The Jury Talks Back


RIP Charles Krauthammer

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:24 pm

I haven’t watched much TV in general, or Fox News in particular, for quite some time. But the death of Charles Krauthammer still touched me because I used to be an avid fan of Special Report with Brit Hume and enjoyed watching Mr. Krauthammer on “the panel” many a night.

So while there are a lot of tributes out there, there’s nobody I’d rather hear from than Brit Hume. And here he is.

AP: Trump Trump Unrelated Alleged Abuse of Immigrant Children Trump Trump Trump

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:21 am

The AP reports on allegations of abuse of immigrant children at a federal detention center, making sure to draw a connection between the allegations and President Trump’s crackdown on illegal gang members:

Immigrant children as young as 14 housed at a juvenile detention center in Virginia say they were beaten while handcuffed and locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering in concrete cells.

The abuse claims against the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center near Staunton, Virginia, are detailed in federal court filings that include a half-dozen sworn statements from Latino teens jailed there for months or years. Multiple detainees say the guards stripped them of their clothes and strapped them to chairs with bags placed over their heads.

“Whenever they used to restrain me and put me in the chair, they would handcuff me,” said a Honduran immigrant who was sent to the facility when he was 15 years old. “Strapped me down all the way, from your feet all the way to your chest, you couldn’t really move. … They have total control over you. They also put a bag over your head. It has little holes; you can see through it. But you feel suffocated with the bag on.”

In addition to the children’s first-hand, translated accounts in court filings, a former child-development specialist who worked inside the facility independently told The Associated Press this week that she saw kids there with bruises and broken bones they blamed on guards. She spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to publicly discuss the children’s cases.

In court filings, lawyers for the detention facility have denied all allegations of physical abuse.

Many of the children were sent there after U.S. immigration authorities accused them of belonging to violent gangs, including MS-13. President Donald Trump has repeatedly cited gang activity as justification for his crackdown on illegal immigration.

Damn that Donald Trump and his mistreatment of immigrant children! This never would have happened under President Ob — say, when did all this stuff allegedly happen? 19 paragraphs down, we are given a hint:

The complaint filed by the nonprofit Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs recounts the story of an unnamed 17-year-old Mexican citizen apprehended at the southern border. The teen fled an abusive father and violence fueled by drug cartels to seek asylum in the United States in 2015.

After stops at facilities in Texas and New York, he was transferred to Shenandoah in April 2016 and diagnosed during an initial screening by a psychologist with three mental disorders, including depression. Besides weekly sessions speaking with a counselor, the lawsuit alleges the teen has received no further mental health treatment, such as medications that might help regulate his moods and behavior.

As a reminder, President Donald J. Trump was inaugurated on January 20, 2017 (to the biggest crowds ever!!!!!1!).

I should add that a reading of the complaint itself does not make it clear when these things allegedly happened — nor, frankly, does the identity of the President much matter, if they did. The allegations typically begin with vague phrases like “on one occasion….” These are only allegations, and the things the lawsuit alleges may have happened and they may not have. If they happened, they likely happened under both Obama and Trump — not just Obama, and not just Trump.

Perhaps more importantly, as the 10th paragraph of the article tells you, this has basically nothing to do with Trump’s family separation policy — oh wait, he doesn’t have a family separation policy, that’s just too much Big Media reading kicking in (wink) — with Trump’s policy of zero tolerance for immigration lawbreakers:

Most children held in the Shenandoah facility who were the focus of the abuse lawsuit were caught crossing the border illegally alone. They were not the children who have been separated from their families under the Trump administration’s recent policy and are now in the government’s care. But the facility there operates under the same program run by the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement. It was not immediately clear whether any separated children have been sent to Shenandoah Valley since the Trump administration in April announced its “zero tolerance” policy toward immigrant families, after the lawsuit was filed.

It was also not “immediately clear” why the word Obama appears nowhere in the story.

(H/t to @JammieWF via Allahpundit.)

UPDATE: The AP has since added a line to the story stating: “The incidents described in the lawsuit occurred from 2015 to 2018, during both the Obama and Trump administrations.” This was no doubt added after a conservative outcry over the way the story made it sound like a Trump administration issue. This is not how the story read this morning and I can prove it. Fortunately, the original version was still open in a tab on my computer when I got home today. You can read the text of the entire original version of the story here, where I cut and pasted it into a page. Here is what the relevant passage looked like this morning:

AP Story Original

And here is what it looks like now. Note the added language in the third paragraph, beginning with the words “In court filings”:

AP Story Revised

If you thought conservatives had simply overlooked that language, you were wrong. We hadn’t.


Corey Lewandowski on 10-Year-Old with Down Syndrome Being Separated from Her Parent: “Womp Womp”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:59 am

This is part of the reason why a legitimate policy to crack down on illegal entry is perceived as a deliberate attempt to split up families: because big-time Trumpers like this guy are totally callous about the humanity involved:

Words cannot properly express my contempt for Lewandowski and people like him.

It’s only part of the reason, though. Another part of the reason is the way the media lies about it and makes it seem like that is the point of the policy.

Trump Separation Policy

It’s not a “separation policy.” It’s a policy of prosecuting illegal entry plus an unwillingness to release illegal immigrants into the country while their court cases are pending.

To the extent that people are claiming “asylum” there is a huge problem with people using our asylum laws as a way to be released into the United States even though they lack a valid claim. ICE is simply trying to prevent people from gaming the system.

The Trump administration has a valid basis for this policy. But it would help if we could get a little less gum-flapping and a little more shutting up from callous assholes like Corey Lewandowski.


The Recasting of Prosecution of Illegal Border Crossers as an Attack on Children

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:28 am

Everywhere you look, people are talking about how Donald Trump is putting children in cages, and separating children from their families.

It’s accompanied by what is certainly sad audio of children crying because they have been separated from their parents.

It would be easy to get the impression that the Trump administration recently came to the decision to start arbitrarily separating families for cruel sport. A typical headline can be found in the New York Times: How Trump Came to Enforce a Practice of Separating Migrant Families. And yet that very article admits:

Technically, there is no Trump administration policy stating that illegal border crossers must be separated from their children. But the “zero tolerance policy” results in unlawful immigrants being taken into federal criminal custody, at which point their children are considered unaccompanied alien minors and taken away.

The lefties at PolitiFact elaborate:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions in April announced a “zero-tolerance” policy, meaning every person caught crossing the border illegally would be referred for federal prosecution.

A good number of these people are adult migrants traveling with children. By law, when adults are detained and criminally prosecuted, their children cannot be housed with them in jail. Instead, kids are placed in a Department of Health and Human Services shelter until they can be released to a legal guardian.

Past Presidents gave illegals a pass on prosecution if they brought their kids with them. Trump isn’t. That’s the difference.

Now: whether we have devoted sufficient resources to be able to actually enforce such a zero-tolerance policy is a separate question. But the media is simply taking the necessary consequence of a policy of prosecuting lawbreakers, and acting as though it is the entire point. It’s not. Prosecuting lawbreakers is the point.

Ultimately, someone who is not a citizen can keep their family together through a simple expedient: do not enter the United States of America illegally. If you want to enter, follow the laws and get in line with everyone else.


Troll Poll: Republicans Favor Kim Jong-un Over Pelosi

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:32 am

The Daily Beast trolls Republicans by publishing a poll showing Republicans have a more favorable view of Kim Jong-un than they have of Nancy Pelosi:

The poll of roughly 1,000 adults aged 18 and over was conducted June 14-15, shortly after President Trump’s historic summit with the North Korea dictator. According to the results, 19 percent of Republicans indicated they had a favorable view of Kim with 68 percent saying they had an unfavorable view (12 percent of voters overall had a favorable view of Kim, compared to 75 percent who viewed him unfavorably). That compared slightly better than the perception of Pelosi, who had a 17 percent favorable, 72 percent unfavorable rating among self-identified Republicans.

Pelosi, nevertheless, was only the second-most disliked figure on Capitol Hill. Her overall 29 percent favorable, 47 percent unfavorable rating was slightly better than the numbers for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). McConnell had an overall favorability rating of 20 percent with 43 percent viewing him unfavorable. (Self-identified Democrats, for what it’s worth, had a significantly more favorable opinion of McConnell than of Kim Jong Un.)

I have two reactions to this.

On one hand, I’m unsurprised and appalled, for obvious reasons. Kim is not the first murderous dictator who has risen in the estimation of Republicans after being praised by Trump, but the fact that this is a recurring phenomenon is disappointing in a very familiar sort of way.

On the other hand, I’m annoyed at the way the poll, and the story reporting it, both troll Republicans in various ways. First of all, there are other results unfavorable to Democrats that aren’t even mentioned. Examining the poll itself, one finds that 8% of Democrats approve of Kim Jong-un while only 10% of Democrats approve of Donald Trump. That is is well within the poll’s plus-or-minus 3.5 percentage point margin of error — as is the central point trumpeted by the story (19% of Republicans see Kim favorably while 17% see Pelosi favorably). Isn’t it worth mentioning that Democrats hate Trump so much that, as a group, they see him nearly as unfavorably as a man running the most twisted totalitarian society on the planet?

Then there are the questions not asked. Given that “President Trump was viewed favorably by 83 percent of Republicans, and just 10 percent of Democrats,” I’m sure we could find a leftist thug viewed more favorably by Democrats than that. They didn’t ask Democrats what they think of, say, Nicolas Maduro? If they wanted to troll Democrats the way they want to troll Republicans, maybe they could ask about Democrat approval of Xi Jinping while calling his economic policies socialistic.

Finally, Nancy Pelosi is an almost singular figure in terms of her lack of redeeming qualities. (I say “almost” singular because Hillary Clinton is similar. As is Donald Trump, if you put policy aside.)

Then we have this comment from the Daily Beast story:

Trump’s apparent stranglehold on Republican voters has also led them to buy into the notion that the mainstream media is out to get him in their coverage of the administration.

Presented with the statement “The mainstream media is biased against President Donald Trump,” 87 percent of Republicans surveyed agreed with 67 percent strongly agreeing. Only 20 percent of Democrats in the survey agreed with that sentiment.

I can’t stand Donald Trump and yet I agree with that statement. Does that mean Donald Trump has a “stranglehold” on me and my views? Um no. This is absurd.

So yeah. If you favor Kim Jong-un more than you favor Nancy Pelosi, your moral compass is way off. If you favor Kim Jong-un more than you favor Donald Trump, your moral compass is way off. There are certainly wild-eyed partisans holding one of these absurd beliefs on each side. Let’s stop pretending it’s a one-way street.


#Winning: Ted Cruz Beats Jimmy Kimmel in One on One

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 9:04 am

Ted Cruz defeated Jimmy Kimmel in a game of one-on-one for charity:

“The reason this is happening is because after Game 7 of the [NBA] Western Conference Finals, I likened Sen. Cruz to a blobfish,” Kimmel explained, according to “And he did not like that … so he challenged me to a game of one-on-one. And I accepted.”

The two players agreed that the loser would donate $5,000 to a charity picked by the winner, but both later agreed to donate $10,000 to both charities, the Texas Tribune reported.

Cruz selected Generation One Texas, an anti-poverty organzation, while Kimmel chose the Texas Children’s Hospital, the Tribune reported.

No, no, Ted. You’re supposed to insult Kimmel’s appearance twice as hard. Haven’t you learned anything?

I bet the money that Ted Cruz pledged to charity actually goes to charity, and not to a portrait of Ted Cruz in his offices or some dishonest stunt like that.

I bet it doesn’t take months for the charities to get their money, either.

What a mensch. How I wish this guy were our president.

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 188

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 12:01 am

It is the fourth Sunday after Pentecost. The title of today’s Bach cantata is “Ich habe meine Zuversicht” (I have placed my confidence).

Today’s Gospel reading is Mark 4:26-34.

The Parable of the Growing Seed

He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.”

With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.

The text of today’s piece is available here. The Gospel reading says that even when evidence of the Kingdom of God is as small and difficult to see as a mustard seed, we can place our trust and confidence in it. Similarly, the cantata says:

I have placed my confidence
in my faithful God,
there my hope rests firmly.

. . . .

Though He might conceal His love,
yet His heart secretly thinks upon it,
since He can never withdraw it;

Happy listening!


Quick Takes (Three Different Ones)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:54 am

We’ll Stop It.

FBI agent Peter Strzok tells his mistress in a text message, in response to her concern that Trump might win:

No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.

If I wanted to engage in Trump superfan-level sophistry, I’d obfuscate about what the meaning of the word “we,” is. (Comma included as a salute to Bill Clinton.) But this seems pretty clear to me, even though it’s to a mistress: it’s bias at a minimum and an admission of an intent to misuse law enforcement at worst. I’d like to see the larger context, but it’s hard to imagine it being exculpatory to the guy. Regardless, having a guy like this involved with any investigations related to Trump or Clinton was a big mistake.

New York A.G. Lawsuit Against Trump

New York Times:

The New York State attorney general’s office filed a scathingly worded lawsuit on Thursday taking aim at the Donald J. Trump Foundation, accusing the charity and the Trump family of sweeping violations of campaign finance laws, self-dealing and illegal coordination with the presidential campaign.

I have not had a chance to read the lawsuit, but anyone who denies that Trump has done at least shady things regarding charity either hasn’t paid attention to the news in two years or is a partisan hack who can’t be trusted. The matter has also been referred to the IRS. Oh, dear: another audit … just when we were about to get those tax returns, too.

Comey Private Emails

The I.G. report revealed that James Comey sometimes used personal email for FBI business. Now Hillary wants to pretend that her behavior and James Comey’s was the same:

Oh, please, you dishonest witch.

Allahpundit destroys this so thoroughly, all a time-pressed blogger needs to do is quote him:

The IG found that Comey’s habit of forwarding emails to his personal account was “inconsistent” with DOJ policy that official business should be conducted via personal email only when “exigent circumstances” require, a perfectly fair wrist slap. But what Comey did and what Clinton did are night and day. Comey used a personal account at Gmail, with all of the security that Google provides. Hillary used a personal homebrew server, which didn’t have the same robust security. Comey’s usage seems to have been for personal convenience with respect to certain messages containing attachments. Hillary’s usage was comprehensive — all messages routed to her personal server, which reeks of an effort to evade automatic archiving by government servers. And of course Comey’s use was confined to unclassified business. Hillary’s wasn’t, which is a big deal. And which, again, is why he would have been perfectly entitled to recommend indicting her. There’s staggering hypocrisy in Comey’s email practices, in other words, only if you overlook literally all of the distinguishing features that made her practices so risky and potentially criminal.

Which is just what she hopes to achieve by her tweet. She means to suggest that she and Comey are guilty of the same sin. If he did nothing wrong, neither did she. That’s her message, never mind the classified material that was mishandled, or the other shipping-container-sized scandal baggage she brought to the campaign, or her “deplorables” shots at working-class voters, or her arrogant neglect of Rust Belt campaigning, or a degree of personal unlikability so enormous that it somehow made Donald Trump viable for the presidency. She’s guilty of what Comey’s guilty of — nothing at all. The system was rigged.

He really should have arrested her when he had the chance.

Yes, he should have.

P.S. I hear Beldar actually read the I.G. report. I look forward to his thoughts about it.

P.P.S. If you get the musical reference in the headline, gold star for you. It’s a good reference. Almost worth a quick grin.


Trump 2013: Openly Celebrating a Nuclear Deal Shows Weakness

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:18 am



No, it’s not news that a fool occupies the White House. But the hypocrisy is still newsworthy.

(H/t Allahpundit.)

Here’s a Sean Hannity “then and now” video. Embedding something from the Daily Show makes me throw up in my mouth a little, but the video is genuinely hilarious, and the source doesn’t matter when the hypocrisy is this stark:

No, it’s not news that Sean Hannity is an unprincipled fool. But the hypocrisy is still good for a laugh.


Trump: Sure, Kim’s a Killer, But Hey, Who Isn’t

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 9:16 pm

I’m not allowing comments on this post on the main site because I can’t bear to listen to people defend it. I’ll allow them here, if you follow the rules.

GOP Cult of Personality Ousts Another Heretic

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:59 am

The New York Times:

Republican voters lashed out against traditional party leaders Tuesday, ousting Representative Mark Sanford of South Carolina and nominating a conservative firebrand for Senate in Virginia, the latest illustration that fealty to President Trump and his hard-line politics is paramount on the right.

Mr. Sanford, a former governor once seen as a possible candidate for president, lost to Katie Arrington, a state lawmaker, in a closely contested primary, The Associated Press reported. Ms. Arrington had made the incumbent’s frequent criticism of Mr. Trump the centerpiece of her campaign. And the president endorsed her in an unexpected, and deeply personal, broadside against Mr. Sanford just three hours before the polls closed.

Sanford is a philanderer who disappeared in 2009, lied about the reasons, and joined his mistress in Argentina. All of these things would be forgiven and even defended if he ran around shouting “Make America Great Again” and otherwise kissing the ring of the manchild in the Oval Office. Instead, he chose to criticize Trump, and he got what all Trump critics get these days.

The message is, as I wrote in Quillette earlier this month, that viewpoint diversity on the issue of Donald Trump is not permitted on the right.

It might sound crazy to say that Donald Trump is beyond the reach of criticism. After all, isn’t he regularly pilloried on all the major networks, most of the cable news channels, and on the front pages of most national newspapers? Quite so: and this fact, if anything, causes his supporters to huddle closer, and reject or attack anyone who dares utter a critical word. This, in turn, creates an environment in which pundits and politicians on the Right are terrified to say what they really think.

The Republican Party is a cult of personality. Pointing that out is not popular — but then, cultists don’t like it when their cults are accurately described.


Trump on the Summit with Rocket Man

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 6:38 am

He looked into his soul:

“I do trust him, yeah,” Trump said. “Maybe in a year you’ll be interviewing and I’ll say I made a mistake. It’s possible. We’re dealing at a high level, a lot of things can change a lot of things are possible.”

He pressed the president on his previous criticism of North Korea’s human rights abuses including starving his people, running labor camps and assassinating members of his own family.

“George, I’m given what I’m given,” Trump said. “This is what we have, this is where we are, and I can only tell you from my experience, and I’ve met him, I’ve spoken with him. I’ve met him. And this is, this has started early and it’s been very intense. I think that he really wants to do a great job for North Korea. I think he wants to de-nuke, without that, there’s nothing to discuss. It was on the table from the beginning, and you see a total denuclearization of North Korea – so important.”

Trump talked about the agreements that were reached at the summit in Singapore today, saying that he believes the North Korean leader “wants to do the right thing”.

“We have the framework for getting ready to denuclearize,” Trump said. “He’s de-nuking the whole place. I think he’s going to start now.”

Trump seemed to hold an optimistic take on Kim’s intentions, saying that the dictator “really wants to do something I think terrific for their country.”

I guess once you’ve committed to a summit like this, you have to say dumb things like this in the aftermath. It’s all of a piece.

So important. And keep in mind: the missle launches have stoped:

So there’s that.

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