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I completely understand why she didn’t go to the police and file a report. And I even understand why she remained silent all of these years. This especially if you read the entirety of the released portion of her book linked in the post. But what puzzles me (and maybe I’m just old school) is: Why would she would enter the confines of a dressing room with a man she had only met on one prior occasion? Who does that? (I’ll just note here that even if their mutually playful banter was an indication that there was the hope of something happening once inside the dressing room, it would obviously never justify the actions that Carroll has alleged that Trump took against her.)

As for Trump, well, Carroll’s description of the encounter neatly dovetails with Trump’s own description of himself: :

I just start kissing them, it’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything,” he said in the 2005 conversation. “Grab ’em by the pussy.”

Obviously none of know with certainty what, if anything happened between Trump and Carroll, but here’s the thing: Two women in whom she confided, have confirmed that she told them about the alleged assault. That alone matters. That alone is troubling. I hope they go public. And if the assault did happen as described by Carroll, then it should matter to Americans. And especially to those who support Trump, and are working toward his re-election. Because if an illegal act as described by Carroll took place at the hands of a man who is seeking to be re-elected as President of the United States and doesn’t matter to his supporters, then something is dreadfully wrong. Oh. Wait. What’s that? Right: We pretty much already know it won’t matter, and will be viewed as nothing more than a little blip on people’s radar. If that.

P.S. Carroll says that “the Donna Karan coatdress still hangs on the back of my closet door, unworn and unlaundered since that evening”.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

6/20/2019

Roy Moore Announces He Will Run For Alabama Senate In 2020

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:29 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Of course Moore is free to run for any office he darn well pleases. The question is, is he really who the GOP wants filling a vacant Senate seat, especially knowing that his candidacy could endanger Republicans’ chances of flipping the Democrats’ most vulnerable Senate seat next year?

It appears that the GOP doesn’t think he is the right person for the job because too much is at stake:

A push is underway to get President Donald Trump involved in derailing Moore. Republicans are actively moving to recruit Jeff Sessions to run for his old seat. And GOP leaders are warning the party will jeopardize perhaps its only chance at picking up a Senate seat next year if they let Democrat Doug Jones get his favored match-up.

“There will be a lot of efforts made to ensure that we have a nominee other than him and one who can win in November,” said Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.). “He’s already proven he can’t.”

Added Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, “We’ll be opposing Roy Moore vigorously.”

I’d like to believe that the move against Moore as the nominee has as much (or more) to do with his weak character and numerous accusations of sexual misconduct allegations against him as it does about making a shrewd political calculation… Anyway, the last thing the GOP brand needs is more of Moore, and the sordid history he brings with him. GOP elected lawmakers seem to agree:

“Give me a break. This place has enough creepy old men,” said Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), referring to Washington, when asked about Moore’s candidacy.

“The people of Alabama are smarter than that,” said Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), who as leader of the party’s campaign arm at the time vowed to try and expel Moore from the Senate if he won. “They certainly didn’t choose him last time, why would they choose him this time?”

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) has talked to Sessions about running for his old seat, which he left to become attorney general for Trump. Sessions did not indicate to him whether he will run[…]

Additionally, President Trump advised Moore against running last month. Strictly for political reasons. After all, Trump supported Moore in 2017, in spite of the allegations he faced. And while he still has nothing against Moore, and is not bothered by the allegations (and c’mon, why would he be?), he nonetheless has made his position very clear:

Republicans cannot allow themselves to again lose the Senate seat in the Great State of Alabama. This time it will be for Six Years, not just Two. I have NOTHING against Roy Moore, and unlike many other Republican leaders, wanted him to win. But he didn’t, and probably won’t…..

…If Alabama does not elect a Republican to the Senate in 2020, many of the incredible gains that we have made during my Presidency may be lost, including our Pro-Life victories. Roy Moore cannot win, and the consequences will be devastating….Judges and Supreme Court Justices!

While it seems likely that Moore wouldn’t win, if he did, what freshman lawmaker in an iffy state facing re-election would want to be associated with a party that has someone like Moore in office? Talk about handing red meat to the Democrats.

More concerns about Moore:

Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.) and former Auburn Coach Tommy Tuberville are already in the race, and Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.) is considering it. But that crowded field could easily play to Moore’s advantage given his past popularity with the state’s most conservative voters. What’s more, Moore also could conceivably win a general election with Trump atop the ticket, a nightmare for the Senate GOP that would then have to deal with a bomb-thrower in the caucus.

FiveThirtyEight provides an insightful analysis on the problem of Moore, and yet, we are reminded that he could make it through when you consider this:

…Moore does have a path — especially a path to a primary runoff if there’s a crowded GOP field. And if he does get there, he would be only one step away from a rematch with [Doug] Jones. National Republicans may have an “Anyone But Moore” attitude, and GOP groups would undoubtedly pound Moore with negative ads, but remember that a Trump endorsement of Strange couldn’t stop Moore in 2017. So it’s not impossible that Moore does end up winning his party’s nomination.

Trump said “the consequences will be devastating” to his agenda if that happens. And that might be true — Moore would probably improve Jones’s chances of winning reelection. (Jones even egged on Moore to run again.) But even as damaged as he is, Moore would still have a decent chance of winning a general election in conservative Alabama, and that is surely a big part of why he’s running again.

When Moore was asked how this would be different than the 2017 bid for Senate, Moore, without a hint of self-awareness, responded, “I would like to make more personal contact with people.”

To which Donald Trump Jr., without a hint of self-awareness, responded,

“This can’t be real… can it? Based on the allegations I’d stay away from that but hey I’m new to this.

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He also pushed back on Moore’s claim that he wasn’t “going against” the President with his decision to run:

This is pure fake news. I can assure everyone that by running, Roy Moore is going against my father and he’s doing a disservice to all conservatives across the country in the process.”

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

Philadelphia: 72 Police Officers Off Active Duty For Offensive Social Media Posts

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:49 am



[guest post by Dana]

Taking priority in the city of Brotherly Love and a city which has seen 153 victims of homicide so far this year (up 9% from one year ago):

The number of Philly police officers taken off the streets and placed on administrative duty for making racist and offensive posts on Facebook has increased to 72, the department announced Wednesday.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said that of the 72 removed during the department’s initial investigation, discipline will range from a few days suspension “in many cases” and up to termination from the police force.

“Internal affairs has already begun to investigate each of these officers identified,” Ross said during a press conference.

“We recognize that because of the acts of a few … that in many ways, we understand how this can tarnish or did tarnish our reputation. But we will work tirelessly to repair that reputation, to improve police community relations, as we are equally disgusted by many of the posts that you saw and the rest of the nation saw,” he added.

The removal of the officers is described as “the largest removal of officers from the street in recent memory.”

Further:

The department has hired the private law firm Ballard Spahr to sift through the 3,100 posts identified as containing offensive messages. The firm will help determine whether the post was protected under the First Amendment, Ross said.

Additionally, anti-bias and anti-racist training will be conducted across the department, and officers will be reminded of what constitutes appropriate behavior on social media, according to Ross. Officials will also launch periodic audits of police officers’ social media accounts.

The department’s social media policy prohibits profanity, discriminatory language or personal insults.

Philadelphia currently has approximately 6,500 police officers. The 72 officers represent about 1.11% of officers.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

6/19/2019

Follow-up: Ocasio Cortez Says “I Will Never Apologize” For Concentration Camp Remarks

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:58 pm



[guest post by Dana]

After Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez compared ICE detention facilities with Nazi-era concentration camps, saying that “the U.S. is running concentration camps on our southern border, and that is exactly what they are,” there were immediate calls for the freshman lawmaker to apologize. However, no such calls have come from Democratic leadership. To the contrary, Nancy Pelosi essentially brushed it off.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said:

She does not understand what is going on at the border at the same time. But there is no comparison … and to actually say that is embarrassing. To take somewhere in history where millions of Jews died … and equate that to somewhere that’s happening on the border … she owes this nation an apology.

The Jewish Communities Relations Council wrote:

“We are deeply disturbed by the language used in your recent Instagram live video which seeks to equate the detention centers on America’s southern border with Nazi-era Concentration Camps,” the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York wrote in a letter. “The terms ‘Concentration Camp’ and ‘Never Again’ are synonymous with and evocative of the atrocities committed by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany, in which 6 million European Jews were systematically denied civil and human rights due to their race and ultimately murdered in a state-sponsored genocide.”

CNN commentator John Avlon said her comments were “unacceptable” and called for her to apologize as well:

“Holocaust metaphors are beyond problematic,” he argued.

“And it’s clear,” he continued, “because she said ‘never again means something,’ that she was referring to it [the Holocaust]. She said later that she meant to make the comparison to internment camps. Look, internment camps are horrific, the key difference being millions of people systematically murdered by a state,” the journalist said.

“When we start to rationalize and put it in context, we’re [did she says this or ‘we’] say words don’t matter anymore in politics,” Avlon went on. “We’ve become numb to it. This is across the line. It’s not that hard to apologize. She should do it. It’s unacceptable.”

In spite of calls for her to apologize, Ocasio-Cortez dug in her heels, and responded with a firm “no”:

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DHS ripped 1000s of children from their parents & put them in cages w inhumane conditions.

They call their cells “dog pounds” & “freezers.”

I will never apologize for calling these camps what they are.

If that makes you uncomfortable, fight the camps – not the nomenclature.

Ocasio-Cortez knows that Pelosi is unlikely to pursue this any further, let alone demand she apologize. And that’s because she doesn’t have to: Remember how Pelosi jumped to Rep. Omar Ilhan’s defense after the freshman lawmaker used anti-Semitic tropes, saying “I don’t think our colleague is anti-Semitic. I think she has a different experience in the use of words, doesn’t understand that some of them are fraught with meaning, that she didn’t realize.”? Well, Pelosi was exampling a successful strategy for Democrats to employ when one of their colleagues really steps in it. Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas learned the lesson well:

Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, explained during a CNN interview Wednesday that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez compared the migrant detention centers to concentration camps because she has a different “usage” and “perception” of words.

“With all due respect to her, she has a different usage of words, maybe a different perception. I live at the border, I’ve been to those detention centers, I’ve been to those shelters, as you know. There are adults in detention centers, but if they’re children, they are put in shelters that are run by nonprofits,” Cuellar said.

That Pelosi is one clever fox. It’s a great strategy. It provides cover, and allows a Democrat to say well, anything.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

President Trump Kicks Off Re-Election Campaign: It’s All About The Numbers

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:50 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Last night President Trump officially launched his re-election campaign with a rally in Orlando, Florida and a near-capacity crowd in attendance. According to offcial turnstile counts provided by the city of Olando, the 19,792 spectators fell slightly shy of the 20,000 capacity for the Amway Center. President Trump claimed during the rally:

“You know if we have three or four empty seats, the fake news will say, ‘Hey, they didn’t fill it up,’” Trump said at the rally. “They said, maybe we shouldn’t go to Orlando, we should go someplace else. I said, no, go to Orlando. Not only did we fill it up, we had 120,000 requests.”

To note:

Anyone could have requested two tickets at the Trump campaign’s website before the event, with a text verification required. Seating in the arena was mostly first-come, first-serve.

While most of the sections were filled to capacity, several sections in the upper tier of the arena had empty seats as the time approached for Trump to start his speech. But there also was a standing-room-only section on the arena floor in front of the stage that was crowded with people.

About an hour before Trump began to speak at 8:14 p.m., the long lines snaking around the Amway Center were gone and people could easily walk into the event. Only a few dozen people watched on screens outside at the campaign’s “45 Fest.”

None of this is really a big deal, except to President Trump, who will argue crowd size any day of the week, and will no doubt be contesting the actual count at some later point in time.

On a side note, reports state that President Trump raised nearly a whopping $25 million in the first 24 hours of his reelection campaigning:

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From the report:

The $24.8 million sum is several magnitudes higher than the leading Democratic candidates seeking the chance to challenge Trump in 2020. Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign said in April it pulled in $6.3 million during the 24 hours after he announced his third White House run.

Remember that these numbers are coming from the campaign itself: All 24-hour fundraising numbers come directly from the campaigns themselves or party committees, rather than the Federal Elections Commission. Fundraising figures reported by the campaign will be publicly available by July 15 and will offer more detail, including amounts of money spent, and cash-on-hand totals.

And speaking of yuge numbers: Still no word from the White House when President Trump will pay off his MAGA rally debts :

A new investigation from NBC News and the Center for Public Integrity found the Trump campaign owes city governments across the country upwards of $800,000 for police and public safety costs from his events.

The largest invoice to date comes from El Paso, Texas, where the president held a campaign rally in February. Trump still owes the city $470,417 for the event, the invoice shows.

Some invoices date back to 2016, before Trump was elected president. His 2016 campaign skipped out on municipal public safety bills from Green Bay and Eau Claire, Wisconsin; Tucson, Arizona; Burlington, Vermont and Spokane, Washington, according to the report.

Another five cities, including El Paso; Mesa, Arizona; Billings, Montana; Erie, Pennsylvania; and Lebanon, Ohio, are owed a combined $629,015.88.

Huge numbers, indeed.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)
–Dana

House Judiciary Democrats Hold Hearing On Reparations

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:30 am



[guest post by Dana]

Today is Juneteenth, a day that is set aside to celebrate the official end of chattel slavery in the United States, and it is also the day chosen to hold a House Committee hearing on slavery reparations, including setting up a commission to determine what reparations would entail with regard to the descendants of slaves. Today’s proposal, H.R.40 is being sponsored by Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is backing the bill. Sen. Cory Booker, actor Danny Gover, and author Ta-Nehisi Coates, who is seen as having brought the issue of reparations back into the public conversation, are scheduled to testify in support of Lee’s measure.

Supporters of “reparatory justice” want people to know that they view this as more than just the government sending a check to black Americans:

Advocates emphasize that reparations would address more recent policies, and do not necessarily mean the government would be writing checks to black people… government could engage in…zero-interest loans for black prospective homeowners, free college tuition, community development plans to spur the growth of black-owned businesses in black neighborhoods — to address the social and economic fallout of slavery and racially discriminatory federal policies that have resulted in a huge wealth gap between whites and blacks in America. It would be up to the commission to explore such options and others.

From Cory Booker:

Booker…told the committee that America has not yet grappled with racism and white supremacy and that the hearing presents a “historic opportunity to break the silence, to speak to the ugly past and talking constructively about how we will move this nation forward.”

“It’s about time we find the common ground and the common purpose to deal with the ugly past and make sure that generations ahead do not have to continue to mark disparities,” Booker said on Wednesday.

Booker had previously told CNN’s Jake Tapper:

“Do I support legislation that is race-conscious about balancing the economic scales? Not only do I support it, but I have legislation that actually does it.”

Booker has authored his own companion bill:

It’s the only reparations bill to be introduced in the Senate after Reconstruction. Like Jackson-Lee’s bill, the senator’s bill would establish a commission to examine the impacts of slavery in the U.S. — from its inception until the end of the Civil War in 1865 — and recommend ways to compensate the descendants of slaves.

Co-sponsors of Booker’s bill include Democratic presidential candidates Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar. A spokesperson for Joe Biden commented that the candidate “believes that we should gather the data necessary to have an informed conversation about reparations, but he has not endorsed a specific bill.”

Recent polling about reparations puts hopeful Democratic candidates in an interesting position, especially the top-tier Democrats who are embracing the issue:

A Fox News poll in April found that 60 percent of Americans oppose paying cash reparations to descendants of slaves, while just 32 percent support it. A Rasmussen poll in the same month found that just 21 percent of likely voters think taxpayers should pay reparations to black Americans who can prove they are descended from slaves.

However, in a finding that could put 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls in a bind, the Fox poll found that among Democratic primary voters, 54 percent said they were likely to support a candidate who backed reparations, while 33 percent said they were not likely.

Additionally, Data For Progress found in a poll last year that while the measure had only 26 percent of Americans in favor, it had net positive support among voters under 45. A Point-Taken Marist poll in 2016 found that while 68 percent of Americans were opposed to reparations, 6 in 10 black Americans said they were in favor.

Additionally:

A recent government survey found that 52 percent of Americans — including growing percentages of whites, blacks, independents, Democrats and Republicans — believe the government does not spend enough money on improving the conditions of African-Americans, according to The Associated Press. But the survey found that just three in 10 Americans think the government is obligated to make up for past racial discrimination.

Postscript 1: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was asked his thoughts about reparations, and his comments made very clear his position on whether any reparations bill would be given a hearing:

I don’t think reparations for something that happened 150 years ago for whom none us currently living are responsible is a good idea. We’ve tried to deal with our original sin of slavery by fighting a civil war, by passing landmark civil rights legislation. We elected an African-American president.

I think we’re always a work in progress in this country, but no one currently alive was responsible for that, and I don’t think we should be trying to figure out how to compensate for it. First of all, it would be pretty hard to figure out who to compensate. We’ve had waves of immigrants come to the country and experience dramatic discrimination of one kind or another. So no, I don’t think reparations are a good idea.

Postscript 2: Unbelievably, (and ironically or expectedly, depending on your level of cynicism), only Elizabeth Warren has said specifically that American Indians should be part of any conversation about reparations.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

Puppy Dog Eyes

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 6:44 am



[Headline from DRJ]

Dogs may have evolved with ‘puppy dog eyes’ to communicate with humans, study finds:

If you’ve ever fallen for the old ‘puppy dog eyes’ trick, don’t feel bad. A new study has found dogs evolved new facial muscles specifically to tug at your heartstrings over the course of thousands of years of domestication.

Unlike wolves, dogs have a muscle responsible for raising the inner eyebrow “specifically for facial communication with humans,” according to research published in the peer-reviewed Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Monday.

I love puppy dogs and their puppy dog eyes.

— DRJ

6/18/2019

Today’s Outrage: Ocasio-Cortez Labels ICE Detention Centers “Concentration Camps”

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:24 pm



[guest post by Dana]

I guess it all depends on your definition of “concentration camps”and whether usage of the phrase “Never again” has a soberingly significant meaning:

“The United States is running concentration camps on our southern border, and that is exactly what they are. They are concentration camps,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

“I want to talk to the people that are concerned enough with humanity that ‘Never Again’ means something,” Ocasio-Cortez continued, referencing the slogan adopted after the Holocaust. “The fact that concentration camps are now an institutionalized practice in the home of the free is extraordinarily disturbing and we need to do something about it.”

“This is a crisis on if American will remain America … Or if we are losing to an authoritarian and fascist presidency,” Ocasio-Cortez said, referring to President Trump. “I don’t use those words lightly. I don’t use those words to just throw bombs. I use that word because that is what an administration that creates concentration camps is.”

The blowback to Ocasio-Cortez’s claim was swift:

”Please @AOC do us all a favor and spend just a few minutes learning some actual history. 6 million Jews were exterminated in the Holocaust​,” wrote Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming on Twitter. “You demean their memory and disgrace yourself with comments like this.​”

Rep. Lee Zeldin called for Ocasio-Cortez to “stop trying to draw these crayon parallels between POTUS & Hitler!”

“Try working WITH your colleagues on BOTH sides of the aisle to secure our border & fix this rather than desperately trying to promote mass hysteria w this disgusting & woefully false comparison,” the Long Island Republican said on Twitter.

Ocasio-Cortez shot back at Cheney:

”Hey Rep. Cheney, since you’re so eager to ‘educate me,’ I’m curious: What do YOU call building mass camps of people being detained without a trial?” the first-term lawmaker said. “How would you dress up DHS’s mass separation of thousands children at the border from their parents?”

Today, Ocasio-Cortez pointed to University of Virginia lecturer, Waitman Wade Beorn, to justify her use of “concentration camps”:

“Things can be concentration camps without being Dachau or Auschwitz. Concentration camps in general have always been designed – at the most basic level – to separate one group of people from another group,” the report quoted Waitman Wade Beorn as saying. “Usually, because the majority group, or the creators of the camp, deem the people they’re putting in it to be dangerous or undesirable in some way.”

This:

The Trump administration doesn’t call then concentration camps for the same reasons the Obama, Bush, and Clinton administrations didn’t — they’re not concentration camps. With thousands of people flooding across the border, the US and Mexico both have to set up facilities to house them while their status gets adjudicated. Their presence in those facilities are necessarily temporary and ends when their cases are finally decided, at which point they’re either admitted or sent out of the country.

The term “concentration camps” is more accurately used for facilities meant for ethnic-cleansing purposes rather than control of immigrants and refugees. This is not a situation in which citizens and residents of a country are being relocated en masse into detention facilities, as happened to the Japanese by FDR in World War II, where the term applies even with its historical baggage. It’s certainly not the situation created by actual fascists in the 1930s and 1940s to isolate, enslave, and then exterminate ethnic minorities within their own citizen populations, intended as a permanent policy. That ethnic cleansing from an existing population is precisely what the term “concentration” connotes, in fact. Regardless of whether a handful of historians use the term to engage in histrionics, the two situations aren’t equal, analogous, or even exist in any connectable context.

Anyway, I’m just glad to see that next week, our elected officials will have an opportunity to actually help ease the suffering in our “concentration camps”:

Trump administration officials have repeatedly urged Congress to provide more funding for the provision of shelter and medical care to the migrants, but the requests have gone largely unanswered due to partisan infighting over how much will be spent on enforcement verses humanitarian aid.

Majority leader Mitch McConnell announced Monday that he plans to hold a vote next week on legislation that would provide $4.5 billion in additional funding to address the situation at the border.

“I’m going to bring it up freestanding next week and see if they really aren’t interested in dealing with this mass of humanity that we have to take care of at the border,” McConnell said in an interview with Fox News. “What’s the objection? This is not about the wall but about the humanitarian crisis.”

Of course, there is no level of care or accommodation for detainees that would make the practice of detention acceptable to Ocasio-Cortez and her supporters.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

Re-Election Campaign Launches With President Trump Announcing “Millions Of Illegals” Will Be Removed

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:22 am



[guest post by Dana]

President Trump essentially launched his re-election campaign on Twitter yesterday by simultaneously announcing that “thousands of people” were already lined up in Orlando for his first campaign rally that will be held tonight and that “millions of illegals” would be removed from the U.S. Of course the number of estimated rally attendees is already the subject of debate, given his tendency to overestimate such things.

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Interspersed with his tweets about the campaign rally were the tweets announcing that ICE will begin the process of removing millions of illegal aliens from the U.S.:

Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States. They will be removed as fast as they come in. Mexico, using their strong immigration laws, is doing a very good job of stopping people…….

….long before they get to our Southern Border. Guatemala is getting ready to sign a Safe-Third Agreement. The only ones who won’t do anything are the Democrats in Congress. They must vote to get rid of the loopholes, and fix asylum! If so, Border Crisis will end quickly!

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The acting director of ICE explained why the deportation move was necessary:

Arguing that federal agencies are at a “breaking point” trying to handle migrant crossings, the country’s top immigration official Sunday in Louisville called for an increase in federal funding and pledged to focus on deporting families.

Mark Morgan, the acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said repeatedly that the thousands of people crossing the Southwestern border of the United States is a crisis, and that agencies such as ICE, Health and Human Services, and Border Patrol are overwhelmed.

Focusing on families in particular, Morgan called children effectively a “U.S. passport” for migrants and argued that no one should be exempt from enforcement.

“Our priorities will always remain the same: The safety and security of the neighborhoods throughout the entire country, to remove the top-priority criminal aliens,” Morgan said in a sit-down interview. “We can’t do that and ignore the rest of the demographics that are here in violation of federal law.”

Clearly, both things can be true at the same time: The number of people surging over the border is overwhelming the system, and President Trump knows how to generate excitement with his base. The announcement that millions will be deported not only serves as a rallying cry for his supporters at the launch of his campaign, but also conveniently serves as a distraction while followers continue to wait for Trump’s Wall to be built…

Anyway, that there is a crisis at the border has most recently been confirmed by Uvalde, Texas, Mayor Don McLaughlin, who is a Democrat, and expressed his frustration during an interview: “From my standpoint, I don’t even know why we have federal elected officials.”

While Uvalde sits 40-60 miles from the border, Mayor Mclaughlin went on to detail the negative impact that the surge of illegal aliens have had on his town and its residents:

Uvalde, Texas, is a small town of 17,000 inhabitants, and they are now overrun by illegal immigrants and an international cartel smuggling operation. Uvalde is 40-60 miles from the border, but it might as well be right at the border. “We are in no man’s land. The state is not doing anything; the federal government is not doing anything,” said the mayor, who is begging the politicians to get involved. “We are getting nothing. I’ve lived here all my life and have never seen anything like this. The people in the communities are getting scared. What is coming that we don’t see? Who knows? People up north and in D.C. have no clue what is going on here. They don’t realize that these people are not being screened for diseases. We’re fed up.”

Situated at the crossroads of major highways coming up from border towns in the Laredo and Del Rio border sectors, Uvalde has now become a dumping ground for migrants coming north. And they are not just coming from Central America. Del Rio has received hundreds of African migrants in recent weeks. Uvalde has a Border Patrol holding facility, and according to McLaughlin, whenever it is full, if the city doesn’t take charge, many immigrants are released in a Walmart parking lot. Mayor McLaughlin said his city must pick up the tab to have them bused to San Antonio. On Friday, local media reported how San Antonio has now received hundreds of African migrants.

Mayor McLaughlin also cited an increase in crime as dozens and dozens of illegals with criminal records are now arriving on freight trains. Border Patrol does not have enough manpower to respond to the crisis.

The Mayor also tore into Rep. William Hurd, Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, as Texas Governor Greg Abbott, and the state attorney general for their “lack of meaningful response” to the crisis in his town.

Additionally, El Paso Sector Border Patrol spokesman Ramiro Cordero, when questioned about the vast number of migrants being held at the foot of the northbound Paso del Norte international bridge in Downtown El Paso and detention center explained the Border Patrol’s frustration:

“If we’re apprehending over 1,000 a day, where do you put them?” he said. “The solution is not more agents or infrastructure or vehicles. You can build 10,000 tents but if people keep coming at the rate that they have, and the system is bottle-necked, there is nothing we can do about it.”

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

6/17/2019

Another Ridiculous Headline Previewing a Weak Analysis

Filed under: General — JVW @ 7:34 pm



[guest post by JVW]

Here is how some (yes, you guessed it) academic chose to commemorate in today’s Washington Post the 25th anniversary of O.J. Simpson’s wild ride down the 405 Freeway:

OJ Headline

At first I determined that the headline (which I saw on Twitter) was so dumb that I wouldn’t read the accompanying essay, but I remembered what I wrote about George Skelton last week with respect to opinion writers not writing their own headlines, so I decided to give it a go. I was not impressed with the argument of the author, a Media Studies Professor at Quinnipiac University named Phillip Lamarr Cunningham. Here is the gist of it, so that you don’t have to waste your time reading it yourself:

To suggest that Simpson overshadowed a decade’s worth of goodwill toward black athletes would be an overstatement. But Simpson, arguably a major source of this goodwill, certainly made clear the conditions white Americans put on their goodwill, even as the nation’s greatest black athletes continued to thrill and amaze.

Those crazy white folks: rescinding their approbation and respect just because you go and do a silly old thing like slaughter your ex-wife and her co-worker.

Prof. Cunningham’s thesis just gets more murky from there. He travels through the history of white America’s disapproval of “militant” black athletes such as Muhammad Ali, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jim Brown, Tommie Smith, and John Carlos, before contrasting them with former Heisman Trophy winner Simpson, the first NFL running back to run for 2,000 yards in a single regular season. He complains that Simpson’s commercial appeal “did not lift up other black athletes in the 1970s and early 1980s,” having apparently never heard of Magic Johnson, Julius Erving, Reggie Jackson, or Walter Payton, and being completely unaware of the famous Mean Joe Greene Coca-Cola commercial, which in my recollection played about 22 times per televised game for the next seven years.

Prof. Cunningham admits that by the end of the 1980s there were plenty of black athletes who served as effective pitch men to white America, naming Deion Sanders, Bo Jackson, and, of course, Michael Jordan. But he complains that these athletes, Jordan especially, had to avoid political topics in order to thrive:

It’s not clear whether Jordan really said “Republicans wear sneakers, too” as a rationale for not supporting Gantt. But we do know that Jordan, like Simpson, was disinclined to fight overt battles against racism.

Hard to believe that white America wasn’t keen on having multi-millionaire jocks recite the catechism of oppression that is formulated and promulgated by the leftist academia/media alliance so dominant in our modern culture. But nevermind that. Prof. Cunningham declares that the day O.J. became the prime suspect in the murder was a watershed for the black athlete:

The chase not only disrupted the NBA Finals — it also unsettled the comfort white Americans had developed for black athletes. For years, black athletes, and Simpson in particular, were held up as signs of the progress made toward bridging America’s racial divide. That night, however, he served as a stark reminder of how conditional that comfort was.

Again, killing two people in cold blood is sadly going to lower your Q rating. But I was around in 1994, and among the most popular athletes of that era, I recall the following: Charles Barkley, Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, Deion Sanders, Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith, Jerry Rice, Kirby Puckett, Tony Gwynn, Ken Griffey Jr., Michael Johnson, Lisa Leslie, Sheryl Swoopes, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and of course, the king of them all, Michael Jordan. By the end of the decade, the only challenge to Jordan’s throne would come from a young golfer named Tiger Woods. So much for the idea that the arrest of Simpson made businesses reluctant to use black athletes as spokespeople.

Prof. Cunningham’s summation is that “[t]he means by which Simpson won over America,” which he earlier described as presenting a friendly apolitical demeanor, “are antiquated, especially in an era in which black athletes such as Colin Kaepernick and LeBron James not only have embraced social justice but also have convinced their leagues and sponsors to do so as well (to an extent).” It’s telling that Prof. Cunningham lauds one player who hasn’t been on the field for three seasons due in part to what a large segment of the public believes is shallow grandstanding, and another player who has downscaled his commercial endorsements in order to concentrate on more traditional business interests.

But hey, as usual this is somehow the fault of white society and our failure to fully embrace the complexity of the black athlete. It’s as if social justice academics are just halfheartedly going through the motions these days.

– JVW

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