Patterico's Pontifications


Bad News/Good News and a Complaint

Filed under: General — JVW @ 9:05 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Two sides of the same coin: the Monmouth University poll of 2020 Democrat candidates was updated today. As you may recall from my weekend post, candidates need to reach a level of 2% support in at least four “qualifying” polls (the list of polls is on my earlier post) by the end of day Wednesday in order to qualify for the September 12 debate in Houston. There are currently ten candidates who have qualified for that debate, and if any additional candidates make the cut then the field will yet again be split into two debates, one on September 12 and the other on the following evening.

Bad News: My Little Aloha Sweetie did not reach the magical 2% bar in the Monmouth poll, so she is still in search of two more polls to qualify.

Good News: Crazy Cute Hippie Crystals Chick reached 2%! I believe this is the first poll in which she has hit the mark, so she is still hoping to score big in three more.

Complaint: This Monmouth poll — again, one that is being used to determine who gets to participate in the next round of debates, which is a pretty damn big deal — was conducted with phone surveys of 800 people, of whom 298 were either registered Democrats or self-identified as Democrat-leaning. The percentages were only based upon that smaller subset, so for this poll n = 298, which yields a maximum margin of error of 5.7%. Look at it this way: My Little Aloha Sweetie received somewhere between two and four votes of the 298 surveyed to record her 1% (I am assuming that the pollsters round up). The difference, therefore, between her reaching the threshold or not in this poll was somewhere between one and three votes.

If the other polls are updated in the next couple of days and Congresswoman Gabbard and Ms. Williamson do not make it into the debate, then I’ll glumly accept the results. It’s not as if I wanted to have to pay attention to those televised spectacles anyway. But given the shenanigans that went on with regards to the debates the last election cycle, and given that the Democrats are right now sitting on the magical ten candidate maximum to get everyone on the stage together in one night, I can’t help but start to smell a rat.


Feuding Leaders: Brazil’s President Publicly Insults Macron’s Wife’s Appearance

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:57 pm

[guest post by Dana]

[Ed. From my soapbox: One thing I have always hated about women in the political spotlight is the continual circling of sharks attacking them about things that shouldn’t really matter. This happens whether the woman is the actual politician, or the spouse of a prominent politician. First line of attack is her physical appearance: age spots on her face, crow’s feet, bags under her eyes, helmet hair, a body that has clearly been lived in, a few extra pounds, crepe paper skin, too much make-up you’re-not-fooling-anyone, not enough make-up OMG GOD, SLAP SOME LIPSTICK ON THAT PIG, etc. Next line of attack is her sartorial selection: skirt too short, too long, too much cleavage showing, heels too high, heels too low, color of dress washes her out, color too bold for her age OMG WHAT WAS SHE THINKING! And so it goes. It’s an endless opportunity for journalists and commentators to use their platforms and publicly slice and dice a woman. The cruelty of it is underscored by their male counterparts about whom no one on earth cares what they’re wearing or whether they’ve got “laugh lines”. Well, with a few dumb exceptions… Ed. Steps down from soapbox.]

After the G-7 summit, Brazil’s leader, Jair Bolsonaro took a shot at France’s Emmanuel Macron because of a tiff about climate change and the fires raging in the Amazon. Unfortunately, instead of just insulting Macron himself like a real man would do, the weenie Bolsonaro was a complete jerk about it and instead, provoked Macron by insulting Mrs. Macron:

In a post on Jair Bolsonaro’s Facebook page, a user insulted the French first lady, Brigitte, by comparing her appearance with that of the Brazilian president’s wife, Michelle, implying that the younger woman was more attractive.

The supporter suggested Mr Macron was jealous, and that that was why he was “persecuting” the Brazilian leader.

Mr Bolsonaro hit “like” on the post, writing: “Don’t humiliate the guy… ha ha.”

(Photo via CNN)

Macron responded to the jab:

“He has made some extraordinarily rude comments about my wife.

“What can I tell you? It’s sad. It’s sad for him and for Brazilians. I think that Brazilian women are probably ashamed to read that their president has done that.”

“I think that Brazilians, a great people, are a bit ashamed of this behaviour,” the French president added. “As I have a lot of friendship and respect for the Brazilian people, I hope that they will quickly have a president who is up to the job.”

Here’s a brief overview of what’s behind the spat between the two leaders:

[Macron] claimed Mr Bolsonaro had gone back on a promise to halt deforestation, threatening to no longer support the EU’s Mercosur deal with Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay….Mr Bolsonaro had missed a scheduled meeting with the French foreign minister in favour of a barber’s appointment, Mr Macron added…Mr Macron has been highly critical of Brazil’s handling of the crisis, tweeting: “Our house is literally on fire”…[T]he French overseas territory of French Guiana on the northern coast of South America is France’s biggest land border, so the Amazon was particularly important for France because “we are there”…

Mr Bolsonaro attacked Macron for having a “colonialist mentality”, tweeting that “ludicrous and unnecessary attacks on the Amazon” were unacceptable….Brazilian politicians, including Mr Bolsonaro’s son Eduardo, have taken pot shots at Mr Macron, with education minister Abraham Weintraub calling him “an opportunist idiot” and “a president without character” in a flurry of tweets…Eduardo Bolsonaro, who is tipped to be the next ambassador to Washington, on Friday retweeted a video showing violent yellow-vest protests in France headlined “Macron is an idiot”.

And demonstrating what a certified ass he is, Bolsonaro said this in 2017:

“I have five children. Four are men, and then in a moment of weakness the fifth came out a girl.”

Anyway, this got me thinking…

Trump and Bolsonaro, two peas in a pod, am I right??

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Trump: Let’s Have Next Year’s G-7 Summit At My Place!

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:32 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the U.S. Constitution prohibits any person holding a government office from accepting any present, emolument, office, or title from any “King, Prince, or foreign State,” without congressional consent. This clause is meant to prevent external influence and corruption of American officers by foreign States. A similar provision was included in the Articles of Confederation, applicable to both federal and state officers. The language of the modern clause, however, suggests that only federal government officials are prohibited from accepting any emoluments.

President Trump insists he wouldn’t profit financially from hosting next year’s G-7 meeting Trump National Doral Miami Golf Resort:

The US is next up to host the G7 in 2020. Trump said while he hasn’t made a final decision on where to host the summit, officials “haven’t found anything that’s even close to competing with it.”

Trump… highlighted the pros of hosting the summit at his club, saying that it could “handle whatever happens” and repeated several times that it is a short drive to Miami’s international airport.

Trump is sure to receive criticism if he goes through with the idea and will face questions about whether he stands to profit financially from the large summit. Trump has received such criticism in the past for hosting foreign leaders, including China’s President Xi Jinping, at his Mar-a-Lago Golf Club in Florida.

…Trump defended the possibility of hosting the next G7 summit at the golf club and claimed he will not make any money from hosting, adding, “It’s not about me, it’s about getting the right location.”

Trump told reporters he “couldn’t care less” about making money. “The only thing I care about is this country,” Trump added.

Trump said that the administration has looked at 12 different sites for the summit, but said his Doral-Miami club is the best choice in terms of location and infrastructure.

“My people wanted it,” Trump said about the club, adding, “I’m not going to make any money.”

Trump also stressed that the large club and resort could easily accommodate the large presence of G7 leaders, delegations and press.

In spite of Trump insisting that he doesn’t care about money [Ed. eye-roll…], and wouldn’t profit from hosting the G-7, there are certainly very real concerns about hosting the summit at Doral:

Hosting the G7 Summit — consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States — at any of his properties would exacerbate claims that Trump is profiting from the presidency in violation of the so-called Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Trump is already facing lawsuits over similar allegations, primarily about his hotel in Washington, D.C.

Not everyone in his orbit is on board with the idea, citing ethical concerns:

The Washington Post reports that Trump has long pushed to hold next year’s G7 at the Doral but has seen some internal resistance from people concerned about the ethics of such a decision. The problem is that Trump has never divested from his company, the Trump Organization, meaning he would personally profit from the summit’s coming to the Doral.

He dismissed the concerns speaking to reporters Monday. “In my opinion, I’m not going to make any money,” he said. He added that being president costs him between $3 billion and $5 billion a year, a claim he said he would soon back up with evidence.

Here’s a look at how Doral is performing, and it’s not good news:

Trump’s presidency so far seems to have harmed Trump Doral’s bottom line. In a meeting with a magistrate for the Miami-Dade Value Adjustment Board in December 2018, a consultant hired by the Trump Organization said the hotel is “severely under-performing.” The consultant cited lower occupancy and room rates at the Doral hotel compared to its competitors and an 18 percent slump in revenue from 2015 to 2017 as reasons to lower the property’s value.

Given that, it’s easy to see how hosting the G-7 next year might benefit the resort, and turn its fortunes around:

Beyond the money paid directly to the club to cover the costs of hosting an international event, iconic visits to Mar-a-Lago, like the 2017 summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, helped increase international tourism to the property, bringing in a steady, albeit small, stream of revenue to the then-struggling property.

P.S. Trump also said that he would invite Putin to next year’s G-7, which would be permissible because host countries can invite any world leaders to attend, even if they are not members of the G-7:

“Would I invite him? I would certainly invite him. Whether or not he could come psychologically, I think that’s a tough thing for him to do,” Trump said during a press conference at the close of this weekend’s G-7 summit in France.

Russia was expelled in 2014 from what was then the G-8 over its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. It has faced additional international backlash for interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and poisoning a former spy living in the United Kingdom.

But Trump has in each of the last two years floated readmitting Russia to the group.

“I think it would be better to have Russia inside the tent than outside the tent,” Trump said Monday. “Do we live either way? Yes, we live either way. Is it politically popular for me to say that? Possibly not.”

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Will Trump Organization Follow Trump’s Order And Pull Its Manufacturing Out Of China?

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:02 pm

[guest post by Dana]

As you know, President Trump *ordered* U.S. companies to find alternatives to China a few days ago as the U.S. trade war with China escalates:


With that in mind, do you think the Trump Organization will follow the President’s order?

In the retail shop operated by the Trump Organization in the back of Trump’s D.C. hotel, golf caps and travel coffee mugs emblazoned with the Trump name and made in China are still offered for sale, alongside other products produced in Indonesia, Vietnam and other countries.

A spokeswoman for the Trump Organization, Amanda Miller, did not respond to a request for comment Friday about whether the company would stop selling or producing Chinese products in response to the president’s directive.

Trump still owns his company, but it is being managed by his adult sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, while he is in office.

Amid criticism that Trump’s company continued to rely on imported merchandise while Trump railed against others for doing so, the Trump Organization began offering more merchandise clearly labeled “Made in America,” including T-shirts and hats. On its retail site,, the company now lists a “Made in America” section.

During the presidential campaign, Trump responded to a question about why he imported products by saying, “We’re allowed to do it. … But I’m the one that knows how to change it.”

Note: In perusing the Trump Organization store, there is certainly a Made in America section with every product clearly labeled as such. There is also a menu from which to select other shopping categories for merchandise. The products in other shopping categories do not necessarily have the “Made in America” indicator. As a matter of fact, on any number of items there is no mention of where they are manufactured. See samples below.

1) Trump Organization Shopping Options:


2) Item clearly designated as “Made in America”:


3) Item with no indication of where it has been made:



New York Times: Criticizing Our Reporters’ Idiocy on Social Media is an Attack on the Free Press

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:29 am

The publisher of the New York Times:

Here’s the thing. It depends on the criticism. To me, shining a light on public social media posts like these is important:

Tom Wright-Piersanti was not some low-level staffer, but a senior political editor who oversaw a team that covers Congress. (Not any more, now that these tweets have been publicized.) Same goes for Sarah Jeong, the editorial board member who likes to write tweets about hating white people:

I can easily see a Trump-loving group smearing journalists with out-of-context posts from social media. For that matter, I can easily see journalists and other leftists smearing conservatives in the same way. When that happens, I will criticize it. But legitimate criticism, whether it comes from journalists or is directed at journalists, is something that helps us all. I don’t need a Jew-hating editor at the New York Times shaping their coverage. If revealing Wright-Piersanti’s tweets is an attack on the free press, I guess I am for attacks on the free press.

The thing is, I’m not for attacks on the free press. Which is why Sulzberger should acknowledge that valid criticism is valid. Portraying any and all criticism of reporters and editors as part of a systematic attack on a free press — even if that is the intent of the Trump defenders — makes it sound like Sulzberger and Co. feel that they are beyond legitimate criticism.

It reminds me of those who portray literally any criticism of Trump as an effort to delegitimize him. Much of that criticism may indeed be motivated by such sentiments. But if it’s legit, it’s legit. Regardless of the intent.

The problem here isn’t that people are “scouring social media” nor is it “outrage mobs” per se. It is irresponsible and out-of-context criticism. Let’s keep an eye out for that, and let’s not whine about legitimate criticism. No matter which “side” we’re on.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

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