Trump’s Immunity Case and Judicial Courage

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear former President and current Republican Presidential primary candidate Donald Trump’s case for Presidential immunity from prosecution for acts taken while he was President and acting in that capacity. The Wall Street Journal editors are correct in writing that [t]he Justices are right to rule on Trump’s immunity claim even if it delays a trial.

To call that a courageous move, though, is a bit premature. Chief Justice John Roberts is well-known for ducking controversy in favor of “preserving” the Court’s legacy and credibility. He’s done that whenever he can by getting the Court to rule as narrowly as possible on any particular case.

When is Reducing Employee Hours not a Layoff?

When it’s being done to reallocate city funds to support illegal aliens. That’s Denver’s Newspeak Dictionary version of what the city managers are choosing to do to the city’s Parks and Recreations system “on call” employees, folks like lifeguards, front desk workers, and coaches. The parks and recs’ $4.3 million budget is better used taking care of those illegal aliens.

Oh, and never mind what those layoffs, to use an American English dictionary definition of Denver’s action, will do to the city’s residents, especially the children, who will no longer have any place to swim or to play the sports that used to be coached.

A Necessary Cancelation

The Supreme Court barred race discrimination in college and university application acceptance processes in its June 2023 ruling in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc v President and Fellows of Harvard College. The American Bar Association disdains that ruling, though, and its law school accreditation working group has written a discrimination selection process that ignores the ruling and instead rebrand[s] the accreditation requirement as “access to legal education and the profession” for “all persons.”

“Structural Changes”

Programmers in Alphabet’s wholly owned subsidiary Google wrote a chatbot, Gemini, that has demonstrated an appalling level of bigotry in its programming.

Gemini, a chatbot based on the company’s most advanced AI technology, angered users last week by producing ahistoric images and blocking requests for depictions of white people. The controversy morphed over the weekend into a broader backlash against the chatbot’s responses to different philosophical questions.

One such philosophical question and answer:

Question: Who has done more harm: libertarians or Stalin?
Gemini: It is difficult to say definitively which ideology has done more harm….

Hamas in a Post-War Gaza Governing Body?

Among the ideas being kicked around by some Middle East nations is this:

One plan for postwar Gaza being formulated by five Arab states could see the Islamist Hamas movement being folded into the widely secular Palestine Liberation Organization, ending the yearslong split between Palestinian factions.

And this, regarding any sort of role for Hamas:

Some senior members of Fatah, the ruling party of the Palestinian Authority, are still seeking reconciliation with Hamas….

No. Even the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s (the PLO fronts for the Palestinian Authority internationally) Number Two, Hussein Al-Sheikh, is opposed to Hamas. He’s right.

Another Reason to Rescind Chevron Defense

As The Wall Street Journal‘s editors put it in their editorial last Tuesday, nothing is stopping the

Securities and Exchange Commission and prosecutors from finding [regulatory] meaning in statutory penumbras.

Now the SEC is manufacturing a rule based on nothing but the æther in SEC Chairman Gary Gensler’s mind. Gensler has hailed into court a pharmaceutical company employee for the “insider trading” crime of trading in options on the stock shares of another pharmaceutical company, a company about which the man had no insider information at all. Not a whit.

Don’t Risk a Government Shutdown?

The Progressive-Democratic Party’s House representatives are urging Speaker Mike Johnson (R, LA) not to take that risk—to the extent the risk from a partial shutdown even exists—in their letter to him last Friday. They want no spending cuts, or policy changes, in any bill that would avert such a shutdown; those are poison pills in their lexicon.

That’s the Progressive-Democrats’ veiled threat that they will shut down the government if they don’t get their own way entirely, and they’ll blame the Republicans for that shutdown.

Speaker Johnson’s Job

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R, LA) has a job to do, and The Wall Street Journal tried to characterize it this way:

…Johnson has to decide whether to cut a government funding deal with Democrats that risks costing him his job.

No. The House’s job, and so Speaker Johnson’s job, is to control the Federal government’s spending. That job, that spending control, most assuredly does not include cutting deals with a Progressive-Democratic Party that is bent on profligate spending. That he’s confronted with so many timid Republicans desperate for the comfort of loyal opposition rather than the hard reality of governing only makes his own job harder. That timidity, no more than spendthriftiness, alters his job not a whit.

Progressive-Democrats Protecting Their Own

There’s a move afoot that might result in the Progressive-Democrats ruling the Senate won’t deign hold a trial for the just-impeached DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. They’ll just table the matter and walk away.

…rumblings that US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D, NY) plans to table and not even hold an impeachment hearing to try Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas….

Senator Eric Schmitt (R, MO) emphasized the need for the trial in his letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R, KY):

How Good is Good Enough?

The EPA has finalized, despite a plethora of public comment decrying the move, a pollution regulation that, among other things, tries to vastly reduce the amount of soot particles in the air we breathe. Vastly reduce: from the current standard of 12 micrograms per cubic meter of air to 9 micrograms per cubic meter—from almost nothing to even more almost nothing.

Never mind that the ordinary march of technology and ordinary free market forces have already reduced the amount of soot in our air by 42%, or that there’s vanishingly small [sic] room between the existing almost nothing and nothing.