Patterico's Pontifications


Finally, Some Truly Good News: McConnell Announces Revival of 2015 ObamaCare Repeal

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:57 pm

Now we’re talking:

I’m doing an analysis of the Senators who voted for the (partial) repeal in 2015. Fully 48 of those Senators are still in the Senate today. They have no excuse not to vote for the same bill again.

Three other Republicans who voted yes were replaced by other Republicans.

(Susan Collins was a no.)

So: if nobody is a total hypocrite, we’ll have no problem getting this thing passed.

Which means it’s dead in the water.

So why do I say it’s “good news”?

Because, silly. Now, when it fails, we know who to go after. I will give money to anyone who tries to primary any Republican who voted for repeal in 2015 and takes it back now.

I’m looking forward to this.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

This Is Where Big Government California-Style Leaves You

Filed under: General — JVW @ 2:22 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Fox News has the details:

Months after heavy rains ravaged roads and bridges in Northern California, officials in Santa Cruz County say it could still take more than a year to repair all the damage, especially in the mountains that are home to several thousand residents.

That’s too long for the Santa Cruz Vigilante Pothole Brigade, a group of intrepid locals who’ve raised money and manpower to do the job themselves.

The brigade is comprised of moms and dads, firefighters, entrepreneurs and fearless do-it-yourselfers fed up with tire-popping potholes – and a county public works agency telling them to just be patient.

By now, all of you know the libretto to this comic-tragic opera. Are there earnest citizens who just want to make their community a better place to live? Absolutely:

“People were giving us lists of where the holes were,” says volunteer Launy Senee, “and we would drive around and find them, and we just started getting people together and self-training ourselves, and filling the potholes.”

Using their own pickup trucks, they back over the repair job several times, smoothing the patch with their tires. Each job takes about five minutes.

“It’s just terrific to be a part of what we need to do to keep the place going,” Senee said.

Is there also an officious by-the-book bureaucrat who resents some peon citizen encroaching upon their territory and uses the scary chimera of a lawsuit to dissuade citizens from helping out? No doubt:

“We can’t have people running out into traffic and filling up potholes by themselves,” said Santa Cruz County spokesman Jason Hoppin. “It just could end up impeding our efforts to actually fill more potholes if we end up getting sued because we’re letting people do this.”

I can only hope that Jason Hoppin sincerely hates the part of his job where he is called upon to stifle citizen initiative, but this being a deep red blue county in a deep red blue* state (Hillary Clinton won Santa Cruz County with 74% of the vote last year compared to her 62% overall margin in the state), I would have to bet that someone in Jason Hoppin’s position has a political philosophy which dictates that the citizen has no business trying to perform a service provided by the state, no matter how inefficiently the state provides that service. Fortunately, the intrepid pothole repairers of Santa Cruz County aren’t backing down:

The Santa Cruz Vigilante Pothole Brigade is in negotiations to become officially sanctioned, like volunteer firefighters.

But [Brigade Leader Larry] Mcvoy said he and his band of road warriors will continue to pave over problems and help their community – whether the government approves the group or not.

This immediately reminded me of a similar story I had heard several years ago, when a group of business owners in Polihale State Park on the Hawaiian Island of Kuai decided that waiting two years for the state government to fix a washed-out bridge leading into the park was unacceptable, so they rebuilt the damn thing themselves in eight days. Once upon a time America used to be a place where this was commonplace. Sadly, these kind of stories are now newsworthy.

Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.

* Correction: Kevin M. points out that I have mixed up the red state/blue state thing. To this day I still want to associate the far left with the color red, just like Lenin meant us to do. Post corrected above with thanks to Kevin M.


A Ringing Defense Of Donald Trump From A Very Unlikely Source

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:26 am

No matter what you think of Donald Trump — not much, in my case — all sensible people agree that he has been the subject of many unfair attacks from the news media and elsewhere. A few days ago, a long list of such attacks was compiled by a very unlikely source:, which is usually absurdly left-leaning when it comes to political issues. The surprising and excellent piece is titled The Lies of Donald Trump’s Critics, and How They Shape His Many Personas. The deck headline reads: “An in-depth analysis of the false allegations and misleading claims made against the 45th President since his inauguration.”

Dan McGuill, the author of the piece, selects four categories of calumny against Trump. I’ll give you a short excerpt from each category to whet your appetite for the full piece:

  • Donald Trump: International Embarrassment

Take, for example, the claim that Trump was the only world leader at a G7 summit in May not to take notes, based on a photograph posted to Twitter by French President Emannuel Macron. Here Trump was portrayed as unprepared and out of his depth on the world stage, with a “ten-second attention span”. However, the claim was entirely untrue, with other images and video of the meeting showing that Trump did indeed have notes and a pen. Not only that, but the very image used to make the false claim clearly shows two other world leaders sitting with no note-taking paraphernalia. In this case, even the cherry-picked evidence chosen to make the point undermines it.

  • Trump the Tyrant

Then there was the satirical article that reported Trump had signed an executive order declaring himself the popular vote winner in 2016’s presidential election, or the claim that he had imposed martial law in Chicago, using a video of a police tank which has been in use since 2010.

  • Donald Trump: Bully baby

Sometimes these claims seem plausible enough to gain even more credibility and traction. In April, Trump met the public at the traditional White House Easter Egg Roll. A teenaged boy asked him to sign his “Make America Great Again” hat, and the President obliged, but appeared to toss the hat in the air.

This was presented as a callous act from a bullying, villainous Donald Trump by observers such as the Resistance Report web site, which wrote ” Trump Just Ruined This Kid’s Day at the Easter Egg Roll.” However, another camera angle clearly shows that Trump was playfully tossing the hat back to the boy, who happily receives the hat and walks away. This video was posted to Twitter 42 minutes after the original:

But even without the second camera angle, Occam’s Razor comes into play once again. Does it make sense that Donald Trump, asked by an enthusiastic young man to sign a hat bearing his iconic slogan, would sign the hat and then, smiling, deliberately throw it away from the boy? Or is it more likely that Trump was being playful with someone who acted admiringly towards him, and tossed the hat in the air with the intention of giving it back to the boy?

  • Trump the Buffoon

Almost instantly, Trump was mocked for citing as an Irish proverb a poem written by a Nigerian man.
The entire episode is a remarkable example of something bordering on collective hallucination, most likely brought on by confirmation bias. Here hundreds of thousands of people — including professional journalists working for influential news organizations, and a chat show host with more than three million nightly viewers — literally heard Trump say something he never said, in most cases probably because it confirmed a pre-existing image of the President as a poorly read, culturally ignorant buffoon.

Of course, one thing that feeds these falsehoods is the fact that Trump has aspects of his personality that are embarrassing, tyrannical, bullying, and buffoonish.

It has to be acknowledged that since January, many of Trump’s opponents, and even lukewarm supporters, have found considerable fault with his policies and behavior, based on accurate facts. There have been many occasions when Trump himself, undistorted and unfiltered, contributed mightily to the four personas we have outlined.

Indeed, even if you are a fierce opponent of the President, you should be an equally fierce opponent of manufactured stories designed to make him look bad. Because those stories undercut the genuine criticism he often deserves — and give his supporters a lazy way to dismiss as exaggerations even valid points about his character or behavior. has a deserved reputation for left-leaning political bias. This piece undoes some of the damage the site has done to its own reputation for honesty … honesty which ought to be, and in this case is, integral to the brand of a site built to debunks myths and lies. This is a win for them and for us. And for integrity.

Fact-checkers of the world, take note. This is how you do it.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

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