Ain’t got time for dat.
Ain’t got time for dat.
In Frederick Douglass Foundation, Inc. v. District of Columbia, (DDC, March 26, 2021), the federal district court for the District of Columbia refused to enjoin enforcement of D.C.’s Defacement Ordinance against two groups that organized an anti-abortion demonstration. Protesters attempted to paint or chalk the streets with their slogan “Black Pre-Born Lives Matter.” The court rejected plaintiffs’ free speech, equal protection, RFRA and free exercise claims. Plaintiffs claim that the Ordinance is enforced in a viewpoint discriminatory manner in that “Black Lives Matter” and “Defund the Police” protesters were not prosecuted. The court said in part, however:
It seems far more plausible, rather, that law enforcement opted against enforcing the Ordinance [against Black Lives Matter protesters] in light of the foreseeable risks of intervention in the moment — e.g., inflaming what may well have already been a tense, fervent, and chaotic protest scene.
The Court here is probably realistic. But I’d have been comfortable with the opposite result because public officials primp and preen as supporters of “Black Lives Matter” and “Defund the Police” protesters instead of admitting they’re powerless to stop them.
G.K. Chesterton was amazing:
[T]hose who believe in the invisible order are now the last custodians of the visible one. G.K. Chesterton predicted more than a century ago:
Everything will be denied. Everything will become a creed. It is a reasonable position to deny the stones in the street; it will be a religious dogma to assert them. Fires will be kindled to testify that two and two make four. Swords will be drawn to prove that leaves are green in summer. We shall be left defending, not only the incredible virtues and sanities of human life, but something more incredible still, this huge impossible universe which stares us in the face.
Margaret Harper McCarthy, The Equality Act Is at War With Reality - WSJ
Mama, don’t let your babies grow up to be adjuncts
Note well the second reason.
But cancel culture doesn’t exist. No sirree!
Don’t you dare tell the truth!
Abigail Shrier is Exhibit A for the proposition that “it is unforgivable to speak truth about matters of sexuality when the elite are pushing lies.”
Agreeing with Eric Metaxas
Green: But there were investigations into allegations of irregularities. Attorney General Bill Barr said the DOJ looked into all allegations of voter fraud, and they didn’t uncover anything on a scale that would change the outcome of the election. Republican officials at the state level—Brad Raffensperger in Georgia, for example—said things went according to plan.
Is that not persuasive to you? Do you believe President Trump was actually reelected?
Metaxas: I think it’s very possible he was reelected, yeah. And that sickens me, that I could even think that. I’ve seen enough to make me doubt that we had a fair election, that every person’s vote was counted the way it’s supposed to be counted.
Eric Metaxas to Emma Green (italics added).
Finally, something we agree on: it sickens me, too, that Metaxas could even think it’s very possible that Trump was reelected.
Law professor Ann Althouse thinks The Trump lawyers’ “Fight” montage is devastating and — if you’re not bent on getting Trump convicted — hilarious..
The first part of the montage — Democrats pols and progressive cultural icons, including Kamala Harris, “threatening” violence or murder — struck me as jarring and powerful even though the contexts weren’t such as could incite violence imminently, and in some instances (e.g., Harris on the Ellen Degeneres show) were clearly jesting.
The second part, the montage of Democrat pols using the word “fight” is pernicious, not hilarious. It ignores context but, just as importantly, the extreme repetitiveness, the staccato “fight” deluge merely trivializes the word “fight”, exactly as would a similar montage featuring any other monosyllable — “God” for instance. I don’t like mind tricks like that.
(I now remember why I unfollowed Althouse the last time I’d stumbled onto her and thought she looked interesting.)
I didn’t care about Gina Carano’s firing until I saw how she described her preferred pronouns. Now I (preferred pronouns, Thee/Thou/Thy) am a fan.
Sauce for the gander
One year ago today, 45 riled up a crowd demanding that Barack Obama should be impeached for his lie that “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan.”
Be it noted that Obama was a former President.
Two shorts on politics
Trump was our greatest champion, and it still wasn’t enough. He tried his very best. He did so much, but he’s only one man…I even helped stormed(sic) the capitol today, but it only made things worse…Why, God? Why? WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN US? Unless…Trump still has a plan?
25-year-old Jack Griffith, who didn’t even vote in the election he was protesting. Unmistakably reminds me of the Ur-story instantiated here. “I did help. I sent you an election.”
[E]verybody “understands” what happened with GameStop. Unlike some other Wall Street stories, this one isn’t complicated. The entire tale, in a nutshell, goes like this. One group of gamblers announced, “Fuck you!” Another group announced back: “No, fuck YOU!”
Short-sellers bet by borrowing shares from so-called prime brokers (Goldman, Sachs and JP Morgan Chase are among the biggest), selling them, and waiting for the price to drop, at which point they buy them back on the open market at the lower price and return them. The commonly understood rub is that prime brokers don’t always really procure those original borrowed shares, and often give out more “locates” than they should, putting more shares in circulation than actually exist (as in this case). GameStop is exposing this systematic plundering of firms using phantom shares and locates, by groups of actors who now have the gall to complain that they’re the victims of a “get rich quick” scheme.
… The degree to which even the beneficial functions of short-sellers are cheered or not is dependent upon whose corruption they’re uncovering. Let the record show that when the S.E.C. imposed a ban on shorts of financial stocks in 2008, they routed short-sellers who were dead right about the insolubility of America’s banking sector. The state prevented their correct judgment about companies like Wachovia and Washington Mutual, whose stocks kept plunging even after the ban and went bust soon after.
Matt Taibbi, Suck It, Wall Street - TK News by Matt Taibbi
Campaign ad preview
All but five Senate Republicans—Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Ben Sasse, and Pat Toomey—voted against tabling a motion introduced by Sen. Rand Paul dismissing former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial as unconstitutional. Senate Democrats successfully tabled the motion, but the GOP support Paul’s point of order received is likely a preview of what to expect at next month’s impeachment trial.
This is one of those procedural votes that one must walk through step-by-step to figure out what happened. Considering the five Republicans who deviated from their colleagues, you’d have a pretty good guess at the gist, but here goes:
It’s important because this vote probably will appear in ominous TV ads when the five get primaried. Unless there’s an even darker allegation that they voted to impeach 45 and bar him from holding office ever again — which there probably will be.
Too gay to pardon?
… Much to the disappointment of reality television fanatics across the country, the final round of pardons also excluded Joe Exotic—the star of Netflix’s “Tiger King”—who was convicted on 17 counts of animal abuse.
“I was too innocent and too GAY to deserve a Pardon from Trump. I only mattered to Don Jr. when he needed to make a comment about me to boost his social media post,” the TV personality tweeted Wednesday. “Boy were we all stupid to believe he actually stood for Equal Justice? His corrupt friends all come first.”
Of all the figures around Trump, including Trump himself, Giuliani’s descent into villainy is the most tragic, because tragedy is about the downfall of heroes. Like all good villains, Giuliani is at peace with what he’s become. When warned by friends he’s setting fire to his legacy, Giuliani said, “My attitude about my legacy is f— it.”
Mission accomplished, Mr. Mayor.
Jonah Goldberg, The Remarkable Descent of Rudy Giuliani - The Dispatch
How History Will Judge Trump
[H]ow will Donald Trump’s presidency be remembered by history? We already know the answer.
He oversaw a disastrous response to a global pandemic, because of which more than 400,000 Americans died on his watch.
That’s it. That’s his legacy. And if he gets a second line in the history books it will be this:
He incited an insurrection on the U.S. Capitol which led to a second impeachment.
Jonathan Last, History Will Crush Trump - The Triad
Statesmanship, not politics
“I spent the last couple of days looking at what happened that day and what the president was doing while it was happening,” [South Carolina Rep. Tom Rice] said in an interview Thursday. “And the more I looked at it, the madder I got.”
Mr. Rice said that for him, the question of whether Mr. Trump had incited the crowd wasn’t the most important question. Rather, it was whether he had done enough to try to stop it, or later, to take any responsibility.
“When people are in the Capitol, ransacking the Capitol and trying to get to the Senate chamber and House chamber, and Vice President Mike Pence is in the Capitol and the president is tweeting the vice president lacks courage, I just cannot abide that,” Mr. Rice said. “It was a vote I felt I didn’t have a choice on. The path was clear.”
“I’ll be surprised if I don’t get one,” Mr. Rice said of a primary challenge. He said he had already heard plenty of both positive and negative feedback in the less than 24 hours since he cast his vote.
“I hope I get re-elected,” Mr. Rice said. “If they decide based on this vote, which I know was the right vote, that they don’t want me to be their representative, so be it.”
(Wall Street Journal, 1/15/21)
What do you call it when rightwingnuts do something horrible and then pretend it was leftwingnuts conducting a “false flag” operation? Is that a “false flag false flag” operation?
Some Republican lawmakers say they would vote to impeach Trump in the wake of Capitol riot. House Democrats passed a resolution Tuesday demanding that Pence and a majority of the cabinet invoke the 25th Amendment.
Pence had no good options. Or, to put it another way, “lie down with dogs, rise up with fleas” is a cosmic law, and he lay down with a dog in 2016.
Michael Sherwin, the acting U.S. attorney in Washington, said his office had established a team of senior national-security and public-corruption prosecutors to examine the most serious cases, including the use of explosives and attacks on police officers.
“Their only marching orders from me are to build sedition and conspiracy charges related to the most heinous acts that occurred in the Capitol,” he said at a news conference Tuesday. “We’re looking at and treating this just like a significant international counterterrorism or counterintelligence operation.”
I am really looking forward to some of those jerkwads serving 20 years for seditious conspiracy.
To illustrate the depths of that deception, consider the sentiment among Republicans in Wisconsin, a state Mr Biden won by 20,608 votes. The president’s lawyers have filed six failed legal challenges to the result, including in the US Supreme Court. They also instigated a recount in Wisconsin’s most populous counties, Milwaukee and Dane, adding 87 votes to Mr Biden’s tally. Wisconsin’s Republican senator, Ron Johnson, held a Senate committee inquiry into Mr Trump’s allegations; he subsequently told The Economist that he saw no reason to question the results in his home state. Yet Terry Dittrich, chairman of the Waukesha County Republican Party, Wisconsin’s biggest, maintains that Mr Trump won it, in an election riddled with fraud, and he claims to know no Republican who thinks otherwise.
For evidence the 59-year-old real-estate professional offered a list of concerns about the vote that Wisconsin’s conservative chief justice dismissed—including a big increase in postal voting that Mr Dittrich considered “absolutely fraudulent”. He also raised the simple fact that Mr Biden performed creditably in leafy Waukesha County, on the outskirts of Milwaukee, just as the Democrat in fact did in affluent white suburbs across the country. “There is absolutely no way Biden outperformed Barack Obama in Waukesha County by the numbers they are proclaiming,” Mr Dittrich said. “We’re not giving up on this. It’s not about being a bunch of Cry Babies or sore losers. We are law-abiding citizens who just want a clean election.”
… A majority of Republican voters have in effect accepted Mr Trump’s claim that Democrats cannot win legitimately and that a lack of proof of their machinations is proof of a cover-up.
What is it about “Donald F. Trump is a uniquely hot steaming mess that tens of millions want hauled out and left at the curb” you don’t understand, Mr. Dittrich?
One of the chief reasons I couldn’t vote for Donald Trump is the ugly way he talks about human beings. That said, I underestimated how many people may have voted for him because of his rough, threatening, even violent talk, rather than despite. I never thought we would see what we saw in the Capitol. I do think it reached a whole new level post-election, but as I said in my syndicated column this week, people such as Jonah Goldberg, Jay Nordlinger, and David French were right to constantly sound alarms.
This is a time for humility and repentance, and for the Left, too. We’ve been too polarized and ideologically driven with a religious-like fervor on both sides. Hurt people are hurting hurt people. We need a president who honestly wants to be president of all Americans. Including peaceful ones at the Trump rally last Wednesday.
Kathryn Jean Lopez, A Mea Culpa
What the healing of America should look like:
At a joint press conference, a dozen or more of the most prominent figures in the “Stop the Steal” movement gather. There’s Kevin McCarthy, Rep. Steve Scalise, Newt Gingrich, and a claque of Fox News primetime anchors. (Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley are at a separate table, because no one will agree to sit with them.)
“We are here to ‘revise and extend our remarks,’” McCarthy begins in an attempt at congressional wit.
“Joe Biden is president-elect. He won. Donald Trump lost. This has been the case since a few days after election night. There was no fraud worth speaking of; the courts from one end of the country to the other have thrown out every claim of irregularity. To our eternal regret, many in my party, out of ignorance, delusion, mendacity, or fear of our own constituents, endlessly repeated outright lies emanating from the fevered mind of our delusional president, whom we never should have nominated in the first place. This helped create the climate for the most violent assault on the Capitol in 200 years. I am ashamed personally, and for my party.”
Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell is next.
“While I urged my colleagues to accept the electoral vote count, I bear heavy responsibility in spending the last four years ignoring the increasingly lunatic actions and rhetoric of the president. As long as he gave me my judges, I turned away from the behavior that culminated in a presidentially triggered riot. In the interest of unity, I am asking the various committee chairs to move swiftly to put President-elect Biden’s economic and national security team in place as close to January 20th as possible.”
Newt Gingrich rises—slowly, with great difficulty—to acknowledge that “as a world-class historian, I knew better than to embrace the mad-as-a-hatter fantasies of the president. It’s not as if I have the mental acuity of Louie ‘Bag of Hammers’ Gohmert. But I was too busy selling my books, CDs, and commemorative coins to think about the harm I was doing to the country. I am now offering a ‘Collector’s Item’ special of videos and pen holders in honor of Joe Biden’s inaugural, just call this toll-free—”
When Gingrich has returned—slowly, painfully—to his seat, Senators Hawley and Cruz take the podium together.
“Of course we know the truth,” they recite together. “We are two of the smartest, best-credentialed senators ever: Stanford and Princeton, Yale Law and Harvard Law. But our joint lust for the presidential nomination unmoored us from any sense of decency. We are resigning our seats and—like the British politician John Profumo, who left in scandal and spent the rest of his life doing charity work—we intend to spend the coming years doing menial labor for the Little Sisters of the Poor, while engaging in prayerful meditation so that we might somehow become less reprehensible human beings.”
A few moments later, after the Fox News primetime team pledges a vow of silence, the gathering ends. And peace and tranquility settle upon our divided land.
Jeff Greenfield, Yes, by All Means, Let the Healing Begin
I have been a Republican for 62 years. I have been a Goldwater conservative, a Reagan conservative, and a W conservative.
And I have now left the Republican party. A party that has been at the center of my entire adult life. A party that defined me to others and to myself. It has become the opposite of what it was. It has become a cult idolizing a ruler, a trasher of institutions of democracy driven by falsehoods and hatreds.
Consider the big issue of the last two months: The “steal” of the 2020 election. Who are the supposed forces of evil who have perpetrated this “steal”? Take Arizona. The governor, a Trump supporter and conservative, certified that Trump lost a fair election in his state. The governor of Georgia, a Trump supporter and conservative, said Trump lost a fair election in his state. The conservative Republican Trump supporters who lead the Michigan legislature said Trump lost a fair election in their state. Dozens of courts—including judges appointed by Trump—said there was no evidence of fraud. The Supreme Court, dominated by conservatives and including three Trump appointees, tossed out Trump’s claim of a stolen election. Unanimously. Bill Barr, the attorney general and Trump loyalist, said there was no evidence of anything that questioned the validity of Trump’s loss.
Despite all that, Trump supporters attacked the United States Capitol. A police officer was killed by the mob; another took his life after the fact. Staffers and members feared for their lives. Journalists were assaulted. And after all that, nearly 150 Republican members of Congress still fed the falsehood that the validity of the election was in question. These were not citizens with no access to truth; they are not ignorant of the facts. They knew everything I’ve spelled out about the validity of Donald Trump’s electoral loss. They knew—but they fed the falsehood; they provided the fuel for an attack on the heart of American government, an attack that killed an officer trying to protect them. An attack by Americans against America. Supported and cheered on by Republicans. My Republicans. There were Republicans who refused to play along with the charade—men like Governor Ducey in Arizona, Governor Kemp and election officials in Georgia—but for the most part even those Republican members of Congress who didn’t join the attempt to overthrow the election remained unforgivably silent out of party loyalty and fear, making them complicit nonetheless in this bloody attack on their own country.
I’ve left the Republican party. I will not be going back.
Mickey Edwards, A Republican Journey. Edwards represented Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District in Congress for 16 years. He was a member of the Republican leadership and chairman of the party’s policy committee in the House. He now teaches at Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs.
I hadn’t thought, before sometime in the last year, about the connotation of “impunity.” The real “tells” in last week’s riots at the U.S. Capital were the maskless rioters, smirking and taking selfies, obviously thinking that Trump and sundry Congressrats had their backs and that they were acting with impunity.
Dumbasses. Some of them are going to prison for long terms.
And, by the way, after some initial hesitation about calling the riots a “coup attempt,” because the rioters did not want personally to govern, I’m now entirely comfortable with calling a “coup attempt” one’s effort to disrupt the peaceful transition of power to the duly elected President so that one’s demagogue can remain in power.
If the price of winning your next primary is remaining silent on the question of Trump and his post-election behavior, which culminated in the storming of the Capitol by a “Hang Mike Pence!” mob, then you have lost your priorities. If you cannot explain to voters why they are wrong to give a pass to a president who behaved as Trump has done, and what it means to have a president who fouls American democracy by rousing the rabble to break down the doors of the Capitol and shout for lynching the vice president, then why are you in public service? If that’s what it takes to keep your job, why would you even want a job like that? Honestly, I do not get it.
I had an extremely frustrating conversation this evening with a friend who believes all of this was invented by the Left to discredit the president. The narrative is unfalsifiable. It’s not a question of a political disagreement; it’s about living outside of reality. All day long I’ve been getting e-mails from people who are really suffering because beloved friends and family members — even elderly parents — are completely lost in this toxic unreality of paranoia and conspiracy. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life, aside from woke militants. Something demonic is in the air. We might not need an impeachment and conviction so much as we need an exorcism.
Rod Dreher, Impeachment As Exorcism
Nothing, absolutely nothing, has disturbed me more over the past four years, than the weird misuse of Christian religious language, spirituality and mysticism in service of the Trumpist political agenda ….
Rod Dreher, Impeachment As Exorcism
Conservative writer and radio host Erick Erickson expanded upon some of the themes we touched on above in his newsletter yesterday. Cancel culture exists, and it is a threat, he writes. But that’s not what we’re seeing in the wake of last week’s insurrection. “No, I am not sympathetic to you over major corporations deciding not to give you a penny. No, I am not sympathetic to you getting your internet social media accounts canceled. No, I am not sympathetic to you having your rising career in politics ruined,” he writes of those facing repercussions for their role in Wednesday’s events. “This was bound to happen because you overplayed your hand and your action is causing a reaction. It is an equal and opposite reaction. Trying to cancel a presidential election causes a cancelation rebound.”
If you asked today “what’s an evangelical?” to most people, I would want them to say: someone who believes Jesus died on the cross for our sin and in our place and we’re supposed to tell everyone about it. But for most people they’d say, “Oh, those are those people who are really super supportive of the president no matter what he does.”
Ed Stetzer, interviewed in ‘How Did We Get Here?’ A Call For An Evangelical Reckoning On Trump. Overall, I found this interview terribly boring, which may simply reflect that Stetzer’s not washing the family’s dirty linen in public.
A related argument, lent weight by the president himself yesterday, is to suggest, hint, insinuate, or outright proclaim that impeachment could lead to violence. It could tear apart the country. Yada, yada, yada.
“This impeachment is causing tremendous anger and you’re doing it and it’s really a terrible thing that they’re doing,” he added, in his first public comments since the deadly assault on the Capitol.
“For Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to continue on this path, I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country and it’s causing tremendous anger. I want no violence,” Mr. Trump concluded before heading across the South Lawn to Marine One.
Maybe it could spark violence—and even if that were the case, since when do conservatives argue that we should appease potential rioters? I’ve been writing about the pernicious “riot ideology” of the 1960s left for 20 years. Lo and behold, the right has now embraced it. Moreover, the mere fact that it is plausible that Trump’s second impeachment could spark violence is an argument for why he should be impeached. Forget that he’s threatening Congress with the possibility of violence; the fact that the threat is plausible is testament to the environment he deliberately created.
But here’s my point: If Trump actually believes this stuff, the incandescently obvious moral choice is for him to resign, to spare America even greater turmoil and strife. That would be a display of Trump putting the interests of America first. The only reason for him to stick around is vanity. It’s not like there’s anything more he can do policy-wise, save issue a bunch of easily rescinded executive orders or hand out more pardons.
Having found proof that no Indiana Republican Representative voted to impeach Trump this afternoon, I was about to turn it into a “what a bunch of gutless weenies” blog. Then I realized that I have no truly firm opinion on whether impeachment for Trump’s impeachable offenses is really necessary. All I had was reliable data from Politico.
Our minds and emotions can combine in toxic ways.
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