Patterico's Pontifications


CNN Presents: Seven Hours Of Hot Air

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:56 pm

[guest post by Dana]

…and I don’t mean Hot Air, the terrific website. I mean “hot air,” as in an unbearable barrage of toxic word vomit. In other words, a seven hour climate crisis town hall because we are a bad people and we deserve this:

CNN on Tuesday announced the candidate lineup for its unprecedented prime-time event focused on the climate crisis.

Ten Democratic presidential hopefuls will appear in New York at back-to-back town halls on Wednesday, September 4, taking audience questions about their climate plans as scientists sound the alarm about global warming.

Along with the candidates, the network also announced the CNN journalists and the approximate appearance times for the presidential hopefuls during the seven-hour, live event.

The crisis is real, and CNN is determined to put an end to our misery so that the earth can finally be at peace. So instead of waiting 14 years for the world to disintegrate or whatever it’s scheduled to do, CNN’s plan will hasten our demise through the means of utter and complete boredom and misery.

Here is the roster of speakers, each of whom will be allotted 40 minutes to yammer:

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro will be interviewed by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer at 5 p.m. ET

Businessman Andrew Yang, who will also be interviewed by Blitzer, will come on at 5:40 p.m.
California Sen. Kamala Harris will be interviewed by CNN’s Erin Burnett at 6:20 p.m.

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who will also be interviewed by Burnett, will appear at 7 p.m.

Former Vice President Joe Biden will be interviewed by CNN’s Anderson Cooper at 8 p.m.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who will also be interviewed by Cooper, will be on at 8:40 p.m.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren will be interviewed by CNN’s Chris Cuomo at 9:20 p.m.

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who will also be interviewed by Cuomo at 10 p.m.

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke will appear with CNN’s Don Lemon at 10:40 p.m.

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker will also be interviewed by Lemon and will come on at 11:20 p.m.

Sadly, JVW’s Little Aloha Sweetie won’t be making an appearance.

Given that there is a big demand by Democratic voters for the 2020 candidates to take aggressive steps to decelerate the effects of climate change, including getting the greenhouse gas emissions be down to zero in the next 30 years, as well as rejoining the Paris climate agreement if elected and signing the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge, it makes absolutely perfect sense for CNN to provide the candidates 40 minutes of airtime to present their specific plans on how to save the planet.

And in a cruel twist of fate, just last week Jay Inslee, who had made climate change the centerpiece of his short run for the presidency, announced that he was ending his bid for the 2020 nomination:

“This is sort of the bookends of my campaign,” Inslee said on MSNBC. “We started seeing that climate change had to be the number one job of the United States. I felt very good saying that the first days of my campaign. I feel very good saying that now. And the reason is this is has just become more urgent — a billion tons of ice melted in Greenland the other day… “

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Attorney General Barr Hosting Holiday Party At Trump Hotel

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:21 pm

[guest post by Dana]

So, is everyone okay with this:

Attorney General William Barr is planning a holiday bash at his boss’ hotel in downtown Washington.

The party at the Trump International Hotel, Washington, DC, could wind up costing more than $30,000, according to The Washington Post, which first reported on the party and its details. A Justice Department official told CNN that the party is not an official Justice Department event and will be paid out of Barr’s pocket.

Still, it is raising concerns from ethics experts and comes as the Justice Department defends President Donald Trump’s businesses in court over claims that they’re benefiting unlawfully from his position.

The party will cost a significant amount of money:

According to a contract Barr signed with the Trump hotel that was obtained by the Post, the party will draw a guest list of about 200 people and include a buffet and four-hour open bar. Depending on his menu selections, Barr’s party could run north of $45,000, according to calculations by the Post, and the contract stipulates that he pay at least $31,500, even if he cancels the event, the paper said.


“It contributes to this idea that you have to be putting money into an entity that will benefit the President — if not today, then down the road — personally to stay in his good graces,” Hempowicz said.

“On the letter of the law, this isn’t a violation, however it doesn’t look good. That’s not nothing when we’re talking about the chief law enforcement officer of the country and his private activity,” said Liz Hempowicz, the director of public policy at the Project on Government Oversight, a watchdog group.

And let’s keep in mind Barr headed the DOJ after the President was sued by the attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia president that he was illegally profiting from foreign and state government visitors staying at his hotels.

As to whether it appears as if Barr is trying to “curry favor” with the President, an administration official denied that was the case, noting that Barr went to ethics officials at the DOJ for counsel, and was told that the ethics rules did not disallow him from hosting the party at Trump’s hotel. Further, Barr had scouted other establishments to host the party prior to settling on Trump’s place:

[Barr] had originally booked space for the party — an annual event that he throws for family and friends — at Washington’s Willard Hotel. However, that hotel had to cancel on him after they realized they’d double-booked the evening.

Barr also tried the Mayflower Hotel, another stately building in downtown Washington, but it too was unavailable to hold his event on his date of choice, December 8.

Note: Although Trump no longer runs his businesses, and instead his sons now have that responsibility, Trump still still benefits from them financially.

This news comes on the heels of Trump saying that he wants to host next year’s G-7 summit at the Trump Doral Resort in Florida, which also also raises a question of ethics.

Yesterday, Trump said that he didn’t care about making money (with regard to hosting the G-7), he just cared about the country. He could back up that claim by donating any and all profits from Barr’s event to a charity that helps Americans, yes?

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


NY Post: Woman Claims Husband Left Her For Rep. Ilhan Omar

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:40 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Well, this is shocking news::

A Washington, DC, mom says her political-consultant husband left her for Rep. Ilhan Omar, according to a bombshell divorce filing obtained by The Post.

Dr. Beth Mynett says her cheating spouse, Tim Mynett, told her in April that he was having an affair with the Somali-born US representative — and that he even made a “shocking declaration of love” for the Minnesota congresswoman before he ditched his wife, alleges the filing, submitted in DC Superior Court on Tuesday.

The physician, 55, and her 38-year-old husband — who has worked for left-wing Democrats such as Omar and her Minnesota predecessor, Keith Ellison — have a 13-year-old son together.

“The parties physically separated on or about April 7, 2019, when Defendant told Plaintiff that he was romantically involved with and in love with another woman, Ilhan Omar,” the court papers say.

According to the filing, Tim Mynett made it clear there is not a chance of working this out, and the marriage is over. Further, from the report: “Defendant’s more recent travel and long work hours now appear to be more related to his affair with Rep. Omar than with his actual work commitments.”

Anyway, there apparently have been whispers about this for some times, and there have been photos of Omar with Mynett out in public, with her daughter.

And then there is this tibdit:

The 37-year-old congresswoman and mom of three paid Tim Mynett and his E. Street Group approximately $230,000 through her campaign since 2018 for fundraising consulting, digital communications, internet advertising and travel expenses.

In light of that bit of news, the National Legal and Policy Center announced it will be filing a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission:

“This arrangement where Ilhan is paying her lover consulting fees could be illegal if he’s not doing the work,” said National Legal and Policy Center Chairman Peter Flaherty.

“And we’ll be asking the FEC for an investigation to determine the nature and level of his work product.”


More than $70,000 of that money was transferred in 14 payments to Mynett’s E. Street Group LLC between April 22 and June 11, records show.

The fact that Omar’s campaign committee continued to pay Tim Mynett’s firm for months after his wife said he left her for the congresswoman isn’t outright illegal.

A public-affairs specialist at the FEC noted that the agency’s regulations include a section that says, “Salary payments to a member of a candidate’s family are not considered personal use, provided that the family member is providing bona fide services to the campaign and at a rate that does not exceed fair market value of the services provided.”

The question is whether that actually occurred here, Flaherty said.

He noted that six of the expenditures in Omar’s filings are simply labeled “travel expenses” worth $12,673.43 — and that in Beth Mynett’s legal papers, she questioned whether her husband’s purported work travel was all for legitimate purposes.

“The law states that travel expenses have to be itemized, but Ilhan’s campaign is just reporting large amounts for ‘travel,’” Flaherty said. “Our question is whether this was necessary travel or whether she was just bringing her boyfriend along for the company.”

Just last month, it became public knowledge that Rep. Omar and her husband, Ahmed Hirsi, were splitting up. Again. She first married Hirsi in a religious ceremony in 2002 and they split up in 2008. Here’s a look at the confusing timeline:

2002: She marries Ahmed Abdisalan Hirsi in a religious ceremony but it is not recognized legally. The pair go on to have two children.

2008: She and Hirsi separate. Because the marriage was never recognized by law, neither is the separation

2009: Omar marries Ahmed Elmi in Minneapolis

2010: He enrolls at North Dakota State University to study fine art and lives with Omar as well as her first husband

2011: Omar claims she and Elmi split this year and he went back to the UK. She reconciles with Hirsi

2012: Omar and Hirsi have their third child.

Elmi is still in the US according to college officials and social media

2013: Elmi starts working in London

2017: Omar divorces Elmi

2018: Omar marries Hirsi in a civil ceremony

2018: The marriage is brought up during Omar’s campaign for congress. She denies it and it is largely ignored because of the lack of proof around it

How this will play out with her constituents and her community, as well as family members is yet to be seen. I wondered how a Muslim woman would be regarded in this situation, and saw this:

So far, no tweet from President Trump about the shocking news. And so far, no public comment from Rep. Omar, who doesn’t really owe anybody a comment. The dissolution of a marriage is a sad and awful thing, especially when children are involved, and especially when the world is watching. Unfortunately, you choose to become a public figure, you can wave goodbye to your privacy. Whether anything unlawful occurred with the payments to Mynett is a separate issue.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Bret “Bedbug” Stephens Totally Doesn’t Try to Get Critic Fired

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:21 am

Washington Post:

The tweet seemed harmless enough to David Karpf. The associate professor of media and public affairs at George Washington University took a story that bedbugs had infested the New York Times newsroom as an occasion to dig at his least favorite Times writer, the conservative columnist Bret Stephens.

“The bedbugs are a metaphor,” Karpf wrote on Monday. “The bedbugs are Bret Stephens.”

The Post continues:

The tweet got nine total likes and zero retweets, Karpf said. So the professor was surprised when an email from Stephens popped in a few hours later.

Thanks to Stephens’s decision to copy Karpf’s provost, the email went viral. Karpf’s original tweet now has many, more than nine likes. Karpf is now a 15-minute minor Twitter celebrity and having some fun. And Stephens? He has deactivated his Twitter account, blaming Twitter for bringing out the worst in people. And he and has gone on TV to explain that he totally wasn’t trying to get anyone in trouble.

“I had no intention whatsoever to get him in any kind of professional trouble but … managers should be aware of the way in which their people interact with the rest of the world.” You know, so those people get in professional trouble.

This guy deserves all the mockery coming his way. And a lot is coming his way, most of it retweeted by Karpf.

And then there is this tweet, which is literally Kafkaesque:

Ah, paying attention to idiotic social media statements from members of the New York Times. Just another attack on the free press!

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

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