Patterico's Pontifications


Meanwhile, at the China Olympics

Filed under: General — JVW @ 7:18 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Here are some interesting topics at the intersection of sports and global events. Feel free to take one (or more) and run with it in the comments.

(1) Ratings for the opening ceremony were dismal, only about 60% of what they were four years ago when the winter games were held in South Korea. The viewership for the opening ceremony for this past summer’s Tokyo Olympics was also down from 2016, but not by nearly as much.

(2) And ratings for the actual events also seems to have taken a hit. Yes, the time difference is a factor, but it was a factor four years ago too when the daily ratings were higher. No doubt some of this can be attributed to viewers continuing to abandon cable and go to streaming services, but polling suggests that many viewers are actively choosing not to watch any of the events as a protest of China’s ongoing bad behavior.

(3) People (at least those who watched) aren’t happy with NBC’s coverage of the opening ceremony in which it is widely held that the network soft-pedaled China’s record on human rights and repression. The cynicism of China selecting an (allegedly) Uyghur athlete to light the Olympic torch was not lost on observers, seeing as how China is reported to be using intermarriage and mandatory sterilization to wipe out that ethnic group within the country’s borders. Recall that one of Dana’s Weekend Open Threads included Bob Costas acknowledging that the International Olympic Committee is “in bed with China,” and it is apparent that his former network is in bed with the IOC, so we got one of them there polyamory things going on.

(4) The Olympic organizers — oh, the hell with it, let’s be honest about it and say the Chinese government — has adopted very strict COVID protocols which are proving controversial. Athletes and other participants who test positive for the virus are being required to quarantine in a hotel until they produce two consecutive negative tests 24 hours apart, and there have been widespread reports that the food being delivered to them is ridiculously substandard for general human beings let alone elite athletes, and that the COVID tests they take daily in the hopes of being released from quarantine might not be accurate. The Chinese government is also requiring participants to download an app to their phones (thanks Apple for enabling this via your Apple Store!) to track their daily health and movements in the country, ostensibly for contact tracing but — ever so conveniently — to know where an athlete is and has been at any given moment. Recall that the Speaker of the House of Representatives warned U.S. athletes and officials that they needed to steer clear of vexing the Chinese government by exercising the free speech rights that are guaranteed in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a document to which China is a signatory.

(5) Here’s a very interesting story about an 18-year-old American-born freestyle skier residing in the Bay Area who three years ago chose to compete for China, the home country of her mother. She is attractive, intelligent, and athletically accomplished, and she met her vast potential the other day by winning the gold medal in the Big Air competition, making her a huge cultural figure in her adopted country. This is causing some stress as she navigates living in two vastly different cultures, while trying to maintain a persona that isn’t offensive to either of them.

(6) The Russians are doing what the Russians do, that is to say their athletes are cheating.

(7) Tennis player Peng Shuai made an appearance in a tightly-controlled (by Chinese “advisors”) interview with French television and then with an evening at ski jumping with IOC head Thomas Bach. She apparently assured everyone that her previous allegations of sexual assault by a high-ranking Chinese government official were just a giant misunderstanding and that she is enjoying her retirement from professional tennis, and naturally that is good enough for the craven and crass IOC.

(8) Closer to home, an Australian artist of Chinese origin named Badiucao created some very clever and pointed parody posters of the Beijing Olympics. Student activists at George Washington University then printed the posters and hung them around campus, thus raising the ire of Chinese students and those who are inclined to mindlessly repeat talking points disseminated by the Chinese Communist Party through the wokesphere. GWU’s cowardly president Mark Wrighton issued the requisite statement expressing dismay at the alleged racism of the posters while mollycoddling the offended students and vowing swift action against the dastardly perpetrators of this outrage. When it finally dawned on Mr. Wrighton what a blithering idiot and mindless simp he was being, he issued a mealy-mouthed half-assed apology, acknowledging that he had failed to fully understand the nature of this symbolic protest. Though I think it is safe to say that had these posters not been created by a Chinese dissident, Wrighton would have doubled down on the racism nonsense because that is the level of stupidity and mendacity to which so many college administrators are willing to rise these day.

I’ll leave you with a link from Perry — Perry Link, that is (sorry, couldn’t resist) — in which he opines that unlike the Beijing Summer Olympics of 2008, these games are not going to improve China’s standing in the eyes of the world and the fiasco that is unfolding is fated to unleash a lot of ill-will towards the totalitarian hosts. He closes his essay with a great anecdote about the opening ceremonies staged nearly fourteen years ago which explains why China’s carefully choreographed presentation is just an illusion:

At the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing games, a seven-year-old named Yang Peiyi sang “Ode to the Motherland,” but, because authorities judged her insufficiently photogenic, she was replaced on camera by nine-year-old Lin Miaoke, who lip-synced. Fireworks in the sky appeared as “footprints,” but, because these could not be captured on camera, their image had to be artificially added to the video feed. That was then. Now, all of the snow — and so much else — at the Olympics is artificial, and everybody knows it.

Read Professor Link’s entire essay, and go Team USA (even if I am not tuning in to watch you).


Questions: How Did Trump Handle Classified Information and Why Are There Gaps In White House Phone Logs From Jan. 6?? (UPDATE ADDED)

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:41 pm

[guest post by Dana]


A U.S. congressional committee is investigating former President Donald Trump’s handling of White House records after 15 boxes of documents were transferred from his Florida resort to a federal agency, including whether the material included classified information, the panel’s chairwoman said on Thursday.

House of Representatives Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney said in a statement she was “deeply concerned” that the records were not promptly turned over to the National Archives when Trump’s term ended in January 2021 and “that they appear to have been removed from the White House in violation of the Presidential Records Act.”

An upcoming book written by New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman said staffers found documents clogging Trump’s toilet in the White House during his tenure – an account that the Republican former president in a statement called “categorically false.”

“Staff in the White House would periodically find the toilet clogged” and would then find “wads of clumped up, wet printed paper … either notes or some other piece of paper that they believe he had thrown down the toilet” in his bathroom, Haberman told CNN, adding it was unclear what types of documents were found.

Obviously, Trump released a statement pushing back against the report. Here it is in full:

Following collaborative and respectful discussions, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) openly and willingly arranged with President Trump for the transport of boxes that contained letters, records, newspapers, magazines, and various articles. Some of this information will someday be displayed in the Donald J. Trump Presidential Library for the public to view my Administration’s incredible accomplishments for the American People.

The media’s characterization of my relationship with NARA is Fake News. It was exactly the opposite! It was a great honor to work with NARA to help formally preserve the Trump Legacy.

The papers were given easily and without conflict and on a very friendly basis, which is different from the accounts being drawn up by the Fake News Media. In fact, it was viewed as routine and “no big deal.” In actuality, I have been told I was under no obligation to give this material based on various legal rulings that have been made over the years. Crooked Hillary Clinton, as an example, deleted and acid washed 32,000 emails and never gave that to the government. Then, they took large amounts of furniture out of the White House. And Bill Clinton kept numerous audio recordings that the archives wanted, but were unsuccessful at getting after going to court. We won’t even mention what is going on with the White House in the current, or various past administrations.

Also, another fake story, that I flushed papers and documents down a White House toilet, is categorically untrue and simply made up by a reporter in order to get publicity for a mostly fictitious book. The Democrats are just using this and the Unselect Committee of political hacks as a camoflauge for how horribly our Country is doing under the Biden Administration.

In the United States there has unfortunately become two legal standards, one for Republicans and one for Democrats. It should not be that way!

And while the Jan. 6 Committee awaits more information from the National Archives, gaps have been discovered in the White House phone logs from that fateful day:

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol has discovered gaps in official White House telephone logs from the day of the riot, finding few records of calls by President Donald Trump from critical hours when investigators know that he was making them.

Investigators have not uncovered evidence that any official records were tampered with or deleted, and it is well known that Trump used his personal cellphone, and those of his aides, routinely to talk with aides, congressional allies and outside confidants.

But the sparse call records are the latest major obstacle to the panel’s central mission: re-creating what Trump was doing behind closed doors during crucial moments of the assault on Congress by a mob of his supporters.

UPDATE: Apparently, the documents retreived from Mar-a-Lago weren’t just only marked “classified” :

Some of the White House documents that Donald Trump improperly took to his Mar-a-Lago residence were clearly marked as classified, including documents at the “top secret” level, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The existence of clearly marked classified documents in the trove — which has not previously been reported — is likely to intensify the legal pressure that Trump or his staffers could face, and raises new questions about why the materials were taken out of the White House.

Per Kyle Griffin:

Reminder: A ‘top secret’ classification is applied to information where unauthorized disclosure “could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security” according to the Archives’s Information Security Oversight Office.

Will #LockHimUp be trending soon?


Why?? Just Why???

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:03 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Because I can think of no other reason why Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) would do this, here are my thoughts: First, she reminds me of a love-struck teenager emitting the desperation that frequently accompanies pangs of the heart when young. Except that Nancy Mace is a grown woman and a politician. And this certainly isn’t a romance. So, standing in front of Trump Tower and humiliating herself like this to win back Trump (who has already endorsed her competitor in the midterms) or reach his base is just cringe-inducing:

From The Hill:

Former President Trump endorsed GOP candidate Katie Arrington on Wednesday in her bid to unseat Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), who has blamed Trump for causing the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

Trump, in a statement via his Save America PAC, knocked Mace, calling her “an absolutely terrible candidate” who has been “disloyal” to the Republican Party. He also said the congresswoman’s “remarks and attitude have been devastating for her community, and not at all representative” of the GOP.

Trump’s endorsement comes one day after Arrington jumped into the GOP primary in South Carolina. In her announcement video, she said Mace “sold out President Trump.”

“Let’s be honest. Nancy Mace is a sellout. She sold out the Lowcountry. She sold out President Trump. She is more interested in becoming a mainstream media celebrity than fighting for the people she’s supposed to represent,” Arrington said.

“Selfies with Carole Baskin, Monkey Island, legalizing marijuana. Why is she prioritizing that over the skyrocketing inflation, high gas prices and economic security for the Lowcountry? Is Nancy Mace high?” she added.


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