Archive for February, 2010

Pa School Spy case: defending the indefensivable

February 22, 2010
Pa. school official defended in webcam spy case
Feb 20, 3:54 PM (ET)
By RON TODT

Read entire article here

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – A suburban Philadelphia school district accused of secretly switching on laptop computer webcams inside students’ homes says it never used webcam images to monitor or discipline students and believes one of its administrators has been “unfairly portrayed and unjustly attacked.”
The Lower Merion School District, in response to a suit filed by a student, has acknowledged that webcams were remotely activated 42 times in the past 14 months, but only to find missing, lost or stolen laptops – which the district noted would include “a loaner computer that, against regulations, might be taken off campus.”
“Despite some reports to the contrary, be assured that the security-tracking software has been completely disabled,” Superintendent Christopher W. McGinley said in a statement on the district’s Web site late Friday. Officials vowed a comprehensive review that McGinley said should result in stronger privacy policies.
Harriton High School student Blake Robbins and his parents, Michael and Holly Robbins, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit Tuesday against the district, its board of directors and McGinley. They accused the school of turning on the webcam in his computer while it was inside their Penn Valley home, which they allege violated wiretap laws and his right to privacy.
The suit, which seeks class-action status, alleges that Harriton vice principal Lindy Matsko on Nov. 11 cited a laptop photo in telling Blake that the school thought he was engaging in improper behavior. He and his family have told reporters that an official mistook a piece of candy for a pill and thought he was selling drugs.
Neither the family nor their attorney, Mark Haltzman, returned calls this week seeking comment. A listed number for Matsko could not be found.
“We believe that the administrator at Harriton has been unfairly portrayed and unjustly attacked in connection with her attempts to be supportive of a student and his family,” the statement on the Lower Merion School District site said. “The district never did and never would use such tactics as a basis for disciplinary action.”
A district spokesman declined further comment on the statement Saturday.
Lower Merion, an affluent district in Philadelphia’s suburbs, issues Apple laptops to all 2,300 students at its two high schools. Only two employees in the technology department, not administrators, were authorized to activate the cameras, which captured still images but not sound, officials said.
“While certain rules for laptop use were spelled out … there was no explicit notification that the laptop contained the security software,” McGinley said. “This notice should have been given, and we regret that was not done.”
The district’s Web site said 42 activations of the system resulted in the recovery of 18 computers, not 28 as district spokesman Doug Young had said earlier. They reiterated that it was done only to locate lost, stolen or missing laptops.
“The district has not used the tracking feature or webcam for any other purpose or in any other manner whatsoever,” the Web site said. The site also noted that there was nothing to prevent students from covering the webcam with tape.
McGinley said the district had hired former federal prosecutor Henry Hockeimer Jr. to review past practices and suggest improvements.
The FBI is looking into whether any federal wiretap or computer-intrusion laws were violated, according to an official who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss the investigation. Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman has said she might also investigate.
Andy Derrow, father of a Harriton junior, said he does not believe the district was spying on students. He said he has two other sons who graduated from the school and had substantially benefited from the computer program.
“I don’t think there was any ill intent here,” he said “I think we all need to take a breath and wait and see what the facts are.”
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Cloward-Piven Government

February 9, 2010

By James Simpson

November 23, 2009

Read entire article here

It is time to cast aside all remaining doubt. President Obama is not trying to lead America forward to recovery, prosperity and strength. Quite the opposite, in fact.
In September of last year, American Thinker published my article, Barack Obama and the Strategy of Manufactured Crisis. Part of a series, it connected then-presidential candidate Barack Obama to individuals and organizations practicing a malevolent strategy for destroying our economy and our system of government. Since then, the story of that strategy has found its way across the blogosphere, onto the airwaves of radio stations across the country, the Glenn Beck television show, Bill O’Reilly, and now Mark Levin.
The methodology is known as the Cloward-Piven Strategy, and we can all be grateful to David Horowitz and his Discover the Networks for originally exposing and explaining it to us. He describes it as:
The strategy of forcing political change through orchestrated crisis. The “Cloward-Piven Strategy” seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.
Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven were two lifelong members of Democratic Socialists of America who taught sociology at Columbia University (Piven later went on to City University of New York). In a May 1966 Nation magazine article titled “The Weight of the Poor,” they outlined their strategy, proposing to use grassroots radical organizations to push ever more strident demands for public services at all levels of government.
The result, they predicted, would be “a profound financial and political crisis” that would unleash “powerful forces … for major economic reform at the national level.”
They implemented the strategy by creating a succession of radical organizations, most notable among them the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), with the help of veteran organizer Wade Rathke. Their crowning achievement was the “Motor Voter” act, signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1993 with Cloward and Piven standing behind him.
As we now know, ACORN was one of the chief drivers of high-risk mortgage lending that eventually led to the financial crisis. But the Motor Voter law was another component of the strategy. It created vast vulnerabilities in our electoral system, which ACORN then exploited.
ACORN’s vote registration scandals throughout the U.S. are predictable fallout.
The Motor Voter law has also been used to open another vulnerability in the system: the registration of vast numbers of illegal aliens, who then reliably vote Democrat. Herein lies the real reason Democrats are so anxious for open borders, security be damned.
It should be clear to anyone with a mind and two eyes that this president and this Congress do not have our interests at heart. They are implementing this strategy on an unprecedented scale by flooding America with a tidal wave of poisonous initiatives, orders, regulations, and laws. As Rahm Emmanuel said, “A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.”
The real goal of “health care” legislation, the real goal of “cap-and-trade,” and the real goal of the “stimulus” is to rip the guts out of our private economy and transfer wide swaths of it over to the government to control. Do not be deluded by the propaganda. These initiatives are vehicles for change. They are not goals in and of themselves except in their ability to deliver power. They and will make matters much worse, for that is their design.
This time, in addition to overwhelming the government with demands for services, Obama and the Democrats are overwhelming political opposition to their plans with a flood of apocalyptic legislation. Their ultimate goal is to leave us so discouraged, demoralized, and exhausted that we throw our hands up in defeat. As Charles Rangel* said, “the middle class will be too distracted to fight.”
These people are our enemies. They don’t use guns, yet, but they are just as dangerous, determined, and duplicitous as the communists we faced in the Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, and bush wars across the globe, and the Nazis we faced in World War II.
It is time we fully internalized and digested this fact, with all its ugly ramifications. These people have violated countless laws and could be prosecuted, had we the political power. Not only are their policies unconstitutional, but deliberately so — the goal being to make the Constitution irrelevant. Their spending is off the charts and will drive us into hyperinflation, but it could be rescinded, had we the political power. These policies are toxic, but they could be stopped and reversed, had we the political power. Their ideologies are poisonous, but they could be exposed for what they are, with long jail sentences as an object lesson, had we the political power.
Every single citizen who cares about this country should be spending every minute of his or her spare time lobbying, organizing, writing, and planning. Fight every initiative they launch. It is all destructive. If we are to root out this evil, it is critical that in 2010 we elect  competent, principled leaders willing to defend our Constitution and our country. Otherwise, the malevolent cabal that occupies the government today will become too entrenched.
After that, all bets are off.

It is time to cast aside all remaining doubt. President Obama is not trying to lead America forward to recovery, prosperity and strength. Quite the opposite, in fact.
In September of last year, American Thinker published my article, Barack Obama and the Strategy of Manufactured Crisis. Part of a series, it connected then-presidential candidate Barack Obama to individuals and organizations practicing a malevolent strategy for destroying our economy and our system of government. Since then, the story of that strategy has found its way across the blogosphere, onto the airwaves of radio stations across the country, the Glenn Beck television show, Bill O’Reilly, and now Mark Levin.
The methodology is known as the Cloward-Piven Strategy, and we can all be grateful to David Horowitz and his Discover the Networks for originally exposing and explaining it to us. He describes it as:
The strategy of forcing political change through orchestrated crisis. The “Cloward-Piven Strategy” seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.
Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven were two lifelong members of Democratic Socialists of America who taught sociology at Columbia University (Piven later went on to City University of New York). In a May 1966 Nation magazine article titled “The Weight of the Poor,” they outlined their strategy, proposing to use grassroots radical organizations to push ever more strident demands for public services at all levels of government.
The result, they predicted, would be “a profound financial and political crisis” that would unleash “powerful forces … for major economic reform at the national level.”
They implemented the strategy by creating a succession of radical organizations, most notable among them the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), with the help of veteran organizer Wade Rathke. Their crowning achievement was the “Motor Voter” act, signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1993 with Cloward and Piven standing behind him.
As we now know, ACORN was one of the chief drivers of high-risk mortgage lending that eventually led to the financial crisis. But the Motor Voter law was another component of the strategy. It created vast vulnerabilities in our electoral system, which ACORN then exploited. ACORN’s vote registration scandals throughout the U.S. are predictable fallout.
The Motor Voter law has also been used to open another vulnerability in the system: the registration of vast numbers of illegal aliens, who then reliably vote Democrat. Herein lies the real reason Democrats are so anxious for open borders, security be damned.
It should be clear to anyone with a mind and two eyes that this president and this Congress do not have our interests at heart. They are implementing this strategy on an unprecedented scale by flooding America with a tidal wave of poisonous initiatives, orders, regulations, and laws. As Rahm Emmanuel said, “A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.”
The real goal of “health care” legislation, the real goal of “cap-and-trade,” and the real goal of the “stimulus” is to rip the guts out of our private economy and transfer wide swaths of it over to the government to control. Do not be deluded by the propaganda. These initiatives are vehicles for change. They are not goals in and of themselves except in their ability to deliver power. They and will make matters much worse, for that is their design.
This time, in addition to overwhelming the government with demands for services, Obama and the Democrats are overwhelming political opposition to their plans with a flood of apocalyptic legislation. Their ultimate goal is to leave us so discouraged, demoralized, and exhausted that we throw our hands up in defeat. As Charles Rangel* said, “the middle class will be too distracted to fight.”
These people are our enemies. They don’t use guns, yet, but they are just as dangerous, determined, and duplicitous as the communists we faced in the Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, and bush wars across the globe, and the Nazis we faced in World War II.
It is time we fully internalized and digested this fact, with all its ugly ramifications. These people have violated countless laws and could be prosecuted, had we the political power. Not only are their policies unconstitutional, but deliberately so — the goal being to make the Constitution irrelevant. Their spending is off the charts and will drive us into hyperinflation, but it could be rescinded, had we the political power. These policies are toxic, but they could be stopped and reversed, had we the political power. Their ideologies are poisonous, but they could be exposed for what they are, with long jail sentences as an object lesson, had we the political power.
Every single citizen who cares about this country should be spending every minute of his or her spare time lobbying, organizing, writing, and planning. Fight every initiative they launch. It is all destructive. If we are to root out this evil, it is critical that in 2010 we elect  competent, principled leaders willing to defend our Constitution and our country. Otherwise, the malevolent cabal that occupies the government today will become too entrenched.
After that, all bets are off.

By James SimpsonIn September of last year, American Thinker published my article, Barack Obama and the Strategy of Manufactured Crisis. Part of a series, it connected then-presidential candidate Barack Obama to individuals and organizations practicing a malevolent strategy for destroying our economy and our system of government. Since then, the story of that strategy has found its way across the blogosphere, onto the airwaves of radio stations across the country, the Glenn Beck television show, Bill O’Reilly, and now Mark Levin.The methodology is known as the Cloward-Piven Strategy, and we can all be grateful to David Horowitz and his Discover the Networks for originally exposing and explaining it to us. He describes it as:The strategy of forcing political change through orchestrated crisis. The “Cloward-Piven Strategy” seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven were two lifelong members of Democratic Socialists of America who taught sociology at Columbia University (Piven later went on to City University of New York). In a May 1966 Nation magazine article titled “The Weight of the Poor,” they outlined their strategy, proposing to use grassroots radical organizations to push ever more strident demands for public services at all levels of government.The result, they predicted, would be “a profound financial and political crisis” that would unleash “powerful forces … for major economic reform at the national level.”They implemented the strategy by creating a succession of radical organizations, most notable among them the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), with the help of veteran organizer Wade Rathke. Their crowning achievement was the “Motor Voter” act, signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1993 with Cloward and Piven standing behind him.As we now know, ACORN was one of the chief drivers of high-risk mortgage lending that eventually led to the financial crisis. But the Motor Voter law was another component of the strategy. It created vast vulnerabilities in our electoral system, which ACORN then exploited.ACORN’s vote registration scandals throughout the U.S. are predictable fallout.The Motor Voter law has also been used to open another vulnerability in the system: the registration of vast numbers of illegal aliens, who then reliably vote Democrat. Herein lies the real reason Democrats are so anxious for open borders, security be damned.It should be clear to anyone with a mind and two eyes that this president and this Congress do not have our interests at heart. They are implementing this strategy on an unprecedented scale by flooding America with a tidal wave of poisonous initiatives, orders, regulations, and laws. As Rahm Emmanuel said, “A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.”The real goal of “health care” legislation, the real goal of “cap-and-trade,” and the real goal of the “stimulus” is to rip the guts out of our private economy and transfer wide swaths of it over to the government to control. Do not be deluded by the propaganda. These initiatives are vehicles for change. They are not goals in and of themselves except in their ability to deliver power. They and will make matters much worse, for that is their design.This time, in addition to overwhelming the government with demands for services, Obama and the Democrats are overwhelming political opposition to their plans with a flood of apocalyptic legislation. Their ultimate goal is to leave us so discouraged, demoralized, and exhausted that we throw our hands up in defeat. As Charles Rangel* said, “the middle class will be too distracted to fight.”These people are our enemies. They don’t use guns, yet, but they are just as dangerous, determined, and duplicitous as the communists we faced in the Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, and bush wars across the globe, and the Nazis we faced in World War II.It is time we fully internalized and digested this fact, with all its ugly ramifications. These people have violated countless laws and could be prosecuted, had we the political power. Not only are their policies unconstitutional, but deliberately so — the goal being to make the Constitution irrelevant. Their spending is off the charts and will drive us into hyperinflation, but it could be rescinded, had we the political power. These policies are toxic, but they could be stopped and reversed, had we the political power. Their ideologies are poisonous, but they could be exposed for what they are, with long jail sentences as an object lesson, had we the political power.Every single citizen who cares about this country should be spending every minute of his or her spare time lobbying, organizing, writing, and planning. Fight every initiative they launch. It is all destructive. If we are to root out this evil, it is critical that in 2010 we elect  competent, principled leaders willing to defend our Constitution and our country. Otherwise, the malevolent cabal that occupies the government today will become too entrenched.After that, all bets are off.

India forms new climate change body

February 6, 2010

The Indian government has established its own body to monitor the effects of global warming because it “cannot rely” on the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the group headed by its own leading scientist Dr R.K Pachauri.
Read entire article here

By Dean Nelson in New Delhi
Published: 3:47PM GMT 04 Feb 2010

The move is a significant snub to both the IPCC and Dr Pachauri as he battles to defend his reputation following the revelation that his most recent climate change report included false claims that most of the Himalayan glaciers would melt away by 2035. Scientists believe it could take more than 300 years for the glaciers to disappear.
The body and its chairman have faced growing criticism ever since as questions have been raised on the credibility of their work and the rigour with which climate change claims are assessed.

In India the false claims have heightened tensions between Dr Pachauri and the government, which had earlier questioned his glacial melting claims. In Autumn, its environment minister Mr Jairam Ramesh said while glacial melting in the Himalayas was a real concern, there was evidence that some were actually advancing despite global warming.

Dr Pachauri had dismissed challenges like these as based on “voodoo science”, but last night Mr Ramesh effectively marginalized the IPC chairman even further.
He announced the Indian government will established a separate National Institute of Himalayan Glaciology to monitor the effects of climate change on the world’s ‘third ice cap’, and an ‘Indian IPCC’ to use ‘climate science’ to assess the impact of global warming throughout the country.

“There is a fine line between climate science and climate evangelism. I am for climate science. I think people misused [the] IPCC report, [the] IPCC doesn’t do the original research which is one of the weaknesses… they just take published literature and then they derive assessments, so we had goof-ups on Amazon forest, glaciers, snow peaks.
“I respect the IPCC but India is a very large country and cannot depend only on [the] IPCC and so we have launched the Indian Network on Comprehensive Climate Change Assessment (INCCA),” he said.

It will bring together 125 research institutions throughout India, work with international bodies and operate as a “sort of Indian IPCC,” he added.

The body, which he said will not rival the UN’s panel, will publish its own climate assessment in November this year, with reports on the Himalayas, India’s long coastline, the Western Ghat highlands and the north-eastern region close to the borders with Bangladesh, Burma, China and Nepal. “Through these we will demonstrate our commitment to climate science,” he said.

The UN panel’s claims of glacial meltdown by 2035 “was clearly out of place and didn’t have any scientific basis,” he said, while stressing the government remained concerned about the health of the Himalayan ice flows. “Most glaciers are melting, they are retreating, some glaciers, like the Siachen glacier, are advancing. But overall one can say incontrovertibly that the debris on our glaciers is very high the snow balance is very low. We have to be very cautious because of the water security particularly in north India which depends on the health of the Himalayan glaciers,” he added.

The new National Institute of Himalayan Glaciology will be based in Dehradun, in Uttarakhand, and will monitor glacial changes and compare results with those from glaciers in Pakistan, Nepal and Bhutan.

Palin Wants Rahm Fired

February 5, 2010

In a Facebook post, Sarah Palin calls on President Obama to fire Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel for reportedly describing the strategy of Senate liberals as “fucking retarded.”

“Yes, Rahm is known for his caustic, crude references about those with whom he disagrees, but his recent tirade against participants in a strategy session was such a strong slap in many American faces that our president is doing himself a disservice by seeming to condone Rahm’s recent sick and offensive tactic.”

Meanwhile, an interesting new poll of Republicans finds that a majority think Palin is more qualified than Barack Obama to be president
Read entire article here

Justice Defends Ruling on Finance

February 5, 2010
Justice Defends Ruling on Finance
By ADAM LIPTAK
Published: February 3, 2010

Read entire article here

WASHINGTON — In expansive remarks at a law school in Florida, Justice Clarence Thomas on Tuesday vigorously defended the Supreme Court’s recent campaign finance decision.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Justice Clarence Thomas said he had stopped attending State of the Union speeches.
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The latest on President Obama, his administration and other news from Washington and around the nation. Join the discussion.
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And Justice Thomas explained that he did not attend State of the Union addresses — he missed the dust-up when President Obama used the occasion last week to criticize the court’s decision — because the gatherings had turned so partisan.
Justice Thomas responded to several questions from students at Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Fla., concerning the campaign finance case, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. By a 5-to-4 vote, with Justice Thomas in the majority, the court ruled last month that corporations had a First Amendment right to spend money to support or oppose political candidates.
“I found it fascinating that the people who were editorializing against it were The New York Times Company and The Washington Post Company,” Justice Thomas said. “These are corporations.”
The part of the McCain-Feingold law struck down in Citizens United contained an exemption for news reports, commentaries and editorials. But Justice Thomas said that reflected a legislative choice rather than a constitutional principle.
He added that the history of Congressional regulation of corporate involvement in politics had a dark side, pointing to the Tillman Act, which banned corporate contributions to federal candidates in 1907.
“Go back and read why Tillman introduced that legislation,” Justice Thomas said, referring to Senator Benjamin Tillman. “Tillman was from South Carolina, and as I hear the story he was concerned that the corporations, Republican corporations, were favorable toward blacks and he felt that there was a need to regulate them.”
It is thus a mistake, the justice said, to applaud the regulation of corporate speech as “some sort of beatific action.”
Justice Thomas said the First Amendment’s protections applied regardless of how people chose to assemble to participate in the political process.
“If 10 of you got together and decided to speak, just as a group, you’d say you have First Amendment rights to speak and the First Amendment right of association,” he said. “If you all then formed a partnership to speak, you’d say we still have that First Amendment right to speak and of association.”
“But what if you put yourself in a corporate form?” Justice Thomas asked, suggesting that the answer must be the same.
Asked about his attitude toward the two decisions overruled in Citizens United, he said, “If it’s wrong, the ultimate precedent is the Constitution.”
Justice Thomas would not directly address the controversy over Mr. Obama’s criticism of the Citizens United ruling or Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.’s mouthed “not true” in response. But he did say he had stopped attending the addresses.
“I don’t go because it has become so partisan and it’s very uncomfortable for a judge to sit there,” he said, adding that “there’s a lot that you don’t hear on TV — the catcalls, the whooping and hollering and under-the-breath comments.”
“One of the consequences,” he added in an apparent reference to last week’s address, “is now the court becomes part of the conversation, if you want to call it that, in the speeches. It’s just an example of why I don’t go.”

Justice Defends Ruling on Finance  By ADAM LIPTAKPublished: February 3, 2010WASHINGTON — In expansive remarks at a law school in Florida, Justice Clarence Thomas on Tuesday vigorously defended the Supreme Court’s recent campaign finance decision.

Mark Wilson/Getty ImagesJustice Clarence Thomas said he had stopped attending State of the Union speeches.Blog
The CaucusThe latest on President Obama, his administration and other news from Washington and around the nation. Join the discussion.More Politics NewsAnd Justice Thomas explained that he did not attend State of the Union addresses — he missed the dust-up when President Obama used the occasion last week to criticize the court’s decision — because the gatherings had turned so partisan.
Justice Thomas responded to several questions from students at Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Fla., concerning the campaign finance case, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. By a 5-to-4 vote, with Justice Thomas in the majority, the court ruled last month that corporations had a First Amendment right to spend money to support or oppose political candidates.
“I found it fascinating that the people who were editorializing against it were The New York Times Company and The Washington Post Company,” Justice Thomas said. “These are corporations.”
The part of the McCain-Feingold law struck down in Citizens United contained an exemption for news reports, commentaries and editorials. But Justice Thomas said that reflected a legislative choice rather than a constitutional principle.
He added that the history of Congressional regulation of corporate involvement in politics had a dark side, pointing to the Tillman Act, which banned corporate contributions to federal candidates in 1907.
“Go back and read why Tillman introduced that legislation,” Justice Thomas said, referring to Senator Benjamin Tillman. “Tillman was from South Carolina, and as I hear the story he was concerned that the corporations, Republican corporations, were favorable toward blacks and he felt that there was a need to regulate them.”
It is thus a mistake, the justice said, to applaud the regulation of corporate speech as “some sort of beatific action.”
Justice Thomas said the First Amendment’s protections applied regardless of how people chose to assemble to participate in the political process.
“If 10 of you got together and decided to speak, just as a group, you’d say you have First Amendment rights to speak and the First Amendment right of association,” he said. “If you all then formed a partnership to speak, you’d say we still have that First Amendment right to speak and of association.”
“But what if you put yourself in a corporate form?” Justice Thomas asked, suggesting that the answer must be the same.
Asked about his attitude toward the two decisions overruled in Citizens United, he said, “If it’s wrong, the ultimate precedent is the Constitution.”
Justice Thomas would not directly address the controversy over Mr. Obama’s criticism of the Citizens United ruling or Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.’s mouthed “not true” in response. But he did say he had stopped attending the addresses.
“I don’t go because it has become so partisan and it’s very uncomfortable for a judge to sit there,” he said, adding that “there’s a lot that you don’t hear on TV — the catcalls, the whooping and hollering and under-the-breath comments.”
“One of the consequences,” he added in an apparent reference to last week’s address, “is now the court becomes part of the conversation, if you want to call it that, in the speeches. It’s just an example of why I don’t go.”