Patterico's Pontifications


Democratic Debate Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:34 pm

[guest post by Dana]

The fifth presidential debate is coming from Atlanta tonight.

The contenders on stage are: Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Andrew Yang, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Tom Steyer and that little aloha sweetie, Tulsi Gabbard.

CNN tells me there are nine things to look for in tonight’s debate. Of course, they may have worded the points a little differently, but no matter:

*It’s Buttigieg’s turn to shine in the spotlight

*Red pill Obama’s admonition and shadow looms large

*Biden’s southern firewall will be tested but he won’t know it’s happening

*The ‘Medicare for All’ fight takes a twist (but still no one will pronounce it utterly ludicrous)

*Sanders may take take off the gloves with Warren (there will be oxygen available, if necessary)

*Voting rights will not be ignored. I missed that. What?

*Kamala Harris will join Hillary Clinton as they both try to find their way out of the woods

*Amy Klobuchar will use her bare hands to take down anyone who gets in her way

*Low polling candidates will be sweating bullets as they know that it’s their last opportunity to publicly audition for the vice-presidency.

Where you can watch it: The debate will be broadcast exclusively on MSNBC and will also stream for free on and, as well as on NBC News and The Washington Post’s mobile apps, according to the Democratic National Committee. Audio of the debate will be available on SiriusXM Channel 118, and TuneIn.

Should be loads of fun!


Why Eric Garcetti Will (Probably) Never Be President

Filed under: General — JVW @ 1:39 pm

[guest post by JVW]

For those of you who could use a break from all the impeachment talk.

Los Angeles’s forty-second and current mayor, Eric GarbageCity — er, make that Garcetti — had a piece published in the Daily Breeze over the weekend which serves as a strong reminder why so many of us find him to be pompous and tiresome. While recounting the passage of California’s Proposition 187 a quarter-century ago, which according to the progressive catechism drove Latinos away from the GOP into the arms of Democrats forever and ever, the mayor treats us to this howler:

I had taken time away from my graduate studies abroad to work for six months on Kathleen Brown’s campaign for governor and to campaign against Prop. 187. I returned to Oxford University disappointed but energized, sad but hungry for change.

A few weeks later, I was literally hungry — adopting the tactic of community organizers through the years: I led a three-day fast and teach-in, in solidarity with immigrants in California and around the world. [. . .]

How relatable, right? I mean don’t most of us have the luxury of interrupting our lives to spend six months on the doomed campaign of a lesser member of a powerful lunatic political family, only to then return to the warm cocoon of Oxford on our Rhodes Scholarship for spring afternoons reading Hobsbawm in Radcliffe Camera then nipping off to The Bear Inn for a glass of French wine? It’s what our studies at the prestigious Harvard-Westlake School and Columbia University prepared us for, wasn’t it? My advice to the mayor should he wish to ultimately reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue would be not to talk about sabbaticals to fool around in political campaigns and sojourns at Oxford in the same grating insouciance that, for example, John Kerry might use to describe skiing in Zermatt before popping down to Corfu to sail the Ionian Sea.

Mayor GarbageCity — dang it! Garcetti — wants badly to be President and clearly thinks he is deserving of the honor, but for now his path to the White House is difficult to foresee. He leaves office on New Year’s Day 2022 with pretty much no place to go. Gavin Newsom will almost certainly be running for reelection in 2022, Dianne Feinstein’s term doesn’t end until January 2025, and Kamala Harris, who ain’t gonna be President, is almost certain to seek reelection in 2022. Short of Gov. Newsom or Sen. Harris ascending to the Vice-Presidency, it would seem that the Los Angeles Mayor faces a significant roadblock in his political aspirations.

Finally, as Eric Garcetti celebrates his party’s Pyrrhic Defeat in the Prop. 187 vote twenty-five years ago, he might pause to reflect on the fact that California Latinos, who now vote devotedly for his party, continue to struggle to realize the middle class California dream, especially in the City of Angels, despite all of the pandering and empty gestures that they receive from the progressive elite. If and when he finally runs for President, he is going to be asked the simple question of what he accomplished as mayor, and right now I don’t see him having much of a satisfactory answer.


Impeachment Hearings: Yesterday and Today

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:44 am

Gordon Sondland is testifying today, and so far he has made it clear that there was indeed a quid pro quo (at least for a White House meeting) and that everyone was acting at Trump’s direction. Meanwhile, I have a few thoughts on the parts of yesterday’s hearing I was able to see or listen to.

First, in excellent questioning by the Democrat counsel, it was made clear that Trump didn’t really care about corruption in Ukraine as a general matter — a legitimate concern that is part of U.S. foreign policy. All he cared about was Burisma and the Bidens — an illegitimate and corrupt concern, based purely on selfish political motives, that is improper to raise as a condition to giving military aid. Lt. Col. Vindman testified that when Trump first called the Ukraine president in April to congratulate him on his election, Trump’s talking points included a reference to the importance of rooting out corruption.

Trump didn’t mention it.

This issue that was supposedly so important to him that he withheld military assistance over it? Not mentioned at all in his first call with the Ukraine president.

It was only once Trump had the apparatus set up to have Rudy G. make very specific appeals to investigate a very specific political opponent that Trump began to care about investigations — and even then, he cared only about investigations into two very specific things. First, an investigation into a loony conspiracy theory that would let Russia off the hook for the DNC hack, and second, an investigation into his (then) likely opponent for the presidency in 2020.

In the face of that evidence, what did the Republicans have?

They repeatedly tried to out the whistleblower, on a day when Trump himself was insulting one of the witnesses (Vindman) who still works for the federal government.

They complained about hearsay, on a day when two people testified who had actually heard Trump’s call and found it inappropriate, even (in the case of Vindman) shocking.

Republican Senators have already made up their minds. This is wholly a proceeding for the benefit of the American people, to show what Republicans will not only tolerate but full-throatedly defend, should the people re-elect Donald Trump in 2020.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

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