Patterico's Pontifications


Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:07 am

[guest post by Dana]

Let’s go!

First news item

When you have to pay for protection for your family because of serious concerns about supporters of the leading Republican candidate for the 2024 presidential election, what does that say about your political party?

As a critic of Trump’s, King was concerned for Romney’s safety. More than two years later, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee is still paying $5,000 a day for private security to protect his family from the supporters of his party’s presidential nominee in the next two cycles…

Second news item

Despite the most “most pro-Union president” predicting that they wouldn’t strike, members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) walked off the job at midnight. Three plants are involved (Missouri, Ohio, Michigan). What the workers want:

The UAW had been seeking a 40 percent wage hike over four years (amounting to 46 percent compounded), along with cost-of-living increases; beefed-up retirement benefits, including pensions on par with what autoworkers previously received; and full pay for a shortened 32-hour workweek, down from 40 hours (NBC News). The union wants workers to benefit from corporate profits since the last contract in 2019, and to account for inflation.


They are also pushing back against President Joe Biden’s nationwide push for electric vehicles, a transition that could impact auto worker jobs when it is fully implemented. In contrast with gas-powered vehicles, electric cars require fewer workers to assemble, and the batteries can be made in non-union factories or by workers with lower wages.

Despite his vocal support for labor unions, Biden has not received an endorsement from the UAW. Many other unions have endorsed the president.


Third news item

The courageous Masih Alinejad continues to work tirelessly for regime change and gender apartheid in Iran. As Iranian women remove their hijabs and brave the streets of Iranian cities and villages, they face arrest, torture and even murder (see: Mahsa Amini). While Iranian women are taking great risks in defying the government, so too does Alinejad:

Fourth news item

California school district says let’s stick to state and country flags:

A California school district banned the flying of any flag other than the United States or state flag, a move critics and supporters say is directed at the flying of the LBTQIA+ pride flag. In the same measure, Temecula Valley Unified School District also required that “Students not reciting the Pledge of Allegiance shall maintain a respectful silence.”

“No flag other than the United States of America and state of California may be displayed on school grounds, including classrooms, unless it is a country, state or United States military flag used solely for educational purposes within the adopted curriculum. Any other flag must be approved by the Superintendent or designee prior to displaying if, and only if, it is used for educational purposes and only during the related instructional period,” read the full section of the approved measure.

Either you allow the flags representing all causes to fly or you limit it to just the United States and California flags. I don’t have a problem with this district’s decision.


“The First Amendment bars the government from restricting others’ speech, but it doesn’t apply to the government’s own speech. A school district can speak on its own behalf and promote some views but not others,” said Aaron Terr, Director of Public Advocacy at free speech nonprofit Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression in response to an inquiry from The Center Square. “As long as the policy applies only to flags that schools display on school grounds, it should pass constitutional muster. But if the district were to, say, restrict students from wearing clothing or displaying a patch that depicts a flag disfavored by the district, that would raise First Amendment issues.”

Fifth news item

Top Democrats cannot bring themselves to say, Yes, Kamala Harris is the best running mate for President Biden. In the case of Jamie Raskin, he declined to answer directly when pressed three times by Jake Tapper:

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) declined to endorse Vice President Harris as the best running mate for President Biden in 2024 when pressed by CNN anchor Jake Tapper…Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) similarly declined to say if Harris, a fellow California Democrat, was Biden’s best option for a running mate earlier this week.

I get it. I feel the same way…

Sixth news item

I double-dog-dare you, cried the man who sold his soul to become the Speaker:

Angry, frustrated and unable to lead a fractured and unruly Republican majority, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Thursday told the colleagues threatening to oust him: Do it.

The embattled Republican leader essentially dared his hard-right flank to quit holding the risk of a vote to remove him from the job.

“File the f——- motion,” McCarthy said, using a profanity for emphasis, according to those in the private meeting.

With a government shutdown looming, McCarthy is confronting the same stubborn problem that has driven Republicans before him from the speaker’s job — trying to lead a ruptured GOP majority that’s split between what’s left of the traditional party and a harder-right element largely allied with former President Donald Trump.

Even his decision to launch an impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden did little this week to appease the demands of the Freedom Caucus and others as they threaten to shut down the government in pursuit of deep spending cuts or move to a motion to oust him from office.

Seventh news item

President Zelensky to address United Nations General Assembly:

US President Joe Biden plans to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky next week around the United Nations General Assembly meetings, according to multiple officials familiar with the plans…One source familiar with the matter told CNN that Zelensky is expected to travel to Washington, DC, after his stop in New York…Zelensky is planning to use an in-person appearance at the annual meeting to appeal for more support for Ukraine as it continues to wage a counteroffensive against Russia…Among his objectives will be trying to persuade nations that haven’t taken a firm stance against the war to be more forceful in their condemnation of Russia.

Unfortunately, moderate Republicans are also questioning funding for Ukraine:

Skepticism is growing among House Republicans on the approval of more Ukraine funding as Congress faces its first test on America’s role in the war against Russia.

The House could face a vote as soon as this month as the Senate looks to fold a Ukraine aid package into a continuing resolution that would push back the deadline for a potential government shutdown…

While a minority wing of far-right lawmakers have long opposed more Ukraine funding, several GOP lawmakers told The Hill this week that more moderate House Republicans are also raising concerns…

The uneasiness in the House comes as the Senate plans to include Ukraine funding in a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government funded as annual appropriations bills are worked out.

If the House refuses to pass a CR with the Ukraine funding attached, it could be punted to later this year and attached to other spending bills or considered on its own.

Punchbowl News reported this month that McCarthy does not want Ukraine funding in a CR but will move to pass it as a separate supplemental — but only if he wins additional funding for the border.

Note: The next vote on Ukraine aid will be the first on a major package since Speaker Kevin McCarthy took the gavel promising no more “blank checks” to Ukraine.

Eighth news item

Los Angeles District Attorney failed to apply for state funds to fight increasing crime wave:

Candidate for Los Angeles County District Attorney Eric Sapetto Siddall slammed District Attorney George Gascón’s failure to secure additional resources to combat the rampant smash and grab retail theft happening throughout Los Angeles.

The deadline to secure state funding to combat organized retail theft passed today and counties from all over California applied and received grants. Despite a dire need for additional resources to fight back against organized retail theft, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office was not on the list of grant applicants or recipients.

“George Gascón’s failure to secure additional resources from the state to combat smash and grab robberies is just another example of his negligence and inability to lead. As criminals carry out these brazen robberies, the district attorney’s office should be utilizing every tool to put a stop to these crimes. Once again, Gascón didn’t even show up. His incompetence failed all Angelenos,” said Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Eric Siddall.

Ninth news item

When you know you’re old: you roll your eyes from exhaustion at the mere thought of participating in group hyper-self-introspection, dissection, and navel-gazing…while naked:

When I arrived for the dinner party, a naked woman holding a wine glass filled with hibiscus tea greeted me at the door. Inside I could see a group of about 15 people already in the backyard. They too were all naked…This is how my night started recently when I attended my first nude dinner. I was among the 26 people who paid $150 to experience Füde, a plant-based gathering that invites people to leave their inhibitions, self-doubt and clothing behind…Charlie Ann Max, 29, the dinner’s founder, who told us it was time to start the evening’s Füde. The name is a combination of food and nude, with an umlaut to encourage the proper pronunciation.

Max is a multidisciplinary artist, chef and former dancer who began hosting nude-optional dinners in 2020. She started practicing nudity after she stopped dancing, seeking liberation from the constraints and expectations the career put on her mind and body. She also adopted a plant-based diet, eventually creating Füde……Max, introduced Lihi Benisty, a local breathwork, movement and meditation teacher, and instructed everyone to sit on the pavement around the pool.

“And this is Maya, our safety steward,” she said, and pointed to a young woman next to her. “If you have any concerns or discomfort, we can work together.”

Benisty then introduced the theme for the evening.

“Tonight, we explore the ‘yes’ within,” she said. “What does it mean when we say yes? What does it mean when we say no?”

Have a great weekend!


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