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Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Cruising the Web

Loyalty to the Leader is paramount as Newt Gingrich is finding out. Gingrich dared to make the totally reasonable statement that Trump's racist attacks on the judge in his the Trump U case was "completely unacceptable." Of course it is. as Senator Ben Sasse tweeted, Trump's attack on the man's race as making him unable to judge the case is exactly what racism is.
Even beyond that, Trump's accusation that someone's race should disqualify him from judging a case could lead to all sorts of reprehensible conclusions that we should always reject - that a person's race determines a person's views and sense of justice. Does this mean that a white judge cannot sit when the accused is African American? Can a Jewish judge not sit when the accused is a Muslim? Are we going to chop up our judicial system on the basis of ethnic origin? Of course, Trump's accusation was "completely unacceptable." But that's nothing new for Trump.

And now Gingrich is being chastised by the Trump who says it's "inappropriate" for Gingrich to commit lèse-majesté by daring to criticize Trump. Trump's criticism of Gingrich for daring to criticize Trump should serve as a warning to anyone considering serving in a Trump administration. They would be in the position of constantly having to answer questions about crazy and unacceptable things that Trump says. Who wants to be in that position?

Of course, those on the left have been willing to say that race should be considered, even be paramount, when evaluating judges.
And, worst of all, the professional pols' slavish devotion to demographics and identity politics in every matter means they never stop peddling soft racism. They celebrate their strange racism at every turn. And if you balk at participating in it, they will loudly denounce you as a racist.

Consider: In 2001, a federal judge delivered a speech in which she disputed the notion that judges should "transcend their personal sympathies and prejudices and aspire to achieve a greater degree of fairness and integrity based on the reason of law."

She doubted, in fact, that this impartiality was even possible. Furthermore, the judge shockingly admitted, "I wonder whether, by ignoring our differences as women or men of color, we do a disservice both to the law and society."

So here is a federal judge openly admitting that she does not believe in the most basic tenet of American jurisprudence. How did such a misguided women ever graduate law school, let alone reach the federal bench? The rule of law, to this judge, is an unattainable farce.

After her stunning admission of uncontrollable prejudice from the bench, was this judge reprimanded? Impeached? Disbarred? Sent back to law school?

No. On August 8, 2009, Sonia Sotomayor was elevated to the United States Supreme Court, where she can exercise her prejudices over every court in the land. Obviously sharing Justice Sotomayor's view of a court system infected with racial prejudice, President Obama nominated her as part of the Democratic Party's larger political strategy to win over Latino voters.

Later in that blasphemous 2001 speech, Justice Sotomayor opined how she "would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."
Many conservatives considered Sotomayor's speech disqualifying, but liberals thought it was just fine. It should be regarded disqualifying when Sotomayor considers race as a paramount characteristic for a judge just as it is when Trump uses race to criticize a judge. The outrage from both Republicans and Democrats to Trump's words is quite a contrast to how Democrats reacted to Sotomayor's words.

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Bloomberg reports on a conference call that Trump held with surrogates in which they told him that their instructions from the campaign were to stop talking about the judge and the Trump U case and Trump erupted against his own campaign officials.
When former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer interrupted the discussion to inform Trump that his own campaign had asked surrogates to stop talking about the lawsuit in an e-mail on Sunday, Trump repeatedly demanded to know who sent the memo, and immediately overruled his staff.

"Take that order and throw it the hell out," Trump said.

Told the memo was sent by Erica Freeman, a staffer who circulates information to surrogates, Trump said he didn't know her. He openly questioned how the campaign could defend itself if supporters weren't allowed to talk.

"Are there any other stupid letters that were sent to you folks?" Trump said. "That's one of the reasons I want to have this call, because you guys are getting sometimes stupid information from people that aren't so smart."
Of course Trump surrogates and Trump himself should stop talking about the case and the judge. Everything he says about the case digs him deeper into the muck. But Trump doesn't care. All he cares about is defending himself and attacking anyone who attacks him. Instead of focusing on what a candidate of a major party who has wrapped up the nomination should be focusing on - talking about the economy, foreign policy, the weaknesses of his presumptive opponent, Trump wants to rant about the ethnic ancestry of a judge in a case of fraud against him. If voters thought they were voting for someone who was going to fight for the issues that they care most about, just forget it. What Trump cares most about is...Trump. Everything else is secondary.

Allahpundit links to this MSNBC story titled, "Donald Trump does not have a campaign."
Donald Trump is a candidate without a campaign – and it’s becoming a serious problem.

Republicans working to elect Trump describe a bare-bones effort debilitated by infighting, a lack of staff to carry out basic functions, minimal coordination with allies and a message that’s prisoner to Trump’s momentary whims.

“Bottom line, you can hire all the top people in the world, but to what end? Trump does what he wants,” a source close to the campaign said.
Given how Trump just threw his campaign operative under the buss as "stupid" for writing a perfectly sensible memo telling surrogates to lay off talking about the Trump U case, it's not surprising that he hasn't filled a lot of important campaign positions.
Veteran operatives are shocked by the campaign’s failure to fill key roles. There is no communications team to deal with the hundreds of media outlets covering the race, no rapid response director to quickly rebut attacks and launch new ones, and a limited cast of surrogates who lack a cohesive message.
That's why the campaign didn't seem to know what to do to respond to the Trump U story.
The absence of a response to the Trump U story left the candidate to fill the vacuum with a torrent of demagoguery against the federal judge overseeing the case, Gonzalo Curiel, who Trump said was biased by his “Mexican heritage” despite his Indiana birthplace.
By the way, I don't know why so many of those criticizing Trump's words point out that Judge Curiel was born in Indiana as if that makes such a difference. What if the Judge had been born in Mexico and had immigrated here and become a citizen. Would he still be ineligible to hear the case? Of course not.

Anyway, it wouldn't make any difference if there were a whole slew of Trump campaign operatives in place. They wouldn't be able to stop Trump from going off on idiotic rants because that is what he does. Why would he listen to them?

MSNBC goes on the note how the lack of a campaign operation is hurting Trump's ability to respond on stories and issues that he should be out in front of.
To understand the risks of Trump’s minimalist approach, one needs to understand how a traditional campaign with a typical staff might handle the types of situations confronting him.

Clinton’s widely covered foreign policy speech, in which she attacked Trump’s qualifications and fitness to be president, was instructive. While the Republican National Committee sent out a research brief, press releases, and a statement from Chairman Reince Priebus ahead of the speech, conservatives eagerly anticipated a counterattack afterward from the Trump campaign questioning Clinton’s foreign policy record as secretary of state on Syria, Libya and Iran. Instead, Trump issued a tweet mocking her use of a teleprompter.

As the hours passed, reporters covering the event waited for a fuller statement rebutting the speech either from the Trump campaign or the RNC, but it never arrived.

The silence after the address left Trump’s supporters, many of whom are already confused by his vacillating positions, with little guidance on how to counterattack. Clinton’s team took advantage of the vacuum, racking up more hits by blitzing the news with surrogates like former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

What struck Republican strategist Ryan Williams, who served as deputy national press secretary on Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign, is that Trump seemed aware of his staffing problem even if he couldn’t locate the cause.

“Do you ever notice that @CNN gives me very little proper representation on my policies,” Trump tweeted ahead of the speech. “Just watched - nobody knew anything about my foreign P.”
Gee, whose fault is that?

Remember. This is the man who is running on his crackerjack business experience and how that has prepared him to run the country. He can't even run his campaign.
Making sure supporters are on the same page is especially important in Trump’s case, because his positions constantly change. In the past week, he’s denied – inaccurately – that he’s said the U.S. might benefit from Japan acquiring nuclear weapons. On Sunday, Trump completed a 360-degree reversal on the 2011 operation that removed Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, saying he would have supported “surgical” strikes to remove him from power after previously arguing he should have been left alone and, before that, calling for his ouster.
“They set up this structure where no one is really allowed to speak on behalf of the candidate except the candidate,” Williams said.

The morning after Clinton’s speech, Trump tweeted that his opponent “made up things that I said or believe but have no basis in fact.”

This, too, is something a candidate’s staff is supposed to handle. Presidential campaigns typically have a war room that tracks opponent’s statements in real time and flags inaccuracies to push back on, attacks to counter or stumbles to exploit.

Trump’s staff never sent out materials challenging Clinton’s accuracy, however, while Clinton responded to Trump with a meticulously prepared list of citations for every quote she mentioned in her speech.

“A team with a robust rapid response operation would have been able to brief reporters to prebut the speech, blunt expected criticisms, and also plant negative research or negative narratives about Hillary Clinton with reporters,” Lis Smith, who served as rapid response director on Obama’s 2012 campaign, told NBC News. “They did not do that.”
His campaign wasn't even able to jump on the bad employment numbers that came out on Friday. A nimble campaign would have been all over that the morning the numbers were released so his comments would have been part of the news coverage of the story. Instead there was nothing on the economy that day from Trump.

The MSNBC goes on to note several other examples of opportunities for the Trump campaign to jump on stories such as the State Department IG report on Clinton's private server and flood the zone so that surrogates and the campaigns worked to amplify the story. Instead we get several days of discussion of whether or not it's racist to say that a judge of Hispanic descent should be allowed to sit on a case involving Donald Trump.

And for all those people who kept telling us how Trump would make a better general election candidate because he'd bring the fight to Clinton, how's that looking now?

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Sanders supporters might hate hearing it, but his proposed policy for health care, Medicare for All, would speedily bankrupt the country.
Medicare for All is the single-payer health care system that most progressives support as a replacement for Obamacare. Sanders, the Vermont senator who is ostensibly running against Hillary Clinton for the Democrat presidential nomination, has made it the centerpiece of his campaign. His website assures us that “Bernie’s plan” will save the country $6 trillion over the next ten years, but UI committed the sin of checking the math, and the study’s authors are not feeling the Bern: “[N]ational health expenditures would increase … by 6.6 trillion (16.6 percent) between 2017 and 2026.”

And this is just a drop in the bucket compared to how much it will increase the government’s health spending: “The increase in federal expenditures would be considerably larger than the increase in national health expenditures because substantial spending borne by states, employers, and households under current law would shift to the federal government under the Sanders plan.” How much larger? “In total, federal spending would increase by about $2.5 trillion (257.6 percent) in 2017. Federal expenditures would increase by about $32.0 trillion (232.7 percent) between 2017 and 2026.”
Sanders supporters attack the Urban Institute study, but they really have nothing but distorted and deceptive rants. It is the actual math that they have trouble refuting.

Christian student groups have had their First Amendment rights restored at NC State University.
Two days after a hearing on North Carolina State University’s non-solicitation policy – which was selectively used to shut down a Christian student group from proselytizing – a federal judge has halted that policy.

Judge James Dever approved a permanent injunction against the school, saying that Grace Christian Life was “likely to succeed on the merits” of its lawsuit against the school’s policy that requires a permit before speaking anywhere on campus. The policy likely “facially violates the First Amendment,” Dever wrote.

Grace Christian members said they documented students from other groups handing out fliers and approaching students to talk without interference from officials – only their Christian group was banned from leaving their table to initiate conversations.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing Grace

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Jim Geraghty thinks that Hillary is making a mistake in ceding the media to Trump.
As Trump noted with glee this week, Clinton hasn’t held a press conference for six months. She periodically boasts that she’s done nearly 300 interviews, but that total includes appearances on entertainment programs such as The Ellen DeGeneres Show and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. She has largely avoided the kind of tough, national press that Trump endures.

When Clinton does do interviews, she sticks to her talking points and rarely offers anything spontaneous or surprising. All of her answers sound like they’ve been tested in a dozen focus groups and boiled down to uncontroversial mush. She is, as Trump put it, a “totally scripted” and relentlessly boring candidate.

Meanwhile, an empty podium at a Trump rally can get a half-hour of live coverage on cable news, with talking heads filling air time, speculating about what the Republican nominee will say. Trump rallies and press conferences are aired live in their entirety, without commercial interruption. And no wonder: While Clinton studiously avoids the temptation to be interesting, Trump is the most unpredictable man in politics. His rallies can feature anything from the announcement of a senator’s personal cell-phone number to his trademark insults to reporters being ejected by security to protesters threatening a riot. They rarely provide anything close to the dignified debate this great nation deserves, but they’ve yet to fail in driving up ratings.

Meanwhile, Clinton says little, and when television news pulls its attention away from Trump, the discussion is about why she can’t seem to put away Bernie Sanders.
Hey, she's probably thinking that she can get into the White House and then limit her interviews to Ellen and youtube stars who drink cereal from a bathtub.

But hey, just as she was being criticized for not holding press conferences, she took a whole eight minutes of questions from the media yesterday.

Here is an example of how the media does Clinton's bidding even when questioning Bernie Sanders.
A New York Times reporter asked Bernie Sanders on Monday if it is sexist for him to continue running for president against what could be the nation’s first female president in Hillary Clinton....

“What do you say to women that say you staying in the race is sexist because it could get in the way of what could be the first female president?”
This is a typical media weaseling on a question by framing it as some other, unidentified people who are saying something that the journalist really believes.

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This is our Justice Department,
ladies and gentlemen.
n February a federal jury acquitted Vascular Solutions and its CEO Howard Root on all criminal charges related to the promotion of one of its varicose-vein kits. The company wasn’t accused of spreading false information—merely of marketing the kits for off-label uses that the Food and Drug Administration hadn’t approved. The company’s attorneys found evidence that prosecutors had shared grand jury testimony from some witnesses with other witnesses, interviewed witnesses outside the grand jury without their counsel present, and threatened perjury charges against witnesses whose testimony didn’t fit the DOJ narrative.
Apparently, violating the ethics of prosecutorial conduct in order to accomplish their ends is standard procedure there.

This is how the Obama State Department approaches transparency when Hillary Clinton is involved.
The Republican National Committee would have to wait 75 years for the State Department to release emails from top aides to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to a recent court filing.

State Department lawyers argue in a filing made last Wednesday that gathering 450,000 pages of records requested for former Clinton aides Cheryl Mills and Jacob Sullivan and top State Department official Patrick Kennedy would take three quarters of a century.
"Given the Department's current FOIA workload and the complexity of these documents, it can process about 500 pages a month, meaning it would take approximately 16-and-2/3 years to complete the review of the Mills documents, 33-and-1/3 years to finish the review of the Sullivan documents, and 25 years to wrap up the review of the Kennedy documents -- or 75 years in total," the State Department argued in the filing.
Just imagine how long it would take to release any documents requested under FOIA if she were actually president.

Uber is even better abroad. David Henderson of the Hoover Institution writes,
If you have ever traveled in a country where you don't speak the dominant language, you may well appreciate how huge these benefits are. Just notice how many problems Uber solves, problems that people, often with good reason, have worried about when traveling abroad:
You don't have to negotiate, and if you did negotiate, it would be in a situation where it is difficult because of the language barrier.

You don't have to deal with additional passengers. You get to go where you want to go without detours or other stops.

You can use your app to tell the driver exactly where you want to go, without his having to understand your language.

You can judge, somewhat at least, whether he is using the right route.

You have a ready-made way to complain if you feel cheated.

You avoid the "unfamiliar money" hassle.
....Now ask yourself this. What if someone who tends to lean toward government solutions wanted a solution to all these problems. Would that person likely have thought of Uber? This is Hayek's "The Use of Knowledge in Society" on steroids.
I just used Uber the first time a couple of weeks ago when I took seven students and a parent to Dallas for the national quiz bowl tournament. Rather than having to use two or three taxis to get us from the airport to the hotel, we used Uber for two vehicles and it worked perfectly and cost us about a third of what the estimated cost in a taxi would have been. I don't travel much so I hadn't had occasion to use Uber before and was a bit nervous that my first use was with kids in tow, but now I'm a total fan.

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This is how some on the left are in such a hurry to cry racism that they don't bother to check the facts. There were those who took to Twitter to argue that zoo officials would not have killed the gorilla in the Cincinnati Zoo if the little boy had been black instead of white. Apparently, they just assumed that the boy was white and that zoo authorities only care about saving white children. Except it turns out that the little boy is African American. Oops. Never mind.


Marshall said...

Betsy, you clearly don't understand Trump's position (and reasoning) vis the judge. Trump takes issue with the guys connections with La Raza -- and his rulings to date. Of course the drive-by media seeks to scream RACISM!, but that's horses**t, and Trump is right to demand his campaign staff stay on message. Trump would be a fool (and he's not) to let this die. It's yet another example of the PC crowd trying to paint him as shameful.

Now, it may be a poor tactical move to criticize the judge for his political connections, but time will tell. So far, Trump is Teflon Don.

Marshall said...

Joseph Murray makes the same points --

Roy Lofquist said...

Or maybe, just maybe, this judge thing is turning out to be pure 24 carat gold for Trump. Maybe this thing with Gingrich is a shtick to keep the pot stirred.

Crazy, huh? Drinking your breakfast again are you, Roy. Why are lawyer jokes perennial favorites? Why does "first, let's kill all the lawyers" get the laughs?

It's pretty simple, really. Almost all of the voters' encounters with the courts are civil matters - money, divorce, landlord/tenant. One side wins, the other side loses. The winners smile all the way to the bank. The losers are not happy. And they talk about it. Family, friends, the guy on the next bar stool. They usually don't have much good to say about the judge or the lawyers, even the court reporter.

Same thing about hospital food. You could order in from Maxim's of Paris and it wouldn't make a difference. When you're sick nothing tastes good.

The Donald knows this. The politicians don't.