Patterico's Pontifications


Two Thousand Invited To Trump White House Event Tomorrow

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:06 pm

[guest post by Dana]

It’s being dubbed as his “recovery tour”:

President Donald Trump on Saturday will address hundreds of supporters on the South Lawn of the White House before traveling to Florida on Monday for a rally, marking his return to public events after being hobbled by the coronavirus.

Guests for Saturday’s event won’t be tested for the virus and won’t be required to wear masks, setting off fresh concerns that the White House itself has become a vector for the disease. Earlier Friday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, decried a previous gathering at the White House to celebrate Trump’s Supreme Court nominee as a “superspreader event.”

The White House has claimed that

The health and safety of all attendees is our priority.

Really? Because if they were truly putting the health and safety of all attendees as the number one priority, then testing attendees would be in order. Apparently, this White House has learned nothing in the past two weeks.

Oh, and who are the invited guests? One assumes the majority will be from one of the groups hit hardest by Covid:

On Saturday, Trump will speak to a crowd gathered by conservative activist Candace Owens, whose Blexit Foundation encourages Black Americans to leave the Democratic Party.

His speech is being billed as “Remarks to Peaceful Protesters for Law & Order,” according to an invitation. He’ll address the crowd from the Truman Balcony off of the Blue Room, a large state room on the main floor of the White House. More than two thousand guests have been invited, according to a person familiar with the event.

Question: Has Trump has tested negative since becoming ill? Is he still contagious? Apparently nobody knows. Or they’re just not saying.


Sources: Barr Says No Durham “Report” Before the Election

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am


Attorney General Bill Barr has begun telling top Republicans that the Justice Department’s sweeping review into the origins of the Russia investigation will not be released before the election, a senior White House official and a congressional aide briefed on the conversations tell Axios.

. . . .

Barr has made clear that they should not expect any further indictments or a comprehensive report before Nov. 3, our sources say.

This is not terribly shocking. Durham has always had a reputation as being slow, and I can tell you that COVID has not had the effect of speeding up legal proceedings or investigations. I am tempted to say I am pleased that Durham is not rushing things, despite reports that one of his top aides resigned due to inappropriate pressure to reach conclusions before the election.

But I have a question that goes beyond the timing of a report:

Why would there be a report in the first place?

I know the general public sees this as the flip side of the Mueller report. He did a report; why shouldn’t Durham? But Mueller was operating under special counsel regulations that call for a report. 28 CFR § 600.8 is titled ” Notification and reports by the Special Counsel” and says in relevant part:

(c) Closing documentation. At the conclusion of the Special Counsel’s work, he or she shall provide the Attorney General with a confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions reached by the Special Counsel.

There is no comparable regulation for standard criminal investigations, even if they are politically motivated investigations sought by the president. Federal prosecutors (and FBI agents) are to speak through indictments, or not speak at all. This is why James Comey was appropriately castigated for his criticism of Hillary Clinton, given that he was not recommending an indictment.

There should be no “Durham report.” Either indict, or shut up.

UPDATE: Trump is not happy:

President Trump berated his own cabinet officers on Thursday for not prosecuting or implicating his political enemies, lashing out even as he announced that he hoped to return to the campaign trail on Saturday just nine days after he tested positive for the coronavirus.

. . . .

The president castigated his own team, declaring that Attorney General William P. Barr would go down in history “as a very sad, sad situation” if he did not indict Democrats like Mr. Biden and former President Barack Obama. He complained that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had not released Hillary Clinton’s emails, saying, “I’m not happy about him for that reason.” And he targeted Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I. director. “He’s been disappointing,” Mr. Trump said.

“Unless Bill Barr indicts these people for crimes, the greatest political crime in the history of our country, then we’re going to get little satisfaction unless I win and we’ll just have to go, because I won’t forget it,” Mr. Trump said, referring to the investigation into his 2016 campaign ties with Russia. “But these people should be indicted. This was the greatest political crime in the history of our country, and that includes Obama and it includes Biden.”

Mr. Trump has often argued that his political antagonists should be prosecuted, but in this case, he went further by indicating that he had directly pressured Mr. Barr to indict without waiting for more evidence. “He’s got all the information he needs,” the president said. “They want to get more, more, more, they keep getting more. I said, ‘You don’t need any more.’”

That sounds gobsmackingly inappropriate and it’s a good indicator of why I will vote the way I intend to vote.

Celebrating the Plucky Upstart Documentary Filmmaker

Filed under: General — JVW @ 6:39 am

[guest post by JVW]

This past Sunday my local newspaper carried a feature article in the Arts section about a female filmmaker who is exploring the resiliency of the American Dream during these dark, dark times in a new film titled The Great American Lie. The filmmaker appears to approach her subjects from a prescribed feminist perspective, with the article informing us that she “has focused her attention on stories that examine American values, and especially those values that make the playing field uneven for the women, men and children of the nation.” It then provides a bit of background about the auteur’s previous efforts:

Her first documentary, Miss Representation, looked at the ways in which the media and culture contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence.

The Mask You Live In examined what [she] describes as the “boy crisis” in America, the ways in which boys and young men are socialized into harmful ideals of power, dominance and aggression.

The same filmmaker also received a brief notice in the San Francisco Chronicle regarding The Great American Lie which, while finding some fault in wandering too far down a conventional Wymyn’s Studies narrative, still finds the effort to be “on solid ground in presenting the facts surrounding the issue,” and declares that the film “makes a strong case that the system, as it is currently structured, puts the American dream out of reach for anyone born poor.”

What’s the name of this plucky upstart documentarian, you might ask?

Jennifer Siebel Newsom.

That’s right: the wife of Governor Gavin Newsom and thus the First Lady, er, “First Partner” of the state of California.

The longer profile which ran in my paper, part of the Southern California News Group, also appeared in the Los Angeles Daily News, the Orange County Register, and the San Jose Mercury News, among others, so you can be rest assured that her opus is enjoying a very nice free publicity push, courtesy of the same industry which desires inside information and exclusive interviews from her husband. What was that we were saying about the American Dream being out of reach for everyone but the rich and connected?

The new documentary sounds pretty clichéd as far as these things go. Mrs. Newsom follows five “ordinary Americans”® as they struggle to secure the blessings of liberty, or whatever — you know, the thing. There’s Ruby, the Oakland middle school principal, struggling to reach her underprivileged students. You’ve got husband-and-wife team Saru and Zachary, activists fighting on behalf of restaurant workers and prisoners, respectively. The director hangs out in Ohio with Scott, a steelworker in a down-and-out town, then finally visits right-wing Sharon down on the Bayou, whose eyes are apparently opened to poverty by volunteering in her church. If this sounds a wee bit formulaic and contrived to you, designed to make you want to vote for Democrats now and forever — well, you’re not alone.

And on that note of the American Dream only being accessible to the privileged, the writer of the article allows that, sure, Mrs. Newsom was “born on second base” (probably third, but why quibble?) though he quickly informs us that her progressive sensibilities were honed by “gender and life experience.” Hey, what do you know: Mrs. Newsom was one of the 27 executive producers on the clumsy piece of agitprop about campus sexual assault, The Hunting Ground, a personal favorite of the guy who seems likely to be our next President! Oh, and in terms of privilege we’re told in the article that Mrs. Newsom’s sensibility for the maligned female of the species was further developed during her studies at Stanford Business School. How she overcame all of this gender persecution to become a thriving filmmaker is nothing short of a miracle.

Okay, I’m being unfair. Mrs. Newsom gets that she is one of the lucky ones:

“I’ve always been attuned to think that there’s more to life than money and power,” Newsom says. “And I really feel like because I was born of privilege it’s my responsibility to do something with that privilege and give back.

“So it’s a combination, I would say, of my personal experiences and observations,” she says. “And then really looking at the intersection in particular of gender, race and class issues.”

Forget St. Elizabeth of Hungary; the true to-the-manor-born woman using her influence and affluence to help the downtrodden is obviously Jennifer Siebel Newsom, who gets high-strung progressives to shell-out $14 to spend 90 minutes being instructed through the magic of documentary film how unfair this country is to those citizens whose votes her husband wishes to exploit. This of course doesn’t include all of the left-wing campus, labor, activist, and lobbyist groups who will almost certainly sponsor screenings of The Great American Lie, no doubt making this film a profitable little venture for the Newsom household. Speaking of Governor Hair Gel, he makes an appearance at the end of the article with a typically Hallmarkian sort of analogy which his wife attributs to him:

“You can’t live a good life in an unjust society, right? And there’s no leak, as my husband says, on your side of our boat. We are in this together, and I think that for me that is the right way to be and think and behave.”

Good Lord, these people are straight out of Central Casting.


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