The “Muslim Travel” Moratorium Case

The Supreme Court is hearing this case as it pertains to the current Executive Order that imposes a moratorium on entry into the US by persons coming from certain specified nations.  (In aside, I emphasize that calling the EO a “Muslim ban” is dishonest. It presents an impermanent moratorium on entry from nations representing a bare 10% of the world’s Muslims, and it presents the same impermanent moratorium on non-Muslim countries, like northern Korea.)

False Choice

Consider the kerfuffle involving corm farmer subsidies in the form of ethanol mandates and the required use of ethanol by oil refiners as they produce vehicle fuels.  The argument is being presented as a choice forced on President Donald Trump in that he “must choose” between the corn farmers and the oil companies as the kerfuffle is solved.

Oil refineries want out of a costly requirement to blend ethanol into the gasoline they produce. Corn growers say the requirement diversifies the US fuel supply, and insist Mr Trump fulfill promises to at least hold the ethanol mandate.

Battle Against Hate Speech?

Bob Pearson, co-author of Countering Hate and CIO of W2O Group says that AI is able to identify hate speech today.

All human beings follow patterns online.  You can see what language, content, channel, and people matter to them. You can see which words trigger information seeking, which language is most associated with hate topics or sites, which people are the most important influencers and you can see a range of behavioral characteristics.

Foolishness of Zero Tolerance

…or of intolerance; the two are interchangeable terms in this context.  This context is the overreaction of school management and local police departments to remarks concerning “threats” to schools.

Gina Gobert’s 12-year-old daughter was detained overnight at a police station in Oakdale, LA, after allegedly talking to schoolmates about a social-media post she said she received that threatened violence against the school.

School management, it seems, decided the girl had received no such threat and turned her over to the police, who decided to charge the child with “terrorizing.”

And this:

“Special Prosecutor”

The 9th Circuit has appointed one to “investigate” President Donald Trump’s pardon of ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio last summer.  This was done in response to the fiction offered the court by the Perkins Coie law firm that the pardon, an explicitly named power of the President under Article II, Section 2, is somehow unconstitutional and a violation of due process.

Never mind that the due process—to the extent this…claim…is relevant to the matter of pardons—was supplied by the prior trial and conviction of Arpaio, a trial without which there would be no pardon to grant.

From the DNC’s Lawsuit

Recall that the Democratic National Committee is suing the Trump campaign, the Russian Federation, Wikileaks, and several of their brothers and uncles over the hack of DNC emails and the DNC’s loss of the 2016 elections.

Here, via The Wall Street Journal, is a brief excerpt to the DNC’s filing along with my perhaps rude comments.

V. THE SIGNIFICANT HARM INFLICTED UPON PLAINTIFF

135. The illegal conspiracy inflicted profound damage upon the DNC. The timing and selective release of the stolen materials prevented the DNC from communicating with the electorate on its own terms. These selective releases of stolen material reach a peak immediately before the Democratic National Convention and continued through the general election.

A DNC Lawsuit

The Tom Perez and Keith Ellison-led Democratic National Committee is suing the Russian government, the Trump campaign, and WikiLeaks, claiming the three acted to mess with the 2016 elections.

Bring it.

I have two comments on the suit.  One is, admittedly, purely cynical.  The Trump party should refuse any attempt to settle the suit.  Instead, they should force the thing into court and through all appeals brought by the DNC, and they should use every hour of any time periods allowed to produce this or that document, brief, what-have-you for the court.  Use up the DNC’s money.

The Comey Memos

The memos can be read here.  Aside from all the commentary on the memos’ content, a couple of other things jump out at me.

One is the level of classification: SECRET/NOFORN.  Comey noted at their start that he was unsure of the memos’ classification, so he marked them SECRET and invited his addressees to correct that as required.  One or more of them considered NOFORN—nor for foreign viewing, even if otherwise cleared to the level of secrecy; this is an addendum that gets added to unclassified material, too, on occasion—to be a suitable addition.  Reading around the redactions, this seems an obvious need.

A Teachers Union Strike

There have been teachers union strikes in Oklahoma, Kentucky, and West Virginia, and now there’s one set to go off later this week in Arizona.  Readers know my disdain for union strikes generally: they’re nothing but legalized extortion—”nice business you got here.  Be too bad if something were to happen to it.  Like, say, it’s destroyed because nobody works here anymore.”  It isn’t possible to negotiate when the other party is sticking a gun in your ear—even if it’s “just” a metaphorical gun.

But it’s especially despicable when it’s a teachers union strike.  These persons are using children as hostages to back up their extortion.  And the Arizona one is all about ego and hurt feelings.

Progressive-Democratic Party Intransigence

Leaving aside Senator Rand Paul’s (R, KY) obstructiveness, the Progressive-Democratic Party Senators are opposing, as a bloc, Mike Pompeo’s confirmation as Secretary of State.  As The Wall Street Journal put it Wednesday,

Their new standard seems to be that any nominee who agrees with the elected President is disqualified.

And

What a message that would send to America’s enemies as President Trump prepares for his North Korea summit, decides on the fate of the Iran nuclear deal, and confronts a hostile Russia. Democrats say they don’t trust Mr Trump, but in denying him senior advisers they make it more likely he will govern by himself. Mark it down as one more example that hatred for Mr Trump has caused many of his opponents to abandon rational judgment.