Patterico's Pontifications


Environmentalists Superglue Themselves To Capitol Building Because They’ve Run Out Of Ideas

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:43 pm

[guest post by Dana]

There’s just all kinds of stupid happening:

Environmental activists blocked congressional staff and lawmakers after super gluing themselves to doors and each other in a building on Capitol Hill on Tuesday afternoon.

The Washington, DC, chapter of Extinction Rebellion glued their hands to one another and to door knobs, forming chains around entryways and exits at the basement in a building for House lawmakers.

The protesters hung signs around themselves imitating emergency notices and calling for the passage of the Green New Deal.


“We’re sorry. Due to the CLIMATE EMERGENCY Congress is shut down until sufficient action is taken to address the crisis,” another sign said.

The superglue used in the protest comes with a a warning about making contact with the skin. And if you’ve accidentally gotten some superglue on your fingers when using it, you know how unbelievably dumb it is to willingly put it all over your hands for a cheap stunt that likely had no outcome other than to annoy people inconvenienced by such foolish and selfish behavior.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


President Trump To Students: I Have The Right To Do Whatever I Want As President

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:18 pm

[guest post by Dana]

President Trump addressed an audience of young people at the Turning Point USA Action Summit yesterday. In his remarks, he brought up the “Russian witch hunt,” telling the teen students that the Constitution gives him carte blanche to do anything wants as the President:

… Give me $40 million. Give me unlimited FBI, unlimited interviews, unlimited — they interviewed 500 people. Listen to this: Two thousand five hundred subpoenas. They did everything. Their collusion; no collusion. They have no collusion. (Applause.)

Then I have an Article 2, where I have the right to do whatever I want as President. But I don’t even talk about that because they did a report and there was no obstruction. After looking at it, our great Attorney General read it. He’s a total professional. He said, “There’s nothing here. There’s no obstruction.” So they referenced, “No obstruction.” So you have no collusion, no obstruction, and yet it goes on.

This isn’t the first time that Trump has made such a claim.

About his assertion that the President has “the right” to do whatever he wants:

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

I really hope the young people in the audience take the time to read Article II themselves, so that they can see that it also provides for a president being removed from office “via impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” Go figure.

Anyway, I’m sure supporters will say that Trump didn’t really mean that, or that I’m taking his words out of context, or that this is just yet another attack on Trump. And that’s fine. But before you do, read the entirety of his comments (linked above) or watch the video below. Also, consider the possibility that he has no clue about what he is saying.

(At the 49:26 mark)

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


* Boycott Israel Resolution fails. Next: the Boycott Resolution *

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 10:39 am

[Headline from DRJ]


A comment by Paul Montagu:

This is good news. The anti-Semites in the House lose badly.

The House voted overwhelmingly Tuesday night to formally oppose the Palestinian-backed movement to boycott Israel, over the objections of Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib.

The measure, H.Res.246 opposes “efforts to delegitimize the State of Israel and the Global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement [BDS] targeting Israel,” according to the bill’s text. BDS — a movement which began in 2005 — calls for groups to apply economic pressure to Israel to achieve Palestinian independence in the Middle East. The Senate passed a similar bill amid concerns that the legislation violates the First Amendment.

The bill passed the House Tuesday 398–17 with five members voting “present” to abstain from the vote. Sixteen Democrats opposed the bill, including Omar and Tlaib. Just one Republican voted against the measure, Rep. Thomas Massie.

Rep. Ilahn Omar might have anticipated this result because last week she joined with Rep. Rashida Tlaib and with civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis (an Israel supporter and a co-sponsor of HR 246), to file a Resolution “affirming the use of boycotts as constitutionally-protected free speech and a tactic for effecting social change:”

The resolution from Omar — who’s faced repeated criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike for noting the power of the Israel lobby — does not mention Israel, Palestine, or the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement known as BDS.

Still, CodePink, in an email to supporters, framed the new measure as “a counterweight” to the bipartisan H.R. 246, a pending measure that seeksto oppose “efforts to delegitimize the state of Israel and the global boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement targeting Israel.”

As such, the group said, having Rep. Lewis as part of the resolution making clear the right to engage in political boycotts “sends a clear and direct statement that the right to boycott must be protected, regardless of one’s position on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. This is a game-changer!”

My thanks to Paul for his comment alerting me to this.


President Trump Sues To Prevent Obtainment of His Tax Records

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:06 am

[guest post by Dana]

I posted earlier this month about Gov. Cuomo signing a bill that would allow to congressional committees to access the president’s state tax returns: “The bill requires state tax officials to release the president’s state returns for any “specified and legitimate legislative purpose” on the request of the chair of one of three congressional committees: the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee and the Joint Committee on Taxation.”

Unsurprisingly, President Trump is suing the state over the tax return law, calling it “political retribution”:

“We have filed a lawsuit today in our ongoing efforts to end presidential harassment. The targeting of the president by the House Ways and Means Committee, the New York Attorney General, and a New York tax official violates Article 1 of the US Constitution,” Jay Sekulow, counsel to the president, said in a statement. “The harassment tactics lack a legitimate legislative purpose. The actions taken by the House and New York officials are nothing more than political retribution.”

The state of New York plans to fight this lawsuit:

“President Trump has spent his career hiding behind lawsuits, but, as New York’s chief law enforcement officer, I can assure him that no one is above the law — not even the president of the United States,” Attorney General Letitia James said. “The TRUST Act will shine a light on the president’s finances and finally offer transparency to millions of Americans yearning to know the truth. We have all the confidence that this law is legal and we will vigorously defend it against any court challenge.”

Some are questioning the state’s pursuit of Trump’s tax returns:

What legitimate legislative or law enforcement purpose is served by demanding the release of the President’s tax returns, either federal or state? Congress is charged with providing oversight, but that doesn’t include going on politically driven fishing expeditions.

While it’s true that most presidents and presidential candidates release at least some of their returns voluntarily, it’s never been mandatory. And our tax laws are set up in such a way as to take great pains to keep everyone’s returns private except under extraordinary circumstances. If the citizens of the nation truly think it’s a terrible thing for a presidential candidate not to voluntarily disclose their returns, the remedy is to not vote for them or vote them out at the next election.

So what specific crime does the committee believe has taken place and how would Donald Trump’s tax returns help resolve the situation? All we’ve heard thus far is some vague references to the emoluments clause, but for a person who owns a chain of international hotels, that’s a ridiculous charge since it couldn’t possibly be avoided.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Mueller Subpoenaed to Testify Today; UPDATE By Patterico

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 6:53 am

[Headline from DRJ]

The Hill: Live coverage: Mueller testifies before Congress

Former special counsel Robert Mueller will testify Wednesday in what is expected to be one of the more dramatic days on Capitol Hill in recent memory.

Democrats have been preparing for several days to grill Mueller on his findings about Russian interference, the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia and President Trump’s efforts to thwart the investigation.
Republicans, meanwhile, are expected to train their inquiries on the origins of the Russia investigation, casting it as a probe that was biased against Trump from the start.

As Beldar has always said, Mueller will disappoint most participants and listeners because he is not expected to say anything outside of his Report. On the plus side, some might be surprised. How many have actually read the entire Report?

The discussion started before I posted this so you can comment on this post or here.


UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Here is the live stream.

Having watched it for about seven minutes, my conclusion is that my predictions were spot on:


The House Intelligence Committee hearing is here.

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