Patterico's Pontifications


Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:08 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Let’s go!

First news item

White House on cleanup duty:

President Joe Biden on Wednesday called close US ally Japan “xenophobic” at a Washington, D.C., fundraiser, just weeks after lauding the US-Japan alliance at a state dinner.

The president made the remark at the off-camera event while arguing that Japan, along with India, Russia and China, would perform better economically if the countries embraced immigration more.

“You know, one of the reasons why our economy is growing is because of you and many others. Why? Because we welcome immigrants. We look to – the reason – look, think about it – why is China stalling so badly economically? Why is Japan having trouble? Why is Russia? Why is India? Because they’re xenophobic. They don’t want immigrants,” Biden said, according to an official White House transcript released Thursday.

The cleanup from press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre :

“He was saying that when it comes to who we are as a nation, we are a nation of immigrants, that is in our DNA,” she told reporters aboard Air Force One, adding later Biden was making a “broad comment” in his comments about Japan and India.

Japan’s response to Biden’s criticism:

“It is unfortunate that some of the comments were not based on an accurate understanding of Japan’s policies,” the embassy said in a statement to POLITICO. “We have raised this point to the U.S. government and explained Japan’s positions and policies once again.”

Second news item

Repeal and reasonableness in Arizona:

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs on Thursday signed a repeal of the state’s near-total abortion ban that has been on the books since the Civil War, capping a political scramble sparked by a controversial state Supreme Court ruling last month.

. . .

When the repeal does finally go into full effect, the landscape on enforcement will still remain fluid.

A fully implemented repeal of the 1864 ban will result in state policy’s reverting immediately to 15-week ban on abortions passed in 2022 that makes exceptions for medical emergencies but not for rape or incest.

Third news item

President Biden on college protests:

“Let me be clear … violent protest is not protected. Peaceful protest is. It’s against the law when violence occurs, destroying property is not a peaceful protest. It’s against the law,” Biden said.

“Vandalism, trespassing, breaking windows, shutting down campuses, forcing the cancellation of classes and graduation, none of this is a peaceful protest,” he said.

Fourth news item

Trump playbook for 2024, same as it ever was:

Poll after poll has found that a large proportion of the Republican electorate believes the only reasons Joe Biden is president are voter fraud and Democratic dirty tricks, buying into former President Donald Trump’s baseless claims about the 2020 election.

Trump continues to stoke those fires on the campaign trail.

He frequently airs false claims about his 2020 election performance and has leaned into defending his supporters who rioted at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. In an interview with Time this week, he said he would have trouble hiring anyone who believes Biden legitimately won in 2020: “I wouldn’t feel good about it.”

And on Wednesday, Trump said he may not accept the presidential election results this time, either.

“If everything’s honest, I’d gladly accept the results,” Trump told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “If it’s not, you have to fight for the right of the country.”

We would never expect anything different from you, Donald!

Fifth news item

Why Republican women feel the need to be toughies, according to Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University:

“The reality is that women who run for high-level positions, particularly executive positions and the Senate, do still have to prove they are tough enough and strong enough to make the hard decisions,” she told me. “But there is a difference between being tough and being cruel.” In Noem’s case, she suggested, “This is clearly a line that has been crossed. And the fact that she is doubling down on it is a problem.”

Did Noem tell this story because she is trying to impress the former president as he chooses a running mate? If so, the cultural consensus is that she blew it.

“Given the various people he has to choose from who are willing to serve as his vice president, he doesn’t need to go to somebody who creates as much as chaos as he does,” said Walsh.

Voters don’t pick a president based on the running mate, she added. “But they do want to know that the person who would be a heartbeat away is somebody with good judgment. That Kristi Noem thought this was going to be an asset shows a lack of judgment.”

Sixth news item

France weighs in on number of Russian troops killed in battle:

France has estimated that 150,000 Russian soldiers have been killed in Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, according to Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne in an interview published on Friday.

In a conversation with the Russian independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta Europe, Sejourne stated that Paris assessed the total Russian casualties, including the wounded, at 500,000 since the beginning of the war, now in its third year.

“Europe and its partners will remain united and determined, for as long as necessary. Russia’s military setback is already apparent. We estimate Russian military losses at 500,000, including 150,000 deaths,” he said.

“All of this for what?” he asked. “This can be summed up in two words: for nothing,” he added.

Russia has not disclosed information on its casualties.

Seventh news item

Too bad, Vlad:

he European Parliament has adopted a resolution calling on EU member states and the international community not to recognize the results of Russian elections as legitimate, Ukrainian MP Oleksiy Honcharenko said on Telegram…

The resolution called for sanctions against those involved in conducting “elections” in occupied Ukrainian territories, and for EU countries to limit relations with the Russian government.

The joint motion for a resolution…said that the elections were held in illegally occupied territories of Ukraine were neither free nor fair and did not meet basic international electoral standards, and thus lacked democratic legitimacy.

Eighth news item

Hope Hicks on the witness stand in New York at Trump’s hush money trial:

Hicks resumed testifying after a lunch break, with a prosecutor focusing his questions on the Trump campaign’s response to a Wall Street Journal story published days before Election Day in 2016 that exposed the National Enquirer’s $150,000 catch-and-kill deal with McDougal.

Hicks testified that Trump requested that she convey to the Journal reporter who’d contacted her for comment that he denies McDougal’s claims of an affair and porn actor Daniels’ claims of a sexual encounter with him, which were also mentioned in the article.

“The denial was from Mr. Trump for both women,” Hicks testified.

As is standard practice, the Journal contacted Hicks prior to the publication of the article and included Hicks’ statement in the story.

She read a portion of her denial, as printed in the Journal, on the witness stand: “Hope Hicks, a Trump campaign spokeswoman, said of the agreement with Ms. McDougal: ‘We have no knowledge of any of this.’”

Ninth news item

Is a ceasefire really even possible? Why would Hamas ever be trusted to uphold a ceasefire?:

Israel and Hamas appear to be seriously negotiating an end to the war in Gaza and the return of Israeli hostages. A leaked truce proposal hints at compromises by both sides after months of stalemated talks…

Israeli leaders are weighing whether to accept a deal that would delay or prevent their planned ground invasion of the southern Gaza city of Rafah — a scenario that falls short of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pledges of “ total victory ” and the destruction of Hamas.

Hamas’ militant leaders must decide if giving up the hostages, the group’s biggest bargaining chip, is worth securing a long-term truce but not necessarily a permanent end to the war.


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