Patterico's Pontifications

3/29/2024

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:54 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Let’s go!

First new item

Liz Cheney warns Supreme Court:

“When [Trump] now is pushing this idea that a president should have complete immunity against any criminal prosecution for anything he does in office and he’s pushed this appeal to the Supreme Court, I think it’s very important that the Supreme Court recognizes what he’s doing is a delaying tactic,” Cheney said.

“It cannot be the case that a president of the United States can attempt to overturn an election and seize power and that our justice system is incapable of holding a trial and holding him to account before the next election.”

Cheney said she trusts the court will “deal in a responsible and expeditious fashion with this appeal.” However, she added the court taking action that would result in further delay in the public seeing evidence and amount to “suppression of the evidence.”

Second news item

Judge overseeing Trump’s criminal trial in NY speaks out after Trump goes after Judge Merchan’s daughter on social media:

U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia Reggie Walton…reacted to Trump lashing out at Judge Juan Merchan.

Merchan is presiding over the former president’s falsifying business records trial where the Republican has pleaded not guilty to 34 charges. Trump also attacked Merchan’s daughter in social media posts.

Trump has posted twice about Loren Merchan on Truth Social, the social media platform where the former president has more than 6.8 million followers, including calling her a “Rabid Trump Hater, who has admitted to having conversations with her father about me.”

Trump’s attacks came after Judge Merchan issued a gag order ahead of the former president’s April 15 hush money trial. The order was to prevent Trump from publicly speaking about court staff, jurors, potential witnesses and lawyers from the Manhattan district attorney’s office, or their families…

“We do these jobs because we’re committed to the rule of law and we believe in the rule of law. The rule of law can only function effectively when we have judges who are prepared to carry out their duties without the threat of potential physical harm,” Walton said.

Walton, who has presided over cases related to the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, said he and his daughter have also received threats, including one person who called him and said they know where the judge lives.

“You can’t let that impact on how you live your life, and how you treat litigants who are before you,” Walton said. “Even though threats may be made against you and your family, you still have an obligation to ensure that everybody who comes into your courtroom is treated fairly, regardless of who they are or what they’ve done.

Judge Luttig also weighs in:

The Nation is witnessing the determined delegitimization of both its Federal and State judiciaries and the systematic dismantling of its system of justice and Rule of Law by a single man – the former President of the United States.

In the months ahead, the former president can only be expected to ramp up his unprecedented efforts to delegitimize the courts of the United States, the nation’s state courts, and America’s system of justice,
through his vicious, disgraceful, and unforgiveable attacks and threats on the Federal and State Judiciaries and the individual Judges of these courts.

Never in American history has any person, let alone a President of the United States, leveled such threatening attacks against the federal and state courts and federal and state judicial officers of the kind the former president has leveled continually now for years.

But suffice it to say, never in history has any person leveled such attacks and been met with such passivity, acquiescence, and submissiveness by the nation.

It is a regrettable commentary on our times that a lone federal judge, The Honorable Judge Reggie B. Walton — because no one whose responsibility it is to do so has had the courage and the will — would finally be left no choice but, himself, to express on national television the profound concerns of the entire Federal and State Judiciaries over Donald Trump’s contemptible attacks on the federal and state courts, the judges of these courts and their families, and the other participants in the judicial process.

It is the responsibility of the Supreme Court of the United States in the first instance to protect the federal courts, the federal judges, and all participants in the justice system from the reprehensible spectacle of the former president’s inexcusable, threatening attacks,
just as it is the responsibility of the respective State Supreme Courts in the first instance to protect their courts and their state judges from the same.

Ultimately, however, it is the responsibility of the entire nation to protect its courts and judges, its Constitution, its Rule of Law, and America’s Democracy from vicious attack, threat, undermine, and deliberate delegitimization at the hands of anyone so determined.

Third news item

So this is the softer and more enlightened Taliban, eh?:

The Taliban’s announcement that it is resuming publicly stoning women to death has been enabled by the international community’s silence, human rights groups have said.

Safia Arefi, a lawyer and head of the Afghan human rights organisation Women’s Window of Hope, said the announcement had condemned Afghan women to return to the darkest days of Taliban rule in the 1990s.

“With this announcement by the Taliban leader, a new chapter of private punishments has begun and Afghan women are experiencing the depths of loneliness,” Arefi said.

“Now, no one is standing beside them to save them from Taliban punishments. The international community has chosen to remain silent in the face of these violations of women’s rights.”

Fourth news item

Worried and prepared:

Polish and allied aircraft were scrambled this morning after Russia launched missile strikes on Ukraine, the Operational Command of the Polish armed forces said.

“Polish and allied aircraft are operating in Polish airspace, which may result in increased noise levels, especially in the southeastern part of the country,” the Command said on the social media platform X.

Russia attacked three thermal power plants of Ukraine’s largest private power firm DTEK on Friday, damaging facilities, the firm said.

It comes as Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky predicted which countries Vladimir Putin would attack if he was successful in Ukraine – including Germany.

Zepensky’s predictions:

Zelensky predicts which countries Putin would target after Ukraine

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has warned which countries he believes Vladimir Putin will target next if he is victorious in Ukraine.

Kazakhstan would be next, followed by the Baltic states, Poland and then Germany, Mr Zelensky claims.

“Even tomorrow, the missiles can fly to any state,” he told US broadcaster CBS. “For him, we are a satellite of the Russian Federation,.

“At the moment, it’s us, then Kazakhstan, then Baltic states, then Poland, then Germany. At least half of Germany.”

Fifth news item

Berkeley bigots shamefully spout off:

A Berkeley City Council meeting went off the rails this week as pro-Palestinian protestors heckled an 89-year-old Holocaust survivor as she urged the council to pass a resolution in support of Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The Jewish Community Relations Council posted clips from the Tuesday meeting to social media, which quickly went viral and showed the moment that the meeting had to stop as Susanne DeWitt was shouted down.

The Jewish Chronicle reported on the meeting Thursday, writing, “A Berkeley City Council meeting on Tuesday descended into chaos as a mob of pro-Palestine demonstrators harassed council members and Israel supporters, calling them ‘Zionist pigs’, ‘genocide enablers’, ‘murderers’ and ‘money suckers’.”

DeWitt was allowed to finish by the councilman running the meeting and she added that Hamas’s attack led to the “murder of 1200 Israelis and the brutal torture and rape of women.”

“Lies!” shouted the protestors. The meeting then devolved into shouting as the councilman leading it called for a break.

Have a great weekend.

—Dana

3/28/2024

Fun Story: Vanderbilt vs. the Anti-Israel Kiddie Brigade

Filed under: General — JVW @ 6:16 am



[guest post by JVW]

Oh man, I’m now a big van of Vanderbilt University! I’ve been on that campus a couple of times in recent years and have always enjoyed it (I’m a huge fan of Nashville too), but I had sort of assumed that they are your typical insufferable child-coddling left-wing romper room.

Not so.

This story by Suzie Weiss at The Free Press is gold. To begin with, it has an outstanding title: “Tale of a Tampon.” She bases her piece on, and gives full credit to, a series of Tweets, from Steve McGuire of the American Council of Trustees, and it tells a fantastic and compelling tale. I will use Ms. Weiss’s narrative in recounting it, but I will try to provide links to the supporting Tweets from Mr. McGuire. Here we go:

On Tuesday morning, a group of campus activists pushed past a security guard and forced their way into Kirkland Hall on the Vanderbilt campus, which I take it is a main administrative building. Once ensconced within the hallowed halls, they occupied the waiting area outside of the chancellor’s office doors to protest the administration’s cancellation of a student referendum regarding campus divestment from Israel. The students would remain there for the next twenty-one and one-half hours, watched carefully by campus police to prevent them from breaking in to the chancellor’s office. The protesters were joined by fellow students who gathered outside Kirkland (campus police no longer letting anyone inside the building) in support of their comrades inside. Naturally, the mostly white protesters couldn’t help but taunt the black Vanderbilt police officers, accusing them — you guessed it! — of being “puppets” of the administration. The administration responded by ordering meals from Panera to be delivered to the officers on duty, but not to the bratty students who were told that if they left the protest area to eat, drink, pee, or whatever that they would not be allowed back in.

At this point allow me pause and point out that the videos show a majority of students wearing face coverings. Not keffiyehs or Guy Fawkes masks like the cool terrorist kids wear, but COVID-era sanitary masks, what high-strung little snowflakes who were frightened into compliance during the pandemic are still sporting lo these forty post-vaccine months later.

Back to the narrative, because this is where it gets awesome. Since I’m just some oafish old dude, I had better let Ms. Weiss take over this part of the story:

Here’s what went down: during one of those 21.5 hours of the protest, probably at an ungodly one, a few of the student demonstrators decided to call 911. That’s because their friend, who was part of the sit-in, had to change her tampon.

Specifically, she was “being denied the right to change her tampon that has been in for multiple hours, which leads to an increased risk of toxic shock syndrome.”

The frankly Zen-like 911 operator, who deserves a raise, was understandably confused. “Ma’am, do you have an emergency?”

Um, yes?! The student on the phone requests urgent medical assistance.

“You’re telling me your friend in Kirkland needs an ambulance. Is that what you’re telling me?”

Then in another video, one of the protesters—in a keffiyeh and a mask—approaches the police and an administrator, who was indeed in a sweater vest, demanding to know WHAT. WILL. HAPPEN. to her friend, should she leave the sit-in to change the tampon in question. The adults calmly explain that she won’t be arrested if she leaves the building. But can they confirm that she will never be arrested, ever?!

“She does not feel safe,” someone says off-screen, punctuating it with claps.

Comedy gold, though I am sure that if I had to be face-to-face with these entitled nonsense transmitters, I would not have found it nearly as amusing. In any case, Ms. Weiss reports that the student eventually removed her, uh, lady accessory, though not in the bathroom, leading one of her sisters in the struggle to describe it as “the most depraved shit I’ve seen in my entire life.” And how!

So by now you’re probably thinking to yourself, “Yeah, this all sounds swell, but we know how it always ends: the Vanderbilt Administration caved and let the students walk free after they bored themselves with their little hissy fit.” Nope! The little dopes were arrested and hauled out of there. I might have preferred a little more indiscriminate use of the billy club (or any at all for that matter), but the officers were instead professional and actually quite polite (“Sir, I’ll need you to come along with me please,” said gently to some dumb miscreant whose nutsack probably hasn’t yet dropped). The morning boxscore shows sixteen students suspended from campus and three — the ones who bum-rushed the campus security officer to break into the building — arrested and hopefully soon charged with battery on a peace officer.

What bothers me the most while reading Ms. Weiss’s fine recounting of this protest and watching the videos which accompanies it isn’t so much the misplaced idealism or the dipstick support of utterly stupid goals. That’s been a hallmark of campus activism forever. Nor am I too riled up about general college mischief and mayhem, having been no stranger to that sort of thing (or to the business practices of the campus police, for that matter) in my day. No, what really galls me about all of this is listening to the grandiose sense of entitlement, the demand for “safe” spaces, the whiny pleas of the Karens-in-training, the nasally voices of these young men who probably never fell off of the monkey bars during recess or got slugged in the arm by an upperclassman, the inability of these whelps to see beyond their own myopic self-regard along with the clear sense that they have been coddled their entire lives and truly believe they are righteous and good people.

Despite the jaundiced tone of my posts, I really do try to find things to admire in today’s college generation such as their skill with technology, their general affability, their devotion to their own friend circles, and their yearning for altruism. But the sheltered, entitled, overweening brats on display here are exactly what sends me into a paroxysm of lawn defense. I am all for forgiveness, especially during Holy Week, knowing that I am desperate need of it myself, so I hope these kids serve a well-deserved suspension but are given the opportunity to return to the good graces of Vanderbilt University whose very motto, crescere aude, is Latin for “dare to grow.” Meanwhile, I would like to think they have learned at least one lesson that might cause them to question their own moral infallibility. Cheers to Vanderbilt for showing them tough love.

– JVW

3/27/2024

The Greatest Grift of All

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:46 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Jesus wept. Or maybe He’s so over it, He’s just rolling His eyes watching Trump’s latest grift: The former president, in partnership with singer Lee Greenwood, is peddling a Bible during Holy Week. [Hey, don’t judge. Man’s in a jam and needs a bundle of dough ASAP]:

Former President Donald Trump endorsed a new product, the $60 God Bless the USA Bible, in a video released on Truth Social on Tuesday.

“And this is very important and very important to me. I want to have a lot of people have it. You have to have it for your heart, for your soul,” explained Trump before insisting that “Religion and Christianity are the biggest things missing from this country.”

“Our founding fathers did a tremendous thing when they built America on Judeo-Christian values. Now that foundation is under attack, perhaps as never before,” he added. “What can we do? Stand up, speak out and pray that God will bless America again. I’m proud to endorse and encourage you to get this Bible.”The product’s website boasts that it “is the only Bible endorsed by President Trump!”

The special Trump-endorsed Bible includes copies of the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence and Pledge of Allegiance.

A man of low moral character, practiced in the art of deception, and facing both civil and criminal charges is hardly an example of the Godly man. Yet here we are with yet another grift wherein MAGAland will fall in line, purchase the Bible, and feel good about being one of the faithful who supports the man they believe is called by God to lead this country. And Trump will reportedly get royalties from the sales while reassuring his followers that “The hand of God is on him and he cannot be stopped.”

“This is really a battle between good and evil,” evangelical TV preacher Hank Kunneman says of the slew of criminal charges facing Donald Trump. “There’s something on President Trump that the enemy fears: It’s called the anointing.”

…Christian media pressing a message of Biblical proportions: The 2024 presidential race is a fight for America’s soul, and a persecuted Trump has God’s protection.

Seeing the misguided yet ongoing idolatry in today’s church, most certainly, Jesus wept.

—Dana

3/22/2024

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:07 am



[guest post by Dana]

Let’s go!

First news item

Top priority of *Republicans Trump is to pay his legal bills:

AP) — Donald Trump’s new joint fundraising agreement with the Republican National Committee directs donations to his campaign and a political action committee that pays the former president’s legal bills before the RNC gets a cut, according to a fundraising invitation obtained by The Associated Press.

The unorthodox diversion of funds to the Save America PAC makes it more likely that Republican donors could see their money go to Trump’s lawyers, who have received at least $76 million over the last two years to defend him against four felony indictments and multiple civil cases. Some Republicans are already troubled that Trump’s takeover of the RNC could shortchange the cash-strapped party.

Next month will see the big league donors at Mar a Lago:

Trump has invited high-dollar donors to Palm Beach, Florida, for an April 6 fundraiser that comes as his fundraising is well behind President Joe Biden and national Democrats. The invitation’s fine print says donations to the Trump 47 Committee will first be used to give the maximum amount allowed under federal law to Trump’s campaign. Anything left over from the donation next goes toward a maximum contribution to Save America, and then anything left from there goes to the RNC and then to state political parties.

*time will tell if paying Trump’s legal bills is a priority for donors.

President Biden took a jab at the cash strapped former president:

Speaking at a campaign fundraiser in Dallas, Texas, Biden joked that a man had come up to him to discuss his heavy debts.

He said: “Just the other day this defeated looking man came up to me and said: ‘Mr. President I need your help. I’m in crushing debt. I’m completely wiped out.'”

Biden said he then responded: “Donald, I’m sorry. I can’t help you.”

Heh.

Second news item

The kids are not alright:

A shocking number of American kids are sad, suicidal and stuck on small screens sucking away their zest for life…

The pandemic is often cited as a driver of the teen mental health crisis, but it was brewing long before then. A growing body of research links the acceleration of the crisis to one of this century’s biggest events: the arrival of the smartphone.

“Smartphones and social media fundamentally changed the way teens spend their time outside of school,” says Jean Twenge, a psychologist and author of the book “Generations.”

“You take a generation of young people, they’re spending a lot more times in their rooms, alone, not sleeping, not hanging out with their friends in person. That’s a pretty bad formula for mental health.”

Related: What we gained (and lost) when our daughter unplugged for a school year.

Third news item

Secty of State Antony Blinken on Israel:

“Our position, which is very clear, is that a major military operation in Rafah would be a mistake, something we don’t support,” Blinken reiterated at a press conference Thursday. “There is no place for the many civilians who are massed … in Rafah … to go to get out of harm’s way. And for those that would inevitably remain, it would be a humanitarian disaster.”

All of these diplomatic efforts are set against the backdrop of a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where “100% of the population … is experiencing severe levels of acute food insecurity,” Blinken said.

The top US diplomat is again expected to press Israel on the urgent need for more humanitarian assistance to reach people in the war-torn strip.

“Israel needs to do more,” he said Thursday.

“We’ve seen some improvement over the last couple of weeks in getting humanitarian assistance to Palestinians, but it’s not enough,” Blinken noted.

In an interview Wednesday, Blinken called on Israel “to open up more access points to Gaza” as administration officials and international aid workers repeatedly stress the need for a “flood” of aid.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responds after meeting with Blinken:

“I told him that I greatly appreciate the fact that for more than five months we have been standing together in the war against Hamas.

I also told him that we recognize the need to evacuate the civilian population from the combat zones and – of course – also see to the humanitarian needs, and we are working to this end.

I also said that we have no way to defeat Hamas without entering Rafah and eliminating the remnant of the battalions there.

I told him that I hope we would do this with US support but if necessary – we will do it alone.”

Fourth news item

Because he “surrendered in negotiations” to Chuck Schumer:

Marjorie Taylor Greene has officially filed a motion to vacate House Speaker Mike Johnson over her concerns about an omnibus spending bill that is expected to fund the federal government for the remainder of the year. Greene’s decision to file the motion will now force the full House of Representatives to vote whether to remove Mike Johnson from the Speakership within two business days.

Fifth news item

Added to list of terrorists:

Russia has added what it calls the “LGBT movement” to a list of extremist and terrorist organizations, state media said on Friday.

The move was in line with a ruling by Russia’s Supreme Court last November that LGBTQ activists should be designated as extremists, a move that representatives of gay and transgender people said they feared would lead to arrests and prosecutions. . .

The list is maintained by an agency called Rosfinmonitoring that has powers to freeze the bank accounts of the more than 14,000 people and entities designated as extremists and terrorists. They range from Al Qaeda to U.S. tech giant Meta and associates of late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Sixth news item

Merger benefits?:

Former President Donald Trump could soon receive a windfall valued as much as $3.5 billion, with shareholders of a publicly traded funding partner on Friday approving a merger with his Trump Media & Technology Group.

The approval occurred Friday morning, according to a livestream of the shareholder vote. Shares of Digital World Acquisition Corp., a so-called “blank check” company that will now merge with Trump’s media group, jumped 5.5% in morning trading.

Have a great weekend.

—Dana

3/20/2024

First and Foremost, Produce a Quality Product That the Public Wants

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:48 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Government-run media is not the answer to saving journalism:

What we need now are three major shifts. First, we need to pursue a program of fresh near-term media policy reform. Second, we need a new paradigm for media — an ambitious longer-term transformation in funding and ownership. And third, we need an immediate harm-reduction response for reporters and smaller media entities at grave risk.

The writer then proceeds to detail the first point:

On the first count, we should look to civic media models like the one proposed by communications scholar Robert McChesney. Drawing from participatory budgeting and inspired by economist Dean Baker, McChesney’s idea for reform is a local government process where citizens vote on how their county or city’s government media budget should be directed. McChesney proposes a news media voucher program — the Citizenship News Voucher — which, as he wrote in 2010, would make it so that “every American adult gets a $200 voucher she can use to donate government money to any nonprofit news medium of her choice. She will indicate her choice on her tax return. . . . A government agency, possibly operating out of the Internal Revenue Service, can be set up to allocate the funds and to determine eligibility.”

—Dana

9 House Republicans Vote Against Condemning Russia For Illegal Kidnapping of Ukrainian Children

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:18 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Imagine, Republicans who publicly express deep concern for the child trafficking and exploitation voted no on a resolution condemning Russia for their illegal kidnapping of Ukrainian children and taking them back to Russia during the ongoing war:

On Tuesday, the House overwhelmingly passed a resolution to condemn Russia’s abduction of Ukrainian children in the two years since the war began.

Nine Republicans voted against the resolution.

Sponsored by Democratic Rep. Susan Wild of Pennsylvania, the resolution holds the Russian government “responsible for the wrongful and illegal kidnapping of children from Ukraine” and states that doing so “amounts to genocide.”

It would have cost these Republicans nothing to vote yes on the symbolic resolution, other than worrying about what you-know-who might think about it. It’s nothing less than pathetic when 9 House Republicans can’t even muster up the courage to agree that what Russia has done to Ukrainian children (and by extension, their families) is inhumane, depraved, and part of an ongoing genocide. Why should anyone believe their cries against child trafficking here in the U.S. when they can’t even bring themselves to condemn an alleged a murderous war criminal who steals their neighbors’ children by the thousands. This resolution didn’t have any budget strings attached to it. There was no aid money earmarked for Ukraine. It was a simple symbolic resolution that provided our elected representatives the opportunity to go on the record and collectively acknowledge that they (like we) recognize evil. I’m even going to go so far as saying that by not voting for the resolution, these 9 Republicans have given their tacit approval to what Putin is doing.

Here is the summary of the resolution:

This resolution states that the House of Representatives holds the Russian government responsible for the illegal kidnapping of children from Ukraine and condemns these actions. The resolution also (1) declares that illegal adoptions are contrary to the Genocide Convention (the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide); (2) claims that Russia is attempting to wipe out a generation of Ukrainian children; and (3) asserts that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has increased the risks of children being exposed to human trafficking, exploitation, child labor, gender-based violence, hunger, injury, trauma, deprivation of education and shelter, and death.

Here are the nine Republicans who voted against the resolution:

Andy Biggs of Arizona
Eric Burlison of Missouri
Warren Davidson of Ohio
Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia
Clay Higgins of Louisiana
Thomas Massie of Kentucky
Matt Rosendale of Montana
Chip Roy of Texas
Tom Tiffany of Wisconsin

Gee, what’s the common denominator there??

–Dana

3/19/2024

Whiny Demand: Super Wealthy Republicans Should Lend Trump Money

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:40 am



[guest post by Dana]

The expectation that anyone should bail Trump out of the mess that he made seems to contradict the historical view of Republicans that it is an admirable thing to ‘pull one up by their own bootstraps’ rather than be dependent on others. It doesn’t even occur to Levin that uber-wealthy Republicans are sharp enough to understand that Trump is a dishonest man who will never change his corrupt ways and that they prefer to back winners instead of losers. Levin also assumes that wealthy Republicans have an obligation to loan Trump money. But consider, they didn’t become billionaires and multi-billionaires by flushing good money after bad. After all, loaning someone money suggests that it will be paid back. Donald Trump has never been known to be an honest broker who pays off his debts.

These “party first” people are so clueless. Do they not understand how many Republicans have left the party because of Trump’s corruption? Do they not realize that more and more Republicans and former Republican voters have decided that a vote for Biden to keep Trump out of the Oval Office is the only sensible option after years of watching the bellicose grifter trample the Constitution and rule of law?

Moreover, I just looked up the combined wealth of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump – they are billionaires. Don Jr. is worth approximately $200 million. Eric Trump and wife Laura are worth a combined $350 million. So what’s stopping his very wealthy children from helping him out?

P.S. It appears that Mark Levin himself is a multi-millionaire, so perhaps he can lead by example and pony up first…

—Dana

3/17/2024

Happy Birthday to My Dad

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:42 am



As I have done every March 17 since I started this blog, I am wishing my Dad a Happy Birthday.

It is a tradition to note my previous similar posts on this special day. And so, I am doing it again on this special day.

He would have been 99 today.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I have some Guinness, as well as most of a bottle of Irish whiskey recently supplied to me by JVW, so I am well fortified for the evening.

3/15/2024

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:19 am



[guest post by Dana]

Let’s go!

First news item

How many times and in how many ways must this be said:

Putin’s strategy is to scare the entire Western world. Putin wants us to be afraid of him.

He wants us to talk about “nuclear threats”. The West, the entire free world, must not allow itself to be frightened.

If Ukraine loses more territory, then the entire West pays the consequences.

We need the weapons to be able to defend ourselves. Support from the USA is crucial for this!

Related:

…[President Emmanuel] Macron was asked about the prospect of sending Western troops to Ukraine, which he publicly raised last month in comments that prompted pushback from other European leaders who stressed they had no plans to do so.

“We’re not in that situation today,” he said, but added that “all these options are possible.”

Macron said that troops would only be sent in if Moscow provoked it. He declined to expand further, other than to say that” France would not lead an offensive into Ukraine against Russia.”

He also warned that France cannot afford to be weak where Russia is concerned:

“If war was to spread to Europe, it would be Russia’s sole choice and sole responsibility. But for us to decide today to be weak, to decide today that we would not respond, is being defeated already. And I don’t want that,”

Second news item

President Biden being squeezed by all sides over Israel:

More than three dozen Arab, Muslim and Palestinian-American leaders blasted a White House effort to meet with community organizations in Chicago over the administration’s position on the Israel-Hamas conflict.

In a joint letter addressed to the White House, the groups criticized the outreach as a bid to “whitewash months of White House inaction,” arguing there was no point in agreeing to more meetings until President Joe Biden changes his approach to the conflict…The rebuke serves as the latest sign of the challenge that Biden faces in winning back voters alienated by his steadfast support for the Israeli offensive. A campaign urging Democrats to express their discontent with Biden’s position has spread to several states, after roughly 13 percent of Michigan voters chose to vote “uncommitted” instead of for Biden in their primary last month.

Third news item

Delay away:

The Manhattan district attorney’s office is willing to delay Donald Trump’s criminal hush money trial for up to 30 days, according to a court filing.

The trial is currently scheduled to start on March 25.

The potential delay throws the date for what’s supposed to be the former president’s first criminal trial into question, a surprise twist that represents a major boost for Trump – whose defense teams have employed a strategy of consistently trying to delay all of his trials past the election.

The US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York sent about 31,000 pages of discovery material Wednesday and will have more to share, the new filing states.

Fourth news item

“Unrealistic demands” by terrorists for a ceasefire:

Hamas has presented a Gaza ceasefire proposal to mediators and the U.S. that includes the release of Israeli hostages in exchange for freedom for Palestinian prisoners, 100 of whom are serving life sentences, according to a proposal seen by Reuters.

Hamas said the initial release of Israelis would include women, children, elderly and ill hostages in return for the release of 700-1,000 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons, according to the proposal. The release of Israeli “female recruits” is included…

Related: Today Netanyahu’s office announced that a ground invasion of Rafah had been approved. Plans include evacuating civilians beforehand.

Fifth news item

Racial realignment in politics hurting Biden:

“As you can see, Biden’s margin against Donald Trump has basically not moved an inch among white voters; he’s losing them by 12 percentage points, as he did in 2020. However, Biden is now only winning Hispanics by 7 percentage points — down from 24 points in 2020 — and Black voters by ‘only’ 55 points, as compared with 83 points in 2020.”

“I’m not going to cover every possible difficulty when surveying non-white voters, who generally have lower response rates to polls than white voters do. I’m just saying this has been a consistent pattern; Split Ticket has been doing the same analysis for months now, and they’re finding the same thing every time. So at the very least, Democrats can’t wish this problem away by complaining about small sample sizes, although that doesn’t mean they won’t try.”

Sixth news item

And therein lies the problem with the modern Republican Party:

Rep. Nancy Mace’s reelection campaign is calling on one of her primary challengers, Catherine Templeton, to drop out of the South Carolina First Congressional District race.

This comes as former President Donald Trump threw his support behind the congresswoman over the weekend, calling her a “strong, conservative voice” for South Carolina.

On Wednesday, Mace’s campaign manager John Mason Long said Trump’s endorsement signals that the campaign is “stronger than ever” and urged Republicans to unite behind her…

“It’s time for Templeton to step aside and support the only candidate supported by our party’s leader and the only candidate who can win in November. To do otherwise would be to oppose the direction our party leader, Donald Trump, has set for us,” he continued.

Seventh news item

One or the other must go:

A Georgia judge ruled Friday that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis should not be disqualified from prosecuting the racketeering case against former President Donald Trump and several co-defendants — with one major condition.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee found the “appearance of impropriety” brought about by Willis’ romantic relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade should result in either Willis and her office leaving the case — or just Wade, whom she’d appointed to head the case.

The choice is likely to be an easy one: If Willis were to remove herself, the case would come to a halt, but having Wade leave will ensure the case continues without further delay.

The judge said the prosecution “cannot proceed” until Willis makes a decision.

Eighth news item

Unsurprising and disappointing:

President Joe Biden on Friday praised the speech delivered by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., a day earlier in which he said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has “lost his way” and called for new elections in Israel.

“He made a good speech and I think he expressed a serious concern shared not only by him but by many Americans,” Biden told reporters in the Oval Office when asked what he thought about Schumer’s remarks.

Some Democrats are pushing back on Schumer’s comments:

“Although I have disagreements with Israel’s government, I respect the Israelis’ right to decide for themselves when to call elections and whom to choose as their leaders,” Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., said in a statement. “I pray that when the time comes, Israelis of all faiths and backgrounds will come together to elect leaders who will strengthen democracy and build on the unbreakable bonds between our two nations, just as I pray we Americans will do in November.”

Former Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., now president of the American Jewish Committee, wrote in a statement that while the organization appreciates Schumer’s defense of Israel, “We do not believe it is appropriate for U.S. officials to try to dictate the electoral future of any ally.”

Note:

Biden has faced ongoing calls from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party to exert more pressure on the Israeli government to make greater efforts to curb Palestinian civilian deaths in Gaza and to increase the delivery of humanitarian aid into the strip.

I agree that there absolutely needs to be less civilian deaths and more humanitarian aid to those suffering. But there also needs to be the acknowledgement and full understanding that until Hamas is eradicated and the hostages are freed, there will be a war.

MISCELLANEOUS

A couple of good cartoons:

Have a great weekend.

–Dana

3/14/2024

Just a Little Foreign Interference…

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:42 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Today:

…in a formal address on the Senate floor, [Senate Majority Leader Chuck] Schumer delivered a scathing speech, calling for a new election in Israel. Schumer was highly critical of Netanyahu, saying he is an “obstacle to peace” and that he has “lost his way” as Israel bombards Gaza amid a growing humanitarian crisis there.

Schumer made a point of saying not only is he the majority leader in the Senate but also the highest ranking elected Jewish official in the U.S.

“I have known Prime Minister Netanyahu for a long time. While we have vehemently disagreed on many occasions, I will always respect his extraordinary bravery for Israel on the battlefield as a younger man. I believe in his heart his highest priority is the security of Israel,” he said. “However, I also believe Prime Minister Netanyahu has lost his way by allowing his political survival to take precedence over the best interests of Israel,” he said.

“As a lifelong supporter of Israel, it has become clear to me: The Netanyahu coalition no longer fits the needs of Israel after October 7. The world has changed — radically — since then, and the Israeli people are being stifled right now by a governing vision that is stuck in the past,” he said.

“At this critical juncture, I believe a new election is the only way to allow for a healthy and open decision-making process about the future of Israel, at a time when so many Israelis have lost their confidence in the vision and direction of their government,” he said.

“I also believe a majority of the Israeli public will recognize the need for change, and I believe that holding a new election once the war starts to wind down would give Israelis an opportunity to express their vision for the post-war future,” he added.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell rebuked Schumer for his comments:

“It is grotesque and hypocritical for Americans who hyperventilate about foreign interference in our own democracy to call for the removal of a democratically elected leader of Israel…This is unprecedented. We should not treat fellow democracies this way at all.”

“Things that upset left-wing activists are not the prime ministers policies they are Israel’s policies. Make no mistake, the Democratic party doesn’t have an anti-Bibi problem, it has an anti Israel problem,” McConnell said.

“Only Israel’s citizens should have a say in who runs their government,” McConnell continued. “This is the very definition of democracy and sovereignty. Either we respect their decisions or we disrespect their democracy.”

Schumer is trying to appease the left-wing base in his party. Complaints have been intensifying that President Biden has not done enough to help the Palestinians (during an obvious humanitarian crisis) as well as pressuring him against providing arms to Israel. After all, there is an election coming up and President Biden will need all the votes he can get. Anyway, if the Israelis want a new PM, let them go about the business of electing one. However, Netanyahu officially started his sixth term at the end of December 2022.

Asking the question:

Putting aside that Dems would go nuts if Israeli leaders were openly campaigning for Trump, the thing with the Dems current tantrum meant to appease extremists in their base is they can’t explain what happens if they catch the car?

Israel is currently governed by a coalition government that includes all the big parties. All big decisions are voted on by the war cabinet. Replacing BN as the face will change exactly 0 Israeli policies. So then what happens?

Because the problem those left-wing elements of the base have is with Israel’s existence, not who is the current PM so BN’s removal won’t appease them.

It’s as if the hostages no longer exist or matter and that their freedom is not a priority. It’s as if Hamas is viewed as little more than a pesky group of disgruntled residents, not a vile terrorist group holding a people captive while threatening anyone who opposes their ironclad occupation.

And of course, there’s this. Why is Israel always the most vexing problem?

–Dana

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