Patterico's Pontifications


Republican Convention Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:27 pm

[guest post by Dana]

In case you want to talk about the haps tonight, this is the place.

The main attraction will be Trump accepting his party’s nomination after daughter Ivanka introduces him. Word on the street is that Trump will take direct aim at Joe Biden in his acceptance speech:

Trump is expected to go after the former vice president on everything from the economy to trade. He will also talk about Biden’s record on China, immigration, crime, and his response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“At no time before have voters faced a clearer choice between two parties, two visions, two philosophies, or two agendas,” Trump is expected to say. “We have spent the last four years reversing the damage Joe Biden inflicted over the last 47 years. At the Democrat convention, you barely heard a word about their agenda. But that’s not because they don’t have one. It’s because their agenda is the most extreme set of proposals ever put forward by a major party nominee.”

Trump’s attempt to fault Biden’s response to the coronavirus could be especially tricky, given the president’s authority over the country’s actual response. The president’s team has attempted to argue that Biden was slow to sound the alarm as the virus gained steam in the United States.

[Ed. Wait. What?? Exactly how does Trump go after Biden for his response to the pandemic? Has Trump forgotten that *he* is currently the sitting President of the United States and that, for better or worse, he is in charge of the U.S. pandemic response?? Maybe he should hit Biden up for some of those magic drugs he suspects him of taking to improve his memory during the primary debates. Gad, the show hasn’t even started and I’m scrambling for an adult beverage of choice from just imagining Trump criticizing Biden for his pandemic response. Without the slightest hint of self-awareness, there is no doubt that the president really would be that dumb and tone-deaf… ]

The president is also set to inject some optimism into his speech as he talks about the Republican Party going forward:

The Republican Party goes forward united, determined, and ready to welcome millions of Democrats, independents, and anyone who believes in the Greatness of America and the righteous heart of the American people.

This towering American spirit has prevailed over every challenge, and lifted us to the summit of human endeavor.

Scheduled speakers include:

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell
Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy
New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew
Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and senior adviser
Ja’Ron Smith, deputy assistant to the president
Dan Scavino, White House deputy chief of staff for communications and director of social media
Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor and Trump’s personal attorney
Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse
Carl and Marsha Mueller, parents of American hostage Kayla Mueller, who was killed by ISIS
Alice Johnson, criminal justice reform advocate and former federal inmate
Ann Dorn, widow of slain retired police Capt. David Dorn
Pat Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York
Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship
Wade Mayfield, small business owner who received a personal protection program loan
Debbie Flood, president of a Wisconsin manufacturing and steel company


Gov. Evers Accepts Help From The Feds In Kenosha

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:38 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Trump made the announcement yesterday after Gov. Evers had reportedly turned down federal assistance:

After Kenosha police officers shot Jacob Blake, who is black, protests began in the city. On Tuesday night, armed citizens took to the streets to protect local businesses from being vandalized or destroyed. Yesterday, one of those armed citizens was arrested for his alleged role in the fatal shooting of two white males at the protest:

A white, 17-year-old police admirer was arrested Wednesday after two people were shot to death during a third straight night of protests in Kenosha over the police shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake.

Kyle Rittenhouse, of Antioch, Illinois, about 15 miles (24.14 kilometers) from Kenosha, was taken into custody in Illinois on suspicion of first-degree intentional homicide in the attack Tuesday that was largely captured on cellphone video. The shooting left a third person wounded.

“I just killed somebody,” the gunman, carrying a semi-automatic rifle, could be heard saying at one point.

According to witness accounts and video footage, police apparently let the gunman walk past them and leave the scene with a rifle over his shoulder and his hands in the air as members of the crowd were yelling for him to be arrested because he had shot people.

As for how the gunman managed to slip away, Sheriff David Beth described a chaotic, high-stress scene, with lots of radio traffic and people screaming, chanting and running — conditions he said can cause “tunnel vision” among law officers.

The sheriff told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that militia members or armed vigilantes had been patrolling Kenosha’s streets in recent nights, but he did not know if the gunman was among them. However, video taken before the shooting shows police tossing bottled water from an armored vehicle to what appear to be armed civilians walking the streets. And one of them appears to be the gunman.

“We appreciate you being here,” an officer is heard saying to the group over a loudspeaker.

More video on Rittenhouse’s movements that night at this link.

The Daily Caller posted a video in which Rittenour was interviewed before the shootings:

Meanwhile, there is this, which comes after Gov. Evers fanned the flames before an investigation had even taken place in the shooting of Jacob Blakes:

The presidents of four law enforcement organizations in Wisconsin sent a letter to Governor Tony Evers Thursday, Aug. 27 asking that he and those in his administration “discontinue and refrain from making statements and issuing press releases specific to the City of Kenosha Police involved shooting until the facts of the investigation are known.”

Note: It is legal for people 18 and over to openly carry a gun in Wisconsin, with no license required.


Trump Says He Will Request Drug Testing Of Biden (And Himself) Before Debates

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:40 am

[guest post by Dana]

This strikes me as yet another indication of how upside-down things are right now. We are in the midst of a pandemic where a highly-contagious disease just won’t quit, yet at Melania Trump’s Rose Garden speech this week, with 70 guests spaced about 2 feet apart, the White House only administered coronavirus tests to the guests seated “in the rows near the President and vice-president”. Further, the White House did not take guests’ temperatures before entering the premises nor require them to wear masks. Playing fast and loose with the virus is normal with this administration, and it becomes more significant when contrasted with Trump’s demand that Biden take a drug test before the debates…as a precaution:

President Trump says he will call for drug tests for both former Vice President Joe Biden and himself before the first candidates’ debate on Sept. 29. In an Oval Office interview Wednesday, the president expressed suspicion at what he said was a sudden, marked improvement in Biden’s debate performance during the Democratic primary season and suggested that he believes the improvement was the result of drugs. The president offered no evidence to support his speculation.

“Nobody thought that he was even going to win,” Trump said. “Because his debate performances were so bad. Frankly, his best performance was against Bernie. We’re going to call for a drug test, by the way, because his best performance was against Bernie. It wasn’t that he was Winston Churchill because he wasn’t, but it was a normal, boring debate. You know, nothing amazing happened. And we are going to call for a drug test because there’s no way — you can’t do that.”

When asked what he thought was going on, Trump responded:

“I don’t know how he could have been so incompetent in his debate performances and then all of a sudden be OK against Bernie,” Trump answered. “My point is, if you go back and watch some of those numerous debates, he was so bad. He wasn’t even coherent. And against Bernie, he was. And we’re calling for a drug test.”

Apparently, there was no basis for Trump’s claims other than his own um, knowing eye:

“All I can tell you is that I’m pretty good at this stuff,” he said. “I look. I watched him in the debates with all of the different people. He was close to incompetent, if not incompetent, and against Bernie, he was normal … and I say, ‘How does that happen?'”

“Go back and watch his performances in some of those debates,” Trump continued. “He didn’t know where he was. And all of a sudden, he was not good, he was normal, and I don’t understand how. I don’t know if there is or not, but somebody said to me, ‘He must be on drugs.’ I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I’m asking for a drug test. Both candidates. Me, too. I take an aspirin a day.”

Trump did not say what sort of drug test he wanted, nor did he name any specific drug, or make any suggestion about who should administer the drug tests.

As a reminder, Trump made the same request of Hillary Clinton in 2016:

Donald Trump suggested Saturday that his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, has been “getting pumped up” with performance-enhancing drugs and challenged Clinton to take a drug test before the final debate next week.

Trump argued that Clinton was more energetic during the beginning of their debate last Sunday, but lost her steam by the end of the debate. He offered no evidence to back up his wild claim.

“I think we should take a drug test prior to the debate,” Trump said during a rally here. “Because I don’t know what’s going on with her, but at the beginning of her last debate, she was all pumped up at the beginning, and at the end it was like, huff, take me down. She could barely reach her car.”

Obviously, no drug testing was administered in 2016, nor will it be in 2020. This move by Trump is yet another pre-emptive strike in case he loses the debates bigly. First, remind people that Biden is old and too feeble-minded to come out the winner in a debate unless he has taken some unknown, unnamed performance-boosting drug. Then, if when Biden comes out the winner, Trump can blame his loss on Biden’s drug use as well as pointing to it as proof that it’s a “rigged election”.


CDC Kinda Sorta Walking Back Stupid Guidelines That Were Obviously Forced on Them By Trump

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am

New York Times:

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has scaled back the agency’s recommendation advising some people not to get tested after exposure to the novel coronavirus, now saying “testing may be considered for all close contacts of confirmed or probable Covid-19 patients.”

The statement by Dr. Robert R. Redfield was issued to some news outlets late Wednesday, and more broadly Thursday morning, after a storm of criticism over the new C.D.C. guidelines — involving potentially asymptomatic people — which were the product of the White House Coronavirus Task Force and not C.D.C.’s own scientists. Dr. Redfield made the statement in an effort to clarify the new policy, an official said. However, the guidelines issued earlier this week remained on the C.D.C.’s website as of Thursday morning, and it appears unlikely that the agency will change them.

Trump has been against testing people from the beginning because, while it is good for the country and saves lives, he thinks it hurts him politically — and, frankly, he has shown he does not care about Americans’ lives if saving those lives causes him the slightest inconvenience. They rushed through this rule while Fauci was in surgery — he thinks it’s misguided — under pressure from the top. Now there is an outcry, and like the dismantling of sorting machines at post offices, they’re sort of pretending to undo the action while not really undoing the action.

A government under Donald Trump is rotten and has to go.

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