A Newly Conservative Court?

Jess Bravin, writing in The Wall Street Journal, thought so.

When Justice Brett Kavanaugh takes the bench Tuesday, it will mark the culmination of the Republican Party’s 50-year drive to cement a conservative majority on the Supreme Court.

At the least, he argued,

[A] five-justice majority more sensitive to regulatory and litigation costs on business should tip more outcomes toward industry and employers, imposing higher bars for workers, consumers and environmentalists, according to legal experts who have studied the court and Justice Kavanaugh’s jurisprudence. At the same time, the new majority is likely to show more sympathy for social conservatives resisting the encroachment of gay rights and access to contraceptives, as well as greater tolerance for state initiatives to curb the availability of abortion.

The Supreme Court

As I write this (Saturday morning), Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh has not been confirmed; although, that seems more likely than I had thought Friday morning before the cloture vote.  Nevertheless, here’s why we need another textualist Justice on the Court—from the words of another Supreme Court Justice.

Associate Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan said Friday she fears the high court may lack a justice going forward who would serve as a swing-vote on cases….

And

Kagan said at a conference for women at Princeton University that over the past three decades…there was a figure on the bench “who found the center or people couldn’t predict in that sort of way.”

It’s a Start

The Trump administration has agreed to sell $330 million worth of spare parts to the Republic of China.  The spares will support the RoC’s F-16s, C-130s, and other of the island nation’s military aircraft.

It’s a start.  However, we need to do more.  We should be selling uprated F1-16s, F-15s, and A-10s to them.  We should be selling missile defense systems to them and brokering deals between the RoC and Israel for the latter’s Iron Dome and Arrow missile and rocket defense systems.  We should be selling the RoC anti-ship and anti-aircraft weapons systems.  We should be selling them land-attack cruise missile systems.

Feinstein’s Weapons Distortion

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D, CA) isn’t only dissembling in the course of her Progressive-Democratic Party’s shambles-making of the Judge Kavanaugh Supreme Court Justice confirmation process.  She’s dissembling regarding our right to keep and bear Arms, also.  Using the hoo-raw the Party created during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings (she’s the Ranking Democrat on that committee), she had this comment in the lead up to a question she had for Kavanaugh:

I’m talking about your statement on “common use.”  Assault weapons are not in common use.

Promise

The People’s Republic of China has been rolling out its system for spying on surveilling its citizens for a while now.  This is the system that develops social scores for every PRC citizen, and the system has bennies for achieving high scores:

…waived deposits on hotels and rental cars, VIP treatment at airports, discounted loans, priority job applications, and fast-tracking to the most prestigious universities.

Things that can detract from those high scores include

[j]aywalking, late payments on bills or taxes, buying too much alcohol, or speaking out against the government….
Other mooted punishable offences include spending too long playing video games, wasting money on frivolous purchases, and posting on social media….

Whose Side?

On whose side is the current Pope?  What is his purpose, his goal?

First, the Pope condones covering up—even delaying a “conference” for chit-chat about the abuse for as long as possible—massive child abuse by Catholicism’s priests and bishops.

Now we have the Pope saying the Catholic Church—the Vatican—doesn’t even need to be the authority that selects the Church’s bishops.

…Catholic concession in a far-reaching deal between Rome and the Vatican announced Friday. The Vatican has agreed to recognize as legitimate seven Chinese priests who had been excommunicated by Rome for accepting their bishop hats without Vatican approval. Two bishops who had remained faithful to Rome will retire to make room for bishops more to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s liking.

Government Diktat

California style.  That state has passed a law.

The law requires a company to appoint one woman to its board of directors by the end of 2019. By the end of 2021 a five-member board would need to have two women, while boards with six or more directors would need three. The Legislature, always alert to possible micro-aggressions, defines female as “an individual who self-identifies her gender as a woman, without regard to the individual’s designated sex at birth.”

(One wonders whether the law would be satisfied by a male Board member self-identifying as a woman for the purpose of Board-related activities.  [/snark])

Timidity

Sadanand Dhume had an opinion piece in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal decrying Dutch politician Geert Wilders’ decision to cancel a contest through which ” participants were invited to lampoon the prophet Muhammad.”  Wilders pleaded “security concerns” because of some protests in Pakistan.

On the whole, I agree with Dhume.  However, I’m less concerned with Pakistani whinings than I am with the cowardice displayed by Wilders and his cronies in canceling their contest.

A few short years ago, a similar “Draw Muhammad” contest was held in Dallas. The terrorists who tried to disrupt that contest were stopped in their tracks by ordinary American citizens.  The Dutch are not Danes, but I wouldn’t have thought them this timid.

“Value-Charged”

A panel, the Texas Education Agency, that is “advising” the Texas State Board of Education wants to deprecate matters related to the Alamo and its defense by a band of heroic Americans (yes, I used those two terms.  Both of them).

The 7th grade social studies curriculum used to teach the defense of the Alamo currently uses the phrase siege of the Alamo and all of the heroic defenders who gave their lives there.  This panel told the SBOE to use only siege of the Alamo.  “Heroic,” they insist, is “value-charged.”

Trust and the FBI

Thomas Baker, a retired FBI agent, had some thoughts in the The Wall Street Journal about how to restore trust in the FBI. Naturally, I have some thoughts on those thoughts.

The centralization of case management at FBI headquarters. According to Florida Rep Matt Gaetz [R], an email from Mr McCabe said that Hillary Clinton would receive an “HQ special”—lenient treatment in the investigation into her handling of classified materials. Mr Wray has tasked Associate Deputy Director Paul Abbate to review how the bureau manages sensitive investigations.