Justice Thomas’s Dissent in Trump Travel Ban Case

Justice Thomas, joined by Justices Alito and Gorsuch, dissented to that part of the Supreme Court’s order lifting the lower courts preliminary injunction on Trump’s travel ban executive order but then imposing an exception big enough for a terrorist to drive a truck bomb through it.

Here is the full opinion, the majority opinion occupies the first 13 pages, Justice Thomas’s dissent is at the last 3 pages.

Justice Thomas concludes his dissent this way:

I fear that the Court’s remedy will prove unworkable. Today’s compromise will burden executive officials with the task of deciding—on peril of contempt— whether individuals from the six affected nations who wish to enter the United States have a sufficient connec- tion to a person or entity in this country. See ante, at 11– 12. The compromise also will invite a flood of litigation until this case is finally resolved on the merits, as parties and courts struggle to determine what exactly constitutes a “bona fide relationship,” who precisely has a “credible claim” to that relationship, and whether the claimed relationship was formed “simply to avoid §2(c)” of Execu- tive Order No. 13780, ante, at 11, 12. And litigation of the factual and legal issues that are likely to arise will pre- sumably be directed to the two District Courts whose initial orders in these cases this Court has now— unanimously—found sufficiently questionable to be stayed as to the vast majority of the people potentially affected.

Victory for Trump at Supreme Court — well, mostly it’s victory but…

The Supremes uphold Trump’s travel ban and then carve a hole in it big enough for a terrorist to drive a truck bomb through it.

Paul Mirengoff at Powerline:

…the Court’s action means that the Trump administration may impose a 90-day ban on travelers from Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and a 120-day ban on all refugees entering the United States, with this exception: the ban “may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”

The exception is far from trivial. It may not all that difficult for those desiring to enter the U.S. to assert a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” Indeed, would-be terrorists may well have such relationships.

Justices Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch dissented from the portion of the order imposing this exception. Justice Thomas’ opinion for the three made the obvious point that “today’s compromise will burden executive officials with the task of deciding — on peril of contempt — whether individuals from the six affected nations who wish to enter the United States have a sufficient connection to a person or entity in this country.” It will also likely produce “a flood of litigation until this case is finally resolved on the merits, as parties and courts struggle to determine what exactly constitutes a ‘bona fide relationship,’ who precisely has a ‘credible claim’ to that relationship, and whether the claimed relationship was formed ‘simply to avoid’ the executive order.”

The statute that allows the President to exclude any foreigner from entering the county does not provide any exception at all. The President has exclusive and unlimited power to ban any class of foreigner for good reason, bad reason or without any reason. I understand that the liberals don’t give a damn about the law but I don’t understand why Anthony Kennedy and John Roberts had become the weasel squad to join with them They could have done something radical, like following the rule of law. You can say they did follow the law only if you believe that the Supreme Court has the power to make the law. I don’t believe that and neither did James Madison.

I’m reading Justice Thomas’ dissenting opinion now.  I’ll write about it soon.

The court will hear arguments in October, today’s decision is essentially a grant of certiorari and a partial lifting of the injunctions of the lower “courts,” (scare quotes fully justified).

Obama, the Voldemort Effect and the Great Liberal Betrayal of secular Muslims

The video below was recorded in June, 2016 but its message is relevant to today and will remain so I believe. Maajid Nawaz is not a Trump supporter, at least not when this video was made. I have a feeling he’ll become a Trump supporter at some point. At any rate he’s a very smart guy and speaks eloguently on the “Voldemort Effect.” You know what that is if you’re a devotee of Harry Potter novels, and if you’re not Nawaz will explain it in this video. Nawaz’s main point is the great liberal betrayal of ordinary Muslims who are not terrorists. Having traveling in the Middle East in 2002 (just about the last time that was a safe thing to do) I found that ordinary Muslims are wonderful people who are always eager to assist a stranger from a strange land making his way through countries where few speak his language, nor he theirs (except for a few key words and phrases).

Politics is not bean bag — oh for sure it’s not bean bag

The New York Post is reporting the “dirty dossier” on Donald Trump, which has never been verified and is in all likelihood a complete fabrication by a Democrat opposition research firm known as Fusion GPS, has been stonewalling congressional investigators trying to learn more about its connections to the Democratic Party. The salacious and scatological accusations in the dossier, also known as the “golden shower” dossier, can be viewed here by anyone with a strong stomach for fabricated filth.

Fusion GPS describes itself as a “research and strategic intelligence firm” founded by “three former Wall Street Journal investigative reporters.” But congressional sources says it’s actually an opposition-research group for Democrats, and the founders, who are more political activists than journalists, have a pro-Hillary, anti-Trump agenda.

“These weren’t mercenaries or hired guns,” a congressional source familiar with the dossier probe said. “These guys had a vested personal and ideological interest in smearing Trump and boosting Hillary’s chances of winning the White House.”

Even the once venerable FBI appears to have been corrupted by Democrats:

The Senate Judiciary Committee is also investigating whether the FBI has wrongly relied on the anti-Trump dossier and its author, Christopher Steele — the old spy who was hired by Fusion GPS to build a Russia file on Trump — to aid its ongoing espionage investigation into the Trump campaign and its possible ties to Moscow.

The FBI received a copy of the Democrat-funded dossier in August, during the heat of the campaign, and is said to have contracted in October to pay Steele $50,000 to help corroborate the dirt on Trump — a relationship that “raises substantial questions about the independence” of the bureau in investigating Trump, warned Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.

We knew politics isn’t bean bag, but does it have to be this dirty? Even the FBI can longer be trusted? Under the current composition of the Democrat party the answer is yes.

The most frivolous and groundless lawsuit ever filed — But it probably won’t be dismissed

If you’ve ever bought any lumber at a lumber yard or at a big box hardware store like Home Depot or Lowe’s you know that “2×4” and “4×4”, or any other size description of dimensional lumber, does not describe the exact dimensions of the lumber. Dimensional lumber has smooth sides and edges because it has been planed at the mill it came from. If you want a 2×4 or a 4×4 that is exactly 2 inches by 4 inches or 4 inches by 4 inches you buy rough sawn lumber. Dimensional 2x4s are actually 1.5” be 3.5”, 4x4s are 3.5” by 3.5”.

Rough sawn lumber is not common and may not even be in stock at many lumber yards. To get it you may have to special order it.

Almost all lumber sold at lumber yards or big box stores in America is dimensional lumber. That is what people want because everything made of douglas fir is made with lumber of those dimensions. That is what you want if you are building a wall and you need 2×4’s for the studs. If you bought rough sawn lumber and tried to use those for studs you’d end up with a wall that wouldn’t fit with the rest of the house. Nowadays 2×6 studs are common to allow more insulation in the walls to meet new building code standards. A 2×6 is actually 1.5” by 5.5”. For this reason you can buy insulation batts that are of a standard thickness to fit a 5.5” width wall.

Unless you are a Rip Van Winkle whose’s been asleep under a tree, not for just 20 years, but for about 100 years, you already know everything I’ve just said. Even if you don’t you can quickly gain this knowledge by visiting any lumber yard in America.

But a group and greedy and unethical lawyers in Milwaukee are pretending otherwise. They have brought a class action lawsuit against Home Depot and Menards for cheating customers by selling them 4x4s that aren’t a full 4 inches by 4 inches. Neither Home Depot nor Menards is likely to stock 4x4s that are a full 4 inches by 4 inches because there does not exist a viable market for lumber of that dimension. The lawyers are seeking $5 million in damages.

If we had intelligent and mildly sophisticated courts in America these lawyers would be some hot water with the judge in this case and probably with the legal ethics board where they practice. If I were the judge who received the complaint in the case I would issue an immediate order sua sponte to the defendants to not bother filing an answer because I would have already dismissed the complaint and held the lawyers in contempt of court for filing an obvious and outrageously frivolous claim, wasting the court’s time and resources.

You have to wonder if these lawyers know they are making bogus claims and they are simply hoping to settle for 20 cents on the dollar of their claim. That would still be somewhere between $334,000 for the lawyers with checks to each member of the class for about $7.34 each. One would hope that a court wouldn’t allow itself to be used for such shenanigans.

Who ultimately pays if Home Depot and Menards end up having to cough up a million or two to these bastards? Ordinary weekend handy men who buy lumber to build a dog house or to do some home improvement job, that’s who.

These are the sorts of law suits that make me remember why my mother didn’t want me to become a lawyer, because she didn’t consider it an honorable profession.

Bernie and Jane Under Investigation for alleged Bank Fraud

Did you know it’s a federal felony to misrepresent your financial status, i.e., your ability to repay, on a loan application to a Federally insured national bank? Yeah, a lot of people don’t know that and a lot of people have found out the hard way. It doesn’t matter that you didn’t know it when you lied about the extent and/or value of your assets, or any other matter that affects your ability to repay.

If you’re Burlington College in Burlington, Vermont and you apply for a $10 Million loan in 2010 to buy some lake front land, your anticipated student enrollment and your donor levels are things that a bank will look at to judge your ability to repay the loan. So, if you’re the president of the college you don’t want to lie about any of those things. At least if you don’t want to end up in a Federal slammer.

Bernie’s wife Jane was the president of Burlington College in 2010 when the loan was applied for and later approved. There were some in the College administration who warned that borrowing and buying the land in question was a bad idea. They must have had a point because Burlington College began to have a hard time paying its bills. It shut down for good on May 27, 2016. That prompted certain questions about whether the college had made a big mistake in borrowing so much money to buy that 33 acres of Lake Front Property. Jane has been accused of distorting the school’s donor levels, and Bernie has ben accused of using his position as a Senator from Vermont to pressure the bank into making the loan.

So now there’s a Federal investigation under way, and Bernie and Jane have lawyered up. They haven’t been found guilty off anything yet and both may ultimately either not be charged with any crime or face a charge and be found not guilty.

How well do you know Bernie Sanders? You don’t really know Bernie until you read this piece from Investor’s Business Daily, January 26,2016: The Bum Who Wants Your Money

Why Poland has no terrorism

Why This G7 Nation Has No Problem With Islamic Terrorism

What do Japan, Slovenia, Hungary and Poland have in common?They all have a permanent ban on accepting Muslim refugees. None of these four countries have had any Islamist terror attacks. These countries are not free of violence, but compared to the other European countries that welcome Muslim refugees, they are living in relative peace. All of these countries keep Islamic migrants out, and Hungary recently punctuated its policy by erecting a razor-wire fence along its southern border.

A contrary view: The Poland “No Muslims No Terror Map” Is Seriously Misleading

I read it and found it to be nonsense. The article claims there have been few terrorist attacks in countries that welcome Muslim refugees, and then lists dozens of them. The map it claims is misleading shows terrorist attacks everywhere but none in Poland. It’s not misleading, it’s accurate. No Muslim refugees does seem to equal no terrorism. Meanwhile, the rest of Europe is committing suicide.

Careful! — You might cause an earthquake!

The following comes from an article done by the U.S. Geological Survey…titled “Man-Made Earthquakes Update”:

The number of earthquakes has increased dramatically over the past few years within the central and eastern United States. Nearly 450 earthquakes magnitude 3.0 and larger occurred in the four years from 2010-2013, over 100 per year on average, compared with an average rate of 20 earthquakes per year observed from 1970-2000.

This increase in earthquakes prompts two important questions: Are they natural, or man-made? And what should be done in the future as we address the causes and consequences of these events to reduce associated risks? USGS scientists have been analyzing the changes in the rate of earthquakes as well as the likely causes, and they have some answers.

This is as big a load of crap as the notion of man-made climate change. To take something that the earth has been doing on its own for 4.5 billion years before human existence and call it “man-made” is ridiculous. It’s a thinly disguised attempt to scare people into giving up their liberty and their fortunes to those who would like to lord power over us in all things. It’s an attempt to turn us all into Winston Smith in an Orwellian totalitarian state. I refuse to submit to this narcissistic exhibitionism.

Earthquakes are going to happen. Seismologists can sometimes predict when and where they will likely occur, but trying to pin down the exact location and date of occurrence is still a pretty risky business. Only people with absolutely nothing else to do with their time worry about such things.

I spend a lot of time each year within the area that will be completely obliterated when the next big volcanic blast comes out of Yellowstone. Scientists say it’s already 30,000 years overdue. I couldn’t care less. I know there is absolutely nothing I or anyone else can do about it. I think the odds are excellent that everyone alive today will be long gone before it happens.  Sue me if I’m wrong.

Small earthquakes that can shake things up will occur and building codes in areas where it’s prevalent require special precautions. That’s a good thing. The big one that is going to destroy us and everything we own is not something we can protect against if we choose to live near the fault line. So be happy, don’t worry. You’ll probably die of something else. In geologic time, every landscape on earth is temporary.  The earth will abide.

Four Holdouts on GOP Healthcare Bill

Four Senate Republicans Say They Can’t Support Health Care Bill Yet

When I first read that headline I thought of the usual suspects, Lisa Murkowski, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Susan Collins. But the four this time are Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul and Ron Johnson. The four I had in mind would oppose the bill because they probably think it repeals too much of Obamacare, but the four this time are conservatives who believe it doesn’t repeal enough of Obamacare. I’m with them.

The bill repeals all of the Obamacare taxes and the individual and employer mandates. That’s good but it leaves in the Medicaid expansion, the mandate for insurance coverage of pre-existing conditions and allows states to decide what insurance companies must cover. These are poison pills. Forcing insurance companies to cover preexisting conditions destroys the whole concept of insurance. It means healthy people are forced to pay for other peoples’ extraordinary expensive health care through their insurance premiums. That hits the middle class in the gut and makes it difficult for them to afford insurance. It is the main thing that made Obamacare a nightmare.

The other thing that is poisonous is allowing states to mandate what coverage you can buy and what insurance companies can sell. That is what was destroying the health insurance market before Obamacare. Many people supported Obamacare because they thought it would fix the mess that insurance had become. Of course, now we know that Obamacare fixed nothing and in fact doubled down on the very problems the Obamanistas promised it would fix. If the states are again going to be allowed to destroy insurance markets with coverage mandates it will be bad news for the GOP down the road. They won’t be able to blame it on Democrats then, because the GOP will own it.

The four conservatives offer hope for a more sensible bill that will restore the ability of middle class Americans to find affordable health insurance. We should all have the freedom to choose which plan and what sort of health insurance will best suit our needs. We don’t need nanny state governments looking over our shoulder forcing us to buy something we don’t want and cannot afford. That’s a prescription for continued turmoil in the health insurance market.