Patterico's Pontifications


Joe Biden Does It Again

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:57 am

[guest post by Dana]

Joe Biden is attempting to clarify some questionable remarks he made yesterday during an interview with NPR’s Garcia Navarro. The Democratic presumptive nominee suggested that the nation’s Black community lacks the diversity of the Hispanic community:

Here is the relevant portion of the interview (I’ve included a longer lead-in than is in the video):

Lulu Garcia-Navarro: (31:30) I have a few questions that I’d just like to get through because they are incredibly important to the Latino community. First of all, you are extending TPS, temporary protected status, to Venezuelans. Cubans though, are now being deported in unprecedented numbers. Would you stop those deportations?

Joe Biden: (31:48) What I said, I’m going to look at every single country in the world that in fact is being… and this guy’s sending them back. The reason why I came up with Venezuela is he not even allowing it to exist in the first place. And so the TPS program is something I will move on the first day I’m in office to make sure that we extend it to people. For too long we didn’t get it right, but here’s the deal. I think that we should be extending it. Anybody can prove that they are in jeopardy to go back to their country and the reason they came in the first place. They should be able to stay in the United States of America until the circumstance changes in our country. And that’s why, by the way, I put that program together to provide… Oh, go ahead. I’m sorry.

Lulu Garcia-Navarro: (32:41) No. No. Are you going to reengage with Cuba though? I mean, I’m specifically wondering about the Florida communities that are incredibly interested in the Cuba issue and see status given to Venezuelans while Cubans are being deported. So will you engage with Cuba?

Joe Biden: (33:03) The answer is yes. Yes. Yes. And by the way, what you all know, but most people don’t know, unlike the African American community with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community, with incredibly different attitudes about different things. You go to Florida, you find a very different attitude about immigration in certain places than you do when you’re in Arizona. So it’s a very different, a very diverse community.

Before Biden’s attempted clarification, campaign advisor Symone Sanders tried to tamp down any blowback:

If you look at the full video and transcript, it’s clear that Vice President Biden was referring to diversity of attitudes among Latinos from different Latin American countries. The video that is circulating is conveniently cut to make this about racial diversity but that’s not the case.

However, when Biden attempted to clarify his comments, he once again contrasted Latino and Black Americans explicitly on the topic of national and cultural origin:

“We can build a new administration that reflects the full diversity of our nation. The full diversity of the Latino communities,” Biden said. “Now when I mean full diversity, unlike African American community, many other communities, you’re from everywhere. From Europe. From the tip of South America, all the way to our border and Mexico and in the Caribbean. And different backgrounds, different ethnicities, but all Latinos.”

And last night, in a series of tweets, he made further efforts to clean up his mess:

Yesterday’s mishap was preceded by Biden snapping at a Black reporter who asked whether he had taken a cognitive test like President Trump:

Errol Barnett: (37:41) Mr. Vice President, your opponent in this election, President Trump, has made your mental state a campaign topic. And when asked in June, if you’d been tested full cognitive decline, you’ve responded that you’re constantly tested in effect because you’re in situations like this on the campaign trail. But please clarify specifically, have you taken a cognitive test?

Joe Biden: (38:04) No, I haven’t taken a test. Why the hell would I take a test? Come on man. That’s like saying, “Before you got in this program, if you take a test where you’re taking cocaine or not. What do you think? Huh? Are you a junky?”

Errol Barnett: (38:17) What do you say to President Trump who brags about his test and makes you a message say an issue for voters?

Joe Biden: (38:27) Well, if he can’t figure out the difference between an elephant and a lion, I don’t know what the hell he’s talking about. Did you watch that? Look, come on, man. I know you’re trying to goad me, but I mean, I’m so forward-looking to have an opportunity to sit with the President or stand with the President in debates. There going to be plenty of time. And by the way, as I joke with him… I shouldn’t say it. I’m going to say something I probably shouldn’t say. Anyway, I am very willing to let the American public judge my physical as well as my mental fitness and to make a judgment about who I am and what state of affairs I have, what kind of physical shape I’m in, what kind of mental shape I’m in.

Of course, Trump seized on the opening provided by Biden:

And he continued his attack this morning:

These latest gaffes follow Biden’s admonishment of Black voters when he told them earlier this year: “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.” He then later blamed his foot-in-mouthiness on Black radio show host Charlamagne tha God for having “set him up”.

Also, during his run for the nomination, he implied that “poor kids” are Black or Brown:

“We have this notion that somehow if you’re poor, you cannot do it. Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.”

He paused, then quickly clarified, “wealthy kids, black kids, Asian kids.”

His racial pandering is nothing new.

Meanwhile, although Biden still leads Trump in most polls, it’s by a lesser margin:

Less than three months ahead of November’s election, polling averages show the presumptive Democratic nominee’s advantage dropped roughly 3 points between late June and early August.

The latest figure, released by news site and data aggregator Real Clear Politics (RCP), placed Biden’s lead over Trump at 6.4 points as of Thursday. The number averaged national election survey results collected between July 21 and August 5.

One month earlier, RCP’s national averages pointed to a 9-point Biden lead, as Trump’s approval ratings dropped amid resurgences in coronavirus cases, soaring unemployment and the federal government’s response to the Black Lives Matter protests occurring across the country.

Biden and Trump have committed to three debates. Anticipating a surge in early voting, the Trump campaign had requested a fourth debate, but that request was turned down by the Debate Commission. There are concerns that, if Biden’s lead holds, he might back out of the debates. There have also been calls to end presidential debates altogether.

88 days until the election…



Charlamagne tha God And Rush Limbaugh Have A Chat

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:18 pm

[guest post by Dana]

In the midst of everything else going on, I see that Rush Limbaugh and Charlamagne tha God hung out yesterday, and their conversation aired this morning. As you recall, last week, Joe Biden “blamed” Charlamagne for setting him up when he made his infamous “…then you ain’t black” gaffe. Anyway, the two radio hosts agreed about George Floyd’s murder, and that the three other officers should face charges:

During the conversation, Limbaugh, who has been outspoken about the death of George Floyd at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers, did not hesitate to speak forcefully about the killing of the unarmed black man. “The George Floyd story is being lost,” Limbaugh said.

“It sickens me what happened to him. Legitimate, national outrage about a policeman’s criminal brutality has been hijacked – and I don’t want to forget about George Floyd. What happened to George Floyd sickened me and I wanted to reach out to you and tell you all this.” Limbaugh said. “I want to make sure you have no doubt and I’m not the only American who feels this way – the senselessness of it. You know, we’re only given one life… but George Floyd had his taken away from him. He didn’t lose it. He had it taken away from him.”

“There shouldn’t be legalized murder… George Floyd, by everything I’ve been able to tell, was a good guy,” Limbaugh said. “I think that cop should be charged with first-degree murder.”

Here’s an excerpt of where they differed in opinion, and it was a compelling exchange:

In response to a question from Charlamagne Da God about why Limbaugh felt so passionate about this particular incident, Limbaugh said “I’m not tolerant with any of them but I’m fed up with it, Charlamagne.” He continued: “To me, and I know you’re going to disagree with me on this, this is not America.” After Charlagmane pushed back saying it’s “definitely America,” Limbaugh replied, “[b]ut it’s not what it could be.”

“But for who though, Rush?” Charlagmane responded. “I think it’s easy for you to say because you’re a white male and that comes with a different level of privilege.” He continued: “And I do think America does work, but it works for the people who it’s designed to work for. Doesn’t work for everybody else the way it works for you.”

The full transcript is here.

You can listen to the conversation here.



Joe Biden To Black Voters: If You’re Trying To Decide Between Trump Or Me, ‘You Ain’t Black’

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:11 am

[guest post by Dana]

So, this happened:

Joe Biden defended his legislative record in an often contentious Friday morning interview with Charlamagne Tha God, the host of the popular radio show “The Breakfast Club,” and argued that his presidential campaign was doing enough to reach out to black voters. At one point, Biden argued that black voters undecided on whether to vote for him or for President Trump “ain’t black.”


Charlamagne tha God: (17:15)
Listen, you got to come see us when you come to New York VP Biden.

Joe Biden: (17:18)
I will.

Charlamagne tha God: (17:19)
Because it’s a long way until November. We got more questions.

Joe Biden: (17:22)
You got more questions but I tell ya, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.

Charlamagne tha God: (17:28)
It don’t have nothing to do with Trump. It has to do with the fact I want something for my community. I would love to see-

After criticism came from both sides of the aisle because WHO SAYS SOMETHING LIKE THAT, Biden was compelled to apologize for his gaffe explain himself in a phone call with members of the U.S. Black Chambers:

“I should not have been so cavalier. I’ve never, never, ever taken the African American community for granted.”

“I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy. I shouldn’t have been so cavalier. … No one should have to vote for any party based on their race, their religion, their background,” Biden said. “There are African Americans who think that Trump was worth voting for, I don’t think so. I’m prepared to put my record against his. That was the bottom line and it was ah — it was really unfortunate I shouldn’t have been so cavalier.”

Hm, was that being “cavalier,” or was that just being flippant, disrespectful, and arrogant? I’m going with the latter three…

Black Republicans were vocal in their criticism of Biden:

…Michigan Senate candidate John James, who addressed Biden in a tweeted video: “You challenging me and millions of other people out there on their blackness, descendants of slaves, from you is some seriously condescending, out of touch bullcrap,” and he questioned whether Biden should “even be running for president in the Democratic Party who says they’re for black people.”

South Carolina Senator Tim Scott told reporters on a Trump campaign call, “I thought to myself, I’ve been black for 54 years. I was struck by the condescension and the arrogance.” Scott urged his Senate colleagues to disavow Biden’s remarks and added, “Race baiting in the 21st century is an ineffective tool to attract one of the most intelligent voting blocs in the nation. He should respect African-American voters as individuals, not as a part of a group or a monolithic group of people.”

Biden’s senior advisor, Symone D. Sanders defended Biden, saying the comments were made in jest:

“The comments made at the end of the Breakfast Club interview were in jest, but let’s be clear about what the VP was saying: he was making the distinction that he would put his record with the African American community up against Trump’s any day. Period,”

Here are a few varied responses to Biden’s comments from the black community:

And then there was bit of insight from The Root:

First, he keeps calling Charlamagne, “man.”

“I’m following the rules, man.”

“Totally different, man.”

This is Biden’s version of a blaccent. This is the thing he’s doing to make himself cool and hip to the young black community. Imagine a white guy calling you his main man; that’s the way Biden says it. Except, he doesn’t realize he’s playing himself and the community he’s supposed to be reaching out to. Biden isn’t alone in this.

This is a thing that out-of-touch white politicians do all the time. I call it the Love Don’t Co$t a Thing move. It goes like this: Can’t Buy Me Love is a teen romantic comedy that premiered in 1987. It’s an underrated classic that centers around a geeky kid using his savings to pay a cheerleader to help him be cool. When Hollywood wanted to re-create the success of Can’t Buy Me Love, they went and grabbed a young Nick Cannon to star in a remake called Love Don’t Co$t a Thing. Two things are wrong with this idea: The first is that black audiences didn’t like the original movie. The second is that in order to get black audiences to come out, the studio had to hip-hop the title up a bit with that dollar sign for an “s.” What the studio didn’t realize and what Biden doesn’t realize is doing that is degrading and shows just how out of touch they are with the community they’re trying to reach.

You don’t endear yourself to black people by trying to talk the way you believe they do. You endear yourself to black people—hell, all people—by being genuine…

During the interview, Biden also confirmed that he was considering a black woman as a running mate:

Biden also “guaranteed” that he was considering a black woman to serve as his vice president. CBS News reported that Biden is vetting Amy Klobuchar, who is white, as a potential vice presidential pick. She is one of several contenders being scrutinized for the job by Biden aides.

“I guarantee you, there are multiple black women being considered. Multiple,” Biden said.

Biden may feel compelled to choose a black woman for the vice president slot because of his gaffe. But if it blows over and is dismissed with an exasperated “Oh, that’s just Joe being Joe” eyeroll, then his options for a vice president remain open.

So why did Biden act as if he was entitled to the black vote? Because he really believes he is, of course:

He said it because he meant it. It’s not just that he believes his record on racial issues is better than Trump’s, it’s that he’s willing to demagogue racial identity to help his party. He did it eight years ago, infamously, when he told a black audience that Republicans want to “put y’all back in chains.” Whatever the particulars of his record and Trump’s, he uttered a party orthodoxy this morning so commonplace that I think you could take literally any Democratic politician in the country with literally any Republican opponent and they’d offer the same view (privately) of whether they’re entitled to black votes or not.

Bearing in mind that Biden is a long-practiced politician and a spectacular schmoozer with all the accompanying ambition (obviously), I think he jumped at the opportunity to remind black voters that, because he is in their corner, they should be in his corner. In other words, it was just politics as usual for the Democrat. Not a flattering picture of Biden, and certainly not a flattering picture of how Biden views black voters. But there were also practical political reasons that prompted Biden’s (risky) cringe-inducing-foot-in-mouth-over-familiarity:

First, after becoming VP to the first black president and then turning the tide of this year’s primaries via black voters in South Carolina, he may believe he’s got enough cred banked with black Americans that he’s entitled to be racially presumptuous in a way most whites aren’t. He has special privileges. Not so special that he can get away with anything — he’s not going to call anyone “my nigga,” I hope — but special enough that, sure, he’ll amiably question your blackness if you support Trump. His problem is that his self-perceived privileges aren’t clearly defined even to him, which led to him crossing the line this morning.

Second, he may be panicked that he’s underperforming with black voters. Sure, he still leads Trump head to head in every national poll, but the battleground polls haven’t been quite as solid for him and some of the data even in national polling has looked worrisome for his campaign among nonwhites…

Put it all together and Biden may be feeling anxious about his hold on the black vote. He’ll win it by a landslide, needless to say, but the exact margin of that landslide will matter to the final outcome of the election. He wants to duplicate Obama’s gigantic edge among African-Americans in 2008 and 2012 and maybe feels like he *should* be duplicating it because of his bio — but he isn’t, at least not yet. So maybe that anxiety led him into an unusually crass and desperate formulation of what black voters supposedly owe him this fall.

Meanwhile, Democratic strategists and party officials are hoping to convince former President Obama to use his immense popularity to draw in more voters and critical Democrat constituencies that are crucial for a Biden victory. Biden’s attempt to define what makes someone black certainly certainly wasn’t helpful to the cause.



Presidential Debate Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:51 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Well, tonight’s the big night. The first of three presidential debate begins at 9 p.m. ET (6 p.m. PT) and you can watch it on every major network and cable news channel as well as on YouTube.

So, how’s the debate prep going for the two candidates? Frankly, the former TV reality star doesn’t appear to be too concerned about doing any serious preparation ahead of tonight’s event:

On Monday morning, he made a surprise appearance on the South Lawn to survey a new all-electric pickup truck. He convened reporters in the Rose Garden later in the day for an announcement on Covid testing.

On Saturday, the President was largely preoccupied with the pending announcement of Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court nominee and held no formal debate prep sessions, according to people familiar with the matter… After the announcement Trump flew to Pennsylvania for a campaign rally.

On Sunday, Trump spent much of the morning and early afternoon at his private golf club in Virginia — and was seen playing a round on the course midday — before convening an early evening press conference, which had no discernible purpose other than repeating his praise of Barrett and making false claims about mail-in voting. Christie and Giuliani joined him off to the side, and Trump said they were alternating playing Biden in debate practice sessions…

“We had a little debate prep before we came here,” Trump said at his news conference. “I think this whole thing, though, is debate prep. You know, what I do is debate prep every day.”

But there is some loosey-goosy-on-the-go prep happening:

In reality, people familiar with the matter said, both men along with several of the President’s aides are informally tossing out lines they believe Biden might use to see how Trump responds.

That includes accusing Trump of mismanaging the coronavirus pandemic, which the President is likely to rebut by citing his decision to ban travel from China — and accusing Biden of being soft on Beijing. Aides also expect Biden to bring up reports Trump disparaged members of the military, which he will seek to counter by pointing to his record of securing Pentagon funding while accusing Biden of supporting endless foreign wars.

Trump’s Director of Communications Tim Murtaugh echoed the President:

“The president prepares by being president. And by regularly facing hostile news media. That’s pretty good practice by any measure.” The president spokesperson added that while President Trump’s ABC News Town Hall last month advertised questions by “uncommitted” voters, the president was pressed. “He faced a rigorous and challenging questioning, I think, to put it mildly. It was a good debate practice workout.”

And yet, one would have to believe that surely his aides and campaign handlers are peppering the President with strategical responses to the just-released analysis of his tax returns. Specifically on how he should respond to Americans’ outrage over $750. With a massive number of voters now unemployed, losing their businesses, being evicted from their places of residence, and/or relying on food banks for the first time all because of the pandemic, how does Trump explain the paltry sum to frustrated Americans? Certainly blathering on about tax laws and loopholes, etc., is not going to cut it. While one would think that his base would continue to see this as just another unfair attack on him, might this just be a bridge too far for those supporters that have actually taken a financial hit during the pandemic? And of course, what about the undecideds? How does he reach them in light of this latest revelation?

For Joe Biden, debate prep is happening in the traditional do-your-homework manner:

[D]ebate prep has been taking place both in-person at his Delaware home and virtually, in huddles with long-time advisers and top campaign officials, according to a campaign source familiar with the strategy.

The Democrats are reviewing the president’s almost daily tweets about Biden, his record and his family as examples of the type of attacks they think the president will focus on.

“The people know the president is a liar,” Biden said in a MSNBC interview on Saturday. “He doesn’t know how to debate the facts, because he’s not that smart.”

“He doesn’t know that many facts. He doesn’t know much about foreign policy. He doesn’t know much about domestic policy. He doesn’t know much about the details,” Biden added.

For their part, the campaign believes Tuesday’s debate topics — specifically, COVID-19, race and violence in cities, and election integrity — allow Biden to highlight what he sees as the president’s most serious missteps. He’s expected to retool criticisms of the Trump administration he has been using for the past few months.

Biden is also expected to defend the Affordable Care Act and connect its fate, in part, to the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, since Democrats see the nominee as potentially hostile to the Obama-era healthcare plan.

Axios lists some possible pitfalls that Trump and Biden need to watch for, respectively. I’ve taken their list and added my own thoughts and examples to it, thus it’s not in blockquotes:

Overconfidence. He hasn’t taken debate prep seriously. He is a bully by nature, and he may try to strongarm Biden – who has had 47 years of debate experience.

Policy. Can he clearly articulate what his second-term agenda would look like without the use of a teleprompter, or will he just go on some generalized stemwinder, which is what he is most comfortable with?

Attacks on the moderator. Think: Megyn Kelly.

Downplaying the coronavirus. How can his team even prepare him to answer to valid attacks by Biden on his mishandling of the pandemic when he has steadfastly refused to admit to it?

Lying. This will be a big problem for Trump, who likes to make stuff up in general. Given that Chris Wallace won’t be fact-checking the President, this presents the risk of Trump getting away with any number of lies during the actual debate (although his lies will be called out afterward).

The potential pitfalls for Joe Biden include: misspeaking, transposing numbers or seeming to lose his train of thought.


Losing his cool. He has been confrontational with voters while on the campaign trail, and has aggressively gotten in their faces. So, when Trump baits him tonight, will he be able to keep his cool? It’s a problem for Biden, especially as he has even lost his temper and blamed Democrats for his own words. Remember when he was a guest on radio host Charlamagne tha God, and made his now infamous comment, “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black,” and the next day angrily blamed the black radio host for baiting him? Another example was, when he was questioned by a reporter about whether he had taken a cognitive test, Biden got angry and demanded to know whether the reporter was a junkie.

Verbosity. It is nearly impossible for Biden to go straight from Point A to Point B in a succinct and coherent manner. He is prone to finding himself out in the weeds, resulting in a tuned-out-glazed-over audience. He needs to make cogent and succinct arguments.

Lying. Biden is prone to storytelling and has been known to tell some real whoppers.

Tripping over his own tongue. He is also a human gaffe machine who has insulted any number of minority voters.

And there is this: “He’s also a creature of decades spent in the Senate, and some of his parliamentary verbiage is better understood in the cloakroom than in American living rooms.”

Two points of attack by Trump which are almost guaranteed to provoke an angry response from Biden will be questions about his age and mental acuity, as well as anything to do with Hunter Biden.

P.S. – The Trump campaign has made a last-minute request that both camps allow a third-party inspection of the debaters’ ears tonight for any electronic devices or transmitters. While Trump has agreed to this, Biden has declined to any such ear check.

It should be a fun night!


UPDATE BY PATTERICO: I’ll try to be active in the comments. Let’s keep it friendly! Biden did make this joke on Twitter:


Jeepers, Joe!

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:56 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Along with his recent foot-in-mouth racial pandering, Joe Biden just keeps on stepping in it. This time it was Asians caught in his racist projection as he attempted to say that he didn’t believe that Trump should try to hold China responsible for the coronavirus:

The average American doesn’t distinguish between Chinese people and other Asians, Joe Biden claimed, in an attempt to criticize President Trump for blaming China for the coronavirus outbreak.

“Look what he’s doing now. He’s blaming everything on China. He’s blaming everything on the Chinese,” the former vice president said during a virtual campaign event Wednesday with the Service Employees International Union.

“People don’t make a distinction, as you well know, from a South Korean and someone from Beijing,” he added. “They make no distinction, it’s Asian. And he’s using it as a wedge.”

Clearly, Joe Biden has a very low opinion of Americans, including Democrats and Republicans. He projects his own racism by stereotyping a group of people with a flippant they all look alike insult. And while I believe that in some way, Biden was also trying to tie this in with Trump’s asinine use of the inflammatory “Wuhan flu,” his insult was loud and clear. I’m long over giving any politician the benefit of the doubt-especially those who want to become the next President of the United States. He doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt because we’ve already seen too much of this from him. (I’m not going to blather on about Trump and his “Wuhan flu” bullshit. This post is about Biden.)

Meanwhile, following Biden’s inaccurate claim and racial pandering that Trump was America’s “first” racist president, radio host Charlamagne tha God has had enough. (If you recall, Biden was on-air with CTG when he made his now-infamous, cringe-worthy “if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black,” comment. He later offered a weaselly non-apology as he ultimately blamed CTG for baiting him.) Now the radio host is slamming Biden for claiming that Trump is the first racist president, and suggesting that maybe Biden should just shut his mouth:

“I really wish Joe Biden would shut the eff up forever and continue to act like he’s starring in the movie ‘A Quiet Place’ because as soon as he opens his mouth and makes noise, he gets us all killed, OK?” the radio host said. “There’s already so many people who are reluctantly only voting for Joe Biden because he’s the only option and because Donald J. Trump is that trash.”

Charlamagne…suggested Biden’s latest remarks will further contribute to the “lack of enthusiasm.”

“Old white male leadership has failed America and there is nothing worse than an old white male [who] can’t recognize the faults and flaws of other old white males,” Charlamagne told listeners. “Racism is the American way. Donald Trump is not the first. And sadly, he won’t be the last, right? He’s just more overt with his racism than most presidents in recent times.”

The “Breakfast Club” co-host accused Biden of “revisionist history,” calling his claim about Trump “a lie” that “relinquishes America of all responsibility of its bigotry.”

“How are we ever going to atone for America’s original sins if we don’t acknowledge them?” Charlamagne asked in reaction to Biden’s remarks. “How the hell can Donald Trump be the first racist president in a country where 12 presidents before him owned slaves?”

Finally, CTG addressed Biden directly:

“Joe, you got to hurry up and announce your Black woman VP [vice president] so I can be enthused about voting for her because I will never be enthused about voting for you, and you know America is a terrible place when Kanye West seems like a viable option,”

Neither of these half-lit, rich old white dimwits deserves to become our next president. God, we are just so screwed.



Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:21 am

[guest post by Dana]

Here are a few interesting news items to chew over. Feel free to share anything that you think readers might find interesting. Make sure to include links.

First news item

This x 100: In an email exchange with our host about George Floyd, our host keyed in on something that has troubled me as well:

I think the most interesting question is what a bystander should do. Normally when you see a crime you call the cops. Here, it was a cop slowly murdering a man in broad daylight in full view of multiple people. Whom can you call then? In retrospect the only thing that would have worked would have been to rush the cop, which would lead to bad bad bad consequences with arrest being the least of it and death being a not unrealistic possibility.

These days, cell phone videos are often what brings these situations to light. However, a cell phone video doesn’t necessarily show the whole picture, or as our host put it in our conversation:

I always always always think these videos that upset everyone (including the Central Park dog walker) omit the provocation that leads to the bad behavior — but here, you can imagine (and assume for the sake of argument) almost any provocation you like happening before the cameras started rolling. Nothing justifies failing to hobble the guy and toss him in the car. Nothing justifies this…

I know that cops like Chauvin are not representative of the majority of law enforcement officers,but I also know that cops like Chauvin (and those like the three who stood by and let this happen) weren’t just born yesterday either.

Second news item

Cop’s wife says she’s out of there:

Kellie Chauvin, the wife of the former Minneapolis police officer charged in the death of George Floyd, has announced she is “devastated” over the situation and is divorcing her husband, according to CBS Minnesota. In a statement, a representative told the news station that her “utmost sympathy lies with his [Floyd’s] family, with his loved ones and with everyone who is grieving tragedy.” She is said to have already filed for the dissolution of her marriage to the former police officer, and asks for “privacy during this difficult time.”

Third news item

Give me a break, man!

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Friday said Charlamagne tha God was “baiting” him in an interview earlier this week when the presumptive Democratic nominee told the New York radio host that any consideration about voting for President Trump means “you ain’t black.” In an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon, the former vice president was asked about the contrast between his controversial remarks to Charlamagne tha God and the “empathy” he displayed towards African-Americans when commenting on the death of George Floyd in police custody. “Which leader are you going to be?” Lemon asked. Biden responded, “The leader I’ve always been. I apologized immediately for responding to Charlamagne, who was baiting me, and if you looked at that film you’ll see I was smiling at him. I was referring to him. I wasn’t referring to all African-Americans. I should have never said it. I have never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever taken the African-American community for granted.”

Fourth news item

By a 5-4 vote, with Justice Roberts joining the liberals, SCOTUS declines to lift church restrictions:

Last night the Supreme Court declined to intervene in challenges by churches in southern California and the Chicago area to stay-at-home orders issued as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. The churches had asked the justices earlier this week to lift restrictions on crowds in time for them to hold services on Sunday, when Christians celebrate the holy day of Pentecost. But the justices turned them down. The court issued only a terse order in the Illinois case that referred to the new guidance issued by the state earlier this week. But the justices were closely divided in the California case, with Chief Justice John Roberts casting the deciding vote and writing a late-night opinion to explain his decision to deny relief.


California (along with San Diego County) and Illinois urged the justices to deny the churches’ requests. They began by explaining that indoor worship services are different from retail stores or businesses because people are more likely to gather in close proximity for longer periods of time. Moreover, they added, the singing and speaking at worship services “increases the danger” that people who are infected with the COVID-19 virus will “project respiratory droplets that contain the virus,” passing the infection on to others. Indeed, they noted, there have been several examples of significant COVID-19 outbreaks linked to worship services.

But in any event, California and Illinois continued, there was no need for the justices to intervene because the restrictions had been lifted. In California, the San Diego County Health Department issued an order (following new guidance from the state) on May 26 that allows churches in the county, including South Bay, to hold services, as long as they limit attendance to 25 percent of their building capacity or a maximum of 100 people and practice social distancing. Although the church argues that it is also harmed by the new guidance, because its building seats 600 and its attendance is normally somewhere between 200 and 300, the state emphasized that the church had not asked for an order blocking the enforcement of the new guidance in the lower courts. Moreover, the state observed, the church could add more services if it wants to ensure that everyone can attend.

You can read the dissenting opinion here (Written by Kavanaugh.)

Fifth news item

Mayor says out of state agitators arrested in St. Paul taking advantage of the very real pain of the community:

Sixth news item

Two views on protesting:



Lineup For First 2020 Democratic Debate

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:17 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Debate season is just about upon us. Hoo boy, anything is possible in the Thunderdome.

Of the 20 qualifying candidates, these are the top five contenders at this point in time: Biden, Sanders, Harris and Buttigieg and Warren. The two nights of debate will be held in Miami.

Here is the lineup for June 26:

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker
Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro
Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio
Former Maryland Rep. John Delaney
Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan

Here is the lineup for June 27:

Former Vice President Joe Biden
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders
South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg
California Sen. Kamala Harris
New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet
Author Marianne Williamson
California Rep. Eric Swalwell
Businessman Andrew Yang
Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper

How disappointing that Sanders and Warren won’t be on stage together to entertainingly try and out-socialism each other. Of course, his “Americans would be delighted to pay more taxes” silliness is still fresh in people’s minds, and her American Indian issues are still making the news. They’ve got problems. Clearly front-runner Biden will be the main target of the other contenders on the second night. And boy, has he given them some stuff to work with: flip-floppingon abortion, finger-wagging condescension toward women, flip-flopping on China threat, etc. I’m surprised that “spirituality guru” Marianne Williamson made the cut while Governor Bullock of Montana didn’t. Bullock being the only candidate to win a statewide election in a state won by Trump…But then again, we’re talking California and Montana.

Here is some background on how the matchups were decided:

According to NBC, the media sponsor for the first debate, a representative from NBC News Standards & Practices conducted the drawing.

Each campaign was invited to send one representative to NBC headquarters at Rockefeller Center in New York for the noon drawing. According to people in the room, the names were drawn and then NBC determined which set of Democratic hopefuls would debate on either night.

NBC announced that candidate podium placements would be based on polling and announced closer to the debates.

Candidates had to qualify for the first debate by either receiving at least 1% support in three polls from an approved list of pollsters or received campaign contributions from 65,000 unique donors, including 200 donors each from 20 different states.
Three Democratic hopefuls — Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton and Miramar, Florida, Mayor Wayne Messam — did not qualify for the first contest.

Let the games begin.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


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