Patterico's Pontifications


“F**K Donald Trump! F**K White People!”: Black-On-White Torture Attack In Chicago

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:30 pm

Fox 32 News in Chicago:

Investigators are looking into a Facebook Live video shot on the West Side that shows a group of people holding a young man hostage.

Chicago police told FOX 32 that four people are currently in custody.

Chicago police were made aware of this video Tuesday afternoon. A young African American woman streamed the video live on Facebook showing at least four people holding a young white man hostage.

The victim is repeatedly kicked and hit, his scalp is cut, all while he is tied up with his mouth taped shut. The suspects on the video can be heard yelling, “F*** Donald Trump! F*** white people!”

A graphic video, with cursing and violence, can be seen below. (Another version was removed from YouTube shortly before the publication of this post, and this one may be removed as well.) Within the first three minutes you can hear the quoted racial taunts, as well as the attackers striking the victim as he cries out in pain. The attackers continually refer to Donald Trump throughout the video.

Making this extra repulsive, the victim has special needs, according to Chicago P.D.

By their cruel, violent, and racist actions, these people demonstrate themselves to be animals.

If this were an incident involving white people torturing a black man while yelling “f**k black people” it would be a nationwide story. As it is, we’ll see whether it gains any traction. Folks in Big Media may decide that a white victim of Donald Trump doesn’t deserve any sympathy, and give the story a pass. If they do, they’ll only darken the cloud of suspicion they operate under every day.

[Cross-posted at RedState.]

California Legislature (read: Taxpayers) Hires Failed Attorney General

Filed under: General — JVW @ 12:55 pm

[guest post by JVW]

The Dog Trainer reports this morning that Democrats in the California Legislature have retained the services of one Eric Himpton Holder, Jr., Esq. to provide counsel on how to counter the policies of the new Administration and Congressional majority. Holder and a team of attorneys from the firm Covington & Burling will be in charge of navigating potential conflicts that arise between Sacramento and Washington in areas such as immigration, environmental regulation, and voting rights.

But wait, you might find yourself saying softly to yourself, doesn’t California have an elected Attorney General who manages a $216 million budget with almost 4100 full-time employees? With such resources at its disposal does the state really need to pay big bucks to an outside firm to represent the state’s interests in our national capital? Here is how the Times explains the alleged need:

Such a task typically falls to the state attorney general. On Tuesday, Gov. Jerry Brown formally nominated Democratic Rep. Xavier Becerra to replace former Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris, who now serves in the U.S. Senate. Becerra, whose nomination hearings in the Legislature begin next week, is expected to be easily confirmed.

But [Senate President Kevin] De León and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon began contemplating hiring outside legal counsel for the Legislature almost immediately after Trump’s election, in hopes of protecting existing state policies that are at odds with the president-elect’s stated positions.

It’s hard not to conclude that this move is at least in part because Attorney General-designate Becerra has very little experience in actual lawyering, being one of those politicians who puts in a brief appearance with a left-wing legal aid advocacy organization and then later does a quick stint as a deputy attorney general for an incompetent boss, before moving on to a career in the fetid swamp of California Democrat politics. Knowing that Becerra is a show horse and not a work horse, legislative leaders are farming the hard work out to Washington so that the underwhelming attorney general can focus his efforts on grandstanding crusades against oil companies and anti-abortion activists.

Left unreported is how much this outsourcing is going to cost the already overburdened California taxpayer. The Times tells us that, “Aides to legislative leaders declined to specify how much Covington & Burling’s services will cost the state, citing still-unfinished contracts, but said the payment would come out of both chambers’ operating budgets and would not require additional state funds.” I don’t know if that makes me feel better; is it really true that the legislative offices of our broke state have so much excess money lying around that they can retain a powerful DC law firm without having to request additional funds? In any case, it sure is great that California Democrats are going to spread taxpayer money around to wealthy and connected beltway Democrats. One hand washes the other, don’t you know.


New York Times Prints Op-Ed Supporting Filibuster (Unexpectedly!)

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:30 am

The New York Times, facing a Republican Senate and President, today prints a shock op-ed piece arguing that the filibuster is a venerable tool that should not be discarded. (Yes, I’m joking about it being shocking.) The piece is titled Why Republicans Shouldn’t Weaken the Filibuster:

The Senate has historically been the one place in our government where legislative minorities are protected, with rules to check overzealous majorities.

The twin pillars of the body’s uniqueness are unlimited debate and unfettered amendments. The minority can almost always have some influence on legislative outcomes. This has often made the Senate the cradle of compromise.

. . . .

It’s important to keep the filibuster. With it, presidents must try to win the minority’s support for nominees. This has helped to keep nominations in the judicial mainstream.

But wait. Wasn’t it Harry Reid who changed the filibuster rule for nominees? You might have thought that, but let the op-ed writer mansplain it for you:

It is often written that the Senate “changed” the filibuster rule. It did nothing of the sort. Democrats voted to interpret the words “three-fifths of the senators duly chosen and sworn” to mean a simple majority.

(Go ahead and read that paragraph again, as many times as you need to, for it to make sense. I’ll wait right here.)

They didn’t change the rule, you see. They merely interpreted it to mean something other than what it says.

It’s a lovely little piece of pro-filibuster rhetoric. Filibuster good! Go, compromise! Hooray, deliberation! Down with “overzealous majorities”!

I wondered: where is the impassioned attack on the filibuster in the pages of the New York Times? You might be surprised to learn that you can find one. All you have to do is turn back the clock to November 21, 2013, when there was a Democrat Senate and a Democrat President. At that time, the official position of the New York Times was: nuke that filibuster!

For five years, Senate Republicans have refused to allow confirmation votes on dozens of perfectly qualified candidates nominated by President Obama for government positions. They tried to nullify entire federal agencies by denying them leaders. They abused Senate rules past the point of tolerance or responsibility. And so they were left enraged and threatening revenge on Thursday when a majority did the only logical thing and stripped away their power to block the president’s nominees.

In a 52-to-48 vote that substantially altered the balance of power in Washington, the Senate changed its most infuriating rule and effectively ended the filibuster on executive and judicial appointments. From now on, if any senator tries to filibuster a presidential nominee, that filibuster can be stopped with a simple majority, not the 60-vote requirement of the past. That means a return to the democratic process of giving nominees an up-or-down vote, allowing them to be either confirmed or rejected by a simple majority.

. . . .

Republicans warned that the rule change could haunt the Democrats if they lose the White House and the Senate. But the Constitution gives presidents the right to nominate top officials in their administration and name judges, and says nothing about the ability of a Senate minority to stop them. (The practice barely existed before the 1970s.)

Filibuster bad! Yay up-or-down vote! Hooray for democracy! Down with obstructionism!

For further hypocrisy, let’s dig even deeper into the past. Let’s consult The New York Times editorial board on May 18, 2005, editorializing against the judicial filibuster, at a time when we had a Republican President and Senate majority:

Of all the hollow arguments Senate Republicans have made in their attempt to scrap the opposition’s right to have a say on President Bush’s judicial nominees, the one that’s most hypocritical insists that history is on their side in demanding a “simple up-or-down vote” on the Senate floor. Republicans and Democrats have used a variety of tactics, from filibuster threats to stealthy committee inaction on individual nominations, in blocking hundreds of presidential appointments across history, including about one in five Supreme Court nominees. This is all part of the Senate’s time-honored deliberative role and of its protection of minority rights, which Republican leaders would now desecrate in overreaching from their majority perch.

. . . .

Democrats have hardly been obstructionists in their constitutional role of giving advice and consent; they have confirmed more than 200 Bush nominees, while balking at a mere seven who should be blocked on the merits, not for partisan reasons. This is a worthy fight, and the filibuster is a necessary weapon, considering that these are lifetime appointments to the powerful appellate judiciary, just below the Supreme Court. In more than two centuries, only 11 federal judges have been impeached for abusive court behavior. Clearly, uninhibited Senate debate in the deliberative stage, with the minority’s voice preserved, is a crucial requirement.

. . . .

A few moderate senators from both parties – realizing that the Senate’s prestige is at stake, as much as its history – are seeking a compromise. We hope President Bush will step in to help find a solution. Otherwise, warns his fellow Republican Arlen Specter, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the result will be the harmful crimping of minority rights in a proud deliberative body and “a dark, protracted era of divisive partisanship.”

Filibuster good! Go, compromise! Hooray, deliberation! Down with “overzealous majorities”!

And now, for the cherry on top of this hypocrisy sundae. When another Democrat was president, in 1995, they felt the same way they did when Obama was President:

Once a rarely used tactic reserved for issues on which senators held passionate convictions, the filibuster has become the tool of the sore loser, dooming any measure that cannot command the 60 required votes. . . . Now is the perfect moment for them to unite with like-minded Democrats to get rid of an archaic rule that frustrates democracy and serves no useful purpose.

Filibuster bad! Yay up-or-down vote! Hooray for democracy! Down with obstructionism!

You could get whiplash trying to follow the way they careen back and forth between positions — unless you kept their actual principle in mind: we support whatever helps Democrats. Then their positions become very easy to follow.

To be fair, today’s piece is an op-ed, not an editorial. But there is a reason that they solicited an op-ed piece from “a co-author of’“Defending the Filibuster: The Soul of the Senate.’” That reason probably isn’t because they just like to air all possible positions. The reason just might have something to do with Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell.

I bet the traditional flip-flop of the official house position of the editorial board will be coming soon in an editorial, likely in the next couple of months.

If they had any shame, they wouldn’t even consider it. But if you think they have shame, you may want to re-read this post.

[Cross-posted at RedState.]

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