The Jury Talks Back


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.

Not the Onion: U.S. Secretary of State Brings “Rocket Man” CD to North Korea for Kim Jong-un

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 10:33 am

Diplomacy at its finest:

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo left for North Korea on Thursday for denuclearization talks and brought two gifts for leader Kim Jong-un.

One is a letter from U.S. President Donald Trump and the other an Elton John CD with his song “Rocket Man.”

Sources in Washington said the gifts reflect Trump’s expectations that Kim will follow through on the pledges in an agreement the two signed at their summit.

One diplomatic source in Washington said, “The ‘Rocket Man’ CD was the subject of discussion during Trump’s lunch with Kim. Kim mentioned that Trump referred to him as ‘rocket man’ when tensions ran high last year” after a series of nuclear tests and missile launches by the North. “Trump then asked Kim if he knew the song and Kim said no.”

Trump remembered the conversation and told Pompeo to take a CD with the song for Kim. He reportedly wrote a message on it and signed it.

Kim is expected to respond with a DVD containing the new North Korean hit “Deranged Dotard.” I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

By the way, Trump’s letter was a very nice letter. Oh, would you like to see what was in that letter. It was a very interesting letter. I . . . haven’t read the letter yet. I may be in for a big surprise, folks!

UPDATE: AZ Bob has this great line in the comments: “If he wanted to insult him, he would have given him an iPod full of Obama’s speeches.” That is A+ humor. Thanks for the line.


U.S. President Donald Trump: It Is Bad to Have U.S. Citizens from Iran

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:59 am

The President of the United States tweeted this early this morning:

The first thing to realize here is that it’s unclear whether it’s actually true. President Trump has a habit of proclaiming the truth of things he sees on the teevee, even when he has access to actual governmental information that could confirm or deny the teevee allegations. (Remember his false tweets about how Obama wiretapped him, for example.) A Fox News report emerged in the last 24 hours making the accusation about the 2500 Iranian immigrants — and the story seems to be based on the as-yet unsubstantiated allegations of “a senior cleric and member of parliament” in Iran named Hojjat al-Islam Mojtaba Zolnour. I suspect this report ended up on the Fox News network, and our Cable News Watcher in Chief pounced.

Is Zolnour telling the truth? I have no idea. The Washington Times reports:

“This sounds like totally made-up B.S.,” said Marie Harf, a former State Department spokeswoman who now works for Fox News.

The current State Department said in a statement to Fox News: “We’re not going to comment on every statement by an Iranian official.”

Moreover, the numbers don’t appear to reflect any particular bump in either green cards or citizenship for Iranians during this period. According to the Fox News story:

Though Zolnour did not mention anyone by name during the interview, several children of current and former Iranian officials live in the United States, including Ali Fereydoun, whose father Hossein Fereydoun is the brother of and special aide to Rouhani; and Fatemeh Ardeshir Larijani, whose father Ali Larijani is speaker of parliament.

There is no suggestion either of these people received citizenship in the wake of the Iranian nuclear deal. It’s also unclear if Zolnour meant citizenship or a green card.

In 2015, 13,114 people born in Iran were issued green cards, while 13,298 were issued one in 2016, according to figures from the Department for Homeland Security. In 2015, 10,344 Iranians became naturalized, with a further 9,507 in 2016.

But putting aside the question of the tweet’s truth, there seems to be no plausible way to read Trump’s tweet other than as a bigoted rejection of Iranian citizens. When I raised this issue on Twitter, Trump defenders told me that certainly the Iranians admitted would have been the bad ones that the Ayatollah didn’t want. (There is no evidence of that, of course, but a certain species of Trump supporter doesn’t require evidence to defend Trump.) But even if we accepted the notion that the 2500 (if they exist) were chosen for being antithetical to the views of the Ayatollah, that could easily mean that they were among the least fundamentalist and Islamist of possible emigres. And indeed, according to the Fox News report, Zolnour, the cleric making the accusation, said the new immigrants were undermining Iran’s interests:

He estimated that between 30 and 60 were studying in the U.S. while the rest of them were working in the country “against our national interests.”

He’s talking about Iran’s interests, not ours. Wouldn’t those be the most desirable of Iranian immigrants, and not the least?

No, it seems that the real problem here for Trump is that we admitted people from Iran. And apparently Trump thinks that Iran is bad and therefore U.S. citizens who come from Iran are bad.

And this is both ignorant and bigoted. The Iranian immigrants I know are among the most patriotic people I’ve ever met. Keep in mind that after 9/11, the citizens of Tehran supported the United States:

In Iran, vast crowds turned out on the streets and held candlelit vigils for the victims. Sixty-thousand spectators respected a minute’s silence at Tehran’s football stadium.

When the President of the United States puts out a statement that suggests that it’s a bad thing to have U.S. citizens who hail from Iran, he sends a message to U.S. citizens here who come from Iran: you are not welcome. It is a bad thing that you are here.

In short, this tweet makes President Donald J. Trump look like a real asshole.


Would a Justice Amy Barrett Recuse Herself in Abortion Cases?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:59 am

Judge Amy Barrett seems to be the new hotness among conservatives. She is being seriously discussed as a credible candidate to replace Anthony Kennedy despite a mighty thin track record as a judge. Why? Let’s look at a couple of representative pieces. First, Michael Brendan Dougherty at National Review has a piece titled Wanted: Justice Amy Coney Barrett:

The facts of Barrett’s life — that she is a mother of seven children, and that when she speaks about her Catholic faith, she speaks about God as if she really believes in His existence — will provoke nasty and bigoted statements from Democratic senators and liberal media personalities. Again.

You may recall that this has already happened. In 2017, during confirmation hearings for a seat on the Seventh Circuit, Senator Dianne Feinstein surveyed Barrett’s public statements on her personal faith and told her that she worried that “the dogma lives loudly within you.” The bizarre idiom she created was a sign that Feinstein didn’t have an easy way to say what she wanted to say: A Catholic is fine. A believing Catholic is not.

And Michael Walther at The Week has a piece titled Amy Barrett for the Supreme Court:

The hearings on Barrett’s nomination were one of the most appalling spectacles in our recent political history. When Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) condescendingly declared that “the dogma lives loudly within you,” what she was saying, in essence, is that a person who wishes to serve the American people may check “Catholic” as a box on a census form and perhaps root for the Fighting Irish on Saturday afternoons in the fall if she likes, so long as she does not insist upon doing anything so gauche as believing in all that moth-eaten Romish superstition.

. . . .

If any more proof were necessary of the steeliness of Barrett’s character, it is worth pointing out that she has managed to have a successful career as a scholar and teacher while raising seven children.

What is notable about these pieces is their lack of any reference to any of Barrett’s judicial decisions — which is unsurprising, because she has been an appellate judge for a very short time (less than a year). It seems that we are operating under the principle: “anything that upsets the libs must be good.” Dougherty confirms this by italicizing the word “only” in this sentence: “Now, it would be churlish to choose Barrett only because her nomination will cause some Democrats to bleep, bloop disconcertingly before entering into auto-destruct mode.” Dougherty’s next reason for the nomination is equally devoid of reference to judicial philosophy: “It would be good to nominate her, however, because the fight to confirm her will contain edifying political lessons.” The lesson is that we don’t have religious tests for public office.

That is all well and good — but the issue becomes murky when someone openly declares that their religion will interfere with the discharge of their duty. Has that happened with Barrett? No, but there is cause for concern that it might — not that she would judge a case in a certain way because of her religion, but that she would refuse to participate.

In one sphere, the death penalty, Barrett has already declared that Catholic judges performing some functions related to enforcing the death penalty might consider recusing themselves due to the inconsistency of the death penalty with their Catholic faith. In a law review co-written with John Garvey, Barrett states this more definitively with respect to trial judges, and is more wobbly when it comes to the actions of appellate judges:

[W]e believe that Catholic judges (if they are faithful to the teachings of their church) are morally precluded from enforcing the death penalty. This means that they can neither themselves sentence criminals to death nor enforce jury recommendations of death. Whether they may affirm lower court orders of either kind is a question we have the most difficulty in resolving.

The authors look at ways in which the decisions of appellate judges are distinguishable from trial judges actually ordering a death sentence. But their conclusion that appellate judges may participate in decisions relating to capital punishment is far from absolute:

Appellate review of a death sentence is not, then, a case of formal cooperation. This does not mean that it is all right. Whatever might be the legal significance of an affirmance, it probably looks to most people like an endorsement of the sentence. This can cause scandal, leading others into sin. . . . Considerations like this make it exceedingly difficult to pass moral judgment on the appellate review of sentencing. The morality of the acts which fall under that description will, it seems to us, vary from one set of circumstances to another.

In discussing whether recusal is appropriate, the authors say:

When an observant Catholic judge sits on the guilt phase of a capital case [as a trial judge] his cooperation with the evil of capital punishment is material rather than formal. . . . . From a moral point of view deciding an appeal is an act of material cooperation, not formal, and one where it is difficult to say what outcome is morally preferable. The issue is especially difficult in cases where the judge is asked to review the death sentence itself. Unless he intervenes the defendant will die. And his act of affirming, whatever its legal significance might be, looks a lot like approval of the sentence. Conscientious Catholic judges might have more trouble with cases like these than they would at trial.

Ed Whelan has pointed out that Barrett has testified that she “could not imagine sitting here any class of cases or category of cases on which I would feel obliged to recuse on grounds of conscience.” Ed Whelan says: “Barrett’s article focused heavily on the recusal obligations of trial judges in capital cases and emphasized that the recusal question for appellate judges was much more complicated under Catholic moral teaching on improper cooperation.” This is true, but there is no blanket assurance in the article.

Not every Catholic judge feels this way, of course. Whelan notes: “Justice Scalia, for whom Barrett later clerked, disagreed with her reading of Catholic teaching on the death penalty.” That is why this is not a “religious test,” but a test of whether a person can discharge her duties in every case, or might instead recuse herself from major categories of cases.

The question becomes more even complicated (and speculative) when it comes to abortion cases. Unlike with capital punishment, Barrett has written nothing specific to even suggest that she might recuse herself in such cases — but the principles could be the same as for capital punishment. If she believed that the issues involved questions of good and evil under her religion, and if she were determined (as I think she would be) to avoid judging a case based on her religious convictions, then it’s not impossible to say she could end up deciding that recusal is the best option even in abortion cases.

It would be ironic indeed if conservatives supported Barrett because they thought her Catholic faith would make her a certain vote to overturn Roe v. Wade — only to see her recuse herself from any such case because of that same faith.


Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 109

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 12:26 am

It is the sixth Sunday after Pentecost. The title of today’s Bach cantata is “Ich glaube, lieber Herr, hilf meinem Unglauben” (I believe, dear Lord, help my unbelief):

Today’s Gospel reading is Mark 5:21-43.

Jesus Raises a Dead Girl and Heals a Sick Woman

When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” So Jesus went with him.

A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

“You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”

But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”

Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him.

After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.

The text of today’s piece is available here. The final chorus contains these words:

Whoever hopes in God and trusts in Him,
will never be put to shame;
for whoever builds on this rock,
although at the moment he be beset
by many misfortunes, yet I have never seen
those people fail
who rely on God’s consolation;
He helps all His faithful ones.

Trust in God, and He will help you. This passage, about Jesus healing a child thought lost, speaks to me deeply on this Sunday. Yesterday a friend sent me this passage from Psalm 34:

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

The righteous person may have many troubles,
but the Lord delivers him from them all;
he protects all his bones,
not one of them will be broken.


Happy listening!


All We Have Is Conversation

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 8:02 am

As I recently listened to an older Sam Harris podcast, I heard him make the point that “all we have is conversation.” In other words, to change things, we either have force or we have conversation. (He made the point in the context of decrying the left’s tendency to reject conversation by using threats and violence to shut people up.)

It’s a simple but profound observation.

He also makes the point elsewhere that Donald Trump, together with any followers of his who excuse his rampant lying, is also helping to destroy civil conversation by removing the concept of truth from the tools of meaningful discourse. (Truth is important to Harris, and to me. He once tried to speak with Jordan Peterson, and a two-hour conversation was completely hijacked by Harris’s inability to get past Peterson’s odd concept of truth as a malleable concept whose meaning somehow depends on its evolutionary value. But that’s another discussion.) So Harris believes that the left and Trump are both destroying civil conversation. I agree wholeheartedly. It’s another reason I like listening to Harris.

I’m going to again recommit to trying to have civil conversations without engaging in the type of behavior that derails it. I am not perfect and my adherence to this commitment will not be perfect. But a commitment to try ensures that I’ll try harder. So here you go.

P.S. Like the last time I announced a similar commitment, this announcement can easily be misunderstood as a declaration that I will no longer criticize Donald Trump or something. If that’s what you’re taking from this, you’re not getting it. I hope to be civil in the way Sam Harris is civil. He decries Donald Trump in the fiercest terms possible, but he is willing to have a polite conversation with anyone about that or any other topic.


Supreme Court: No More Forced Union Dues for Public Sector Unions

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:51 am

Three cheers for the Supreme Court:

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Wednesday in Janus v. AFSCME that nonunion workers cannot be forced to pay fees to public sector unions.

The case, one of the most hotly anticipated of the term, is the second in two days to hand a major victory to conservatives, following Tuesday’s holding by the court that President Donald Trump’s travel ban is constitutional. Some experts have said that a holding in favor of the plaintiff, Mark Janus, would be the most significant court decision affecting collective bargaining in decades.

They have been taking these dues from me at gunpoint for years.

I have one question.

Do I get my money back?

MSNBC Yapper: The United States Is Now Worse than Venezuela or Cuba

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:45 am

Steve “Compassionate Conservative” Schmidt is upset, and he wants you to know it:

“The extraordinary and astounding hypocrisy of it, to see the constancy of the assertion of Christian virtue by political leaders in this country who have established internment camps for babies and toddlers,” Schmidt said. “By the way, and I never in a million years thought I would sit here or anywhere and say this, but the difference now between Venezuela and Cuba and the United States is this. Venezuela and Cuba are the countries without internment camps for babies and toddlers.”

Also they have poverty, starvation, and political repression:

Venezuela is currently in extreme economic distress due to the socialist policies of authoritarian President Nicolas Maduro. Maduro has cracked down on human rights as the country faces food and medical shortages owing to its current crisis. Cuba is a Communist country with a poor human rights record and a regime that imprisons political opponents.

You might remember Schmidt from such campaigns as Ahhhhnold or John McCain. He’s great at backing people who are Republicans but not particularly conservative. Now he’s an MSNBC analyst: a natural progression.

Allahpundit explains the game happening here:

The game is called “Crisis” and you win to the extent that your sense of despair at it outstrips others’. Opposing child separation is meh; demonstrating against it is better; saying that it places us at a moral disadvantage to the Maduro regime is an all-star performance. The spate of liberals demonstrating outside Trump aides’ homes, kicking staffers out of restaurants, and all the tedious Antifa-esque defenses of it online over the last few days are big point-scorers too. How much do you care? Enough to yank that cheese plate out of Sarah Sanders’s hand? Enough to write political spank material for leftists about how civility towards persons such as these is itself immoral? It’s a game.

The United States is attempting to stem a flood of immigrants into our borders, because we have the highest standard of living on the continent. That is what is happening. Full stop.

The trouble with statements like Schmidt’s, other than that they are idiotic, is that they get used as propaganda in other countries. Other countries where actual repression occurs. Other countries with actual internment camps.

Pro-tip: Don’t exaggerate the faults of the United States, and compare us to actual terrible countries — unless your goal is to give aid and comfort to actual terrible countries. In which case, your moral compass is way of whack. Maybe even more out of whack than Donald Trump’s!

For the Man Who (Says He) Owns Everything, Get Him a Medium Where He Can Own Himself

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:26 am

Wow! President Donald J. Trump:

The woman who beat him, socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, says she’s for impeaching Trump:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Wednesday that she would support impeachment for President Trump if she wins in November.

The 28-year-old Democratic socialist, fresh off a shocking primary upset over 10-term incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley (D) in New York’s 14th district, made the comments in an interview on CNN.

“I would support impeachment,” the first-time candidate and former Bernie Sanders campaign organizer said. “I think that, you know, we have the grounds to do it.”





Supreme Court Upholds Travel Ban 5-4

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:19 am

The opinion is here.

Analysis as I can manage it.

UPDATE: I went straight to the language analyzing what I have discussed here at length: the interplay between 1182 and 1152. Here is the relevant part of the Court’s analysis:

Sections 1182(f) and 1152(a)(1)(A) thus operate in different spheres: Section 1182 defines the universe of aliens who are admissible into the United States (and therefore eligible to receive a visa). Once § 1182 sets the boundaries of admissibility into the United States, § 1152(a)(1)(A) prohibits discrimination in the allocation of immigrant visas based on nationality and other traits. The distinction between admissibility — to which § 1152(a)(1)(A) does not apply — and visa issuance — to which it does — is apparent from the text of the provision, which specifies only that its protections apply to the “issuance” of “immigrant visa[s],” without mentioning admissibility or entry. Had Congress instead intended in § 1152(a)(1)(A) to constrain the President’s power to determine who may enter the country, it could easily have chosen language directed to that end.

In all the debates over this, I don’t remember anyone making this point, which the Court makes clearly and succinctly, in quite this way. If someone made this simple point, either it was not made clearly, it was buried inside a mass of bad arguments, or (this is possible) I just missed it. (I’d have to be shown clear evidence of that, with a link and a quote, before I believe it.) I don’t understand the nuts and bolts of how immigrants actually enter the country and never pretended to; I deferred to people with greater expertise than I had. And based on the arguments I saw, I always operated under the assumption — which was obviously incorrect — that visa issuance was central to the initial admission of immigrants (i.e. how can they get in without a visa?). Thus, I believed, the two provisions operated in the same sphere. (Recall that I said, over and over, that I am not an immigration law expert and my opinion on the statutory construction could be wrong.) If the two operated in the same sphere, it would be clear that Congress had limited the President’s authority under 1182. Since, as the Court explains today, they operate in different spheres, Congress didn’t.

Breezing through the dissent, I don’t see any significant argument against the Court’s position in this area. (Again, I could be missing it.) I assume it’s right.

That’s good. All I was ever concerned about was the President usurping the authority of Congress. It appears he didn’t. In that case, I revert to what was always my support for the executive order on policy grounds — that support no longer being undermined by concern that it is a power grab from Congress.

UPDATE x2: A quick glance suggests the reasoning behind the rejection of all Trump’s bigoted anti-Muslim statements as a basis to strike down the ban: “we may consider plaintiffs’ extrinsic evidence, but will uphold the policy so long as it can reasonably be understood to result from a justification independent of unconstitutional grounds.” That makes perfect sense, and once you realize that is the standard, the answer is clear.

Looks like a good decision at first glance — but again, I have had time only for a glance.

UPDATE x3: This interesting dictum, announced with a flourish, will get some attention once the experts have told the reporters about it:

The dissent’s reference to Korematsu, however, affords this Court the opportunity to make express what is already obvious: Korematsu was gravely wrong the day it was decided, has been overruled in the court of history, and -— to be clear -— “has no place in law under the Constitution.” 323 U.S., at 248 (Jackson, J., dissenting).

Golf clap. As Dan Rather would say: “Courage!”

Prediction: you’ll probably see a debate about whether Korematsu has been “overruled,” with clueless reporters saying it has been, and other people correcting them. (As far as I can tell, it has not been overruled, but I have not had a chance to read the whole opinion so I will refrain from making a pronouncement.)

UPDATE x4: My memory in UPDATE number one may not have been entirely accurate. I was far more steeped in all this at the time and probably should not be writing about this in a hurry. Take literally everything I say in this hastily constructed post with bushfuls of salt. A quick glance (again, glances are all I have time for this morning) at old posts suggests that the distinction between entry and visa did come up, and I quoted one of the experts as making this response, which made sense to me at the time:

Here’s the Goverment’s initial argument on that issue:

Washington argued in district court that the President’s authority under § 1182(f) is limited by 8 U.S.C. § 1152(a)(1)(A), which provides, with certain exceptions, that “no person shall receive any preference or priority or be discriminated against in the issuance of an immigrant visa because of the person’s race, sex, nationality, place of birth, or place of residence.” But this restriction does not address the President’s authority under § 1182(f) to “suspend the entry” of aliens, which is an entirely different act under the immigration laws. An immigrant visa does not entitle an alien to admission to the United States, and even if an alien is issued a valid visa, he is subject to being denied admission to this country when he arrives at the border. See, e.g., Khan v. Holder, 608 F.3d 325, 330 (7th Cir. 2010). There is no inconsistency between § 1152(a)(1)(A) and the President’s issuance of the Order under § 1182(f).

I thought Bier disposed of that pretty well in his original op-ed:

Mr. Trump may want to revive discrimination based on national origin by asserting a distinction between “the issuance of a visa” and the “entry” of the immigrant. But this is nonsense. Immigrants cannot legally be issued a visa if they are barred from entry. Thus, all orders under the 1952 law apply equally to entry and visa issuance, as his executive order acknowledges.

As far as the two statutes being “entirely different” acts, I think the point I made in an update to this post and fleshed out in this post has never been rebutted to my satisfaction. Namely:

I have shown that: 1) the two provisions are indeed in conflict when a President issues an order discriminating against immigrants on the basis of nationality or place of residence; 2) the only way to resolve this conflict is to view the President’s power to suspend entry under section 1182(f) as an exception to section 1152(a); and 3) Congress foreclosed the possibility that section 1182(f) functions as such an exception, by listing other exceptions but pointedly refusing to list 1182(f) as one.

This makes sense to me again, as a non-expert. This is why I thought the two were related. I now officially throw up my hands in confusion.

Again: what I say in haste this morning should not be viewed as anything but the opening of a discussion. I don’t have the luxury of reading the whole opinion, going back and looking at my old posts, and coming to a considered decision in this morning post. I have to go to work — right now.


Maxine Waters: Hassle Trump Cabinet Members in Public

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:25 am

Self-righteousness is the most dangerous human emotion.

And if you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere!

This is wrong. Jim Geraghty has a good take at National Review:

Angry mobs are not good for deterring a particular unwanted behavior. They are good for instilling fear and giving a lot of people an excuse to let out all of their antisocial or violent impulses with a thin patina of moral righteousness. “I’m not harassing and assaulting another human being, I’m standing up for human rights!” No doubt the man who tried to kill as many GOP congressmen as he could at the baseball field in Alexandria, Va., believed he was standing up for good causes and doing the right thing.

Harassment of public figures on the right is only going to lead to harassment of public figures on the left. No doubt everyone remembers their own favorite example of a breach of decorum and proper behavior: the guy in the Miami cheesecake factory, Joe Wilson shouting out “you lie!” at an Obama address to Congress, the man who dumped a beer on a lawmaker in a bar, the guy who harangued Ivanka Trump on a flight. The fake blood thrown at the private home of an NRA lobbyist. The guy who threw water at Tomi Lahren in a restaurant in New York. The audience disruptions at Julius C[ae]sar and Robert De Niro’s A Bronx Tale.

Some no doubt would argue that the president himself threw gasoline on this fire. At a rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in February 2016, Trump said, “If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously, okay. Just knock the hell — I promise you I will pay for the legal fees, I promise.” And then in Saint Louis a month later, Trump lamented that no one sufficiently hurts protesters at his speeches: “Nobody wants to hurt each other anymore, right? And they’re being politically correct the way they take them out, so it takes a little bit longer. And honestly, protesters, they realize it. They realize that there are no consequences to protesting anymore.”

I’ll quibble with Geraghty’s citation of Joe Wilson, who did nothing but yell out the truth when he yelled out that Obama lied. But notice how (if you take Wilson’s nonviolent breach of decorum out of it), in that litany of threats and violence, virtually everything comes from the left. You could also talk about Charles Murray and the violent assault on his companion Allison Stanger (Geraghty does), or the protests and arrests at Berkeley surrounding a talk by Ben Shapiro, and outright violence surrounding a talk by Milo LongGreekName. All this anti-speech screaming and threats comes from the left and only the left…

…except for Trump, and his superfans (the folks at the DeNiro movie and Julius Caesar performance). Which makes his superfans cheer, and the rest of us shake our heads in disgust, that we have the equivalent of a Maxine Waters on “our side.”

If Maxine Waters cited Trump’s attempts to incite violence as justification for her own outrageous comments, saying something like “he wrote the New Rules, we’re just making him play by them” — she would still be wrong. If a bunch of conservatives yelled at Maxine Waters in a restaurant, I could see how they might feel justified — but they would still just be a bunch of loudmouth punks hassling someone in a restaurant.

The way to deal with the Maxine Waters crowd is to shine a light on them. Call them out at every opportunity. Ask every Democrat official you can whether they agree with her that cabinet members should be harassed in public.

If you are determined to “punch back twice as hard” (as our beloved former President once said), you’re using the actions of a few crazies on the other side to justify bad behavior that you want to engage in anyway. The people who carry out Maxine Waters’s exhortations are scum. The people who use those exhortations as an excuse aren’t much better.

Let me put it another way, and I’ll be blunt. If Maxine Waters dictates how you behave, you weren’t raised right.


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