Monday, January 30, 2017

Obama praises upsurge against Trump immigration order

Four federal judges issue orders blocking parts of Trump’s executive order on immigration - The Washington Post

Four federal judges issue orders blocking parts of Trump’s executive order on immigration - The Washington Post
Opinion  by Orin Kerr January 29   (Volokh Conspiracy)

President Trump issued an executive order late Friday afternoon that, as the New York Times summarizes, “suspended entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days, barred Syrian refugees indefinitely, and blocked entry into the United States for 90 days for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.” There has been a lot of action on the order in the courts today, and the disputes may be the first serious test of how the Trump Administration will deal with checks and balances.

Apparently, the usual agencies were kept out of the loop in the drafting of the order. On Fox News, Rudy Giuliani has taken credit for assembling a group of people who he claims drafted it. Giuliani states that Trump wanted a “Muslim ban” and that he needed a way to do it legally. According to Giuliani, his team decided to focus on countries rather than religion to give it “a factual basis” in terrorist threats, “not a religious basis.”

Benjamin Wittes rips into the order in a long post titled, Malevolence Tempered by Incompetence: Trump’s Horrifying Executive Order on Refugees and Visas. The whole thing is worth reading, but here’s an excerpt:

Is this document a reasonable security measure? There are many areas in which security policy affects innocent lives but within which we do not presumptively say that the fact that some group of people faces disproportionate burdens renders that policy illegitimate. But if an entire religious grouping finds itself irrationally excluded from the country for no discernible security benefit following a lengthy campaign that overtly promised precisely such discrimination and exactly this sort of exclusion, if the relevant security agencies are excluded from the policy process, and if the question is then solemnly propounded whether the reasonable pursuit of security is the purpose, I think we ought to exercise one of the sovereign prerogatives of philosophers—that of laughter.

So yes, the order is malevolent. But here’s the thing: Many of these malevolent objectives were certainly achievable within the president’s lawful authority.

How Jeff Sessions Helped Kill Equitable School Funding in Alabama - ProPublica

How Jeff Sessions Helped Kill Equitable School Funding in Alabama - ProPublica
by Ryan Gabrielson // ProPublica
In the early 1990s, children across Alabama’s large rural stretches still attended faltering public schools, some with exposed wiring and rainwater leaking into classrooms. The education was in disrepair, too. Teachers couldn’t assign homework for lack of textbooks. A steel mill announced it would no longer hire local high school graduates because most tested below the 8th grade level.  In short, Alabama’s most economically disadvantaged students, primarily black children and those with disabilities, were missing out on a basic education.
Then, for a moment, change seemed possible. A civil rights lawsuit challenging the system for funding Alabama’s schools succeeded, and the state’s courts in 1993 declared the conditions in the poor schools a violation of Alabama’s Constitution. Gov. Guy Hunt, who had battled the litigation, accepted defeat, and vowed to work with the courts to negotiate a solution for equitably funding all of Alabama’s schools.
“This is a unique and timely opportunity to make historic improvements in Alabama’s public schools for our children,” Hunt said at a news conference in 1993, “and we will not miss this opportunity.”
Jeff Sessions had other ideas.
Sessions, elected Alabama attorney general just a year after the courts had begun review of reform measures, didn’t think the state’s courts should have any role in deciding how Alabama educated its children. He hired expensive private lawyers to fight the findings of the court — first at the district level, later at the state Supreme Court level. He succeeded in removing a judge sympathetic to the plight of poor students from the case. He filed appeal after appeal, insisting he be heard even after the state’s highest court issued final decisions. He fought every effort by the court to require that schools in the state’s poorer communities be funded at the same levels as its wealthier ones.
Sessions’s efforts won out — both in the short term, and in the end. His legal jousting across his two years as attorney general effectively prevented any overhaul to the way schools were financed in Alabama, and as a result helped drag out a case that would ultimately collapse years later when the makeup of the state’s top court turned over.
ProPublica tracked down and reviewed thousands of pages of court filings from the school funding case in Alabama. The legal argument Sessions made — again and again, and in the face of repeated rebuffs — turned on his view of the separation of powers. Only the legislature had the authority to decide how Alabama funded its schools, he maintained. Indeed, Sessions never spent a legal sentence arguing that Alabama’s educational system was equitable, that it didn’t clearly favor white and wealthier children while short-changing others. He simply argued the courts had no rightful place saying or doing anything about it.
“The court below is bound to stay out of the way so that the legislature, the executive and the administrative agencies can act to accomplish their constitutionally prescribed duties,” Sessions’ legal team wrote in one brief.
Today, Sessions has been nominated by President Trump to serve as the country’s next attorney general. At his confirmation hearings, Sessions pledged to uphold the nation's laws, regardless of his own beliefs. But his Democratic detractors have openly expressed doubts he’d enforce legal decisions with which he or the administration didn’t agree. Already, any number of Trump administration initiatives have provoked the threat of legal challenge, and indeed over the weekend the president's order limiting immigration from some Muslim countries wound up in federal court.

DHS Announces Further Travel Restrictions for the Visa Waiver Program | Homeland Security

DHS Announces Further Travel Restrictions for the Visa Waiver Program | Homeland Security

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Trump hasn't banned countries where he does business // Painter and Eisen //NY Times

Trump hasn't banned countries where he does business // Painter and Eisen //NY Times

President Trump’s executive order banning travel to the United States from seven predominantly Muslim countries is being rightly challenged in the courts for, among other things, its unconstitutional interference with free exercise of religion and denial of due process. Overlooked in the furor is another troubling aspect of the situation: President Trump omitted from his ban a number of other predominantly Muslim nations where his company has done business. This adds further illegitimacy to one of the most arbitrary executive actions in our recent history, and raises significant constitutional questions.
The seven countries whose citizens are subject to the ban are relatively poor. Some, such as Syria, are torn by civil war; others are only now emerging from war. One thing these countries have in common is that they are places where the Trump organization does little to no business.
By contrast, other neighboring Muslim countries are not on the list, even though some of their citizens pose just as great a risk — if not greater — of exporting terrorism to the United States. Among them are Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. A vast majority of people living in these countries, like the people living in the seven subject to the immigration ban, are peaceful and law abiding. But these three countries have exported terror to the United States in the past. They accounted for 18 of the 19 terrorists who perpetrated the Sept. 11 attack on American soil (an attack which was directed by another Saudi, Osama Bin Laden, with the assistance of an Egyptian, Ayman al-Zawahri).

Saturday, January 28, 2017

What Michael Bloomberg can teach Donald Trump about ethics | Newsday

What Michael Bloomberg can teach Donald Trump about ethics | Newsday
by Bruce Green, Stein Center for Law & Ethics, Fordham Law School

The former mayor and some of his appointees entered New York City government with significant business holdings and dealings. The officials avoided conflicts of interest because they devised plans that met city rules.

President-elect Donald Trump campaigned on the promise to “drain the swamp” — to reduce the influence of lobbyists, wealthy donors, and special-interest groups. But this also should mean that public officials will not serve their own financial interests.

Despite Trump’s announced plan to transfer management of the Trump Organization to his sons Donald Jr. and Eric, the federal Office of Government Ethics is right that considerable questions persist about whether he’s doing enough to ensure he will not act for private profit. Trump heads a vast business empire, so how will he specifically avoid decisions — consciously or unconsciously — that promote his business interests over the public’s interest?

Potential conflicts can be averted by acting in conformity with traditional understandings and federal law — including statutes, regulations and the constitutional provision called the Emoluments Clause. These sound technical, but they boil down to some basic principles, chief among them being that public officials must act in the public’s interest, and avoid situations in which they would be tempted to do otherwise.

How can Trump allay the public’s concerns? It’s virtually impossible to give a complete answer without knowing the details of his privately held businesses: What are their assets? How do they make money? To whom do they owe money? With whom do they do business?

It’s clear where he can begin.

Trump should accept the authority of the federal Office of Government Ethics to oversee conflict-of-interest regulation for the executive branch. He should fully disclose his business interests, and then have his lawyers and accountants work with the office on a plan to avoid profiting from his decisions as president. That’s what presidents before him have done.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Trump signs 'extreme vetting' executive order for people entering the US | US news | The Guardian

The Final Judgment
Matthew 25
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,f you did it to me.’
41“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Trump signs 'extreme vetting' executive order for people entering the US | US news | The Guardian
The President's Executive order - full text

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Legal Services Fears Deep Cuts Under GOP Rule//NJ Law Journal

Legal Services Fears Deep Cuts Under GOP Rule//NJ Law Journal
by Charles Toutant

A report that President Donald Trump could take an ax to the Legal Services Corp. has been greeted with concern, but advocates for equal access to the courts say it's too soon to write the agency's obituary.
The Trump administration is eyeing the elimination of LSC as part of the 2017 federal budget, according to a Jan. 19 report in The Hill, a Washington, D.C., newspaper covering the U.S. government. But if Trump does attempt to eliminate the 42-year-old agency, its many supporters in Congress would be expected to come to its aid.
LSC, which seeks an appropriation of $502 million for Fiscal Year 2017, distributes funds to local organizations that provide legal aid in the 50 states. The proposal to cut LSC funding was part of a report that also called for eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities as well as the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, among others, The Hill reported. The newspaper said the proposed cuts mirror suggested cuts in a report issued last year by the Heritage Foundation, which has long been critical of LSC.
"Even the fact that out of the gate the Trump administration is targeting legal services made me sick to my stomach," said David Stern, executive director of Equal Justice Works, a Washington organization providing public service opportunities for lawyers. "I never take any of these risks lightly. The fact that the president has targeted [LSC] has me worried. I think the main thing to take away is we have a lot of friends on both sides of the aisle," Stern said.
LSC is no stranger to battles over federal funds, but in past budget battles, a bipartisan group of supporters have come forward to support the agency, Stern said. But restrictions on the use of LSC funds have helped the agency win friends among conservatives, he said. The agency's funds can't be used toward filing class actions, or advocating policy reforms, and there are restrictions on use of funds to represent immigrants, he said.

Words matter~is Trump a liar or...

In a Swirl of ‘Untruths’ and ‘Falsehoods,’ Calling a Lie a Lie

‘It Is Unacceptable’: Ethics Doubts Swirl as Trump Club Doubles Fee - The New York Times

Cashing in on celebrity has started five days after taking the oath of office. - gwc
‘It Is Unacceptable’: Ethics Doubts Swirl as Trump Club Doubles Fee - The 
New York Times

On the same day that the Trump Organization announced its appointment of two ethics monitors to advise on potential conflicts of interest, it faced a new ethical quandary: Is it right to double the price of the initiation fee at Mar-a-Lago, the Trump family’s private club in Florida, or would that be seen as cashing in on President Trump’s arrival in the White House?

The question emerged after Bernd Lembcke, the managing director of the 118-room club in Palm Beach, Fla. — which Mr. Trump recently labeled the Winter White House — confirmed on Wednesday that the price of new memberships had increased to $200,000 from $100,000, and that applications had surged since Mr. Trump won the election in November.
Mr. Lembcke’s acknowledgment came hours after the Trump Organization announced that it had named Bobby Burchfield, a longtime Republican Party lawyer and corporate litigator, as an “independent ethics adviser.” The Trump Organization pointed to the move as a sign of its commitment to addressing questions about potential conflicts of interest.
“We take our role and the responsibility we have to our company, and our thousands of employees, very seriously,” Eric Trump, one of the president’s sons and an executive vice president of the Trump Organization, said in a statement announcing the appointment of Mr. Burchfield.
Continue reading the main story

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

America’s New President Is Not a Rational Actor | Foreign Policy

When sober voices like distinguished professors at Harvard sound alarms like this, you know that the situation is serious.  Yet candid responses to Trump's foolishness and extremism are limited to academics, journalists, abd some Democrats.  We desperately need Republicans to stand up and say that the emperor has no clothes. - gwc
America’s New President Is Not a Rational Actor | Foreign Policy
by Stephen Walt (Professor of International Relations, Harvard University)

A lot of people have been appalled by Donald Trump’s behavior during the transition, at his inauguration, and in his first week in office. You can count me among them. But I also find his actions baffling from the perspective of Trump’s own self-interest. People who opposed his administration’s policies should take heart, because his conduct so far will make it harder to proceed as he seems to want.
For starters, Trump made zero effort to exploit the honeymoon period traditionally accorded a new president by the press, didn’t try to drive a wedge or two in the large coalition that opposes him, and declined to appeal to a broader sense of national unity. Thus far he has played entirely to his base, painting a dark portrait of a crumbling America where everybody except Trump himself is untrustworthy, corrupt, deceitful, and not to be heeded at all. The result: a president who lost the popular vote by 2.5 million people is even less popular now, and he enters office with the lowest approval ratings of any new president in history.

Your Basic Primer on Why Trump's Voter Fraud Claims Are Bullshit

Your Basic Primer on Why Trump's Voter Fraud Claims Are Bullshit
by Josh Marshall

***Voter fraud is extremely rare in the United States. Organized voter fraud (which is basically required to commit fraud at scale) is close to non-existent. And voter impersonation fraud - voting in the name of another person - all but never happens.

1. Let's review some details. A 2014 study found 31 cases of ballot fraud out of a billion votes cast. Back in December, the Post's Philip Bump found four documented cases of voter fraud in the entire 2016 election. These are but a couple examples, endlessly documented by TPM and other publications over the last decade and a half, documenting this point. There are dozens more studies of various scales, in various parts of the country and using different forms of evidence. They all arrive at the same conclusion. Indeed, if you remember, the 2006-07 US Attorney Firing scandal grew out of White House attempts to pressure US Attorneys to find and prosecute phantom cases of voter fraud. The US Attorneys in question were unable to find and then unwilling to manufacture it. That triggered efforts, beginning and in the White House and carried out in the Justice Department, to replace them with new US Attorneys who would 'try harder'.

As we've also discussed at length, this entire obsession is rooted in the desire to make voting harder and suppress the vote of Democrats, minorities and the poor. But for the moment, I want to keep to the specifics about the claims themselves. Even to say 'there's no evidence' for Trump's claims is a cop-out. There's also no evidence that Godzilla or King Kong exists. But we're less tentative about saying someone's either crazy or a liar if they say otherwise.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Banal Belligerence of Donald Trump - The New York Times

The Banal Belligerence of Donald Trump - The New York Times

by Roger Cohen
"***I have tried to tread carefully with analogies between the Fascist ideologies of 1930s Europe and Trump. American democracy is resilient. But the first days of the Trump presidency — whose roots of course lie in far more than the American military debacles since 9/11 — pushed me over the top. The president is playing with fire.
To say, as he did, that the elected representatives of American democracy are worthless and that the people are everything is to lay the foundations of totalitarianism. It is to say that democratic institutions are irrelevant and all that counts is the great leader and the masses he arouses. To speak of “American carnage” is to deploy the dangerous lexicon of blood, soil and nation. To boast of “a historic movement, the likes of the which the world has never seen before” is to demonstrate consuming megalomania. To declaim “America first” and again, “America first,” is to recall the darkest clarion calls of nationalist dictators. To exalt protectionism is to risk a return to a world of barriers and confrontation. To utter falsehood after falsehood, directly or through a spokesman, is to foster the disorientation that makes crowds susceptible to the delusions of strongmen.
Trump’s outrageous claims have a purpose: to destroy rational thought. When Primo Levi arrived at Auschwitz he reached, in his thirst, for an icicle outside his window but a guard snatched it away. “Warum?” Levi asked (why?). To which the guard responded, “Hier ist kein warum” (here there is no why)."

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Audacity~Obama's Legacy

Audacity review – rallying cry for Obama legacy drowns out Trump 'death rattle'

Don't F With Me - Senator Tammy Duckworth

VIDEO - Senator Tammy Duckworth at Women's March on Washington

EJ Dionne: The Passion is Now in the Opposition

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Women March Against Trump Around the World - The New York Times

Pictures From Women’s Marches Around the World - The New York Times

New York


Los Angeles


San Francisco



Image result for chicago womens march


Balkinization: What is the Shadow on Democracy?

Balkinization: What is the Shadow on Democracy?
by Tom Ginsburg and Aziz Huq

Is democracy in the United States at risk? This question has been posed by many sober and careful commentators, including Steven LevitskyDani Rodrik, and Masha Gessen. In a new article called entitled “How to Lose a Constitutional Democracy,” we draw on recent comparative law and politics to develop a taxonomy of different threats of democratic backsliding, the mechanisms whereby they unfold, and the comparative risk of different sorts of threat given the substance of our constitutional rules. Our aim is to provide a general framework for evaluating various risks to democratic stability, and for identifying how constitutional rules can either hinder or facilitate those risks materializing. 

Trump has thr power opponents have thr passion

Friday, January 20, 2017

Trump Takes First Whack At Obamacare

Inflicting pain as his first act
Trump's first act was to attack the Affordable Care Act, declaring it is the policyof the administration to repeal the ACA.
Rather than exercise his constitutional duty to "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed", his first act is to authorize undermining the law. He authorizes the Department of helth and Human Services to "waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision or requirement of the Act that would impose a fiscal burden on any State or a cost, fee, tax, penalty, or regulatory burden...". -gwc
Trump Takes First Whack At Obamacare
by David Kurtz // Talking Points Memo

In one of his first official acts as President, Donald Trump issued an executive order taking his first swing at Obamacare. The order, signed in the Oval Office this evening, directs the federal government "to minimize the unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens" of the Affordable Care Act. But beyond its general emphasis on easing the burden and giving the states more flexibility, it doesn't offer specific guidance or direction.

The full text of the executive order:


By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. It is the policy of my Administration to seek the prompt repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148), as amended (the "Act"). In the meantime, pending such repeal, it is imperative for the executive branch to ensure that the law is being efficiently implemented, take all actions consistent with law to minimize the unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens of the Act, and prepare to afford the States more flexibility and control to create a more free and open healthcare market.

Sec. 2. To the maximum extent permitted by law, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary) and the heads of all other executive departments and agencies (agencies) with authorities and responsibilities under the Act shall exercise all authority and discretion available to them to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision or requirement of the Act that would impose a fiscal burden on any State or a cost, fee, tax, penalty, or regulatory burden on individuals, families, healthcare providers, health insurers, patients, recipients of healthcare services, purchasers of health insurance, or makers of medical devices, products, or medications.

Obama vs. Trump inauguration crowds

Obama 2009 - top
Trump 2017 bottom
Both taken at 11;30 AM

Why Trump's Inaugural Celebration Rings Hollow - The Atlantic

Why Trump's Inaugural Celebration Rings Hollow - The Atlantic
by David Frum
***The message will be stated and restated this day: For the 58th time, the system has worked, and power has smoothly transferred from one heir of George Washington to another. The truth is not so happy. With full advance notice, and despite the failure to gain a plurality of the nation’s vote, the United States will soon inaugurate someone who owes his office in some large part to a hostile foreign intelligence operation. Who is, above and beyond that, a person whose character that leaves him unqualified to hold the presidency, and threatens the country with an impending sequence of financial and espionage scandals—a constitutional crisis on two legs.
The real message of today is that the system has failed. The challenge of the morrow is to know what to do to save the remainder.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Obama's farewell - a great third term inaugural speech! video and full text

President Obama's Farewell would have been a great third inaugural speech.  Unfortunately the twenty-second Amendment bars a third term. - gwc
Our Constitution is a remarkable, beautiful gift. But it's really just a piece of parchment. It has no power on its own. We, the people, give it power – with our participation, and the choices we make. Whether or not we stand up for our freedoms. Whether or not we respect and enforce the rule of law. America is no fragile thing. But the gains of our long journey to freedom are not assured.In his own farewell address, George Washington wrote that self-government is the underpinning of our safety, prosperity, and liberty, but "from different causes and from different quarters much pains will be weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth;" that we should preserve it with "jealous anxiety;" that we should reject "the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest or to enfeeble the sacred ties" that make us one.We weaken those ties when we allow our political dialogue to become so corrosive that people of good character are turned off from public service; so coarse with rancour that Americans with whom we disagree are not just misguided, but somehow malevolent. We weaken those ties when we define some of us as more American than others; when we write off the whole system as inevitably corrupt, and blame the leaders we elect without examining our our own role in electing them.
It falls to each of us to be those anxious, jealous guardians of our democracy; to embrace the joyous task we've been given to continually try to improve this great nation of ours. Because for all our outward differences, we all share the same proud title: Citizen.Ultimately, that's what our democracy demands. It needs you. Not just when there's an election, not just when your own narrow interest is at stake, but over the full span of a lifetime. If you're tired of arguing with strangers on the internet, try to talk with one in real life. If something needs fixing, lace up your shoes and do some organising. If you're disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself. Show up. Dive in. Persevere. Sometimes you'll win. Sometimes you'll lose. Presuming a reservoir of goodness in others can be a risk, and there will be times when the process disappoints you. But for those of us fortunate enough to have been a part of this work, to see it up close, let me tell you, it can energise and inspire. And more often than not, your faith in America – and in Americans – will be confirmed."
Full text - Obama farewell address

Why Trump Will Violate the Foreign Emoluments Clause - The Atlantic

Why Trump Will Violate the Foreign Emoluments Clause - The Atlantic
The president-elect’s lawyers have explained why they don’t think he’ll violate the Constitution’s foreign emoluments clause—but their arguments fall apart under closer scrutiny.
Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Trump's ethics problems grow worse. //Eisen and Painter //WaPo

Monday, January 16, 2017

New ABA rule on discrimination rejected in Pennsylvania and Illinois, Texas

In August 2016 the American Bar Association adopted a revision to Rule 8.4 (g) on discrimination.
(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.  Paxton said:

“While decisions of the United States Supreme Court have concluded that an attorney’s free speech rights are circumscribed to some degree in the courtroom during a judicial proceeding and outside the courtroom when speaking about a pending case, Model Rule 8.4(g) extends far beyond the context of a judicial proceeding to restrict speech or conduct in any instance when it is ‘related to the practice of law,’” Paxton’s Dec. 20 letter (PDF) reads.
Some have suggested that attorneys speaking about illegal immigration, same-sex marriage or laws restricting bathroom usage could be subject to discipline under Model Rule 8.4, Paxton wrote.

The Case for Not Being Crybabies //Josh Marshall/TPM

Image result for fagin dickens illustrations
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.
There's nothing more undignified and enervating than fretting about whether the President-Elect will brand real news 'fake news' or worrying whether his more authoritarian supporters can be convinced to believe - pleaded with, instructed to, prevailed upon - actual factual information. The answer to attacks on journalism is always more journalism. And the truth is that Trump's threats are cheap stunts and bluffs, threatening to take away things journalists don't need.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Beyond Vietnam 1967

Image result for martin luther king jr vietnam rally united nations 1967
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
Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, I need not pause to say how very delighted I am to be here tonight, and how very delighted I am to see you expressing your concern about the issues that will be discussed tonight by turning out in such large numbers. I also want to say that I consider it a great honor to share this program with Dr. Bennett, Dr. Commager, and Rabbi Heschel, some of the most distinguished leaders and personalities of our nation. And of course it’s always good to come back to Riverside Church. Over the last eight years, I have had the privilege of preaching here almost every year in that period, and it’s always a rich and rewarding experience to come to this great church and this great pulpit.
I come to this great magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice. I join you in this meeting because I am in deepest agreement with the aims and work of the organization that brought us together, Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam. The recent statements of your executive committee are the sentiments of my own heart, and I found myself in full accord when I read its opening lines: “A time comes when silence is betrayal.” That time has come for us in relation to Vietnam.
The truth of these words is beyond doubt, but the mission to which they call us is a most difficult one. Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government’s policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one’s own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover, when the issues at hand seem as perplexing as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict, we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty. But we must move on.
Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak. And we must rejoice as well, for surely this is the first time in our nation’s history that a significant number of its religious leaders have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism to the high grounds of a firm dissent based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history. Perhaps a new spirit is rising among us. If it is, let us trace its movement, and pray that our inner being may be sensitive to its guidance. For we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us.
Over the past two years, as I have moved to break the betrayal of my own silences and to speak from the burnings of my own heart, as I have called for radical departures from the destruction of Vietnam, many persons have questioned me about the wisdom of my path. At the heart of their concerns, this query has often loomed large and loud: “Why are you speaking about the war, Dr. King? Why are you joining the voices of dissent?” “Peace and civil rights don’t mix,” they say. “Aren’t you hurting the cause of your people?” they ask. And when I hear them, though I often understand the source of their concern, I am nevertheless greatly saddened, for such questions mean that the inquirers have not really known me, my commitment, or my calling. Indeed, their questions suggest that they do not know the world in which they live. In the light of such tragic misunderstanding, I deem it of signal importance to state clearly, and I trust concisely, why I believe that the path from Dexter Avenue Baptist Church—the church in Montgomery, Alabama, where I began my pastorate—leads clearly to this sanctuary tonight.
I come to this platform tonight to make a passionate plea to my beloved nation. This speech is not addressed to Hanoi or to the National Liberation Front. It is not addressed to China or to Russia. Nor is it an attempt to overlook the ambiguity of the total situation and the need for a collective solution to the tragedy of Vietnam. Neither is it an attempt to make North Vietnam or the National Liberation Front paragons of virtue, nor to overlook the role they must play in the successful resolution of the problem. While they both may have justifiable reasons to be suspicious of the good faith of the United States, life and history give eloquent testimony to the fact that conflicts are never resolved without trustful give and take on both sides. Tonight, however, I wish not to speak with Hanoi and the National Liberation Front, but rather to my fellow Americans.