Patterico's Pontifications

6/18/2017

Happy Father’s Day!

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:59 pm

[guest post by Dana]

To all the dads here, a most happy day in honor of you! What a uniquely important role you fill in the lives of your children. And whether those children are small or grown, a dad is always just that. You are invaluable, and always will be as you do your best to steer your kids down the right path, example to them how to take the high road in life, work diligently to train them up in the way they should go, and love them like no other can. You are their safety net until you pass on from this life. Even if that’s when they themselves are middle-aged adults.

And a shout-out to my own dad, who never met a dirt road that didn’t call him to go around the next bend, who not only tried very hard to teach me what an oscilloscope actually does but also taught me to spell it correctly, who taught me how to scuba dive, how to use a sextant (which I still don’t understand), who showed me how to make sukiyaki, who introduced me to the wonders of The Leatherstocking Tales by James Fenimore Cooper, who demonstrated the patience of Job as he tutored me in Mathematics, who always made sure his family had a roof over our head, food on the table, and a warm bed to sleep in, and who instilled in me a work ethic that has never wavered, and reassured me that, at a certain point in life, we all find ourselves struggling in the middle of a dark tunnel, but to be of courage and faith because God will be with us in the middle of that darkness and will be the spark of light to follow and hold onto as we make our way out together. While in no way resembling a traditional “father,” mine is instead a force to simultaneously be reckoned with, hidden from, clung to, and everything in between. In other words, he’s mine, and for that I am eternally grateful.

–Dana

President Trump’s Attorney: “Let Me Be Clear, The President Is Not Under Investigation”

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:19 am

[guest post by Dana]

And yet, President Trump just tweeted this on Friday:

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This morning, President Trump’s attorney Jay Sekulow made a stop on the Sunday talk shows. On each show he contradicted President Trump’s claim of being under investigation. According to Sekulow, the President’s tweet was a response to an anonymously sourced report in the Washington Post, which claimed that the President is under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller. But if this report is what what Trump was responding to, then why wouldn’t he deny that he was under investigation, rather than confirm the claim? Why would he validate the “lying media” and an anonymously sourced report? After all, President Trump told us that by using social media, he can go around the fake media. And yet, here he is confirming an anonymously sourced report in the “fake media”.

Here is his exchange with Jake Tapper:

“So the president said ‘I am under investigation’ even though he isn’t under investigation?” Tapper asked.

“That response on social media was in response to the Washington Post piece,” Sekulow responded. “It’s that simple. The president is not under investigation.”

“Well, I wish it were that simple but with all due respect, the president said ‘I am being investigated’ in a tweet, and people take his word on that,” Tapper pushed back.

After Sekulow insisted that the tweet was really an attempt to call out the Post for putting out a “fake report, the CNN host shot back that it didn’t appear to do that at all, and in fact, made it appear that Trump was confirming the story.

“But it is confusing because the president said ‘I am being investigated’ and you’re saying that the Washington Post report is wrong, but no one did more to confirm the Washington Post report than the president,” Tapper noted. “I mean, CNN had not confirmed the Washington Post report but then President Trump came out and said, ‘I am being investigated.’”

Trump’s attorney replied by pointing out how big Trump’s social media reach is and that the “simple explanation” is that the president was responding to a story based on anonymous sourcing.

Here is Chuck Todd’s interview with Sekulow on Meet the Press:

Here is John Dickerson’s interview with Sekulow on Face the Nation:

(Question: In this interview, when Sekulow claims that the President is not under investigation, host John Dickerson follows up by asking Sekulow how he knows that. Sekulow responds: “There have been no notifications from the special counsel’s office that the President is under investigation. In fact, to the contrary.” Is there a legal obligation for the President to be officially notified if he were under investigation?)

But Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday may have had the most head-scratching interaction of all:

All of this is a bit confusing – which may actually be the intent. But at the very, very least, it is yet another indicator that Trump needs to stop tweeting if he does not want to continue to undermine his own presidency. He is by far his own worst enemy. And he just keeps on proving it.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

6/17/2017

Two Female Experts On Islam Dismissed By Female Democrat Senators

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:18 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Prior to their testifying before a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee hearing called “Ideology and Terror: Understanding the Tools, Tactics, and Techniques of Violent Extremism,” New Republic writer Sarah Jones labeled scheduled witnesses Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Asra Nomani as “two of the worst possible “experts” on Islam”. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institute, is a former Muslim, who was born in Somalia and endured female genital mutilation as a little girl (a point conveniently ignored by Jones), and is an acclaimed feminist, author and activist who heads up the AHA Foundation, which works to end FGM and honor violence against women in the West. Asra Nomani is a Muslim immigrant who came to the U.S. from India as a child. She is a former professor at Georgetown, a journalist, and one of the founders of the Muslim Reform Movement. Nomani is known for boldly standing up for women’s rights in her mosque where she opined that women be allowed to pray in the segregated male-only hall. While her work as a reformer has been met with expected criticism, it was her Washington Post op-ed, published right after the presidential election, that caused a stir. In her op-ed, Nomani explained why she voted for Donald Trump, citing her concern and opposition to President Obama’s stand on Islam, “As a liberal Muslim who has experienced, first-hand, Islamic extremism in this world, I have been opposed to the decision by President Obama and the Democratic Party to tap dance around the ‘Islam’ in Islamic State”. She believed that a Clinton presidency would be no different.

Thus, with a complete lack of self-awareness, Jones, who amusingly relies on the Southern Poverty Law Center to support her attack on the women, offered her “professional” estimation of these two “non-experts”:

Hirsi Ali and Nomani aren’t reliable witnesses, and their extreme views ought to disqualify them from any platform dependent on expertise. On Wednesday, they’ll simply tell Senate Republicans exactly what they want to hear about Islam. It won’t be factual, but for Republicans, it won’t matter.

At the hearing last week, both Nomani and Hirsi Ali testified as planned, and yet they were virtually dismissed by four female Democratic senators:

On Wednesday, Democratic senators appeared to ignore Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Asra Nomani after they gave brief testimonies on the ideology of Islamism at a U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing, sparking a social media outcry.

It was the first time a Senate hearing was devoted to discussing the ideas motivating both violent and nonviolent Islamist movements around the world, but, through a strategy of deflection and demonization, the Democratic senators — mostly women — ignored the scholarly and lived expertise of Hirsi Ali and Nomani.

Tensions were high even before the hearing began. A Muslim man wearing a prayer cap attempted to disrupt the event by yelling at Hirsi Ali, an ex-Muslim and Somali-born human rights activist, a witness who was in the room said.

The contentious atmosphere carried on to the committee members themselves as Democratic committee leader, Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, expressed her disagreement with the premise of the hearing, called by Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.

“Anyone who twists or distorts religion to a place of evil is an exception to the rule,” she said. “We should not focus on religion.” McCaskill proceeded to lecture the panelists on “freedom of religion” in the United States.

“No evil should ever be allowed to distort these premises,” she continued. “I’m worried, honestly, that this hearing will underline that.”

Hirsi Ali responded to the attack:

“We haven’t paid as much attention to those people who get into the hearts and minds of vulnerable people and turn them toward the idea that it’s OK to run your car over people, to kill homosexuals, to kill apostates,” Hirsi Ali said. “I came and accepted [Ron Johnson’s] invitation to only talk about that group, not to vilify or stigmatize those Muslims who accentuate their spirituality.”

Sen. Johnson also addressed the issue by noting that the two experts had been “careful to distinguish between Muslims who practice their faith peacefully as opposed to political Islamists”.

It’s telling that four female Democratic senators, all of whom publicly proclaim their ardent support of women’s rights, demonstrated that their support is limited to only a certain kind of women. Senators Maggie Hassan (NH), Claire McCaskill (MO), Heidi Heitkamp (ND) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) were not terribly interested in what two female experts had to say or the unique first-hand perspectives they provided. Female senators, one assumes, that, along with New Republic’s Sarah Jones, still retain fully intact genitalia. Ironically, these same senators instead turned to the two male witnesses that were also testifying at the hearing. It’s humorous to see a group of staunch feminists ignore two fellow feminists in favor of the men in the room…

Video of the hearing here. It is well worth watching in full (but it’s long).

Note: One of the senators involved in the dismissal of the two experts, Kamala Harris, recently found herself admonished for her rudeness when she continued to interrupt male colleagues as they attempted to answer questions on the Senate floor. Sensing an opportunity to push the left’s weary accusation of sexism, Harris, unabashedly playing the victim, began a fundraising campaign:

Untitled

These slogans help women take back power over the very scenarios that seek to disenfranchise them. When women are reminded their place in society through reprimands and dis-empowering statements, the very re-appropriation of these statements helps women reshape the narrative.

Unexplained by Harris, however, is why two courageous feminists who have demonstrated both courtesy and unquestionable and unflagging courage in their fight for the protections and advancement of women everywhere, were virtually ignored by Harris and her fellow Democrats. At the very least, why didn’t the senators show their rousing support for fellow-women persisting in some very risky trenches, let alone taking advantage of the opportunity to draw from their wealth of knowledge and experience? But I think we all know the answer to this.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

6/14/2017

Trump.

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:41 pm

Trump.

Now under investigation! If anonymous sources are to believed! Which they aren’t!

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

New York Times: All the Blatant Lies That Are Fit to Print

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:39 pm

Outrageous dishonesty.

Not all the details are known yet about what happened in Virginia, but a sickeningly familiar pattern is emerging in the assault: The sniper, James Hodgkinson, who was killed by Capitol Police officers, was surely deranged, and his derangement had found its fuel in politics. Mr. Hodgkinson was a Bernie Sanders supporter and campaign volunteer virulently opposed to President Trump. He posted many anti-Trump messages on social media, including one in March that said “Time to Destroy Trump & Co.”

Was this attack evidence of how vicious American politics has become? Probably. In 2011, when Jared Lee Loughner opened fire in a supermarket parking lot, grievously wounding Representative Gabby Giffords and killing six people, including a 9-year-old girl, the link to political incitement was clear. Before the shooting, Sarah Palin’s political action committee circulated a map of targeted electoral districts that put Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs.

Conservatives and right-wing media were quick on Wednesday to demand forceful condemnation of hate speech and crimes by anti-Trump liberals. They’re right. Though there’s no sign of incitement as direct as in the Giffords attack, liberals should of course hold themselves to the same standard of decency that they ask of the right.

By now, every sentinent being on the planet knows Loughner was not motivated by Palin or anyone on the right. No matter. These nameless, faceless ghouls continue to lie with impunity, because nobody bears responsibility for their anonymously penned crock of utter horseshit.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

Hospital Issues Update on Scalise’s Condition

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:35 pm

It’s pretty grim but let’s remain hopeful.

Congressman Steve Scalise sustained a single rifle shot to the left hip. The bullet travelled across his pelvis, fracturing bones, injuring internal organs, and causing severe bleeding. He was transported in shock to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, a Level I Trauma Center. He underwent immediate surgery, and an additional procedure to stop bleeding. He has received multiple units of blood transfusion. His condition is critical, and he will require additional operations. We will provide periodic updates.

It was an attempted assassination, and Rep. Scalise faces a tough road ahead. Best to him and his family.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

BREAKING NEWS: House Majority Whip Shot by Gunman Who Opened Fire at GOP Baseball Practice

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:14 am

Awful.

Here is a Fox News report:

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot in the hip and at least one other aide was also hit in the chest by a gunman with a rifle who opened fire at a baseball practice in Virginia Wednesday morning, Fox News confirmed.

Police tweeted they “believed” the gunman was in custody. Sen. Mike Lee told Fox News, however, the gunman was dead. He said a staffer used a belt as a tourniquet to stop Scalise’s bleeding.

As with any breaking news story, be very, very careful about jumping to conclusions.

UPDATE: Steve Scalise on a stretcher:

UPDATE: Just before the shooting, a guy walked up to Jeff Duncan and Ron DeSantis and asked if it was Democrats or Republicans who were practicing.

UPDATE: Latest reports are that the shooter is in custody (presumably meaning not dead) and that the injuries to the victims are not life-threatening.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

6/13/2017

Sessions, Trump, and Executive Privilege

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:21 pm

Your thoughts here, since my post on the Ninth Circuit decision is getting overrun with comments on this topic.

6/12/2017

Ninth Circuit Agrees with Patterico

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:03 pm

The Ninth Circuit has shot down Trump’s latest executive order on immigration. You can read the opinion here.

One fascinating aspect of the opinion is that it directly addresses a topic I have discussed at this blog at length: the non-discrimination ban of 8 U.S.C. section 1152(a) and its interplay with 8 U.S.C. section 1182(f). Consistent readers may recall that I got into an exchange with NRO’s Andrew McCarthy about this issue, and I still believe I got the better of him in the exchange. Trump’s supporters uniformly cited section 1182(f) and mocked my argument that section 1152(a) superseded it. Today, the Ninth Circuit agrees with my analysis — um, not a phrase that would normally cause me to feel much pride, by the way.

(Frankly, it’s a policy result I don’t like, and I’m sure the Ninth Circuit opinion will be derided as the work of leftist goons. However, I believe their analysis here is correct.)

The interested reader might look at the analysis on pages 48-56 of today’s opinion and compare it with my analysis, in this post and the links cited therein. I am short on time but here is one fun comparison. This is me from February 2:

But section 1182(f) can’t be an exception to section 1152(a) — because section 1152(a) lists specific exceptions, and section 1182(f) is not one of them. Section 1152(a) says the nondiscrimination provision applies “[e]xcept as specifically provided in paragraph (2) and in sections 1101(a)(27), 1151(b)(2)(A)(i), and 1153 of this title.” Guess what’s not listed there as an exception? If you said “section 1182(f),” you get the kewpie doll.

Since McCarthy cites canons of construction, the reader will hopefully forgive me if I cite one of my own: “Expressio unius est exclusio alterius” — a Latin phrase that means “the expression of one thing is the exclusion of the other.” By explicitly listing certain provisions as exceptions to the ban on discrimination by nationality or place of residence, section 1152(a) shows a Congressional intent to exclude any other contrary provision as an exception.

And today’s Ninth Circuit opinion, with my emphasis:

Second, §1152(a)(1)(A) specifically identifies exemptions from the non-discrimination mandate, implying that unmentioned sections are not exempted. See United Dominion Indus., Inc. v. United States, 532 U.S. 822, 836 (2001)(“The logic that invests the omission with significance is familiar: the mention of some implies the exclusion of others not mentioned.”). Section 1152(a)(1)(A) explicitly exempts three different INA provisions fromits application—8 U.S.C. §§1101(a)(27), 1151(b)(2)(A)(i), and 1153—all of which deal with giving preference to certain immigrants, such as family members of current citizens and permanent residents. Had Congress likewise intended to permit §1182(f) to override §1152(a)(1)(A)’s non-discrimination requirement, it would have done so in the same way it did for the other provisions.

TL;DR: It’s the same analysis in different words.

There are other similarities between my post and today’s opinion. If you were steeped in the technicalities at the time, I recommend reading today’s opinion.

[Cross=posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

Democrat Wants Congress To Investigate Whether Loretta Lynch Gave Cover To Clinton Campaign

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:00 am

[guest post by Dana]

While it wasn’t surprising that Sen. Dianne Feinstein would “…formally ask the GOP chairman … Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), to open an additional review of the president” about a possible obstruction of justice with regard to the Michael Flynn criminal investigation, this is indeed surprising:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said she’s concerned by former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony Thursday that Lynch asked him to downplay his “investigation” into the Democratic presidential nominee as merely a “matter.”

Comey said the political request called into the question the credibility of Lynch’s Department of Justice and made him “queasy.”

“I would have a queasy feeling too,” Feinstein admitted Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I think we need to know more about that. And there’s only one way to know about it and that’s to have the Judiciary Committee take a look at that.”

Lynch, a President Obama nominee, ultimately had to distance herself from the FBI probe after meeting with former President Bill Clinton on a tarmac in Phoenix during the height of the election campaign and email investigation.

Lynch said the meeting was impromptu and they didn’t discuss Clinton’s private email server, but the appearance of impropriety forced her to back off and for Comey to become the public face of the probe.

Asked whether Lynch provided improper political cover for Clinton, Feinstein said: “I can’t answer that,” but a “separate investigation” is worthwhile to find out.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

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