The Jury Talks Back

6/14/2017

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

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 4:16 am

Awful.

Here is a Fox News report:

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

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

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

UPDATE: Steve Scalise on a stretcher:

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

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

[Cross-posted at RedState.]

6/12/2017

Ninth Circuit Agrees with Patterico

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 6:03 pm

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

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 Trump’s supporters uniformly cited section 1182(f) and mocked my argument that section 1152(a) superseded it.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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 5:58 am

[guest post by Dana]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–Dana

6/11/2017

Scoring Political Points Off Dead Victims Of Terrorist Attack Is Obscene

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 2:12 pm

[guest post by Dana]

London police chief Cressida Dick in an interview just one week after the London Bridge terror attack which left eight dead:

The commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police says the nationalities of the eight victims in the terrorist attack on London Bridge tell a proud story of London’s unique makeup.

“It’s desperately sad and poignant but among those who died is someone who’s British, there are French, Australian, Canadian, Spanish,” Cressida Dick told The Associated Press in an interview Saturday.

“In terms of our witnesses that we’ve spoken to so far, out of the 300-odd people, there are about 20 different countries of origin. And the London British population comes from all kinds of backgrounds and every kind of faith and ethnicity.”

She said longtime Londoners value this international aspect of the British capital.

“We believe of course that that’s what makes our city so great,” she said. “It’s a place where the vast majority of time it’s incredibly integrated and that diversity gives us strength.”

Not “desperately sad and poignant” to me, but instead I find it rather obscene that the London police chief would to try to score political points by standing on the dead bodies of eight innocent individuals who were much, much more than their collective diversity. Frankly, I really don’t care about their diversity, because to reduce them to this simple metric is to ignore their unique individuality and that which made them so terribly precious to their families who grieve. I’m wholly disgusted to see that in the aftermath of such a horrific event, the commissioner reveals herself to be an opportunistic whore.

Note: Suffice it to say when talking about diversity, cultural diversity is ignored by its cherry-picking proponents. But then you already knew that.

–Dana

6/10/2017

Comey Slams New York Times

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:18 am

I’m behind the curve on all of this, because of work duties, and I did not watch Comey’s testimony until last night. But I did notice that he called out a New York Times story about Trump as always completely false. The New York Times is a partisan institution whose White House reporters are pro-Hillary hacks like Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman. If you’re embracing Comey’s testimony as true — and I do — you’re also embracing the reality that the New York Times publishes stories that are garbage. And I do.

To be quite honest, I don’t find this as concerning as a narcisstic 12-second-attention-span President who lies like he breathes. But having media institutions you can rely on becomes even more important when the occupant of the Oval Office is a cretin. We’ve had cretins there 9 years and counting, and the media is not doing much to cover themselves in glory as credible watchdogs. Sad!

6/9/2017

My Reaction to the Comey Testimony

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:09 pm

I have now watched all the Comey testimony. I’ve read very little in the way of reactions, but I know that I am supposed to dislike Comey for some reason. I don’t, though. I continue to believe he made a mistake on the Hillary thing, but it did not merit firing nor did it destroy my respect for him. The admission of a leak does not cover him in glory either. But he didn’t lie about it.

My reaction: he was honest, and Trump continues to be a giant liar. I’d believe Comey over Trump any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Also: John McCain is losing it. He can’t form a coherent sentence and seems very, very confused. Time to retire, buddy.

Montana Republican Greg Gianforte Apologizes, Will Plead Guilty To Assaulting Reporter

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 5:41 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Yesterday it was announced that newly-elected congressman from Montana, Greg Gianforte will plead guilty to assault charges resulting from an altercation with Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs last month. In spite of Jacobs saying “he would not object to Gianforte entering a no contest plea,” the Gallatin County Attorney told reporters that Gianforte will nonetheless plead guilty. Gianforte would face a maximum of six months in jail and a $500 fine if found guilty.

Earlier this week, Gianforte wrote Jacobs a letter of apology, as well as informing Jacobs that he would be making a $50,000 donation to the Committee to Protect Journalists, a nonprofit group that works to protect the rights of journalists everywhere while defending their right “to report the news without fear of reprisal”.

Untitled

“As both a candidate for office and a public official, I should be held to a high standard in my interactions with the press and the public. My treatment of you did not meet that standard,” Gianforte wrote.

[…]

“I understand the critical role that journalists and the media play in our society,” Gianforte wrote. “Protections afforded to the press through the Constitution are fundamental to who we are as a nation and the way government is accountable to the people.”

“I acknowledge that the media have an obligation to seek information,” Gianforte continued. “I also know that civility in our public discourse is central to a productive dialogue on issues. I had no right to respond the way I did to your legitimate question about healthcare policy. You were doing your job.”

Jacobs has accepted Gianforte’s apology:

“I have accepted Mr. Gianforte’s apology and his willingness to take responsibility for his actions and statements. I hope the constructive resolution of this incident reinforces for all the importance of respecting the freedom of the press and the First Amendment and encourages more civil and thoughtful discourse in our country.”

Sending a letter of apology was the right thing for Gianforte to do. Unfortunately, given how many on the right defended Gianforte in the altercation because it was “just desserts” for years of the liberal elite media attacking and maligning Republicans, it wouldn’t be surprising if this mockery was actually the very real reaction of the same people to Gianforte upon reading his apology:

Manly masculine man Greg Gianforte disappointed his ancestors, the right-wing movement, and betrayed Trump in the worst way possible when today he apologized to the reporter he “body-slammed,” in a weepy, wimpy statement.

Clearly he doesn’t want to make America great ever!!

But it wasn’t payback to the media. Not at all. It was just someone in a position of power losing his temper and making a very bad decision. The same writer mocking those who defended Gianforte’s actions, gets to the heart of the matter: “This is what happens when you love your political tribe more than you love truth, or honesty, or decency.”

As I opined here,

I guess assault is now considered okay, if it’s your side that felt provoked. Like, oh, we didn’t have a choice, we had to shove, hit, grab by the neck, whatever. WE HAD NO CHOICE! Whether it’s an annoying reporter provoking a politician, or a politician provoking a colleagues on the other side of the aisle, it’s unacceptable to react in this manner. Can we just dispense with making excuses for any of them: Gianforte’s assault on Ben Jacobs was simply how Montanans settle things. Nevarez shoving Rinaldi is just how Texans (or Hispanic males) settle things. We should be irate as hell that our elected officials in the seats of power believe the rules don’t apply to them, and condeming their noxious weasel-like rationalizations. As if those should smooth over very bad decision making. No one looks noble, just pathetic. And for Godsake, let’s stop assessing whether the story fits our particular point of political view before condemning it. That sort of thinking only widens the Left/Right chasm, and further exacerbates an already contentious situation. Somebody must be the grown up.

Hopefully everyone will cheer on Gianforte’s efforts to right a wrong, in as much as it is in his power to do so. (Yes, I know: Gianforte’s a politician. Genuine sincerity and humility are not standard fare for these types when caught up in any sort of scandal. Faux-humility, yes. Definitely. Rehab, of course. And a lot of testing the political winds to see which way public sentiment leads them. That is the typical go-to response of those in power. And maybe that’s what Ginaforte’s letter and donation are all about. But right here, right now, I choose to dump my standard cynicism and see this as a man who knew he screwed up big time and is trying to make amends as best he can. Can we just leave it there, at least for now?)

Also, to this Republican’s credit, not only did he offer a gracious apology, but official verification of his $50,000 donation has been made. This, unlike other politicians, including those on the right side of the aisle.

–Dana

6/8/2017

President Trump’s Personal Attorney Responds To James Comey’s Testimony

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 11:27 am

[guest post by Dana]

From Marc Kasowitz:

Contrary to the numerous false press accounts leading up to today’s hearing, Mr. Comey has now finally confirmed publicly what he repeatedly told President Trump privately: That is, that the President was not under investigation as part of any probe into Russian interference. Mr. Comey also admitted that there is no evidence that a single vote changed as a result of any Russian interference.

Mr Comey’s testimony also makes clear that the President never sought to impede the investigation into attempted Russian interference in the 2016 election, and in fact, according to Mr. Comey, the President told Mr. Comey “it would be good to find out” in that investigation if there was “some satellite’ associates of his who did something wrong.” And he, President Trump, did not exclude anyone from that statement.

Consistent with that statement, the President never, in form or substance, directed or suggested that Mr. Comey stop investigating anyone, including the president never suggested that Mr. Comey “let Flynn go.” As the president publicly stated the next day, he did say to Mr. Comey, “General Flynn is a good guy, he has been through a lot” and also “asked how is General Flynn is doing.” Admiral Rogers testified today that the President never “directed [him] to do anything . . . illegal, immoral, unethical or inappropriate,” and never, never “pressured [him] to do so.” Director Coates said the same thing. The President likewise never pressured Mr. Comey.

The President also never told Mr. Comey, “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty”. He never said it in form and he never said it in substance. Of course, the Office of the President is entitled to expect loyalty from those serving in an administration, and, from before this President took office to this day, it is overwhelmingly clear that there have been and continue to be those in government who are actively attempting to undermine this administration with selective and illegal leaks of classified information and privileged communications. Mr. Comey has now admitted that he is one of these leakers.

Today, Mr. Comey admitted that he unilaterally and surreptitiously made unauthorized disclosures to the press of privileged communications with the President. The leaks of this privileged information began no later than March 2017 when friends of Mr. Comey have stated that he disclosed to them the conversations he had with the President during their January 27, 2017 dinner and February 14, 2017 White House meeting. Today, Mr. Comey admitted hat he leaked to friends of his purported memos of these privileged conversations, one of which he testified was classified. Mr. Comey also testified that immediately after he was terminated he authorized his friends to leak the contents of those memos to the press in order to, in Mr. Comey’s words, “prompt the appointment of a special counsel.”

Although Mr. Comey testified he only leaked the memos in response to a tweet, the public record reveals that the New York Times was quoting from these memos the day before the referenced tweet, which belies Mr. Comey’s excuse for this unauthorized disclosure of privileged information and appears to be entirely retaliatory. We will leave it to the appropriate authorities to determine whether these leaks should be investigated along
with all the others being investigated.

In sum, it is now established that the President was not being investigated for colluding with the or attempting to obstruct any investigation. As the Committee pointed out today, these important facts for the country to know are virtually the only facts that have not been leaked during the course of these events.

As he said yesterday, the President feels completely vindicated, and is eager to continue to moving forward with his agenda, with the business of this country, and with this public cloud removed.

–Dana

6/7/2017

James Comey’s Statement

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 4:41 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Late getting this up due to other obligations. Here’s James Comey’s opening statement.

As Dan McLaughlin notes, there’s both some good news and some bad news for the president. “Comey explodes the Democrats’ narrative that Trump was under criminal investigation for collusion with Russia, and confirms with specificity that Trump was telling the truth when he tweeted that Comey had told him as much on three occasions. The bad news, for Trump, is that Comey also details his mounting concerns about Trump’s heavy-handedness. His discussion of the January 27 dinner, which he interpreted as Trump asking him to audition for staying on as FBI Director, set the tone”…

Much more at the link.

–Dana

ISIS Claims Responsibility For Attack On Tehran

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 10:42 am

[guest post by Dana]

It’s being reported this morning that ISIS has made its first major attack on Iran:

Iran’s revolutionary guard lashed out at Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, hours after 12 people were killed and 42 others were wounded in devastating attacks on two potent symbols in Tehran, the capital: Iran’s Parliament and the mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

The Islamic State immediately said it was behind the attacks, the first time that the Sunni Muslim extremist group has claimed responsibility for an assault in Iran, which is predominantly Shiite Muslim. The group, which views Shiite Muslims as apostates, is battling with Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and in Syria.

Tensions in the Middle East were already high; after a visit by President Trump, Saudi Arabia and several Sunni allies led a regional effort on Monday to isolate Qatar, the one Persian Gulf country that maintains relations with Iran.

In a statement, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps faulted both Saudi Arabia and the United States government: “The public opinion of the world, especially Iran, recognizes this terrorist attack — which took place a week after a joint meeting of the U.S. president and the head of one of the region’s backward governments, which constantly supports fundamentalist terrorists — as very significant,” clearly referring to Saudi Arabia. The statement also acknowledged the Islamic State’s claim of responsibility.

Of the 12 victims of the attacks, 11 died at the Parliament building, and one at the mausoleum. In addition, six assailants were killed: four at the Parliament, and two at the mausoleum. Five were men, and one of the mausoleum attackers was a woman.

(On a side note, it is expected that Iran would blame President Trump for the attack, and from reading the entire report, it appears the NYT is eager to push that belief along as well. This even as Iran chants death to America.)

Also, as a result of the attack, Senate Democrats are asking that today’s vote to impose sanctions on Iran’s ballistic missile program and extend terrorism sanctions involving the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps be postponed because it would be the kind thing to do:

“Instead of rubbing salt into a wound, just to say let’s wait a few days and consider what to do,” Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., said Wednesday the Senate floor. “If we were in their shoes, I think we would appreciate that gesture.”

“If we were in [Iran’s] shoes, I think the idea of them sort of taking this kind of action or step against us on a day that we’ve been attacked by ISIS would not be well received,” Carper said.

To this lay person, generosity toward Iran seems a bit mind-boggling when one considers it’s Iran we’re talking about. Especially as they are not only chanting their standard refrain of “Death to America,” but are also vowing revenge for the attack, according to Saeed Ghasseminejad’s translation of a statement made by Deputy commander of IRGC intelligence Hossein Nejat’s:

“The Saudis & US had ordered terrorist operation in Tehran” & “IRGC would take revenge on terrorists & those who gave them the order.”

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

Two Trump Stories That Caught My Attention

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 6:34 am

Trump announces $100 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia last month. But . . . if this report is to be believed, “There is no $110 billion deal. Instead, there are a bunch of letters of interest or intent, but not contracts. . . . None of the deals identified so far are new, all began in the Obama administration.”

Well, Trump lying is nothing new. Neither is Trump diverting charity money to his own pocket — although doing so at the expense of kids dying from cancer is a new low even for this cretin. The story is complicated and hard to capture in a simple description or single block quote, so consider the quote below to be a teaser rather than a comprehensive summary of the article. Forbes reports:

[T]he Donald J. Trump Foundation, which has come under previous scrutiny for self-dealing and advancing the interests of its namesake rather than those of charity, apparently used the Eric Trump Foundation to funnel $100,000 in donations into revenue for the Trump Organization.

And while donors to the Eric Trump Foundation were told their money was going to help sick kids, more than $500,000 was re-donated to other charities, many of which were connected to Trump family members or interests, including at least four groups that subsequently paid to hold golf tournaments at Trump courses.

All of this seems to defy federal tax rules and state laws that ban self-dealing and misleading donors.

Well, that part is nothing new.

What do you expect Donald Trump to do? Not steal money from kids dying of cancer?

Proposition 57 Attracted This Violent Criminal to California

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 6:21 am

This is a press release by the Torrance Police Department from May 30, 2017:

On May 29th, 2017, at approximately 10:35p.m., the Torrance Police Department responded to the 3600 block of Sara Drive regarding a call of suspicious activity. Upon arrival, responding officers heard a female screaming as two male suspects ran from the residence.

One suspect was immediately detained, and the second suspect was later discovered hiding in the victim’s garage approximately 1 ½ hours later during a canine search. Upon arrest, a private citizen appearing to be filming the incident inquired why the suspect was there. The suspect replied, “Prop 57”.

The preliminary investigation reveals both suspects, a 17 year old male and 18 year old male both from Colorado, worked in concert to commit a home invasion robbery, wherein a 73 year old victim was attacked. It was further discovered the suspects were connected to another residential burglary and were driving a vehicle stolen out of Colorado as well.

The victim was transported to a local hospital, and later released with minor injuries. This call for service was initiated by an alert neighbor who immediately called police when they observed suspicious activity in the neighborhood.

Both suspects were found to have warrants from Colorado, the 17 year old has a warrant for murder, and the 18 year old has a warrant for robbery.

The Torrance Police Department continues to encourage its residents to report all suspicious activity, as this can easily save a life –See something Say something.

Sergeant Ronald Harris
Torrance Police Department Public Information Officer
(310) 618-5688
rharris@torranceca.gov

I see something! I see Proposition 57, a poorly conceived ballot measure (written by defense attorneys) that has endangered the public safety.

The benefits of Proposition 57 go beyond attracting violent criminals like the one described above to our state. Thanks to Proposition 57, people facing murder charges in adult court all over Los Angeles County have been returned to juvenile court to see if they should be tried as adults — even though at the time their cases were filed, Deputy D.A.s were legally entitled to file on them in adult court. These “juveniles” (many were adults, some in their 20s, at the time they were returned to juvenile court) often have co-defendants who were adults at the time of the crime, meaning the adult case and the juvenile case get split up. The result is one of two things: either the entire trial is delayed for months while the adult waits for the juvenile, or the adult moves forward in adult court and the case is tried twice, putting witnesses through two trials instead of one.

The proposition doesn’t explicitly say this is what should happen. But at least one court has interpreted the measure that way, and so here we are.

I don’t think the voters realized any of this was going to happen.

I see something, so I am saying something.

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