Patterico's Pontifications


Consider Yourselves Warned: Low-Hanging Fruit Ahead

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:31 pm

[guest post by Dana]


Statement by Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America

Congratulations to the country of Nigeria, who just banned Twitter because they banned their President. More COUNTRIES should ban Twitter and Facebook for not allowing free and open speech—all voices should be heard. In the meantime, competitors will emerge and take hold. Who are they to dictate good and evil if they themselves are evil? Perhaps I should have done it while I was President. But Zuckerberg kept calling me and coming to the White House for dinner telling me how great I was. 2024?

So…the head of the Retrumplican Party, once a bastion of free speech defenders, applauds and even encourages the banning of non-governmental social media platforms in the name of free speech even though the marketplace is open to any and all competitors??

Best part? Trump’s excuse for not having done something sooner: I wanted to but couldn’t because that damn Mark Zuckerberg kept showing up at my house for dinner whispering sweet nothings in my ear and telling me how great I was. C’mon people, how was Trump supposed to resist that??!!



Senate Report On Jan. 6 Events At U.S. Capitol: ‘Widespread and Unacceptable Breakdowns in Intelligence Gathering’

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:17 am

[guest post by Dana]

Massive communication breakdown:

The U.S. Capitol Police had specific intelligence that supporters of President Donald Trump planned to mount an armed invasion of the Capitol at least two weeks before the Jan. 6 riot, according to new findings in a bipartisan Senate investigation, but a series of omissions and miscommunications kept that information from reaching front-line officers targeted by the violence.

A joint report, from the Senate Rules and Administration and the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committees, outlines the most detailed public timeline to date of the communications and intelligence failures that led the Capitol Police and partner agencies to prepare for the “Stop the Steal” protest as though it were a routine Trump rally, instead of the organized assault that was planned in the open online.

Released Tuesday, the report shows how an intelligence arm of the Capitol Police disseminated security assessments labeling the threat of violence “remote” to “improbable,” even as authorities collected evidence showing that pro-Trump activists intended to bring weapons to the demonstration and “storm the Capitol.”

“There were significant, widespread and unacceptable breakdowns in the intelligence gathering … The failure to adequately assess the threat of violence on that day contributed significantly to the breach of the Capitol,” Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., chairman of the Homeland Security panel, told reporters. “The attack was, quite frankly, planned in plain sight.”

The report states that the authorities knew as early as Dec. 21 that not good things were in the works:

According to the report, Capitol Police intelligence officers knew as early as Dec. 21 that protesters planned to “bring guns” and other weapons to the Jan. 6 demonstration and turn them on any law enforcement officers who blocked their entry into the Capitol. They knew that would-be rioters were sharing maps of the Capitol campus online and discussing the building’s best entry points — and how to seal them off to trap lawmakers inside. But that information was shared only with command officers.

A separate security assessment dated Dec. 23 made no mention of those findings. Neither did a follow-up Dec. 30.


The report faults slow mobilization and poor interdepartmental communication — not any sort of stand-down order from the White House, as some Trump critics had speculated — for the fact that it took the National Guard more than three hours to respond to pleas for help from the Capitol during the attack. According to its findings, it was Army staff — not Trump — expressing early reservations about a military intervention, while the Army secretary claimed he was never informed that the D.C. National Guard had a quick reaction force “ready to go” to the Capitol, just awaiting his approval.

[Ed. I really wanted to bold all of the text because the whole thing is so damning, but I opted to use a bit of self-restraint…]

Anyway, it makes sense that Trump’s role is not examined in the report, given that neither side would ever be able to agree on any specific descriptions of the former president and his actions. But certainly, that’s problematic:

But at the same time, there are several glaring omissions in the report, including any examination of Donald Trump’s role in the riots, raising questions about whether lawmakers, in their quest for bipartisanship, exposed the limits of a Congress divided and unable to agree on certain truths, particularly those related to the former President’s actions. Sources tell CNN that in order for this report, which was compiled by the Senate Homeland Security and Rules committees, to have support from both parties, the language had to be carefully crafted, and that included excluding the word “insurrection,” which notably does not appear outside of witness quotes and footnotes. “Did we look at Trump’s role in the attack? The answer is no,” a Senate committee aide told reporters. “The report did not attempt to look at the origins and development of the groups or individuals that participated in the attack on the Capitol,” the aide said.

Without examining the origins and development of the groups involved, as well as who influenced and steered rioters in the direction they went, the report lacks vital information that could help prevent another insurrection from happening in the future. Perhaps in 2024, if you know who runs and loses the election. Again.


Well, They Made Ellie Kemper Apologize

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:22 am

I know, I know: nobody can “make” some apologize for a non-offense, and nobody should. But in the society we live in, she probably felt like she had no choice. Surely nobody thinks she is actually sincere when she says she views having been casually labeled “KKK princess” by ugly ideologues “in a positive light”:

Actress Ellie Kemper is apologizing for her involvement in a debutante ball as a teenager that has come under recent criticism for the organization’s controversial history.

. . . .

“When I was 19 years old, I decided to participate in a debutante ball in my hometown,” she began. “The century-old organization that hosted the debutante ball had an unquestionably racist, sexist and elitist past. I was not aware of the history at the time, but ignorance is no excuse. I was old enough to have educated myself before getting involved. I unequivocally deplore, denounce, and reject white supremacy,” she continued. “At the same time, I acknowledge that because of my race and my privilege, I am the beneficiary of a system that has dispensed unequal justice and unequal rewards.”

Kemper went on to add, “I believe strongly in the values of kindness, integrity and inclusiveness. I try to live my life in accordance with these values. If my experience is an indication that organizations and institutions with pasts that fall short of these beliefs should be held to account, then I have to see this experience in a positive light.”

Allahpundit puts her Grave Offense in context:

When she was 19 years old, she participated in something called the “Veiled Prophet Ball,” a debutante soiree in St. Louis. That ball had been started by a former Confederate officer in the 19th century and excluded blacks and Jews for years but was integrated in 1979, a year before Kemper was born. She took part in 1999, making her guilty of nothing more than enjoying an institution that used to be racist but no longer was.

Which virtually every other American is also guilty of. How many institutions in this country that pre-date, say, the 1950s have a spotless record on race? If Kemper has to apologize, shouldn’t everyone who’s golfed at a country club built before the 1980s need to apologize too?

I guess that’s the idea. Today, Kemper, tomorrow, the golfers.

Any institution in which you voluntarily participate, that has any sort of questionable background, now makes you — personally — subject to being labeled a racist. Do you shop at a supermarket? How dare you. Don’t you know that supermarkets have “chased white, suburban customers at the expense of black communities in urban areas”? And there you are, helping them oppress the downtrodden minority. You dirty racist.

I recently wrote a newsletter that attacks the simplistic framework you have been sold that employers typically reject resumes with black names. The argument is subtle, revolving around issues related to socio-economic status, and Nic and I have been discussing it comments to my post about it. One thing that occurred to me this morning, though, is how easily such an argument could be seized upon by Twitter and twisted into something it isn’t (“Patterico says everyone with a distinctively black name is low class!! FIRE HIM!!!1!”).

This sort of thing doesn’t just degrade the discourse, it makes it positively dangerous to discuss or do almost anything. You don’t even have try to be controversial to be a victim of this. For Ellie Kemper, this nontroversy was like a bolt of lightning out of the sky. And if you don’t engage in some apologetic theatrics in response (Allahpundit notes the “struggle session vibe” to Kemper’s remarks) there is a real danger that society will target you for some kind of mass shunning.

I’m not a fan of the term “cancel culture” given its abuse by Trumpist righties. But whatever you call it, there is a very real, twisted phenomenon out there that causes someone like Ellie Kemper to feel she must “apologize” for having done absolutely nothing wrong 22 years ago.

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