Trump Admninistration

Trump will declare emergency to fund wall

Featured image The bipartisan bill to fund the government is a disaster. As I explained here, per Mark Krikorian, it is unlikely to enable more than minimal wall building. In addition, it appears to prevent ICE from detaining or removing any illegal immigrant who has, in effect, any relationship with an “unaccompanied” minor. Among other evils, this will create an incentive for illegal immigrants already here to order up kids from Central »

Why is the White House working with Feinstein and Harris on selecting judges?

Featured image In this post, I listed nine federal appeals court nominees resubmitted to the Senate for confirmation this year, including two nominees for the Ninth Circuit. Unfortunately, Trump did not renominate three other Ninth Circuit nominees he submitted to Senate last year. One of these nominees is Patrick Bumatay. A graduate of Yale and of Harvard Law School, Bumatay clerked for a district court judge and for a Tenth Circuit judge. »

The horror! Trump “downgrades’ the EU ambassador

Featured image The Washington Post reports that the Trump administration has downgraded the EU ambassador to the United States. Michael Birnbaum and John Hudson view the downgrading as emblematic of President Trump’s “alliance-disrupting” behavior which, allegedly, has caused “America’s longstanding friends” to doubt “whether the U.S. would defend them in a conflict” and whether “the White House prefers democratic leaders to autocrats.” But as we read the Post’s story, we quickly learn »

CNN does TPP

Featured image In a mock wistful tone, CNN reports that the TPP trade agreement is going into effect without the participation of the U.S.: A major 11-country agreement goes into effect Sunday, reshaping trade rules among economic powerhouses like Japan, Canada, Mexico and Australia — but the United States won’t be a part of it. That means that Welch’s grape juice, Tyson’s pork and California almonds will remain subject to tariffs in »

Administration Rescinds Obama School Discipline Letter

Featured image Here’s some good news. The Department of Education and the Department of Justice have jointly rescinded an Obama-era “Dear Colleague” letter that threatened federal action against schools whose discipline policies result in a “disparate impact” on racial minorities. We have repeatedly denounced this assault by the Obama administration on the ability of schools to maintain classroom discipline. Indeed, of all the wars the left is waging on standards, its attack, »

China’s slumping economy adds new dimension to trade war

Featured image There’s good news and bad news from China. It’s the same news: China’s economy is slowing. China’s retail sales are growing at the slowest rate in 15 years. Industrial production reportedly is slumping too. Forecasts are for reduced economic growth. This year, reported growth will be around 6.6 percent. The forecast for next year is 6 percent, and many are now wondering whether it will reach that mark. The case »

Trump names Mulvaney acting White House chief-of-staff

Featured image Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, will become the acting White House chief of staff at the end of the year. So tweeted President Trump. I have previously called White House chief-of-staff under Trump the worst job in official Washington, D.C. But now I’m not sure which is worse, chief or acting chief. Mulvaney is a good pick. As I noted here, he’s been an important »

Sen. Cotton seeks to amend First Step

Featured image Sen. Tom Cotton has offered three amendments to First Step — the leniency for federal felons legislation that President Trump supports. Sen. Cotton’s amendments would: (1) Make nine additions to the bill’s “ineligible prisoners” list for violent felons and sex offenders who are eligible for time credits. This includes sex offenders convicted of coercing a child into sexual activity under 18 U.S.C. § 2422; felons who assault law enforcement officers »

Trump: Rex Tillerson is “dumb as a rock” and “lazy as hell”

Featured image Over the weekend, President Trump tweeted this about Rex Tilleson, his former Secretary of State: Mike Pompeo is doing a great job, I am very proud of him. His predecessor, Rex Tillerson, didn’t have the mental capacity needed. He was dumb as a rock and I couldn’t get rid of him fast enough. He was lazy as hell. Now it is a whole new ballgame, great spirit at State! Trump »

The worst job in Washington, DC?

Featured image President Trump needs a new White House chief-of-staff to replace Gen. John Kelly. Trump isn’t on speaking terms with Kelly, which has tended to limit the general’s effectiveness. Trump reportedly wanted Nick Ayers for the job. Ayers is the chief-of-staff for Vice President Pence. That job is to White House chief-of-staff as cat sitter is to tiger sitter. Ayers said no thanks. Where will Trump turn? Leading candidates are said »

Report: William Barr is leading candidate for Attorney General

Featured image William Barr, who served as Attorney General under President George H.W. Bush, reportedly is the leading candidate to become President Trump’s new Attorney General. According to the Washington Post, “two people familiar with internal discussions said the president has told advisers in recent days that he plans to nominate Barr.” Barr was the general counsel of GTE when I represented that company (as one of dozens of lawyers from at »

Alex Acosta update

Featured image Earlier this week, pedophile Jeffrey Epstein bought his way out of a lawsuit that would have given some of his victims the opportunity to testify about his predatory and criminal conduct. Victims never got that opportunity when Epstein faced criminal charges, because Alex Acosta — then the lead prosecutor, now the Secretary of Labor — let Epstein off with a ridiculously lenient sentence. Despite having committed hideous sex offenses with »

Report: Alex Acosta gave notorious pedophile “the deal of a lifetime”

Featured image In his time as Secretary of Labor, Alex Acosta has done much to accommodate liberals and little implement a conservative agenda. His inaction has attracted little criticism — virtually none unless you count the occasional posts about I have written for Power Line. To make matters worse, President Trump, although he has attacked other cabinet members — especially Jeff Sessions and Kirstjen Nielsen — has had nothing but public praise »

Trump vs. General Motors

Featured image I doubt that Robert Mueller poses an existential threat to the Trump presidency. He may pose some threat, but American manufacturers pursuing their economic interests may pose a greater one. The decision by General Motors to shut down several plants in the U.S. and to cut up to 15,000 jobs illustrates the threat. The impact of GM’s decision will be felt most acutely in the industrial Midwest, including states that »

Environmental law and the Constitution

Featured image Last week, I had the honor of attending the swearing-in of Jeff Clark as Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) of the Justice Department. Jeff was sworn in by Judge Danny Boggs for whom he clerked. Matthew Whitaker and Ron Rosenstein both spoke, as did Jeff Wood who was in charge of the ENRD for 21 months while Jeff waited for the Senate to confirm »

Another baseless shot at Matt Whitaker

Featured image This op-ed in the Washington Post is titled (in the paper edition) “Whitaker is just one more crony.” The author, law professor Jed Shugerman, argues that it’s far from unprecedented for presidents to appoint cronies to head the Justice Department. Shugerman is right. He cites Harry Daugherty (Harding’s AG), Howard McGrath (Truman’s), Robert Kennedy (his brother’s), and John Mitchell (Nixon’s). The problem, though, is that Matthew Whitaker is not a »

Judge orders Trump to let Acosta back in

Featured image A federal district court judge today ordered the Trump administration to restore the press credentials of CNN’s Jim Acosta. The ruling came from Judge Timothy Kelly, a Trump appointee. Judge Kelly based his decision on a 1977 ruling by the D.C. Circuit. That ruling was not founded on the First Amendment, and neither was today’s. The 1977 decision said the White House must demonstrate a clear process and right of »