Patterico's Pontifications


Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:50 pm

[guest post by Dana]

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First news items

Despite the low number of serious cases of Covid-19, Shanghai remains on lockdown. Residents are hungry, angry, and desperate enough to start protesting against the Draconian measures:

Video has emerged of clashes between police and people being forced out of their homes in Shanghai, as the city enters a third week of Covid lockdown.

Some residential compounds are being turned into quarantine centres.

Millions are confined to their homes as Shanghai battles a fresh outbreak of the virus. Anyone who tests positive is placed in quarantine.

But with more than 20,000 new cases a day, authorities are struggling to find enough space.

The city in recent weeks has converted exhibition halls and schools into quarantine centres, and set up makeshift hospitals…People have to order in food and water and wait for government drop-offs of vegetables, meat and eggs, and analysts say many are running low on supplies…The lockdown extension has overwhelmed delivery services, grocery shop websites and even the distribution of government supplies.

A few miles away, there was an organised protest, a bold stand as the lockdown takes hold in a country where you can be arrested for picking quarrels.

They’re angry about a local school being turned into another quarantine facility. Police with riot shields forced them off the streets in the end..

Second news item

Tragically, the number is higher than what was first reported:

The bodies of more than 900 civilians were discovered in the Kyiv region following the withdrawal of Russian forces, the regional police chief said in a briefing Friday.

Andriy Nebytov, the head of Kyiv’s regional police force, said the bodies had been abandoned in the streets or given temporary burials. He cited police data indicating that 95% of the casualties had died from sniper fire and gunshot wounds.

“Consequently, we understand that under the (Russian) occupation, people were simply executed in the streets,” Nebytov said. “The number of killed civilians has surpassed 900 — and I emphasize, these are civilians, whose bodies we have discovered and handed over for forensic examination.”

He added that more bodies were being found every day, under the rubble and in mass graves.

“The most victims were found in Bucha, where there are more than 350 corpses,” he said.


Ukrainian President Zelenksyy has asked the Biden administration to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, two sources familiar with the discussions told NBC News.

Zelenskyy made the request in a recent phone conversation with President Joe Biden, the sources said.

A source familiar with the discussion about designating Russia a state sponsor of Terrorism says it was “a very brief part of the call.” Zelenskyy brought it up but there was not a long back and forth about the request.

The request did not carry the same priority as urgent appeals for more weapons and energy sanctions against Russia, the sources added.

Third news item

Zelensky warns the world:

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told CNN in an interview to air over the weekend that he believes the world should be prepared for Russia to possibly resort to the use of chemical or nuclear weapons, just a day after CIA Director William Burns made a similar statement about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “desperation” to win in Ukraine.

Zelensky reportedly told CNN’s Jake Tapper that Putin could and would use such weapons because he does not value the lives of the Ukrainian people.

Russian officials, including Putin, have threatened the use of nuclear weapons under certain circumstances, including if another country intervenes in the “special military operation,” the term Russia has used to refer to the invasion of Ukraine, which began in late February.

Fourth news item

Ohio’s J.D. Vance gets coveted Trump endorsement…after selling his soul:

Maybe this is what Trump was referring to when he said that Vance had said some not so great things about him in the past:

Vance was a critic of Donald Trump at the time, agreeing he was a “total fraud” who didn’t care about people and used issues like “the great Mexican wall” to give voters something to latch onto instead of policy solutions. Vance also told a New York City public radio host that many White working-class voters who supported Trump did not attend church regularly, making them susceptible to the sense of community in a Trump rally. At the same time, Vance argued racism did play a role in support for Trump, but not the biggest.

Additionally, Vance also said this:

After the 2016 publication of his book “Hillbilly Elegy,” a memoir about the problems in the Appalachian area where he grew up, Vance described Trump as “cultural heroin” and a demagogue who was leading “the white working class to a very dark place.”

But how quickly sacrificing one’s integrity for power happens:

Vance later became a fan of Trump and said Friday he is “incredibly honored” to have the ex-president’s endorsement.

Predicting Trump would reclaim the presidency in 2024, Vance said on Twitter that “he was an incredible fighter for hard working Americans in the White House, he will be again, and I’ll fight for the America First Agenda in the Senate.”

Fifth news item

Audio of Russian soldier admitting it was Russian troops that bombed a Russian border town:

A Russian soldier in an occupied part of Ukraine’s Donetsk region was caught telling his wife back home that Putin’s own troops were the ones who bombed a Russian town on the border this week, according to Ukrainian intelligence. In an audio clip of an intercepted call released Friday by Ukraine’s Security Service, a woman can be heard expressing concern about the attack on the town of Klimovo that Moscow blamed on Ukrainian forces, which reportedly left seven people wounded. “That was ours fucking stuff up,” the purported soldier quickly responds. “It’s necessary. They do that to provoke the [Ukrainians]. And that’s why they hit it,” he said. “We talked to the bosses and they said that’s how it is. The same shit was happening in the Chechen War, they blew up apartments in Moscow, as if it were terrorists. It was really the FSB,” he said, referring to the series of bombings in September 1999 that helped bring Vladimir Putin to power.

Sixth news item

When you look at the big picture, it’s still Trump’s GOP:

But just looking at the scorecard misses the bigger picture. These primary fights aren’t between the ‘pro-Trump’ wing versus the ‘anti-or Never-Trump’ wing of the GOP. Candidates are not debating whether the GOP should continue to associate with or make a clean break from Trumpism. GOP candidates are not debating the future identity or ideology in the post-Trump era. Instead, these primary contests have only helped to illuminate that in both style and substance, the current GOP remains Trump’s party.

The best way to see that the party remains fixed in the Trumpian mold is to, well, see it. In hundreds of TV ads, GOP candidates and outside groups that support them, are highlighting their commitment to Trump’s policies and persona. The advertising analysis firm AdImpact captures and categorizes political ads from around the country. Since the beginning of the year, the term “Trump” appears in 164 ads that collectively total $26M worth of spending. Almost all of those ads — 152 of them — and that spending ($24M) came from the Republican side.

Most of these GOP ads feature not just images of the former president, but also many of the terms associated with Trump, like “fighter,” “conservative outsider,” and “America First.” Many feature pledges to complete or finish “Donald Trump’s wall” at the southern border and to defeat “radical socialism.

Seventh news item

This from the WH press secretary who is exected to leave the White House for a job at MSNBC in the next few weeks:

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday that the questions posed by Peter Doocy, the Fox News correspondent who serves as her regular briefing room foil, are fed to him by his network.

She suggested that those questions make Doocy come off as a “stupid son of a bitch,” a reference to President Joe Biden’s hot-mic remark from an exchange with the Fox News reporter earlier this year. Psaki offered no evidence to support her claim about the provenance of Doocy’s questions.

“Is he a stupid son of a bitch, or does he just play a stupid son of a bitch on TV?” Pfeiffer asked.

The live audience laughed, and Psaki paused before answering the question about the reporter who’s known for needling the president and his sparring with the press secretary in the briefing room.

“Well, he works for a network that provides people with questions that — nothing person to any individual, including Peter Doocy — but might make anyone sound like a stupid son of a bitch,” Psaki said.

Eighth news item

Why? Just why??:

A Republican state senator in Tennessee invoked Nazi leader Adolf Hitler to support his argument in favor of a bill that would criminalize homeless encampments on public property.

Speaking during a Wednesday debate on the bill, which would classify camping on public property as a misdemeanor punishable by a $50 fine or community service work, Sen. Frank Niceley argued that homeless people can “come out of these homeless camps” and lead notable lives.

“I wanted to give you a little history on homelessness,” said Niceley. “1910, Hitler decided to live on the streets for a while. So for two years, Hitler lived on the streets and practiced his oratory, and his body language, and how to connect with citizens and then went on to lead a life that got him in the history books.”

“So, all these people — it’s not a dead end, they can come out of this, these homeless camps, and have a productive life or in Hitler’s case, a very unproductive life.”

Oh my god, where do they find these people! SMDH.


Have a great weekend.


Text Messages From GOP Members Who Pushed To Overturn 2020 Election Results

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:18 am

[guest post by Dana]

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Oh gee, lookie here:

In the weeks between the 2020 election and the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, almost 100 text messages from two staunch GOP allies of then-President Donald Trump reveal an aggressive attempt to lobby, encourage and eventually warn the White House over its efforts to overturn the election, according to messages obtained by the House select committee and reviewed by CNN.

The report identifies the text messages as sent by sent by Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah and GOP Rep. Chip Roy of Texas to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. Here a few examples of the text exchanges pulled from the cache. You can read all of the messages at the link:

From Chip Roy to Mark Meadows
We have no tools / data / information to go out and fight RE: election / fraud. If you need / want it, we all need to know what’s going on. Fwiw…

From Mark Meadows to Chip Roy
Thanks so much. Working on it for surrogates briefing. Congratulations btw

From Chip Roy to Mark Meadows
Roger. Yessir, thx. Now let’s hold GA, & take az & pa!

From Mark Meadows to Chip Roy

From Chip Roy to Mark Meadows
What’s the message? This seems hard to sell:

From Chip Roy to Mark Meadows
Any help on message appreciated. We’re all just making generic statements…

From Mark Meadows to Chip Roy
If observers are not present then votes should not be uploaded. The fair and open process should be subject to observation

From Chip Roy to Mark Meadows
From Chip Roy to Mark Meadows
Good. Be well. If you’re still in the game… dude, we need ammo. We need fraud examples. We need it this weekend.

From Mike Lee to Mark Meadows
I want to offer words of encouragement to the president, and have reached out to Molly for that purpose. This doesn’t have to come down to a binary choice between (1) an immediate concession, and (2) a destruction of the credibility of the election process.

From Mike Lee to Mark Meadows
Dear Mr. President, We the undersigned offer our unequivocal support for you to exhaust every legal and constitutional remedy at your disposal to restore Americans faith in our elections. This fight is about much more than just this election. This fight is about the fundamental fairness and integrity of our election system. The nation is depending upon your continued resolve. Stay strong and keep fighting Mr. President.

Next up, Mike Lee works hard to get Sydney Powell involved, and we know how that worked out:

From Mike Lee to Mark Meadows
Sydney Powell is saying that she needs to get in to see the president, but she’s being kept away from him. Apparently she has a strategy to keep things alive and put several states back in play. Can you help her get in?

From Mike Lee to Mark Meadows
It was at the president’s request that Sydney has been working on a strategy and has been trying to get in to see him. But she’s being kept out.

From Mike Lee to Mark Meadows
[Powell email address][Powell phone number] Sidney Powell

NOVEMBER 19, 2020
From Mike Lee to Mark Meadows
The potential defamation liability for the president is significant here

From Mike Lee to Mark Meadows
For the campaign and for the president personally

From Mike Lee to Mark Meadows
Unless Powell can back up everything she said, which I kind of doubt she can

From Mark Meadows to Mike Lee
I agree. Very concerned

From Mike Lee to Mark Meadows
The temptation will be to do nothing for now.

From Mike Lee to Mark Meadows
I’m not sure doing nothing is a good option

From Mike Lee to Mark Meadows
Unless Powell can immediately substantiate what she said today, the president should probably disassociate himself and refute any claims that can’t be substantiated

From Mike Lee to Mark Meadows
He’s got deep pockets, and the accusations Powell made are very, very serious

From Mike Lee to Mark Meadows
That is an especially bad combination when you consider the damages that could easily be claimed (and indeed proven) and the deep pockets involved.

And there’s an interesting mention of Mark Levin and John Eastman:

NOVEMBER 23, 2020
From Mike Lee to Mark Meadows
If you haven’t yet watched tonight’s episode of Life, Liberty, and Levin, you should do so if you can fit it in. Mark Levin makes a very compelling case for the need for litigation related to this election.

From Mike Lee to Mark Meadows
John Eastman has some really interesting research on this. The good news is is that Eastman is proposing an approach that unlike what Sidney Powell has propose could be examined very quickly.

And then this:

DECEMBER 8, 2020
From Mike Lee to Mark Meadows
If a very small handful of states were to have their legislatures appoint alternative slates of delegates, there could be a path.

From Mark Meadows to Mike Lee
I am working on that as of yesterday

JANUARY 3, 2021
From Mike Lee to Mark Meadows
I have grave concerns with the way my friend Ted is going about this effort.

From Mike Lee to Mark Meadows
This will not inure to the benefit of the president.

I’ll just leave this last one here, but do read the entirety of the report:

From Mike Lee to Mark Meadows
I don’t think the president is grasping the distinction between what we can do and what he would like us to do. Nor do I think he’s grasping the distinction between what certain members are saying that sound like they could help him, but would really hurt him. He’s got a very real opportunity for a win in 2024. That opportunity could be harmed in multiple ways this effort.

From Mike Lee to Mark Meadows
Again, all of this could change if the states in question certified Trump electors pursuant to state law. But in the absence of that, this effort is destined not only to fail, but to hurt DJT in the process.

January 1
From Chip Roy to Mark Meadows
We’re driving a stake in the heart of the federal republic.

Reminder: This is the crew that wants Trump to run again in 2024. Any member of Congress who, in any way made an effort to overturn the election results and keep Trump in office has no business being in Congress. Looking at you, Mike Lee.


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