June 2, 2019

Posted by orrinj at 7:32 PM


Posted by orrinj at 7:22 PM


Trump proposes the biggest tax hike in 30 years (Courtenay Brown, 6/02/19, Axios)

If Trump's 5% tariff on Mexican goods takes effect later this month, the president's trade policies would constitute a bigger tax hike than Bill Clinton's in 1993.

A growing economy invites immigration.  Only a declining one can preserve precious racial hygiene.

Posted by orrinj at 7:05 PM


'No middle ground.' Bernie Sanders jabs Joe Biden at California Democratic Party convention (HANNAH WILEY, JUNE 02, 2019, Sacramento Bee)

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders told a California Democratic Party convention Sunday that America's best path forward is to the left.

Speaking to a crowded room of Bernie supporters, the Vermont senator said that in order to advance a "political revolution," Democrats must not settle for 'middle ground' on issues ranging from environmental policy to cutting prescription drug prices.

Uncle Joe, who has been ceded the middle ground by both parties.

Posted by orrinj at 6:56 PM


Mulvaney: Request to Hide McCain Ship During Trump Visit Was "Not an Unreasonable" Ask (DANIEL POLITI, JUNE 02, 2019, Slate)

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney defended the request that came from the White House to hide the USS John S. McCain during President Donald Trump's visit to Japan. It was not "an unreasonable thing to ask," Mulvaney said.

Pity the poor Trumpbots, continually left defending their hero even after he stops pretending.

Posted by orrinj at 6:18 PM


Poll: A majority of American Jews disapprove of Trump's handling of Israel relations (Jacob Kornbluh,  June 2, 2019, The Hill)

On the president's handling of U.S.-Israel relations, a majority -- 54 percent -- disapprove of his conduct, including 45 percent who strongly disapprove. Only 36 percent approve.

The poll numbers contrast with the views of Israeli Jews, who overwhelmingly agree with Trump's handling of the U.S.-Israel relationship -- 79 percent approve while 10 percent disapprove.

Posted by orrinj at 9:13 AM


Democracy for Every Israeli and Palestinian. It's Not Hard (Gideon Levy, Jun 02, 2019, Ha'aretz)

Israel is stuck in neutral. Everything is at a standstill. So it's time to fantasize, to dream about a general election, but a different kind, a dream about democracy. It won't happen soon, but one day it will. Israel will have to become a democracy because it doesn't have the right to exist otherwise.

Without real elections, it's not a democracy. What it imagines as democratic is an electoral trick. A fundamental rule in democracies is the universal right to vote. One person, one vote. Equality. There's no democracy without that. There's no such thing as democracy in installments for one ethnic group or one geographic area.

If the United States decided to deprive the southern states of the right to vote, it would cease being democratic. If Germany did the same against the country's Jews, it would again be declared a threat to humanity.

Elections in Israel aren't general elections and so they're not democratic. The country can continue to masquerade as the only democracy in the Middle East. A new law letting the Knesset override Supreme Court decisions could represent the final declaration of the end of Israeli democracy. The end of the masquerade.

If adjoining towns are distinguished by their right to vote in elections that determine the fate of both, that's not democracy. If the West Bank settlement of Itamar goes to the polls, but not the West Bank Palestinian city of Nablus, that's not democracy. If the Jews of the West Bank town of Hebron vote in elections but the Palestinian residents of Hebron don't, that's apartheid. It's that simple and that's how things are.

Posted by orrinj at 9:06 AM


Barr's Playbook: He Misled Congress When Omitting Parts of Justice Dep't Memo in 1989 (Ryan Goodman, April 15, 2019, Just Security)
On Friday the thirteenth October 1989, by happenstance the same day as the "Black Friday" market crash, news leaked of a legal memo authored by William Barr. He was then serving as head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). It is highly uncommon for any OLC memo to make headlines. This one did because it was issued in "unusual secrecy" and concluded that the FBI could forcibly abduct people in other countries without the consent of the foreign state. The headline also noted the implication of the legal opinion at that moment in time. It appeared to pave the way for abducting Panama's leader, Gen. Manuel Noriega.

Members of Congress asked to see the full legal opinion. Barr refused, but said he would provide an account that "summarizes the principal conclusions." Sound familiar? In March 2019, when Attorney General Barr was handed Robert Mueller's final report, he wrote that he would "summarize the principal conclusions" of the special counsel's report for the public.

When Barr withheld the full OLC opinion in 1989 and said to trust his summary of the principal conclusions, Yale law school professor Harold Koh wrote that Barr's position was "particularly egregious." Congress also had no appetite for Barr's stance, and eventually issued a subpoena to successfully wrench the full OLC opinion out of the Department.

What's different from that struggle and the current struggle over the Mueller report is that we know how the one in 1989 eventually turned out.

When the OLC opinion was finally made public long after Barr left office, it was clear that Barr's summary had failed to fully disclose the opinion's principal conclusions. It is better to think of Barr's summary as a redacted version of the full OLC opinion. That's because the "summary" took the form of 13 pages of written testimony. The document was replete with quotations from court cases, legal citations, and the language of the OLC opinion itself. Despite its highly detailed analysis, this 13-page version omitted some of the most consequential and incendiary conclusions from the actual opinion. And there was evidently no justifiable reason for having withheld those parts from Congress or the public.

Posted by orrinj at 9:05 AM