We have been discussing the embarrassing failure of the media to ask President-elect Joe Biden any difficult questions throughout the campaign and creating a type of protective journalistic cocoon around him. That pattern has continued after the election with pre-selected reporters asking laughingly soft ball questions to Biden while continuing a virtual blackout on such stories as the Hunter Biden influence peddling controversy. Then something bizarre happened yesterday. A reporter actually asked Biden a real question. CBS News reporter Bo Erickson asked Biden about whether he would support the CDC rather than the teacher’s union on closing schools. Biden’s response was a personal attack on the reporter. This is simply not done and will not be tolerated. After all, think of the chaos: the entire press corps would be expected to ask questions and Biden would be expected to answer them. Continue reading “Say It Ain’t So, Joe: CBS Reporter Draws Ire Of Biden For Asking Substantive Question”
Attorney Bryan Lee Simmons, 50, has been sentenced to 48 months in federal prison for conspiring to distribute methamphetamine. What is most striking is that Simmons cannot engage in the practice of law for three years. However, while unlikely to resume practicing in that time, it is a striking contrast to the alleged misconduct.
From July 2019 to August 2019, Simmons was part of a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in the Cass County Jail. He used attorney-client meetings to distribute the drugs while, on at least one occasion, traveling with a Colt MK IV .45 caliber pistol.
The plea agreement will result in the dismissal of a number of counts including two linked to the weapon.
Since his sentence is for four years, the three year bar on practicing law is likely to be easily satisfied. What would be interesting is whether advising other inmates as a “jailhouse lawyer” would be included. That is not necessarily “practicing law” since he is not filing papers or standing in a formal representational capacity. Moreover, he is free to represent himself in filings as an individual.
This week I criticized Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito for a speech that he gave to the Federalist Society. That should come as no surprise since I have spent two decades criticizing justices for such controversial public addresses. However, I was struck in the last couple days by the politicians like Sen. Elizabeth Warren and liberal faculty members who are falling over themselves in utter disgust with such public commentary from a sitting justice. For years, I criticized the far more egregious comments from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg without a peep of protest from people like Warren. Instead, Ginsburg became the “Notorious RBG.” There is, however, no place for a Notorious SAA in the media or academia.
We have been discussing how the celebration of Joe Biden’s election as a “unifying” and “healing” moment has been lost on many who are calling for blacklists and retaliatory actions against anyone viewed as “complicit” in the Trump period. Indeed, for years, I have been writing about a rising McCarthyism in our country and the growing threat to both free speech and academic freedom. This hateful or unhinged rhetoric has on occasion come from law professors, but most academics have retained a modicum of restraint and tolerance. For that reason, it was disappointing to read a bizarre attack from University of Colorado Law Professor Paul Campus who compared my discussion of possible voting irregularities to Holocaust denial.
The Lincoln Project is airing a commercial today celebrating the end of the politics of division and personal attacks as Twitter removed a tweet (with a skull-and-crossbones emoji) from The Lincoln Project that sought to target lawyers simply because they represent the Trump campaign. The crushing irony is magnified by the fact that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has called for liberals to start to assemble enemy lists of people who were “complicit” in the Trump Administration and the first entry was . . . you guessed it … the Republicans who founded the Lincoln Project. It is the reality of our doublespeak politics. Call it skull-and-crossbones civility.
We previously discussed the views of Boston University professor and head of the school’s Center for Antiracist Research Ibfram X. Kendi after his infamous description of Justice Amy Coney Barrett as a “white colonizer” for adopting two Haitian children. Despite such extreme views, Kendi remains a popular speaker at universities like Harvard. Now, Kendi is warning that the use of “legal vote” in the current election is itself racist. Continue reading ““Fraught And Functionally Racist”: Professor Declares “Legal Vote” A Racist Term Like “Handouts,” “Personal Responsibility” And “Postracial””
Voters within the City of San Francisco passed Proposition L, a measure designed to tax corporations having CEO compensation in excess of 100 times the median compensation of line employees. City analysts estimate the measure would raise between sixty and one hundred million dollars per year confiscated from large for-profit companies employing over one thousand persons nationwide and having administrative offices in San Francisco.
According to the San Francisco Voter Information Pamphlet:
• For a business that pays the Gross Receipts Tax, if its Top Executive Pay is more than 100 times Employee Pay, the business would pay an additional tax from 0.1% to 0.6% of its San Francisco gross receipts.
• For a business that pays the Administrative Office Tax, if its Top Executive Pay is more than 100 times Employee Pay, the business would pay an additional tax from 0.4% to 2.4% of its San Francisco payroll expense.
The Proposition invoked from a hearing of July 28, 2020 where the Board of Supervisors voted 11 to 0 to place Proposition L on the ballot. The government wrote:
The more inequity between the top executive and their workers, the higher the surcharge. Corporations can avoid the tax by simply paying their executives less or by raising their employees’ wages.
We believe that big corporations that can afford to pay their executives million-dollar salaries every year can afford to pay their fair share in taxes to help us recover. Over the last 30 years, executive salaries in the United States have skyrocketed by 940 percent. But regular workers’ salaries have grown by just 11 percent. Prop L incentivizes companies to invest in their workers, not just their executives ~+~
That’s quite an incentive? Yes, I would agree: Laying off workers is the incentive that might actually come to mind at some companies.
Here is my annual list of Halloween torts and crimes. Halloween of course remains a holiday seemingly designed for personal injury lawyers around the world and this year’s additions show why. Halloween has everything for a torts-filled holiday: battery, trespass, defamation, nuisance, product liability and more. This year, one potential danger has been eliminated in Japan where the Japanese mob has been banned from handing out candy. However, there are still some notable additions.
We have been discussing the continuing blackout on the Hunter Biden story, even as reports have surfaced that the FBI not only rejected claims that the story was “Russian disinformation” but confirmed that it has an ongoing investigation into possible money laundering. Now, NBC has finally responded with an expose into allegations against the Biden. However, the article entitled “How a fake persona laid the groundwork for a Hunter Biden conspiracy deluge,” does not deal with the laptop or its content. It instead focuses on an obscure document that no one has covered or discussed. The value for the Bidens was simply the headline, which was immediately used to warn people not to follow up on the Biden story as Chinese disinformation.
By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
The power of the cartoon seems to rival that of a division or more of soldiers, an economic boycott, or even a well-funded bribe. It only took one such cartoon to enrage Turkey such a degree that it effectively caused a worsening of diplomatic relations with France. We have to wonder what is more significant in these interesting times: the strength wielded by a free press satire newspaper, or how easily a dictator can be manipulated as a result of his unchecked ego and power.
The row between nations stemmed from a rather risque cover on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper of October 28th, 2020. A caricature depicts a randy, lecherous looking President Erdoğan sitting in his underwear upon an armchair while lifting the hijab of a laughing woman to expose her bare buttocks. The Turk seemingly takes delight in this, saying “Ouuuh! Le prophète!” A caption reads: “Erdogan dans le privé, il est très drôle” (A possible translation is “Erdoğan in the private sector, he is very funny.” )
Turkey and its president released the Kraken of its bureaucracy, prosecutors, and diplomats to counter the Charlie Hebdo cartoon threat, with his Communications Directorate proclaiming, “Our people should have no doubt that all necessary legal and diplomatic steps will be taken against the caricature in question. Our battle against these rude, ill-intentioned and insulting steps will continue until the end with reason but determination.”. Erdoğan’s communications director Fahrettin Altun wrote “Macron’s anti-Muslim agenda is bearing fruit! We condemn this most disgusting effort by this publication to spread its cultural racism and hatred.” Yet not to be outdone or outshined by his own underlings, President Erdoğan was more succinct and measured in his learned analysis, voicing a week ago that French President Macron ‘needed a mental health check’ for his pledging to defend secular values and fight radical Islam, prompting France to recall its ambassador.
Erdoğan could add to that mountain of wisdom by lending an ear to his cohort Saddam Hussein who during trial proceedings memorably orated, “The lion does not care about a monkey laughing at him from a tree.” and just let it go.
Miles Taylor, the former chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security, came forward this week to confirm that he is “Anonymous,” the author of the bombshell opinion column published in The New York Times two years ago and the subsequent book “A Warning.” What is most notable is that Taylor is now a CNN contributor who will remain in that role despite lying to Anderson Cooper and CNN viewers on the air. CNN sees no problem or conflict in a contributor who knowingly lied on the air while others were being hammered as the suspected source. Indeed, this is fast becoming a curious credential for CNN contributors.
There is a virtual cottage industry among academics in publishing papers that declare common terms or items as forms of white supremacy. This inexhaustible source for publication expanded this week with professors finding new forms of prejudice in common parlance and drinks. The problem is that if you really need a drink after reading that your referencing “Beethoven” is proof of your racism, you cannot even reach for a beer without reinforcing a separate beverage-based bias.