Patterico's Pontifications


President Trump On 4th Of July Parade: It’ll Be Like No Other!

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:49 pm

[guest post by Dana]

It looks like President Trump’s dreamed-about military parade will be happening on on Independence Day:

President Trump said on Monday that the Pentagon would put military tanks on display on Thursday in Washington as part of his plans to turn the annual Fourth of July celebration in the nation’s capital into a salute to the country’s military prowess.

The tanks will join an airborne display of the nation’s firepower, including a flight of Air Force One over Washington and a performance by the Navy’s Blue Angels jets. Mr. Trump, who is to speak at the celebration, has requested that the chiefs for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines stand next to him as aircraft from each of their services fly overhead and their respective hymns play on loudspeakers.

“It’ll be like no other — it’ll be special, and I hope a lot of people come,” Mr. Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. “We have some incredible equipment, military equipment, on display — brand-new. And we’re very proud of it.”

The Dept. of the Interior has provided details of what visitors can expect.

President Trump will also be delivering a speech during the celebration:

Mr. Trump is scheduled to deliver his Fourth of July speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, becoming the first president in decades to participate in the annual Independence Day event. Mr. Trump announced the speech via tweet in February.

“We will be having one of the biggest gatherings in the history of Washington, D.C., on July 4,” he wrote. “It will be called ‘A Salute To America’ and will be held at the Lincoln Memorial. Major fireworks display, entertainment and an address by your favorite President, me!”

And while President Trump’s speech will address all Americans, not just his supporters, it’s interesting to note that the Republican National Committee has reportedly received VIP tickets to hand out to donors and select members, while the Democratic National Committee claims they have not received any such tickets for their members.

About those tanks:

NBC News captured video of the tanks — two Bradley and two Abrams tanks — purportedly en route to the National Mall for Thursday’s event. Also in transport are support vehicles, including an M88, used to help recover heavy armored vehicles.

A photographer for the Associated Press also spotted two M1A1 Abrams tanks along with four other military vehicles on a freight train in southeast D.C. on Monday night.

The tanks will remain “static” on the National Mall:

A small number of M1 Abrams tanks and other armored vehicles will participate in President Donald Trump’s July Fourth celebrations in Washington on Thursday, US defense officials have confirmed to CNN…. they will not parade down Pennsylvania Avenue due to the need to protect roads and bridges.

Air travel will be impacted during this year’s parade as well, with flights suspended at Reagan National Airport during the flyover and fireworks display.

The cost of the parade is unknown at this point. However, the Washington Post has reported that, according to “two individuals familiar with the arrangement,” the National Park Service has diverted $2.5 million in entrance and recreation fees to cover costs for the Salute to America. These fees had been earmarked for improve parks nationwide:

Trump administration officials have consistently refused to say how much taxpayers will have to pay for the expanded celebration on the Mall this year, which the president has dubbed the “Salute to America.” The two individuals, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, confirmed the transfer of the Park Service funds Tuesday.

The diverted park fees represent just a fraction of the extra costs the government faces as a result of the event, which will include displays of military hardware, flyovers by an array of jets including Air Force One, the deployment of tanks on the Mall and an extended pyrotechnics show. By comparison, according to former Park Service deputy director Denis P. Galvin, the entire Fourth of July celebration on the Mall typically costs the agency about $2 million.

Back when President Trump got bitten by the military parade bug after being awestruck by the display of military might, pomp and pageantry during France’s Bastille Day Celebration, I wrote:

But here’s the real problem in all of this is: Trump. As we all know, the current Commander in Chief is a self-centered, self-consumed man, who adores being the center of attention, thrives on the adulation of the masses, has displayed authoritarian tendencies and one for whom one-upmanship is a way of life – especially when it involves giant spectacles of pomp and might. All of this combined threatens to produce an unrivaled, grand display which could easily end up focusing on Trump instead of the military and the honorable men and women who serve. If there was some sort of guarantee that absolutely no politician, including President Trump, would be allowed to grandstand, then it might be a wonderful event that would actually celebrate the military and its members. But if any politician of any political stripe were given a moment in the spotlight, they would undoubtedly exploit the military and the troops to pettily boast how their side supports the military more than the other side. This would be a travesty. We all know that politicians, being the unique breed of animal they are, would be absolutely unable to resist being so cravenly opportunistic. So without that provision set in stone, then such an event would no doubt be a distasteful political display of rank pandering at the expense of some extraordinary individuals and the U.S. military itself

I still have the same concerns but hope I am proven foolish to have them. With any luck, President Trump won’t see this as an opportunity to campaign for 2020, and other than his brief address, there won’t be a politician to be found because Americans will be too busy commemorating America’s 243rd birthday, freedom and independence.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Census will not have Citizenship Question

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 4:38 pm

[Headline from DRJ]

The HillTrump administration drops citizenship question from 2020 census:

The Trump administration said Tuesday it was dropping a citizenship question from the 2020 census, days after the Supreme Court ruled against the question’s inclusion.

President Trump had initially said that he wanted to delay the decennial census as his administration continued to push for the question to be included in the 2020 survey.

But that effort appears to be over, after a Justice Department lawyer said the decision was made to start printing census materials without the question included.


Follow Up: Navy Seal Trial

Filed under: Law — DRJ @ 4:25 pm

Following up on an earlier post, the Navy Seal tried for murder in the death of an ISIS fighter in Iraq has been acquitted on most charges:

SAN DIEGO — Navy SEAL Chief Edward Gallagher was acquitted Tuesday on all murder charges, witness intimidation charges, and assault charges related to a 2017 deployment in Iraq.

A seven member jury panel acquitted him on all but one count in one of the most closely watched military trials in the country.

The jury convicted Gallagher on a single count related to Gallagher taking pictures alongside an Iraqi fighter’s corpse, which is the kind of charge that carries a maximum punishment of four months, court observers said.


On Nike, Kaepernick, and Doing the Right Thing for the Wrong Reasons [Updated]

Filed under: General — JVW @ 1:00 pm

[guest post by JVW]

I wrote a post about the Nike Betsy Ross kerfuffle at the same time that Dana did, but like an idiot I didn’t check to see if she was already drafting a post along those lines. I have edited my original draft to cut out the background info to this kerfuffle that Dana’s post richly provided, and I’ll just kind of cut to my thoughts which, as I teased earlier, are slightly contrarian.

As we have already learned, Nike’s Senior Vice-President for Marketing Diversity and Inclusion*, former and perhaps future NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, objected to the sale of the Betsy Ross Flag Nike Air Max 1 shoe. Was he concerned that the $145 price tag (before sales taxes) is approximately two days’ wages, minus withholding, for a $15 per hour minimum wage worker? Was he turned off by the gross commercialism of using a symbol of American pride to peddle footwear likely made in Indonesia? Nah, naturally he objected that the Betsy Ross flag symbolized an era in which Americans held slaves, and that the connotation would be offensive to the type of people who search out things to be offended by. (Please, no one tell the Philadelphia 76ers, who appear to have had at least twelve players of African heritage on their roster this past season.) Nike subsequently ordered the sales halt.

This is the point of the post where a frothing-mouth right-winger like me is supposed to inveigh against the nerve of Colin Kaepernick, the cowardice of Nike, and the death of the American ideal at the hands of the crybullies. But I’m not going to go there. Instead, I want to deliver this message to Mr. Kaepernick:

Thank you.

Thank you for removing from the market an overpriced shoe which cynically tried to tie itself to American heroism and sacrifice. Thank you for confirming once and for all that your campaign is not about police violence or uplifting minority communities, it is about your myopic view of American history that has been drilled into you by hard-left demagogues. Thank you for embarrassing Nike and forcing them to eat a product that had already been manufactured and shipped. And thank you for demonstrating that Nike, a company that has always had an absolutely garbage marketing program (I started a post on this topic over a year ago and just may get around to completing it), holds the American tradition in contempt, at least when it isn’t trying to exploit it for profit. Neither Nike not Colin Kaepernick meant for this to happen, but I think this is going to be one of those situations where almost everyone comes out a winner.

UPDATE: Dan McLaughlin notices the same thing I did.


* I sort of doubt that this is Mr. Kaepernick’s actual title, but it seems to be commensurate with the amount of power he apparently wields at that company. – JVW

Today’s Outrage: Nike Pulls Independence Day Shoes Featuring “Offensive” Betsy Ross Flag

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:51 am

[guest post by Dana]

To be clear: A woman who has been credited with sewing the first American flag is having a modern-day representation of her work pulled from the marketplace because a man complained that her work has connections to slavery, and thus he is offended. Girl still can’t catch a break in 2019…


Nike has pulled a new Fourth of July shoe featuring Betsy Ross’ flag for the 13 American colonies reportedly after Colin Kaepernick expressed concerns, sparking outrage among some conservatives and prompting the Arizona governor to announce his state will pull millions of dollars in financial incentives to the company.

The shoe design drew concern from Kaepernick because the former NFL star said the early flag has connections to slavery, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.

In recent years, the Betsy Ross flag has been appropriated by the white nationalist group Identity Evropa and the Ku Klux Klan, who use it to represent a time when slavery was legal in the United States.

A bit of detail on the plan between the state of Arizona and Nike, before the announcement of the shoes being pulled:

Nike plans to open a multimillion-dollar manufacturing plant on metro Phoenix’s west side after the Goodyear City Council unanimously signed off on an agreement Monday…

Within five years of opening, the deal with the city shows Nike will:

Have at least 505 full-time manufacturing jobs in Goodyear.
Have an average salary of $48,514 per year, including overtime and bonuses.
Pay at least 65% of employee health-care premiums.
Invest at least $184.5 million in improvements to an existing building in the city…

The city will agree to waive up to nearly $1 million in plan review and permit fees, and reimburse Nike another $1 million for the jobs created.

Goodyear estimates a Nike plant would bring in $7.7 million in direct revenue for the city. It puts overall economic impact at more than $483 million during the plant’s first five years.

Here is Gov. Ducey’s response (in part) after Nike’s announcement:

…Instead of celebrating American history the week of our nation’s independence, Nike has apparently decided that Betsy Ross is unworthy, and has bowed to the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism. It is a shameful retreat for the company. American businesses should be proud of our country’s history, not abandoning it. Nike has made its decision, and now we’re making ours. I’ve ordered the Arizona Commerce Authority to withdraw all financial incentive dollars under their discretion that the State was providing for the company to locate here

Reportedly, because the shoes were already on retailer’s shelves when the announcement to send them back to Nike was made, there was a surge in demand as people realized they were now a limited edition and some pairs that weren’t sent back sold for more than $2,000. Just do it!


Immigration News: Trump Signs Border Aid Bill; El Salvador on Board?

Filed under: Immigration,International — DRJ @ 8:45 am

[Headlines from DRJ]

Yesterday, Dana posted Political Cartoonist Depicts President Trump Standing Over Two Drowned Migrants. The underlying story involved an El Salvadoran migrant, Óscar Martínez, and his daughter Valeria who sadly drowned trying to cross the Rio Grande.

Father and daughter have been buried in El Salvador and its President said, Óscar Martínez drowning: El Salvador takes blame:

El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele has said his country is to blame for the death of a father and daughter who drowned while trying to reach the US.

Mr Bukele told the BBC his government had to fix the issues that forced people to migrate in the first place.

Mr Bukele, who took office a month ago, promised he would work to make El Salvador a safer and better place.

President Trump signed HR 3401 into law yesterday. His Remarks are worth reading. He uses his familiar rambling style but addresses how this involves many players — Congress, the courts, the countries to our South — as well as our economy and the asylum and immigration policies that bring migrants here.


Trump Strategery

Filed under: Economics,International — DRJ @ 8:08 am

[Headlines from DRJ]

The FederalistListen To What Happens When Donald Trump Gets Asked Real Questions By A Media Interviewer (March 2016):

“I am a conservative,” Trump said. “I’m not so conservative when it comes to the pure aspects of trade… I believe in free trade, which is nice and conservative,” he said before repeating his usual talking points about being a tougher negotiator with other countries by threatening to implement costly tariffs on imported goods.

“It’ll never happen,” Trump said of a tariff. “But you have the threat out there.”

“Well you’re a much better negotiator than I am,” Sykes said. “But you just said it’ll never happen, so you’ve basically said your negotiating ploy is a bluff.”

Trump stammered and repeatedly insisted that other countries like China, India, and Mexico are “killing us.”

The HillTrump, Kudlow ‘had it out’ after contradiction on who is hurt by tariffs: report (May 2019):

Trump’s former nominee to join the Federal Reserve Board, Stephen Moore, told the Post that the president is unlikely to back down from his threats for more tariff action against China unless a deal is struck to address U.S. concerns with U.S.-China trade policy.

I don’t see him crying uncle anytime soon,” said Moore. “It’s a high-risk strategy, but it’s not in his personality to back down. This goes back to what he said that first time he came down the escalator at Trump Tower.”

Why back down when it’s not his money at risk?


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