Mores and the Patent and Trademark Office

The Supreme Court has taken up the case of Iancu v Brunetti and heard oral arguments Monday.  Erik Brunetti wanted a copyright on the label for a clothing line of his that he’d named FUCT, an acronym for Friends U Can’t Trust.  Iancu is Andrei Iancu, who is duel-hatted as Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  Wearing that second hat, Iancu and his fellow USPTO bureaucrats said they were scandalized and morally offended, and they denied Brunetti’s copyright application.  The Wall Street Journal, at the link, said

The Federal Reserve Bank and Presidential Pressure

“A string of central bankers,” the entire Precious lot of them, at last weekend’s IMF conference expressed their concerns over the independence of our Federal Reserve Bank System and the members of its Board of Governors.  They think the BoG is being unduly pressured by President Donald Trump because he demurs—enthusiastically—from the interest rate regime they’re setting.

I have to ask, though: what pressure? Trump has certainly spoken zealously and forcefully about what he thinks the Fed ought to do, but he’s made no threats.  He’s just argued.

Vaccination and Quarantine

Various jurisdictions in a number of States have begun barring unvaccinated students from schools following an outbreak of a contagious disease, particularly measles and chicken pox (so far).

Some school districts in the US are booting unvaccinated students from campuses where infectious-disease cases have been confirmed, as the spread of measles accelerates in some states.

“Quarantining” on the basis of vaccination status (not the classic quarantine, which blocks departure from a specific location, but one that prevents entry into specific locations) is hitting the courts, too.

Budget Surpluses and the IMF

…and the US, at the just concluded International Monetary Fund meetings in DC.

The IMF, backed by the US, has pressed Germany and others with budget surpluses to cut taxes or raise spending to prop up growth. Countries with budget surpluses “should certainly make use of it and have the space to invest and to participate in the economic development and growth,” IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said, “but not enough has been done on that front.”

The IMF has begun pressing Switzerland to spend more, too.

A little bit of this is accurate.

The Tyranny of Progressive-Democrats

In the ongoing saga of the Progressive-Democrats, and others, to get their hands on President Donald Trump’s personal and business tax returns, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Congressman Richard Neal (D, MA) requested demanded the IRS surrender several years of those documents to him by 10 Apr.  The deadline came and went as IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said they needed more time to study the Neal-cited law to be sure they could turn over the returns.  After all, other laws demand that tax records be kept private, as the personal information they are, for all Americans, and the cited law only permits tax records to be given to the House Ways and Means Chairman (and/or to two other Congressional positions) and only under tightly circumscribed conditions.

Because It’s Hateful

Recall Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s (D, MN) insulting (at best) and dismissive description of the 9/11 terrorist attack that murdered nearly 3,000 Americans as “some people did something.”  President Donald Trump—among a host of other Americans—called her out for that despicable comment with a video of his own that juxtaposed her…comment…with the death and destruction that that “something” done by “some people” wrought.

Now House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D, CA) is actively distorting the facts surrounding the matter as she joins her fellow Progressive-Democrat in trying to make political hay out of Americans’, and the President’s, objections to Omar’s words.

Reparations, Again

Now the Progressive-Democratic Party members are desperately trying to show their virtue by touting reparations again.

HR 40 would establish a federal commission to study how slavery and Jim Crow impact African-Americans today. The bill’s language calls for suggestions to “remedy” slavery’s aftereffects.

My irony meter is pegged. Slavery and Jim Crow were then-Democratic Party institutions. The current crop of Progressive-Democrats doesn’t need taxpayer money to fund a commission whose purpose would be to dilute their past. They need only look in a mirror.

It [reparations] could amount to formal government recognition that slavery was an injustice committed by the US, for example.

Of What are they Afraid?

Attorney General William Barr, during testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee, said he thought the Trump 2016 Presidential campaign had been spied on by Federal authorities, and he wanted to be sure whether that spying was legitimately done or not.

I think spying did occur.  The question is whether it was adequately predicated. …  Spying on a political campaign is a big deal.

Oh, the hoo-raw.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D, CA):

I don’t trust Barr, I trust Mueller.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D, MD) now insists that Barr’s “loyalties were compromised.”

Lost Brexit?

Great Britain’s Prime Minister, Theresa May, went begging to the EU for a delay on Great Britain’s date of departure from the EU, and she got it—31 October, with a caveat that if the Brits can get their act together sooner, they can leave sooner.

European Council President Donald Tusk:

…the call for action will be entirely in the UK’s hands.
… But he added that the UK can also use the time to “reconsider the whole Brexit strategy.”
Tusk…warned the UK: “Please do not waste this time.”

Dithering?

Or attention-whoring?  This is what Howard Schultz, Presidential candidate agonist, has said about the party of which he says he’s no longer a member:

The Democratic Party has shifted significantly to the left. The Democratic Party left me; I didn’t leave them.

I’ll elide, for this post, the petty cliché of that remark.

Instead, Schultz has been running around the countryside giving interviews, hosting town halls, drawing attention to the possibility that he might, someday, declare his formal candidacy for President as an Independent—or something.