Patterico's Pontifications

4/26/2024

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:13 am



[guest post by Dana]

Let’s go!

First news item

Palestinian woman addresses protesters: Hey kids, you’re hurting our cause:

Protests are spreading across the United States at college campuses, where university students are gathering in the name of Palestinian rights and occupying campus spaces with tents. Sadly, not everyone who purports to support Palestinians is truly interested in safeguarding our rights.

It pains me to say this as a Palestinian from Gaza. As my home is destroyed and too many killed, I never thought I would find myself criticizing those speaking up. And yet, I cannot be silent about what I am seeing. The truth is that the manner in which many gather to voice their support for Palestinians does more to hurt our cause than help it.

You know what would help the Palestinians in Gaza? Condemning Hamas’ atrocities. Instead, the protesters routinely chant their desire to “Globalize the Intifada.” Apparently they do not realize that the Intifadas were disastrous for both Palestinians and Israelis, just as October 7 has been devastating for the people of Gaza.

They should be speaking up for the innocent victims of Hamas—both Palestinian and Israeli. Instead, they endorse Hamas’s ideology with posters announcing resistance “by any means necessary” and chants of “from the river to the sea,” effectively glorifying the Al-Qassam brigades, Hamas’ military wing, whose ideology is entirely based on the elimination of more than 6 million Israelis from the land.

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve said that it is Hamas that, first and foremost, must be condemned, and the pressure should be continually increasing with each and every passing day.

Weak sauce, but better late than ever:

The United States and 17 other countries demanded Hamas release all the hostages it holds in Gaza as Biden administration officials tried to ratchet up global pressure on the militant group, which the White House blames for blocking a cease-fire deal that would see the release of hostages.

“We call for the immediate release of all hostages held by Hamas in Gaza for over 200 days. They include our own citizens,” the joint statement said. “The fate of the hostages and the civilian population in Gaza, who are protected under international law, is of international concern.”

The letter was signed by the leaders of the U.S., Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Thailand and the United Kingdom.

“We emphasize that the deal on the table to release the hostages would bring an immediate and prolonged ceasefire in Gaza, that would facilitate a surge of additional necessary humanitarian assistance to be delivered throughout Gaza, and lead to the credible end of hostilities,” the statement said. “Gazans would be able to return to their homes and their lands with preparations beforehand to ensure shelter and humanitarian provisions.”

Second news item

Remember when President Biden announced that a humanitarian pier would be built floating off the coast of Gaza so that aid could more easily reach those in desperate need? Unfortunately, not everyone is on board with the project:

Gaza-based militants launched mortar rounds on Wednesday at Israeli forces making preparations for the U.S.-led effort to establish a new maritime aid route for Gaza, according to three U.S. officials.

No American equipment was damaged as the U.S.-led project — which will establish a pier a few miles offshore as well as a causeway anchored to the beach to expand access to humanitarian aid — is not yet complete, said one of the officials. All were granted anonymity to discuss sensitive plans.

But the attack came as U.S. military personnel were scheduled to soon begin construction of the pier, which the U.S. hopes will drastically expand the amount of aid that can reach the enclave.

Third news item

The vile Harvey Weinstein had his rape conviction overturned by a New York appeals court in a 4-3 ruling:

In the appeal, Weinstein’s legal team argued that he was judged on “irrelevant, prejudicial and untested allegations of prior bad acts,” per the court order.

“The remedy for these egregious errors is a new trial,” the court said.

Per the report, Weinstein’s 16-year sentence for a rape conviction in California will not be affected by this.

Fourth news item

Morehouse students unhappy with selection of President Biden as commencement speaker:

Morehouse College, a nearly 160-year-old historically Black college in Atlanta, announced on Tuesday that Joe Biden will be the keynote speaker for its commencement ceremony in May.

Anwar Karim, a sophomore and political science major, said that when he found out that the president would speak at graduation, he was “utterly disappointed, but not surprised”. He said that he had been active with other students in speaking out about injustices around the campus, including the Israel-Gaza war and local issues in Atlanta such as the development of the Cop City law enforcement training center.

“It’s absolutely unacceptable for [a historically Black college and university] that prides itself on social justice,” Karim said. “We always want to talk about [Morehouse alum] Dr Martin Luther King Jr, and we always want to talk about the history of activism and leadership that this school has. And yet this decision does not reflect that history of social justice.”

Some students condemned Biden and his administration not only for the president’s actions supporting the war in Gaza, but also for what they say looks like an attempt to turn the students’ graduation ceremony into a campaign stop. “It’s just not a smart move to make, to just allow your students and your school to be used as a political pawn to get Black votes,” said Malik, a Morehouse senior who asked that his last name be withheld.

Lonnie White, a Morehouse junior, said that students have created a petition for the school to rescind the invite. Alumni have also circulated their own petition…

“To have Biden come here, to this campus, to this area, especially during an election year – it’s definitely pandering. We can’t invite anybody else that would actually have an insightful message to the Black students graduating? We have to have Mr 1994 Crime Bill?”

Ouch!

But it’s true that the Biden camp is working overtime to gain the Black vote, which they most definitely need in the key states. And it’s an uphill climb:

It’s not just Wisconsin, though. CNN’s conversations with two dozen top Biden campaign aides, elected officials across the country and voters on the ground in several key states detail a frantic fight that is much bigger than what’s going on in north Milwaukee. Because the president’s hopes in almost every battleground state depend on cities like Detroit, Philadelphia, Charlotte and Atlanta, his chances of winning may come down to whether he can reverse the trend among Black voters — particularly Black men.

And while leading Black Democrats mock and decry Trump’s claims that he is appealing to Black voters by promoting his branded sneakers and saying they can now relate to him because he has a mug shot, they more quietly acknowledge that he seems well-positioned to capitalize on that disaffection all the way through November.

Already, there have been polls showing the presumptive GOP nominee increasing his share of the Black vote.

Fifth news item

Another issue of concern for President Biden:

Half of Americans — including 42% of Democrats — say they’d support mass deportations of undocumented immigrants, according to a new Axios Vibes survey by The Harris Poll.

And 30% of Democrats — as well as 46% of Republicans — now say they’d end birthright citizenship, something guaranteed under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.

Additionally:

President Biden is keenly aware the crisis threatens his re-election. He’s sought to flip the script by accusing Trump of sabotaging Congress’ most conservative bipartisan immigration bill in decades.

But when it comes to blame, Biden so far has failed to shift the narrative: 32% of respondents say his administration is “most responsible” for the crisis, outranking any other political or structural factor.

Sixth news item

Arizona indicts 18 for election interference:

An Arizona grand jury has indicted former President Donald Trump ‘s chief of staff Mark Meadows, lawyer Rudy Giuliani and 16 others for their roles in an attempt to overturn Trump’s loss to Joe Biden in the 2020 election.

The indictment released Wednesday names 11 Republicans who submitted a document to Congress falsely declaring that Trump won Arizona in 2020. They include the former state party chair, a 2022 U.S. Senate candidate and two sitting state lawmakers, who are charged with nine counts each of conspiracy, fraud and forgery…The 11 people who had been nominated to be Arizona’s Republican electors met in Phoenix on Dec. 14, 2020, to sign a certificate saying they were “duly elected and qualified” electors and claiming that Trump carried the state. A one-minute video of the signing ceremony was posted on social media by the Arizona Republican Party at the time. The document was later sent to Congress and the National Archives, where it was ignored.

All the names were not revealed as they had not yet been served papers. Donald Trump was not indicted, but was named as a co-conspirator. And John Eastman was also on the list.

Seventh news item

Unintended consequences:

Safety concerns stemming from anti-Israel campus protests at Columbia University have caused fear among prospective students who no longer want to attend the school, a college consultant tells Fox News Digital.

Anti-Israeli demonstrations have escalated at elite U.S. universities in response to Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack and Israel’s retaliatory attacks on Gaza, with many colleges, including Columbia University, seeing protests paired with antisemitic incidents that have left many Jewish students feeling unsafe.

he campus hostility and antisemitic accusations have even led some aspiring students to look elsewhere, according to a New York-based college consultant, who said only one of around a dozen accepted Columbia students he’s working with is still considering attending.

Surely more will follow this lead. Parents sending their kids off to college, want and expect – at the very least – to know that their kids will be safe on campus. It will be interesting to see the full impact on enrollment at the ivies, when all is said and done.

Eighth news item

After the Biden administration made changes to Title IX that “add protections for transgender students to the federal civil rights law on sex-based discrimination,” Gov. DeSantis of Florida said “no thanks”:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said Thursday his state “will not comply” with recently unveiled changes to Title IX by the Biden administration.

“Florida rejects [President Biden’s] attempt to rewrite Title IX,” DeSantis said in a video posted to the social platform X. “We will not comply, and we will fight back.”

“We are not gonna let Joe Biden try to inject men into women’s activities,” DeSantis continued. “We are not gonna let Joe Biden undermine the rights of parents, and we are not gonna let Joe Biden abuse his constitutional authority to try to impose these policies on us here in Florida.”

Ninth news item

Over at The Bulwark, Presidential official acts and private acts:

Judging by their questions, what the conservative [justices] are evidently willing to do is manufacture some form of criminal immunity that will be governed by a private-versus-official conduct standard (with only official conduct protected), and then send the case back to District Judge Tany Chutkan to parse Special Counsel Jack Smith’s January 6th indictment of Trump and excise the parts for which Trump would be protected under the Court’s newly minted criminal immunity test. How the court will draw the line between official and private conduct is anyone’s guess, particularly if presidents abuse official powers for purely personal gain. That would be a win for the insurrectionist-in-chief. . .

Anything but the narrowest immunity doctrine would mean far broader protections for future presidents seeking to dodge accountability for bad deeds. Depending on how the Court writes its opinion—and how far future presidents, White House counsels, attorneys general, and Department of Justice lawyers are willing to stretch their words—large swaths of presidential action that were unimaginable before Trump could become not just real but protected.

Have a good weekend.

–Dana


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