Patterico's Pontifications


REUTERS: Walmart says higher China tariffs will increase prices for US shoppers

Filed under: Economics,Government — DRJ @ 8:05 pm

[Headline from DRJ]

Walmart says higher China tariffs will increase prices for U.S. shoppers:

Walmart Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs said in an interview that higher tariffs will result in increased prices for consumers. He said the company will seek to ease the pain, in part by trying to obtain products from different countries and working with suppliers’ “costs structures to manage higher tariffs.”


“It’s not just tariffs. Transportation costs are up, labor costs are up. It’s an inflationary environment,” Del Monte CEO Greg Longstreet told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference. “A lot of that’s going to have to be passed on. The consumer is going to have to pay more for a lot of critical goods.”


HEADLINE: Former employee arrested for stealing $14K in Disney costumes

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 8:00 pm

[Headline from DRJ]

ORLANDO SENTINEL — Former employee arrested for stealing $14K in Disney costumes from Magic Kingdom, Epcot, deputies say:

A former Disney employee was arrested Friday after he stole about $14,000 worth of costumes and memorabilia from the back rooms of the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, according to an arrest affidavit.
Deputies began investigating in August after the animatronic “Buzzy” and its clothing including a bomber jacket, headphones and green hat, went missing from the closed “Cranium Command” attraction at Epcot.

Far, far more at the link, including that he became a suspect “when he started posting pictures of Buzzy on his Twitter account @backdoordisney.”


HOUSTON CHRONICLE: Intruder found outside of 13-year-old daughter’s bedroom …

Filed under: Crime,Law — DRJ @ 7:55 pm

[Headline from DRJ] has a complex story that no headline could fully capture, but this one tries:

Intruder found outside of 13-year-old daughter’s bedroom dies after gunshots, self-inflicted wounds


Rep. Justin Amash: First Congressional Republican To Claim President Trump “Engaged In Impeachable Conduct” (UPDATE ADDED)

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:34 am

[guest post by Dana]

After reading Mueller’s redacted report in its entirety, Michigan Republican Representative Justin Amash publicly shared his reaction yesterday. Ultimately, he believes President Trump did indeed “engage in impeachable conduct”. His conclusion is entirely at odds with the “No Collusion! No Obstruction!” party line lead by the President.

I’m going to post Rep. Amash’s full comments rather than summing them up. One general point he makes that stands out to me is the danger of allowing party loyalty (and loyalty to a president) to supersede loyalty to the Constitution. I’ve been harping about this forever: Loyalty to one’s party (and the President) is a faulty starting point for being able to accurately and objectively assess our elected officials and hold them accountable. It’s worth noting that Rep. Amash is being entirely consistent in his stated beliefs about the role of an elected official:


From Rep. Amash:

Here are my principal conclusions:
1. Attorney General Barr has deliberately misrepresented Mueller’s report.
2. President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct.
3. Partisanship has eroded our system of checks and balances.
4. Few members of Congress have read the report.

I offer these conclusions only after having read Mueller’s redacted report carefully and completely, having read or watched pertinent statements and testimony, and having discussed this matter with my staff, who thoroughly reviewed materials and provided me with further analysis.

In comparing Barr’s principal conclusions, congressional testimony, and other statements to Mueller’s report, it is clear that Barr intended to mislead the public about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s analysis and findings.

Barr’s misrepresentations are significant but often subtle, frequently taking the form of sleight-of-hand qualifications or logical fallacies, which he hopes people will not notice.

Under our Constitution, the president “shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” While “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” is not defined, the context implies conduct that violates the public trust.

Contrary to Barr’s portrayal, Mueller’s report reveals that President Trump engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment.

In fact, Mueller’s report identifies multiple examples of conduct satisfying all the elements of obstruction of justice, and undoubtedly any person who is not the president of the United States would be indicted based on such evidence.

Impeachment, which is a special form of indictment, does not even require probable cause that a crime (e.g., obstruction of justice) has been committed; it simply requires a finding that an official has engaged in careless, abusive, corrupt, or otherwise dishonorable conduct.

While impeachment should be undertaken only in extraordinary circumstances, the risk we face in an environment of extreme partisanship is not that Congress will employ it as a remedy too often but rather that Congress will employ it so rarely that it cannot deter misconduct.

Our system of checks and balances relies on each branch’s jealously guarding its powers and upholding its duties under our Constitution. When loyalty to a political party or to an individual trumps loyalty to the Constitution, the Rule of Law—the foundation of liberty—crumbles.

We’ve witnessed members of Congress from both parties shift their views 180 degrees—on the importance of character, on the principles of obstruction of justice—depending on whether they’re discussing Bill Clinton or Donald Trump.

Few members of Congress even read Mueller’s report; their minds were made up based on partisan affiliation—and it showed, with representatives and senators from both parties issuing definitive statements on the 448-page report’s conclusions within just hours of its release.

America’s institutions depend on officials to uphold both the rules and spirit of our constitutional system even when to do so is personally inconvenient or yields a politically unfavorable outcome. Our Constitution is brilliant and awesome; it deserves a government to match it.

President Trump, unsurprisingly, came out swinging:


It’s too soon to say whether any other Republican lawmakers will come out in agreement with Rep. Amash. As of this posting, I could only find one Republican lawmaker who has commented on Rep. Amash’s statement. This was Sen. Mitt Romney to Jake Tapper this morning:

My own view is that Justin Amash has reached a different conclusion than I have. I respect him, I think it’s a courageous statement.

The American people just aren’t there. The Senate is certainly not there, either.


I also believe that an impeachment call is not only something that relates to the law but also considers practicality and politics, and the American people just aren’t there…

And from RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, a jab at Rep. Amash, who has said that he “can’t rule out” running for president as a Libertarian.”:

It’s sad to see Congressman Amash parroting the Democrats’ talking points on Russia. The only people still fixated on the Russia collusion hoax are political foes of President Trump hoping to defeat him in 2020 by any desperate means possible. Voters in Amash’s district strongly support this President, and would rather their Congressman work to support the President’s policies that have brought jobs, increased wages and made life better for Americans.

UPDATE: Following Justin Amash’s public comments this weekend, we are finding out today that Amash is getting primaried:

A Republican state representative plans to challenge U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, R-Cascade Township, after Amash said this weekend he believes President Donald Trump committed impeachable offenses.

State Rep. Jim Lower, R-Greenville, announced this morning that he would run for the 3rd Congressional District seat Amash has held since 2011 and would forgo a race for a third term in the state House.

Lower said he had been planning to run for some time and had expected to make an announcement closer to July 4. But he said he decided to move up that schedule after Amash said on Twitter on Saturday that after reading Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report he believes the president committed impeachable offenses.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 95

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 12:01 am

It is the fifth Sunday of Easter. Today’s Bach cantata is “Christus, der ist mein Leben” (Christ, he is my life)

Today’s Gospel reading is John 13:31-35:

When he was gone, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once.

“My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

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

If a shepherd now seeks his lost sheep,
how shall Jesus not find me again,
since He is my head and I am one of His members!
Thus I can now, with joyful spirit,
establish my blessed resurrection in my Savior.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

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