Patterico's Pontifications


The Interesting Notes That Trump Loyalist And MyPillow CEO Had At The White House Today (UPDATE)

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:21 pm

[guest post by Dana]

It’s Friday afternoon, and you know we couldn’t just end the week quietly.

Loyal Trumper and MyPillow CEO Michael Lindell was seen at the White House today. As an FYI, Lindell has been actively involved in the post-election protest movement, as we all financing the two-week March for Trump rally. In other words, he has pro-actively orchestrated efforts to overturn the legitimate election results. At the White House, Lindell was photographed holding his notes and a coffee cup in one hand. The notes were not entirely obscured by the coffee cup:


It sort of looks like Lindell is toying with the idea of martial law:

…Colon NOW as Acting National Security
…him with getting the evidence of ALL the
…in the election and all information regarding
…using people he knows who already have security
…done massive research on these issues
…at Fort Mead [sic]. He is an attorney with cyber-
…expertise and is up to speed on election issues.
…Insurrection Act now as a result of the assault on the
martial law if necessary upon the first hint of any
…Sidney Powell, Bill Olsen, Kurt Olsen,
…DOD. Move Kash Patel to CIA Acting.
…on Foreign Interference in the election. Trigger
…powers. Make clear this is China/Iran
…also used domestic actors. Instruct Frank
…evidence on…the more broad
…likely amount…

Just a wee bit problematic, no? Of course, it would be both unbelievably stupid and utterly corrupt to be considering such a move, but given Trump’s desperation and limited time left in office, this sort of last-ditch-Hail-Mary-dumbass-move seems like not only something Trump would nod enthusiastically to as it was being presented, but would also be the absolute culmination of all things Trump, and Trumpsim itself:

UPDATE: Via Maggie Haberman @ NYT:

I got a bit more information about the Lindell meeting. It was a brief meeting, Trump sent him upstairs to the WH counsel’s office to be escorted by an admin official sitting next to Lindell in the meeting. That official, according to another official, was Robert O’Brien.

Once up there, he insisted on meeting with Cipollone. It got contentious, in part bc supposedly on the blacked-out part of his notes was something about how Cipollone should be fired.

Lindell tells me that he was carrying the notes for an attorney he’s been working with to prove the election was really won by Trump, wouldn’t say who it was. Said some of it related to reports Trump is now unable to see because he doesn’t have Twitter.

Lindell insists the papers he was holding, which were photographed and visible, didn’t reference “martial law.” An administration official says they definitely referenced martial law.

I can see with my own eyes that “martial law” was clearly captured by the *photograph* of the notes. Lindell confirms to us that we shouldn’t trust what he says.

UPDATE #2: Via Josh Dawsey @ WaPo:

Talked to Mike Lindell this evening. He said lawyer gave him notes to share with POTUS but repeatedly wouldn’t say what lawyer. He said he met with Trump for 5-10 minutes and then was referred to counsel’s office. Said the lawyers were “disinterested, very disinterested.”

Lindell said he gave POTUS this document & also provided to me. Said, falsely, it was clear Biden lost and Trump won — by 11 million votes. Said the truth would one day come out. After meeting with WH lawyers, who he said weren’t interested, he wasn’t let back in to see POTUS.


Biden Plans to Impose $15 Minimum Wage on Hurting Businesses, Including Restaurants

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am

Not great, Bob!

Perhaps most egregious is a proposal to more than double the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour—including for employees who regularly receive additional tips, for which the current minimum wage is $2.13. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that even gradually raising the minimum wage to $15 by 2025 in a growing economy would likely kill 1.3 million jobs, and perhaps as many as 3.7 million. Imposing a drastic minimum wage increase on small businesses that are already struggling to stay afloat during a recession is especially absurd. Moreover, forcing restaurants, which are failing at record rates, to raise their own tipped minimum wage by 600 percent is economic malpractice. Perhaps high-cost cities like New York City and San Francisco can afford a much higher minimum wage, but other parts of America with lower incomes and prices will not be able to absorb this policy. It has no business in a relief package.

You want higher unemployment, this is how you get it.


The Flight 93 Impeachment

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am

Rich Lowry revisits Michael Anton’s famous “Flight 93″ election at POLITICO but, I think, draws the wrong conclusion.

In Anton’s defense, he never said he believed that Trump knew how to fly a plane. In the future, when hiring someone to pilot the most advanced jetliner on the planet, he might want to add that to the job description, and check a couple of references.

Lowry’s observation that Trump didn’t know how to fly is cute, but doesn’t fit the Flight 93 analogy. Neither did the people on Flight 93. Anton said the choice in 2016 was: “Charge the cockpit or you die” — but the people on Flight 93 were doomed either way.

Here’s why their actions mattered: if the terrorists kept control of the plane, the Capitol was going to be targeted as well.

It turns out in 2016, we gave control of the plane to a terrorist. And he set the controls for an attack on the Capitol. Our last clear chance to stop it was the first impeachment. Removal after the first impeachment — which Lowry opposed — was the real Flight 93 decision. But only one Republican senator said “Let’s roll” while the rest decided to leave the terrorist in control, worried that their political careers might die if they took action.

Now the Republican party is in disarray, and many of the most vocal opponents of the first impeachment — one Rafael Edward Cruz comes to mind — have seen their political careers die anyway, but in ignominy.

Now, as we wander around the ruins of the Capitol, we have another choice. Are we going to let that same terrorist take control of a plane again? Or are we going to put him on the no-fly list?

Let’s roll.


Impeachment Redux: Open Thread; UPDATE: IMPEACHED, 232-197

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am

As I write this, Rep. Mace, who had denounced Trump early on, has opposed impeachment on process grounds. A real disappointment. Meanwhile there is a suggestion that actual House members might have aided the insurrectionists’ plan:

One Congresswoman has claimed she saw members leading insurrectionists on a “reconnaissance” tour of the Capitol on January 5, the day before the insurrection.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. I’d be cautious about this one. But if it’s true . . . oh my.

UPDATE: President Trump has been impeached a second time. The vote in the House was 231-197. Ten Republicans voted yes.

UPDATE: Seeing reports it was 232 yes votes. Updating the title.


Los Angeles County Supervisors Once Again Adept at Being Generous With Someone Else’s Money

Filed under: General — JVW @ 7:48 pm

[guest post by JVW]

When gross pandering meets fiscal irresponsibility:

Grocery and retail drugstore employees who work in unincorporated Los Angeles County could see a pay bump of $5 an hour if the county Board of Supervisors approves a “hero pay” ordinance later this month.

The measure was quickly opposed by grocery industry leaders, who said it could require stores to raise prices at a time when their customers are struggling to make ends meet.

At the L.A. County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, Supervisors Hilda Solis and Holly Mitchell put forth the motion that would mandate the pay bump for publicly traded grocery store or retail drug companies, or companies that have at least 300 employees nationwide and have more than 10 employees per store site. If approved by the board, the ordinance would remain in effect for 120 days.

“While there is a light at the end of the tunnel, with the approval and administration of the vaccine, the health threats these workers face are as real as they were at the beginning of the pandemic given the surge of cases in our county,” said board chair Solis in a statement. “It is imperative that we act with urgency to support just compensation for grocery and drug retail employees.”

Note that this applies to unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, presumably because incorporated cities are not under the thumb of our hypocritical and overcompensated supervisors. But unincorporated areas include a whole lot of low-income communities within the Los Angeles Basin, which if they have grocery stores and pharmacies probably aren’t so flush with cash that the extra $200 per week per worker is particularly affordable. The supervisors adopt the progressive argument that these stores are part of large chains which are reportedly doing very well business-wise during the pandemic, and that while providing modest pay raises and one-off bonuses during the spring and summer, on balance they haven’t done nearly enough for their workers. So it’s pretty easy for the supes to freely spend the corporations’ money, and you can be sure they will react with puzzled outrage when the corporations respond by closing up stores in those areas thus creating the so-called “food deserts” that plague lower income neighborhoods across America. For what it’s worth, the left-wing city councils of Los Angeles and Long Beach are considering imposing similar wage edicts for their chain supermarkets and pharmacies.

If the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors were really interested in rewarding those who heroically stayed on the job and served the public, they could pay out higher wages and bonuses to the drivers of Los Angeles County Metro Transit Authority buses and trains, who after all are actually employed by the county. But of course to do that the supervisors would have to dip into their own bloated budget to find the funding for this windfall, and heaven knows that would require the supes to make cuts to other county programs. It turns out that it is a hell of a lot easier for them to demand that the private sector reward its employees than it is for the supes to scrape together the funds to reward their own.


Trump Assumes No Responsibility For Insurrection, Says Impeachment Is A Danger To Country

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:24 am

[guest post by Dana]

No surprises here:

Given Trump’s four-year reign, it was easy to see fairly early on that he was never going to change or “grow into the presidency,” no matter how much his defenders tried to convince us that he would. His lack of character and bad behavior has been on full display for all to see. So how did so many not​ know that something awful was going to happen if he lost the election? When a man on the edge of grasping the ultimate ring of power says that he can stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue, shoot somebody, and not lose any voters and then, incredulously, revels in this belief, Americans should immediately understand that this is a man not to be admired and embraced, but rather to carefully guard against. Always.


UPDATE BY PATTERICO: This is as good a place as any to lay down a marker: Democrats are screwing up this impeachment (like they screwed up the last one, by failing to include an article charging obstruction of justice). There should absolutely be an article of abuse of power in service of an attempt to reverse the results of a free and fair election.

GOP senators will, ludicrously, stick to the legal definition of “incitement” (which is likely not met by Trump’s behavior) as their excuse to vote against the article that has been unveiled. They are entitled to vote on the facts and are not bound by the way the Democrats have charged it, but if they want an excuse (and many do) that one comes ready-made.

Meanwhile they had to shoehorn the Raffensperger call into this, and did so awkwardly, when it would have neatly fit an article of abuse of power to reverse an election result.

Ultimately, it will not work, and the fault will still lie with the Senate Republicans who vote to acquit — but the Democrats are making the bad result easier.

Is there nothing Nancy Pelosi can’t screw up?


Manic Monday: House Republicans Say No, First Lady Scolds America For Gossiping About Her

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:26 am

[guest post by Dana]

[Ed. Pre-emptive strike: I blame the post-insurrection surreality of Washington D.C. for the disjointedness of this post.…]

Democrats move to oust Trump:

Impeachment pressure mounting, the House worked swiftly Monday to try to oust President Donald Trump from office, pushing the vice president and Cabinet to act first in an extraordinary effort to remove Trump in the final days of his presidency.

Trump faces a single charge — “incitement of insurrection” – in an impeachment resolution that could go to a vote by mid-week. First, Democrats called on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke constitutional authority under the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office before Jan. 20, when Democrat Joe Biden is to be inaugurated.

“President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government,” reads the four-page impeachment bill.

“He will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office,” it reads.

On Monday, a House resolution calling on Vice President Pence to invoke constitutional authority to remove Trump from office was blocked by Republicans. However, the full House is set to hold a roll call vote on that resolution on Tuesday, and it is expected to pass.

After that, Pelosi said Pence will have 24 hours to respond. Next, the House would proceed to impeachment. A vote could come Wednesday.

Pence has given no indication he is ready to proceed on such a course, which would involve invoking the 25th Amendment to the Constitution with a vote by a majority of the Cabinet to oust Trump before he leaves office.

Full text of the resolution here.

Meanwhile, there has finally been a member of the First Family who has publicly commented on last week’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. In part, from First Lady Melania Trump:

Most recently, my heart goes out to: Air Force Veteran, Ashli Babbitt, Benjamin Philips, Kevin Greeson, Roseanne Boyland, and Capitol Police Officers, Brian Sicknick and Howard Liebengood. I pray for their families comfort and strength during this difficult time.

I am disappointed and disheartened with what happened last week. I find it shameful that surrounding these tragic events there has been salacious gossip, unwarranted personal attacks, and false misleading accusations on me – from people who are looking to be relevant and have an agenda. This time is solely about healing our country and its citizens. It should not be used for personal gain.

While the First Lady mourned the lives lost, she certainly doesn’t believe that her husband had any hand in last week’s insurrection. Apparently, he was just an innocent bystander with no power to stop it from happening. But she is clearly annoyed that people have said mean things about her. I mean, what was she supposed to do? Talk to him, attempt to intervene, plead and demand that he stop the madness as it happened? She was busy, people:.

As thousands of pro-Trump supporters streamed into Washington, DC, Wednesday headed first to the Ellipse to hear President Donald Trump speak, and then to the United States Capitol to lay siege to the epicenter of American democracy, first lady Melania Trump was doing a photo shoot at the White House.

Professional lighting, the sort used for photography and videography, could be seen through the windows of the White House. “Photos were being taken of rugs and other items in the Executive Residence and the East Wing,” a person familiar with the day’s activities with the first lady told CNN. Trump — who, as CNN has reported, has expressed interest in writing a coffee table book about decorative objects she has amassed and had restored in the White House — was overseeing the photo project, said the source, with her remaining time in the White House dwindling.

And yet, just a short distance away, this horrific scene was unfolding:

But sure Melania, tell us all about that mean gossip…

Anyway, the President himself has been in hiding since last week’s stilted video (that he apparently later regretted making). However, this morning he presented the Medal of Freedom to his unwavering ally, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio. Last week, the president presented the medal to…Rep. Devin Nunes in what one assumes was a mooving ceremony. As of late, Nunes was seen on Fox News Channel complaining that Republicans no longer have any means to communicate…

P.S And because it’s a manic Monday, here’s another bit of WTF to add to the pile:

Starting this week and running through at least Inauguration Day, armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitols and at the U.S. Capitol, according to an internal FBI bulletin obtained by ABC News.

The FBI has also received information in recent days on a group calling for “storming” state, local and federal government courthouses and administrative buildings in the event President Donald Trump is removed from office prior to Inauguration Day. The group is also planning to “storm” government offices in every state the day President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated, regardless of whether the states certified electoral votes for Biden or Trump.

“The FBI received information about an identified armed group intending to travel to Washington, DC on 16 January,” the bulletin read. “They have warned that if Congress attempts to remove POTUS via the 25th Amendment, a huge uprising will occur.”

I am looking forward to Trumpists everywhere, from the private citizens to the Republican leadership currently pleading for unity and healing while ignoring *who* fomented the insurrection, to step up to the plate and publicly object to this divisive move. Any minute now…



Oh God, Not Another Substack

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 3:42 pm

Yes. Another Substack.

A while back, I created the Constitutional Vanguard list, to promote liberty, free markets, and the Constitution. As I have watched these things become perverted, I thought it might be time to revive the project. I created a Substack a few weeks ago and moved the list there, but didn’t get around to doing anything with it. Then I saw people were signing up, and thought: why not give it a whirl?

My goal is to get half the list to unsubscribe in the next 24 hours. How will I do it? By saying what I think. I’ve managed to alienate people here and on Twitter over the years, and I am confident I can alienate people the same way on the Substack platform. I can do this!

The first post discusses the confluence of audience capture and group polarization. These are topics I have discussed before, but I think this is the first time I have ruminated publicly on how they combine to create a toxic environment where lies spread like wildfire.

My basic thesis is this: now, more than ever, we need people who don’t alter what they believe and what they say based on what they think will please their audience. If I can’t find a way to alienate a good chunk of you in every newsletter, I’m not doing my job.

I promise you that I will say only what I actually think. And I promise you that it will probably upset you at some point. That’s actually a good thing.

Check it out, and sign up if you’re not signed up already. (It’s free, for now.)

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 37

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 1:14 pm

It is the first Sunday after the Epiphany. The title of today’s cantata is “Wer da gläubet und getauft wird” (He who believes and is baptized).

Today’s Gospel reading is Mark 1:4-11:

And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

The Baptism and Testing of Jesus

At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

The text of today’s cantata is available here, and contains these words:

Faith creates the wings of the soul,
so that it may soar to heaven,
baptism is the seal of grace,
that brings us to God’s blessing;
and therefore he is called a blessed Christian
who believes and is baptised.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.


Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:03 am

[guest post by Dana]

Good morning. Feel free to share anything here that you think will be of interest to readers. Please make sure to include links. Here are a few news items from the week to get you started.

First news item

Biden’s gamble:

President-elect Biden is planning to take a dramatic step aimed at increasing the amount of vaccine available to states.

His transition team says he’ll change a Trump administration policy that kept millions of doses in reserve, only to be shipped when it was time to administer people’s second doses.

Instead, the Biden administration plans to send most of the currently reserved doses out right away, allowing more people to get first doses. For people who’ve gotten initial shots, the Biden team is making a bet that new doses could be manufactured in time to keep booster shots on schedule.

Second news item

Nice to know:

Reports of a highly contagious new coronavirus variant in the United States, published on Friday by multiple news outlets, are based on speculative statements made by Dr. Deborah Birx and are inaccurate, according to several government officials.

The erroneous report originated at a recent meeting where Dr. Birx, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, presented graphs of the escalating cases in the country. She suggested to other members of the task force that a new, more transmissible variant originating in the United States might explain the surge, as another variant did in Britain.

Her hypothesis made it into a weekly report sent to state governors. “This fall/winter surge has been at nearly twice the rate of rise of cases as the spring and summer surges. This acceleration suggests there may be a USA variant that has evolved here, in addition to the UK variant that is already spreading in our communities and may be 50% more transmissible,” the report read. “Aggressive mitigation must be used to match a more aggressive virus.”

Dismayed, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tried to have the speculative statements removed but were unsuccessful, according to three people familiar with the events.

Third news item

Mob menace:

A Black woman in California said a group of nearly 40 pro-Trump demonstrators attacked her and called her the n-word following a rally in downtown Los Angeles.

Police said they are investigating the incident as a hate crime after speaking with the woman…

The woman, Berlinda, 25, said she was walking when she saw the large group on Wednesday, according to NBC Los Angeles, which noted that she asked that her last name not be used. Earlier in the day, a protest was held, with many demonstrators carrying “Stop the Steal” signs.

Berlinda said that several people in the group told her to take her face mask off. She told NBC Los Angeles that the crowd started following her after she flipped them off.

“A bunch of women and men started yelling, ‘take off your mask, don’t wear a mask,'” she said, telling the outlet that she asked one man in the group to leave her alone. “And that’s when the guy went and took his hand, clawed me in the face. And then just smacked my phone in my face.”

Berlinda said others shoved her and she was called a racial slur.

The assault was captured by photographer Raquel Natalicchio, 29. She told NBC News in an interview Thursday that she saw Berlinda walking by herself and heard the protesters heckling her and asking if she voted for President Donald Trump. It is unclear whether all those shown in Natalicchio’s photos were involved in the alleged assault.

Berlinda told them no and flipped them off and kept walking, Natalicchio said.

“They kept kind of heckling her for that, and then she told them to put on a mask,” Natalicchio said, noting that many people who attended the rally did not have a face mask on. “As soon as she told them to put a mask on, they swarmed her and circled her and started pushing her around amongst them, and trying to intimidate her.”

Natalicchio said one woman snatched Berlinda’s hair extensions out “and began assaulting her.” Berlinda tried to defend herself and several men started hitting her with metal flag poles, according to Natalicchio. The woman was also believed to be pepper-sprayed in the eyes.

One man came forward to help. He was captured in an image grabbing Berlinda from behind to pull her to safety.

Fourth news item

Part of the mob that Trump referred to as “very special”:

An unidentified man wearing a sweatshirt reading “Camp Auschwitz” was among the violent mob that entered the U.S. Capitol Wednesday after a series of rallies that involved antisemitic conspiracy theories.

The man was visible in video stills from inside the Capitol, including a report from ITV, a British television channel. He was wearing what appeared to be a hooded sweatshirt with “Camp Auschwitz” printed above an image of a skull and crossbones, with the phrase “work brings freedom” printed below.

The phrase is a translation of “arbeit macht frei,” a slogan that appeared above the entrance of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

And let’s not forget this “very special” individual proudly marching the Confederate flag through the Capitol building and the group chanting in unison “hang Mike Pence”. Very special people everywhere!

Fifth news item

May he rest in peace:

He was a veteran who later lamented America’s involvement in Iraq. He lived in suburban Virginia but hailed from a small town in New Jersey, the youngest of three brothers. And he was serving in his dream job as a police officer when he met his death this week in the chaos and violence that unfolded in the nation’s capital.

U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian D. Sicknick, 42, died Thursday from injuries he suffered during the pro-Trump riot that breached the U.S. Capitol. He had served overseas in the New Jersey Air National Guard in support of the war in Afghanistan, eventually attaining a lifelong goal of becoming a police officer.

Police have not confirmed the circumstances of Sicknick’s death but said he “was injured while physically engaging with protesters” Wednesday. He returned to his division office and collapsed, then was taken to a local hospital where he died around 9:30 p.m. Thursday. According to two law enforcement officials who spoke to the Associated Press, Sicknick was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher.

Sixth news item

Seven out of 10 is better than I thought it would be:

Fifty-seven percent of Americans want Republican President Donald Trump to be immediately removed from office after he encouraged a protest this week that escalated into a deadly riot inside the U.S. Capitol, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.

Most of them were Democrats, however, with Republicans apparently much more supportive of Trump serving out the final days of his term, which ends on Jan. 20.

The national public opinion survey, conducted Thursday and Friday, also showed that seven out of 10 of those who voted for Trump in November opposed the action of the hardcore supporters who broke into the Capitol while lawmakers were meeting to certify the election victory of Democrat Joe Biden.

Seventh news item

Pelosi digs in:

“This unhinged president could not be more dangerous,” Pelosi said of the current situation.

The Democrats are considering lightning-quick action. A draft of their Articles of Impeachment accuses Trump of abuse of power, saying he “willfully made statements that encouraged — and foreseeably resulted in — imminent lawless action at the Capitol,” according to a person familiar with the details who was granted anonymity to discuss them.

The articles are expected to be introduced on Monday, with a House vote as soon as Wednesday.

Eighth news item

Reaching the tipping point:

“Hospitals are declaring internal disasters and having to open church gyms to serve as hospital units,” [Los Angeles] County Supervisor Hilda Solis said. “Our health care workers are physically and mentally exhausted and sick.” Solis called the situation a “human disaster.”

Almost 7,900 people are hospitalized with Covid-19 in just Los Angeles County. And 21% of them are in intensive care units, officials said Tuesday. The number of hospital patients grew by more than 200 from Monday.

On Tuesday, another 224 deaths were announced, bringing the total in the county to more than 11,000.
Now, ambulance crews in LA County have been told not to take patients with little chance of survival to hospitals.

“This order that was issued by the county emergency medical services really is very specific to patients who suffered from a cardiac arrest and are unable to be revived in the field,” said Dr. Jeffrey Smith, chief operating officer of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

“Those patients have a very low rate of survival each if they are transported to the hospital. So at this time, it is deemed to likely be futile.”

In season or out, more of this, please:



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