Patterico's Pontifications


Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:03 am

[guest post by Dana]

Good morning. Feel free to share anything here that you think will be of interest to readers. Please make sure to include links. Here are a few news items from the week to get you started.

First news item

Biden’s gamble:

President-elect Biden is planning to take a dramatic step aimed at increasing the amount of vaccine available to states.

His transition team says he’ll change a Trump administration policy that kept millions of doses in reserve, only to be shipped when it was time to administer people’s second doses.

Instead, the Biden administration plans to send most of the currently reserved doses out right away, allowing more people to get first doses. For people who’ve gotten initial shots, the Biden team is making a bet that new doses could be manufactured in time to keep booster shots on schedule.

Second news item

Nice to know:

Reports of a highly contagious new coronavirus variant in the United States, published on Friday by multiple news outlets, are based on speculative statements made by Dr. Deborah Birx and are inaccurate, according to several government officials.

The erroneous report originated at a recent meeting where Dr. Birx, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, presented graphs of the escalating cases in the country. She suggested to other members of the task force that a new, more transmissible variant originating in the United States might explain the surge, as another variant did in Britain.

Her hypothesis made it into a weekly report sent to state governors. “This fall/winter surge has been at nearly twice the rate of rise of cases as the spring and summer surges. This acceleration suggests there may be a USA variant that has evolved here, in addition to the UK variant that is already spreading in our communities and may be 50% more transmissible,” the report read. “Aggressive mitigation must be used to match a more aggressive virus.”

Dismayed, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tried to have the speculative statements removed but were unsuccessful, according to three people familiar with the events.

Third news item

Mob menace:

A Black woman in California said a group of nearly 40 pro-Trump demonstrators attacked her and called her the n-word following a rally in downtown Los Angeles.

Police said they are investigating the incident as a hate crime after speaking with the woman…

The woman, Berlinda, 25, said she was walking when she saw the large group on Wednesday, according to NBC Los Angeles, which noted that she asked that her last name not be used. Earlier in the day, a protest was held, with many demonstrators carrying “Stop the Steal” signs.

Berlinda said that several people in the group told her to take her face mask off. She told NBC Los Angeles that the crowd started following her after she flipped them off.

“A bunch of women and men started yelling, ‘take off your mask, don’t wear a mask,'” she said, telling the outlet that she asked one man in the group to leave her alone. “And that’s when the guy went and took his hand, clawed me in the face. And then just smacked my phone in my face.”

Berlinda said others shoved her and she was called a racial slur.

The assault was captured by photographer Raquel Natalicchio, 29. She told NBC News in an interview Thursday that she saw Berlinda walking by herself and heard the protesters heckling her and asking if she voted for President Donald Trump. It is unclear whether all those shown in Natalicchio’s photos were involved in the alleged assault.

Berlinda told them no and flipped them off and kept walking, Natalicchio said.

“They kept kind of heckling her for that, and then she told them to put on a mask,” Natalicchio said, noting that many people who attended the rally did not have a face mask on. “As soon as she told them to put a mask on, they swarmed her and circled her and started pushing her around amongst them, and trying to intimidate her.”

Natalicchio said one woman snatched Berlinda’s hair extensions out “and began assaulting her.” Berlinda tried to defend herself and several men started hitting her with metal flag poles, according to Natalicchio. The woman was also believed to be pepper-sprayed in the eyes.

One man came forward to help. He was captured in an image grabbing Berlinda from behind to pull her to safety.

Fourth news item

Part of the mob that Trump referred to as “very special”:

An unidentified man wearing a sweatshirt reading “Camp Auschwitz” was among the violent mob that entered the U.S. Capitol Wednesday after a series of rallies that involved antisemitic conspiracy theories.

The man was visible in video stills from inside the Capitol, including a report from ITV, a British television channel. He was wearing what appeared to be a hooded sweatshirt with “Camp Auschwitz” printed above an image of a skull and crossbones, with the phrase “work brings freedom” printed below.

The phrase is a translation of “arbeit macht frei,” a slogan that appeared above the entrance of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

And let’s not forget this “very special” individual proudly marching the Confederate flag through the Capitol building and the group chanting in unison “hang Mike Pence”. Very special people everywhere!

Fifth news item

May he rest in peace:

He was a veteran who later lamented America’s involvement in Iraq. He lived in suburban Virginia but hailed from a small town in New Jersey, the youngest of three brothers. And he was serving in his dream job as a police officer when he met his death this week in the chaos and violence that unfolded in the nation’s capital.

U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian D. Sicknick, 42, died Thursday from injuries he suffered during the pro-Trump riot that breached the U.S. Capitol. He had served overseas in the New Jersey Air National Guard in support of the war in Afghanistan, eventually attaining a lifelong goal of becoming a police officer.

Police have not confirmed the circumstances of Sicknick’s death but said he “was injured while physically engaging with protesters” Wednesday. He returned to his division office and collapsed, then was taken to a local hospital where he died around 9:30 p.m. Thursday. According to two law enforcement officials who spoke to the Associated Press, Sicknick was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher.

Sixth news item

Seven out of 10 is better than I thought it would be:

Fifty-seven percent of Americans want Republican President Donald Trump to be immediately removed from office after he encouraged a protest this week that escalated into a deadly riot inside the U.S. Capitol, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.

Most of them were Democrats, however, with Republicans apparently much more supportive of Trump serving out the final days of his term, which ends on Jan. 20.

The national public opinion survey, conducted Thursday and Friday, also showed that seven out of 10 of those who voted for Trump in November opposed the action of the hardcore supporters who broke into the Capitol while lawmakers were meeting to certify the election victory of Democrat Joe Biden.

Seventh news item

Pelosi digs in:

“This unhinged president could not be more dangerous,” Pelosi said of the current situation.

The Democrats are considering lightning-quick action. A draft of their Articles of Impeachment accuses Trump of abuse of power, saying he “willfully made statements that encouraged — and foreseeably resulted in — imminent lawless action at the Capitol,” according to a person familiar with the details who was granted anonymity to discuss them.

The articles are expected to be introduced on Monday, with a House vote as soon as Wednesday.

Eighth news item

Reaching the tipping point:

“Hospitals are declaring internal disasters and having to open church gyms to serve as hospital units,” [Los Angeles] County Supervisor Hilda Solis said. “Our health care workers are physically and mentally exhausted and sick.” Solis called the situation a “human disaster.”

Almost 7,900 people are hospitalized with Covid-19 in just Los Angeles County. And 21% of them are in intensive care units, officials said Tuesday. The number of hospital patients grew by more than 200 from Monday.

On Tuesday, another 224 deaths were announced, bringing the total in the county to more than 11,000.
Now, ambulance crews in LA County have been told not to take patients with little chance of survival to hospitals.

“This order that was issued by the county emergency medical services really is very specific to patients who suffered from a cardiac arrest and are unable to be revived in the field,” said Dr. Jeffrey Smith, chief operating officer of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

“Those patients have a very low rate of survival each if they are transported to the hospital. So at this time, it is deemed to likely be futile.”

In season or out, more of this, please:




Private Company Says “No More” To Trump and His Peeps

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:20 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Twitter rolled out the ban hammer today:

Twitter permanently suspended President Donald Trump’s account on Friday, citing “the risk of further incitement of violence.”

The president’s account was initially banned for 12 hours on Jan. 6 due to “severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy,” after he used the platform to tweet condemnation against Vice President Mike Pence as his supporters stormed the Capitol.

“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” the company said in a tweet…

“In the context of horrific events this week, we made it clear on Wednesday that additional violations of the Twitter Rules would potentially result in this very course of action,” Twitter said in a blog post. “Our public interest framework exists to enable the public to hear from elected officials and world leaders directly. It is built on a principle that the people have a right to hold power to account in the open.”

Trump wasn’t alone:

Twitter on Friday removed the accounts of Michael Flynn, Sidney Powell and other high-profile supporters of President Donald Trump who promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory.

The permanent bans are among the highest profile that the company has instituted as part of its efforts to crack down on misinformation and calls for violence.

Flynn and Powell both met with Trump at the White House in recent weeks as part of efforts to overturn the presidential election results. They are also high-profile figures in the QAnon community, and Flynn even took an “oath” to the conspiracy theory last year.

“The accounts have been suspended in line with our policy on Coordinated Harmful Activity,” a Twitter spokesperson told NBC News. “We’ve been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm, and given the renewed potential for violence surrounding this type of behavior in the coming days, we will permanently suspend accounts that are solely dedicated to sharing QAnon content.”

When a private company opts to cut ties with individuals because they have stoked the flames of hate, incited violence by their un-American behavior and harmed the Republic as a result, and, when they have violated the rules that the private company has established, they have not been canceled. Rather, they have received their just desserts as decided by the private company. And for the record, it is not an “authoritarian act,” nor a “dystopian decision,” and it’s certainly not a “disturbingly Orwellian move” either. A private company made this decision, not a totalitarian government, people.

Trump has also been blocked “indefinitely” from posting on Facebook and Instagram, per CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Along with Trump and his peeps getting the boot, Sen. Josh Hawley was informed by publishing house Simon & Schuster that his book will no longer be published by them:

Simon & Schuster announced Thursday that it would no longer publish a planned book by Sen. Josh Hawley, one of the Republican lawmakers who led objections to Congress certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

“After witnessing the disturbing, deadly insurrection that took place on Wednesday in Washington, D.C., Simon & Schuster has decided to cancel publication of Senator Josh Hawley’s forthcoming book,” the company said in a statement.

“We did not come to this decision lightly,” Simon & Schuster added. “As a publisher it will always be our mission to amplify a variety of voices and viewpoints: at the same time we take seriously our larger public responsibility as citizens, and cannot support Senator Hawley after his role in what became a dangerous threat to our democracy and freedom.”

Hawley, as you can imagine, was rather unhappy with the decision, and appeared unable to see how his abhorrent behavior was the reason for the decision:

As JVW snarked in an email yesterday: Serves him right for not publishing with Regnery, like any good conservative would.


Republican Lawmakers Wringing Their Hands: Gee, Maybe We Should Have Stood Up To Trump

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:17 am

[guest post by Dana]

Save it, you simpering fools who have become little more than oozing pustules on the ass of American politics. Your belated pangs of conscience mean absolutely nothing to me:

Republican senators say they feel a sense of growing regret over not standing up to President Trump sooner — a day after a violent mob ransacked the Capitol building in one of the darkest and most humiliating days in U.S. history.

One Republican senator who requested anonymity to discuss his conversations with GOP colleagues acknowledged GOP lawmakers should have served as a stronger check on the president over the past four years.

“We should have done more to push back, both against his rhetoric and some of the things he did legislatively,” said the lawmaker. “The mistake we made is that we always thought he was going to get better. We thought that once he got the nomination and then once he got a Cabinet, he was going to get better, he was going to be more presidential.”

Many Republicans are shell-shocked over the horrific scenes at the Capitol and seem to be trying to come to grips with their role in the disaster.

The GOP senator said he and his colleagues expected Trump would eventually accept the results of the election after courts ruled against his legal team’s challenges, which were resoundingly dismissed by Republican- and Democratic-appointed judges alike.

But Trump never did, and most Republicans — including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) — held back any sharp criticism.

This was largely because Republicans calculated they needed Trump to get out the vote in two runoff races to decide the Senate majority in Georgia.

How deluded were they if they believed that Trump would get better or become more presidential? Especially four years into the job. Why were they unable to see what I was able to see and what you were able to see, even as far back as his first campaign? Did they really believe he would “grow into the job” and thus America would be the better for his presidency? Well, maybe at first. But four years into it? No, of course not. I believe that the vast majority of the Republicans in Congress made a calculated decision to support the man with his hands on the levers of power rather than holding him accountable when they knew it was the right thing to do because by doing so, their self-interests and political futures were secured. That they chose not to hold Trump accountable, especially post-election, is inexcusable. He has always been the deluded, self-consumed narcissist we see today. But they chose to look the other way. Of course, they had more on the line and more risk involved in calling him out than did I, but that’s the job they signed up for. And they swore an allegiance to support and defend the Constitution, not the man who would be king.

What’s ironic too, is that these same Republicans are just now wringing their hands about the damage done to the Republican Party, both today and in the long-term:

But now there’s a sense among a growing number of GOP lawmakers that Trump may have inflicted long-term damage on their party, an anxiety heightened by the debacle of a pro-Trump mob storming and occupying the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday as Congress was meeting to finalize Biden’s election as the nation’s 46th president.

“There’s more concern about the long-term damage to the party than losing two Senate seats in Georgia,” the GOP senator said.

A second Republican senator who requested anonymity said Trump had inflicted serious damage on his party.

“Every time you think the president has done everything he could possibly do to fuck things up, then he comes out with a tweet, like the election was invalid and the one in Georgia would be invalid,” said the lawmaker, referring to Trump’s tweets Friday declaring the runoff elections to be “illegal and invalid.”

The feelings of remorse are only now being expressed privately after Republican senators spent much of the past four years dodging questions about Trump’s controversial tweets, statements and decisions.

America has seen the truth of this statement hit just a bit too close to home this week: all tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent. I’m sure there will be lots of naval-gazing done by those who were in a position to hold Trump accountable and call him out for his reprehensible and un-American behavior. But as they consider their own complicity during his tenure, it is incumbent on Americans to remember the names of the eight Republican senators and 139 representatives who continued to look the other way, even after an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.



Yes, What Happened Yesterday Is a Big Deal

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am

Opinions vary on the meaning of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol yesterday.There are those who see it as more minor. They point to the riots on the left this past summer (and beyond in many cities) and basically think that those were seen by Big Media and the radical left as legitimate, so what’s the big deal if a ragtag group of idiots breaks a few windows at the Capitol? They didn’t stop the certification and they were never going to, so while it’s bad, it’s not a catastrophe.

I disagree. I think it is a Very Big Deal.

For one thing, I worry about the long-term effect of the precedent set here — not just by the storming of the Capitol, but the entire effort to reverse the election results. My opinions on what ought to happen to the people involved are unpublishable, but it is a matter of record that I would support (at a minimum) the participants being tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail. Literally. I would also support their expulsion from Congress. I would also support their being denied committee memberships and chairs and the like. There’s actually very little I would not support being done to them, but now we’re getting into the unpublishable part again. (I’m glad that cooler heads are prevailing and that my wishes are not being carried out, because it would probably create martyrs and be counterproductive.)

Why am I so virulently opposed? Because this entire enterprise makes it that much less likely that we will ever have a completely peaceful transfer of power again. First of all, the immoral sentiment that “we get to do what the worst people on the other side have done, and in fact we get to escalate it!” is not unique to the right. If you don’t think evil demagogues on the left stand ready to exploit that sentiment, you haven’t been paying attention. And even if it is unique to the right, who the hell cares? We don’t want to say that this is how we do business going forward — that in literally every election going forward, all the loser has to do is refuse to concede, make shit up about what happened, and a mob of goons will scurry to validate the lies and use them as a justification to act violently.

We’re already seeing the precedent play out, in the absolutely disgraceful refusal of the Senate in Pennsylvania to swear in a duly elected state senator whose opponent’s challenges have all been rejected by the state’s highest court, and whose elected has been certified by the proper authorities there. We’re seeing it in the statement of the execrable David Perdue, who darkly suggests that his defeat might have been fraudulent. Donald Trump’s infantile butthurt over losing an election is immensely corrosive to our civic society, and will have ripple effects for God knows how long.

As for comparisons to the BLM riots, this was worse because it was an attack on our government, but I want to take a moment to make it very, very clear that I am second to nobody in my disgust for the constant rioting that has been taking place. I am in law enforcement. I believe in law and order and the rule of law. While I decried what Donald Trump did to peaceful protestors in Lafayette Square, I actually thought he was right in his criticisms of the Democrat mayors who simply let their cities burn. Few things are more destabilizing and frightening than watching civil society go to hell, and one of the acts that was the closest parallel to what we saw yesterday was the setting of a police station on fire in Minneapolis. That is a direct assault on the people who protect our society, and that kind of thing cannot be tolerated. Anybody who tries to ding me for being upset about yesterday, and tries to mount some kind of personal attack on me premised on the notion that I minimized the riots — simply because they were not an actual attack on the pillar of our federal government — is persona non grata here. It’s obvious that an actual insurrection is worse, but that in no way minimizes what BLM has done to our country, and indeed I think our 2020 election results, to the extent that they were favorable to the GOP, were a backlash to exactly the sort of “defund the police” mindset that I have consistently opposed and decried. If you suggest that I am anything less than foursquare opposed to that sort of mindset or to riots, you are wrong and you are offensively wrong, and you owe me an apology. I take that sort of thing very personally.

So why do I say yesterday was worse, though? Look at what is happening across the world today. Dictators in Venezuela and Turkey are reveling in our dysfunction. Erdogan is offering to send aid to help us — as he laughs and laughs and laughs. There were people roaming our streets demanding loyalty oaths to Trump, and roaming our Capitol shouting “where is Pence?” — people who might have killed Pence had they found him. Watch some of the footage to see what it was like. People who murder journalists and dissidents have scored the greatest propaganda victory of my lifetime. This is a Big F*cking Deal.

Meanwhile, I saw a bunch of lovely speeches on TV yesterday from Senators like Rand Paul and Marco Rubio saying that Congress simply can’t do what the Trumpers want, and that they have been misled. Would that they have told that to the people before yesterday.

I’d like to think yesterday was a turning point. Kelly Loeffler and others (not all) withdrew their objections as if they had finally recognized that this is Not a Game. People are resigning from the Trump administration (a tiny, tiny bit) early. Trump has opened an account on Parler — a fringe figure retreating to a fringe platform.

My optimism is probably ill-founded. The “what did you expect?” takes from the Tough Crowd are already being published and garnering those all-important clicks, to the point where, on fringe sites like the one I used to work for, it’s now apostasy to suggest that maybe yesterday should not be justified. (But the apostasy is being published by the courageous and ought to be recognized. Well done, Joe.)

But for today, I’ll remain content in my fantasy that this has destroyed the political careers of Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, and anyone else who instigated this rebellion.


Banana Republicans Storm U.S. Capitol

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:08 pm

Can we call it sedition yet?

I have been condemning the attempted coup by Donald Trump and his lackeys Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, and the rest of the coup caucus in the strongest possible terms, precisely because I was worried about the violence that might ensue when our top lawmakers try to cast aside election results.

And guess who fomented it?

Again, I call on lawmakers to impeach Trump immediately, remove him from office, and bar him permanently from ever holding elective office again. Maybe members of Congress who have had their building breached by thugs will have a different perspective after today.

I am repeating myself here, but I also continue to believe that nobody involved in this attack on our democracy should ever hold elective office again.

I want the new A.G. Merrick Garland to aggressively prosecute the rioters who breached the Capitol with sedition.

If you supported this challenge, you are dead to me. Never speak to me again. Get off my site and never come back.

UPDATE: I see Dana did a post on this as well. I’m leaving this up but closing comments. Comment on her post.

Chaos At The Capitol

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:07 pm

[guest post by Dana]

So this is happening now:

Supporters of President Donald Trump have breached the US Capitol as lawmakers count the Electoral College votes certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s win.

Shortly after 1 p.m. ET hundreds of pro-Trump protesters pushed through barriers set up along the perimeter of the Capitol, where they tussled with officers in full riot gear, some calling the officers “traitors” for doing their jobs. About 90 minutes later, police said demonstrators got into the building and the doors to the House and Senate were being locked. Shortly after, the House floor was evacuated by police.

Vice President Mike Pence was also evacuated from Capitol, where he was to perform his role in the counting of electoral votes.

Video from inside the Capitol showed Trump supporters marching through Statuary Hall. The US Capitol Police is asking for additional law enforcement for assistance, including federal authorities, per a source familiar.

The desperate effort to justify the rush on the Capitol:

On top of everything else he has done to overturn an election, this is how Trump reacted to Vice President Mike Pence doing the right and lawful thing when he refused Trump’s demand that he try to block confirmation by Congress of Joe Biden’s election win:

The President of the United States initiated and authored this debacle, threw fuel on the fire, and is now watching the end result of his handiwork – without an ounce of regret or remorse. And his loyal superfans have faithfully answered his call for chaos. This is what he wanted all along. What a terrible day for our country.

P.S. Here’s how bad things have gotten:

Trump owns this. All of it. And he needs to be held accountable.

UPDATE: Trump released this statement. It is about what you would expect: He identifies with the protesters, sympathizes with and understands their frustration and anger at the election being stolen, and then he implores them to go home while he tries to overturn an election and attempt a coup:


When Will Republicans Figure Out What They Have Done to Themselves?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am

Last night, Democrats retook the Senate, and it’s crystal clear why: because Donald Trump and his superfans pushed the notion that the presidential election in Georgia had been rigged. As many of us predicted, this depressed Republican turnout — which was high, but nowhere near as high as that of the Democrats.

Donald Trump owns this defeat.

If Trump had simply accepted his loss, there would be no grandstanding by Hawley and Cruz. There would have been no rallies with Lin Wood telling a huge crowd of Trumpers to stay home from this election. It is as certain as anything in politics that Trump caused the GOP to lose the Senate.

From what I am seeing from Trump superfans this morning, they refuse to acknowledge this. Well of course they do! What is Trumpism about, if not denying reality? For five years, this guy has made the stupidest pronouncements possible — that Obama had tapped his phones; that COVID would just disappear; that this election was stolen from him — and a machine of disinformation has kicked into gear to try to find evidence to back up whatever stupid thing Trump said. Why should the disinformation stop now?

And the culmination of all of it was last night. Trumpers stay home in Georgia, while Trumpers in D.C. fought in the streets with police:

And meanwhile, Donald Trump handed the Majority Leader title to Chuck Schumer. And today, we will see more of the same, with the clownish spectacle of Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz and the rest of the coup caucus standing to degrade democracy while they faux-piously and very insincerely claim they are trying to save it. Jonathan Rauch put it well in a piece for Persuasion:

For four years, President Trump has made Russian-style “firehose of falsehood” disinformation tactics a staple of his governance. After the election, he and his allies have taken those tactics to a new level, deploying lies and lawsuits to convince tens of millions of Americans, and half of all Republicans, that the election was rigged. Having turned courts into propaganda channels, they will do the same to Congress on Wednesday, using the final stage of the presidential-selection process—the heart of America’s constitutional order—as a disinformation platform.

Meanwhile, we have two competing narratives as to what Mike Pence thinks his role is. First, we have that of the Fake News; namely, Maggie Haberman at the New York Times:

Vice President Mike Pence told President Trump on Tuesday that he did not believe he had the power to block congressional certification of Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory in the presidential election despite Mr. Trump’s baseless insistence that he did, people briefed on the conversation said.

. . . .

Even as he sought to make clear that he does not have the power Mr. Trump seems to think he has, Mr. Pence also indicated to the president that he would keep studying the issue up until the final hours before the joint session of Congress begins at 1 p.m. Wednesday, according to the people briefed on their conversation.

One option being considered, according to a person close to Mr. Trump, was having Mr. Pence acknowledge the president’s claims about election fraud in some form during one or more of the Senate debates about the results from particular states before the certification. Mr. Pence will preside over those debates.

Then we have the exact opposite from Donald J. Trump:

This is the rare instance where we get to immediately find out who’s telling the truth: the Fake News or Donald Trump? When Pence delivers his horseshit speech about election fraud, but does nothing about it because he can’t, you think he is going to explain that he has no power to do anything? I sure do.

Well, Trumpers? It’s Fake News vs. Donald Trump, and the answer comes today. Who wants to put any money on it?

Nobody will take me up on it, because deep down, you know I’m right. You don’t want to admit Trump cost you guys the Senate, but he did. You don’t want to admit that he actually lost the election, but he did. You don’t want to admit that the New York Times is right and that Trump is lying about what Pence believes his powers to be, but deep down you know it’s true, and by the end of today the facts will have proved your gut-level suspicions to be right.

It’s not too late to reject Soviet-style disinformation. But it’s gonna take you time. A lot of time.


Breaking News: No Charges to be Filed in Jacob Blake Shooting

Filed under: General — JVW @ 2:29 pm

[guest post by JVW]

To the surprise of nobody not completely cowed by the Black Lives Matter movement, the District Attorney for Kenosha County has announced that no charges will be filed against Officer Rusten Sheskey who shot Jacob Blake this past August.

So do the street riots resume, or are they now passé in the age of Joe Biden? Speaking of the soon-to-be President, does he dare demand a federal civil rights investigation into the matter of the shooting? Can he afford not to?

Can we at least cancel a couple days worth of NBA games?


Georgia Runoff: Open Thread

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am

Your thoughts below. It should be interesting to see if GOP turnout is depressed, energized, or unaffected by the accusations of fraud and insane attempts to change the presidential election results there.

UPDATE: As I go to bed, it’s looking very much like the Democrats have retaken the Senate thanks to low Republican turnout — almost certainly a function of a certain segment of Republican voters believing Baby Trump’s whining about rigged elections, and staying home.

Reap the whirlwind, motherscratchers.

Will this be the thing that finally causes Republicans to abandon Trump? He asked, knowing the answer is no.


Kamala Harris and Her Clintonian Penchant for Self-Aggrandizing Stories

Filed under: General — JVW @ 5:32 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Becket Adams of the DC Examiner passes along an item catching Vice-President Kamala Harris in a whopper of a tale. The story is explained at the Twitter link above, but if you don’t want to click over to that site, here is the gist of it:

Back in October, Elle magazine published a Yaasss Queeeeen feminist ode to the marvelousness of Senator (and at the time VP nominee) Kamala Harris. It included this gem of an anecdote in the piece’s opening:

Senator Kamala Harris started her life’s work young. She laughs from her gut, the way you would with family, as she remembers being wheeled through an Oakland, California, civil rights march in a stroller with no straps with her parents and her uncle. At some point, she fell from the stroller (few safety regulations existed for children’s equipment back then), and the adults, caught up in the rapture of protest, just kept on marching. By the time they noticed little Kamala was gone and doubled back, she was understandably upset. “My mother tells the story about how I’m fussing,” Harris says, “and she’s like, ‘Baby, what do you want? What do you need?’ And I just looked at her and I said, ‘Fweedom.’”

How sweet! How precocious! How perfectly appropriate for a paragon of social justice!

How stupid do they think we are?

Left-leaning Canadian writer Andray Domaise retweeted a fellow who found an interesting passage in Alex Haley’s interview with Martin Luther King, Jr., as published in the January 1965 issue of Playboy. Here is Rev. King’s anecdote, found on page 78 of that issue:

King passage

Well what do you know: the little girl in Oakland somehow channeled the exact sentiment, cute pronunciation and all, of the little girl in Birmingham, spoken before the future Vice-President was even born. I suppose it’s possible that her mother, Dr. Shyamala Gopalan, could have been the one who appropriated this story — itself perhaps a bit fanciful — on behalf of her daughter, but somehow I imagine Kamala Harris hearing of the story as related by MLK and deciding to cast herself in the starring role of the woke little tyke.

In any case, be prepared for more of this kind of nonsense as the new VP inches closer to the ultimate prize. Like Hillary Clinton with her serial fabrications, the lure of the “Isn’t that amazing!” yarn will be too much for her to ignore. I recommend that nobody switch off or even turn down your bullstuff detector, just because a big-time blowhard is departing 1600 Pennsylvania. Rest assured, he’s making way for two others.


UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Thanks to JVW for writing this post so I don’t have to. What a soulless power-hungry wraith she is. If there’s any good news, it’s that Kamala Harris is a terrible campaigner. If she runs in 2024, which is not impossible, that will hobble her — as will the fact that whatever cretin she faces will at least be marginally less repulsive than Trump. Unless it’s Trump.

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