Patterico's Pontifications


Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:07 am

[guest post by Dana]

Let’s go!

First news item

Sen. John Fetterman irks both sides of the aisle over his reasonable statements on the border. This after he angered Democrats for his unequivocal support of Israel:

As stalled immigration negotiations imperil U.S. aid to Ukraine and Israel, Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) is blaming not only Republicans but also members of his own party for what he described as a reflexive political resistance to a border security deal.

“I hope Democrats can understand that it isn’t xenophobic to be concerned about the border,” Fetterman said in an interview. “It’s a reasonable conversation, and Democrats should engage.”

Fetterman…urged Democrats to acknowledge the large numbers of migrants streaming across the southern border. He cited the nearly 270,000 border encounters that U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported in September.

“Honestly, it’s astonishing. And this isn’t a Fox News kind of statistic. This is the government’s,” he said. “You essentially have Pittsburgh showing up there at the border.”

About the crisis at the Southern border:

Second news item

Drink our coffee but if you have to use the bathroom and are a Jew, forget about it:

California coffee shop workers were filmed denying a Jewish customer access to the restroom after she complained it was filled with antisemitic graffiti — telling her “Free Palestine” and accusing her of wanting to use the facilities because “Israel loves taking private property and saying it’s their own.”

Three employees at Farley’s East in Oakland stood in front of the bathroom and told a distressed-sounding woman filming them that she had to leave.

“I want to go in the restroom,” the woman repeatedly implores the staffers, who tell her it’s private property even while confirming she was a customer who’d eaten there.

A male staffer then smiles as he tells her: “I know Israel loves taking private property and saying it’s their own, but we gotta have … ”

As the woman again says that she “was a patron here and I have a right to go into the restroom,” the man replies, “And we have a right to refuse service.”

When an employee of a neighboring business steps in to offer the use of her company’s bathroom next door, the woman filming replies firmly: “No, I want to use this one. I should not be excluded and other people allowed.”

Third news item

United Nations’ Secretary General Antonio Guterres officially requests a “humanitarian ceasefire” be declared:

Israel responds:

Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Gilad Erdan said the secretary-general invoked Article 99 to pressure Israel, accusing the U.N. chief of “a new moral low” and “bias against Israel.” “The secretary-general’s call for a ceasefire is actually a call to keep Hamas’ reign of terror in Gaza,” Erdan said in a statement.

How is Erdan wrong?

Fourth news item

Ousted speaker of the House announced he is resigning from Congress:

Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who was ousted from his role by a faction of his own party earlier this year, will resign from Congress at the end of the month, he said on Wednesday.

“I have decided to depart the House at the end of this year to serve America in new ways,” McCarthy wrote in an op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal. “I know my work is only getting started.”

A report from the Los Angeles Times provides a further look into McCarthy’s spending habits. Although legal, it is nonetheless revealing:

Rambling above the rust-colored cliffs of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, the Terranea Resort is known for its ocean views, world-ranked spa and villas that can command $3,000 a night or more.

From 2012 through last June, McCarthy’s PAC shelled out more than $1 million on hotels, private air travel and eateries, the FEC records show. That’s more than double the combined total spent by the leadership PACs of the seven other lawmakers who’ve held the top House and Senate positions for their parties during all or part of that period, according to the Times analysis.

Leadership PACs are subject to fewer spending controls than other campaign accounts. In fact, the FEC determined earlier this year that those committees are free to use their money on personal expenses, without limits…

The Terranea outlays by McCarthy’s leadership PAC totaled about $124,000 over a 2 ½-year stretch ending in 2018, a period during which he served as House majority leader. In the same time, a second McCarthy committee rang up bills of about $116,000 at the hotel compound. The combined $240,000 pencils out to an average of $8,000 a month.

Fifth news item

President Biden in a bind about Ukraine and Israel aid tied to U.S. border:

When President Joe Biden sent his request to Congress last month for aid to Ukraine and Israel, he included a request for more money to help with security at the border with Mexico, a sweetener intended to both address a crisis and win over support of Republicans.

But the move has now left Biden in a box.

On Thursday, however, Senate Republicans showed no sign of backing down.

Senior Biden administration officials have told both sides in the negotiations that the White House is open to making it more difficult to gain asylum in the United States, according to four people familiar with the matter. One such measure would impose a stricter definition for migrants to meet when they claim they need refuge because they fear persecution in their home countries.

But Republicans say that is not enough. They want the United States to impose policies that would make most migrants ineligible for asylum and require them to wait in Mexico until their case is processed.

The impasse has left the heart of Biden’s foreign policy — support for the war in Ukraine — hanging in the balance.

Meanwhile, Ukraine continues to defend against Putin’s invasion, for its own sake and for the sake of the free world:

Possible fallout if a deal isn’t done by the end of next week, for uh, less than noble reasons:

If there is a deal, it must be hammered out by next Friday, which lawmakers appear to regard as the drop-dead date because getting out of town for the holiday break is the highest priority. Still, I maintain that it would be the height of irresponsibility if Republicans balk at appropriating funds for lethal aid to support Ukraine’s war. Not only is it an abdication of America’s duty to provide for its own security as one of its most reckless antagonists marches through Europe, it would also save Joe Biden’s bacon.

Biden has throttled lethal aid to Ukraine from the outset of Russia’s second invasion. He has hemmed and hawed and given in to Ukraine’s request for this platform or that long past the point at which it would have meant the difference on the battlefield. Biden would love to outsource the consequences of his reluctance to Republicans, and he will do just that if the GOP fails to support the popular Ukrainian cause. Congressional Republicans shouldn’t give Biden the out he wants.

Sixth news item

The man who would be king gives Americans a look at his priorities. Same as every other one: I’M A VICTIM!!!:

All of these Biden “Political Opponent” Lawsuits against me could have been brought 3 years ago, but the slimeballs brought them right in the middle of my very successful campaign for President. The J6 Fake Case, where the Obama appointed, Trump Hating Judge, Tanya S. Chutkan, actually had the audacity to schedule the trial THE DAY BEFORE SUPER TUESDAY (always considered the biggest of all Primary days), has been put into serious question when most of the Unselect Committee’s evidence was deleted and destroyed. This illegal act, that would have shown the GUILT of Crazy Nancy Pelosi, and others, should end this Biden Witch Hunt. Our FAILING NATION is now becoming a BANANA REPUBLIC. MAGA!

Meanwhile, Trump managed to perk up the ears of everyone who fears a second Trump presidency with his latest comments to Sean Hannity:

As Donald Trump faces growing scrutiny over his increasingly authoritarian and violent rhetoric, Fox News host Sean Hannity gave his longtime friend a chance to assure the American people that he wouldn’t abuse power or seek retribution if he wins a second term.

But instead of offering a perfunctory answer brushing off the warnings, Trump stoked the fire.

“Except for day one,” the GOP front-runner said Tuesday night before a live audience in Davenport, Iowa. “I want to close the border, and I want to drill, drill, drill.”

P.S. Imagine if Trump were to win the election, what his staff might look like

Seventh news item

This is gut-wrenching and horrific, but I think it’s a must-read. Especially for Western feminists who continue to remain silent about the vicious sexual abuse of Israeli women on Oct. 7. (By the way, it only took 8 weeks for the the United Nations Women group to finally condemn Hamas for their vile mistreatment of Israeli women on Oct. 7)…

Eighth news item

Liz Cheney on whether she’ll enter the 2024 presidential race:

Former Republican Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney suggested on “CBS Mornings” on Thursday that she won’t mount a third-party presidential run if it helps former President Donald Trump in the 2024 race for the White House.

“I won’t do anything that would help him,” she said, when asked about possibly running as a third-party candidate.

Speaking of Cheney, I am currently halfway through her new book, Oath and Honor: A Memoir and a Warning. It is a riveting examination of the Jan. 6 insurrection, the villains (looking at you, Kevin McCarthy and Mike Johnson), and the dangers of a second Trump presidency. From the prologue:

This is the true story of the moment when American democracy began to unravel. It is the story of the men and women who fought to save it, and of the enablers and collaborators whose actions ensured the threat would grow and metastasize. It is the story of the most dangerous man to inhabit the Oval Office, and of the many steps he took to subvert our Constitution.

Ninth news item

The horrific shooting of three Palestinian friends walking in Vermont over Thanksgiving weekend, has left one of them paralyzed from the chest down, per the victim’s mother:

Hisham Awartani, one of the three Palestinian college students who were shot while walking in Vermont over Thanksgiving weekend, is paralyzed from the chest down after a bullet became lodged in his spine, his mother said…

Awartani and his two longtime friends from the Israeli-occupied West Bank – Kinnan Abdalhamid of Haverford College and Tahseen Ali Ahmad of Trinity College – were out for a walk on Saturday in Burlington, chatting as they often did in English and Arabic, when they were shot, according to Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad. Two of the men were also wearing traditional Palestinian scarves known as keffiyehs at the time of the attack, he said.

In addition to Awartani’s life-altering spinal injury, the two other men were shot in the upper torso and lower extremities and hospitalized in the ICU, according to police. Both of the victims have since been released from the hospital.


The suspect in the attack, 48-year-old Jason J. Eaton, was arrested Sunday and charged with three counts of attempted murder, to which he has pleaded not guilty. Authorities say they haven’t determined a motive in the attack but have said they are investigating whether the incident was motivated by hate.

Tragic in every way.


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