Patterico's Pontifications


Rebooting 2016 Campaign Strategy: Trump Releases New List of Possible Supreme Court Nominees

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:59 pm

[guest post by Dana]

This is sure to motivate supporters. And it’s possible that it will win over disillusioned Republicans who are not thrilled with Trump but view having more conservatives sitting on the Supreme Court worth their vote:

President Trump on Wednesday announced a new slate of 20 potential nominees to the Supreme Court in the event of a vacancy in his second term in office — or the remainder of his first term — building on a key issue that mobilized conservative voters to support him in 2016 and that has been a major achievement of his presidency for Republicans. The 20 names he listed Wednesday are additions to an original list that has been updated throughout his presidency.

In remarks at the White House, Mr. Trump called appointing justices to the Supreme Court “the most important decision an American president can make.” Mr. Trump said that if he wins a second term, he could possibly be called upon to name up to four justices.

“For this reason, candidates for president owe the American people a specific list of individuals they consider for the United States Supreme Court,” he said.

Let’s cut to the chase. Here’s the list (*note the three siting senators on the list):

Judge Bridget Bade, 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
Daniel Cameron, Kentucky attorney general
Paul Clement, former solicitor general
Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas*
Senator Ted Cruz of Texas*
Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan, 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
Steven Engel, assistant attorney general at the Justice Department
Noel Francisco, former solicitor general under the Trump administration
Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri*
Judge James Ho, 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
Judge Greg Katsas, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Judge Barbara Lagoa, 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
Christopher Landau, U.S. ambassador to Mexico
Justice Carlos Muniz, Florida Supreme Court
Judge Martha Pacold, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
Judge Peter Phipps, 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
Judge Sarah Pitlyk, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
Judge Allison Jones Rushing, 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
Kate Todd, deputy White House counsel
Judge Lawrence VanDyke, 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

The senators responded to having been included on the list:

Ted Cruz not missing an opportunity to hawk his latest book is funny, and so is this:

Just don’t deride him for not releasing his tax returns:

…Trump derided Biden for not releasing his own list of Supreme Court nominees, claiming he hasn’t done so because his candidates would be “so far left they could never withstand public scrutiny.” The president called on Biden to make public his own slate of Supreme Court candidates.

Reminder: While there are no current vacancies on the Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 87 and Justice Stephen Breyer is 82.


Joe Biden Now: Constitutional Issue About Federal Government Issuing Mask Mandate

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:08 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Better late than never.

Back in mid-August, Joe Biden raised a ruckus when he called for an immediate, three-month-long national mask mandate. However, he now seems to understand that there would be some, um, very real problems with any binding orders:

Asked to respond to the governors who had appreciated President Trump’s more targeted coronavirus approach, which gave more authority to the states, Biden said, “Well, I hope you could trust the governors.

“But here’s the deal, the federal government — there’s a constitutional issue whether federal government could issue such a mandate. I don’t think constitutionally they could, so I wouldn’t issue a mandate.”

Given the legal challenges, Biden said, he would “plead with” people to wear a mask, adding, “I’d set an example.”

Biden then noted that case rates were dropping in places where local authorities had implemented mask orders.

“It’s about making sure the public is safe and secure, and that is a local decision but there should be national standards laid out as to how it should be gone about. You can’t mandate that,” he continued.

Biden had previously claimed that a mask mandate in place for three months could save as many as 40,000 lives.


President Trump To Bob Woodward On Virus: “I Wanted To Always Play It Down” (UPDATE ADDED)

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:06 am

[guest post by Dana]

[Ed. Paul Montagu had a quibble with the original title of the post. I agreed with his quibble, and have re-worked the title as a result.]

On Saturday morning, President Trump tweeted the following:

This morning, excerpts from Bob Woodward’s new book, “Rage,” have been released. In the book, Woodward claims that President Trump admitted he knew weeks before the first confirmed US coronavirus death that the virus was dangerous, airborne, highly contagious and “more deadly than even your strenuous flus”. That’s a far different story than what he told us in the early stages of the pandemic:

“This is deadly stuff,” Trump told Woodward on February 7.

In a series of interviews with Woodward, Trump revealed that he had a surprising level of detail about the threat of the virus earlier than previously known. “Pretty amazing,” Trump told Woodward, adding that the coronavirus was maybe five times “more deadly” than the flu.

Trump’s admissions are in stark contrast to his frequent public comments at the time insisting that the virus was “going to disappear” and “all work out fine.”

The book, using Trump’s own words, depicts a President who has betrayed the public trust and the most fundamental responsibilities of his office. In “Rage,” Trump says the job of a president is “to keep our country safe.” But in early February, Trump told Woodward he knew how deadly the virus was, and in March, admitted he kept that knowledge hidden from the public.

“I wanted to always play it down,” Trump told Woodward on March 19, even as he had declared a national emergency over the virus days earlier. “I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”

“Playing it down” lines up with what we have seen and heard from Trump himself over the past eight months, not just at the beginning of the pandemic. While I would give most presidents the benefit of the doubt about not wanting to create a panic, it’s difficult for me to give this particular president the same benefit. But, for argument sake, if we agree that there was an element of truth to his claim that he didn’t want to cause panic (at least in the very early stages of the pandemic), it must also be acknowledged that it was a decision of self-interest, and an effort to protect himself and his political future. In spite of having every possible medical expert available to him to fully inform him about the disease and what a full-blown pandemic would look like, as well as having a pandemic playbook to which to refer, he continued with his charade of minimizing the crisis. By rejecting social distancing protocols, including wearing a mask, Trump was no longer just downplaying the virus – he was flat-out refusing to lead Americans by example on how to combat the spread of the virus. Even when it became obvious to everyone that we were in a full-blown pandemic, Trump’s continued efforts to downplay it not only created confusion for the public but led to lives being unnecessarily lost.

Yet still, as recently as yesterday, Trump is downplaying the virus. While appearing at a campaign rally in North Carolina, he defied the state’s mask mandate, and even mocked such concerns:

It’s been ordered by the governor,” David Plyler, a Trump supporter and GOP chair of the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners…

But when the president emerged Tuesday evening to address a cheering group of supporters, his face was fully exposed, a likely violation of the state’s coronavirus rules.

The same was true of many of the supporters behind his podium, especially those high up in the stands and out of view. And in fact, the whole event appears to have defied restrictions from North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D), who has limited outdoor mass gatherings at 50 people under the state’s current phase of reopening.

Trump jeered that crowd cap too, suggesting that his supporters received less leeway than the widespread demonstrations for racial justice that have swept the nation this summer…

“We call you peaceful protesters, you know why?” Trump told his supporters, who were tightly packed into several bleachers erected near Smith Reynolds Airport. “Because they have rules in these Democrat-run states that if you’re campaigning, you cannot have more than five people. They did that for me.”

Trump’s campaign told CNN that masks and hand sanitizer would be provided for Winston-Salem rally attendees, who would be screened before the event with temperature checks. Anyone signing up for a ticket was also required to acknowledge the possibility of infection, as has been true of other audiences on the campaign trail.

“The president of the United States sets the example for everybody else,” Plyler told CNN. “You can hear it: if the president of the United States says I don’t have to wear it, I’m not going to wear it. And I can guarantee you that will be done.”

Anyway, same ‘ol, same ‘ol with this guy.

Woodward’s book will be available September 15.

UPDATE: Watch Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana ignore reality, play deaf, and sacrifice his integrity as he desperately tries to defend Trump. It should be noted that defending Trump will almost always require a sacrifice of integrity:

Here is the full conversation denial of reality:

Brown asked Kennedy for his reaction to the book, and he said, “These gotcha books don’t really interest me that much” — a comment he said repeatedly as Brown pressed him for an answer.

“He’s on the record,” Brown replied.

“These gotcha books don’t really interest me that much,” said Kennedy. “There will be a new one out tomorrow.”

“But this is different,” said Brown. “He did eighteen interviews with Bob Woodward.”

“Right,” said Kennedy.

“He’s recorded,” insisted Brown. “You hear his voice. And you’re seeing that and you’re contrasting that with what he says to the public. Wouldn’t that be something of interest to you as a United States Senator?”

“Let me answer you again. These gotcha books don’t really interest me. There will be a new one out tomorrow,” Woodward said again, adding that in his experience, the Trump administration had not ignored the virus.

“But the bottom line is he told Bob Woodward privately that this was a deadly virus and that it was airborne,” said Brown. “Didn’t the public, didn’t the citizens in your home state of Louisiana deserve to know that as well so that they could change their behavior appropriately to protect themselves?”

Kennedy dismissed the criticism as “this infatuation in Washington with who said what to whom,” and Brown cut him off.

“No, Senator, I’m sorry,” she said. “I’m not going to let you do this. I understand there is so much politics right now, we’re two months away from an election. But this is life and death. You had 5,000 people that have died in Louisiana from coronavirus. Republicans are reluctant, as you are now, to ever criticize this president. But as a human being, how can you be okay with this?”

Kennedy said that he judged Trump more by his actions than his words, and Brown played several clips from Woodward’s recordings as they went back and forth a few more times, with Kennedy repeating the president’s talking point that he was trying to “prevent a panic.”


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