The Jury Talks Back


Victory over Brett Kimberlin: Summary Judgment Granted Against Convicted Bomber and Perjurer

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 6:55 am

Free speech has won.

After nearly four years, convicted bomber and perjurer Brett Kimberlin has lost his lawsuit against your favorite blogger (that’s me!). Federal District Judge George Hazel today issued an opinion granting me summary judgment in Kimberlin’s frivolous and censorious lawsuit against me.

It is a total and complete victory. There will be no trial. I will pay nothing. I will take down no blog posts about Kimberlin. The lawsuit is simply over. (Of course, he’ll appeal. He always appeals.)

My deepest thanks go to my pro bono counsel: Ron Coleman of Archer & Greiner and the Likelihood of Confusion blog, and Bruce Godfrey of Jezic & Moyse LLC.

I can’t say enough about these guys. They stood by me at all times, working for no pay — all for the righteous cause of defending free speech. Ron Coleman juggled this case with his internationally known pro bono case for the Slants, which resulted in total victory and a landmark opinion for free speech. In addition to his fine legal work with Ron on the briefs, Bruce Godfrey dealt with a prickly and difficult client (that’s me!) on discovery issues, and spent countless hours cataloguing, redacting, and organizing the voluminous discovery — not to mention dealing with the court and Kimberlin, and navigating me and Ron through the Maryland legal world.

(In an unrelated note: If anybody knows Jennifer Lawrence, contact me at Inside joke. But seriously, write me if you know her.)

These guys also work for pay. You should hire them.

I would be remiss if I did not mention as well the efforts of Kenneth P. White of Brown White & Osborn LLP and the essential Popehat blog. Ken not only provided strategic advice and endured dozens (hundreds?) of emails about the case, but he and Ron also handled the frivolous lawsuit against me by Nadia Naffe — another total victory where I paid nothing and retracted nothing I had said. The Naffe case was cited by Judge Hazel in today’s decision, and provided an important precedent for free speech by prosecutors and other government employees.

Thanks to my readers for sticking with me through all of this, and for the support I have received from so many of you.

It’s a good day for free speech.


These Three Conservatives Make Me Feel Like There Is Still Sanity in the World

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 10:30 am

Ever since Donald Trump became the Republican standard bearer, I have praised him when he has pursued conservative policies, and defended his excellent Supreme Court pick from unfair and absurd attacks. I have also criticized Trump when he has either pursued leftist policies or acted the fool. Since Trump patently cares little about policy, and spends most of his time acting the fool, I end up criticizing him a lot.

Two years ago, I would have told you that if I criticized a president when he deserved criticism, and praised him when he deserved praise, conservatives would be on board and do the same. Today, I know better. It makes most conservatives sad when I criticize Trump for any reason.

If I criticize him for acting the fool, I am told we should look at what he does, not what he says. (Somehow, what I say is fair game for criticism, but what the President of the United States says is not.)

If I criticize him for pursuing or extending leftist policies (forcing transgender terminology on schools, calling a tepid non-repeal of ObamaCare “mean,” etc.) I am told he is Not Hillary — as if being Not Hillary excuses him for all future leftist policy positions.

If I praise him for pursuing conservative policies — something I have less and less opportunity to do these days — I am given a pass, of sorts. But usually a few people will come along and gloat, saying that if I had gotten my way and Hillary were President, we would not have this wonderful conservative outcome. And then I get to explain to these people for the umpteenth time that I did not want Hillary to be President and did not vote for her. No matter. The argument proceeds on the assumption that Donald Trump was owed my vote and the fact that I did not give it to him was an unforgivable betrayal of all that is good and right.

Sure, Trump may have praised the Chinese massacre at Tiananmen Square. Sure, he equated U.S. realpolitik with Putin’s murder of journalists — and even gave Putin cover on that issue by asserting that the murders cannot be attributed to Putin. Sure, he has praised single-payer health care in the past. Sure, he said he likes the ObamaCare mandate. Sure, he supports economically ruinous protection policies because he is pig-ignorant on economic issues. Sure, he donated to Hillary in the past. Etc. etc. No matter. I am history’s greatest monster because I did not give this tremendous human being my vote.

When you criticize Donald Trump, it can feel like a lonely slog.

So when I read opinions by other people that give me comfort that there is still sanity out there, I really appreciate it. And this morning I read three such pieces. They are all excellent and deserve your attention. Let me link them and quote from them in turn.

The first piece is about four days old. It’s from Ben Shapiro, and it’s so good I just want to quote the whole thing. But I won’t, because I want you to read it all. Shapiro writes:

Trump has re-enshrined the Iran deal; his greatest defender on Fox News, Tucker Carlson, now spends his evenings browbeating commentators who suggest that Iran poses a threat to the United States. Trump has doubled down on President Obama’s policies on Russia in Syria; his cease-fire deal with the Russians was so bad that even the Israelis rejected it. Trump has not reformed taxes. There is no world in which Obamacare will be repealed. There is no wall, nor will the wall be forthcoming anytime soon.

That’s not to say that Trump might not end up fulfilling some of these promises. I hope and pray he does. But it’s clear that the vast majority of Republicans no longer care if he does, so long as he does one thing: keep tweeting about the fake-news media. Were Trump to fulfill every conservative pledge but stop tweeting about Mika Brzezinski’s face and CNN’s ratings, many Republicans would be less enamored of him. Trump’s visceral rage is what thrills Republicans, not his policy — and a huge number of Republicans aren’t even interested in whether the rage undercuts his policy. If Mike Pence replaced Donald Trump and implemented every jot and tittle of the conservative program, then won reelection, most Republicans would be enraged, not excited.

Trump’s character is now a thoroughly accepted positive good.

The piece is just so great, and the next passage so on target, that I hope Ben will forgive me if I quote it at some length. This captures precisely what I have come to believe about too many conservatives these days:

Trump allows us to indulge our id and feel righteous while doing it. We grew up believing that decent behavior made you a decent person — but then we realized that breaking the rules not only makes victory easier, it’s more fun than having to struggle with the moral qualms of using moral means to achieve moral ends. So we’ve constructed a backwards logic to absolve ourselves of moral responsibility. The first premise: The other side, which wants bad things, cheats and lies and acts in egregious ways.

The second premise: It requires cheating to defeat them.

The third premise: If they are not defeated, the country will be destroyed.

Conclusion: It is morally required to cheat and lie and act in egregious ways.

Now, the first premise may indeed be true. But the second two are arguable at the very least. Without cheating and lying and acting in Trumpian fashion, Republicans in 2016 won massively at the state level, including governorships, and retained control of the Senate and House. And Democrats, for all their horrible perspectives, are not ISIS or Nazis. That means that the means we use matter.

But we don’t want them to matter.

And so we castigate as “weak-kneed” anyone who says that colluding with Russia to defeat Hillary Clinton is wrong. We suggest they just don’t get it. They must have wanted Hillary! They must be idiots or rubes. We must fight anyone who opposes Russian collusion, because that would undercut our fun.

A year ago, many conservatives said that ends justified means — and that the end was the implementation of conservative policies. Some conservatives still feel this way. But now that Trump isn’t actually implementing conservative policies, the truth is coming out: For most conservatives, the ends don’t just justify the means, the means are the ends. All that matters is the punching, even if the punching is both counterproductive and immoral.

Next, we have Jonah Goldberg.

I have few illusions about my ability to talk anyone out of their delusions, particularly liberals. But it is part of my job description to try, particularly with conservatives. To say I have failed — largely true — is not an argument against making the effort.

If you’re a cultist, the only thing that will snap you out of it is Trump himself. At some point, he will do something that will cause the worshippers — or at least most of them — to recognize he was a false god all along. It will be like that scene in The Man Who Would be King, when the girl bites Sean Connery on the cheek. When he bleeds, the faithful realize he is but a mortal.

But in the meantime, horrible damage is being done, because the rationalizations and tribalism are being institutionalized. Clicks-from-cultists media outlets strive to justify and rationalize every failure as a success and every setback as part of the master plan. If you don’t see it, you’re part of the establishment, a globalist, or an elitist. The RNC is reportedly refusing to support Republican candidates who criticized Donald Trump in the wake of the Access Hollywood video. “[The president] is unhappy with anyone who neglected him in his hour of need,” an anonymous RNC insider explained. Horrible damage is being done, because the rationalizations and tribalism are being institutionalized.

This is sickening madness. If this is true, then the logical inference is that the GOP as a party believes that there was nothing wrong with the president’s conduct, even though he was a Democrat at the time. Or, perhaps, that there is nothing so wrong with what he said — and what he claimed he did — that it can justify breaking faith in the Leader.

That is moral rot on an institutional scale and the people aiding and abetting it should be ashamed of themselves.

Finally, Charlie Sykes:

Trump, who remains unbowed and unchanged by the presidency, continues to transform the party that last year capitulated to him. Or more accurately, the conservative movement continues to transform itself into his image.

. . . .

[W]e have become precisely what he hated and claimed to stand against. Add in the ways the Right has succumbed to cult of personality politics and you have the toxic stew in which we now find ourselves marinating.

. . . .

Trump will not, of course, always be with us. But he will leave a mark on the culture and character of conservativism for a very long time.

Thank you, Mr. Shapiro. Thank you, Mr. Goldberg. Thank you, Mr. Sykes.

Thank you for setting an example. Thank you for reaffirming that decency is not a joke — in a culture that increasingly treats it as one.

For each of you, saying these words, and staking out these positions, is both easy and very difficult. Easy, because it’s the only way you know. You would never become one of the panderers — we all know they exist and who they are — who openly praise the worst of Trump’s immorality, and decry as “sissies” anyone who disagrees. So in a way, it’s easy for you . . . because you would never contemplate being other than who you are.

But at the same time, it’s difficult. Because expressing these positions opens you up to a lot of flak from partisans who have constituted a large bulk of your fans over the years. Your livelihood depends on an audience — and not being a panderer is costing you clicks. And you know that’s true. And still, you stand up for the right things. I admire that about you.

Thanks for helping to make the world seem a little less insane.

[Cross-posted at RedState.]


Is It Just Me, or Is That Sessions Story Much Ado About Nothing?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 9:30 am

Let’s review the central allegation of the Washington Post‘s latest “bombshell” on Jeff Sessions:

Russia’s ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, according to current and former U.S. officials.

Ambassador Sergey Kislyak’s accounts of two conversations with Sessions — then a top foreign policy adviser to Republican candidate Donald Trump — were intercepted by U.S. spy agencies, which monitor the communications of senior Russian officials both in the United States and in Russia. Sessions initially failed to disclose his contacts with Kislyak and then said that the meetings were not about the Trump campaign.

In other words, the allegation is that Sessions’s account differs from that of Kislyak’s. Gee, why might a Russian mischaracterize his conversations with a top campaign official like Sessions? Can you think of any reasons?

If Kislyak didn’t know he was being monitored, he might want to make his conversations sound more important than they actually were.

But what if Kislyak did know he was being monitored? Indeed, there’s no reason to assume he didn’t know. Someone in his position would have to assume his conversations are constantly monitored. And in that case, imagine the chaos that he could cause if Americans were to believe him over Sessions. Why, he’d be laughing behind his hand!

And indeed, if you read far enough into the article, it admits that the anonymous “officials” leaking all this stuff said as much, and “acknowledged that the Russian ambassador could have mischaracterized or exaggerated the nature of his interactions.” What’s more:

Russian and other foreign diplomats in Washington and elsewhere have been known, at times, to report false or misleading information to bolster their standing with their superiors or to confuse U.S. intelligence agencies.

You don’t say!

So we have 1) a story based on anonymous sources that 2) even if true, does not mean Sessions lied.


All this is very interesting, I suppose . . . to Beltway insiders. But the American people don’t care about it very much — and nowhere near as much as the media does. Jon Gabriel did a very interesting analysis a few days ago, looking at the issues that Americans say they care about, and comparing that to the issues that are given time on Big Media. The results have to be seen to be believed:


If we spent half the time talking about the treachery of Shelly Capito and Lisa Murkowski that we spent lambasting our Attorney General because his statements have been contradicted by a lying Russian, we might actually get something accomplished on health care.


[Cross-posted at RedState.]


Sean Spicer Resigns

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 8:57 am

[guest post by Dana]

Here we go:

Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, resigned on Friday morning, telling President Trump he vehemently disagreed with the appointment of the New York financier Anthony Scaramucci as communications director.

Mr. Trump offered Mr. Scaramucci the job at 10 a.m. The president requested that Mr. Spicer stay on, but Mr. Spicer told Mr. Trump that he believed the appointment was a major mistake, according to a person with direct knowledge of the exchange.

It’s true that Spicer faced a great number of difficulties in his short tenure, and yet he was the one who chose to jump on the Trump train, knowing full well what that entailed. While some of the difficulties he faced were of his own making, some were the result of trying to cover for a boss who habitually undercut his staff and turned on a dime. Ultimately, the press secretary damaged his own credibility from the get-go. So, on one hand: It took 183 days to resign??? On the other hand: It took 183 days to resign!!! Also, I’m not surprised that President Trump tapped his friend Scaramucci for a position. It makes sense: Trump reportedly likes how Scaramucci appears on television, he’s a close and loyal friend to the President, and yet has virtually no experience in communications.

With that, here is a revealing look at Anthony Scaramucci:


And there is this: ABC News Chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl just tweeted:

Strange times — I just went to ask @PressSec (@seanspicer) a question about @Scaramucci. He slammed the door in my face.

Strange times, indeed. And no doubt, will continue.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


READER POLL: Would You Support Trump Pardoning Himself?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 6:59 am

A report in the Washington Post, based on anonymous sources (natch), suggests that Trump is looking into pardons, including even a pardon of himself:

Some of President Trump’s lawyers are exploring ways to limit or undercut special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation, building a case against what they allege are his conflicts of interest and discussing the president’s authority to grant pardons, according to people familiar with the effort.

Trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with the probe, according to one of those people. A second person said Trump’s lawyers have been discussing the president’s pardoning powers among themselves.

Reports based on anonymous sources are not to be taken at face value until corroborated. But it made me wonder:

If President Trump pardoned himself, would you support that action?

Would you support President Trump pardoning himself?

create surveys


O.J. Simpson Granted Parole

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 6:53 pm

[guest post by Dana]

This after serving nine years of a nine-to-33 year sentence:

Simpson, convicted of robbery and kidnapping, was granted parole Thursday — a unanimous vote by the four-member Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners reported instantly by national and international media. He could be free as soon as Oct. 1.

His release, too, is unlikely to go unnoticed. The moment Simpson received his fourth and final vote from the Nevada Board of Parole recommending release, he dropped his head, as if to give a quiet cheer of celebration to himself, before responding, “Thank you.”

Simpson was also asked what he thought life outside might be like:

The former USC and NFL star running back shrugged it off like a tackler who had taken a bad angle on him. “I’ve been recognized since I was 19,” he said. “I’ve dealt with it my whole life.”

Simpson told the board he wanted to be with his family after missing birthdays and graduations. When it was suggested he might have a webcast or blog once he’s out, he shook his head. Not interested.

That’s probably a good thing because some in the entertainment industry have already explained why they don’t think he should work in Hollywood again:

Giving Simpson a slick reality show or some other lucrative vehicle that allows him to make money while rehabilitating his image would be one more example of the media — more specifically, the entertainment industry — getting it wrong. Making O.J. the center of a new story and telling it from his point of view would, inevitably, make him sympathetic to some. Point of view is a powerful tool, and storytellers taking up O.J.’s cause, whatever the environment, would not hard-pressed to resist a redemption narrative. But that tendency would have the unfortunate effect of minimize and possibly even de-legitimize those who think his troubled past — which was not, as he claimed at the hearing, free of violence — is problematic in the extreme.

America loves second chances, but this one has far too many queasy elements to make it work.

It’s just as well. Then Simpson would have time to pursue the real killer of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman.

In reading about today’s hearing, I was struck by how many people, along with myself, remember exactly where they were in 1994 as they watched a bizarre drama unfold on television with O.J. Simpson in the backseat of a white Ford Bronco and the driver leading the police on a nearly 50 mile chase from Orange County to Los Angeles.


Bloomberg Report: Mueller Expanding Probe to Trump Business Transactions

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 8:15 am

Bloomberg released this article this morning:

The U.S. special counsel investigating possible ties between the Donald Trump campaign and Russia in last year’s election is examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates, according to a person familiar with the probe.

The president told the New York Times on Wednesday that any digging into matters beyond Russia would be out of bounds. Trump’s businesses have involved Russians for years, making the boundaries fuzzy so Special Counsel Robert Mueller appears to be taking a wide-angle approach to his two-month-old probe.

FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008, the person said.

With Trump’s warning that such an investigation would be out of bounds, the speculation that Trump may fire Mueller is bound to explode today.

Consider this your routine warning that a report based on “a person familiar with the probe” is worth nothing until corroborated by something more tangible.

[Cross-posted at RedState.]

UC Berkeley Says No To Another Conservative Speaker

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 5:35 am

[guest post by Dana]

I’m seeing a pattern. It looks like University of California, Berkeley is still struggling with issues of speech. Particularly speech from conservatives. This time, as with Ann Coulter earlier this year, administrators are using the flimsy excuse that they can’t find a suitable location to host conservative speaker Ben Shapiro.

From the Washington Examiner:

Young America’s Foundation announced that administrators informed the Berkeley College Republicans in an email this week they were “unable to identify an available campus venue” to host the lecture, which was slated for Sept. 14. The administrators, identified by YAF as Dean of Students Joseph Greenwell and Student Organization Coordinator Millicent Morris Chaney, claimed the lecture was spiked “despite extensive efforts.”

“Ben Shapiro is welcome on our campus, and we are committed to supporting his, and your, rights to free speech,” the administrators contended in their message to students, which was sent Tuesday.

The YAF isn’t buying it:

“Berkeley’s inability to find a lecture hall more than two months in advance is laughable,” the Foundation declared in its statement, noting the university’s insistence that it can only host Shapiro “when events are held at a time and location that allow for the provision of any required security measures.”

“An endless stream of liberal speakers continue to be granted opportunities to speak, unobstructed by time, place, or manner restrictions while conservatives are continually treated unequally, and repeatedly relegated to the margins of campus activity,” YAF explained in the statement.

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to attend a lecture by Shapiro at our local university. There were no hysterical protests or riots. Instead, a group of 20 or 30 students held a rather sad looking “dance-off protest” about 50 yards away from the building where he was speaking. Inside the packed hall, there was an assembled group representing just about every age and ethnicity possible. It was a respectful audience, and when Q&A time came, a solid line of men and women snaked all the way to the back door waiting their turn to address Shapiro. He didn’t shy away from anything thrown at him. He spent the most time with a young woman who challenged him on a woman’s right to have an abortion. And in spite of her continually moving the goal posts in an effort to rattle him – which Shapiro patiently pointed out each time – he was consistent in his viewpoints as he thoughtfully responded to her. In light of my experience, I can only assume that UC Berkeley must be made up of an awfully fearful and timid group of faculty and students. Because really, why else be so afraid?

For his part, Shapiro, who spoke at Berekely in 2016 without any problems, vows to fight back:

We’re coming to Berkeley, regardless of attempts to stop us. It’s just a question of when and where. Stay tuned.



Christian Leaders Pray For President Trump

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 8:44 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Last week, a photo of President Trump being prayed for by evangelical leaders and Vice President Pence made the rounds.


In a Facebook post, Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne, who was part of the prayer group, shared this:

Yesterday was very surreal for @ahowardbrowne & I. 30 years ago we came from South Africa to America as missionaries. Yesterday I was asked by Pastor Paula White-Cain to pray over our 45th President – what a humbling moment standing in the Oval Office – laying hands and praying for our President – Supernatural Wisdom, Guidance and Protection – who could ever even imagine – wow – we are going to see another great spiritual awakening…

Howard-Browne further clarified that what took place “was normal, what a lot of us pray when we pray for elected officials. It was like a meeting of friends.”

When I first saw the photo, I reacted with cynicism: Evangelicals. Pfft. Trump. Pfft. All sorts of nuttery rolled into one photo. But then I thought about it. Say what you will about evangelicals, President Trump, and prayer, but I don’t know why anyone would object to prayers going up for a president. Particularly this one. While only God can say if these were the prayers of righteous men, I think it’s a positive thing when anyone, anywhere asks God to grant Trump wisdom. How could it not be?

Anyway, as a reminder, Trump’s claims of Christianity have been questionable and conveniently timed, in light of an impending election. Consider when asked about seeking God’s forgiveness in this life, then-candidate Trump said,

“I have great relationship with God. I have great relationship with the Evangelicals,” Trump said in the interview before pivoting to his poll numbers among Evangelical voters.

“I like to be good. I don’t like to have to ask for forgiveness. And I am good. I don’t do a lot of things that are bad. I try to do nothing that is bad.”

Trump told Republican pollster and focus-group guru Frank Luntz that when the real-estate mogul has done something wrong, he tries to correct his error without getting God involved.

“I am not sure I have,” Trump said when asked if he’d ever asked God for forgiveness. “I just go on and try to do a better job from there. I don’t think so,” he said. “I think if I do something wrong, I think, I just try and make it right. I don’t bring God into that picture. I don’t.”

To me, his comments revealed an individual completely unfamiliar with the Christian faith, mankind’s fall from grace, and the personal relationship between the believer and God. And yet, he somehow managed to con(vince) any number of leaders in the Christian church that he was the real deal.

But to answer the question of whether anyone objected to the president being prayed for, it appears they did. The Washington Post dug up a pretty dumb example from a supposed Christian, because why choose a robust and challenging objection intelligently articulated by a solid Christian when you can instead choose a dumb one because every cosmopolitan knows that Christians = dumb:

The White Wing Evangelical Christians visit the White House, laying hands on Trump. Now Trump thinks he’s Jesus. Sacrilegious.

They also included the objections of a well known Protestant pastor. This in spite of his rank hypocrisy. Consider the Rev. William Barber II, who serves as North Carolina’s NAACP chair and the leader of the protest group, Moral Mondays, which protests against President Trump’s policies:

On MSNBC’s “AM Joy” Saturday morning, Barber called the now-viral photo “theological malpractice bordering on heresy.”

“When you can p-r-a-y for a president and others while they are p-r-e-y, preying on the most vulnerable, you’re violating the most sacred principles of religion,” Barber told host Joy Reid.

Barber considers Trump (and Republicans) hypocrites, because their views and policies are not representative of Jesus’s words about how people are to treat “the least of these.”

When we have this extremist Trump Republican agenda that takes health care, transfers wealth to the greedy, that’s hypocrisy and sin. Seven hundred billion dollars, Joy? You haven’t seen that kind of transfer of wealth on the backs of bodies of people since slavery. Claiming to care about life, but then passing a bill when you know thousands will die — 22 million people, poor, working people will be hurt — that is hypocrisy and sin. When you know it will hurt children, the disabled and veterans, that is sin. That is hypocrisy.

Further, he accused Trump-Ryan-McConnell’s agenda as one of rank “hypocrisy and sin.”

Let me just cut to the chase: Rev. William Barber II exhorting Republicans and the president about Jesus’s commands on how to treat the most vulnerable among us is the same Rev. William Barber II who stood in solidarity with Planned Parenthood to protect the rights of women to have an abortion. This says all anyone needs to know about how much he really cares about who lives and dies and the most vulnerable among us.

These “Christians”. As a believer (albeit one who no longer attends church and has no intention of taking up the practice again), this is really frustrating. The hypocrisy of Trump, the hypocrisy of Barber, the seedy efforts of church leaders to convince voters that Trump was someone that he really wasn’t brought to mind a question that filmmaker Ken Burns asked during a recent interview. And it’s one that I’ve been chewing over. (Yes, I’m talking about that Ken Burns. The one about whom we can say much regarding his politics, historical views, etc., but this post isn’t about that.) He has simply articulated a compelling question, and one that I wish I could answer. But I can’t.

“The Republican Party has been extraordinarily successful at getting many groups of people to vote against their self-interest. Evangelicals are voting for Donald Trump. What part of Donald Trump reminds you of Jesus Christ? Trump lusts after his own daughter on national radio, talks about women’s bodies and breasts in such a disparaging way, and mocks them. How is this in any way Christian? When you make the “other” the enemy, how is that Christian?”


John McCain Diagnosed With Brain Cancer

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 6:14 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Prayers for Sen. John McCain and his family tonight:

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has been diagnosed with brain cancer, the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix said Wednesday.

The tumor was discovered after the senior Arizona senator underwent a minor procedure last week to remove a blood clot from above his left eye.

“Subsequent tissue pathology revealed that a primary brain tumor known as a glioblastoma was associated with the blood clot,” the hospital said in a statement.

“The Senator and his family are reviewing further treatment options with his Mayo Clinic care team. Treatment options may include a combination of chemotherapy and radiation.”

If anyone has shown himself to be a tenacious fighter in this life, it’s certainly been Sen. McCain.


This Means WAR: The ObamaCare Betrayal by Senators Capito and Murkowski Can Never Be Forgotten or Forgiven

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 4:00 am

As I mentioned yesterday, I am astounded that so many people want to blame the GOP’s failure to repeal ObamaCare on those who are least to blame: folks like Rand Paul and Mike Lee. As I said, the real villains are the people who voted for the ObamaCare (partial) repeal bill in 2015 — but oppose it today.

Well, Mitch McConnell will soon call for a vote on a reanimated version of that same bill. And now we’re starting to learn who the scoundrels really are.

At the top of the list of giant hypocrites, you’ll find Senators Shelly Moore Capito of West Virginia and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — who have both declared their intention to vote against the ObamaCare repeal bill that they both voted for in 2015. As Phil Kerpen said:

They have no excuse for this, and their betrayal will save ObamaCare.

This means war.

Capito and Murkowski are the most worthless type of hypocrites imaginable. They have postured as being against Obamacare, but they never really were. They voted in favor of the (partial) repeal in 2015 — and yet they claim they cannot vote for the same bill today, in 2017.

What is the difference between 2015 and 2017? Yesterday afternoon I sent emails to the press offices of Senators Capito and Murkowski, asking them why they would choose not to vote for the exact same bill they voted for in 2015. I received no response from Senator Capito, and a canned statement from Senator Murkowski that does not remotely begin to address the questions I had asked.

So what is the difference between 2015 and 2017? I’ll tell you what the difference is. The difference is that today, in 2017, we have a president who would sign that repeal bill into law. In 2015, we did not.

Senators Capito and Murkowski knew this. They lied to their voters, straight up.

Now: we all know that there are surely plenty of other cowards hiding behind the skirts of these two senators. (Hi, Rob Portman!) I suspect that Capito and Murkowski were chosen to be the primary fall guys (or fall gals, as it happens) because they’re not up for reelection for four years (in the case of Capito) and six years (in the case of Murkowski). I think the GOP establishment is hoping that you will forget about their treachery in the intervening four to six years.

I, for one, am not going to forget. I will never forget.

I hereby pledge to donate money to the strongest conservative challenger willing to primary either of these senators on the basis of their refusal to vote to repeal Obamacare. I don’t care if I have to wait until 2020 or 2022, I am doing it. And I will vocally support that person against these Senators, and do everything I can to see that these women are unseated.

So if there are others, why pick on Capito and Murkowski? Oh, I’m willing to do the same for anyone who votes against the repeal bill. We just don’t know who they are yet. But yes, I am focused on these two senators, because they are the ones who came out against the bill first, and will give political cover for others to do the same. We have to make an example out of somebody, so we might as well start with them — pour encourager les autres.

So here’s what we do. We primary them. We never, ever forget this betrayal. This goes for anybody else who votes against having this legislation going forward. All of them get the same treatment. No more donations for any of the turncoats. If they appear on the radio, we call in and rip them to shreds for this vote. We confront them wherever and whenever we can. We pull out all the stops.

Some, I expect, will go further. Some will simply stop voting for the GOP or donating money to the GOP. If you choose to go that route, I suggest you tell them exactly why.

One final point: some of you may be asking: why am I not screaming at Susan Collins? Am I mad at Susan and Collins? Well, sure. Of course I’m mad at Susan Collins — for being a complete economic nincompoop who is furthering a disastrous socialistic healthcare regime that is going to drive health care costs into the stratosphere and bankrupt middle America. But she didn’t vote for the 2015 bill. She didn’t pretend to be for repeal when it didn’t matter. (If you want a full list of who did vote for the bill in 2015, together with an analysis of who is still in the Senate today, I did that work for you here.)

Yes, Susan Collins might be an economic illiterate and the functional equivalent of a Democrat. But Susan Collins didn’t lie to her voters with her 2015 vote. Capito and Murkowski did. Capito and Murkowsi lied. They lied — and they must pay the price for lying.

I can’t make them pay a political price by myself. You have to join me. So I ask you:

Who’s with me?

[Cross-posted at RedState.]


A Saudi Woman In A Short Skirt, Activist Linda Sarsour, And The Alt-Right Jake Tapper

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 8:07 pm

[guest post by Dana]

A controversial video of a young Saudi woman walking around in a miniskirt is making the rounds:

A young Saudi woman sparked a sensation online over the weekend by posting a video of herself in a miniskirt and crop top walking around in public, with some Saudis calling for her arrest and others rushing to her defense.

State-linked news websites reported Monday that officials in the deeply conservative Muslim country are looking into possibly taking action against the woman, who violated the kingdom’s rules of dress. Women in Saudi Arabia must wear long, loose robes known as abayas in public. Most also cover their hair and face with a black veil, though exceptions are made for visiting dignitaries.

The video, first shared on Snapchat, shows her walking around an empty historic fort in Ushaiager, a village north of the capital, Riyadh, in the desert region of Najd, where many of Saudi Arabia’s most conservative tribes and families are from.

The Saudi Okaz news website reported that officials in Ushaiager called on the region’s governor and police to take action against the woman in response to the video, without elaborating. Saudi news website Sabq reported that the kingdom’s morality police had corresponded with other agencies to investigate further after the video was brought to their attention.

According to updated reports by Saudia Arabian state TV, the young woman has been arrested for wearing “suggestive clothing”.

This reminds me of co-chariman of the Women’s March and self- described “Palestinian-American-Muslim, civil rights activist” Linda Sarsour’s infamous comment in which she favorably compared the status of women in Saudia Arabia to those in the United States:

“10 weeks of paid maternity leave in Saudi Arabia and you are worried about women driving. Yes, 10 weeks puts us to shame.”

Given that the young woman in the video appears to be of childbearing age, don’t you just know that in spite of having been arrested and facing God knows what, she is, at this very moment, taking great comfort in knowing that she is in Saudi Arabia where she can at least get 10 weeks of paid maternity leave.

Anyway, this is the same Linda Sarsour who wants you to believe she is all about women’s rights, but with a few exceptions :


You can read about an angry Sarsour calling out CNN’s Jake Tapper for criticizing the Women’s March (remember, she’s co-chairman), which tweeted birthday wishes to Assata Shakur, who was convicted for killing a police officer. Shakur fled to Cuba to avoid serving a life sentence. Not taking Tapper’s criticism too well, Sarsour lobbed a sick burn at him:


Yep, that’s right: Jake Tapper is a member of the alt-right. And Sarsour is a put-upon woman of minority status, who is being publicly made to endure some ugly misogyny from the patriarchy. What a plight. Nobody knows the trouble she’s seen – not even a courageous young Saudi woman wearing a short skirt.

Anyway, you can also read here about why Sarsour’s recent comments about “jihad” made during a speech at the annual Islamic Society of North America convention, should not necessarily be seen as “advocating solely for peaceful, nonviolent dissent” as she claims.


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