Patterico's Pontifications

7/17/2024

What We Know, Or Think We Know About Circumstances Leading Up To Trump Assassination Attempt

Filed under: General — Dana @ 4:44 pm



[guest post by Dana]

While the investigations into the the security failures that lead to Donald Trump being the target of an assassination attempt are ongoing, and because it’s difficult to sort through everything, I’ve put up an open thread where you can post updates. Also, feel free to share your theories but avoid the silly type of false accusation that Trump’s newly announced running mate, J.D. Vance, made (just two hours after the incident took place and before any formal investigation had begun.) [Ed. You might ask, what kind of clueless public figure makes an accusation *before* a thorough investigation has taken place? I’ll tell you who: the two doofuses who are the Republican and Democratic contenders for the vice-presidency: J.D. Vance and Kamala Harris, that’s who!]

“Today is not just some isolated incident. The central premise of the Biden campaign is that President Donald Trump is an authoritarian fascist who must be stopped at all costs. That rhetoric led directly to President Trump’s attempted assassination.”

Pffft!

In case Vance hadn’t noticed, Donald Trump indeed has strong authoritarian tendencies, and for the sake of our Republic, he must be prevented from holding office again. That’s not rhetoric – that’s the hard truth of the matter. Of course Vance knows this. . . Or knew this before his um, transformation. . .

Here’s the latest from the New York Times:

F.B.I. officials told members of Congress on Wednesday that the gunman who tried to kill former President Donald J. Trump had used his cellphone to search for images of Mr. Trump and President Biden — and also searched for dates of Trump appearances and the Democratic National Convention. . .

The F.B.I. has not found any indication that the gunman, Thomas Crooks, had strong partisan political views, based on the two phones among his possessions. The absence of “any political or ideological information” at his home in Pennsylvania was “notable” because most politically motivated would-be assassins leave a discernible trail of views. . .

New details emerged Tuesday about a search for the gunman, who was first spotted acting strangely by a police sniper about 20 to 25 minutes before the shooting, according to a local law enforcement official. The sniper took a photo, which was circulated to law enforcement agencies at the rally. Though considered suspicious, he appeared to be unarmed and not an immediate threat, the official said.

After the gunman was killed, investigators found two improvised bombs in his car. The rudimentary devices were made with the kind of initiators used for fireworks shows and may have contained fertilizer. The devices were described in a report for law enforcement obtained by The New York Times.

Let’s hear what you’ve got.

—Dana

Leading Democrat Calls for Biden to Step Down

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:20 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Is President Biden now open to the possibility of stepping down? Maybe, if the circumstances are such:

President Joe Biden would reevaluate his decision to stay in the presidential race if doctors told him he had a medical issue, he said in an interview with BET News.

“If I had some medical condition that emerged,” Biden said, when asked if there was anything that would make him reconsider. “If doctors came to me and said, ‘You got this problem, that problem.’”

According to the report, Kevin O’Connor, the White House physician said that Biden was a “healthy, active, robust, 81-year-old male who remains fit to successfully execute the duties of the presidency.” Additionally, it was confirmed that the physical included a Nuerological examination.

And while the subject of President Biden’s age and competence are subjects his team is hoping to stifle, a leading Democrat called for him to step down today:

California Rep. Adam Schiff on Wednesday became the highest-profile Democrat to call for President Joe Biden to drop his reelection bid, even as the party pushed ahead with plans for a virtual vote to formally make Biden its nominee in the first week of August.

The move to schedule the roll call, which would come weeks before the Democratic National Convention opens in Chicago on Aug. 19, follows nearly 20 Democratic members of Congress calling on Biden to withdraw from the presidential race in the wake of his dismal debate performance against Republican former President Donald Trump last month.

P.S. President Biden has just tested positive for COVID. I suspect that this will hurt him as Democrats, still hanging on in support of him while concerned about his cognitive decline and overall health, will see this as some sort of sign of worse things to come – whether rightly or wrongly. And of course, I want to wish President Biden a speedy and full recovery

— Dana

7/12/2024

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:23 am



[guest post by Dana]

Let’s go!

NEW – Shots fired at Trump rally while the former president was speaking:

Donald Trump was whisked off the stage at a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania after apparent gunshots rang through the crowd.

The former president and presumptive Republican nominee was showing off a chart of border crossing numbers during his last rally before the Republican National Convention opens Monday when bangs started ringing through the crowd. Trump could be seen reaching with his right hand toward his neck. There appeared to be blood on his face.

He quickly ducked behind the riser as agents from his protective detail rushed the stage and screams were heard in the crowd of several thousand people. The bangs continued as agents tended to him on stage.

The crowd cheered as he got back up and pumped his fist.

His motorcade has since left the venue. His condition was not immediately known.

First news item

If you recall, I posted about “Pastor” Robert Morris of Gateway Church in Southland, Texas and his confession about “inappropriate sexual behavior with a young lady” sexually assaulting a 12-year old girl when he was a young pastor. Now, Lawrence Swicegood, executive director of Gateway Media, has released this statement:

The inappropriate relationship Robert had with Cindy took place…more than a decade before Gateway Church was started. Questions regarding Robert and Cindy should be addressed to them.

Clearly, Gateway Church has learned nothing through this debacle. A 12-year old girl and an adult male sexually assaulting her are not in any kind of relationship other than one of predator and victim. Referring to the crime committed against the 12-year old as a “relationship” is a pathetic attempt to minimize the vile behavior of a man who stood at a pulpit for decades instructing others how to live while covering up his own heinous behavior.

Second news item

Problematic but unsurprising move by Trump lawyers in hush-money case:

Lawyers for Donald Trump are urging a judge in New York to overturn his conviction and dismiss the hush-money case against the former president, arguing some evidence “tainted” the trial and should not have been allowed under the supreme court’s recent ruling on presidential immunity. According to the New York Post, among the “tainted” evidence is a conversation between Trump and then-Communications Director Hope Hicks, where Trump tells Hicks that “it was better” if the story surrounding his alleged affair with porn star Stormy Daniels came out after the 2016 election. “The use of official-acts evidence was a structural error under the federal Constitution,” lawyers Todd Blanche and Emil Bove wrote in a court filing dated July 10 but released on Thursday, according to The Guardian. “The jury’s verdicts must be vacated.”

Third news item

Following in her husband’s footsteps:

Russian authorities on Thursday put the widow of deceased Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny on a list of “terrorists and extremists,” continuing a sweeping Kremlin crackdown on the opposition.

Earlier this week, a Moscow court ordered the arrest of Yulia Navalnaya, who lives abroad, on charges of alleged involvement in an extremist group. The ruling means that Navalnaya would face arrest if and when she returns to Russia.

On Thursday, Russia’s Federal Service for Financial Monitoring followed up by adding Navalnaya to its list of “terrorists and extremists,” a designation that implies restrictions on bank transactions that has been widely used against opposition members.

It makes me happy that Putin views Yulia Navalnaya as a threat. Freedom, and those who advocate for it really scares the Kremlin thugs.

Fourth news item

Oh:

Adults in some U.S. states can now buy gun ammunition out of AI-powered vending machines right at their local grocery store.

The company that makes them argues it’s a safer way to sell ammo than online or off the shelf. But experts have raised concerns about increasing its availability in a country where gun violence is already widespread.

American Rounds LLC currently stocks its “automated ammo retail machines” in eight supermarkets across Alabama, Oklahoma and Texas (at least one was removed earlier this month from an Alabama location, per local news reports). They are launching another this week in Colorado and say many more are on the way.

Fifth news item

President Zelensky expresses his frustration while speaking at NATO:

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky continued his push for President Biden to lift restrictions on Ukraine using American-provided weapons to strike up to 300 miles inside Russia, bolstered by the U.K.’s decision this week to lift similar limits on its long-distance Storm Shadow missiles.

While the Biden administration has given Ukraine the greenlight to strike beyond Russia’s border near the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, Zelensky is pushing for the U.S. to relent on its broader ban on striking military targets deep inside Russia, in place over concerns of provoking Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“We understand from what military base they attack us, and if they attacked us and killed our children in the hospital, that is crazy question why we can’t answer and attack this person, this military base, where from these guided bombs from jets, or missile came, targeted us, killed our children,” Zelensky said.

Sixth news item

I can’t criticize President Biden’s gaffes and flub-ups without pointing out that Donald Trump struggles with the same problem:

Have a good weekend.

–Dana

7/11/2024

President Biden Introduces President Zelensky As President Putin

Filed under: General — Dana @ 4:22 pm



[guest post by Dana]

This couldn’t happen at a worse time. All eyes are on the President assessing whether he can go the distance in this election campaign or he needs to step down. This won’t help. I feel for President Biden:

President Biden on Thursday mistakenly referred to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as President Putin — the president of Russia — when introducing him at a NATO event, a gaffe that came shortly before a high-stakes press conference where his every word will be closely scrutinized.

“Now, I want to hand it over the president of Ukraine, who has as much courage as he has determination. Ladies and gentleman, President Putin,” Biden said.

“He’s going to beat President Putin. President Zelensky,” Biden said, quickly correcting himself. “I’m so focused on beating Putin, we’ve got to worry about it.”

“I’m better,” Zelensky quipped.

“You are, a hell of a lot better,” Biden added.

Does he come back from this? Is this what will tip the scales and further compel Nancy Pelosi to push harder behind the scenes for the President to step down? Is Hillary waiting in the wings waiting for her close-up? Is Kamala waiting with baited breath for her moment to word salad Americans daily from the Oval?

–Dana

7/10/2024

Articles of Impeachment Filed Against Alito and Thomas

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:13 pm



[guest post by Dana]

While the drama continues about whether President Biden will step down or press on in the presidential race, I thought I’d post about something not directly related to the presidential race.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez filed articles of impeachment against Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas today.

Regarding Justice Thomas, AOC argued:

“His conduct has caused a reasonable person to believe the gifts were offered and accepted in return for being influenced in the performance of an official act and from the same or different sources on a basis so frequent that a reasonable person would believe that he used his public office for his own private gain or for the private gain of his donors.”

Ocasio-Cortez contended that impeachment against Thomas was further warranted because he refused to recuse himself from election-related cases despite reports that his wife, Ginni, was involved in efforts by former President Donald Trump to overturn the results of the 2020 election. She argued that the justice had a legal obligation under federal law to step back from such litigation

Regarding Justice Alito, AOC pointed out that:

. . . the justice also declined to recuse himself from election-related cases after reports emerged that symbols of the “Stop the Steal” movement and Christian nationalism were displayed at two of his residences following the Capitol riot.

“Justice Samuel Alito, Jr., has engaged in a pattern of conduct that is incompatible with the trust and confidence placed in him as a justice of the Supreme Court,” the New York Democrat said, “by failing to disqualify himself from cases in which he had a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party.

Seeming to realize that this will likely go nowhere, AOC said that she did it because it was the right thing to do and that the justices’ behavior is “fundamentally incompatible” with service on the Supreme Court.

—Dana

7/8/2024

The Democrats’ Joe Biden Conundrum [Updated]

Filed under: General — JVW @ 3:47 pm



[guest post by JVW]

The long holiday weekend has done nothing to assuage Democrats that Joe Biden will be capable of mounting a robust summer and fall campaign. In fact, calls for him to step down have only seemed to increase, especially after a disastrous call-in to the insipid Morning Joe show on MSNBC where the President let his grouchy and unpleasant side out and bitched to the hosts — both of whom will support the Democrat nominee come hell or high water — that they shouldn’t be asking him to demonstrate at least a little bit of cognition and sentience in his daily interactions. (It’s interesting that earlier this year we discovered that “Morning Joe” is to the 46th President what “Fox and Friends” was to the 45th. Is it too much to ask that we have a President who is not a senior citizen watching rage news television?)

The President followed up later in the morning by releasing a two-page letter addressed to “Fellow Democrats.” I read it anyway; so sue me. Meanwhile, the White House press corps appears to finally be tired of repeatedly being lied to by Democrat administrations who expect complete compliance. Meanwhile, the rest of the pro-Democrat media is starting to understand that they have been complicit in covering up President Biden’s frailty and bewilderment and are overcompensating by reporting on important stories they had previously left to conservative media. Meanwhile, senior White House staffers are suggesting that Joe Biden needs to step down. The vultures are circling, and Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, who is said to have a good relationship with the President, had planned to lead a delegation of Congressional Democrats to presumably discuss doing to Joe Biden what Republican members of Congress did to Richard Nixon a half-century ago.

But there is just one problem with dropping Joe Biden from the ticket: he doesn’t plan to go anywhere and nobody can make him leave. Sen. Warner scrapped plans for the meeting, Team Biden has been forceful in insisting that he won’t back down, and Democrats increasingly appear to be stuck with Joe Biden at the top of their ticket. As both pro-Biden and anti-Biden forces have pointed out, removing him is harder than party activists want to pretend. As of right now, the Biden campaign controls 3,866 delegates to his party’s convention, with only 1,976 needed to secure the nomination.

Even if President Biden released all of the delegates from their pledges, it’s hard to see how anyone would quickly and effectively secure the nomination. Democrats such as Kamala Harris, Gavin Newsom, Gretchen Whitmer, and others (Polis? Pritzker? Is Betomentum back?) would try to amass the 1,976 delegates in order to clinch a first-ballot nomination at the party’s August 19-22 convention in Chicago. If no candidate can secure a first ballot nomination things get really interesting. According to party rules, the 700-plus “superdelegates” consisting of various elected officials and party activists would then get to vote starting on the second ballot. After all of the controversy among Democrats over superdelegates in both the 2008 and 2016 election campaigns, the last thing the party would need is yet another replay of backroom bargaining determining the party’s fate in 2024.

We’ll see where it goes from here, but if Joe Biden stays at the top of the ticket the Democrats and their media adjunct are going to have a difficult time whipping up excitement for the ticket when they have spent the past eleven days wearing out the panic button. No matter how much they try to tell us that they are united squarely behind Biden/Harris, the public isn’t going to forget how desperately they tried to force the Chief Executive into retirement. Furthermore, the President of the United States will be at a point where his party can’t afford to have him out in public except for the most tightly-managed appearances. His acceptance speech on the convention’s final night will be highly anticipated not because anyone expects him to say anything interesting or inspiring, but because people will legitimately wonder if he can read through the entire text without utterly embarrassing himself. And the September debate between the two candidates — should it not be cancelled — will be a doozy. About the only solace for our 46th President is that his performance probably can’t get any worse. But that is no source of solace for our weary nation, once again facing an absolutely wretched choice of candidates.

UPDATE – Our Adorably Obnoxious Clueless niece has joined the Establishment. She must have really been freaked out by what happened to Jamal Bowman, or else she’s just so tired of those blue-haired kids and their demands for free-this-and-that.

[Note: I changed the original embed Tweet to one with a video of nos sobrina telling us what’s what.]

– JVW

7/5/2024

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:14 am



[guest post by Dana]

Let’s go!

First news item

Fears of French women :

. . .a woman living in the city of Lyon. . .shared the reality of living with immigrants. According to the English translation shared by a self-described independent reporter. . . the woman and her friends were constantly harassed by foreigners.

I am 26 years old, blonde, with light eyes, and I have always lived in the 6th arrondissement of Lyon, which is thought of as the poshest area in Lyon, and my daily life has become unbearable," the woman wrote in a lengthy post sent to Rieu. "I write this because, ten years ago, I could go out with my friends in the evening, at any hour, without being bothered, insulted, followed, or stabbed. . .

The woman goes on to say that a "white man" has never behaved toward her in the manner that male foreigners have. "Is it racist to call out what my daily life has become as a woman, because of immigration? Is my reality, my daily life, racist?" she asked. "Am I not as legitimate as any other person to call out traumatising acts of violence, just because they are done by foreigners or immigrants?"

Second news item

No more money to Democrats until Biden steps down:

Abigail Disney, an heiress to the Disney fortune and donor to the Democratic Party, announced on Thursday that she would withhold donations to the party until President Joe Biden drops out of the race.

“I intend to stop any contributions to the party unless and until they replace Biden at the top of the ticket,” Disney told CNBC on Thursday, joining other Democratic donors who have also pulled support for Biden since his disastrous performance in last week’s CNN presidential debate.

She continued, “This is realism, not disrespect. Biden is a good man and has served his country admirably, but the stakes are far too high,” before concluding, “If Biden does not step down the Democrats will lose. Of that I am absolutely certain. The consequences for the loss will be genuinely dire.”

Jay Nordlinger asks:

So, should Biden, DeSantis-style, punish Disney, somehow? Especially now that he has all that immunity?

Third news item

Labor Party win:

U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak conceded defeat to the center-left Labour Party early Friday, which was projected to win by a landslide in the country’s general election — delivering a huge blow to the ruling Conservative Party after 14 years in power.

. . .

The British networks’ exit poll indicated Labour won 410 seats in Parliament, a majority of 170.

Keir Starmer becomes the new prime minister.

Fourth news item

President Zelensky challenges Donald Trump’s boast:

“If Trump how to finish this war, he should tell us today,” Zelensky said in a Bloomberg Television interview on Wednesday. “If there are risks to Ukrainian independence, if we lose statehood — we want to be ready for this, we want to know.”

This from Trump last week:

During the presidential debate last week, Trump criticized the amount of funding the U.S. has sent to Ukraine, adding that the country is “not winning the war.”

“I’m only saying, the money that we’re spending on this war, and we shouldn’t be spending, it should have never happened. I will have that war settled between Putin and Zelensky as president-elect before I take office on January 20th. I’ll have that war settled,” Trump said.

Put up or shut-up.

Fifth news item

This is how to do it:

Have a great weekend.

—Dana

7/4/2024

President Biden Does Damage Control

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:47 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Since President Biden’s disastrous debate appearance, he has been slow to do damage control. The confusing message coming from the Biden campaign about the President’s health has not cleared up any doubts:

President Joe Biden was examined by his physician in the days following last week’s. . .debate, the White House tells CNN — despite the White House press secretary having said Wednesday that the president has had no medical exams since his February physical.

“Several days later, the president was seen to check on his cold and was recovering well,” White House spokesman Andrew Bates said.

On Wednesday, CNN had asked Karine Jean-Pierre. . . whether the president had received “any medical exams” since his February physical, and the press secretary had responded: “We were able to talk to his doctor about that and that is a no.”

A White House official adds when Biden was seen by his doctor after the debate, it was a “brief check,” not a “physical.”

The White House also claims that “Jean-Pierre said Biden had not had any medical exams since February because she was drawing a distinction between the president being checked out by his doctor and receiving a formal “physical”.

Oh.

More:

Jean-Pierre was asked by a reporter to clarify whether the president had been checked out by his doctor around the debate given that he had a cold.

“He was on the way to the debate, the doctor was with him, he had a cold, he’s 81. Does he not get checked out by the doctor?” the reporter asked.

“He did not get checked out by the doctor. It’s a cold, guys. It’s a cold.” she said. “I know that it affects everybody differently. We’ve all had colds, and so no, he was not checked out by the doctor.”

For his part, President Biden initially blamed his poor performance on a cold. After that it was an exhaustive travel schedule and jet lag, although he had been home for two weeks before the debate. Then followed the Biden team saying that the president had been over-prepped for the debate and just had “too many facts crammed in his head”. And at yesterday’s meeting with Democratic governors, President Biden told them that he needed more sleep and would stop scheduling events after 8 PM. He also told the governors that after his lackluster debate performance he had undergone a medical exam. He told them that he continues to be healthy.

When asked why the president didn’t begin damage control immediately after the debate, an unsatisfactory answer was provided by his spokesperson:

Jean-Pierre later added that Biden did not do more damage control on his debate performance immediately afterward because he was traveling in North Carolina, New York and New Jersey before returning late Saturday night to Camp David.

The report reminds readers that “Air Force One is equipped with extensive communications equipment so that presidents can stay informed while midair.”

What a mess. It’s now 123 days until the election. The last thing a sitting President running for re-election wants at this point is for a Democrat-friendly media and fellow Democrats calling on him to step down. Unfortunately, it is very clear that the call for Biden to step down is growing louder.

On a side note, I will give the Biden team props for a smart campaign video:

—Dana

7/3/2024

Newsom Gets Cold Feet: Withdraws Dem Response to GOP Public Safety Initative

Filed under: General — JVW @ 1:43 pm



[guest post by JVW]

As the Democrats begin to panic about the possible repercussions of this coming election, Gavin Newsom has decided not to undermine a GOP-led effort to roll back the progressive crime enforcement measures which Newsom’s party has been championing the past decade. CalMatters has the story:

In a stunning, last-minute reversal, Gov. Gavin Newsom is scrapping the anti-crime measure he and Democratic legislative leaders just announced. It had been designed to compete with one backed by Republicans and prosecutors that is already headed for voters in November.

In a statement tonight, the governor said Democrats “are unable to meet the ballot deadline to secure necessary amendments to ensure this measure’s success and we will be withdrawing it from consideration.”

The proposed ballot measure from Democrats cleared the Assembly’s public safety committee on a party-line vote earlier today and had been scheduled for floor votes Wednesday night, just in time to get on the Nov. 5 ballot.

On Monday, Newsom, Senate leader Mike McGuire of Santa Rosa and Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas of Salinas issued a joint statement arguing that their plan would improve public safety without returning to costly mass incarceration or the failed “war on drugs” that devastated communities of color.

The Democratic bill proposed less sweeping changes to Proposition 47, which was approved by voters in 2014 and which reduced certain property crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, provided that the stolen goods aren’t worth more than $950.

Democrats are of course freaking out over the degree to which their lax on crime policies have turned much of urban California into an dystopian hellhole, with open drug-dealing, prostitution, organized theft, and civic disorder now defining large swaths of San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Sacramento, Fresno, Los Angeles, San Diego, and other parts of this deep deep blue state. In this case it would seem that Democrats could not come to agreement on how to increase public safety without running afoul of their extreme left flank. So rather than further splitting the party on the issue, they will take their chances with defeating the proposal from the GOP, county prosecutors, and law enforcement which seeks to undo much of the enforced leniency that Democrats and the racial grievances crowd have unleashed upon the state’s criminal justice system.

In social media posts tonight, Senate GOP leader Brian Jones of San Diego and Assembly leader James Gallagher of Chico both credited public blowback to the 11th-hour move by Newsom and Democrats.

“Appreciation to everyone who contacted their representatives, signed our petition, & helped educate the public on the deceitful tactics deployed by the Governor,” Gallagher posted.

“After mounting opposition and brutal media hits, Gavin Newsom finally listened to our calls and dropped his soft-on-crime ballot measure that undermined our democracy,” Jones said.

Greg Totten, co-chairperson of Californians for Safer Communities, said in a statement tonight that the group is “pleased The Governor and Legislature have dropped their countermeasure and welcome them to join our campaign to responsibly amend Prop 47 to deal with retail theft, the fentanyl crisis and homelessness.”

For his part, the Greasy Governor Gavin is falling back upon his typical self-serving double-talk and lies, hoping that his adoring fans don’t look behind the curtain:

In his statement tonight, Newsom said he and other supporters “chose to introduce an alternative measure for Californians to consider that represented a balanced and comprehensive strategy that put public safety first without reverting to outdated and ineffective policies of decades past. It included stiff new penalties for repeat offenders, stricter measures to take down fentanyl dealers, and expanded access to drug treatment programs in our communities.”

But now that the Democratic measure is dead, Newsom said, he plans to soon sign “a robust public safety package that expands criminal penalties, bolsters police & prosecutor tools, and cracks down on retail theft — the most significant reform in decades.”

Whether or not it was intentional, the uncredited author of the article let slip exactly why Gavin Newsom is throwing in the towel at this point:

But before then, Newsom is headed to the White House, where he will join other Democratic governors on Wednesday to support President Joe Biden, staggering from the horrendous debate performance last week.

Gavin Newsom wants to be President, even more so now that he sees Joe Biden weakened and on the verge of being pushed out, and the last thing he wants at this moment is to be seen as pandering to the far left of his state’s party by further coddling the criminal element. My guess is that he will publicly suggest to Golden State voters that if they defeat the GOP crime initiative in November he in turn will push “sensible” and “fair” reforms through the legislature in next year’s legislative session. But if the GOP initiative passes, which at this point is a strong possibility, Gov. Newsom can just shrug his shoulders and tell the radicals in his party that he tried to thwart it, but that the voters have spoken. As usual, Gavin Newsom is playing this issue like the true weasel we know him to be.

– JVW

Potential Fallout From Immunity Ruling

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:14 am



[guest post by Dana]

While some prominent Democrats and deep-pocketed donors are clamoring for President Biden to step down because of his lackluster appearance at the debate, we’ve heard no one clamoring for Donald Trump, a convicted felon, to step down – or at the very least, we haven’t heard Republican leadership verbally thrash him for his latest outrageous attack on Liz Cheney:

On Sunday, Trump “retruthed” a post to Truth Social, his social media platform, accusing her of “treason.”

“Elizabeth Lynne Cheney is guilty of treason. Retruth if you want televised military tribunals,” the post, which was originally from a meme account on the platform, reads.

That Donald Trump is amplifying the lie that Liz Cheney is a traitor is a yawner. When *isn’t* he making some ridiculous attack on her. But as someone running for the U.S. presidency, calling for a “televised military tribunal” – a type of military court reserved for enemy combatants and war criminals – for a law abiding American who risked her political career to defend the Constitution, it’s a big concern. This especially as we already know about Trump’s admiration for authoritarian leaders, especially those that rule with an iron fist. And especially as we already know that Trump has an enemies list and has talked about retribution against his opponents. However, most importantly is the fact that, if Trump becomes our next President, and in light of the SCOTUS ruling about immunity, how can one *not* see the BIG concern here? This is a man who said he will fire all the “woke” generals and replace them with loyal MAGA generals. So, if he were to attempt an illegal war tribunal focused on Liz Cheney, who’s going to stop him? Congress? Uh, nope. The voters who voted him into office? Oh please. The DOJ? As if. Trump has already made it clear that he plans to fill key positions in various agencies with “his people”. Thus, as the newly elected president and with an important guardrail no longer in place, he will only have to chirp “official act,” and he’ll have presidential power to seek revenge against his political enemies.

So how is it that nothing is being made of this by the “law and order” party? If Trump is involved, the rule of thumb for his supporters is to simply keep up the denials. If you’re a Republican congressperson, double-down on the denials and launch an outward attack on Democrats and Joe Biden, and throw around the word impeachment. Just do whatever it takes to remain in Trump’s good graces. And now with the SCOTUS ruling in place, if he does become the next president, he will be even more of a threat to Democracy.

Anyway, Trump’s campaign responded to concerns about Trump’s amplification of the military tribunal post exactly how we’ve come to expect them to respond to any reasonable concern:

In a statement, the Trump campaign did not address Mr. Trump’s posts, instead repeating allegations of misconduct by members of the committee, saying “Liz Cheney and the sham January 6th committee banned key witnesses, shielded important evidence, and destroyed documents” related to their investigation.

For her part, Cheney responded to Trump’s latest absurdities with her usual bite:

P.S. I don’t remember where I read this but it was suggested that if Trump is elected, he will challenge the 22nd Amendment by claiming that it means two consecutive terms, not just two terms…

—Dana

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