Patterico's Pontifications


Rep. Will Hurd Will Not Seek Reelection In Texas

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:40 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Rep. Will Hurd, the only black Republican in the House of Representatives, has announced his retirement from Congress:

We are in a geopolitical competition with China to have the world’s most important economy. There is a global race to be the leader in artificial intelligence, because whoever dominates AI will rule the world. We face growing cyberattacks every day. Extreme poverty, lack of economic opportunity and violence in Central America is placing unbearable pressure on our borders. While Congress has a role in these issues, so does the private sector and civil society.

After reflecting on how best to help our country address these challenges, I have made the decision to not seek reelection for the 23rd Congressional District of Texas in order to pursue opportunities outside the halls of Congress to solve problems at the nexus between technology and national security.

I’m leaving the House of Representatives to help our country in a different way. I want to use my knowledge and experience to focus on these generational challenges in new ways. It was never my intention to stay in Congress forever, but I will stay involved in politics to grow a Republican Party that looks like America.

From his announcement, this strikes me as both a great need and a soon-to-be great void upon Hurd’s departure. Kudos to Hurd for being pro-active and doing what so many Republican officials shy away from because they just don’t see the point. Hurd, though, always saw the point:

As the only African American Republican in the House of Representatives and as a Congressman who represents a 71% Latino district, I’ve taken a conservative message to places that don’t often hear it. Folks in these communities believe in order to solve problems we should empower people not the government, help families move up the economic ladder through free markets not socialism and achieve and maintain peace by being nice with nice guys and tough with tough guys. These Republican ideals resonate with people who don’t think they identify with the Republican Party. Every American should feel they have a home in our party.


My philosophy has been simple. Be honest. Treat people with respect. Never shy away from a fight. Never accept “no” or the status quo and never hesitate to speak my mind.

About speaking his mind, Hurd did just that last month when he took Trump to task for his tweets about the four Democratic congresswomen. Hurd explained how the president’s racist tweets made it more difficult for him to take conservatism into communities that traditionally go Democrat:

“I think those tweets are racist and xenophobic. They’re also inaccurate,” he said.

“Look, I’m the only black Republican in the House of Representatives. I go into communities that most Republicans don’t show up in order to take a conservative message,” he also said, adding, “This makes it harder in order to take our ideas, and our platform, to communities that don’t necessarily identify with the Republican Party.”

Hurd said it is “concerning to me that there are people that think that’s OK, that kind of behavior’s OK” when asked if he was surprised why so many Republicans have not spoken out about Trump’s tweets.

Asked why the President “keeps doing this kind of stuff” and if he thinks Trump is racist, Hurd said, “Well, you’d have to ask him those questions. But the comments were indeed racist.”

According to some, the wave of retiring Republicans isn’t over yet. And that’s what has them worried:

Over the past two weeks alone, five six Republicans — including a member of the Republican leadership team — said they would not seek reelection. And that comes after Rep. Susan Brooks of Indiana, who leads recruitment efforts for the House GOP’s campaign arm and is one of the few Republican women left in the House, shocked her colleagues by announcing her retirement earlier this summer.

“Will there be more retirements? Most certainly there will be, for a range of reasons,” said Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-Mich.), who announced his own retirement last week.

You can read more about how Hurd’s retirement will impact the 23rd district in the battlefield state here.

As with the retirement of Rep. Pete Olson, this too seems like a gift to the Democrats:

Huge news for Dems: Rep. Will Hurd (R) to retire in 2020. He’s probably the only R capable of holding the seat. #TX23 moves from Toss Up to Lean D at @CookPolitical.

I’ll end with this from Rep. Mitchell:

Mitchell, however, pointed to an entirely different reason for his retirement: He is fed up with the increasing polarization in Congress and with some of Trump’s divisive rhetoric and tweets, which Republicans are asked about on a near-daily basis.

“It is demoralizing to watch the gridlock that happens,” Mitchell said. “Absolutely demoralizing.”

My guess is that Hurd would nod his head in agreement.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Jeffrey Epstein Believed Women Impregnated With His Sperm Would Improve Humanity

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:38 pm

[guest post by Dana]

There seems to be no end to the perverse madness that is Jeffrey Epstein:

Jeffrey Epstein dreamed of improving humanity by using his sperm to impregnate scores of women at his New Mexico ranch — and also wanted his penis and head frozen after death so they could eventually be reanimated, according to a report Wednesday.

Two award-winning scientists and an adviser to large companies and wealthy individuals told the New York Times that the since-disgraced multimillionaire financier shared his plan for a baby-making factory in the desert on multiple occasions starting in the early 2000s.

Computer scientist and writer Jaron Lanier also told the Times that he once spoke to a scientist who related how Epstein’s goal was to have 20 women at a time impregnated at his 33,000-square-foot Zorro Ranch outside Santa Fe.


Mr. Epstein’s vision reflected his longstanding fascination with what has become known as transhumanism: the science of improving the human population through technologies like genetic engineering and artificial intelligence. Critics have likened transhumanism to a modern-day version of eugenics, the discredited field of improving the human race through controlled breeding.

Here’s how Epstein became interested in the idea:

Lanier…spoke to the scientist, who told him she worked at NASA, during a dinner party at Epstein’s Upper East Side townhouse. He said the scientist told him that Epstein was inspired by the Repository for Germinal Choice, a controversial sperm bank stocked by high-achieving white males – reportedly including as many as five Nobel Prize winners – that operated in California from 1979 to 1999.

Lanier told the Times he suspected that Epstein…used his dinner parties to screen attractive women with impressive academic credentials as potential mothers for his children.

The Times report didn’t make clear whether Epstein planned to have sex with the women or rely on artificial insemination, but said there’s no evidence he made good on the ego-driven scheme.

And in case you wondered if any of the scientists that were involved in Epstein’s explorations had any concerns, think back to the air traffic controllers on St. Thomas confessing that they looked the other way when Epstein arrived with a new batch of young girls because he made it worth their while:

The lure for some of the scientists was Mr. Epstein’s money. He dangled financing for their pet projects. Some of the scientists said that the prospect of financing blinded them to the seriousness of his sexual transgressions, and even led them to give credence to some of Mr. Epstein’s half-baked scientific musings.

Epstein had other interests as well:

Epstein, 66, was also fascinated with the unproven science of cryogenics, in which people’s bodies or body parts are frozen at very low temperatures so they can be brought back to life in the future, the Times said.

A source described as an adherent of “transhumanism” – the belief that human evolution can be furthered through science and technology – told the paper that Epstein described wanting to have his penis and head cryogenically preserved.

Also, it appears that Epstein’s bid for bail just got tougher because of a new appeals court decision:

The long-shot effort by Jeffrey Epstein, an accused sex trafficker, to win release from jail on bail by promising to personally pay for security to monitor him got even tougher Thursday with a new federal appeals court decision, which blasted such cushy arrangements in most cases.

The ruling in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals “expressly” bars a “two-tier bail system” in which “wealthy defendants are released to self-funded private jails” while “defendants of lesser means are detained pending trial.”

“Such a two‐tiered system would ‘foster inequity and unequal treatment in favor of a very small cohort of criminal defendants who are extremely wealthy,’ ” the ruling by a three-judge appeals panel said.

The decision upholding a bail denial came in a criminal case in Brooklyn, New York, federal court that is unrelated to the case of Epstein, a former friend of Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton.

The appeals panel in the other case said that “if a similarly situated defendant of lesser means would be detained, a wealthy defendant cannot avoid detention by relying on his personal funds to pay for private detention.”

So no “house arrest” at his Manhattan mansion, with private security guards and round the clock monitoring. You can read about the unrelated case here and here.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


RNC Considering Corey Lewandowski For U.S. Senate

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:21 am

[guest post by Dana]

It’s just business as usual for the RNC:

GOP sources told Granite State affiliate WMUR that Mr. Lewandowski’s name was brought up this week at a Charlotte, North Carolina, Republican National Committee meeting to take on Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who’s looking to be elected for a third time.

The current field of GOP challengers is likely to include New Hampshire House Speaker Bill O’Brien, retired Brig. Gen. Donald Bolduc and attorney Bryant Messner.

With Mr. O’Brien and Mr. Bolduc having heavy support from Trump loyalists, Mr. Lewandowski’s candidacy would shake up the race and make him an instant frontrunner due to being closely aligned with Mr. Trump.

His first major run for office would also include ample funding, being a notable public figure among Trump’s associates.

Lewandowski confirmed that he is weighing out a run against Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, and explained to Fox News the strategical reason behind a possible run:

“The president needs a strong supporter of his on the ticket in New Hampshire,” Lewandowski said. “New Hampshire is a state he lost by 2,700 votes, but having a strong, unified ticket in the state will help him be successful in 2020.”

Sources say that Lewandowski is expected to travel with Trump on Thursday to Cincinnati, and might broach the subject with the president at that time.

A real stand-up guy, that Corey Lewandowski. If he does become New Hampshire’s next senator, I sure hope someone makes it clear to his staff that no matter what Sen. Lewandowski might say, laying hands on someone and bruising them because they’re asking your boss a challenging question is an absolute no-no.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


NC Gun Shop Under Fire For Billboard That Mocks “The Squad”

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:00 am

[guest post by Dana]

This is the billboard that Cherokee Guns in Murphy, North Carolina paid to have put up, and for which they are now facing a barrage of complaints:


The display was criticized Monday by the nonprofit group Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV), which called it “disgusting anti-government violent rhetoric,” The Charlotte Observer first reported.

“Threats against members of Congress, particularly minority members are [rising] and it is driven by the president’s racial rhetoric,” CSGV wrote in a Facebook post. “This is dangerous!”

An employee of the store offered this explanation for the billboard:

Butch, a worker at the store who preferred not to give out his last name, said the store has since been flooded with calls from people who claim the billboard racist and others who are saying hateful things about the store and its workers.

“That’s not what this is about though,” Butch said.

“We’re putting facing the face of socialism out there so the American people can get a good look at it,” Butch added.

Butch said the gun shop’s billboard is not intended to pick on the congresswomen because of their gender or skin color.

“This whole thing is a stance against socialism,” Butch said. “Nothing else.”

Reportedly, employees have also been instructed on what to say when “threatening liberals” enter the shop:

“Show them the door, or your gun, and tell them they can buy their own billboard and pay for it like I did,” the staff member reportedly said.

Because the gun shop is in Rep. Mark Meadow’s district, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, one of the congresswomen depicted on the billboard, has called on Meadows to “do the right thing,” without stating exactly what it is she wants him to do:


(Meadows most recently made the news when he denied that Trump is a racist after the president went after Rep. Elijah Cummings this past week.)

Rep. Rashida Tlaib also voiced her disapproval of the billboard:


Offering clarification to Tlaib, Popehat explained First Amendment protections:

Representative Tlaib, speech is not “incitement” outside of First Amendment protection unless it is intended, and likely, to cause imminent lawless action. This is very unlikely to qualify. It may be vile, but it’s protected.

Words that encourage violence are protected unless they fall into an established First Amendment exception, like incitement, which requires words intended and likely to cause imminent lawless action. And “fighting words,” if it still exists, is limited to face-to-face words.

So far, I haven’t seen any responses from the other two congresswomen featured on the billboard.

Finally, the gun shop doesn’t appear to be backing down in the face of complaints but is instead putting the image on bumper stickers:


(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Senate poised to agree with Trump on how to Spend Our Money

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 7:51 am

[Headline from DRJ]

Budget, debt deal teed up for Senate passage, Trump signing

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and his Senate GOP allies are relying on lots of Democratic votes to propel a hard-won budget and debt deal to the finish line.

Passage of the measure Thursday would mark a drama-free solution to a worrisome set of Washington deadlines. It also would that Trump’s allies and adversaries were able to set aside ideology in exchange for relative fiscal peace and stability.

The Senate vote expected later Thursday would send the legislation to Trump for his promised signature.

It’s a relief to know politicians can still unite to do things. Unfortunately, it only seems to happen when they are spending our money.


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