Patterico's Pontifications


Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:09 am

[guest post by Dana]

Let’s go!

First news item

More drama in the Red Sea as U.S. and British militaries respond to attacks by the Houthis:

The U.S. and British militaries bombed more than a dozen sites used by the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen on Thursday, in a massive retaliatory strike using warship- and submarine-launched Tomahawk missiles and fighter jets, U.S. officials said. The military targets included logistical hubs, air defense systems and weapons storage and launching locations, they said.

. . .

“These strikes are in direct response to unprecedented Houthi attacks against international maritime vessels in the Red Sea — including the use of anti-ship ballistic missiles for the first time in history,” Biden said in a statement. He noted the attacks endangered U.S. personnel, civilian mariners and jeopardized trade, and he added, “I will not hesitate to direct further measures to protect our people and the free flow of international commerce as necessary.”

There has been commentary about the seeming delay in our response to the attacks. Consider:

President Biden is receiving pushback from Democrats about the action. For example, this from Rep. Ro Khanna:

The President needs to come to Congress before launching a strike against the Houthis in Yemen and involving us in another middle east conflict. That is Article I of the Constitution. I will stand up for that regardless of whether a Democrat or Republican is in the White House.

Three points in response. . .

Second news item

An outrage that she was arrested in the first place:

An Ohio woman who faced a felony charge after she miscarried at home will not be charged, a grand jury decided Thursday.

Brittany Watts, 34, had been charged with abuse of a corpse after she miscarried into a toilet on Sept. 22 at her home in Warren, 60 miles south of Cleveland.

The young woman did precisely what millions of women do when they miscarry at home. There is nothing abusive about it. And given the trauma of experiencing a miscarriage and the intensity of emotions when the miscarriage is happening in one’s home, flushing the remains is the typical response. But let’s see how the application of Ohio’s law lead to the decision to arrest Ms. Watts:

Watts, who is Black, was charged under a section of Ohio law that penalizes treatment of a human corpse in a “way that the person knows would outrage reasonable family sensibilities” or “community sensibilities.”

The charge is a fifth-degree felony, and, had she been convicted, Watts would have faced up to a year in prison and a $2,500 fine.

I suspect that anyone whose sensibilities might have been offended by Ms. Watts’ actions has not experienced the awfulness of such a personal and jarring event, nor the difficult aftermath.

Third news item

The border crisis isn’t skipping a beat. Border states like Texas and Arizona, taking the biggest hits of uncontrolled immigration at the Southern border, are sending undocumented migrants to New York City, (the state that has received the most), Chicago, Washington D.C., Philadelphia and Denver. Those cities, overwhelmed by the sudden influx, are struggling with the increased number of migrants.

Because of a massive winter storm, New York City officials made a decision to move 500 migrant families from their shelter tents at an airfield to a public high school auditorium. As a result, parents were notified that classes were being canceled the next day and remote learning would take place:

About 2,000 people were evacuated on Tuesday evening from their tent shelter at a remote former airplane runway in Brooklyn to James Madison High School. Families with children piled onto the floor and into auditorium seats to sleep. By 2 a.m., several families said they were asked to prepare to return to the tents.

The evacuation led officials to call a remote day of classes for the more than 3,400 students enrolled at the high school, sparking immediate backlash from politicians and parents that echoed on a national stage.

The report notes that the school was inundated with phone calls from angry parents. At the very end of the report, readers are informed that it wasn’t just Republicans that were upset about the decision:

In a letter to school leaders, the city’s principals’ union wrote that “while we recognize the safety concerns brought on by the storm,” schools “should never be used to temporarily house non-student populations.”

“We urged the city to consider more viable alternatives,” union officials said, adding that some migrant students from Floyd Bennett Field would be likely to need “additional support in the coming days as they navigate through this unsettling experience.”

Polling continues to show that immigration is bad news for President Biden, whom the governors hold responsible for the lack of control at the border:

[T]here’s immigration, a subject in which Biden is down by 40 points, with 30 percent of respondents approving of his handling of the issue compared to 70 percent who disapprove.

That’s a four-point swing in the wrong direction for Biden on this issue since CBS News and YouGov last asked about it in November, but more saliently a 12-point tumble for Biden’s overall immigration performance since their May poll (when 36 percent approved of the job Biden was doing at the border compared to 64 percent who disapproved), conducted days after the end of Title 42.

So why do I think that there isn’t a cohort of the electorate pining for higher immigration levels that Biden is failing to deliver? Because in a separate question, respondents were asked: “Do you approve or disapprove of the way Joe Biden is handling matters concerning the U.S.-Mexico border?”

The results were nearly identical, with 68 percent of those polled disapproving of the job that Biden is doing at the Southwest border, compared to 32 percent who approved.

Fourth news item

Word from Liz Cheney when she made an appearance on The View this week:

There are some conservatives who are trying to make this claim that somehow Biden is a bigger risk than Trump. My view is, I disagree with a lot of Joe Biden’s policies. We can survive bad policies. We can not survive torching the constitution. It’s not even the same level.

Fifth news item

Via JVW, this blistering rebuke at the singular standard by which the European community judges Israel is from 2014, yet remains applicable today:

Sixth news item

The Eternal Victim just couldn’t keep his yap shut in the courtroom. As expected, Trump went on a tear. Some of his reported comments:

“The facts are: The financial statements are perfect, there are no witnesses against us. The banks got all their money paid back. They were great loans.”

“The banks got all their money. They’re as happy as can be.”

“This was a political witch hunt. … We should receive damages.”

“We have a situation where I’m an innocent man, I’ve been persecuted by somebody running for office, and I think you have to go outside the bounds.”

“She hates Trump and uses Trump to get elected,” he said of James.

“What’s happened here, sir, is a fraud on me. They want to make sure that I don’t win again, and this is partially election interference.”

“I know this is boring to you.”

“You have your own agenda,” Trump sneered at Engoron, before the judge shut him down and at which point Trump turned and walked out of the courtroom.

Because Trump was allowed to rant and rave, he cannot whine to MAGAland that he was illegally silenced! in a courtroom by a corrupt judge! .

Seventh news item

South Africa accuses Israel of genocide at The Hague:

South Africa accused Israel on Thursday of carrying out genocide in Gaza and demanded that the U.N.’s top court order an emergency suspension of Israel’s devastating military campaign in the Palestinian enclave…”The intent to destroy Gaza has been nurtured at the highest level of state,” Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, advocate of the High Court of South Africa, told the court. He said Israel’s political and military leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, were among “the genocidal inciters”.

“That is evident from the way in which this military attack is being conducted,” he said.

South Africa did not condemn Hamas, nor did they accuse the terror group of genocide, nor recognize the horrors of Oct. 7 and the hostages that have been been released, killed, or remain in captivity.

The U.S. responded to the accusation leveled by South Africa:

The White House declined to comment on how it might respond if the court determines Israel committed genocide. But National Security Council spokesman John Kirby called the allegations “unfounded.”

“That’s not a word that ought to be thrown around lightly, and we certainly don’t believe that it applies here,” Kirby said.

Not all South Africans are in agreement with the accusations:

Have a good weekend.


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