Politico recaps another Day in the Life with The Donald.
The crazy keeps coming...
The Times says Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandoski was actually arrested, although not held:
A spokeswoman for Mr. Trump, Hope Hicks, said Tuesday that Mr. Lewandowski was “absolutely innocent of this charge,” that he would plead not guilty and that he had not been arrested but had merely been issued a “notice to appear.”
But Officer Joseph Beinlich, a spokesman for the department, said otherwise. “A notice to appear is an actual arrest,” he said.
The WaPo notes the "arrest" controversy and punts:
Shortly after Lewandowski turned himself in, a dispute erupted over whether he had been arrested. The Trump campaign insisted in a statement that he “was not arrested,” although a police report distributed to news outlets said his arrest occurred at 8:10 a.m.
A spokesman for the Jupiter Police Department said that Lewandowski was informed that he would be charged and that he voluntarily went to police headquarters, where he signed a form at 8:10 a.m. Tuesday to acknowledge his May 4 court date.
“He came in by himself, without us picking him up, and signed his notice to appear,” said officer Joseph Beinlich, a department spokesman. He added that because Lewandowski faces a misdemeanor charge, no booking photo was taken.
Obviously it is a minor point, but it doesn't seem as if it should be this mysterious.
As to the impact on Trump and his campaign, who knows?
Let's get this week underway.
As near as I can tell, once you cut through the weeds it's the story of a senior official who's technically illiterate and didn't want to change her email habits. Both Clinton and her inner circle of advisers were "dedicated [BlackBerry] addicts," but apparently neither the NSA nor anyone else was willing to help them make their BlackBerries safe.... In the meantime, she grudgingly obeyed rules that required her to leave her phone behind when she entered her 7th floor office, but used it everywhere else.
Uh huh. The fact that her arrangement inexplicably prevented her emails from being caught up in FOIA requests was just a weird unintended consequence, even though we have emails from top staffers specifically noting that very consequence. Paul Mirengoff expounds on this.
The Times has an intriguing article on a natural human tendency to over-estimate our abilities (and no, they don't mention Obama!)
However, in what may be a display f my own over-confidence I am scoring this next example as a copy-editor fail (emphasis added):
Overconfidence is hard-wired into our brains because it is useful. Many of our mental biases evolved because they make us cautious or they otherwise protect us from harm, but overconfidence is part of a suite of cognitive traits that serve to propel us forward. Just as no one would think to write a children’s book about a train engine that repeats, “I think I can’t,” few explorers would venture into the wild — and few entrepreneurs would start new businesses — unless they believed that they would succeed in the face of long odds.
A bias toward optimism helps to explain why many, if not most, smokers are confident that they will not develop cancer;
I recall looking this up several times - roughly 85% of smokers (e.g., five out of six) will NOT develop lung cancer. I don't know about the other smoking-related cancers, but it seems to me that a smoker's confidence that he or she won't develop lung cancer is not misplaced.
On other hand, plenty of non-smokers develop plenty of other cancers, so maybe the author is making a general point about cancer in general. Either way, not a great illustration.
And Google says:
A reexamination of the statistics might help to clear the air.
Didn't kill grandpa
Surprisingly, fewer than 10 percent of lifelong smokers will get lung cancer. Fewer yet will contract the long list of other cancers, such as throat or mouth cancers. In the game of risk, you're more likely to have a condom break than to get cancer from smoking.
Studies in other countries have broken down the risk further to differentiate between never smokers, former smokers, and current smokers.
In a 2006 European study, the risk of developing lung cancer was:
0.2% for men who never smoked (0.4% for women)
5.5% for male former smokers (2.6% in women)
15.9% for current male smokers (9.5% for women)
24.4% for male “heavy smokers” defined as smoking more than 5 cigarettes per day (18.5% for women)
An earlier Canadian study quoted the lifetime risk for male smokers at 17.2% (11.6% in women) versus only 1.3% in male non-smokers (1.4% in female non-smokers).
Hillary offers change that we want to believe in:
Hillary On Area 51 Secrets: ‘I Think We Ought To Share It With The Public’ [VIDEO]
Hillary Clinton says barring any national security risk, she would like to open up the government files on Area 51 to the public if she is elected president.
“I would like us to go into those files and hopefully make as much of that public as possible,” she told Jimmy Kimmel Thursday night on his late night ABC talk show. “If there’s nothing there, let’s tell people there’s nothing there.”
I love it! Not just the most transparent administration in history, like Barack, but the most transparent administration in the galaxy! And since you'd have to believe in UFOs to believe her emails scheme was on the up and up, this should hit her target audience wherever they live.
But don't ask about those Goldman Sachs transcripts, Those will remain out of this world.
Here is a controversial idea from Ithaca, NY:
Ithaca’s Anti-Heroin Plan: Open a Site to Shoot Heroin
Don't get hung up on the clickbait headline - the supervised injection site is one part of a four part plan.
Ever since Mr. Myrick, 29, unveiled a plan last month for what he called a “supervised injection facility,” critics have pounced on it as a harebrained idea that would just enable more drug abuse. A Republican state legislator, Tom O’Mara, called it “preposterous” and “asinine,” and a Cornell law professor, William A. Jacobson, said it would be a “government-run heroin shooting gallery.”
When Wild Bill Jacobson has a strongly held view I listen very carefully. On the other hand, when the Times is honest enough to provide a link to their source, I check it - mistrust but verify, as someone should have said about the Old Colored Lady. Bill Jacobson's conclusion:
I have mixed feelings about such a location from a public policy perspective. The heroin scourge is real, I’m just not sure normalizing the use helps the problem.
He's not sure and neither am I, but I am sure we have been fighting the War on Drugs for forty years with no exit strategy. If this idea is a disastrous failure, the failure will be limited to Ithaca and environs; if it looks like a success, we can build on that elsewhere.
The Times notes a bit of relevant experience:
Though unheard-of in the United States, supervised injection sites have existed in Europe for years — one of the first was in Switzerland, 30 years ago — and in Vancouver, British Columbia, the only city in North America where the practice is allowed. They have been linked to a reduction in harm from heroin abuse: In Vancouver, fatal overdoses dropped 35 percent in the community surrounding its main injection site in the two years after it opened in 2003 and fell 9 percent citywide.
More on Vancouver in this guest op-ed piece.
The Ithaca piece is interesting on the legal issues:
The proposal for an injection facility, part of “The Ithaca Plan: A Public Health and Safety Approach to Drugs and Drug Policy,” would require changes to a number of state and federal laws, according to state health officials.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat who has mounted a forceful response to the heroin epidemic, told reporters at an unrelated news conference recently that he was unfamiliar with the details of the Ithaca plan and would not offer his opinion.
Much of the Ithaca drug plan has been embraced by a cross section of the community. The plan calls for more drug education, both for children and adults; improved mental health screening; a detoxification center; and a methadone clinic. But the supervised injection program has divided local law enforcement officials.
Ithaca’s police chief, John R. Barber, said he could not support the proposal because “right now, heroin is considered an illegal substance under the law.”
So the police chief has an obvious problem. But...
Gwen Wilkinson, the district attorney for Tompkins County who helped lead the committee that formulated the plan, said after its release that she was “prouder than ever to be an Ithacan.”
Ah, well, then - prosecutorial discretion, Obama-style! Unless the local police chief call in the State Troopers or the Feds, of course. And there is at least a hope of change in NY State law:
And Assemblywoman Linda B. Rosenthal, a Democrat who leads the Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, has endorsed the proposal for the injection facility, saying she would work on legislation to allow it.
So after months of preparing for a courtroom showdown the FBI says "Nevermind, for now anyway"?
Yesterday, it came to light that the FBI may no longer need Apple to unlock the San Bernardino iPhone. The two sides were due to meet in court again today, but the hearing has been delayed.
The news that the FBI may not need Apple’s help saw the courts quickly grant a two-week pause while the government tries out a new approach. It claims that it’s been presented with alternative means of unlocking the phone by a third party, which could be used to break into the now infamous iPhone. It’s not clear who has provided the FBI with the alternative, or what it entails.
As to the technology side, some guesswork here. I like the Apple on the edge of Tomorrow death/rebirth approach myself:
What’s stopping the FBI from trying to guess each and every PIN combination until it gets the right one is the fact that the iPhone might be set to erase the data after the tenth wrong PIN input. Edward Snowden already suggested that the FBI has a memory mirroring technique at its disposal that could be used to beat the system.
What happens here is that the iPhone is again dismantled and the NAND memory module is removed so that it can be copied. With the help of software, the FBI can then try each and every PIN combination available. If the phone erases itself after the tenth attempt, the FBI would just restart the process. After all, it still has the original memory that can be copied over and over.
“This technique is kind of like cheating at Super Mario Bros. with a save-game, allowing you to play the same level over and over after you keep dying,” security researcher Jonathan Zdziarski wrote on his blog – you should read the entire post to better understand how this technique works.
But as to timing, well, hmm. I have long said that Apple ought to be protesting publicly while cooperating privately, to protect their brand while getting this resolved. I am not getting off that horse now. My guess? Apple brought in a consultant, made a few "suggestions" as to how to crack this, and sent the cut-out on to the FBI.
No adverse court ruling, no awkwardness about ignoring court orders in the event they lose, no publicity about publicly cooperating with the FBI. OK, there is some negative press about seemingly secure iphones being hackable, but they can claim the next generation solves that, so hurry out to the Apple Store and upgrade.
Or, the FBI got lucky. Maybe time will tell.
Yet another terror attack, this time in Brussels.
Obama needs to run out in front of the cameras, assure us that Islam means peace, and address the real threat by exhorting haters not to hate on Muslims. And Hillary too. Gosh I'll feel safer after they do.
This sort of thing gives one hope for the future:
A "flu trap" that captures viruses could help prevent the spread of infection, scientists claim.
Researchers at the University of Manchester have developed a fabric coating for masks and air filters that isolates the viral particles responsible for influenza.
The technology mimics carbohydrate structures on the surfaces of cells lining respiratory airways and the oesophagus, or food pipe.
Paul Hope, director of the biotec company Virustatic that is seeking to commercialise the idea, said: "It's a whole new preventative approach to disease and if implemented could be transformative."
The team found a way to anchor sugary glycoproteins first to carbon cloth and then cheaper materials such as cotton.
The molecules were able to capture and trap more than 99% of the flu viruses that came into contact with them.
I am not sure what that means or how it would be applied, but it sounds like breakthrough stuff. Maybe even bigger than frequent handwashing!
And this goes beyond the flu:
The scientists aim to develop the technology further to capture other potentially deadly viruses such as those responsible for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars).
Since the Zika virus is transmitted by mosquito bite it would not be a candidate.
Does anyone have Friday Afternoon Fever, and why wasn't that a movie?
Charles Murray delivers a rousing defense of The Bell Curve, but why bother - that title is Pavlov's bell to progressives, who know they must respond with foaming denunciations.
I feel obliged to excerpt this:
I should begin by pointing out that the topic of the The Bell Curve was not race, but, as the book’s subtitle says, “Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life.” Our thesis was that over the last half of the 20th century, American society has become cognitively stratified. At the beginning of the penultimate chapter, Herrnstein and I summarized our message: Predicting the course of society is chancy, but certain tendencies seem strong enough to worry about:
An increasingly isolated cognitive elite.
A merging of the cognitive elite with the affluent.
A deteriorating quality of life for people at the bottom end of the cognitive distribution.
Unchecked, these trends will lead the U.S. toward something resembling a caste society, with the underclass mired ever more firmly at the bottom and the cognitive elite ever more firmly anchored at the top, restructuring the rules of society so that it becomes harder and harder for them to lose. [p. 509].
It is obvious that these conclusions have not been discredited in the twenty-two years since they were written. They may be more accurately described as prescient.
Some trends are so deep and mysterious that only a Times reporter can write the story about them.
This is not that story:
As Hillary Clinton Sweeps States, One Group Resists: White Men
White men narrowly backed Hillary Clinton in her 2008 race for president, but they are resisting her candidacy this time around in major battleground states, rattling some Democrats about her general-election strategy.
While Mrs. Clinton swept the five major primaries on Tuesday, she lost white men in all of them, and by double-digit margins in Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio, exit polls showed — a sharp turnabout from 2008, when she won double-digit victories among white male voters in all three states.
She also performed poorly on Tuesday with independents, who have never been among her core supporters. But white men were, at least when Mrs. Clinton was running against a black opponent: She explicitly appealed to them in 2008, extolling the Second Amendment, mocking Barack Obama’s comment that working-class voters “cling to guns or religion” and even needling him at one point over his difficulties with “working, hard-working Americans, white Americans.”
She could not sound more different today, aggressively campaigning to toughen gun-control laws and especially courting black and Hispanic voters.
Hillary flip-flopped on guns? So what? True-blue progressives will bitterly cling to the obvious explanation that in addition to being racist haters who rejected Obama, these are sexist misogynist who favored Bernie over Hillary.
Patrick Healey of the Times resists temptation:
But what is striking is the change in attitudes about Mrs. Clinton among those voters, and her struggle to win them over again. In dozens of interviews in diners, offices and neighborhoods across the country, many white male Democrats expressed an array of misgivings, with some former supporters turning away from her now.
Many said they did not trust her to overhaul the economy because of her wealth and her ties to Wall Street. Some said her use of private email as secretary of state indicated she had something to hide. A few said they did not think a woman should be commander in chief. But most said they simply did not think Mrs. Clinton cared about people like them.
“She’s talking to minorities now, not really to white people, and that’s a mistake,” said Dennis Bertko, 66, a construction project manager in Youngstown, Ohio, as he sipped a draft beer at the Golden Dawn Restaurant in a downtrodden part of town. “She could have a broader message. We would have listened.”
“Instead, she’s talking a lot about continuing Obama’s policies,” he said. “I just don’t necessarily agree with all of the liberal ideas of Obama.”And the plunge into the yawning abyss:
The fading of white men as a Democratic bloc is hardly new: The last nominee to carry them was Lyndon Johnson in 1964, and many blue-collar “Reagan Democrats” now steadily vote Republican. But Democrats have won about 35 to 40 percent of white men in nearly every presidential election since 1988. And some Democratic leaders say the party needs white male voters to win the presidency, raise large sums of money and, like it or not, maintain credibility as a broad-based national coalition.
To win a general election, Mrs. Clinton would rely most heavily on strong turnout from blacks, Hispanics, women and older voters. Though she won among white men in Arkansas, Alabama and Tennessee, and tied in Texas, some Democratic officials and pollsters say they fear that without a stronger strategy, Mrs. Clinton could perform as poorly among white men as Walter Mondale, who drew just 32 percent in 1984, or even George McGovern, who took 31 percent in 1972.
Comparisons to Mondale and McGovern, who between them carried two whole states? Ouch.
But so what? This is a speed bump on the Democratic road to overthrowing the dreaded white patriarchy, with the working class the first ones overboard.
Obama will announce his Supreme Court nominee (per the AP, Merrick Garland) at 11AM.
The timing is shrewd coming the day after Trump's primary victories more or less assured a Trump candidacy and/or a hideously divided Republican Party.
So - do Republican Senators figure that Garland is an older and more centrist lefty than they are likely to see from President Hillary and roll over in favor of the lesser evil?
Or, as another reason to surrender now, do Senate Republicans fear that a Trump candidacy will have the down-ticket consequence of a Democrat take-over of the Senate?
But on the other side of that coin - does a surrender now more or less assure that dispirited and divided Republicans will have even less reason to go out and vote for Republican Senators and Congresspeople?
IMHO the Senate needs to hold out and run this fall on the notion that, whatever troubled Republican voters do vis a vis Trump, Hillary and any third party Presidential candidates, staying home is NOT AN OPTION. Vote Hillary and a straight Republican ballot down-ticket if you must, but vote.
OK, that message may not make for a compelling bumpers ticker. but they have time to work on it.
IT'S COMING TO ME... Republican Senators and Congressfolk: We Are Trump's Wall!
Deliberately left vague is whether that Republican wall is keeping Trump in or out.
ONLY CRAZY BY CURRENT STANDARDS:
A Tweet by Matthew Miller:
Imagine December: a lame-duck GOP Sen rushing to confirm Garland & Dems filibustering so Clinton can choose someone younger, more liberal.
Some reaction to Obama's long and fascinating interview with Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic:
David Frum is vigorously critical:
The Disappointment of Barack Obama
He admits one major mistake: not making sufficient allowances for how unreasonable other people are.
We let Barack down, probably not for the last time. The Big Finish:
Politics is a realm of paradox. The Obama foreign policy is especially rich in them. A president who professes multilateralism has left the country’s alliances in disarray. A president who justly criticized his predecessor for poor postwar planning in Iraq launched his own war in Libya with no postwar plan at all. A president who rejects religious extremism and authoritarianism has built his Middle East policy on visions of cooperation with extremist and authoritarian Iran. A president who sought to teach America the wisdom of humility never learned that lesson himself.
Of all the paradoxes, maybe the most important will be this: A president who came to office so deeply uneasy about American leadership has—over almost eight years of not providing it—reminded the rest of the world why that leadership is so badly needed.
By way of contrast, Shadi Hamid is respectfully critical:
How Iraq Warped Obama’s Worldview
The president is certain he’s right. Is that what we want in a leader?
On October 2, 2002, Barack Obama gave a speech opposing war in Iraq—perhaps, in retrospect, the most important speech he ever gave. He was right, of course, and the foreign-policy establishment was largely wrong. The problem is that politicians who were right about Iraq tend to overestimate what that says about their foreign-policy judgment. For Obama, the effects of being right are magnified. He became president, in part, because of Iraq and the considerable damage the conflict had done to the country. Obama offered the promise of a decisive correction and, for true believers, a kind of spiritual atonement.
Well, on another day I might push back a bit - the planning for the post-invasion occupation was deplorable, but if Iraq was so damn unwinnable how is it that by 2011 Obama could be withdrawing the last of the US troops and declaring it to be "sovereign, stable, and self-reliant"? Since I ask, here is the lefty response - Obama didn't lose because we still hadn't won. And anyway, blame Bush for that timetable.
Uh huh - hence my use of the word "unwinnable", not "won". As to blaming Bush for the withdrawal timetable, everyone expected that to be renegotiated, as Michael Gordon of the NY Times explained. Peter Beinart, not exactly a Bush-man, has more.
But let's move on to the respectful, regretful criticism:
The tragedy of Iraq, if you weren’t careful, was likely to distort your perception of everything that followed, for wholly understandable reasons.
Iraq’s dark shadow seems to be everywhere in Jeffrey Goldberg’s fascinating yet unsettling exchanges with Obama. “Multilateralism regulates hubris,” Obama says. And he is right: It does. What is left unsaid is why, exactly, regulating hubris should, seven years after the conclusion of the Bush era, remain a primary preoccupation. It is hard to imagine any world leader citing the hubris of overextension as the problem that the United States, today, must take extra care to correct for or guard against. Obama has already corrected for it, many times over.
Elsewhere, there are straw men to be built. “Every time there is a problem, we send in our military to impose order,” Obama says, except that no one favoring intervention in Syria has called for Iraq-style military action. Obama says that “there are going to be times where the best that we can do is to shine a spotlight on something that’s terrible, but not believe that we can automatically solve it,” except that I’m not aware of a single critic of Obama’s Syria policy who believes intervening against Bashar al-Assad would “automatically solve” anything. The stated goal was always rather different: to diminish the Assad regime’s ability to kill and to provide clear incentives for Russia, Iran, and Assad to change their calculus and begin negotiating in something resembling good faith with Syrian rebel forces. Meanwhile, comments like “there is no way we should commit to governing the Middle East and North Africa” again present a wildly false choice.
Obama’s tendency to distort beyond recognition the positions of his critics goes hand in hand with an apparent disdain for those critics and, perhaps more worryingly, an unwillingness to even so much as question his own decisions after he’s made them.
Ouch. That last bit - lack of curiosity, introspection and reflection - was a prime knock on Bush.
Elsewhere, he faults himself for underappreciating “the value of theater in political communications.” Of course, what Obama is faulting himself for is not clearly appreciating the faults of others.
As David Frum also observed. And now, in the cruelest stroke, praise for Bush!
It is jarring to hear, in such measured words, a president so confident in his own abilities (George W. Bush, contrary to popular perception, was willing to reassess his policies, shift direction, and accept outside counsel during his second term). The colorfully rendered Obama doctrine of “don’t do stupid shit,” itself a phrase dripping with disdain, is little more than a reaction to critics who Obama thinks, presumably, support doing stupid shit.
Unsurprisingly, Muslim have disappointed Obama:
In Goldberg’s article, Obama repeatedly imposes a deeply problematic framework—and a rather patronizing one—on Muslims as well as “Islam.” Obama speaks of the need for Muslims to “undergo a vigorous discussion within their community about how Islam works as part of a peaceful, modern society.” He speaks of a “reformation that would help people adapt their religious doctrines to modernity.” That Islam—a completely different religion with a completely different founding and evolution—should follow a path similar to Christianity’s is an odd presumption. Why, exactly, should Christianity and its eventual secularization in the West be the standard by which other religions are judged? The Reformation was a response to clerical despotism. The modern Middle East’s curse, if anything, has more often than not been secular despotism. In the pre-modern era, meanwhile, it was a self-regulating clerical class that, as keepers of God-given law, provided a check on the sultan’s executive power and authority, as Harvard’s Noah Feldman has argued.
Perhaps these are understandable oversights, but they recur in Goldberg’s article, suggesting that these aren’t oversights at all, but rather features of Obama’s evolving framework for understanding the region.
And the Big Finish:
President Obama styles himself a cool, modern technocrat, whose most valued trait is his ability to withstand the passions of political life. He is prudent where others are impetuous. He is rational where others—especially Russian presidents and Arab autocrats—insist on acting against their own self-interest. Looked at another way, however, Obama has proved to be an ideological president, one with a developed, even philosophically coherent worldview. If there was one thing I became even more persuaded of after reading Goldberg’s account, it was that Obama is not just an intelligent man, but a brilliant one. He is also a president who believes, with something resembling passion, that he is doing the right thing. This, I have come to realize, is precisely what worries me the most.
Obama is presumably waiting for the Muslim fever to break as he waits for the Republican fever to break. Why is universal enlightenment taking so long?
A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down! But it is not this day!
Actually, it probably is this day.
ERRATA: I try to save that speech for big Yankee seventh games, so ask me how that's worked out.
Via AllahP, Rubio's last stand:
The best 13 minutes of his campaign, and compulsively watchable despite the length because of how sincere he seems. But where was this guy two nights ago at the debate?
If you liked Rubio at all, this tape will leave you deeply regretting his imminent departure from the race.
But on the bright side - Carly's back and Ted's got her:
ORLANDO, Fla. — How would Ted Cruz feel about Vice President Carly Fiorina?
“Let’s win the nomination first,” came the response — from Mrs. Fiorina.
What did Mr. Cruz make of Donald J. Trump’s argument against holding future debates?
“Well, listen,” the Texas senator began, at a news conference next to his new supporter.
“I’m sorry, senator,” Mrs. Fiorina interjected, “I just have to say — ”
She suggested that Mr. Trump was afraid to debate Mr. Cruz if the field thinned. She noted that Mr. Cruz had “never talked about spray tans or body parts, or hurled insults.”
Then she lowered the boom: “Man up, Donald.”
Brietbart tries to square the circle about the apparent assault on their reporter, Michelle Fields, allegedly by Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. [As the evidence piles up Ace piles on. And on: "I didn't join the conservative movement to become a fascist." Let me just say this - the Trumpkins versus Ace? He's got 'em outnumbered. They will need something stronger than Wheaties if they hope to match up. Or stranger.]
[Breitbart has new video and revised thoughts at their original link; video noted in UPDATES below].
Their gist - it may have been a security guy on the grassy knoll, not Lewandowski [Ben Terris, WaPo eyewitness, stands firm.]:
The Scrum: Video Emerges to Suggest WaPo Reporter Ben Terris Misidentifies Lewandowski in Fields Incident
Contrary to what Donald Trump said Thursday evening after the GOP debate, the incident certainly happened. However, the person who made contact with Fields was likely not Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.
As Trump campaign spokesperson Katrina Pierson said Thursday on the Fox Business Network, “someone probably did grab her,” i.e. Fields, though Pierson claimed it could not have been Lewandowski.
Audio of the incident, published on Politico, shows Fields asking Terris if the individual who pulled her left arm was, in fact, “Corey.” Terris says it was — an assertion he later repeated in print: “I watched as a man with short-cropped hair and a suit grabbed her arm and yanked her out of the way. He was Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s 41-year-old campaign manager.”
However, Lewandowski was not the only “man with short-cropped hair and a suit” walking near Trump. And he was walking on the opposite side of Trump from Fields, and Terris.
ABC News also showed video footage, but cut away before the altercation.
In fact, a review of live news feeds — CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and C-SPAN — reveals that all had their cameras focused on Trump at the time. All cut away before the incident — in CNN’s case, mere seconds before — but all could have recorded the altercation, and presumably did.
In addition, video footage of the event has been released by reporter Joshua Chavers of West Palm Beach NBC affiliate WPTV, who was streaming video live on WPTV’s Facebook page.
I would say the WPTV video is suggestive but not conclusive, and none of this explains the boorish reaction from the Trump camp.
And a bonus wrinkle - just from the screencaps presented by Breitbart I would infer that the WaPo eyewitness, Ben Terris, was pushing through the crowd to get closer to Trump as Trump was moving towards him. Did that obscure or affect his vantage point? Time for another booth review.
Oh, brother - if more and better tape emerges proving this was a bum rap on Lewandowski delivered by fellow sure to be characterized as a Trump-bashing media elitist, then yike. Even paranoids have real enemies, and even righties have real fears about a hostile media. Not Helpful to run towards the flames with a can of gasoline.
DISCLOSURES: I am #NeverTrump with a long history of distrusting the media, so take a moment to imagine my angst.
UPDATE: The MSNBC video [commercial free here] shows Terris right next to Fields as Trump passes by, allaying my vantage point question. Fields then shuffles along on Trump's right side to question Trump; an obstacle obscures the camera, and then she is dragged down by mysterious forces. Security guy and C Lewandowski are both in video and re-appear side by side after apparent drag-down, with security guy on the right side; Terris then has an exchange with C Lew.
Unless C Lew and the security guy have extraordinary footwork I don't see how C Lew grabs Fields on her left arm without blocking the security guy. OTOH, the security guy could easily grab Fields' left arm, drag her back, and slide right by.
Terris says he saw what he saw, and eyewitness testimony is reliably unreliable, so what next?
UPDATE 2: C-Span - More video airing at The Daily Beast. [key excerpt here]; 7-10 sec mark here] Ben Terris followed along and maintained an excellent vantage point (I always check the position of the refs during these endless booth reviews). C Lewandowski clearly reached for Fields' arm as the group passed behind the same damn obstacle. Possible remaining spin - the security guy, presumably Secret Service, finished the job that C Lew ineffectually began.
Well. The call on the field is that C Lew grabbed her. Pending more video, there is nowhere near enough to overturn that. But let me add, if C Lew reached and then the security guy finished the job, Terris might easily have missed the second infraction.
However, the prediction that more video will emerge is panning out, so we have that working for us.
MORE QUESTIONS FOR TERRIS: The video shows he had an exchange with C Lew right after the incident. But per his original account, he was hoping to stay out of the story since he had plans to interview C Lew and other Trump insiders the next day. So how likely is it he challenged C Lew right after the incident but hoped to conceal his awareness after the story broke?
ABOUT THAT QUESTION:
Fields: “Mr. Trump, you went after the late Scalia for affirmative action, do you -- are you still against affirmative action?"
AWAITING DEVELOPMENTS: From TK, the Jupiter Police press release and their press website. Well, C Lew ought to be in Florida a few more days. then again, if the security guy is Secret Service (likely) then what do the police do after he says "You're damn right I ordered the Code Red. And delivered it."?
The Republicans highlighted their civility and gravitas last night. Cruz and Rubio tried a few half-hearted attacks on the substance (or notable lack thereof) of some of Trump's comments.
One key takeaway was provided by Jim Geraghty:
Never get involved in a land war in Asia, never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line, and never argue Cuba with Marco Rubio.— jimgeraghty (@jimgeraghty) March 11, 2016
Ditto. Especially in Miami.
Angela Merkel is not on a path to go back-to-back on Person of the Year:
Balkan Nations Shut Down March of Migrants
LONDON — The route that more than one million migrants have used to traverse southeastern Europe was effectively shut down Wednesday, when four Balkan nations stopped waving the migrants through on their journey northward.
The four countries — Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia and Macedonia — have closed their borders to new migrants with the implicit backing of the European Union, which announced an agreement with Turkey on Tuesday to slow the flow of migrants.
The European Union has given tacit approval to the actions of these countries as it strives to restore order to the asylum-seeking process and to restore the integrity of the Schengen area, the 26-nation passport-free travel zone that is one of the bloc’s most tangible accomplishments.
The Times editors recently bleated about things that aren't going to happen as Europe responds to the refugee/immigrant crisis:
Europe must move now to end the ad hoc anti-refugee alliances and forge a common and humane policy, including urgent help for Greece. And the United States must become an active partner in this effort. The pleas of people seeking safety are a challenge not just to Europe but to all countries with a conscience.
With Obama as a lame duck and Hillary not yet installed the NY Times editors breathe the air of freedom:
Let Inspectors General Do Their Job
In the aftermath of the Watergate scandal, Congress in 1978 passed the Inspector General Act, establishing independent watchdogs whose job it is to uncover waste, fraud or abuse across scores of federal departments and agencies.
These public servants are “our eyes and ears within the executive branch,” as Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa described them in December.
Under the 1978 law, inspectors general, who are based in the agencies, have access to “all records” needed to do their job. But since the early days of the Obama administration, many agencies have systematically thwarted that access for whole categories of information — including, most notably, grand jury testimony, personal credit data and information from wiretaps.
The effect has been to slow down investigations into, among other things, the shooting of civilians during Drug Enforcement Administration raids in Honduras, sexual assaults in the Peace Corps and the F.B.I.’s antiterrorism powers. Inspectors general have spent time and taxpayer dollars arguing for access to documents they should, by law, have in hand — denying the American people the robust scrutiny of their federal government.
Congress is bipartisanly bothered:
Congress is currently considering a bipartisan bill [RCP link], sponsored by Mr. Grassley, to make clear once again that inspectors general may not be hindered in performing basic, critical review. The bill has been held up in the Senate since last year for unexplained reasons.
It is no surprise that government officials don’t want their wrongdoing or incompetence made public. Inspectors general are on the front lines of ensuring the transparency needed if government is to be held accountable. They should have unfettered access to the materials they need to do their job.
The betting line is that if the Times can't figure out who is obstructing the bill, it is the Democrats. Et voila - this is from Sen. Grassley's office last Dec. 15 but the lack of unanimous Senate consent on a procedural question is surely not in dispute:
Senator Chuck Grassley today on the Senate floor asked unanimous consent for the Senate to begin consideration of a bill to ensure that inspectors general across the federal bureaucracy have timely access to all records needed to complete a thorough and independent investigation. Grassley’s unanimous consent request was objected to by Senate minority leader Harry Reid in an effort to hide the identities of members who are holding up passage of the bill. The objection was made in violation of the spirit of the Standing Order of the Senate that says members who have holds on legislation must be identified.
At a guess, this might be tangled up with the investigation into Hillary's emails so running out the clock is critical for the Dems.
Will Rubio hold on 'til his final reel, where he gets overrun in Florida?
As a last public service in this election cycle I think Rubio should appear at the Thursday night debate in Miami, moon Trump, pants Trump, and then endorse Kasich as the True Voice of the GOPe.
If that can't put Cruz over the top in Florida, forget it.
[Data on Cruz Surge at the WaPo].
Leon Wolf at Red State:
Rubio Sacrificed His Campaign to Save America
Marco Rubio’s campaign ended yesterday. He won’t acknowledge it and neither will his hardcore supporters for some days, but he is done. It was one thing when he was running more or less even with Cruz across the South, like he did on Super Tuesday, but Rubio has clearly lost his mojo, finishing behind Kasich in Maine and well behind Cruz in Kentucky and Louisiana. Rubio is running out of gas both metaphorically and physically. This is now a race between Cruz and Trump.
I say this as a guy who a couple weeks ago endorse Rubio as the best chance to beat Trump.
However, if I were Ted Cruz, I would be hoping that Marco Rubio does not drop out yet, at least not until after Thursday [Debate in FLA]. Because the reason that Cruz was able to reach up and stun Donald Trump yesterday is that Rubio has picked apart Trump’s vanity and caused him to self-immolate in a way that no candidate has been able to either before or since. Rubio was able to expose Trump’s business record in a way that Cruz never was.
And I know people are curious about Clean Hands Kasich and his AWOL approach to the battle for the soul of the Republican Party if not the nation. He is looking for some magic:
TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan (CNN) — John Kasich is in need of a little magic on the campaign trail, and on Saturday he conjured up a literary reference when he said he stood with the world’s most famous boy wizard in opposing the “dark side.”
“If I were to just attack Donald Trump now and call him a name, boy it would be just ‘Kasich has resorted to the negative,'” the Ohio governor told reporters here. “I’m with Harry Potter. We’re not going to the dark side.”
Oh, please - Harry Potter fought Voldemort for seven long books and everyone knew exactly what side he was on.
Kasich elaborated on this false dichotomy:
“I have two choices. I can continue to follow the path that I’m on, and give people the vision and the hope, or I can call names. Now, if I don’t call names and I don’t win, I will have won anyway, because that’s what really matters to me: raising the bar in politics, showing that vision counts,” he said.
Gee, I can picture a third choice: a calm statement that out of respect for our Armed Forces and our Constitution, Kasich wants to assure the American people that Trump is utterly out of line with his suggestion (since disavowed and sort of re-avowed) that orders to commit war crimes will be obeyed.
No schoolyard insults necessary.
Whatever. As the Kasich for Vice President bandwagon minivan rolls on above the fray, Fox notes that Kasich was not always so high-minded:
Kasich, however, hasn’t always steered clear of attacking other candidates. In late November, his campaign released an ad effectively comparing Trump to Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.
True but incomplete! The ad they note risked a Godwin's Law violation by citing the classic "When they came for whoever..." poem.
Some of the accompanying text:
Don’t mind the constitutional problems of our candidacy. This campaign will be terrific! Huge! A merger of two great powers!
OK, that was pretty good. And timely even today, given Trump's ruminations about libel law.
THE LION LIES DOWN WITH THE LAMB: Rush Limbaugh and Mitt Romney appearing on Fox News with Chris Wallace. 10 AM Eastern.
So far, Rush is firmly anti-GOPe but wants to sit on the fence about Trump ["More upside than downside" is the pull-quote]. Doesn't see "any traction" for Rubio, who is seen as an establishment pawn. No future "in this cycle". No fence-sitting here.
On to Cruz - likes Cruz on substance, thinks he limited his appeal by focusing on evangelicals, hard-core conservatives. Plenty of integrity!
Thinks a brokered conventions will be chaos but most likely outcome is that Republicans unite against Hillary or whomever as the greater peril.
Obama cheers economy as 'pretty darn great'
WASHINGTON — Once reluctant to hype the U.S. economy's slow climb out of recession, President Barack Obama now is in cheerleader mode.
"America's pretty darn great right now," Obama told reporters Friday as he celebrated a strong jobs report that he said proved Republicans' "doomsday rhetoric" is little more than "fantasy."
The Sanders doomsday rhetoric, on the other hand, is... I don't know either.
Now, Obama is a shrewd political operator who got himself elected and re-elected, and Hillary does not lack for pollsters and focus groups. Still, this message to the voters - "No, I don't feel your pain because it's not real, get over yourself and get a job" - is somewhat, well, unorthodox.
As to the "strong" jobs report, Bloomberg preferred the word "nuanced" in their broadcast and "mixed" in their headline:
Payrolls in U.S. Surge While Wages Drop in Mixed Jobs Report
Employers added more workers in February than projected but wages unexpectedly declined, dashing hopes that reduced slack in the labor market was starting to benefit all Americans.
The 242,000 gain followed a 172,000 rise in January that was larger than previously estimated, a Labor Department report showed Friday. The jobless rate held at 4.9 percent as people entered the labor force and found work. Average hourly earnings dropped, the first monthly decline in more than a year, and workers put in fewer hours.
Fewer hours at less pay. A few more such victories and we are undone.
Over to Hillary, and a Pro Tip - activate the surge protector on your BS Detector or it will overload:
In an election year defined by angry populism, Hillary Clinton made an optimistic economic pitch on Friday, presenting a wide-ranging plan for job growth that would provide incentives for corporations that invest in employees and strip tax benefits from companies that move jobs overseas.
And without mentioning Mr. Trump by name, she rebuffed his negative assessment of America’s prospects. “I’ll tell you, when I hear people running for president who spend all their time bad-mouthing America, it really upsets me,” she said.
Ok, then - I guess this will upset her:
CLINTON: I’m running for president to knock down all the barriers that are holding Americans back, and to rebuild the ladders of opportunity that will give every American a chance to advance, especially those who have been left out and left behind. I know a lot of Americans are angry about the economy. And for good cause. Americans haven’t had a raise in 15 years. There aren’t enough good-paying jobs, especially for young people. And yes, the economy is rigged in favor of those at the top.
That was all the way back on February 11, 2012, but Obama sure has turned things around since then. And let's not even talk about the Sanders rhetoric.
The Times describes her plan for enhanced crony capitalism, but they play along with her re-branding:
Mrs. Clinton’s address was her most exhaustive yet focused on job creation, and leaned on an economic philosophy called inclusive capitalism that many of the Clintons’s closest advisers adhere to. It calls on corporations to invest in employees, communities and the environment rather than relying on short-term profits that increase shareholder value.
My fevered imagination assures me that in a bold editorial decision a key sentence was modified:
"...It calls on corporations to invest in employees, communities, friendly politicians and the environment..."
FWFW: I am sort of missing the Bernie Spring, which is an awkward metaphor because it doesn't seem to have survived the winter. But there was a brief period where idealistic youngsters and formerly idealistic Viet Nam-Watergate holdovers in the liberal media could imagine a world where the Democrats got behind a sincere, idealistic socialist. During that little period the Juice-Voxers were actually allowed to write critical Hillary pieces such as this, on Hillary's hubby the rapist.
But the voters are speaking, the cell doors are swinging shut, and soon the legacy media and the internet youngsters will be deploring Republican liars and haters while backing a rape-enabling Goldman Sachs pawn of the rigged economy. "Occupy Wall Street"? As soon as they see a chance to occupy the White House, forget it.
ERRATA: Interesting breakdown of median household income by state over time. Brace yourself - recovery around the country has been uneven. The NY Times took a similar look at distressed and recovering communities from 2010-2014. From the article:
The gap between the richest and poorest American communities has widened since the Great Recession ended, and distressed areas are faring worse just as the recovery is gaining traction across much of the country.
From 2010 to 2013, for example, employment in the most prosperous neighborhoods in the United States jumped by more than a fifth, according to the group’s analysis of Census Bureau data. But in bottom-ranked neighborhoods, the number of jobs fell sharply: One in 10 businesses closed down.
“It’s almost like you are looking at two different countries,” said Steve Glickman, executive director of the Economic Innovation Group, which created a new tool called the Distressed Communities Index.
The summer silly season has arrived early at the NY Times, where they are getting Goofy in their attacks on Lyin' Ted Cruz.
They profile his rise as an activist Solicitor General in Texas and really bring the big guns with this startling revelation:
One incident that a couple of Mr. Cruz’s lawyers found especially troubling arose during Medellín v. Texas, which he has described as the biggest case of his tenure. In a sense, it was a relatively minor issue — one including a cartoon character — but it was memorable to those who worked in the office.
The case involved two teenage girls in Houston who were raped and murdered. One of the victims was wearing a watch featuring Goofy, the Disney character. According to two lawyers who worked in the office at the time, Mr. Cruz wanted to describe it as a Mickey Mouse watch in his brief to the Supreme Court because he thought it would make for a more powerful image for the justices. The two lawyers requested anonymity because they remain active in the Texas legal community, where Mr. Cruz has great influence.
“People were really shocked,” said one of the lawyers. “He wanted to misrepresent the record — to lie — for rhetorical or dramatic effect.”
OMG! Lyin' Ted Cruz, sooo busted!
Or maybe not. Look, Facts are facts and I am sure lawyers are advised to stick to them. But "lying" does have a meaning in court. The gist - a statement or filing must be either known to be false or made with reckless disregard for the truth and - this is important, Times editors - material to the case.
If this filing turned on a factual appeal and a key bit of incriminating evidence was the later discovery of an actual Mickey Mouse watch in the possession of the defendant, yes, this misrepresentation would be outrageous. But as the Times well knows, the watch was merely factual color and had nothing to do with the appeal - that hinged on a Mexican defendant's rights to contact his consulate under international conventions and the ability of the Federal government to involve itself in a Texas proceeding. Not Mickey Mouse stuff at all.
Eventually the Times gets around to noting this, although they never point out the utter immateriality of the "lie":
The suit challenged an order issued to Texas by the president to review the conviction of Mr. Medellín, the Mexican citizen who had been accused of raping and killing the two teenage girls in Houston, because he had not been granted his right to contact the Mexican Consulate as guaranteed by the Vienna Conventions.
It would have been easy enough for Texas to comply with the president’s ruling, which merely required that Mr. Medellín be given a hearing to try to prove that his case had been hurt by this omission. But for Mr. Cruz, the case provided an opportunity to take the federal government to court on behalf of Texas’ sovereignty. He won, 6 to 3.
Whatever. We look forward to the NY Times deep dives into rape-enabler Hillary's many failures to engage with the truth. If they apply the same standard they use here (I know, right?), they will need more ink.
Glenn points out that Donald Trump might end up with DINO James Webb on a fusion ticket, presumably (If I dare presume anything this election cycle) as a disgruntled third party:
Webb would bolster Trump’s weak foreign policy/national security credentials, and help pull Democrats away from Hillary, probably without alienating many GOP voters.
Obviously that depends on where Trump wants to hunt for national votes. Trump is currently posing as a moderate Republican who is an uber-hawk on immigration and there are signs he is picking up a lot of working class Democrat votes with that message. Does he pick up more than he loses as a third party candidate by reaching right towards, e.g., Sen. Jeff Sessions? Or could he pin down centrist disaffected working class voters with Webb? Or could Trump even pick Webb as the formal Republican nominee, after Webb proudly switches parties, so that Republicans have as their standard bearers two Democrats for the price of one?
I've lost track of the boundaries of political reality at this point - the last two Republican nominees are denouncing their parties front-runner, the front-runner thinks the last Republican President should have been impeached, and its not even springtime.
Well. As to Trump's signature issue, Webb seems to have evolved a bit within the confines of his party but he could pass himself off as a wifty immigration hawk (see "On The Issues"), so that won't impede his possible mind-meld with Trump.
Fire from the left:
Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb is now the fifth Democrat to enter the 2016 presidential campaign. He has been more conservative than most Democrats on the issue of immigration policy while in the Senate, and as a Presidential candidate remains fairly vague about what he would do to reform our immigration system.
The author says "vague" as if its a bad thing.
When he ran for the Senate in 2006, Webb stated on his campaign website that it was “necessary” to fix our outdated immigration system but focused on an enforcement-first strategy calling for securing the border before working on any other aspects of the outdated system. As a Senator he helped block the 2007 McCain-Kennedy immigration reform bill by voting no on a procedural motion that would have brought the bill to a full vote. However, by 2010 he had loosened up some by supporting the DREAM Act when it came up for a vote in the Senate.
Since the end of Webb’s Senate career, the immigration debate has shifted, and seemingly so has Webb’s rhetoric on immigration. Lately he discussed backing a more comprehensive approach to immigration reform however, but remains skeptical and uncommitted to the executive actions President Obama took on immigration last November.
So some yays and some boos. And as Trump, or someone, has said, history is bunk. Trump declared himself to be pro-choice and in favor of the assault weapon ban in 1999 but no one cares. Trump-Webb would be one more game of 52 pick-up in a season full of them.
Bernie Sanders, making America great again:
Romanians Make Fun of Bernie Sanders Over Internet Tweet
From across the ocean, Bernie Sanders has managed to offend a good number of Romanians.
A Romanian travel agency on Thursday offered Sanders airline tickets to visit the country as residents alternately mocked or felt hurt by the U.S. Democratic presidential candidate, who said Romania had faster Internet than the U.S.
Sanders had criticized the low Internet speed in the U.S. in a Twitter post Wednesday.
"Today, people living in Bucharest, Romania, have access to much faster Internet than most of the US. That's unacceptable and must change," he posted.
Others were merely offended at Sander's assumptions. One Twitter user wrote that it sounded like Sanders feels Americans are "entitled to being better than everyone else," calling that attitude "very disrespectful."
Yeah, after eight years of Obama-Clinton-Kerry can we afford this sort of arrogant cowboy diplomacy?
Trump's response to Romney seems to be reinforcing Mitt's points. Mitt first:
Just hours before Trump, Romney gave a speech blasting the reality TV star as bad on foreign policy and lacking the temperament to be president.
"Think of Donald Trump's personal qualities, the bullying, the greed, the showing off, the misogyny, the absurd third grade theatrics," he said. "We have long referred to him as 'The Donald.' He is the only person in America to whom we have added an article before his name. It wasn't because he had attributes we admired."
And The Donald in response:
(CNN) Donald Trump struck back at 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney Thursday, blasting the former Massachusetts governor for "begging" for his endorsement four years ago only to sharply criticize him now.
"I don't know what happened to him," Trump said during a rally in Portland, Maine. "You can see how loyal he is. He was begging for my endorsement. I could have said, 'Mitt, drop to your knees.' He would have dropped to his knees."
The Weekly Standard on Hillary's email:
Fmr Attorney General Lists All Laws Hillary Possibly Broke
One thing I find interesting is that these relate to mishandling of classified information and obstruction of justice.
What I don't see (maybe in the obstruction charge?) is recognition of her non-compliance with the FOIA, which even PolitFact realized was a problem a year ago:
"While Clinton may have technical arguments for why she complied with each of these and the other rules that have been discussed in the news, the argument that Clinton complied with the letter and spirit of the law is unsustainable," said Douglas Cox, a law professor at City University of New York who studies records preservation.
A federal record is any documentary material, regardless of physical form, made or received by a government agency, according to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), which oversees federal recordkeeping. Records are preserved as evidence of the agencies’ activities, decisions and procedures. Each agency is responsible for maintaining its records in accordance with regulations.
It would have been a violation of the NARA's rules in the Code of Federal Regulations for Clinton to use personal email exclusively, Metcalfe said. The code requires federal agencies to make and preserve records that duly document agency activity, so that they are readily available when needed -- such as for FOIA requests or congressional inquiries. Using personal email exclusively is contrary to proper record preservation.
"Anyone at NARA would have said you can’t use a personal email account for all of your official business," said Metcalfe, who held his position in part during former President Bill Clinton’s administration.
MORE: Judge Napolitano at Reason:
Hillary Clinton's False Hopes
There's been a relentless barrage of bad legal news for Clinton lately.
Well, they're somebody's false hope. Fingers crossed he's right.