Patterico's Pontifications


Megyn Kelly Interviews Tara Reade: “I’m Not Here to Influence a National Election”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:18 am

You can watch it here.

It’s a pretty good interview, but it is marred by Kelly’s failure to ask Reade why she wrote the words “this is not a story about sexual misconduct” for publication, just last year.

You definitely get the sense that she seems far more angry that Biden told her “you’re nothing to me” than by the alleged fact that he put his fingers in her vagina without her consent. (There are also details in the interview about how this was so easy for him to allegedly do; i.e., they get graphic and specific about what she was wearing and what she was not wearing.)

There’s a lot here to talk about, but I want to focus on her claim, which she contradicts elsewhere in the interview, that she is “not here to influence a national election.” The lady doth protest too much, methinks:

KELLY: A lot of Democrats are mad. They’re mad at you for, they see it as an attempt to tar their guy — the one guy who could bring down a man they loathe — and they kinda just wish you would go away. To those people, what do you say?

READE: I say again: you don’t have to discredit me or not believe me to vote for Joe Biden. Voting is a very personal thing, and I’m not here to influence a national election, and I don’t want to be. I do not want to help Donald Trump win. I do not want to help Joe Biden win, obviously. He’s the person that hurt me.

It’s a claim made about 38 minutes into the interview, and it’s bullshit. And we know it’s bullshit because of the things she had already admitted elsewhere in the interview. Like this:

KELLY: Was this at all politically motivated? Because that’s what people think, you know. They think you were a Marianne Williamson supporter, you’re a Bernie supporter.

READE: Mm-hmm.

KELLY: This is about politics.

READE: No, actually, it’s not. It, well, I think everything’s political. Like, maybe I’ll take that back. Everything’s political, right? But this is deeper than that. This is about, um, watching the person that assaulted me be elevated to the highest office in the land. He’s running on a platform of character, and I just, I found that gross. I know what he’s like. I experienced what he is like. And I wanted people to know.

KELLY: But if you brought it to, for example, the Elizabeth Warren campaign, right, to try to get them to do something with it. Um, and the Kamala Harris campaign.

READE: I did. Mm-hmm.

KELLY: Isn’t that inherently political? I mean, doesn’t that suggest, in fact, this is all political?

READE: I tried to reach out to them, yes, I did. I tried to reach out to them. Well, Kamala Harris is my representative [sic], so I tried to reach out to her in particular, um, for help. Like I wanted to get a safe place to tell what happened. And I didn’t get a response. So I kept again trying to get it out there. I think that many things can be true at once, is what, you know, we all know, right? He is presented as a champion of women’s rights. And yet I know personally, and I know seven other women that did not experience him that way.

KELLY: One of the reasons people have chosen to dismiss you, some people have chosen to dismiss your allegation, is because there was a March 3d tweet that I want to ask you about.


KELLY: So, the Intercept’s Ryan Grim —

READE: Mm-hmm.

KELLY: — tweeted out, quote: “A head-to-head Biden v Sanders contest will force voters to take a close look at Biden again. That went very badly for him last time.” And you responded at 10:33 p.m. on March 3, 2020: “Yup. Timing… wait for it….tic toc.”

It sounds political and it sounds like you were excited to drop this bomb.

READE: That was in response to me getting — finally, I thought — an attorney from, from Time’s Up to finally bring something forward and bring my story forward in a safe way. So that’s why I wrote it.

KELLY: “Tic toc” was a reference to …

READE: Time’s Up.

KELLY: Time’s Up.

READE: Yeah.

KELLY: Were you excited? Because it sounds anticipatory; you’re building the anticipation and the suspense. People have used that as a reason to say, “She’s not credible.”

READE: Mm-hmm. I think that they’ll use anything to say that I’m not credible [laughing]. So I won’t address it in that way. What I will say is that I was very, very vocal on Twitter about trying to get the story forward.

Time’s Up is a legal defense fund that declined Reade’s application to get funds and legal representation due to the political nature of her claim.

And what does Tara “I’m not here to influence a national election” Reade want? She wants Joe Biden to withdraw from the presidential race:

KELLY: If he’s watching this, what do you want to say to him?

READE: I want to say: “You and I were there, Joe Biden. Please step forward and be held accountable. And if you feel that you can address this in a real way, then you know and I know that you should step down. You’re not … you’re not … you should not be running on character for the President of the United States.”

KELLY: You want him to withdraw.

READE: I wish he would. But he won’t, but, I wish he would. That’s how I feel emotionally.

KELLY: Do you want an apology?

READE: I think it’s a little late. That was, should have happened in 1993.

So when Reade says: “I’m not here to influence a national election” … well, the viewer can hardly be blamed if his or her reaction is similar to that of Megyn Kelly, who instantly cocks her head as if to say: “Seriously?” Watch the four-second clip:


Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:31 am

[guest post by Dana]

Some California beaches will be open this weekend. But if you’re planning on going, stationary activities, like sunbathing or reading, are a no-no. Open beaches are for “active recreational use” only. Think surfing, paddling, or walking…

Please feel free to share any news items you think readers might be interested in, and make sure to include a link.

First news item

Politics trumps expertise:

The decision to shelve detailed advice from the nation’s top disease control experts for reopening communities during the coronavirus pandemic came from the highest levels of the White House, according to internal government emails obtained by The Associated Press.

The files also show that after the AP reported Thursday that the guidance document had been buried, the Trump administration ordered key parts of it to be fast-tracked for approval.

The trove of emails show the nation’s top public health experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spending weeks working on guidance to help the country deal with a public health emergency, only to see their work quashed by political appointees with little explanation.

White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said Friday that the documents had not been approved by CDC Director Robert Redfield. The new emails, however, show that Redfield cleared the guidance.

Second news item

Team Trump explores ways to have a Trump campaign rally during a pandemic:

President Donald Trump is thirsting to hold campaign rallies again. And among his campaign and White House advisers, a possible solution has been discussed that could allow for such MAGA gatherings even in the midst of a global pandemic: the mostly defunct, rural tradition of the drive-in movie theater.

According to three people familiar with the preliminary discussions, Trump aides and operatives have spent weeks exploring alternatives to the standard Trump 2020 rally that could allow for social distancing while still allowing for a modest number of attendees. Much of the focus has been on sprawling outdoor venues, such as large fields. And one of the top ideas for this coronavirus-era workaround that is currently being floated would rely on repurposing drive-ins for a political gathering.

Fun fact: There are 305 drive-in theaters in the United States, with 549 screens.

Third news item

More revelations:

Police tried to make an arrest shortly after 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery was fatally shot on February 23 but they were blocked by Brunswick District Attorney Jackie Johnson, two Glynn County commissioners said Friday. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation on Thursday charged Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis McMichael, 34, with murder and aggravated assault, two days after graphic footage emerged of them shooting Arbery while he was out jogging. Commissioner Allen Booker told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Friday: “The police at the scene went to [Johnson], saying they were ready to arrest both of them. These were the police at the scene who had done the investigation. She shut them down to protect her friend McMichael.” Commissioner Peter Murphy said officers at the scene in February concluded they had probable cause but “were told not to make the arrest.”

Video of the shooting is here. Consider yourselves warned.


Gregory McMichael, 64, and his 34-year-old son, Travis McMichael, were arrested Thursday evening and face charges or murder and aggravated assault in Arbery’s killing on February 23, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Fourth news item

Raise your hand if you’re surprised: Trump White House retaliated against employee:

A federal watchdog said it has found “reasonable grounds” to believe that the administration retaliated against a top public health official who says he was ousted after raising alarms about an unverified coronavirus treatment, his attorneys said Friday.

Attorneys for Rick Bright, former head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), said the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) determined that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) “violated the Whistleblower Protection Act by removing Dr. Bright from his position because he made protected disclosures in the best interest of the American public.”

The OSC, an independent federal agency, said Bright should be reinstated for 45 days while the agency investigates Bright’s case, his lawyers said. Such a recommendation would not be binding, however.

Fifth news item

California leads the way:

Citing that “concern and anxiety around this November’s election,” [Gov.] Newsom signed an executive order requiring counties to mail voters a ballot. He had already mandated all-mail voting for a series of special elections, including an upcoming 25th Congressional District special election Tuesday in Southern California…Both the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee blasted Newsom on Friday. Trump spokesperson Tim Murtaugh accused the governor of “a thinly-veiled political tactic” that would “undermine election security” and invite fraud, and an RNC spokesperson said the campaign organization was “weighing our legal options to ensure the integrity of the election.”…Newsom’s does not shutter in-person voting centers, which advocates say are especially important to lower turnout blocs like low-income and foreign-born voters. Newsom said that would ensure the enfranchisement of “people that otherwise are not familiar with mail-in ballots, are uncomfortable with them, may have disabilities.”…“We still want an appropriate number of physical sites for people to vote as well,” Newsom said.

Sixth news item

Coronavirus hits the president’s inner-circle, so why aren’t staff members wearing masks?

Several former White House personnel said they have asked previous colleagues still working at the White House why staff members on the grounds, and especially those in proximity to Trump, were not automatically following a protocol of wearing masks and being regularly tested before this point.

“The president sees it as a sign of weakness to wear masks and so people just haven’t been doing it,” one current employee responded, according to a person familiar with that conversation.

Another former security official said that in the wake of the H1N1 avian bird flu outbreak in 2009, the White House developed a strategy for mask-wearing and regular testing in certain conditions to protect the president.

“It’s not like they don’t know how to do this,” the former official said. “I fear politics is influencing these decisions. More than 70,000 Americans have died. Are you going to wait until it’s 100,000?”


Have a great weekend.


Get This: RBG Smacks Down Ninth Circuit in Unanimous Decision

Filed under: General — JVW @ 6:30 am

[guest post by JVW]

When a United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decision is so far off-base that Chief Justice Roberts dispatches Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to give them a pretty stern rebuke [links in quote below appear in the original article]:

The Supreme Court is often divided on ideological lines on hot-button issues, and tends to write unanimously when dealing with procedural questions where a lower court just went off the rails. So, when the Court takes a unanimous stand in a case involving a controversial political issue and goes out of its way to dress down the lower-court judges, you know they really went overboard. That’s what happened this morning in an immigration case, United States v. Sineneng-Smith. Justice Ginsburg herself delivered the lecture to the Ninth Circuit to knock off the antics and stick to the cases before it.

The Sineneng-Smith case involved an immigration consultant who made $3.3 million from clients (mostly Philippine immigrants) by filing applications for lawful permanent residence when she knew they were not legally entitled to that status. There were two potential victims here: the immigrants, if they paid for something they were never going to receive, or the government, if it approved illegal applications. Sieneneng-Smith tried to make herself more sympathetic by arguing that she was only scamming the immigration system: She “argued that labor-certification applications were often approved despite expiration of the statutory dispensation, and that an approved application, when submitted as part of a petition for adjustment of status, would place her clients in line should Congress reactivate the dispensation.” Neither of these was an argument that her clients had any legal leg to stand on, just hope that they might get away with it.

Sineneng-Smith argued that she had a First Amendment right to file bogus applications, under the Petition and Free Speech Clauses. When her appeal reached the Ninth Circuit, however, it landed before notorious liberal activist judge Stephen Reinhardt (who died after the case was argued, and has since been the subject of other controversies), on a three-judge panel with two Clinton appointees, judges Marsha Berzon and Wallace Tashima. Instead of hearing the arguments Sineneng-Smith made against her conviction, the judges thought up their own argument — that the federal statute against “encourag[ing] or induc[ing] an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law” is itself overbroad and should be thrown out in its entirety.

The Ninth Circuit panel brought in three lawyers to make friend-of-the-court arguments against the whole statute, and — after Judge Reinhardt died and was replaced on the panel by an Obama appointee — ruled that it was unconstitutional because Congress cannot criminalize encouraging people to break the law unless the law involved is a criminal statute: “even if certain speech would constitute aiding and abetting when directed toward the commission of a crime, it would be constitutionally protected when aimed at inducing a civil violation of law . . . unauthorized presence in the country is a civil violation rather than a crime.” The Ninth Circuit said that this could chill protected speech such as “an attorney who tells her client that she should remain in the country while contesting removal” — an obviously different situation from knowingly advising abuse of the legal process. (Justice Thomas, in a concurring opinion today, suggested that the overbreadth doctrine relied on by the Ninth Circuit should itself be revisited another day “in an appropriate case,” precisely because it gets courts into the business of deciding hypothetical cases). Sineneng-Smith and some of the amicus briefs even asked the Ninth Circuit to rule that it was discriminatory to criminalize encouraging people to break the law, but not criminalize discouraging them from breaking the law. Only in immigration cases would this kind of thing get argued in court.

This was too far for even The Notorious RBG, hero of the wokedy-woke everywhere, who had some fairly pointed words of admonition for her judicial colleagues in the syllabus of the unanimous opinion she wrote [legal citations have been omitted]:

The Ninth Circuit panel’s drastic departure from the principle of party presentation constituted an abuse of discretion.

The Nation’s adversarial adjudication system follows the principle of party presentation. [Quoted from] Greenlaw v. United States: “In both civil and criminal cases, . . . we rely on the parties to frame the issues for decision and assign to courts the role of neutral arbiter of matters the parties present.”

That principle forecloses the controlling role the Ninth Circuit took on in this case. No extraordinary circumstances justified the panel’s takeover of the appeal. Sineneng-Smith, represented by competent counsel, had raised a vagueness argument and First Amendment arguments homing in on her own conduct, not that of others. Electing not to address the party-presented controversy, the panel projected that [the applicable law] might cover a wide swath of protected speech, including abstract advocacy and legal advice. It did so even though Sineneng-Smith’s counsel had presented a contrary theory of the case in her briefs and before the District Court. A court is not hidebound by counsel’s precise arguments, but the Ninth Circuit’s radical transformation of this case goes well beyond the pale.

The idea that it was Justice Ginsburg chosen to deliver this message to the wayward leftists on the Ninth Circuit is significant. It’s hard not to sense that the Court’s leftist bloc of Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan might be getting a little bit antsy about the overindulgences of The Resistance and want to let them know that there is a practical limit to using questionable tactics of lawfare to thwart the agenda of the Trump Administration. Perhaps it is as simple as believing that Democrats are destined to recapture the White House and Senate this coming fall, and the Court’s collectivist coalition wants to preempt the ability of conservative federal courts to place roadblocks in front of the Democrats’ agenda. Either way, it was a welcome development this past Thursday when the Supreme Court put lower courts on notice that indulging in outcomes-based legal wrangling is henceforth going to come under strict scrutiny.


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