Sexism in a Court

The singer Kesha, in a Manhattan court, is suing Sony and ex-producer “Dr Luke” over allegations of having been drugged and raped.  There are (unsubstantiated) reports that the presiding judge, Shirley Kornreich, should be removed from the case because she’s married to Proskauer Rose law firm partner Edward Kornreich, and Proskauer Rose represents Sony.

Kornreich says the move is sexist.

If it’s an issue at all, it’s an issue because women are now part of the professional work force[.]

A Bad Deal in the Offing

The Wall Street Journal had a piece on a potential deal concerning the FCC.

We hear Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democrat Harry Reid are negotiating for an FCC transition in which Chairman Tom Wheeler would leave in January. GOP leaders would then reconfirm two commissioners: Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel, whose five-year term has expired; and Republican Ajit Pai, who is not up until next year and is in the mix to be the next chairman.

The WSJ suitably addressed the foolishness of the overall deal.

Obstruction and Understanding

We’ve seen an example of how the Democrats of the Senate intend to obstruct everything Republican.

Now we get the Democrats’ intension to be knee jerk obstructive in the House.  The New York Times had a piece over the weekend concerning Congressman Keith Ellison’s (D, MN) desire to be both a Congressman and the chairman of the Democratic National Committee.  In making his argument that he could do both together, Ellison said this about the nature of being in the minority party in Congress:

All there is to do is to vote “no.”

Veterans Administration Strikes Again

And once again, its blow contributes to a death. This time, it’s the VA’s Talihina, Oklahoma, facility, and this place allowed maggots to breed in the injury of a veteran.

Executive Director Myles Deering said the maggots were discovered while the patient was alive but were not the cause of his death. He said the man came into the center with an infection.

Deering tried to play down the incident:

He did not succumb as a result of the parasites.  He succumbed as a result of the sepsis.

Gerrymandering, Politics, and Race

The (eight Justice) Supreme Court is going to take up the question of gerrymandering and Congressional districts in Virginia and North Carolina.  In fact, the case the Court is hearing is narrower than that:

drawing legislative districts based on race.

Never mind that the Democrats’ Voting Rights Act of 1965 mandates race-based districting: the VRA

generally prohibits reducing minority-voting power through redistricting[]

which, of course, explicitly requires race-based districting in order to “protect” that “power.”

Does Trump Want a War with the Press?

That’s the thrust of a Howard Kurtz piece on FoxNews Monday morning.  Then he asked

[D]oes Trump want both sides on a permanently hostile footing?

Kurtz needs to come out of his press bubble and poke around in the world some.  The press has been hostile to anything non-Left for years.  The press has been openly hostile and deliberately biased against President-Elect Donald Trump ever since Trump announced his candidacy.

Kurtz has even acknowledged the press’ war against Trump—and this is post-election.

Donald Trump, they say, should not be normalized.

There is, also, this bit of Kurtz’ own disingenuousity:

An Impact of Artificially Low Interest Rates?

Recall that, since shortly before the Panic of 2008, the Fed has been suppressing interest rates to artificial, and very low, rates.  I’ve written about other impacts of these government-manipulated rates.  The table below could well be an illustration of an unrolling of the failure in the insurance industry first mentioned in the linked-to article.

It seems that two of the smaller insurers in the long-term care sector of the health insurance industry are about to be liquidated, proximately because they badly miscalculated the costs involved in paying out on long-term care policies.  Gary Hughes, American Council of Life Insurers General Counsel, had this on the reasons for the failures:

It Wasn’t Political

Recall that the Hampshire College President, Jonathan Lash, pulled the US flag down from all campus flagpoles, along with “all other flags.”  Recall further that he took this action after he

had lowered the US flag to half-staff after Election Day[]

followed by the US flag being burned on Veterans Day.

Lash, though, as he finally was forced by the public’s hue and cry to restore our nation’s flag to its proper place atop flagpoles, is still denying that he did it for politics.

The Law Professor Misapprehends

Jacob Gershman has a piece in The Wall Street Journal‘s Law Blog about the increasing use of software algorithms to assess newsworthiness and the implications of that increasing use on legal assessments of the tradeoffs between individual privacy and what’s fit to print.  In it, Gershman quotes Georgetown University Associate Professor of Legal Research and Writing Erin Carroll.

Given the dominance of platforms like Facebook, the related influence of algorithms on how news is made, and specifically how algorithms are beginning to supplant editorial discretion and the editorial process, courts need to rethink their rationales for deference to the press. In the realm of privacy law, courts have long trusted the Fourth Estate to vet the newsworthiness of a subject before publishing, so that the courts themselves did not have to. Today, that trust is becoming misplaced.

Republic of China and President-Elect Donald Trump

It’s time to start correcting some errors of long standing, and it may be (it is too soon to be confident of this) that President-Elect Donald Trump is beginning to do that with his telecon with the President of the RoC.

“The one-China policy is the cornerstone of the healthy development of China-US relations and we hope this political foundation will not be interfered with or damaged,” [Chinese Foreign Minister Yi] Wang was quoted as saying.