The Jury Talks Back

6/20/2019

Roy Moore Announces He Will Run For Alabama Senate In 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 6:29 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Of course Moore is free to run for any office he darn well pleases. The question is, is he really who the GOP wants filling a vacant Senate seat, especially knowing that his candidacy could endanger Republicans’ chances of flipping the Democrats’ most vulnerable Senate seat next year?

It appears that the GOP doesn’t think he is the right person for the job because too much is at stake:

A push is underway to get President Donald Trump involved in derailing Moore. Republicans are actively moving to recruit Jeff Sessions to run for his old seat. And GOP leaders are warning the party will jeopardize perhaps its only chance at picking up a Senate seat next year if they let Democrat Doug Jones get his favored match-up.

“There will be a lot of efforts made to ensure that we have a nominee other than him and one who can win in November,” said Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.). “He’s already proven he can’t.”

Added Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, “We’ll be opposing Roy Moore vigorously.”

I’d like to believe that the move against Moore as the nominee has as much (or more) to do with his weak character and numerous accusations of sexual misconduct allegations against him as it does about making a shrewd political calculation… Anyway, the last thing the GOP brand needs is more of Moore, and the sordid history he brings with him. GOP elected lawmakers seem to agree:

“Give me a break. This place has enough creepy old men,” said Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), referring to Washington, when asked about Moore’s candidacy.

“The people of Alabama are smarter than that,” said Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), who as leader of the party’s campaign arm at the time vowed to try and expel Moore from the Senate if he won. “They certainly didn’t choose him last time, why would they choose him this time?”

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) has talked to Sessions about running for his old seat, which he left to become attorney general for Trump. Sessions did not indicate to him whether he will run[…]

Additionally, President Trump advised Moore against running last month. Strictly for political reasons. After all, Trump supported Moore in 2017, in spite of the allegations he faced. And while he still has nothing against Moore, and is not bothered by the allegations (and c’mon, why would he be?), he nonetheless has made his position very clear:

Republicans cannot allow themselves to again lose the Senate seat in the Great State of Alabama. This time it will be for Six Years, not just Two. I have NOTHING against Roy Moore, and unlike many other Republican leaders, wanted him to win. But he didn’t, and probably won’t…..

…If Alabama does not elect a Republican to the Senate in 2020, many of the incredible gains that we have made during my Presidency may be lost, including our Pro-Life victories. Roy Moore cannot win, and the consequences will be devastating….Judges and Supreme Court Justices!

While likely Moore won’t win, if he did, what freshman lawmaker in an iffy state facing re-election would want to be associated with a party that has someone like Moore in office? Talk about handing red meat to the Democrats.

More concerns about Moore:

Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.) and former Auburn Coach Tommy Tuberville are already in the race, and Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.) is considering it. But that crowded field could easily play to Moore’s advantage given his past popularity with the state’s most conservative voters. What’s more, Moore also could conceivably win a general election with Trump atop the ticket, a nightmare for the Senate GOP that would then have to deal with a bomb-thrower in the caucus.

There are serious reasons to be concerned, and they make sense on a number of levels.

Don’t miss the great analysis at FiveThirtyEight, where we are reminded that:

…Moore does have a path — especially a path to a primary runoff if there’s a crowded GOP field. And if he does get there, he would be only one step away from a rematch with [Doug] Jones. National Republicans may have an “Anyone But Moore” attitude, and GOP groups would undoubtedly pound Moore with negative ads, but remember that a Trump endorsement of Strange couldn’t stop Moore in 2017. So it’s not impossible that Moore does end up winning his party’s nomination.

Trump said “the consequences will be devastating” to his agenda if that happens. And that might be true — Moore would probably improve Jones’s chances of winning reelection. (Jones even egged on Moore to run again.) But even as damaged as he is, Moore would still have a decent chance of winning a general election in conservative Alabama, and that is surely a big part of why he’s running again.

When Moore was asked how this would be different than the 2017 bid for Senate, Moore, without a hint of self-awareness, responded, “I would like to make more personal contact with people.”

To which Donald Trump Jr., without a hint of self-awareness, responded,

“This can’t be real… can it? Based on the allegations I’d stay away from that but hey I’m new to this.

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He also pushed back on Moore’s claim that he wasn’t “going against” the President with his decision to run:

This is pure fake news. I can assure everyone that by running, Roy Moore is going against my father and he’s doing a disservice to all conservatives across the country in the process.”

Philadelphia: 72 Police Officers Off Active Duty For Offensive Social Media Posts

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 10:50 am

[guest post by Dana]

Taking priority in the city of Brotherly Love and a city which has seen 153 victims of homicide so far this year (up 9% from one year ago):

The number of Philly police officers taken off the streets and placed on administrative duty for making racist and offensive posts on Facebook has increased to 72, the department announced Wednesday.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said that of the 72 removed during the department’s initial investigation, discipline will range from a few days suspension “in many cases” and up to termination from the police force.

“Internal affairs has already begun to investigate each of these officers identified,” Ross said during a press conference.

“We recognize that because of the acts of a few … that in many ways, we understand how this can tarnish or did tarnish our reputation. But we will work tirelessly to repair that reputation, to improve police community relations, as we are equally disgusted by many of the posts that you saw and the rest of the nation saw,” he added.

The removal of the officers is described as “the largest removal of officers from the street in recent memory.”

Further:

The department has hired the private law firm Ballard Spahr to sift through the 3,100 posts identified as containing offensive messages. The firm will help determine whether the post was protected under the First Amendment, Ross said.

Additionally, anti-bias and anti-racist training will be conducted across the department, and officers will be reminded of what constitutes appropriate behavior on social media, according to Ross. Officials will also launch periodic audits of police officers’ social media accounts.

The department’s social media policy prohibits profanity, discriminatory language or personal insults.

Philadelphia currently has approximately 6,500 police officers. The 72 officers represent about 1.11% of officers.

–Dana

6/19/2019

Follow-up: Ocasio Cortez Says “I Will Never Apologize” For Concentration Camp Remarks

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 5:59 pm

[guest post by Dana]

After Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez compared ICE detention facilities with Nazi-era concentration camps, saying that “the U.S. is running concentration camps on our southern border, and that is exactly what they are,” there were immediate calls for the freshman lawmaker to apologize. However, no such calls have come from Democratic leadership. To the contrary, Nancy Pelosi essentially brushed it off.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said:

She does not understand what is going on at the border at the same time. But there is no comparison … and to actually say that is embarrassing. To take somewhere in history where millions of Jews died … and equate that to somewhere that’s happening on the border … she owes this nation an apology.

The Jewish Communities Relations Council wrote:

“We are deeply disturbed by the language used in your recent Instagram live video which seeks to equate the detention centers on America’s southern border with Nazi-era Concentration Camps,” the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York wrote in a letter. “The terms ‘Concentration Camp’ and ‘Never Again’ are synonymous with and evocative of the atrocities committed by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany, in which 6 million European Jews were systematically denied civil and human rights due to their race and ultimately murdered in a state-sponsored genocide.”

CNN commentator John Avlon said her comments were “unacceptable” and called for her to apologize as well:

“Holocaust metaphors are beyond problematic,” he argued.

“And it’s clear,” he continued, “because she said ‘never again means something,’ that she was referring to it [the Holocaust]. She said later that she meant to make the comparison to internment camps. Look, internment camps are horrific, the key difference being millions of people systematically murdered by a state,” the journalist said.

“When we start to rationalize and put it in context, we’re [did she says this or ‘we’] say words don’t matter anymore in politics,” Avlon went on. “We’ve become numb to it. This is across the line. It’s not that hard to apologize. She should do it. It’s unacceptable.”

In spite of calls for her to apologize, Ocasio-Cortez dug in her heels, and responded with a firm “no”:

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DHS ripped 1000s of children from their parents & put them in cages w inhumane conditions.

They call their cells “dog pounds” & “freezers.”

I will never apologize for calling these camps what they are.

If that makes you uncomfortable, fight the camps – not the nomenclature.

Ocasio-Cortez knows that Pelosi is unlikely to pursue this any further, let alone demand she apologize. And that’s because she doesn’t have to: Remember, Pelosi jumped to Rep. Omar Ilhan’s defense after the freshman lawmaker used anti-Semitic tropes, saying “I don’t think our colleague is anti-Semitic. I think she has a different experience in the use of words, doesn’t understand that some of them are fraught with meaning, that she didn’t realize.” Well, Pelosi was exampling a successful strategy for Democrats to employ when one of their colleagues really steps in it. Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas learned the lesson well:

Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, explained during a CNN interview Wednesday that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez compared the migrant detention centers to concentration camps because she has a different “usage” and “perception” of words.

“With all due respect to her, she has a different usage of words, maybe a different perception. I live at the border, I’ve been to those detention centers, I’ve been to those shelters, as you know. There are adults in detention centers, but if they’re children, they are put in shelters that are run by nonprofits,” Cuellar said.

That Pelosi is one clever fox. It’s a great strategy. It provides cover, and allows a Democrat to say well, anything.

–Dana

President Trump Kicks Off Re-Election Campaign: It’s All About The Numbers

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 3:52 pm

[guest post by Dana]

President Trump officially launched his re-election campaign with a rally in Orlando, Florida last night, and with a near-capacity crowd in attendance. According to offcial turnstile counts provided by the city of Olando, the 19,792 spectators fell slightly shy of the 20,000 capacity for the Amway Center. President Trump claimed during the rally:

“You know if we have three or four empty seats, the fake news will say, ‘Hey, they didn’t fill it up,’” Trump said at the rally. “They said, maybe we shouldn’t go to Orlando, we should go someplace else. I said, no, go to Orlando. Not only did we fill it up, we had 120,000 requests.”

To note:

Anyone could have requested two tickets at the Trump campaign’s website before the event, with a text verification required. Seating in the arena was mostly first-come, first-serve.

While most of the sections were filled to capacity, several sections in the upper tier of the arena had empty seats as the time approached for Trump to start his speech. But there also was a standing-room-only section on the arena floor in front of the stage that was crowded with people.

About an hour before Trump began to speak at 8:14 p.m., the long lines snaking around the Amway Center were gone and people could easily walk into the event. Only a few dozen people watched on screens outside at the campaign’s “45 Fest.”

None of this is really a big deal, except to President Trump, who will argue crowd size any day of the week, and will no doubt be contesting the actual count at some later point in time.

On a side note, reports state that President Trump raised nearly a whopping $25 million in the first 24 hours of his reelection campaigning:

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From the report:

The $24.8 million sum is several magnitudes higher than the leading Democratic candidates seeking the chance to challenge Trump in 2020. Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign said in April it pulled in $6.3 million during the 24 hours after he announced his third White House run.

Remember that these numbers are coming from the campaign itself: All 24-hour fundraising numbers come directly from the campaigns themselves or party committees, rather than the Federal Elections Commission. Fundraising figures reported by the campaign will be publicly available by July 15 and will offer more detail, including amounts of money spent, and cash-on-hand totals.

And speaking of yuge numbers: Still no word from the White House when President Trump will pay off his MAGA rally debts :

A new investigation from NBC News and the Center for Public Integrity found the Trump campaign owes city governments across the country upwards of $800,000 for police and public safety costs from his events.

The largest invoice to date comes from El Paso, Texas, where the president held a campaign rally in February. Trump still owes the city $470,417 for the event, the invoice shows.

Some invoices date back to 2016, before Trump was elected president. His 2016 campaign skipped out on municipal public safety bills from Green Bay and Eau Claire, Wisconsin; Tucson, Arizona; Burlington, Vermont and Spokane, Washington, according to the report.

Another five cities, including El Paso; Mesa, Arizona; Billings, Montana; Erie, Pennsylvania; and Lebanon, Ohio, are owed a combined $629,015.88.

Huge numbers, indeed.

–Dana

House Judiciary Democrats Hold Hearing On Reparations

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 10:31 am

[guest post by Dana]

Today is Juneteenth, a day that is set aside to celebrate the official end of chattel slavery in the United States, and it is also the day chosen to hold a House Committee hearing on slavery reparations, including setting up a commission to determine what reparations would entail with regard to the descendants of slaves. Today’s proposal, H.R.40 is being sponsored by Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is backing the bill. Sen. Cory Booker, actor Danny Gover, and author Ta-Nehisi Coates, who is seen as having brought the issue of reparations back into the public conversation, are scheduled to testify in support of Lee’s measure.

Supporters of “reparatory justice” want people to know that they view this as more than just the government sending a check to black Americans:

Advocates emphasize that reparations would address more recent policies, and do not necessarily mean the government would be writing checks to black people… government could engage in…zero-interest loans for black prospective homeowners, free college tuition, community development plans to spur the growth of black-owned businesses in black neighborhoods — to address the social and economic fallout of slavery and racially discriminatory federal policies that have resulted in a huge wealth gap between whites and blacks in America. It would be up to the commission to explore such options and others.

From Cory Booker:

Booker…told the committee that America has not yet grappled with racism and white supremacy and that the hearing presents a “historic opportunity to break the silence, to speak to the ugly past and talking constructively about how we will move this nation forward.”

“It’s about time we find the common ground and the common purpose to deal with the ugly past and make sure that generations ahead do not have to continue to mark disparities,” Booker said on Wednesday.

Booker had previously told CNN’s Jake Tapper:

“Do I support legislation that is race-conscious about balancing the economic scales? Not only do I support it, but I have legislation that actually does it.”

Booker has authored his own companion bill:

It’s the only reparations bill to be introduced in the Senate after Reconstruction. Like Jackson-Lee’s bill, the senator’s bill would establish a commission to examine the impacts of slavery in the U.S. — from its inception until the end of the Civil War in 1865 — and recommend ways to compensate the descendants of slaves.

Co-sponsors of Booker’s bill include Democratic presidential candidates Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar. A spokesperson for Joe Biden commented that the candidate “believes that we should gather the data necessary to have an informed conversation about reparations, but he has not endorsed a specific bill.”

Recent polling about reparations puts hopeful Democratic candidates in an interesting position, especially the top-tier Democrats who are embracing the issue:

A Fox News poll in April found that 60 percent of Americans oppose paying cash reparations to descendants of slaves, while just 32 percent support it. A Rasmussen poll in the same month found that just 21 percent of likely voters think taxpayers should pay reparations to black Americans who can prove they are descended from slaves.

However, in a finding that could put 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls in a bind, the Fox poll found that among Democratic primary voters, 54 percent said they were likely to support a candidate who backed reparations, while 33 percent said they were not likely.

Additionally, Data For Progress found in a poll last year that while the measure had only 26 percent of Americans in favor, it had net positive support among voters under 45. A Point-Taken Marist poll in 2016 found that while 68 percent of Americans were opposed to reparations, 6 in 10 black Americans said they were in favor.

Additionally:

A recent government survey found that 52 percent of Americans — including growing percentages of whites, blacks, independents, Democrats and Republicans — believe the government does not spend enough money on improving the conditions of African-Americans, according to The Associated Press. But the survey found that just three in 10 Americans think the government is obligated to make up for past racial discrimination.

Postscript 1: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was asked his thoughts about reparations, and his comments made very clear his position on whether any reparations bill would be given a hearing:

I don’t think reparations for something that happened 150 years ago for whom none us currently living are responsible is a good idea. We’ve tried to deal with our original sin of slavery by fighting a civil war, by passing landmark civil rights legislation. We elected an African-American president.

I think we’re always a work in progress in this country, but no one currently alive was responsible for that, and I don’t think we should be trying to figure out how to compensate for it. First of all, it would be pretty hard to figure out who to compensate. We’ve had waves of immigrants come to the country and experience dramatic discrimination of one kind or another. So no, I don’t think reparations are a good idea.

Postscript 2: Unbelievably, (and ironically or expectedly, depending on your level of cynicism), only Elizabeth Warren has said specifically that American Indians should be part of any conversation about reparations.

–Dana

6/18/2019

Today’s Outrage: Ocasio-Cortez Labels ICE Detention Centers “Concentration Camps”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 3:25 pm

[guest post by Dana]

I guess it all depends on your definition of “concentration camps”and whether usage of the phrase “Never again” has a soberingly significant meaning:

“The United States is running concentration camps on our southern border, and that is exactly what they are. They are concentration camps,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

“I want to talk to the people that are concerned enough with humanity that ‘Never Again’ means something,” Ocasio-Cortez continued, referencing the slogan adopted after the Holocaust. “The fact that concentration camps are now an institutionalized practice in the home of the free is extraordinarily disturbing and we need to do something about it.”

“This is a crisis on if American will remain America … Or if we are losing to an authoritarian and fascist presidency,” Ocasio-Cortez said, referring to President Trump. “I don’t use those words lightly. I don’t use those words to just throw bombs. I use that word because that is what an administration that creates concentration camps is.”

The blowback to Ocasio-Cortez’s claim was swift:

”Please @AOC do us all a favor and spend just a few minutes learning some actual history. 6 million Jews were exterminated in the Holocaust​,” wrote Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming on Twitter. “You demean their memory and disgrace yourself with comments like this.​”

Rep. Lee Zeldin called for Ocasio-Cortez to “stop trying to draw these crayon parallels between POTUS & Hitler!”

“Try working WITH your colleagues on BOTH sides of the aisle to secure our border & fix this rather than desperately trying to promote mass hysteria w this disgusting & woefully false comparison,” the Long Island Republican said on Twitter.

Ocasio-Cortez shot back at Cheney:

”Hey Rep. Cheney, since you’re so eager to ‘educate me,’ I’m curious: What do YOU call building mass camps of people being detained without a trial?” the first-term lawmaker said. “How would you dress up DHS’s mass separation of thousands children at the border from their parents?”

Today, Ocasio-Cortez pointed to University of Virginia lecturer, Waitman Wade Beorn, to justify her use of “concentration camps”:

“Things can be concentration camps without being Dachau or Auschwitz. Concentration camps in general have always been designed – at the most basic level – to separate one group of people from another group,” the report quoted Waitman Wade Beorn as saying. “Usually, because the majority group, or the creators of the camp, deem the people they’re putting in it to be dangerous or undesirable in some way.”

This:

The Trump administration doesn’t call then concentration camps for the same reasons the Obama, Bush, and Clinton administrations didn’t — they’re not concentration camps. With thousands of people flooding across the border, the US and Mexico both have to set up facilities to house them while their status gets adjudicated. Their presence in those facilities are necessarily temporary and ends when their cases are finally decided, at which point they’re either admitted or sent out of the country.

The term “concentration camps” is more accurately used for facilities meant for ethnic-cleansing purposes rather than control of immigrants and refugees. This is not a situation in which citizens and residents of a country are being relocated en masse into detention facilities, as happened to the Japanese by FDR in World War II, where the term applies even with its historical baggage. It’s certainly not the situation created by actual fascists in the 1930s and 1940s to isolate, enslave, and then exterminate ethnic minorities within their own citizen populations, intended as a permanent policy. That ethnic cleansing from an existing population is precisely what the term “concentration” connotes, in fact. Regardless of whether a handful of historians use the term to engage in histrionics, the two situations aren’t equal, analogous, or even exist in any connectable context.

Anyway, I’m just glad to see that next week, our elected officials will have an opportunity to actually help ease the suffering in our “concentration camps”:

Trump administration officials have repeatedly urged Congress to provide more funding for the provision of shelter and medical care to the migrants, but the requests have gone largely unanswered due to partisan infighting over how much will be spent on enforcement verses humanitarian aid.

Majority leader Mitch McConnell announced Monday that he plans to hold a vote next week on legislation that would provide $4.5 billion in additional funding to address the situation at the border.

“I’m going to bring it up freestanding next week and see if they really aren’t interested in dealing with this mass of humanity that we have to take care of at the border,” McConnell said in an interview with Fox News. “What’s the objection? This is not about the wall but about the humanitarian crisis.”

(Of course, there is no level of care or accommodation for detainees that would make the practice of detention acceptable to Ocasio-Cortez and her supporters.)

–Dana

Re-Election Campaign Launches With President Trump Announcing “Millions Of Illegals” Will Be Removed

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 8:24 am

[guest post by Dana]

President Trump essentially launched his re-election campaign on Twitter yesterday by simultaneously announcing that “thousands of people” were already lined up in Orlando for his first campaign rally that will be held tonight, and that “millions of illegals” would be removed from the U.S. Of course the number of estimated rally attendees is already the subject of debate, given his tendency to overestimate such things.

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Interspersed with his tweets about the campaign rally were the tweets announcing that ICE will begin the process of removing millions of illegal aliens from the U.S.:

Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States. They will be removed as fast as they come in. Mexico, using their strong immigration laws, is doing a very good job of stopping people…….

….long before they get to our Southern Border. Guatemala is getting ready to sign a Safe-Third Agreement. The only ones who won’t do anything are the Democrats in Congress. They must vote to get rid of the loopholes, and fix asylum! If so, Border Crisis will end quickly!

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The acting director of ICE explained why the deportation move was necessary:

Arguing that federal agencies are at a “breaking point” trying to handle migrant crossings, the country’s top immigration official Sunday in Louisville called for an increase in federal funding and pledged to focus on deporting families.

Mark Morgan, the acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said repeatedly that the thousands of people crossing the Southwestern border of the United States is a crisis, and that agencies such as ICE, Health and Human Services, and Border Patrol are overwhelmed.

Focusing on families in particular, Morgan called children effectively a “U.S. passport” for migrants and argued that no one should be exempt from enforcement.

“Our priorities will always remain the same: The safety and security of the neighborhoods throughout the entire country, to remove the top-priority criminal aliens,” Morgan said in a sit-down interview. “We can’t do that and ignore the rest of the demographics that are here in violation of federal law.”

Clearly, both things can be true at the same time: The number of people surging over the border is overwhelming the system, and President Trump knows how to generate excitement with his base. The announcement that millions will be deported not only serves as a rallying cry for his supporters at the launch of his campaign, but also conveniently serves as a distraction while followers continue to wait for Trump’s Wall to be built…

Anyway, that there is a crisis at the border has most recently been confirmed by Uvalde, Texas, Mayor Don McLaughlin, who is a Democrat, and expressed his frustration during an interview: “From my standpoint, I don’t even know why we have federal elected officials.”

While Uvalde sits 40-60 miles from the border, Mayor Mclaughlin went on to detail the negative impact that the surge of illegal aliens have had on his town and its residents:

Uvalde, Texas, is a small town of 17,000 inhabitants, and they are now overrun by illegal immigrants and an international cartel smuggling operation. Uvalde is 40-60 miles from the border, but it might as well be right at the border. “We are in no man’s land. The state is not doing anything; the federal government is not doing anything,” said the mayor, who is begging the politicians to get involved. “We are getting nothing. I’ve lived here all my life and have never seen anything like this. The people in the communities are getting scared. What is coming that we don’t see? Who knows? People up north and in D.C. have no clue what is going on here. They don’t realize that these people are not being screened for diseases. We’re fed up.”

Situated at the crossroads of major highways coming up from border towns in the Laredo and Del Rio border sectors, Uvalde has now become a dumping ground for migrants coming north. And they are not just coming from Central America. Del Rio has received hundreds of African migrants in recent weeks. Uvalde has a Border Patrol holding facility, and according to McLaughlin, whenever it is full, if the city doesn’t take charge, many immigrants are released in a Walmart parking lot. Mayor McLaughlin said his city must pick up the tab to have them bused to San Antonio. On Friday, local media reported how San Antonio has now received hundreds of African migrants.

Mayor McLaughlin also cited an increase in crime as dozens and dozens of illegals with criminal records are now arriving on freight trains. Border Patrol does not have enough manpower to respond to the crisis.

The Mayor also tore into Rep. William Hurd, Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, as Texas Governor Greg Abbott, and the state attorney general for their “lack of meaningful response” to the crisis in his town.

Additionally, El Paso Sector Border Patrol spokesman Ramiro Cordero, when questioned about the vast number of migrants being held at the foot of the northbound Paso del Norte international bridge in Downtown El Paso and detention center explained the Border Patrol’s frustration:

“If we’re apprehending over 1,000 a day, where do you put them?” he said. “The solution is not more agents or infrastructure or vehicles. You can build 10,000 tents but if people keep coming at the rate that they have, and the system is bottle-necked, there is nothing we can do about it.”

–Dana

6/17/2019

Harvard Rescinds Acceptance of Parkland Survivor Kyle Kashuv Due to Racist Writings at Age 16

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:59 am

Kyle Kashuv is one of the Parkland shooting survivors. Unlike many of the survivors, he remained against gun control. According to Ben Shapiro, Kashuv’s academic qualifications were extraordinarily impressive:

Kashuv was ranked second in his class, with a weighted GPA of 5.345 and an unweighted GPA of 3.9; he scored a 1550 on his SATs.

He applied to Harvard and was accepted. Then some folks upset about his acceptance found things he wrote in a group study chat at age 16, with the n-word all over them.

Now Kashuv’s acceptance has been rescinded.

Ben Shapiro says:

This is, to put it mildly, gutless. There are ex-convicts who, quite properly, have been admitted to Harvard — they earned forgiveness. There are current students who undoubtedly have said things privately that would shock the conscience. There are likely administrators who have said things when they were 16 years old that embarrass them now. Is the new standard that if you said something on a private message board when you were 16 years old that we should deny you the possibility of a degree at a top college, so long as those who join you on that message board decide to out you?

It appears it is the new standard.

Sorry, Kyle, but Harvard utterly rejects any form of bigotry and discrimination, except of course against Asians. Then it’s totally cool. If at age 16 Kashuv had mocked Asians as overly studious and hardworking, Harvard admissions officials would have swooned.

6/16/2019

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 129

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 12:01 am

It is Trinity Sunday. Today’s Bach cantata is “Gelobet sei der Herr, mein Gott” (Praised be the Lord, my God).

Today’s Gospel reading is John 16:12-15:

“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words, praising the Holy Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:

Praised be the Lord,
my God, my light, my life,
my Creator, who has
given me my body and soul;
my Father, who has protected me
from my mother’s womb,
who at every moment
does much good for me.

Praised be the Lord,
my God, my light, my life,
the most beloved Son of the Father,
who gave Himself for me,
who has redeemed me
with His precious blood,
who in faith presents
Himself to me, the highest good.

Praised be the Lord,
my God, my comfort, my life,
the worthy Spirit of the Father,
which the Son gave to me,
who revives my heart,
who give me new strength,
who in all trouble
creates wisdom, comfort and aid.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

6/15/2019

President Trump: “All In” On Amendment To Ban Desecration Of American Flag

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 11:44 am

[guest post by Dana]

Yesterday was Flag Day and the White House appeared to be a little confused about what the holiday commemorates:

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Flag Day was also the day that Republicans Sens. Steve Daines (MT) and Kevin Cramer (ND) introduced a Constitutional amendment to ban the desecration of the American flag:

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Daines commented:

Our United States flag is a timeless symbol of liberty that tells the story of America, the story of our enduring pursuit of freedom. Remembering the sacrifices of all who carried its colors into battle, our nation should always render the flag the honor and dignity it is due.

Cramer also weighed in, explaining why he sees such an amendment as worthwhile:

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This morning, President Trump announced his support for Daines and such an amendment:

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It’s not at all surprising that President Trump threw his support behind this, given that soon after being elected, he made it very clear that he believed no one should be allowed to desecrate the flag, and that if they did, there should be severe consequences:

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This despite the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that desecration of the U.S. flag is free speech protected under the First Amendment. (Texas v. Johnson) Given that efforts to add an amendment have failed before, and given that each chamber of Congress would have to pass the measure with a two-thirds majority, and three-fourths of the state legislatures would have to vote to approve the amendment for any change to the Constitution to be made, it’s unlikely to go anywhere. But really, is the push for such an amendment a good idea? Clearly some GOP lawmakers think it is. However, consider that this makes the GOP as a whole vulnerable to criticism of being anti-speech, or at the very least, the Party that attacks freedom of speech. This becomes an even more credible line of attack as prominent voices on the Right are currently demanding the government police social media platforms, and tell them what speech can be allowed.

Sigh.

–Dana

6/14/2019

African-American Lawmaker Removed From Keynote At Black Hat Cybersecurity Conference

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 5:44 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Last month I posted about the mind-boggling selection of Hillary Clinton giving the keynote speech at the 2019 Cyber Defense Summit.

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Still mind-boggling.

And now this: Just one day after it was announced that Rep. Will Hurd would be a featured keynote speaker at this year’s Black Hat cybersecurity conference, Black Hat caved to pressure, and ungraciously dumped him because he he thinks for himself, and doesn’t walk in lockstep with conference attendees and supporters:

Hurd, a former undercover CIA officer and an advocate for cybersecurity on Capitol Hill, was invited to speak at Black Hat, one of biggest cyber security conferences in the country, being held in Las Vegas in August. But Tech Crunch security editor Zach Whittaker highlighted on Thursday what he described was Hurd’s “terrible voting record on women’s rights.” It includes voting against funding for Planned Parenthood, programs supporting women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields, and his support on restricting late-term abortions.

Black Hat initially defended its decision to invite Hurd, saying in a statement “Hurd has a strong background in computer science and information security and has served as an advocate for specific cybersecurity initiatives in Congress,” adding that he will offer a “unique perspective” at the conference.

That did not, however, halt the uproar from the cybersecurity community, with some threatening to pull their involvement in the conference.

Ironically, participants were concerned about his lack of concern for women, as evidenced by his votes to protect unborn women, as well as citing his lack of support for minorities*:

One person who we asked for permission to quote said Hurd’s voting record was “simply awful” for women’s rights.

Others in tweets said the move doesn’t reflect well on companies sponsoring the event.

Kat Fitzgerald, an infosec professional and regular conference speaker, told TechCrunch that Hurd’s choosing was a “painfully poor choice” for a keynote speaker. “Simply put, in 2019 women and *minorities continue to be ignored,” she said.

Although abortion rights and cybersecurity may seem like unrelated topics, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to separate social issues from technology and gatherings. It’s also valid for attendees to express concern that the keynote speaker at a professional security conference opposes what many will consider a human right.

*Psst: Will Hurd is an African-American male.

Hurd’s office eloquently set the record straight in response to the decision to disinvite Hurd:

“Representative Hurd was honored to be invited and hopes that the Black Hat Conference is a success,” said Katie Thompson, Hurd’s communications director, via email.

“Congressman Hurd has always sought to engage groups of people that don’t necessarily agree with all of his votes or opinions. That’s why Rep. Hurd is one of the loudest voices for bipartisanship in Congress.”

She continued: “This Congress alone he voted for equal pay for equal work, for the Violence Against Women Act and the Equality Act.”

Hm, given the obvious lack of self-awareness, the email response may have sailed right over all the black hats involved:

Black Hat vowed that the conference is “still fully dedicated to providing an inclusive environment and apologize that this decision did not reflect that sentiment.”

Because dumping an independent, free-thinking African-American from a keynote is reflective of an inclusive environment, am I right?? Idiots. I’ll say this though: They’re absolutely right that their decision does not reflect their claimed sentiment.

–Dana

Lineup for First 2020 Democratic Debate

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 1:18 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Debate season is just about upon us. Hoo boy, anything is possible in the Thunderdome.

Of the 20 qualifying candidates, these are the top five contenders at this point in time: Biden, Sanders, Harris and Buttigieg and Warren. The two nights of debate will be held in Miami.

Here is the lineup for June 26:

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker
Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro
Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio
Former Maryland Rep. John Delaney
Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan

Here is the lineup for June 27:

Former Vice President Joe Biden
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders
South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg
California Sen. Kamala Harris
New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet
Author Marianne Williamson
California Rep. Eric Swalwell
Businessman Andrew Yang
Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper

How disappointing that Sanders and Warren won’t be on stage together to entertainingly try and out-socialism each other. Of course, his “Americans would be delighted to pay more taxes” silliness is still fresh in people’s minds, and her American Indian issues are still making the news. They’ve got problems. Clearly front-runner Biden will be the main target of the other contenders on the second night. And boy, has he given them some stuff to work with: flip-floppingon abortion, finger-wagging condescension toward women, flip-flopping on China threat, etc. I’m surprised that “spirituality guru” Marianne Williamson made the cut while Governor Bullock of Montana didn’t. Bullock being the only candidate to win a statewide election in a state won by Trump…But then again, we’re talking California and Montana.

Here is some background on how the matchups were decided:

According to NBC, the media sponsor for the first debate, a representative from NBC News Standards & Practices conducted the drawing.

Each campaign was invited to send one representative to NBC headquarters at Rockefeller Center in New York for the noon drawing. According to people in the room, the names were drawn and then NBC determined which set of Democratic hopefuls would debate on either night.

NBC announced that candidate podium placements would be based on polling and announced closer to the debates.

Candidates had to qualify for the first debate by either receiving at least 1% support in three polls from an approved list of pollsters or received campaign contributions from 65,000 unique donors, including 200 donors each from 20 different states.
Three Democratic hopefuls — Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton and Miramar, Florida, Mayor Wayne Messam — did not qualify for the first contest.

Let the games begin.

–Dana

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