Patterico's Pontifications

6/19/2024

LAUSD Votes To Ban Cellphone Use During School

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:01 pm



[guest post by Dana]

This is really good news. However, given that the horse is already out of the barn, enforcement may prove difficult:

The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education on Tuesday voted to ban cellphone use during the school day.

The new rule will take effect in January 2025, though the Los Angeles Times notes the details still need to be “approved in a future meeting by the Board of Education.”

The prohibition for using cellphones includes during breaks and lunchtime.

Still to be worked out is how the policy will be enforced. Additionally, there will be exceptions: “use the devices for homework or translating English as non-native speakers”.

Several years ago, Patterico and I had the privilege of attending a lecture by psychologist Jonathan Haidt. He is a brilliant observer of youth today, their addiction to cell phones, and the incredible distraction from real life they provide, for better or worse. And it’s mostly worse. About young people and their phones, he made this observation:

Haidt blames the spike in teen-age depression and anxiety on the rise of smartphones and social media, and he offers a set of prescriptions: no smartphones before high school, no social media before age sixteen.

And about the problems resulting from students using their phones during the school day, Haidt wrote this last year:

I was invited to give a talk at Scarsdale Middle School. There, too, I met with the principal and her top administrators, and I heard the same thing: Mental- health problems had recently gotten much worse. Even when students arrived for sixth grade, coming out of elementary school, many of them were already anxious and depressed. And many, already, were addicted to their phones.

To the teachers and administrators I spoke with, this wasn’t merely a coincidence. They saw clear links between rising phone addiction and declining mental health, to say nothing of declining academic performance. A common theme in my conversations with them was: We all hate the phones. Keeping students off of them during class was a constant struggle. Getting students’ attention was harder because they seemed permanently distracted and congenitally distractible. Drama, conflict, bullying, and scandal played out continually during the school day on platforms to which the staff had no access. I asked why they couldn’t just ban phones during school hours. They said too many parents would be upset if they could not reach their children during the school day.

Haidt points out that these days school districts are much more open to the possibility of banning phones in schools. Of course, given the downward turn with the mental health of young people and their addiction to cell phones, this makes sense.

Ultimately, he hits the nail on the head:

All children deserve schools that will help them learn, cultivate deep friendships, and develop into mentally healthy young adults. All children deserve phone-free schools.

Good for LAUSD. I hope other school districts follow suit.

—Dana

A 12-Year Old Girl Is A Child, No Matter What Any Pastor Claims

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:15 am



[guest post by Dana]

I have a lot to say about this and the evangelical church at large, but for now I’ll just address the audacity of this lying jackal:

Robert Morris, founding pastor of Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas, which attracts an estimated 100,000 worshipers weekly, has confessed to “inappropriate sexual behavior with a young lady” more than 35 years ago while he was a young pastor after a woman accused him of sexually abusing her over multiple years beginning when she was 12.

“When I was in my early twenties, I was involved in inappropriate sexual behavior with a young lady in a home where I was staying. It was kissing and petting and not intercourse, but it was wrong. This behavior happened on several occasions over the next few years,” Morris said in a statement to The Christian Post after Gateway Church was asked about the allegations.

From Morris’s accuser:

Morris’ accuser, Cindy Clemishire, first told The Wartburg Watch that he began sexually abusing her on Dec. 25, 1982, and continued with the abuse for four-and-a-half years after that. When contacted by CP (Christian Post). . . the 54-year-old grandmother confirmed the details in the report but insisted she was no “young lady” when Morris began abusing her.

“I’m, of course, just appalled,” Clemishire told CP. . .about his description of her as a “young lady.”

“I was 12 years old. I was a little girl. A very innocent little girl. And he was brought into our home. He and his wife, Debbie, and their little boy, Josh, and trusted and preached at the church that my dad helped start and then began grooming all of us to do this, which took me decades to wrap my brain around as an adult,” she said.

“It went on for many years. He says there was no sexual intercourse, but he did touch every part of my body and inserted his fingers into me, which I understand now is considered a form of rape by instrumentation. I was an innocent 12-year-old little girl who knew nothing about sexual behavior.

Can we be straight about this? A girl 12 years old is a child. Period. Referring to her as a “young lady” though gives the appearance that it was another adult involved in inappropriate but not illegal sexual acts. It hides the fact that a child was sexually preyed upon by an adult and that the “inappropriate sexual behavior” was actually the sexual molestation of a child, which is a criminal act.

It’s reprehensible and yet all too common that a pastor who commits sexual sin, and in this case involving a child, believes he has a right to return to the pulpit, or foolishly believes that God needs him to lead. Just because Morris took time off from the pulpit for restoration does not mean that he belongs back in a place of leadership in the church. Quite clearly, God doesn’t *need* for anything or anyone. If there is true repentance (not for show), that’s good. It’s scriptural. But God doesn’t need Morris back in the pulpit to get His message out. The very presence of Morris back in the pulpit, and others like him, makes a mockery of God and becomes a stumbling block for the church body (if they have even been made aware of the situation).

And don’t get me started on the “elders” who participated in this alleged “come to Jesus” restoration period while simultaneously turning a blind eye to the *crime* that took place. It’s a vile poison that flows through the modern church when the playbook demands a circling of the wagons to support, at all costs, the one in the pulpit who draws in the masses that fill the seats and in turn, fill the coffers as well.

As Clemishire put it:

“I don’t think he ever should have been allowed to be in the ministry. We would never allow someone to go teach in a school … work in a daycare or be a doctor if anybody had done these things. And I have a very difficult time believing I’m the only one,” Clemishire said.

On top of everything horrible about this, Clemishire was later blamed for the abuse by Morris’s wife, who said she “forgave” Clemishire for what happened. And in 2005, when Clemishire secured an attorney to file a civil suit against Morris, his attorney’s response implied that they believed it was her fault because she was “flirtatious.”

Wolves in sheep’s clothing, one must be vigilant.

Note: “Pastor” Morris has resigned:

Just days after allegations surfaced that he molested a 12-year-old girl in the 1980s, Pastor Robert Morris has resigned from his Dallas megachurch, Gateway Church.

In a statement released to media today, Gateway claimed it did not know the age of Morris’ victim and the length of her abuse.

But in a statement just released to The Roys Report (TRR), the victim, Cindy Clemishire, said she confronted Morris about the abuse in an email sent in 2005. Clemishire added that former Gateway Elder Tom Lane responded to Clemishire’s email, “acknowledging that the sexual abuse began on December 25, 1982, when I was 12 years old.”

In its statement, Gateway’s board of elders said: “The elders’ prior understanding was that Morris’s extramarital relationship, which he had discussed many times throughout his ministry, was with ‘a young lady’ and not abuse of a 12-year-old child.”

The elders added that they did not know the victim’s age or the length of the alleged abuse.

Circle the wagons and protect the institution, no matter what. Don’t pay attention to the victim, don’t give the victim support by believing her claims (which others knew about). Ignore her, shame her, just make her go away while protecting the cash cow in the pulpit.

You can read Clemishire’s full response here.

6/14/2024

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:44 am



[guest post by Dana]

Let’s go!

First news item

President Biden is right in this:

“I’m extremely proud of my son Hunter. He has overcome an addiction, he’s one of the brightest, most decent men I know,” Biden said during a news conference on the margins of the G7 summit.

“I am satisfied that I’m not going to do anything — I said I’d abide by the jury decision. I will do that. And I will not pardon him,” he added.

Second news item

Russian court, and ultimately Putin, proves to the world yet again just how vile an entity it is:

Russian prosecutors said they have approved an indictment of Evan Gershkovich, the Wall Street Journal reporter held in Russia for over a year, falsely accusing him of espionage and referring his case to a trial court, where he could face a series of secret, closed-door hearings.

. . .

In a statement Thursday, Russian authorities falsely said that Gershkovich was gathering information about a defense contractor on behalf of the Central Intelligence Agency. In fact, Gershkovich was on a reporting assignment for the Journal.

Third news item

The House votes:

The House voted Wednesday to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress, escalating a fight over audio recordings related to the President Biden’s handling of classified documents.

Garland has defied subpoenas from the Republican-led House Judiciary and Oversight committees demanding that the Justice Department hand over the audiotapes of the president’s interview with special counsel Robert Hur as part of their impeachment inquiry.

Mr. Biden asserted executive privilege over the recordings of Hur’s interviews with the president and the ghostwriter of his book as the committees moved forward with contempt resolutions against Garland in May.

Fourth news item

In Supreme Court news:

In a 6-3 ruling on ideological lines, with the court’s conservatives in the majority, the court held that an almost 100-year-old law aimed at banning machine guns cannot legitimately be interpreted to include bump stocks.

Writing for the majority, Justice Clarence Thomas said that a firearm equipped with the accessory does not meet the definition of “machinegun” under federal law.

. . .

Even with the federal ban out of the picture, bump stocks will still not be readily available nationwide. Eighteen states have already banned them, according to Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit gun-control group. Congress could also act.

Note: “Under former President Trump, the ATF attempted to ban the attachment, called a “bump stock,” after a gunman used it in the 2017 Las Vegas shooting — the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Now, they will be back on the market again.”

Fifth news item

From JVW: Trump is playing to win as he endorses Larry Hogan for Maryland’s open Senate seat:

Asked by Fox News reporter Aishah Hasnie whether he’d support Hogan’s bid, Trump replied: “I’d like to see him win. I think he has a good chance to win. . . . I know other people made some strong statements, but I can just say from my standpoint, I’m about the party and I’m about the country. And I would like to see him win.”

Trump’s surprising sudden approval of Hogan comes after the Senate GOP nominee defended a New York jury’s recent conviction of the former president in the Stormy Daniels hush-money case.

JVW is optimistic: “Of course, he may renege on his endorsement tomorrow or anytime thereafter, but for the moment he seems to understand he has to unite all of the GOP to in in November.”

Sixth news item

Oh:

Seventh news item

Nauseating fealty to Trump is alive and well as Trump visits Washington D.C.:

The former president spent the day just blocks away from the U.S. Capitol to attend a slate of meetings with GOP allies.

First, he huddled with House Republicans at the Capitol Hill Club. The meeting was behind closed doors, but multiple sources told ABC News the former president praised House Speaker Mike Johnson as doing a “good job.”

Trump also criticized the Department of Justice as “dirty bastards” as he aired grievances about his legal challenges.

. . .

Later on Thursday, Trump met with Senate Republicans at the National Republican Senatorial Committee headquarters. After the meeting, he touted party unity in on-camera remarks but took no questions from reporters.

“This is an outstanding group of people. I’m with them 1,000%, they’re with me 1,000%. We agree just about on everything and if there isn’t, we work it out,” Trump said.

a show of force, Trump was joined by a large group of senators, including Sens. Rick Scott, Josh Hawley, Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, Marsha Blackburn, and many others. Sens. Tim Scott and J.D. Vance, two vice presidential hopefuls, were also there to support Trump.

“We want to see just success for our country,” Trump said. “And we don’t have success right now.”

Have a great weekend.

—Dana

6/13/2024

G7 Agrees to Lend Ukraine $50 Billion Frozen Russian Assets to Rebuild

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:14 am



[guest post by Dana]

Too bad it’s just the benefits, but it’s still really great news:

Western leaders have agreed to loan Ukraine up to $50 billion to fight Russia and rebuild after the lengthy war, money that will be repaid over time from the interest accumulating on frozen Russian financial assets, a senior U.S. official told reporters.

. . .

Leaders of the G7 economies have agreed to use the interest generated by the assets — about $3 billion per year — to help Ukraine.

While details are still being worked out, there is a disagreement over the disbursement timetable:

The European proposal had been for about $3 billion a year go to Ukraine, and only interest from a certain part of the frozen Russian assets — $190 billion held by a company called Euroclear in Belgium — to be shared.

The U.S., on the other hand, wanted to give $60 billion to Ukraine up front, because Ukraine’s need on the battlefield is dire. Officials had said the interest generated from the frozen Russian assets would go toward paying back that money.

Scheherazade Rehman, a professor of international finance at George Washington University said that:

Washington has the weaker hand in the debate because only about $5 billion of the $300 billion in Russian assets are held in the United States — and European nations are concerned about how they would be paid back for a big initial lump sum.

Of course, Russia isn’t taking the news well. Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that using the money was “criminal” and that it would “be very painful for the European Union” as a result.

A somewhat related postscript: It’s just not looking too good for Russia:

—Dana

Trump Presses Speaker Johnson In Effort To Overturn Conviction

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:45 am



[guest post by Dana]

How is this not a problem??

…Trump, true to nature, has been obsessed in recent weeks with harnessing the powers of Congress to fight on his own behalf and go to war against the Democrats he accuses of “weaponizing” the justice system against him.

It’s a campaign he orchestrated in the days after his May 31 conviction on 34 felony counts in New York, starting with a phone call to the man he wanted to lead it: Speaker MIKE JOHNSON.

Trump was still angry when he made the call, according to those who have heard accounts of it from Johnson, dropping frequent F-bombs as he spoke with the soft-spoken and pious GOP leader.

“We have to overturn this,” Trump insisted.

Johnson sympathized with Trump’s frustration. He’d been among the first batch of Republican lawmakers to appear alongside Trump at the Manhattan trial. He’d been harping on DA ALVIN BRAGG’s case and the alleged broader abuse of the justice system since before he took the gavel.

The speaker didn’t really need to be convinced, one person familiar with the conversation said: Johnson, a former attorney himself, already believed the House had a role to play in addressing Trump’s predicament. The two have since spoken on the subject multiple times.

But sympathy can only go so far. With a slim majority and skittish swing-district members, Johnson is already finding it difficult to deliver for Trump.

For his part, on the day after the conviction, Speaker Johnson said on Fox and Friends that he believed that it was time for the Supreme Court to become involved:

“I do believe the Supreme Court should step in. Obviously this is totally unprecedented and it’s dangerous to our system . . .This is diminishing the American people’s faith in our system of justice itself and, to maintain a republic, you have to have that, people have to believe that justice is fair, that there’s equal justice under law.

They don’t see that right now and I think that the justices on the court – I know many of them personally – I think they’re deeply concerned about that, as we are. . .I think they’ll set this straight, but it’s going to take a while.

When it concerns Trump, accountability remains an ugly word.

As for Speaker Johnson, you might recall his assertion that the Trump hush money case (and the other charges against him) were “borderline criminal conspiracy,” and additionally, he asserted that it was all “election interference”.

But of course.

—Dana

6/11/2024

Update: Prayers for Nancy French Who Faces Surgery Tomorrow

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:54 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Nancy French, writer and wife of David French, posted an update about her ongoing battle with breast cancer tonight:

My sincere prayers and hope for a successful surgery and that French will soon be cancer-free. What a difficult road she has been on. And yet, if you read her Twitter feed, although there have been dark days, she has managed to endure with a lovely grace and humor.

With that, I recently finished listening to Nancy French’s autobiography, entitled Ghosted: An American Story. French narrates the Audible book, and what a plus that is. We can hear the emotion behind her words: the sorrow, the joy, and everything in between. Ghosted is the story of a young girl whose childhood comes to an abrupt and cruel end when she is sexually assaulted by a trusted member of her church. It ends with a mature woman who is finally at peace and is able to let go of her destructive secrets. French leaves readers rejoicing in God’s transformative love as He upends her life by filling it with a genuine hope. It’s a powerful story that I recommend you read, or better yet, listen to on Audible Books if you want to hear French herself take you on her remarkable journey.

I admire Nancy French, and certainly hope and pray the very best for her.

—Dana

Jury Finds Hunter Biden Guilty

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:32 am



[guest post by Dana]

From NBC:

A jury in Delaware has found Hunter Biden guilty on three felony gun charges.

Hunter Biden was charged in federal court in Wilmington with three felony counts tied to possession of a gun while using narcotics. He had pleaded not guilty.

Two of the counts carry maximum prison sentences of 10 years, while the third has a maximum of five years. Each count also carries a maximum fine of $250,000.

Judge Noreika hasn’t set a sentencing date yet.

I haven’t followed this matter too closely but prominent Republicans have been very vocal about it. Here are some of their responses to the verdict:

And here is President Biden’s statement:

—-Dana

6/7/2024

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:49 am



[guest post by Dana]

Let’s go!

First news item

Be nice if the Republican Party would decide whether the rule of law and justice for all are really things to be embraced:

Senate Republicans are warning New York Judge Juan Merchan not to sentence former President Trump to prison or house arrest or take any other action that could disrupt the likely GOP nominee’s ability to campaign ahead of the November election.

Trump’s sentencing date is July 11.
The Republican National Convention is scheduled to begin on July 15.

The senators are concerned about the latitude Judge Merchan has in the decision making:

…they’re nervous about what may happen, because Merchan wields a lot of discretion over the terms of the sentence and they felt he tilted the trial against Trump’s team.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said it would be a “further abuse of power” to incarcerate Trump or sentence him to home confinement.

“I’m very troubled by what I see in the way the courts have been weaponized,” he said. “It used to be there were some institutions in America, namely the FBI, the Department of Justice and the courts, which were regarded as out of bounds for overt partisan politics, but unfortunately that’s changed, and not for the better.”

Additionally, and this is just rich beyond belief:

Republican senators warn any sentence that would impact Trump’s mobility or ability to communicate with voters could seriously undermine voters’ confidence in the fairness of the 2024 election.

Second news item

Prime Minister Netanyahu will speak before a divided Congress:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to address a joint session of Congress on July 24, congressional leaders announced Thursday.

Why it matters: The speech is likely to be divisive, with many Democrats opposed to hosting the Israeli prime minister and some progressives planning to boycott or even disrupt the speech.

What they’re saying: “The bipartisan, bicameral meeting symbolizes the U.S. and Israel’s enduring relationship,” said the offices of House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) and Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky).

Their statement said the speech will “offer Prime Minister Netanyahu the opportunity to share the Israeli government’s vision for defending their democracy, combatting terror, and establishing just and lasting peace in the region.”

Meanwhile, anger is growing by the usual suspects about the impending visit by the prime minister:

Progressive “Squad” Democrats are furious that their leaders have agreed to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress.

“Absolutely,” Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., told Fox News Digital on Wednesday when asked if she was disappointed that House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., agreed to sign onto the invitation.

“We should not be creating a platform and welcoming an accused war criminal,” Pressley said.

Third news item

President Biden apologizes to President Zelensky:

U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday for the first time publicly apologized to Ukraine for a monthslong congressional holdup in American military assistance that let Russia make gains on the battlefield.

The apology came as Biden met in Paris with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who appealed for bipartisan U.S. support going forward “like it was during World War II.”

“I apologize for those weeks of not knowing what’s going to happen in terms of funding,” Biden said, referring to the six-month holdup by conservative Republicans in Congress to a $61 billion military aid package for Ukraine. Still, the Democratic president insisted that the American people were standing by Ukraine for the long haul. “We’re still in. Completely. Thoroughly,” he said.

Fourth news item

Trump’s latest target of attack:

The former president claimed in a Truth Social post that members of the House panel had committed crimes, asserting they “deleted and destroyed all material evidence.”

“The unAmerican Weaponization of our Law Enforcement has reached levels of Illegality never thought possible before,” Trump posted. “INDICT THE UNSELECT J6 COMMITTEE FOR ILLEGALLY DELETING AND DESTROYING ALL OF THEIR ‘FINDINGS!’”

The panel’s former chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), has previously pushed back against GOP claims that the committee withheld information.

If elected, his time and energies will be focused solely on retribution and going after his perceived enemies.

Fifth news item

Freedom fighters, then and now:

Have a great weekend.

—Dana

6/5/2024

President Biden, His Usual Self

Filed under: General — JVW @ 6:33 am



[guest post by JVW]

The Biden Administration/Reelection Campaign braintrust allowed their man to sit down and have a full interview with Time magazine last week. Clearly they expected Time to come through with a respectful encapsulation, and for the most part Time played ball and smoothed over some of the President’s notorious flights of fancy and inability to complete his thoughts, and seemed willing to accept his typically self-serving and far-fetched stories at face value. They did include a fact-check section of the President’s interview, and dinged him on some clear factual inaccuracies, some obviously incorrect anecdotes, and some assertions that are clearly bathed in political spin befitting a candidate whose 40 months in the Oval office have thus far been entirely lackluster.

But the most interesting part of the interview is that Time — no doubt sensitive to accusations that they would soft-pedal the elderly President’s clear infirmities — chose to publish the transcript of the 35-minute session and, it would appear, at most only very lightly cleaned up the President’s meandering and garbled narrative. We don’t have the audio version to check against the transcription, but from a cursory read it doesn’t sound as if they did Joe Biden any favors here. Allow me to pull out a few items of interest:

TIME: So understanding Putin’s aims, the world, the West, the United States, and you find yourselves facing a difficult situation in Ukraine. The war is stalled every day, an average of 42 Ukrainian civilians are killed or wounded. Is Russia’s proposal for, to end the war in Ukraine, the best that Ukraine can hope for at this point?

BIDEN: No, it’s not. And by the way, I don’t know why you skip over all that’s happened in the meantime. The Russian military has been decimated. You don’t write about that. It’s been freaking decimated. Number one.

Number two, NATO is considerably stronger than it was when I took office. I put it together. Not only did I reestablish the fact that it was the strongest alliance in the history of the world, I was able to expand it. While I was in one of the G7 meetings in Europe. when I got back I called on the President of Finland because when I had met earlier in the year with Putin, he said he wanted to see the Finlandization of NATO. I told him, he’s gonna get not the Finlandization, the Natoization of Finland. And everybody thought, including you guys, thought I was crazy.

And guess what? I did it. I did it. And we’re now the strongest nation. We have the strongest alliance in all of America, all of history. In the meantime, what we keep skipping over is what the consequence of the success of Russia in Ukraine would be. That’s why I brought this along. You probably haven’t read it. Most people haven’t read it. He says this is part of reestablishing the Soviet Union. That’s what this is all about. It wasn’t just about taking part of—He wanted, he wanted to go back to the, to the days when there was NATO and there was that other outfit that Poland, everybody belonged to. So that’s what it was about. And in the meantime, what happened was, we were able to—and by the way, we spent a lot of money in Ukraine, but Europe has spent more money than the United States has, collectively. Europe has spent more money than the United States has, collectively Europe has spent more money in taking on Russia.

Here we see two of Joe Biden’s most off-putting character traits: his petulance when he doesn’t feel that he is being given enough credit for his — ahem — accomplishments, and his annoying narcissism in taking full credit for anything he feels has gone right during his administration. “I was able to expand it.” “I did it.” He’s a chip off the ol’ block of the guy under whom he served as Vice-President in his gross usage of the first-person singular pronoun. (Donald Trump is a narcissist too, but that’s a given.) He also has the destructive habit of virtually all progressives in equating spending money with accomplishing objectives. Unsurprisingly, after making the points he (and his handlers) wanted him to make, he quickly gets bored with the conversation and runs out of gas:

TIME: I want to switch to Israel. But on that last point, is there a danger that NATO is on a slippery slope to war with Ukraine—with Russia, as things stand?

BIDEN: No, we’re on a slippery slope for war if we don’t do something about Ukraine. It’s just not gonna…anyway…

Speaking of Israel, the President tries to be much more supportive of our longstanding ally when he has been prepped by his team for a full interview, but he still can’t help but undermine his own message with a clunky response:

TIME: On what Hamas has done, are the eight US hostages there in Gaza is still alive?

BIDEN: We believe there are those that are still alive. I met with all the families. But we don’t have final proof on exactly who’s alive and who’s not alive. And by the way, I’ve been calling for—we should have a ceasefire, period. And to get those hostages. That’s the main reason why we push. Both the Israelis desperately want a ceasefire in order to get the hostages home. And it’s a way to begin to break the momentum. And so that’s why we’re pushing hard for the—and we’re—Is our intelligence chief in? Where is he now?

KIRBY: He is back, sir. He was just over in Europe, in Brussels, over the weekend.

TIME: And whose fault is it that the that deal, the ceasefire for hostages has not been consummated? Is it Hamas or Israel or both?

BIDEN: Hamas. Hamas could end this tomorrow. Hamas could say (unintelligible) and done period. And, but, and the last offer Israel made was very generous in terms of who they’d be willing to release, what they’d give in return, et cetera. Bibi is under enormous pressure on the hostages, on the hostages, and so he’s prepared to do about anything to get the hostages back.

[. . .]

TIME: [. . .] Some in Israel have suggested that Netanyahu is prolonging the war for his own political self-preservation. Do you believe that?

BIDEN: I’m not going to comment on that. There is every reason for people to draw that conclusion. [. . .]

As National Review reported yesterday, President Biden walked back the assertion that there is “every reason” to believe that Prime Minister Netanyahu is prolonging the war for political reasons. So much for the deft touch of an old pro in foreign relations.

There is lots more in the interview, but one striking feature is that it is clear to me that the longer the interview goes on, the more rambling and disjointed the President’s responses become. By the end he is mostly at his Biden-est, mixing up names and numbers, relating semi-incoherent anecdotes that very likely never happened, and being his usual grouchy and demagogic self. I’m sure his partisans will judge him to have been “feisty” and “combative” and will hail the return of “Dark Brandon,” but I am left deeply lamenting that our two major parties ended up choosing two of the dumbest schmucks imaginable to lead the greatest country in the history of the planet at a moment when our future is so uncertain. May God have mercy on the United States.

– JVW

6/3/2024

What Made Me Chuckle over the Weekend

Filed under: General — JVW @ 2:58 pm



[guest post by JVW]

If nothing else, Hunter Biden has helped reinvigorate the career of rapper, Presidential candidate, and civil liberties martyr Joseph Edgar Forman, who performs as Afroman. In the run-up to the Wayward Son’s federal trial which began today, Afroman recycled his 2001 hit “Because I Got High” [warning: NSFW] into this marvelous parody:

He makes reference to his own issue with the aforementioned (Afromantioned?) police raid in the final verse. Very clever.

– JVW


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