Poll: Support For Trump Impeachment Drops Significantly

Despite the unrelenting bad press and worse news for President Donald Trump from the allegations of Michael Cohen to the sentencing of Paul Manafort, a new  SSRS poll has found a sharp drop in support for his impeachment including among Democrats. Overall support for impeachment dropped from 43 percent in December to 36 percent today. This would help explain why Nancy Pelosi is saying that Trump has committed impeachable offenses but impeachment is not part of the Democratic agenda.

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“Husband From Hell”: Trump Launches Twitter Tirade Against Husband Of Kellyanne Conway

I have said it before, but I am again confused this morning after President Donald Trump launched into another self-defeating and unpresidential tirade on Twitter. The target of the tweets is the husband of Kellyanne Conway. (For the record, she is a former student of mine). George Conway has published the criteria used to diagnose Narcissistic Personality Disorder and has suggested that Trump is clearly mentally ill. By attacking Conway, Trump has only magnified the allegations and drawn attention to the NPD criteria. While various White House officials struggled for months to keep Trump from responding directly to George Conway, Trump finally had enough after daily attacks. However, the result is manifestly bad for Trump. As should have been obvious, Conway responded by highlighting his prior allegation of mental illness and tweeted “You. Are. Nuts.”

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“A Very Nice Lion”: Trophy Hunter Shown In Video Shooting Sleeping Lion

As many of you know, I am no fan of such trophy hunts.  I often hike in remote spots to see bears and other animals in their natural habitat. We have previously followed the controversy over the shooting of “Cecil the Lion” by an American dentist Walter Palmer from Minnesota as well as  subsequent controversies of an Idaho hunter taunting animal advocates and killing giant elephants or giraffes  or famed wolves or mountain goats or hundreds of hippos for trophies. Now, a disgusting videotape has emerged of a trophy hunter shooting a sleeping lion and then celebrating as the lion writhes in pain.

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Augsburg University and UChicago Face Protests Over Classroom Use Of The N-Word

In Minnesota, Augsburg University has reportedly stripped Professor Phillip Adamo of his directorship of the honors program after he used the n-word in a class discussion of a passage (using the word) from James Baldwin. In the meantime, at the University of Chicago (my alma mater) Professor Geoffrey Stone is under fire for the same alleged offense in a classroom. Unlike Augsburg, however, UChicago has continued its staunch defense of free speech and academic freedom in support of Stone.

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Study: 800,000 People Die Prematurely In Europe Due To Pollution

We have previously discussed how the environmental values often lose out to business or economic arguments because the environment remains something of an abstraction. When President Donald Trump heralds lower gas prices, that is a concrete value. However, when many of us call for cleaner air, it is treated as a good but not an immediate benefit. There is yet another study (in addition to our earlier discussed studies here and here and here) that show the real costs of air pollution. An article published in the European Heart Journal estimates that nearly 800,000 people die prematurely each year in Europe due to pollution and that every life is cut short by about two years. If that cheaper gas is put against a death or a two-year reduction in life expectancy, the political calculus may change.

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Supreme Court Rules For Trump On Another Immigration Issue

The Supreme Court handed President Donald Trump another win on an immigration issue on Tuesday. The Court ruled 5-4 that the Ninth Circuit was wrong in limiting Trump’s mandatory detention policy for immigrants with criminal records. Splitting along with ideological fault line, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the other four conservative justices to reverse the Ninth Circuit. Four other circuits had ruled with the Trump Administration. Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority opinion.

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Yabba Dabba Don’t: California Owner Of The “Flintstone House” Charged With Public Nuisance

A San Francisco Bay Area town is suing the owner of the so called “Flintstone House”, alleging that it is a public nuisance after she added dinosaurs in her backyard to go with the iconic structure designed by architect William Nicholson in 1976. Nicholson built the 2700 square foot living space with new materials in a structure promptly declared the Flintstone House by supporters and detractors alike. The action raises troubling questions in the use of a claim of aesthetic nuisance.

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How Trump Could Still Gut The Mueller Report

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on a significant potential barrier to the release of the Special Counsel report — once it is given by Robert Mueller to Attorney General Bill Barr. There is a striking contrast between the level of cooperation shown in relation to the Special Counsel investigation versus congressional investigation. In the latter context, the White House instructed witnesses not to answer questions on the basis that privilege might be claimed (an improper practice in my view). This would seem to suggest that the Trump team is treating communications with the Special Counsel as internal Executive Branch disclosures — and thus not a waiver of privilege. If that is the case, Barr could be heading into a world of difficulty. If the White House invokes, the Justice Department has traditionally defended those claims of executive privilege in court. That could mean a report that is heavily redacted. Unlike classified material which can be given to Congress under seal, grand jury information or executive privileged information cannot be given to Congress absent a court order or waiver, respectively.

This weekend Trump said that he supported the vote of Congress to demand the public release of the report. He told his followers that he told members to vote for the resolution and “Play along with the game!” It is not clear what that game is given the blocking of vote in the Senate by Lindsey Graham. Moreover, it does not state that Trump will waive all executive privilege as discussed in this earlier column.

Here is the column:

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Port Richey Mayor Arrested Just 20 Days After Previous Mayor Was Arrested

We often feature stories from Port Richey, Florida which seems like an endless spring of bizarre crimes. Now, the city has out done itself. Previously, Mayor Dale Massad, 68, was arrested for allegedly firing at a Pasco sheriff’s SWAT team trying to arrest him for practicing medicine without a license. Now his replacement, Terrence Rowe, 64, has been arrested just 20 days after taking over from Massad.

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HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all of the leprechauns of the blog from the Turley Clan. It is a beautiful St. Patty’s Day in McLean, Virginia and I went on a dawn hike on Billy Goat Trail (though the trail was closed due to flooding so I hiked to Olmstead overlook instead). The leprechauns came to bring treats and tricks to the Turley house this morning. Some of the hiking pictures from this morning are below.

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Washington’s Bump-Fire Stock Buyback Program: Is $150 Worth The Risk?

Image Courtesy “WASR” via Creative Commons License

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Last year Washington State government’s knee-jerk reaction to a mass shooting resulted in a legislated ban of “Bump-Fire” modifications to semi-automatic firearms. A few legislators submitted an amendment to the impending legislation allowing for a buy back program where residents of the state could receive a voucher for up to $150.00 per stock if they surrendered the stocks either directly to the State Patrol or received a receipt issued for one by a local law enforcement agency.

While some, including myself, had objections to the government’s taking of property without just compensation, which was in some fashion allayed by a price offered that was reasonable considering the market cost for such rifle stocks, the implementation of the buy-back program was not well thought out–which is usually the case with quickly crafted laws.

While some residents having these stocks might find the offer from the state attractive, I do not believe the amount offered is sufficient to offset potential risks associated with turning in these stocks and expecting payment. The buy-back program is also widely open to profiteering and manipulation.

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Sarah Lawrence Students Demand Tenure Review Of Conservative Professor, No-Whites Scholarships, And Free Detergent

Sarah Lawrence College students have demanded issued a list of demands from the ” the Diaspora Coalition” to address “the injustices imposed on people of color by this institution on a daily basis.” What is striking about the list is the inclusion of scholarships that would bar white students and an action targeting a member of the faculty because they disagree with his views. While the college is pledging to work with the students to reach a compromise, the demands reflect the growing intolerance of opposing views and free speech rights on campuses — as well as a call for the awarding of scholarship on the basis of race. They also demand special benefits for “first-generation students” as well as mandatory training sessions for all students on “intellectual elitism and classism.” They also include demands for free food, free detergent and free student storage.

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