Patterico's Pontifications

6/22/2016

Rubio Running for Re-Election

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:37 am

Little Marco is running for re-election to the Senate:

Sen. Marco Rubio will announce Wednesday he will seek re-election to the Senate, reversing a pledge he made a year ago to either assume the presidency or return to private life in Florida, instantly transforming an already competitive race and improving the chances that Republicans can maintain the Senate majority.

I learned this primary season that I don’t care for Marco Rubio. I learned that he is am empty suit who will do and say anything that serves his political ambitions. I learned how deep and blatant his lies had been about opposing amnesty for illegal aliens. Finally, I watched him try to “stand by” the things he had said about Donald Trump during the campaign — including branding Donald Trump someone who can’t be trusted with nuclear weapons — yet who supports Trump today because he said he would support the nominee.

Well, Rubio also said he would not run for re-election to the Senate, too.

While I am no longer a member of the Republican party (I officially deregistered online), I also believe that it is important that they maintain control of the Senate and House. The GOP is feckless in fighting big government, but they are the most organized bulwark against big government out there. (Libertarians don’t win elections; they even argue about whether it’s moral to vote.) If I were convinced that Rubio is the only chance to hold on to the seat, then I would support Rubio.

But I’m not so sure he is. I know Mitch McConnell put out a big “draft Rubio” campaign. But Ted Cruz and Mike Lee seem . . . more lukewarm:

Marco Rubio reached out to Ted Cruz to confirm his intent to run for reelection to his Florida Senate seat, according to sources familiar with the matter.

According to two aides briefed on the Tuesday phone call, Rubio asked Cruz to blast out a statement urging Rubio to run for reelection, “so it’s not just Mitch [McConnell]” asking him to do so, as one aide described it.

Those aides say Cruz declined, as he didn’t want to be accused of nudging out US Representative Ron DeSantis, the tea-party favorite in the race for Rubio’s seat. The aides say that Senator Mike Lee of Utah echoed that concern after Rubio approached him with the same request. A Lee aide confirmed that this conversation took place.

If Mitch McConnell wants Rubio, and Ted Cruz and Mike Lee don’t, I tend to think I don’t either.

UPDATE: DeSantis is now out. Sounds like he would have been a better small-government candidate but was pushed out by Mr. Ambition. Oh well.

UPDATE x2: And with DeSantis out, Cruz is now supporting Rubio in the primary.

6/21/2016

Trump Assassination Attempt: Not News?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:43 pm

In case you missed it — which would be easy because essentially nobody reported it — an illegal immigrant tried to assassinate Donald Trump:

A British man arrested at a weekend Donald Trump rally in Las Vegas tried to grab a police officer’s gun so he could kill the presidential candidate after planning an assassination for about a year, according to authorities.

U.S. Secret Service agents said Michael Steven Sandford approached a Las Vegas police officer at the campaign stop to say he wanted Trump’s autograph, but that he then tried to take the weapon.

A complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Nevada charges Sandford, 20, with an act of violence on restricted grounds. He was denied bail during a court appearance later in the day. His court-appointed attorney said he was living out of his car and in the country illegally after overstaying a visa.

We’re gonna build a wa– um, a visa overstaying prevention thingie.

Agents said Sandford told them he had been in the U.S. for about a year and a half, lived in Hoboken, New Jersey, and drove to the San Bernardino, California, area before coming to Las Vegas on June 16.

Sandford told officers he was convinced he would die in the assassination attempt. He said he also reserved a ticket for a Trump rally in Phoenix, scheduled for later Saturday, as a backup plan.

Prosecutors said his motive in grabbing the gun may never be known.

Ha, ha! That’s not really true. I’m just goofing on Loretta Lynch, who said that the Orlando jihadi’s motivation may never be known. But of course the motive is clear: it is [omitted].

Democrats Reject Common-Sense Gun Proposals by GOP

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:21 am

The Los Angeles Times does its level best to make it sound like Republicans blocked four gun bills last night in the Senate:

The Republican-led Senate on Monday voted down proposals to bar gun sales to terrorism suspects, notching another victory for gun rights advocates eight days after a gunman who had been on an FBI terrorism watch list killed 49 people at a nightclub in Orlando, Fla.

The votes marked the latest attempt by Democrats to break the congressional impasse on guns, a bitter partisan divide that long has blocked new federal regulations.

The body blocked all four proposed gun-related amendments – two by Democrats and two by Republicans – to a spending bill.

If you read that, and did not follow these matters closely (and trusted the L.A. Times), you could be forgiven for thinking that Republicans voted down the four measures even though two were proposed by one of their own.

That’s not what happened. What happened is: Republicans tried to toughen background checks and make it tougher for terrorists to buy guns, but their proposals were rejected by Democrats who instead wanted different measures that dispense with due process protections for law-abiding citizens trying to purchase firearms legally.

Politico (Politico!) (cached link) explains what actually happened, while still putting a spin on matters and trying to make it sound like Republicans’ fault:

Republicans and Democrats put forward dueling background check proposals . . . [T]he GOP plan, written primarily by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), pushes more resources to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System but doesn’t expand the universe of mandated background checks. His measure would also revise legal definitions on who is banned from owning a gun due to mental-health concerns. It also was blocked in the Senate, 53-47, rejected by nearly all Democrats but also Kirk and fellow Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) supported the measure.

The two parties also laid out opposing plans on preventing suspected terrorists from purchasing guns — and both faced quick doom in the Republican-led Senate.

“In the Republican Senate” — surely Republicans blocked both of these, no? Um, no.

The Republican proposal, which was written by Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, would halt a sale only if a judge found probable cause that the person trying to buy the gun is involved in terrorist activities. Democrats say that burden of proof is too high. His legislation was blocked, too, with a 53-47 vote, with Republicans Kirk, Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Susan Collins of Maine voting against it. Donnelly and Manchin voted with the GOP.

The near-party line votes occurred as Senate moderates made some movement toward a compromise plan to bar people suspected of terrorism from buying weapons — even though some Republican leaders were already skeptical of the effort, led by Collins.

Put it all together, and you learn that two GOP measures were shot down by Democrats, and two Democrat measures were shot down by Republicans. Indeed, one could even say that Republicans sought “to break the congressional impasse on guns” but were spurned by Democrats who wanted to claim that Republicans “have decided to sell weapons to ISIS.” (Keep reading; I’m not exaggerating.)

The squawking about the Cornyn measure (“they can’t possibly put their case together in three days!!!“) never seems to acknowledge that if you’re being put on a list, the government should already know why you’re on the list. The three days is time enough to grab that information, organize it, and present it to a judge.

Gabriel Malor explains what really happened last night:

On Monday evening, Senate Democrats put party over principle in rejecting common-sense, reasonable gun control measures. After the mass murder at Orlando gay club Pulse, Sen. Chris Murphy and his colleagues staged a flashy talk-a-thon in which they demanded that votes be taken on legislation strengthening gun control laws. The Senate Republicans agreed to the Democrats’ demand. Democrats got what they asked for, then blew it.

. . . .

Republicans were willing to link the terrorism watch list to a gun sales ban, as Democrats have demanded. The price of agreement was due-process protections for Americans placed on the list. But apparently due process is too much for the Democrats. They would rather have no sales ban than a sales ban that comports with the Fifth Amendment. The Democrats similarly rejected an incremental expansion of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Apparently, some gun control is not worth sharing credit with the Republicans.

Not content to merely vote against incremental gun control, Senate Democrats then decided to throw a tantrum about it. Murphy sleazed that Senate Republicans “have decided to sell weapons to ISIS.” Sen. Elizabeth Warren tweeted her agreement. Sen. Harry Reid nonsensically accused Republicans of blocking the very gun control measures Republicans had proposed.

Make no mistake: Senate Democrats rejected two incremental gun control bills for no other reason than that Republicans were voting for them. Democrats’ hatred for Republicans was more important to them than the moral standards they claim to possess.

But the media will continue to tell you that the “Republican led Senate” nixed all four proposals, making it sound as if Republicans voted against all four. This is because the media has an agenda, and because voters are easy to mislead.

You knew all that, but sometimes it bears repeating anyway.

UPDATE: Cornyn proposal provides for three days, not four. I have corrected the error.

6/20/2016

Trump Campaign Essentially Broke

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:35 pm

FEC reporting deadlines were today, and Trump’s financials are historically disastrous:

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 7.31.18 PM

Look at that “cash on hand” number — barely over $1MM. And Trump raised $3.1MM in May. Now let me give you some context for how jaw-droppingly low those numbers are. Here is Trump compared to Hillary:

Ted Cruz has almost 4 times more cash on hand:

Trump’s cash on hand is less than that held by 50 House candidates:

As for that paltry $3.1MM amount raised in May, let’s compare it to the amounts raised by past candidates in comparable time periods:

If Trump were truly worth $10 billion, it should be easy to sell some stuff, so as to more than equalize this deficit. But, of course, I have told you for months that he is not worth $10 billion or anything close to it. It’s just another con by a con artist.

If I were someone who cared about Trump winning, I’d be panicking right about now. But then, if I were a committed Trumpkin (not a reluctant “lesser of two evils” voter), I’d be oblivious to facts, logic, and evidence, and would think:

This is fine.

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 7.21.03 PM

AG Lynch To The Public: We Are Editing Out Mateen Referencing His Allegiance To ISIS For Your Own Good

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:02 am

[guest post by Dana]]

Word from AG Lynch is that we will soon be able to read a partial transcript of the calls between Omar Mateen and law enforcement. The censoring is necessary so that the administration can control the national conversation Americans are having about the Orlando massacre and Mateen’s motivations. Given the president’s post-Orlando politicizing, the selective editing will help propel the strained narrative that it was lenient gun regulations in the U.S. that led to the events in Orlando. As the president lectured, “This massacre is therefore a further reminder of how easy it is for someone that lets them shoot people in a school, or in a house of worship, or in a movie theater or a night club. And we have to decide if that’s the kind of country that we want to be. To actively do nothing is a decision as well”.

LORETTA LYNCH: What we’re announcing tomorrow is that the FBI is releasing a partial transcript of the killer’s calls with law enforcement, from inside the club. These are the calls with the Orlando PD negotiating team, who he was, where he was… that will be coming out tomorrow and I’ll be headed to Orlando on Tuesday.

CHUCK TODD: Including the hostage negotiation part of this?

LYNCH: Yes, it will be primarily a partial transcript of his calls with the hostage negotiators.

CHUCK TODD: You say partial, what’s being left out?

LYNCH: What we’re not going to do is further proclaim this man’s pledges of allegiance to terrorist groups, and further his propaganda.

CHUCK TODD: We’re not going to hear him talk about those things?

LYNCH: We will hear him talk about some of those things, but we are not going to hear him make his assertions of allegiance and that. It will not be audio, it will be a printed transcript. But it will begin to capture the back and forth between him and the negotiators, we’re trying to get as much information about this investigation out as possible. As you know, because the killer is dead, we have a bit more leeway there and we will be producing that information tomorrow.

–Dana

Socialism Succeeds Again: Starvation in Venezuela

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:30 am

Socialism/communism has killed more people than any other belief system in history. Now people are starving in Venezuela:

With delivery trucks under constant attack, the nation’s food is now transported under armed guard. Soldiers stand watch over bakeries. The police fire rubber bullets at desperate mobs storming grocery stores, pharmacies and butcher shops. A 4-year-old girl was shot to death as street gangs fought over food.

Venezuela is convulsing from hunger.

Hundreds of people here in the city of Cumaná, home to one of the region’s independence heroes, marched on a supermarket in recent days, screaming for food. They forced open a large metal gate and poured inside. They snatched water, flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar, potatoes, anything they could find, leaving behind only broken freezers and overturned shelves.

And they showed that even in a country with the largest oil reserves in the world, it is possible for people to riot because there is not enough food.

Vin Scully sums up my reaction:

Anyway. 0 and 2.

Lewandowski Out

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:14 am

New York Times:

Donald J. Trump is parting ways with his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, a move that comes as the presumptive Republican nominee faces challenges as he moves toward the general election.

“The Donald J. Trump Campaign for President, which has set a historic record in the Republican primary having received almost 14 million votes, has today announced that Corey Lewandowski will no longer be working with the campaign,” the campaign spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, said in a statement. “The campaign is grateful to Corey for his hard work and dedication and we wish him the best in the future.”

Mr. Trump had faced increasing concerns from allies and donors, as well as his children, about the next phase of the campaign as he pivots toward a general election.

Mr. Trump has recently seen his standing dropping in recent national polls, and is now facing a barrage of ads by Hillary Clinton and her allies.

Manhandling and bruising a reporter? No problem. Being the campaign manager when Mr. The Donald is tanking in the polls? Unforgivable.

Clarence Thomas’s Wife: The Reports of Justice Thomas’s Retirement Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:27 am

Justice Thomas’s wife took to Facebook to dispel the rumor that he was considering retiring after the next presidential election:

For all those who are contacting me about the possibility of my husband retiring, I say — unsubscribe from those false news sources and carry on with your busy lives.

IT. IS. BOGUS! Paul Bedard needs to find a phone in his life and unnamed sources are worth as much as their transparency is.

A funny close friend wrote me: “Next we’ll hear that you and he have bought a small private island near Nevis, with a large satellite dish so that all the Nebraska college sports games won’t be missed, and a large Green Egg that can slow cook the indigenous wild boar. Let us know when you are shipping off so we can all chip in to buy a suitable retirement present for your husband — perhaps matching lounge chairs and umbrellas.”

You can stay subscribed to patterico.com, so breathe a sigh of relief.

6/19/2016

Happy Father’s Day (open thread)

Filed under: General — JVW @ 11:17 am

[guest post by JVW]

Wishing a very happy Father’s Day to all of you perpetuators of the perilous patriarchy. Feel free to treat this as an open thread since we’ll almost certainly end up discussing the presumptive GOP nominee for President by the fourteenth comment in.

– JVW

6/17/2016

Social Justice Warrior: I Will Sink To Any Level Of Indecency And Viciousness And Blame A Grieving Father – Because He’s White, And I Am A Despicable Person

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:48 pm

[guest post by Dana]

I wasn’t going to post about this week’s horrible tragedy involving 2-year old Lane Graves of Nebraska because it was just so sad but now I am compelled to do so.

While Lane Graves and his family vacationed in Orlando, Lane was pulled into a lagoon by an alligator while he played at the edge of the water near the family’s hotel. One can only imagine the frantic horror his father, Matt Graves, felt as he immediately jumped into the water and desperately fought to save his son. Sadly, there would be no rescue as the alligator disappeared into the water with Lane locked in his jaws. Lane’s small and lifeless body was found several days later, not far from where he had been snatched. This is the unspeakable stuff of nightmares. And his parents, God bless them, will never be the same again.

With that, leave it to a Social Justice Warrior to brutally use the 2-year old’s dead body as a soapbox to stand upon and blame Lane’s father for his son’s death. And while the nasty piece of work who refers to herself as “Brienne of Snarth,” certainly intended to publicly shame all white males and their so-called privilege, what she has done instead is to remind people that it is hate, and not any sense of “justice” that drives the Social Justice Warriors:

Untitled

I read somewhere that this cruelty shows that Social Justice Warriors have jumped the shark. I disagree. To say that gives them a credibility they, and their movement have never deserved. What this one cruel act does reveal, however, is the deep malevolence at the heart of the movement. And even if there is a public denouncement of this particular SJW by other influential SJWs, the collective group still remains trapped in a dark vortex of anger where hate is their lifeblood.

I am thankful that the parents of Lane Graves were gifted with this precious little boy. And as they move through their grief, I pray that the short time they were given to love Lane, and be loved by him, brings them some measure of comfort. May God fold this family into His loving arms.

–Dana

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