Environmental Law in the Trump Administration

promoted by david

Went to Harvard Law school today, January 30, 2017, to hear Professors Jody Freeman and Richard Lazarus explain what they think will happen to environmental law in the Trump administration. I got there about 10 minutes before the scheduled talk and the room was about a quarter full. Very soon there was a standing room only crowd with people listening from the hall, probably over 70 people, mostly Harvard Law students.

Freeman and Lazarus tag-teamed the presentation, passing the slide clicker back and forth and talking in turn about the issues. They started by remembering the transition from Carter to Reagan and the days of James Watt and Anne Gorsuch, both of whom eventually left government because of public and Congressional pushback. However, now there is probably not be the same environmental firewall as there was under Reagan.

Where are the U.S. Marshalls or...is this our trail of tears?

The role of the federal marshals could become very interesting as this immigration business plays out. This is one to watch. - promoted by david

“IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that to assure compliance with the Court’s order, the Court directs service of this Order upon the United States Marshal for the Eastern District of New York, and further directs the United States Marshal Service to take those actions deemed necessary to enforce the provisions and prohibitions set forth in this Order.”

So…. where are they? Why haven’t the Marshals appeared to enforce and serve the public?

Well. The U.S. Marshall’s website says they are part of the Department of Justice – which is an executive agency and reports to President Trump.

So what did the head of that regional, Eastern District of New York U.S. Marshall outfit say? Well:

“Right now, at this point there’s no action that we’re taking,” said Chief Jim Elsik in the Marshals’ Eastern District of New York office. “That’s a discussion that we’re going to have with the judge in concert with our headquarters in Washington.”

And when the AG stood up to President Trump what did he say? “You’re fired.” Ditto the head of Immigration and Custom Enforcement Daniel Ragsdale tonight.

So in a conflict between the President and the Courts, does that mean that the Federal Courts have NO enforcement mechanism?

Checks and balances are badly eroded. Only Congress [if any backbone remains] or the USSCT [if any backbone or interest in having a democracy in fact remain] remains between the U.S. population and descent into being a very rich banana republic style tyranny.

Andrew Jackson was a president of very similar personality, and reportedly said

“John Marshall has made his decision;now let him enforce it.”

President Trump is saying much the same. Will Congress protect and restore checks and balances? Can the Courts? Or will we descend into either tyranny, or revolutionary unrest to restore and protect the American Republic?

Trump fires acting Attorney General...

promoted by david

Sally Yates for saying the Muslim travel ban is unlawful and should NOT be enforced.

This is Watergate all over again when Nixon fired special Prosecutor , Archibald Cox.  Then Attorney General Elliot Richardson. Then Deputy Attorney General Ruckelshaus.

My God !  History is repeating itself.


Fred  Rich  LaRiccia

Disability Law Center aids woman who has been kept away from father and sister by DDS

promoted by david

(Cross-posted from The COFAR Blogsite)

In the wake of reports that an intellectually disabled woman has been prohibited for more than a year by the Department of Developmental Services from having any contact with her father and sister, a federally funded legal assistance agency has arranged for legal representation to help the woman challenge the ban.

The Boston-based Disability Law Center opened an investigation late last year of a decision by a DDS-paid guardian to prohibit contact between the woman and her father, David Barr, and sister, Ashley Barr. Based on privacy concerns raised by the DLC, we are no longer publishing the woman’s name.

Twitler circumvents cabinet

  - promoted by david

The recent Muslim ban debacle exposes Drumbpf’s modus operandi on whose policy advice he’s taking.

Like Nixon circumvented his SOS Rodgers and SOD Laird with National Security advisor Kissinger, Putin’s Poodle elevated anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim, pro-Russian, Dugganist Bannon to a seat on the National Security Council to block out SOD Mattis and SHS Kelly.

Mattis and Kelly are LIVID !

Get the popcorn ready.  This is going to get, veeeery interesting.

Fred  Rich  LaRiccia

American Media Misses the Headline for the Soap Opera Shiny Object -Again

  - promoted by david

The American media that is supposedly is so biased against Trump, totally missed the headline. Instead of talking about the unbelievable decision to drop the Joint Chiefs from most NSC meetings, the American media talked about Steve Bannon getting a seat on it.

The BBC, the Independent, and the Guardian all got it right.


Let Start a Fact Counter-Offensive

promoted by david

Watch out my Trump-supporting friends. Don’t read any further. There are actual facts and data right ahead here about how much the programs you think are so expensive actually COST you per year. But just keep listening to your Leader.

Then again, why would you listen to Time Magazine? It must be some liberal conspiracy, right?

Take my $1.37… I want my PBS.
Take my $.46… I am all for federal funding of art programs.
Take my $.46… I love my museums, colleges, and libraries.
Take my $.11… I support developing minority businesses.
Take my $.66… I am for entrepreneurship and innovation.
Take my $1.60… I want us to export more goods overseas.
Take my $0.43… I would like to see more American manufacturing.
Take my $0.88… I think community policing needs vast improvement.
Take my $1.48… I support programs for women.
Take my $1.55… I believe in due process for all.
Take my $0.48… We need a civil rights division in the justice department.
Take my $0.38… I think we need to defend our Mother Earth.
Take my $0.03… I know more work needs to be done for climate change.
Take my $8.95… because we need more sustainable energy.
Take my $2.71… we should reduce our carbon footprint.
If saving these programs means I’m out $22.36 a year, I’m good with contributing my $.07 a day to save American jobs and these federal programs.
Numbers taken from a report in Time about what the roles of the 17 federal agencies DT has threatened and how much they cost the average taxpayer.
This series of datum is making its way around social media. Let’s accelerate its trajectory.

Ohio on the eve of the election

promoted by david

My wife and I visited family and friends in Ohio during the week before this recent presidential election.  During that time, I talked to a lot of people about the candidates, and wrote down much of what they said in a photo essay.  I provide a link  to the photo essay below.

Warning: I unearthed nothing new or surprising during our week in Ohio, and my conclusions are commonplace to the point of banality.  But at least I got a good shot of the tomb of Warren G. Harding.


Charlie Baker vetoes legislative pay raises.

A point of clarification: this bill doesn't (and constitutionally can't) change the base pay of legislators, which remains in the $60K vicinity. What it does is dramatically increase bonuses to legislators in "leadership" positions, thereby increasing the gap between those legislators and the rank and file. - promoted by david

“Given the commonwealth’s fiscal outlook as we continue to right-size our budget, close the structural deficit and reduce the reliance on one-time revenues without raising taxes, we felt it was important to veto this fiscally irresponsible legislation,” Baker told reporters at a press conference in his Statehouse office, with Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito standing next to him.

Okay Charlie, in short, your position is that “now is not the time to raise the wages of or state legislators”.

Charlie, these people make about $60K a year.  

I made more than that as a service dispatcher for a repair company.  You can make that as a department manager at a grocery store.

Oh, I know, this is supposed be a “part time” position.  Have you ever spoken with a state senator or representative?  I have.  While on the surface, it appears to be a “part time” position and many supplement their income with side jobs, it’s not a “part time: position.  Well, it may be if they never leave their house to shop for groceries or go out to dinner with their spouse.  It may be considered a “part time” position if they never answer their phones or check emails.  The truth is that it is a full time, almost full life position.  When  constituents call for help, or see the rep or senator shopping at the market and have a question or problem do you really expect them to reply with “sorry, I’m off at the moment.  It’s just a part time job, serving you, protecting your rights in the Commonwealth, and I’m off at the moment,  Please try again later”.    Is THIS the government you want for the citizens of Massachusetts?

But I digress.

If now is not the time to raise the wages of our state legislators, what is the time?  Specifically, what economic/budget/employment conditions must exist before Charlie Baker will approve a pay raise for these public servants of Massachusetts?  In addition, can you point to a time in our state’s history where these conditions actually existed?   Finally, what changes are you suggesting to get to these conditions, assuming they exist and have existed before?

My hunch is that you, like so many Republicans today, want our government run by people who are wealthy enough to work without a salary, you know, people like Donald Trump.

Marty Walsh rips Trump, throws shade on Shy Charlie

The contrast couldn’t be starker. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh was the de facto political leader of Massachusetts today: protecting our livelihoods and ideals by defending immigrants and standing up to an unpopular and incompetent president who lost the national popular vote by millions and was obliterated in Massachusetts.

Baker was nowhere to be seen. That’s because he can’t challenge Trump too explicitly since they both stand for the same values: the GOP. It’s an impossible position that, based on the events of this week, will become increasingly untenable.

This will create a huge political opportunity for Baker’s rivals if he keeps it up.

Walsh on CNN:

In Boston, 48% of children have at least one parent who was born outside the United States. I identify with those kids because I was one of them. My mother and father came from Ireland to Boston looking for opportunity. They found their American Dream, and I got to live mine by becoming mayor of the city that embraced us.

My family was far from alone. In Boston, immigrants make up nearly one-third of our population. We welcome and cherish those who are fleeing persecution or simply seeking a better life. We know our success — and our nation’s success — has always depended on the drive, talent, community and culture of newcomers.

That’s why I was so angered by the White House’s executive orders this week, aiming to strip cities like Boston of their federal funding and shut the door to desperate refugees. They sent the message that America is rejecting its heritage as a nation of immigrants and giving up on its role as a beacon of hope in the world. More immediately for cities like Boston, these orders threaten to undermine public safety, sap our economic vitality and tear apart our families.





This is what incompetence looks like

Trump made abundantly clear on the campaign trail that he wasn’t up to the job of being president: ignorance of important basic facts about the U.S. and the world, prone to incoherent rages laced with fabrications, and a pathetic six-time business bankrupt. Now he is proving it.

In addition to being ill advised on policy grounds, his precipitate ban on refugees, and ban on all travel to the U.S. by citizens of seven nations, including by legal permanent residents of the U.S., was implemented in an utterly incompetent manner.

It’s purpose is ostensibly to protect the country from attacks like those on 9/11 but none of those attackers were from the countries banned.

Banning citizens of entire countries with whom we are at peace is idiotic: even accepting the thesis that hordes of terrorists are trying to get into the country (which, if they are, the existing system has been protecting us from quite effectively given the small number of domestic attacks since 9/11), they are individuals, not countries. Russia, for example, has a much larger total population, and even a larger Muslim population, than Yemen. China too. If a 90-day travel ban to block potential terrorists is the way to keep us safe it should start with the largest nations, which have the greatest number of such potential malefactors, not seven small ones.

It was announced without any warning or effective preparation for the people who had to implement it.

Result: some airports have been plunged into chaos, thousands of lives of law-abiding people have been disrupted, and part of the order was reversed by the courts.

The president and his team, and by extension Republicans in general, are not up to the job of effective governance, except in the narrowest sense of serving their ignorant, fearful base who will accept any incompetence so long as it serves their prejudices. That won’t be enough to run the country.

"First they came for the Muslims"

UPDATE: As you’ve probably heard, a federal judge has stayed the Executive Order. Hooray! No matter:

Signal boost:
Boston Protest Against Muslim Ban and Anti-Immigration Orders
Copley Square tomorrow Sunday 1/29 1-3pm


Dark day for America yesterday … we’re early on in a parade of unnecessary and self-destructive cruelty.

Yesterday, on Holocaust Memorial Day, white nationalist advisor Steve Bannon the President put out a statement that did not mention Jews.

And then he followed through on his “Muslim ban” on immigration — slamming the door on refugees and leaving some 500,000 Green Card holders currently outside the country with no way to get back in. Moms and Dads, families. People fleeing persecution for helping the US.

The outrage has been white-hot, deep, and I think, broad.

Here’s Tufts professor and political commentator Daniel Drezner:

Rep. Seth Moulton, an Iraq vet who became very close to his Iraqi translators:

“President Trump is leading our country out of fear instead of facts. His executive orders banning refugees and immigrants from some Muslim majority countries to the United States play right into the hands of our enemies. ISIS has already used his statements to help recruit new suicide bombers, and you can bet Trump’s policies will help inspire attacks against Americans both at home and abroad.

“His policies literally put our troops’ lives at risk—I’ve heard this loud and clear when I have visited them overseas. They also prove he has zero understanding of our country’s values and no intention of defending our Constitution.

“We are a nation of immigrants, and America is stronger when we welcome the refugees of our enemies. These policies do not put America first. I am ashamed that he is our president,” said Moulton.

Unfortunately, Trump isn’t even an outlier on this in the Republican Party, of course. Jeb Bush talked about privileging Christians in accepting refugees; many of the candidates promised a version of “extreme vetting”.

The directive is likely illegal. God knows how long it will take to get it removed; or how that would even be enforced. The Trump administration can break the law until Congress tells him not to; and then what’s the enforcement mechanism?

Four shameful years.