Patterico's Pontifications


Security For GOP Convention In Doubt, Given Inadequate Number Of LEO’s, Among Other Things

Filed under: General — Dana @ 4:31 pm

[guest post by Dana]

After the GOP convention was moved from North Carolina to Florida due to a conflict over safety measures, the event is now scheduled to take place in Jacksonville on Aug. 24-27. In the mean time, Florida remains a hot mess of Covid-19 cases. The state now has 53 hospitals without ICU beds. With that, Duval County Sheriff Mike Williams has expressed doubts about being able to provide necessary security at the convention next month:

As we’re talking today, we are still not close to having some kind of plan that we can work with that makes me comfortable that we’re going to keep that event and the community safe.

It’s not my event to plan, but I can just tell you that what has been proposed in my opinion is not achievable right now … from a law enforcement standpoint, from a security standpoint.

According to the report, the GOP has been slow to officially lock down the particulars for various events, which has made it difficult to plan for security:

Williams, a Republican, wouldn’t definitively say that there is no way the event could be held. But he said he had grave doubts about it, especially in an era of heightened protests concerning police use of force.

Williams said the event, scheduled for Aug. 24-27, was announced in June, giving his agency little time to plan and prepare. The Republican National Committee has not yet nailed down which convention events will be at which venues, making it more challenging. And a pledged $50 million grant has been paired back to $33 million and, Williams said, there are strings attached that make letting contracts too difficult.

And there is this:

In early July, the Florida Sheriffs Association asked departments in the state’s 67 counties for 2,000 officers… But only 500 were able to go, Bob Gualtieri, president of the association and Pinellas County Sheriff told POLITICO over the weekend. Williams also asked the Florida Police Chiefs Association for help, but he’s still coming up short.

“We do need law enforcement officers and we’ve gotten commitments, but not to the level that we thought we needed. And a lot of that is people having virus concerns from their communities, and I understand that,” Williams said.

“But there’s a lot of things that need to happen: an event schedule nailed down, and being able to sign contracts and spend money so that we can prepare for this event. And none of that has happened yet,” he said. “So here we are inside of 40 days, and I haven’t really pulled the trigger on anything RNC-related when it comes to finances or contracts and so, you know, only related to security, mind you, nothing, nothing related to any of this.”

According to Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood, who would rather there be no in-person convention, he knows that the president would not react well if told that, as things currently stand, there isn’t the necessary time to plan for adequate security, nor the necessary manpower to ensure the safety of those in attendance:

There’s a fear of telling him no because anyone who tells the president no, it’s like, off with their heads.

And while GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel assured Americans that the convention will be held in conjunction with input from the Florida State health officials, she made no mention of security concerns as recently as this past weekend:

So, we’re going to have a combination of testing and temperature checks and PPE, scaling things down, using more outdoor venues, and really putting the health and safety of the convention-goers first and foremost. But, also balancing that with a great celebration.

Because there will be a lot of people there — even with just the delegates that’s 2,500. The final night it will be the delegates, alternates, guests. It will be a big event for the president’s final speech. So, we think we’re putting the perfect blend of safety and health together with the opportunity to highlight why President Trump deserves another four years.

On a side note, Trump absurdly claimed during a telephone rally on Sunday night that North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper warned him he would limit rally attendees in the arena at the convention to just “10 people”. Oh sure… This an arena that seats 19,000! Per Trump:

But Roy Cooper said you can’t have people meeting in a room. He actually told me the most you can have meeting — we have a 19,000-seat center as you know — and he said the most you can have is 10 people because that’s what the rules are, 10 people. He actually said that, I don’t know. I guess he meant it. He thought he could start negotiating from there, but he didn’t really want to negotiate. He wanted to give it up.

Today Cooper pushed back on the the president’s claims:

“That is incorrect,” Cooper spokesman Ford Porter told CNN in an email on Monday, when asked about Trump’s claim.

“The Governor and state health officials worked with the RNC to safely hold their convention and asked for written plans for keeping attendees safe. Instead, beginning on Memorial Day, the President and RNC staff demanded a guarantee that they could hold a full convention without social distancing or face coverings. This was not a guarantee the Governor could make, particularly months in advance.”

Note: Cooper has imposed a general 10-person limit on indoor gatherings, and he publicly told Republican officials that the convention would need to be “scaled back” because of safety concerns. But Cooper’s spokesman said the governor never told Trump, Trump’s campaign or Republican officials that there could only be 10 people present in the arena.

Who’re you gonna believe?


Missouri Governor: Your Kids Need To Be In School, And Yes, They’ll Get The Virus But They’ll Get Over It

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:25 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Certainly not the best way for Gov. Mike Parson to endear himself to parents and teachers:

Parson indicated both certainty and acceptance that the coronavirus will spread among children when they return to school this fall. The virus has killed 1,130 people in the state despite a weekslong stay-at-home order in the spring that helped slow the virus’ spread — and the state set a record on Saturday with 958 new cases.

Parson’s comment on the coronavirus signaled that the decision to send all children back to school would be justified even in a scenario in which all of them became infected with the coronavirus.

“These kids have got to get back to school,” Parson told Cox. “They’re at the lowest risk possible. And if they do get COVID-19, which they will — and they will when they go to school — they’re not going to the hospitals. They’re not going to have to sit in doctor’s offices. They’re going to go home and they’re going to get over it.”

Dr. Alex Garza, incident commander of the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force, summed up what he refers to as a “Gordian knot”: the question of when and how to reopen schools:

While it is important for children to be in school, he said, and it is true that they do not typically get seriously ill from COVID-19, “we worry about those in school who are not children — teachers, support staff and volunteers. Many of those people will have a much more serious response to the virus and that is what we want to avoid. These children could also come home and spread the virus to others in their household who could also be at a greater risk of a serious outcome.”

You can read the tentative plans for St. Louis area schools here.


If the Lincoln Project Walks Like a Bunch of Democrats and Quacks Like a Bunch of Democrats…

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am

The Lincoln Project makes some pretty compelling ads that likely get under Donald Trump’s skin. I have considered myself pretty simpatico with the philosophy of George Conway: a conservative appalled by what he sees in the Oval Office who wants it gone. He was once more of a Trumper than I could ever have been in any lifetime, but I rationalized that this allowed him to experience the zeal of a convert. Overly zealous for my taste at times, but spurring an enthusiasm for the effort to oust Trump that the more phlegmatic personalities like me could never muster.

But the evidence is now overwhelming that his Lincoln Project is simply a Democrat effort. I can’t support it.

First there’s this article in National Review:

The gap between the group’s rhetoric and its actions is enormous. The Times op-ed declared that “national Republicans have done far worse than simply march along to Mr. Trump’s beat. Their defense of him is imbued with an ugliness, a meanness and a willingness to attack and slander those who have shed blood for our country, who have dedicated their lives and careers to its defense and its security, and whose job is to preserve the nation’s status as a beacon of hope.” And yet the group’s focus thus far has been on vulnerable Senate Republicans, notably the moderate Susan Collins and the mainstream Cory Gardner, who haven’t exhibited any such behavior. Neither has Joni Ernst, another target.

The Lincoln Project’s ads don’t attack these GOP senators for supporting profligate federal spending, contributing to explosive debt, or enabling feckless foreign policy, nor do they bash President Trump for his incoherent trade policy or his failure to tame an ascendant administrative state. Rather, they attack Republicans from the left, in terms that please the Lincoln Project’s predominantly progressive funders. Rarely, across dozens of ads, is a political principle recognizable to anyone as center-right to be found. Is the Lincoln Project aware of who Abraham Lincoln was?

And then the kicker:

This makes sense when one examines the Lincoln Project’s FEC filings. To date, the group has spent nearly $100,000 for “fundraising consulting services” with the Katz Watson Group. That firm’s founder, Fran Katz Watson, is a lifelong Democratic operative who previously worked as the national finance director for the Democratic National Committee. The firm’s long list of left-wing clients includes the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Beto for Senate. In addition, the Lincoln Project has spent large sums contracting with Elrod Strategies, the firm run by Adrienne Elrod, former director of strategic communications for Hillary for America, and has paid Zachary Czajkowski handsomely for “political strategy.” Czajkowski’s resume includes work for Barack Obama, former Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe, Hillary Clinton, and disgraced former California representative Katie Hill.

But if there still were any doubt it was erased by this tweet (and thread) from Greg Sargent at the Washington Post:

From the linked article, an interview with co-founder John Weaver:

The group is preparing to vehemently oppose efforts by GOP senators to obstruct and stymie Biden’s agenda, should he win the presidency, Weaver confirmed.

. . . .

Weaver insisted the group would actively work against Republicans who obstruct a Biden presidency, which would face a deeper crisis than in 2009, when Republicans tried to obstruct Obama in hopes of profiting off continuing economic misery.

. . . .

“Trickle-down economics has proven not to work,” Weaver said, allowing that “growing and growing” inequality is a big reason the American people are losing faith in government, which is often said to have helped Trump’s rise.

I can see opposing Senators who have supported Trump and Trumpism, even if it makes the Republican agenda more difficult in the near term, based on the argument that it’s necessary for the party in the long term to curb-stomp Trumpism as hard as possible.

But even if you’re as committed as I am to relegating Trumpism to the ash heap of history, pursuing a Democrat agenda after the election is indefensible.

If the Lincoln Project will be pushing a Democrat agenda after the election, they are Democrats. It’s really that simple.

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