Patterico's Pontifications


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!


…[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.”


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.


A couple of good cartoons:

Have a great weekend.


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