Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Monday, January 16, 2017
(g) engage in conduct that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know is harassment or discrimination harass or discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status or socioeconomic status in conduct related to the practice of law. This Rule paragraph does not limit the ability of a lawyer to accept, decline or withdraw from a representation in accordance with Rule 1.16. This paragraph does not preclude legitimate advice or advocacy consistent with these Rules.The key language is the addition of "knows or reasonably should know".
Professor Alberto Bernabe reports that the Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board has recommended that the Commonwealth courts has recommended the state follow Illinois which has adopted this language:
"violate a federal, state or local statute or ordinance that prohibits discrimination based on race, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status by conduct that reflects adversely on the lawyer's fitness as a lawyer." This is the same language that has been in Illinois Rule 8.4(j) since 2010.As Bernabe observes the Illinois approach, though narrower, avoids the potential first amendment problems cited by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, as reported in ABA Journal.
Fagin's gang - Dickens - Oliver Twist
We don't need to be on the inside of the kleptocracy to see what is happening. Just follow the money. - gwc
The Case for Not Being Crybabies
by Josh Marshall
***Trump is the most unpopular incoming President in American history. We only have data on this going back a few decades. But there's little reason to think any President in previous decades or centuries has been this unpopular. Indeed, he's getting less popular as he approaches his inauguration. People need to have a bit more confidence in themselves, their values and their country.
As soon as you realize that the Trump wants to profit from the presidency and that the Republicans are focused and helping him do so, all the questions become easier to answer and the path forward more clear. His threats against the press are the same. He's threatening to take away things the press doesn't truly need in order to instill a relationship of dominance.
Today as we contemplate the end of the term of a man whose dignity is on a par of that of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his replacement by a vulgarian, we should remember that King spoke truth to power.
Martin uther Kings 1967 Vietnam Speech at Riverside Church, NYC
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Trump's (and Putin's) Plan to Dissolve the EU and NATO
by Josh Marshall
***Two days ago, the United States out-going Ambassador to the EU gave a press conference in which he opened up about Farage's apparently guiding role in the Trump world and what he's hearing from EU Member states.
Donald Trump’s transition team have called EU leaders to ask “what country is to leave next” with a tone suggesting the union “is falling apart” this year, according to the outgoing US ambassador to the bloc.
In a pugnacious parting press conference, Anthony Gardner warned of “fringe” voices such as Nigel Farage, the former UK Independence party leader, holding influence in Washington over Mr Trump’s team.Speaking days before leaving office, Mr Gardner said it would be “lunacy” and “the height of folly” for the US to ditch half a century of foreign policy in order to support further EU fragmentation or become a “Brexit cheerleader” in Brussels.“I was struck in various calls that were going on between the incoming administration and the EU that the first question is: what country is about to leave next after the UK?” he said.“The perceived sense is that 2017 is the year in which the EU is going to fall apart. And I hope that Nigel Farage is not the only voice being listened to because that is a fringe voice.”
Indiana Prosecutor Reprimanded for book Deal //Legal Profession Blog
by Michael Frisch
|Donald Trump with son Eric|
NYU Law Professor Daniel Shaviro observes "There are three ways a president can make money through his businesses, absent a blind trust.
One is to shape government policies, procurement decisions, et cetera, to favor his businesses. A second is to get business from others who seek to curry favor (the emoluments issue). A third is to have the businesses act on inside information about impending news before it becomes public."
That is why Professor Richard Painter concludes
Trump's `Business Separation' Plan Does Nothing of the Kind // Painter // NY Times
by Prof. Richard Painter (White House Ethics Counsel to George W. Bush)
Saturday, January 14, 2017
"Leadership is hard; it needs discipline, concentration, and an ability to ignore what's irrelevant or needless or personal or silly," Pullum says. "There is no sign of it from Trump. This man talks honestly enough that you can see what he's like: He's an undisciplined narcissist who craves power but doesn't have the intellectual capacity to exercise it wisely."
U.S. Office of Government Ethics
Preventing conflicts of interest in the Executive Branch
USOGE | A Refresher on Misuse of Position
- Using public office for their own private gain for the private gain of friends, relatives, or persons with whom they are affiliated in a non-government capacity;
- Endorsing any product, service, or company;
- Engaging in financial transactions using nonpublic information, or allowing the improper use of nonpublic information to further private interests; and
- Misusing government property or official time.
Zhou Youguang, Who Made Writing Chinese as Simple as ABC, Dies at 111 - The New York Times
It is hard to say whether Trump's arrogance, racism, or just plain nastiness is the deeper well.
Trump Lashes Out At Civil Rights Icon, Congressman John Lewis On Twitter
Friday, January 13, 2017
Thursday, January 12, 2017
‘All Eyes Are Upon Us,’ by Jason Sokol - The New York Times
ALL EYES ARE UPON US
Race and Politics From Boston to Brooklyn
ALL EYES ARE UPON US
Race and Politics From Boston to Brooklyn
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
by Kevin Drum
***Democratic senators were stunned yesterday when they asked Comey if the FBI was investigating Trump over his Russia ties, and Comey replied, "I would never comment on investigations — whether we have one or not — in an open forum like this, so I really can't answer one way or another."
How Netflix Is Deepening Our Cultural Echo Chambers - The New York Times
The President of course can have a conflict of interest. We have a criminal law called honest services fraud 18 U. S. C. §§1343, 1346, 1349. “[H]onest services fraud” occurs when a public official deprives citizens of their “right” to the official’s honest service by accepting bribes or self-dealing. Donald Trump is poised to violate that law every minute of every day. Want to get on the good side of the President? Rent the Presidential suite at his hotel down the street from the White House. Let him know when you see him.
Today, a few hours after Trump announced his intentions at a press conference, Walter Shaub, Director of the independent Office of Government Ethics, spoke plainly. He demanded that Trump sell his companies and put the proceeds in a blind trust. - gwc
Office Of Government Ethics Director Blasts Trump Plan: 'Wholly Inadequate'
Monday, January 9, 2017
Donald Trump not mocking a disabled reporter
The most disturbing fact about the 2016 election is that over 60 million people voted for Trump, rationalizing somehow his deplorable behavior. The biggest question is will those voters ever search their consciences and admit that they should be ashamed for electing a man to lead us who behaves in a way that breaks every rule that Mr. Rogers taught us in kindergarten. - gwc
Meryl Streep: "But there was one performance this year that stunned me. It sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good; there was nothing good about it. But it was effective and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh, and show their teeth. It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter. Someone he outranked in privilege, power and the capacity to fight back. It kind of broke my heart when I saw it, and I still can’t get it out of my head, because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life. And this instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life, because it kinda gives permission for other people to do the same thing. Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others we all lose."
Despite Trump's denial the video is unmistakable.
Meryl Streep’s Golden Globes Speech - The New York Times
by Cara Bayles
Law360, San Francisco (January 6, 2017, 10:38 PM EST) -- A California federal judge dismissed a suit accusing geothermal plants of Clean Air Act violations on Friday, but not before sanctioning their counsel at Hale Lane Peek Dennison & Howard and Holland & Hart LLP for "making a frivolous filing, continuing to use lengthy footnotes and ignoring page limits despite the court’s prior warning."
The plaintiffs, which included an environmental nonprofit and a labor union, alleged Mammoth Pacific LP, Ormat Technologies Inc. and Ormat Nevada Inc. — the owners and operators of four geothermal plants located in the Great Basin Valleys Air Basin — broke local air district rules. The plants use underground hot springs to heat volatile organic compounds, which form ozone when released into the atmosphere. Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District rules prohibit the construction or operation of new plants that exceed emissions thresholds unless those facilities use the best available technology to control pollution and get emissions offsets.
U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. granted the power companies’ motion for summary judgment Friday, finding the five-year statute of limitations on permitting from when the plants were originally constructed in the late 1980s had long expired. But even as he found in the defendants’ favor, he sanctioned their law firms, deriding them for filing a 29-page motion for summary judgement, a 24-page reply and a 20-page opposition, then moving for a surreply on top of "83 pages of often duplicative arguments." The total sanction amount is unclear, as the order mentions a $2,500 fee in the introduction, and a $1,500 fee twice elsewhere in the ruling.
“The court previously admonished defendants against using lengthy footnotes and otherwise attempting to avoid page limit requirements set by the court," the judge wrote. "Nevertheless, defendants’ moving papers continued to follow the same practices, ignored page limits set out by the court and moved for leave to file a frivolous surreply."
The judge found the clock on construction permitting violations had run out, as the permitting process for the original construction was not ongoing. He also rejected the plaintiffs’ argument that 2009 and 2014 re-permitting applications, which were not yet time-barred, should have considered the four plants into units that would exceed pollution standards, saying that even if the court invalidated those permits, it would have no effect. The court had already found that combining the four plants into two still wouldn’t trigger remediation requirements, because they wouldn’t meet the maximum emissions limit.
Sunday, January 8, 2017
|DJT with daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner|
Jared Kushner - Trump son in law - chases China deal
By SUSANNE CRAIG, JO BECKER and JESSE DRUCKER - New York Times, January 7, 2016
Repeal ACA without replacing : the dangers to healthcare //Barack Obama // New England Journal of Medicine
by Barack Obama, J.D.
***What the past 8 years have taught us is that health care reform requires an evidence-based, careful approach, driven by what is best for the American people. That is why Republicans’ plan to repeal the ACA with no plan to replace and improve it is so reckless. Rather than jeopardize financial security and access to care for tens of millions of Americans, policymakers should develop a plan to build on what works before they unravel what is in place.***
This Op-ed is spot on. Johnson lied about the Gulf of Tonkin and got us deep into the Vietnam war. (Do you really think that a north Vietnamese fishing boat attacked a U.S. destroyer?) Mistrust of government metastasized. Its first beneficiary was Ronald Reagan's "eight most feared words - I'm from the government and I'm here to help".
Now we have Trump.
Vietnam: The War That Killed Trust - The New York Times
by Karl Malantes