Saturday, July 1, 2017

Reason #5590-5595 That Trump Was Elected

Robert Barnes, writing at the Washington Post, published an early review of the performance of Supreme Court Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch (six words which I swear to you I will never get tired of writing) this week. As with many reviews from the WaPo of people or ideas which lean in a conservative direction, one almost detects a hint of criticism, or at least disappointment hiding under the covers.
On Day 78 of his lifetime appointment, the Supreme Court’s newest justice, Neil M. Gorsuch, revealed himself Monday to be:
● Skeptical about the reach of the court’s two-year-old decision granting same-sex couples the right to marry.
●Further to the right than almost all of his colleagues on gun rights.
●Unwilling to lend his full support to Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.’s opinion in a major separation-of-church-and-state case, because of disagreement over a two-sentence footnote.
While it’s not a direction I would take personally, I can assure you that a lot of people who voted for Trump primarily, if not entirely for the purpose of having him select the next member of the highest court in the land rather than Hillary Clinton, were not at all bothered by his apparent take on gay marriage. If he’s “further to the right” than most of the court on Second Amendment rights, the aforementioned voters are currently popping open champagne bottles. And if anyone is bothered by the fact that he would strike out with his own thoughts when he disagrees with another justice’s footnotes, they should probably go back to watching Dancing With the Stars. We want justices who think independently and inject their own opinions into the debate. We don’t need sheep. And I say that even for the ones who I almost always disagree with.
Boom! SCOTUS Reinstates Travel Ban (Mostly), Will Hear Case In Fall
Originally slated to take effect shortly after Trump’s inauguration, two versions of the order have been put forward and then summarily halted by both the Fourth and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeals. SCOTUS found at least five members (and I’m sure you can guess which ones) to disagree with the lower courts and have largely reinstated the ban while agreeing to hear the case in full this fall.
The justices agreed they preferred separation of powers to judicial fiat.

FASTER, PLEASE: Islamic State Is Near Defeat in Iraq, Prime Minister Says.
“We are seeing the end of the fake Daesh state,” Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Twitter, using another name for Islamic State. “The liberation of Mosul proves that. We will not relent,” he added.
Thursday’s recapture of the ruined Nouri mosque came a week after Islamic State blew it up as Iraqi forces closed in, reducing to rubble the 12th-century building and its 150-foot minaret. The mosque gained notoriety when Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi spoke there three years ago and declared himself the head of a caliphate, or religious empire.
Col. Ryan Dillon, the Baghdad-based spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition battling Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, said that Iraqi forces on Thursday cut a wedge in the middle of the area held by Islamic State, seizing the Nouri mosque and cornering the few hundred remaining fighters in half of Mosul’s Old City on one side, and an area around a hospital that has been a stronghold for the group on the other side.
And rather than simply drive ISIS fighters out and into their next stronghold — the practice of the previous Administration — U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis has a plan to kill them all.
 Trump Administration Signals End To Campus Star Chambers
At a National Association of College and University Attorneys conference in Chicago this week, acting assistant secretary of OCR, Candice Jackson, said the Trump administration would take a less confrontational approach to the way the department handles accusations that schools do not properly address sexual assault complaints.

“OCR has fallen into a pattern and practice of overreaching, of setting out to punish and embarrass institutions rather than appreciate their good faith and genuine desire to correct legitimate civil rights problems,” Jackson told the crowd.
. . .
Jackson would not, however, commit to removing the low standard of proof the Obama administration had required. The preponderance of evidence standard was forced onto schools for dubious reasons: the Obama administration claimed OCR was justified in using this standard because many schools already used it, even though that is not a legal justification. The standard means schools just have to be 50.01 percent sure an accuser is telling the truth.
Flip a coin. And no, I'm not yet tired of winning:  Angry White House reporter: 'I can't take it anymore!'
The reporter who lashed out at the Trump administration on Tuesday said Wednesday that reporters have to stand up and fight President Trump's effort to dismiss the media, and said he blew up at spokeswoman Sarah Sanders because he "can't take it anymore."

"For the government to sit there and undermine essentially what [are] very essential checks and balances in the system, it's disheartening, it's unnerving," said reporter Brian Karem, who writes for Playboy, on MSNBC.

"I can't take it anymore," he said.

Karem on Tuesday complained to Sanders that she was purposefully saying "inflammatory" things to make the media look bad, and to say anything the press writes against Trump amounts to fake news.

On MSNBC, Karem complained that Sanders' mission on Tuesday was to berate the press, even though the first three questions Sanders was asked dealt with media, including Karem's complaint.
Playboy has a White House correspondent? Can we at least get Pamela Anderson?

Linked at Pirates Cove in the weekly "Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup" and links.

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