The Jury Talks Back

7/15/2018

Trump’s Advice to Theresa May on Brexit

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 5:55 am

If only she had listened! New York Times:

Prime Minister Theresa May on Sunday revealed the advice President Trump had given her on how to negotiate Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union: Go straight to court.

Mrs. May was asked by the BBC about comments Mr. Trump made both in an interview in the British tabloid The Sun and later at a news conference on Friday at Chequers, the prime minister’s country residence, northwest of London.

“He told me I should sue the E.U.,” Mrs. May said.

Buh-rilliant.

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 60 and More

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 12:01 am

It is the eighth Sunday after Pentecost, and I have a lot of music for you today — not just Bach. The title of today’s Bach cantata is “O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort” (O eternity, you word of thunder):

Today’s Gospel reading is Mark 6:14-29.

John the Baptist Beheaded

King Herod heard about this, for Jesus’ name had become well known. Some were saying, “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.”

Others said, “He is Elijah.”

And still others claimed, “He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of long ago.”

But when Herod heard this, he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised from the dead!”

For Herod himself had given orders to have John arrested, and he had him bound and put in prison. He did this because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, whom he had married. For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to, because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled; yet he liked to listen to him.

Finally the opportune time came. On his birthday Herod gave a banquet for his high officials and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. When the daughter of Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests.

The king said to the girl, “Ask me for anything you want, and I’ll give it to you.” And he promised her with an oath, “Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom.”

She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?”

“The head of John the Baptist,” she answered.

At once the girl hurried in to the king with the request: “I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”

The king was greatly distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her. So he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. The man went, beheaded John in the prison, and brought back his head on a platter. He presented it to the girl, and she gave it to her mother. On hearing of this, John’s disciples came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.

Bach never directly addressed the beheading of John the Baptist in his cantatas. But his cantata is a dialogue between allegorical figures representing the fear of death (sung by the alto) and the hope of salvation (sung by the tenor). Hope wins out.

The text of today’s piece is available here. Here are the words of the final chorale, “Es ist genug” (It is enough), heard at 14:50:

It is enough:
Lord, if it pleases You,
then release me!
My Jesus comes;
good night now, o world!
I journey to heaven’s house,
I go there securely in peace,
my great suffering remains behind.
It is enough.

The setting of the chorale was an inspiration for part of Alban Berg’s violin concerto:

Listen around 19:40 and you’ll clearly hear the rising whole tones in the orchestra and then the violin.

The cantata also quotes the Book of Revelation in a meaningful reflection on death and hope:

Selig sind die Toten, die in dem Herren sterben, von nun an.
Wohlan!
Soll ich von nun an selig sein:
So stelle dich, o Hoffnung, wieder ein!
Mein Leib mag ohne Furcht im Schlafe ruhn,
Der Geist kann einen Blick in jene Freude tun.

This means:

Blessed are the dead, who die in the Lord, from henceforth.
All right!
If I shall be blessed from now on:
o hope, reappear to me!
My body may rest without fear in sleep,
while the spirit can cast a glance upon that joy.

It is impossible for me to read the words “Selig sind die Toten” without sharing with you portions of Brahms’s Requiem. Let’s start with the passage that quotes those same words:

The words sung here are from Revelation 14:13:

Selig sind die Toten, die in dem Herrn sterben, von nun an. Ja, der Geist spricht, daß sie ruhen von ihrer Arbeit; denn ihre Werke folgen ihnen nach.

This means:

Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

And here is the gorgeous opening movement, opening with the same words: “Selig sind” (Blessed are…). If this opening movement does not hook you on the piece, nothing can.

The words sung here are from Matthew 5:4:

Selig sind, die da Leid tragen, denn sie sollen getröstet werden.

Which means:

Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted.

Reflections on hope, for a day when the Gospel passage is filled with death. In Christ, there is always hope.

Happy listening!

7/13/2018

Rosenstein Presser and Indictments

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 11:14 pm

There should probably be a separate thread for this. It seemed like what Mueller should be doing, and I thought Rosenstein’s statement about putting partisanship aside was compelling.

Your thoughts below.

Stop Overselling the Importance of the Strzok Texts

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:38 am

I did not watch the Strzok partisan shoutfest. But Phillip Bump at the #FAKENEWS Bezos Post has a point about the evil Peter Strzok:

In a written statement offered before he testified before the House Oversight Committee on Thursday, Strzok pointedly noted that there was no effort on his part to keep Trump from winning the White House — and, further, that he was one of only a few people who could have potentially leaked details from the investigation in an effort to block Trump’s victory.

“In the summer of 2016,” Strzok wrote, “I was one of a handful of people who knew the details of Russian election interference and its possible connections with members of the Trump campaign. This information had the potential to derail, and quite possibly, defeat Mr. Trump. But the thought of exposing that information never crossed my mind.”

This is a nearly impossible point to rebut.

Before Election Day, there were rumblings that Russia was engaged in the campaign in nefarious ways and that Russian President Vladimir Putin sought to see Trump win. There were rumors — theories, really — that Trump was more than happy to have Russia’s help or even might be aiding that effort. In the closing days of the campaign though, the two most important stories about the Clinton and Trump investigations were ones that solely worked to the eventual winner’s advantage.

On Halloween 2016, the New York Times detailed what was known about the investigation into Russian interference (an effort addressed earlier that month in an unusual public statement from the government). The headline, though, summarized the good news for Trump’s effort: “Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link to Russia.”

“None of the investigations so far have found any conclusive or direct link between Mr. Trump and the Russian government,” the article read. Since Trump was inaugurated, of course, we’ve learned much more about links between the campaign and Russia — involving even members of Trump’s family. The effect of the story, though, was to quash those rumors about Trump’s motivations.

Paul Waldman expands on this concept:

This is the core of what makes the Republican effort to discredit the Russia investigation so utterly insane. They want us to believe there was an FBI conspiracy to prevent Trump from being elected president, and what did that conspiracy do? First, it mounted a cautious investigation of what nearly everyone now acknowledges was a comprehensive effort by Russia to help Trump get elected, an effort that people on the Trump campaign and even in Trump’s own family tried to cooperate with. But then it kept that investigation completely secret from the public, lest news of it affect the outcome of the investigation in any way.

You will notice that Republicans have not been able to produce any evidence that Strzok or anyone else took any official action that was biased, unfair or inappropriate in their investigation of Russian interference and the Trump campaign.

The view of the FBI as a hotbed of partisan leakers is indeed difficult to reconcile with the fact that this stuff was not leaked at the most critical time. Also, these were private messages, and nobody would like having their private messages aired to the country.

That said, unlike the #Resistance, I’m not ready to canonize Strzok. The messages were written on government devices. He is an adulterer. While the conclusions he came to about Trump’s personality are similar to the conclusions many of us came to, having a guy this openly and emotionally partisan involved in these investigations feels very inappropriate and disturbing.

But it’s not enough for me to decide that the FBI and Mueller are involved in a #WitchHunt. That’s what Donald Trump wants me to think, but no sale.

7/12/2018

Trump Superfans on Trump and Putin

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:53 am

Trump superfans on Trump and Putin: Trump doesn’t seem to go easy on Putin. What has he ever done to help Putin?

Also Trump superfans on Trump and Putin: I think it’s awesome that Trump is threatening to pull us out of NATO.

(more…)

SCANDAL!!!1!!!!11!! Kavanaugh Bought Baseball Tickets

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:44 am

The Washington Post has this incredible scandal regarding Judge Brett Kavanaugh Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court. It sounds pretty bad in this headline: Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh piled up credit card debt by purchasing Nationals tickets, White House says:

Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh incurred tens of thousands of dollars of credit card debt buying baseball tickets over the past decade and at times reported liabilities that could have exceeded the value of his cash accounts and investment assets, according to a review of Kavanaugh’s financial disclosures and information provided by the White House.

White House spokesman Raj Shah told The Washington Post that Kavanaugh built up the debt by buying Washington Nationals season tickets and tickets for playoff games for himself and a “handful” of friends. Shah said some of the debts were also for home improvements.

In 2016, Kavanaugh reported having between $60,000 and $200,000 in debt accrued over three credit cards and a loan. Each credit card held between $15,000 and $50,000 in debt, and a Thrift Savings Plan loan was between $15,000 and $50,000.

Wow. He “built up” debt that exceeded his assets. Quite irresponsible! Bad judgment!

I doubt Raj Shah said Kavanaugh “built up” the debt, because (as we will see) that did not happen. (Which means, of course, that Raj Shah does not exist, because he was possibly misquoted and people who were possibly misquoted do not exist.)

You have to pull apart the facts here to understand that there is no story. The headline (“piled up”) unjustifiably suggests that Kavanaugh accrued this credit card debt over time, for expenses he and his family irresponsibly incurred himself. The story adds to the “piled up” narrative with phrase “built up.” But let’s read on to see how this debt “piled up” and “built up” over time:

The credit card debts and loan were either paid off or fell below the reporting requirements in 2017, according to the filings, which do not require details on the nature or source of such payments. Shah told The Post that Kavanaugh’s friends reimbursed him for their share of the baseball tickets and that the judge has since stopped purchasing the season tickets.

Shah did not provide the names of the friends or additional details about the tickets. Kavanaugh, who is known to be a Nationals fan, declined to comment.

Shah said the payments for the tickets were made at the end of 2016 and paid off early the next year.

“He did not carry that kind of debt year over year,” Shah said.

So he bought expensive tickets in bulk for himself and his friends — no doubt due to bulk discounts — and then was quickly reimbursed.

Yawn.

Where does this “built up” and “piled up” nonsense come from? The need for drama. That’s all. The editors are asking themselves: how do we even justify publishing this nonsense? And the answer is: make it sound worse than it really is.

The worst part of all is that trifles like this distract from a far more serious lapse in judgment — one that, in a sane world, would end Kavanaugh’s nomination immediately:

At Yale, the judge was highly regarded among his classmates, his friends say. He spent nights working on the Yale Law Journal, where he served as notes editor. He made those late shifts “palatable” with a constant stream of jokes, said Brochin, who also worked on the journal.

But when it came to food, the future Supreme Court pick found hardly anything palatable, Christmas said. Kavanaugh was a “bland eater,” his roommate explained, who never ate his pasta with anything more exotic than tomato sauce or ketchup on top. At visits to Yorkside Pizza following late nights at Toad’s Place — the friends did not go often, Christmas said, as Kavanaugh had “limited dance moves” — the judge’s pizza had to be plain cheese, or sometimes just pepperoni.

Ketchup??

This shows an unforgivable lack of judgment.

It’s not too late to get Barrett. We might have little idea how she would actually behave as a judge, but she would trigger the libs — and I bet she would never put ketchup on pasta.

7/11/2018

Kavanaugh: Family Man and All-Around Nice Guy

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:42 am

Well, the attacks have begun. The #FAKENEWSBEZOSAMAZONPOST has a hit piece on Brett Kavanaugh titled: “I don’t know Kavanaugh the judge. But Kavanaugh the carpool dad is one great guy.” Oh, wait. It’s not a hit piece. It’s actually very kind:

Brett’s older daughter and mine have been classmates at Blessed Sacrament School, a small Catholic school in the District, for the past seven years. On evenings and weekends, you’re likely to find Brett at a local gym or athletic field, encouraging his players or watching games with his daughters and their friends. He coaches not one but two girls’ basketball teams. His positive attitude and calm demeanor make the game fun and allow each player to shine. The results have been good: This past season, he led the Blessed Sacrament School’s sixth-grade girls team to an undefeated season and a citywide championship in the local Catholic youth league. To the parents with players on the squad, it’s no surprise that the team photograph with the trophy is displayed prominently in his chambers.

Brett’s contribution to our school’s community extends beyond the sidelines. He and his wife, Ashley, support their two daughters and other children at countless school and church functions throughout the year. In the summer, Brett is the “carpool dad,” often shuttling students to and from practices, games and activities. And in a city where professional obligations can often take priority over personal ones, Brett is a steady presence at his daughters’ events, even if it means racing across town just to catch the last 15 minutes of a game or program.

Brett’s friendship and mentorship have touched my family in an especially personal way. A few years ago, my husband died. One of the many difficult aspects of that loss was that my daughter had no one to accompany her to the school’s annual father-daughter dance. That first year — and every year since my husband’s passing — Brett has stepped forward to take my daughter to the dance alongside his own.

Although a judge’s intellect, judicial philosophy, clarity of writing, fidelity to constitutional principle, and temperament are more important to his position on the Supreme Court than stories like this, it’s good to know that Kavanaugh seems like a nice guy. Clarence Thomas is another example of a person who is very decent on a personal level, who knows staffers at the Court by name and respects everyone. Just because you are a horrible conservative who rules in horrible conservative ways doesn’t mean you have to be a horrible person too. (This is tongue in cheek; I feel certain I will love the horrible conservative decisions Justice Kavanaugh will write, just as I love Thomas’s decisions.)

The personal tale is also useful to rebut the inevitable attacks on Kavanaugh from the left as Evil Incarnate. Jim Treacher anticipated these in a brilliantly funny piece he wrote before the selection, mocking the press releases that lefty groups release at times like these:

It should go without saying that [FILL IN THE BLANK] is a completely unacceptable nominee, but we’ll say it anyway. This cannot be allowed to happen. It’s not hyperbole or exaggeration to say that [FILL IN THE BLANK] will destroy America and kill us all, and here are just a few good reasons why:

Did you know that [FILL IN THE BLANK] believes women should be treated as second-class citizens by denying them access to [LIBERAL AGENDA ITEM]? Did you know that [HE/SHE] doesn’t agree that [OPINION ALL MY FRIENDS EXPRESS, WHICH I HAVEN’T REALLY THOUGHT ABOUT, BUT I’D BETTER GO ALONG WITH IT OR THEY MIGHT NOT LIKE ME ANYMORE]? I mean… really? It makes you nostalgic for the good old days of [PREVIOUS REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT, WHO I ALSO CALLED “HITLER” ALL THE TIME], doesn’t it?

Did you know that [FILL IN THE BLANK] wants to take away your right to [THING THAT ISN’T ACTUALLY A RIGHT, BUT IT DOESN’T MATTER BECAUSE NOBODY KNOWS WHAT “RIGHTS” ARE ANYMORE]? Um, hello? I literally can’t even.

[FILL IN THE BLANK] is also a kind person who loves his family. Take that, lefties.

7/9/2018

It’s Kavanaugh

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 6:01 pm

He seems to be the best of the options on the table. Another good choice by Donald Trump.

And, yes, far better than Hillary’s choice would have been. No question about it.

UPDATE: Ed Whelan has the lowdown on Kavanaugh at his indispensable Bench Memos. Quotable:

Kavanaugh is a strong critic of the Chevron principle of deference to administrative agencies — both of the foundation of that principle and of the manner in which it is often exercised. He has earned acclaim for “cabining” the Chevron doctrine by helping to develop an exception to it for “major questions” of policy.

Just like Gorsuch. I love it. In this way, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh are actually an improvement on Scalia.

Kavanaugh argued (in dissent) that the District of Columbia’s ban on possession of most semi-automatic weapons and its registration requirement for all guns violated the Second Amendment.

. . . .

Kavanaugh argued (in Priests for Life v. HHS, again in dissent) that the HHS contraceptive mandate violated the religious-liberty rights of objecting religious organizations. He also rejected an Establishment Clause challenge to the prayers at the presidential inauguration and to the inclusion of “so help me God” in the official presidential oath.

. . . . On campaign-finance restrictions, a liberal academic who broadly supports such restrictions bemoans that “the only question is whether [Kavanaugh would] be more like Justice Scalia (voting to strike down more and more campaign limits) or like Justice Thomas (voting to do that AND strike down campaign finance disclosure laws).”

This is all good. And an improvement over the unreliable windbag Kennedy.

Great stuff.

7/8/2018

Whom Will Trump Pick for the Supreme Court Tomorrow?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 8:15 pm

Just like last time, the name Thomas Hardiman is being bandied about this weekend, even as Kethledge is being deep-sixed in the rumor mills. My views on Hardiman have not changed much since I wrote this post in January 2017. I said then that Hardiman was not battle-tested enough to replace Scalia but might be appropriate down the road. I think he might be an OK replacement for a lefty justice like Ginsburg, but unless our goal is to replace an unpredictable and moderate judge like Kennedy with another moderate, we can do better. I still think Bill Pryor would have been a better choice right out of the gate to replace Scalia, and we could have done Gorsuch this time — but what’s done is done.

Whether this is a feint to make Kavanaugh seem more of a surprise, I don’t know. I hope so.

#FAKENEWS Tries to Undermine Trump’s Nuclear Deal Success with Chairman Un [Guest Post by Hateway Pundit]

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 8:56 am

[In an effort to increase diversity of opinion among posters here at patterico.com, here is a guest post by Him Joft, aka Hateway Pundit. Patterico will return tomorrow. Or later today. Who knows?]

As the world knows, Donald Trump, who wrote The Art of the Deal, recently returned from Singapore triumphant, having solved the Nuclear Crisis with North Korea. Our President, who the far left wackos and the #NeverTrumpers (but I repeat myself) like to portay as a liar, said: “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea.” I dont know about you but I believe my President.

Its no surprise that the real enemy of this country, the #FAKENEWS lamestream media, is trying to undercut Trump’s great success. First there’s the New York Times, who’s motto is “All the #FakeNews Thats Fit to Print”. They say:

North Korea accused the Trump administration on Saturday of pushing a “unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization” and called it “deeply regrettable,” hours after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said his two days of talks in the North Korean capital were “productive.”

Despite the criticism, North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, still wanted to build on the “friendly relationship and trust” forged with President Trump during their summit meeting in Singapore on June 12. The ministry said Mr. Kim had written a personal letter to Mr. Trump, reiterating that trust.

The harsh North Korean reaction may have been a time-tested negotiating tactic. Two months ago, a brief blowup between the two countries led President Trump to briefly cancel, then reschedule, his summit meeting with Mr. Kim. But North Korea’s remarks also played to a larger fear: that the summit meeting’s vaguely worded commitment to “the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” meant something very different in Pyongyang and Washington.

If Trump said their “de-nuking” then theyre de-nuking. And even if they arent, Trump knows how to put on a good show. Its the Expectations Game, and anybody with half a brain like us knows that, unlike the Fredocon #NeverTrumpers and they’re far left Buddies at there cocktail Parties they like to go to so much with Billy Crystal and all those other guys with the cruises they always try to sell you.

And anyway I sincerely doubt North Korea said the U.S. was pushing a “unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization.” Maybe the geniuses at the New York Times need to get new translators. If anyone is a gangster, it’s Barack Obama, and Chairman Un is smart enough to know that. If your the head of a Country like that, your smarter then to say things like that about President Trump. He wrote the Art of the Deal, and he even gave Chairman Un a CD reminding him about how he called him “Rocket Man” for some lighthearrted humor, which everyone knows Chairman Un likes. So why would Rocket Mans panties be in such a twist? The obvious conclusion is there not, and its more #FAKENEWS.

Its time for the “fifth column” to recognize what Trump has acheived here. Except for several times, NOrth Korea has never offered to “denucularize” before. And they sure haven’t offered it before to Presient Trump, who wrote The Art of the Deal. I don’t care what idiots like Mark Cuban and Michael Bloomberg say about Trump: the fact is you dont get to be as Rich as Donald Trump without being smart, okay?

Then theres the #FAKENEWSBEZOSPOST that ran a Story about a week ago trying to make it sound like Chairman Un is still trying to nuke, even after Trump said hes trying to denuke. Get a load of this story with it’s four “Sources” that dont even exist:

U.S. intelligence officials, citing newly obtained evidence, have concluded that North Korea does not intend to fully surrender its nuclear stockpile, and instead is considering ways to conceal the number of weapons it has and secret production facilities, according to U.S. officials.

The evidence, collected in the wake of the June 12 summit in Singapore, points to preparations to deceive the United States about the number of nuclear warheads in North Korea’s arsenal as well as the existence of undisclosed facilities used to make fissile material for nuclear bombs, the officials said.

The findings support a new, previously undisclosed Defense Intelligence Agency estimate that North Korea is unlikely to denuclearize.

Its pretty obvious whats going on here: the Deep State. From the Demonrat operation run by lifelong Demonrat Special Councel Robert “Witch Hunter” Mueller to our so-called “intelligence community,” their all deep staters. Donald Trump shineded the light on these frauds and revealed that anyone who joins law enforcement or the intelligence community does so to “undermine” the Country from within. We owe our President a grate Debt for revealing these traitors to be that thing they are.

Thanks to Patterico for the chance to say this stuff. For a dirty traitorous #NeverTrumper hes OK.

— Him JOft

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 126

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 12:01 am

It is the seventh Sunday after Pentecost. The title of today’s Bach cantata is “Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort” (Sustain us, Lord with your word).

Today’s Gospel reading is Mark 6:1-13.

A Prophet Without Honor

Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.

“Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.

Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.

Jesus Sends Out the Twelve

Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits.

These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.”

They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.

The cantata is based on Martin Luther’s hymn of the same name: “Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort.” The basic melody of the hymn can be heard in this simple piano harmonization:

The text of today’s piece is available here. Piece 5, a recitative, contains these words:

Thus Your word and truth will be revealed
and made manifest in the highest radiance,
since You watch over Your church,
since You make the teaching of Your holy word
fruitful with blessing;
and if You turn to us as our Helper,
then in peace
the abundance of blessing will be granted to us.

Wherever God’s word is preached, the truth will triumph.

Happy listening!

7/6/2018

Trump Tariffs Are Hurting These Trump Supporters, But They Still Love the Man Who Conned Them

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 12:43 pm

The L.A. Times has a sad story of Trump supporters from the manufacturing sector whose livelihoods are being destroyed by tariffs, but who refuse to abandon their support for the con man responsible:

Jimmie Coffer, a machine programmer at the nation’s largest nail-making plant, voted for Donald Trump partly because he was confident he would bring manufacturing jobs back to America.

So the 39-year-old factory worker was shocked last month when 60 of his co-workers were laid off after the Trump administration imposed a 25% tariff on the steel his company imports from Mexico. Now, as his bosses cut back hours and warn they may have to let 200 more workers go in the coming weeks, he worries he may lose his job as a result of the president’s policies.

But Coffer is still gung-ho about Trump.

“I support him 100%,” he said last week. “In fact, I’d like to shake his hand. He’s doing a great job.”

. . . .

Trump won 79% of the vote here in Butler County and, while many were surprised to discover the tariffs are hurting their town, they still believe Trump is on the right track and firmly support his goal of pouring life back into dilapidated manufacturing communities — even if they end up losers.

The article is a sad tale of people who were sold a bill of goods and are desperate to believe they weren’t conned. Few things are sadder to watch, but the psychology of con artists and their marks ensures that it will happen:

Con artists aren’t just master manipulators; they are expert storytellers. Much as we are intrinsically inclined to trust, we are naturally drawn to a compelling story. Just ask any advertising executive or political operative. “When a fact is plausible, we still need to test it,” Konnikova writes with characteristic concision. “When a story is plausible, we often assume it’s true.” And once we’ve accepted a story as true, we’re not likely to question it; on the contrary, we will probably unconsciously bend any contradictory information to conform to the conclusion we’ve already drawn. There’s a name for this phenomenon — confirmation bias. It provides the key psychological scaffolding for the long con, during the course of which the mark finds a way to rationalize any number of warning signs.

The L.A. Times says they are standing by their man:

Conspiracy theories and rumors also have spread. Some locals theorize the company’s Mexican owners have long planned to relocate south of the border and are using the tariffs as an excuse to finally leave. (Company officials do not rule out relocating to Mexico — where they could buy steel and export the finished nails back to the U.S. without tariffs — but insist they are committed to remaining in Poplar Bluff.)

“This has nothing to do with tariffs — or Trump,” Mark Orton, the owner of Bluff Barber Shop, said as he dabbed shaving foam on a customer’s face. “It’s smoke and mirrors. This Mexican company is just trying to blame Trump.”

His client, a red-headed factory worker who declined to give his name, blamed politicians and newspapers for “banging on” Trump.

“They can’t say anything nice about him,” he griped. “If Trump ran into a burning building to pull out children, they’d say he’s hurting firefighters.”

Trying to fight persistent and pigheaded ignorance often feels the same as repeatedly bashing your head into a brick wall. You can do it. But at a certain point you start to ask why.

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