[U]rge[d] the United States Senate Judiciary Committee (and, as appropriate, the full Senate) to conduct a confirmation vote on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States only after an appropriate background check into the allegations made by Professor Ford and others is completed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The Congressional Research Service publishes research reports on a wide variety of topics. The Congressional Research Service itself does not make these reports publicly available. There’s a relatively new website that makes available every CRS report, called, appropriately EveryCRSReport.com.
The Digital Library of the University of North Texas also maintains a library of CRS reports.
There is also another archive at CRSreports.com.
The U.S.D.C. for the D. Montana (per Christensen, C.J.) overturned the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s delisting of the Greater Yellowstone grizzly as an endangered species. The Court held that:
The [Fish and Wildlife] Service failed to make a reasoned decision, as required by the APA, when it delisted the Greater Yellowstone grizzly. By refusing to analyze the legal and functional impact of delisting on other continental grizzly populations, the Service entirely failed to consider an issue of extreme importance. Moreover, the Service’s analysis of the threats faced by the Greater Yellowstone grizzly segment was arbitrary and capricious.
While the Fish and Wildlife Service can appeal the ruling, it is unlikely that there will be legal hunting of the grizzly this year.
However, the Washington Post reports resistance by Far West officials to the ruling:
Wyoming U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney introduced legislation Tuesday that would keep Yellowstone-area grizzlies off the list of threatened and endangered species and prohibit courts from overturning that decision.
The U.S.D.C. for the S.D.N.Y (per Furman, J.) has ordered that Sec. of Commerce Wilbur Ross be deposed in an action brought by New York State challenging Ross’ decision to reinstate a question concerning citizenship status on the 2020 census questionnaire.
Applying well-established principles to the unusual facts of these cases, the Court concludes that the question is not a close one: Secretary Ross must sit for a deposition because, among other things, his intent and credibility are directly at issue in these cases.
The President of the Class of 1968 of Northwestern High School in Baltimore is Michael Switzenbaum. (Two other members of that class are contributors to the RBC.) Mike is one of the named plaintiffs in the Wisconsin case challenging the GOP’s gerrymandering of the Wisconsin State Assembly. I have posted a copy of the amended complaint.
The amended complaint goes into great detail as to the methods by which the gerrymander was effected and designed and the results. But one need only to read this passage from the first paragraph of the amended complaint:
As explained in greater detail below, the Current Plan [that is, the GOP gerrymander] is, by any measure, one of the worst partisan gerrymanders in modern American history. In the first election in which it was in force (2012), the Current Plan enabled Republican candidates to win sixty of the Assembly’s ninety-nine seats even though Democratic candidates won a majority of the statewide Assembly vote. The evidence is overwhelming that the Current Plan was adopted to achieve precisely that result: indeed, before submitting the map for approval, the Republican leadership retained an expert (at State expense) who predicted the partisan performance of each proposed district—as it turned out, with remarkable accuracy.
(Emphasis in the original.)
Obviously, Mike got a good education at our alma mater.
The Department of Health and Human Services has written in a letter to Sen. Patty Murray that it plans to “reallocate” up to $266 Million in FY 2018 to funding for the Unaccompanied Alien Children program. Included in the “reallocation” are reductions to the National Institutes of Health and refugee resettlement programs.
So far this month, discharges from custody have been running at a rate of around 0.6 to 0.7 percent per day, less than half the 1.5 percent shown in reports obtained by Yahoo News from early April and from late July. Meanwhile the intake of unaccompanied immigrant children into ORR facilities has remained relatively steady, with average daily referrals from Customs and Border Protection in the range of 100 to 200.
“This is not a story about a historically large surge in arrivals,” said Mark Greenberg, a former official with HHS’s Administration for Children and Families. “The story is fundamentally about a significant slowdown in children being released from care.”
So, the Trump Administration puts into place a program that falls most harshly on children and, when called to task, it takes the money from other social programs.
I don’t know which of the following is more morally reprehensible:
- A senior official in the Netanyahu government seeking to undermine the effort of a group trying to bring democracy to a former Soviet republic;
- A senior official in the Netanyahu government cooperating in an attempt to slander a group trying to bring democracy to a former Soviet republic;
- A senior official in the Netanyahu government cooperating in an attempt to slander the Obama Administration; or
- A senior official in the Netanyahu government crying “anti-Semite” where one does not exist.
Here’s the pertinent passage from the Manafort superseding indictment at paragraph 37 (page 39 of the pdf):
MANAFORT sought to undermine United States support for Tymoshenko by spreading stories in the United States that a senior Cabinet official (who had been a prominent critic of Yanukovych’s treatment of Tymoshenko) was supporting anti-Semitism because the official supported Tymoshenko, who in turn had formed a political alliance with a Ukraine party that espoused anti-Semitic views. MANAFORT coordinated privately with a senior Israeli government official to issue a written statement publicizing this story. MANAFORT then, with secret advance knowledge of that Israeli statement, worked to disseminate this story in the United States, writing to Person D1 “I have someone pushing it on the NY Post. Bada bing bada boom.” MANAFORT sought to have the Administration understand that “the Jewish community will take this out on Obama on election day if he does nothing.” MANAFORT then told his United States lobbyist to inform the Administration that Ukraine had worked to prevent the Administration’s presidential opponent from including damaging language in the Israeli statement, so as not to harm the Administration, and thus further ingratiate Yanukovych with the Administration.
As to the last point, isn’t there a Hebrew translation of Aesop’s fables.
Update: Haaretz is reporting that:
The [indictment] doesn’t name the senior Israeli official that Manafort communicated with. However, in October 2012, at the same time that Manafort was working on this issue, Israel’s then-foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, published a statement attacking the political rivals of Manafort’s clients in Ukraine for espousing anti-Semitism. Lieberman’s statement was featured in reports by a number of American news outlets, including The New York Times and Breitbart.
“Israel is concerned by the recently signed agreement between the Batkivshchyna party and the extremist party Svoboda, who’s anti-Semitic outbursts have caused outrage in Ukraine and Israel more than once,” the statement read. Batkivshchyna, or Fatherland, is lead by Tymoshenko, while Svoboda, or Freedom, is an ultra-nationalist party.
I have uploaded, as a single file, the plea agreement and the superseding indictment with respect to Paul Manafort. I am not an expert on federal criminal law, in general, or the sentencing guidelines, in particular. However, my understanding is that, if Manafort is sentenced for 210 months incarceration that is at the lower end of the Estimated Guideline Range (page 4 of the pdf), the effective length of his sentence would be at least 178.5 months, less time already served. So he would serve at least 14.8 years. That’s a long time for a 69 year old man.
However, the plea agreement also contains the following provision:
The Government will bring to the Courts’ attention at the time of sentencing the nature and extent of your client’s cooperation or lack of cooperation. The Government will evaluate the full nature and extent of your client’s cooperation to determine whether your client has provided substantial assistance in the investigation or prosecution of another person who has committed an offense. If this Office determines that the defendant has provided substantial assistance in the form of truthful information and, where applicable, testimony, the Office will file motions pursuant to Section 5K1.1 of the United States Sentencing Guidelines. Defendant will then be free to argue for any sentence below the advisory Sentencing Guidelines range calculated by the Probation Office, including probation.
Page 8 of the pdf.
This provision gives Manafort a significant incentive to testify both truthfully and with full candor against any and all of the individuals who may have “committed an offense.”
There has to be some nervousness in the Trump household this evening.
In 2000, I sent a letter to the editor of the New York Times that provided in part:
Different lots of ammunition could be tagged by adding trace chemicals to the gunpowder. Individuals could buy only ammunition designed for the types of firearms they are registered to own, and the relevant information concerning each purchase would be entered in a central database.
Because gunpowder spoils with the passage of time, there is only a limited supply of ammunition in circulation.
As a result, effective gun registration could be a reality within a few years despite the millions of guns in circulation.
Today, the NYT is reporting:
[I]n California, which already enforces some of the nation’s most restrictive gun laws, there is a movement underway against the unfettered sale of bullets.
I guess it just takes time for good policy ideas to percolate up.
Lanthanide-doped ZnAl2O4 spinel was used as a luminescent marker for gunshot residue (GSR). GSR was visually identified on shooters’ hands, as well as on firearms and the firing range. After the shot, GSR was collected and analyzed by several techniques, including FTIR, Raman and emission spectroscopies and SEM-EDS. It was observed that markers provide an optically and structurally unique signature for GSR, allowing their identification by the tested techniques. SEM-EDS shows that lanthanide ions act as a chemical taggant. FTIR and Raman spectra provided a chemical signature of GSR, as well as emission spectra. Thus, it was possible to unequivocally identify GSR, even when lead-free ammunition was used. By employing different emitting centers, it was also possible to distinguish between two types of ammunition, opening a new perspective for traceability.
This strikes me as being too much like Gomer Pyle on “The Andy Griffith Show.” But here it is, a criminal complaint filed with the Justice Department accusing Brett Kavanaugh of perjury.
The problem is, of course, that he did commit perjury and 51 Republican senators will nevertheless vote to confirm his nomination to the Supreme Court.