Our problems remain epistemological.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Blame It On Trump

The following language was in the per curiam opinion in Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, NY v. Cuomo.


If only 10 people are admitted to each service, the great majority of those who wish to attend Mass on Sunday or services in a synagogue on Shabbat will be barred.

Slip opinion at page 5, <https://tinyurl.com/y4zewqz8>. I have to suggest . . . the language here . . . isn’t it odd? Right? And . . . the 5 members of the Supreme Court joining the per curiam opinion are: Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett, JJ. Not a Jewish person in the bunch. Right? So isn’t this language a odd? Just a little? I am not complaining, but if an executive body did this . . . would not we characterize this as some sort of establishment of religion? I am not complaining . . . but why would the Court do this? Why did not the dissenters—dissent? Is not there one ACLU-type Supreme Court law clerk around?

Can I get odds on whether this language will make it into United States Reports

5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1: Someone will blame this on Trump. Just a matter of time.

Seth 

Seth Barrett Tillman, Blame It On Trump, New Reform Club (Nov. 26, 2020, 1:37 PM), <https://reformclub.blogspot.com/2020/11/blame-it-on-trump.html>; 


New Paper: Senator and Vice President of the United States: Can Kamala Harris Hold Both Positions at the Same Time?

Seth Barrett Tillman, Senator and Vice President of the United States: Can Kamala Harris Hold Both Positions at the Same Time?, Jurist, forth. circa Nov. 30, 2020, <http://ssrn.com/abstract=3737188>; 

Seth

Seth Barrett Tillman, New Paper: Senator and Vice President of the United States: Can Kamala Harris Hold Both Positions at the Same Time?, New Reform Club (Nov. 26, 2020, 10:24 AM), <https://reformclub.blogspot.com/2020/11/new-paper-senator-and-vice-president-of.html>;


 

Sunday, November 22, 2020

This is CNN


CNN lists the current configuration of the House at 222 Ds to 207 Rs—with 6 undecided races. In all 6 races, the Rs lead. <https://edition.cnn.com/election/2020/results/house>. 

CA-21: R leads D-inc by circa 1500 votes, with 99% reported; [Valadao versus Cox, Fresno Bee reports Republican win.] 

CA-25: R-inc lead D by circa 400 votes, with 99% reported; [Garcia versus Smith]

IOWA-2: R leads D by circa 50 votes, with 89% reported; [Miller-Meeks versus Hart]

NY-2: R leads D by circa 40,000 votes, with 84% reported; [Garbarino versus Gordon]

NY-11: R leads D-inc by circa 37,000 votes, with 85% reported; [Malliotakis versus Rose] 

and, 

NY-22: R leads D-inc by circa 9000 votes, with 92% reported. [Tenney versus Brindisi] [other media show a much closer race: status confused]

In all 6 races, the Rs lead. 

Seth Barrett Tillman, This is CNN, New Reform Club (Nov. 22, 2020, 3:20 AM), <https://reformclub.blogspot.com/2020/11/this-is-cnn.html>; 


Thursday, November 19, 2020

Democracy Dies Digitally™

 © Instagram


Methinks the odds of this being good news for the First Amendment and freedom of speech in criticizing the 2020 election or the Biden Administration are exactly less than zero.





Hi dykevantom,

We wanted to let you know that we’re making a few updates to our Terms of Use to make them clearer. We’re making it easier to understand what is allowed on Instagram and how our service works. These terms will be effective on December 20, 2020, and continuing to use the app will mean you accept them.
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Control of U.S. House of Representatives Delegations and yet-to-be called House races

 

By my current count, Republicans have a majority on 26 U.S. House of Representatives state delegations. 3 state delegations (Mich., Minn., and Penn.) are evenly split. And 1 state delegation (Iowa) is not yet determined.

 

Michigan is split: 7-to-7;

Minnesota is split: 4-to-4; and,

Pennsylvania is split: 9-to-9.

 

Iowa has 4 seats. 2 seats are now Republican; 1 seat is Democratic. And 1 seat (Iowa-2) is not yet called, with 89% reporting, the Republican leads by 48 votes.

 

10 House seats are not yet called:

CA-21: 99% reporting, Republican leads Democratic-incumbent by circa 1800 votes.

CA-25: 99% reporting, Republican-incumbent leads Democrat by circa 400 votes.

CA-39: 99% reporting, Republican leads Democratic-incumbent by circa 4000 votes.

           [Why hasn’t CA-39 been declared?]

Iowa-2: 89% reporting, the Republican leads by circa 50 votes.

NY-2: 83% reporting, the Republican leads by circa 40,000 votes.

NY-3: 85% reporting, the Democratic-incumbent leads by circa 20,000 votes.

NY-11: 85% reporting, Repub leads Democratic-incumbent by circa 37,000 votes.

NY-18: 79% reporting, the Democratic-incumbent leads by circa 10,000 votes.

NY-19: 85% reporting, the Democratic-incumbent leads by circa 17,000 votes.

NY-22: 84% reporting, Repub leads Democratic-incumbent by circa 23,000 votes.

 

Louisiana-5 will advance to a run-off: top-2 Republicans only. So it will be an R seat.

 

House is now 219 D to 206 R. If the leads above are maintained, the final composition of the House will be: 222 D to 213 R. The Democrats started with 235 seats. So 222, is a drop of 13 seats. This will be the narrowest House majority since 2001.

Seth Barrett Tillman, Control of U.S. House of Representatives Delegations and yet-to-be called House races, New Reform Club (Nov. 19, 2020, 9:03 AM), <https://reformclub.blogspot.com/2020/11/control-of-us-house-of-representatives.html>; 



Wednesday, November 18, 2020

How did the Parties do in Relation to State Legislative Seats?

 E-mail from National Conference of State Legislatures to Seth Barrett Tillman:


That number is always the last to pin down [and not yet final] and the one with the most ‘noise.’ Our current estimate is that Republicans netted at least 160 seats in the [2020] election. It is rare, but far from unprecedented, for the party winning the White House to lose seats in states. This is the 6th time that it has happened since 1960, and the most losses by the winning president’s party since then. In 1960, Democrats lost around 300 legislative seats even though John Kennedy won the White House. 


The reader can reflect on that comparison—to the election of 1960.


Seth

Seth Barrett Tillman, How did the Parties do in Relation to State Legislative Seats?, New Reform Club (Nov. 18, 2020, 9:34 PM), <https://reformclub.blogspot.com/2020/11/how-did-parties-do-in-relation-to-state.html>;

Monday, November 16, 2020

Not Yet Called Races and State Elections


There are 435 House seats. In the outgoing House, the Ds had 235 seats. Currently, in the new House, the Ds lead the Rs, 219 to 205. There are 11 uncalled House races—the Rs lead in 8 and the Ds lead in 3. Those races are not final, but if those numbers hold up, the House will be 222 Ds to 213 Rs. This is a loss of some 13 seats for the Ds. (FYI: One House race in Louisiana is uncalled—but it will go to a run-off between 2 Rs.)

 

Governorships

8 governors were up for re-election. In 7 of the 8 races, the incumbent won re-election or if the incumbent was not running, the incumbent’s party won. The exception was Montana, which flipped from D to R. Given that both houses of the legislature were and remain R, the state is now an R-controlled state. Montana has 1 House seat—and it elected an R member.

 

State Legislatures

Both legislative houses of New Hampshire went from D to R. The governor was and remains an R. So NH is now an R-controlled state. New Hampshire has 2 House members, and it elected 2 Ds.

49 states have bicameral legislatures. Minnesota is the only such state where the same party does not control both houses.

Nebraska is the only state which has a unicameral legislature—and its members are technically not partisan. 

State Control

The Ds had control of 16 states before and after the election.

The Rs had control of 21 states before the election, and 23 states after the election.

After the election, 10 states have divided state control among the two legislative houses and the governor. And Nebraska does not have a partisan legislature. 

 

Source: 

<https://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/ncsl-state-elections-2020.aspx>;

 

Seth Barrett Tillman, Not Yet Called Races and State Elections, New Reform Club (Nov. 16, 2020, 12:15 PM), <https://reformclub.blogspot.com/2020/11/not-yet-called-races-and-state-elections.html>; 

Judicial Impeachment in Ireland

 

 

Seth Tillman: Court of public opinion offers Séamus Woulfe no justice

 

Pandemic fatigue has led to an overreaction against judge’s Golfgate error


This is what the Supreme Court judge Séamus Woulfe did not do; he did not take a bribe, he did not use his official position or government property to break the law, he did not block the investigation into his “misdeeds” or fail to co-operate with investigators. 

This is what Woulfe did do; in his own time, he had a meal, at a golf society event, with other people. In doing so, he violated government pandemic guidance, which was in the process of transition. It had changed the day prior to the event. 

Woulfe made one mistake; he relied on the event’s organising committee to ensure the event complied with the law. Had I been in his place, that is precisely what I would have done. I suspect a majority of you would have done much the same. When I walk into an establishment—a private retail store or a government building—the on-site staff are the experts. We all rely on others to know and to advise us regarding prevailing regulations. A catered hotel event is not so different. There is not the slightest reason to believe Woulfe knowingly, or even recklessly, broke the law. 

If there were no violation of an identifiable legal provision, then any talk involving removal or resignation is reprehensible. If there were an actual legal violation, and it were committed inadvertently in a period of legal transition, Woulfe should face the same treatment and penalty we all would face; the inconvenience of showing up to court, waiting for one’s case to be called, admitting error in public, being chewed out by a judge and, just maybe, a fine, if the law so provides. All talk of resignation or worse is disproportionate in the extreme. 

We all know this. So why all the talk about removal and resignation? First, because a lot of people have suffered and are still suffering from the pandemic and its restrictions. But Woulfe is not the cause of their suffering, and taking it out of his hide will not undo anyone’s loss, nor solve anyone’s problems. 

Second, the view is that state officials—especially judges—should be exemplars of good conduct. They should know the law and obey its letter and spirit. I support that view, to a point. With regard to old or settled law, it makes complete sense to hold judges to a higher standard than the public because judges know, or should know, the law. Ignorance is no excuse, and judges regularly hold citizens to account under that standard. 

But with regard to “new” law, judges are no better placed than anyone else to know what the law is. In such circumstances, they should be held to the same standard as everyone else. Most of us would get a slap on the wrist and, perhaps, a fine for doing what Woulfe did. Most of us would not be in danger of losing our livelihood and neither should he. 

Third, Woulfe stubbornly defended himself—and this is seen as pig-headed, if not arrogant. The fact is, many people perform poorly as defendants. Still, if they are not guilty of wrongdoing, the legal system should not punish them for not yielding to the most prosecution-oriented view of the circumstances. Further, characterising Woulfe as pig-headed is just one view. The other view is that he has a backbone—a characteristic which used to be considered good in a judge. 

Frank Clarke, the chief justice, asked several senior judges to meet Woulfe and mediate the developing imbroglio. How did Woulfe’s colleagues respond? Was it like this? “CJ, happy to volunteer. I have a long list of cases, and they are so . . . boring. This will make a nice break.” Or, was it more like this? “CJ, I cannot take this on. If the Director of Public Prosecutions or Oireachtas [the Irish national legislature] want to prosecute or remove, that’s a decision for them. My priority is with my court’s embarrassingly long backlog of unresolved cases and the long-suffering litigants caught up in our legal system. And, by the way, what, if anything, have you done lately to get me more help, and, more importantly, to reform our rules of procedure, bar and legal profession?” 

Respectfully, Woulfe is not the Irish judiciary’s core problem. People speak about diversity as a basis for appointment to high office. Let me suggest that experience as a defendant, chewed up by the legal system, is exactly the sort of diversity the Supreme Court needs most. Promote that man. 

Seth Barrett Tillman is a lecturer in the Maynooth University Department of Law 

[747 words] 

First published as: Seth Barrett Tillman, Opinion Editorial, Court of public opinion offers Séamus Woulfe no justice, The Sunday Times (Ireland edn), Nov. 15, 2020, 12:01 AM GMT, News Section, page 14, <https://tinyurl.com/y69zfkso>, <http://ssrn.com/abstract=3729356>; 

Subsequently reproduced here: Seth Barrett Tillman, Judicial Impeachment in Ireland, New Reform Club (Nov. 16, 2020, 2:10 AM Eastern Time), <https://reformclub.blogspot.com/2020/11/judicial-impeachment-in-ireland.html>; 


Sunday, November 15, 2020

In a Blind Test, California Votes for Trump: Ballot Results Show Californians Conservative on Issues

I live in California, and the politics of people here confuse me. But now, I do not feel so bad. Because the recent election results confirm that I was on to something: Californians are confused. While rejecting Trump, they support Trump's policies. While voting for Biden, they don't seem to support any of his policies.

Obviously, Californians voted Democrat in the presidential race, with over 63% voting Biden. But a vote for Biden tells us nothing about what Californians believe, because Biden told us nothing about what Biden believes. All it tells us when someone votes Democrat is that that person consumes a lot of legacy media.
 
But you can get a sense what California voters believe by taking a look at how they voted on ballot initiatives. The nice thing about a ballot initiative is it does not have any orange hair. A ballot initiative does not have a Twitter account. A ballot initiative does not have a race or ethnicity, or a gender identity, or a sexual orientation, or an intersectionality profile. Alec Baldwin can't force his lips into the shape of a ballot initiative and make witless caricatures of them on Saturday Night Live. 

The nice thing about a ballot initiative, in short, is that a ballot initiative is not a person, and so the media can't make you hate it. If there is not a "D" or an "R" next to a choice on a ballot, the media can't shame and condition you how to vote on it. So the media can't prevent citizens from saying what they really believe on a ballot initiative.

So what do Californians, who overwhelmingly voted Biden, actually believe when they aren't voting out of their media-fomented hate? 

Actually, they vote pretty damn conservative:
 
Californians don't want to ban independent contracting. They passed Prop 22 handily, with 58.6% voting Yes to roll back a maniac California law heavily funded by unions. Polls had predicted it passing. Perhaps that is why Biden did not talk much about his support for the union-backed PRO Act, which would restrict independent contracting nationwide.

Californians don't want to impose greater burdens on small businesses and property rights. They rejected Prop 15, which would have raised commercial property taxes, with 52% voting No. (Polls had predicted it passing by a wide margin.) They also rejected Prop 21, which would have increased rent control, with 59.8% voting No. Perhaps Californians' tax aversion is why Biden didn't talk about his plans to raise our tax rates.

Californians don't like identity politics. They rejected Prop 16, which would have brought back affirmative action, with 57.1% voting No. (Polls had predicted it passing by a wide margin.)

Californians support Trump's criminal justice reforms. They passed Prop 17, restoring voting rights to people on parole, with 58.6% voting Yes. 

Californians don't like Kamala Harris's ridiculous idea to let children vote. They rejected Prop 18, which would have reduced the voting age to 17, with 56% voting No.

Californians let themselves be made to hate Trump. But they could not be made to reject Trumpism. 
 
Americans still agree. If you had replaced "Donald Trump" and "Joseph Biden" on the ballot with their respective platforms, Trump wins in a landslide. A reality star has more substance than a legacy politician. Legacy politics is moribund.

Election Fraud Is Not Funny

For the record, I posted my essay "2020 Election Winner: Trumpism" early Saturday morning, November 7, 2020, before turning to the news that media organs were calling the election for Biden. I do not know if any of our "news" sources (I have come around to Trump's view they are, indeed, the enemy of the people, particularly now that China is smearing us in the UN with the fatuous "systemic racism" tropes supplied by the American media) had begun "calling" the election at the time I published. But my essay WAS NOT, and IS NOT, a concession to those reports.


Belief is a choice. We must choose to believe what is true, and we must choose not to believe what is false. In the middle realm there are the things that are not proven, where most things in this life reside. 

I do not know what affirmatively to believe about this election's results. But I saw an enormous amount of enthusiasm for Trump, and I saw none for Biden. I saw unprecedented numbers of people happy with Trump's accomplishments -- including minorities malnourished on decades of empty Democrat promises -- and I saw none for Biden's. I saw an unbroken string of failures by Biden-friendly pollsters and Biden-friendly news reporters about the election. I have seen an endless stream of reports of suspicious voting activity. I have seen an almost daily record of news stories and American voices -- some supporting the President, some merely critical of Biden -- censored by news and social media, like Jack Dorsey's news-and-porn group blog.

We have seen significant voter fraud in many recent modern elections, though in less consequential doses. Almost invariably, the Democrat media think voter fraud is a joke. 

Well, I am not laughing. And I do not think very many Americans think it is funny, either. There is a reason we are punctilious about the customs in our democratic institutions. There is a reason judges wear robes -- to symbolize their impartiality. There is a reason courtrooms have wood-paneling and high ceilings and a bench and a well and a galley -- they are solemn and ordered public ceremonies. There is a reason why we vote in public, in our own neighborhoods, and why voting by mail is an exception, not a rule -- because voting is a community ceremony, in which we all participate openly, and to which we all bear witness. There is a reason the gold-standard of tallying votes is by hand-counting -- because at bottom, a democracy is fashioned by hand, not by machines, and certainly not machines programmed by Canucks.

Too many of our ancient norms were abandoned and replaced far too quickly to escape our notice this time. This election was not regular. 

And it is not funny. If Democrats and media wished Americans would believe they were on the level when they called the election for Biden, they needed to wipe the smirk off their faces and play it straight about election fraud a long time before they embarrassed themselves for three years over a hundred grand of Facebook ads.

Based on all that, I have decided, for now at least, that I cannot cast my belief in favor of those who say this election is over. I support the legal challenges to shed a light on the suspicious events surrounding this election. As the Democrats and Blue-Check news-and-porn blog reporters blared for three years of Trump's term, fraudulent elections put our democracy at stake. Democrats' evidence was bullspit, but Americans took the major premise deadly serious. 

They still do. Stop acting so surprised.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Yes, Virginia—taxpayers vote Republican

A question that pollsters never ask is finally answered--People who don't pay taxes overwhelmingly vote Democrat.


"The exit poll asked the question: "Do you work full-time for pay?" Voters who said no went for Biden over Trump by 57% to 42%. By contrast, voters who said they did work full time picked Trump over Biden 51% to 47%."
See Joe Biden's Majority Doesn't Work Full Time, Stay Married or Go to Church



Sunday, November 08, 2020

The first time a doctor ended a presidency

"For one doctor in particular, this national crisis was a rare and heady intersection of medicine and political power—an opportunity for recognition he would never see again." 

This describes Dr. Anthony Fauci to a T. But this was not written about Dr. Tony. This was written, by Candice Millard in her book Destiny of the Republic, about Dr. Doctor. That is, Dr. Doctor Bliss -- his parents named him Doctor to nudge him in the right direction. He would, in fact, become a doctor. More than that, he would become a historic doctor: the first to kill a U.S. presidency. Though madman Charles Giteau pulled the trigger, it was Dr. Doctor who killed President James Garfield, by his deadly admixture of pride and ignorance. Although Joseph Lister's germ theory was known at the time, Dr. Doctor was not about to share credit with any new ideas.

Giteau's shot had been non-fatal. Innumerable Civil War veterans were still ambling about in those days with bullets still harmlessly lodged in their insides:

Even had Garfield simply been left alone, he almost certainly would have survived. Lodged as it was in the fatty tissue below and behind his pancreas, the bullet itself was no continuing danger to the president. “Nature did all she could to restore him to health,” a surgeon would write just a few years later. “She caused a capsule of thick, strong, fibrous tissue to be formed around the bullet, completely walling it off from the rest of the body, and rendering it entirely harmless.” Garfield’s doctors did not know where the bullet was, but they did know that it was not necessarily fatal. Just sixteen years after the end of the Civil War, hundreds of men, Union veterans and Confederate, were walking around with lead balls inside them.

Unfortunately for President Garfield, he was in the presence of greatness. The Great Dr. Doctor would single-handedly save America. But what Dr. Doctor did not know was that his saving hand was covered in germs. So when Dr. Doctor plunged his expert ham hand inside Garfield, it poisoned him worse than the bullet had, and, in the end, Dr. Doctor killed President Garfield.

Unfortunately for President Trump, he, too, at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic, found himself in the presence in greatness. Like Dr. Doctor before him, the Great Dr. Tony would single-handedly save America. So Dr. Tony plunged his ham hands inside our economy... and killed it.

Joe Biden is NOT the "President-Elect"



Sorry, but it was all Democrat news media theater--


Joe Biden is not our president-elect by any standard. This fiction was created by the media's projection/proclamation Saturday morning of his "victory" in highly-contested Pennsylvania, by celebratory marches in the streets by leftist mobs, and then by NBC and the other networks breaking into otherwise enjoyable football games to air Biden's presumptuous "acceptance" speech.


Fooled again, America. There is no 'president-elect' until December 14th at the earliest, when the electoral college "meets."  In 2000, the Supreme Court didn't render their decision on Florida's decisive electoral votes until December 12.


We have no "president-elect" at the moment and anyone who says so is a liar. And anyone who echoes this lie is a fool or a coward. Or worse.

Saturday, November 07, 2020

2020 Election Winner: Trumpism

I became convinced of something partway through Trump's term. What I became convinced of is that Trump represents a realignment. It was not fully clear to me what that realignment meant. I got an early clue of it in Mark Steyn's observation, that "if the political culture forbids respectable politicians from raising certain issues, then the electorate will turn to unrespectable ones." 

You can get a sense of the Trump realignment if you watch the recent clip of Andrew Yang railing against the Democrat Party because it has held itself out as a party of "coastal elites" completely out of touch with the concerns of working-class America. There is a hint of the Trump realignment also in Elizabeth Warren's pre-political thesis that single-mindedly sending our wives and mothers into the workforce only enriched Wall Street: it made two-income families work twice as hard to stay in the same place, and it impoverished single-income families. (Warrenism is heresy today, so if you want pre-partisan Warren femininsm you have to tune in to Tucker Carlson.) There is also a clue of the Trump realignment in the fact that the science is now clear that an adult human, of average height and weight and without any comorbidities, can absorb only so much Identity Politics claptrap, yet Democrat politicians and media and professors keep ramming endless helpings of it down Americans' gullets with reckless abandon. 

And you can see a Trump realignment, bigly, in the fact that Trump markedly increased support among blacks, Hispanics, and Asians (not to mention the Holy Grail of Intersectionality, "Other"). And in the fact that Trump doubled his support among LGBT voters. And in the fact that Trump only seemed to lose ground among... Whites. 

Trump may lose the election. The smears on Trump may have worked well enough. The media bias against him may have worked well enough. The journalistic nonfeasance to protect Biden -- and to keep America from knowing anything probative about his past, present, or future -- all of it may have worked just well enough. 

Trump may still win — the fight is not gone out of him or his supporters. But yes, Trump may well lose this election. But that does not mean that Biden won. Because no matter what happens, the only clear winner of this election is Trumpism. Biden may beat Trump. But Biden could not beat Trumpism. Trumpism grew. Trumpism expanded. Biden's only real base is people living off their investments. It is people without religion, other than political religion. It is people with more loyalty to the world than to their own nation, their own communities, their own families. Trumpism is people starting to notice the "Made in China" labels on every crappy brightly-colored piece of plastic, and on everything else, and it is the spark of curiosity that is beginning to wonder, what, exactly, is up with that? The working class love Trump because they love America. Biden's base is the globalists still looking to turn a buck off it.

Trump may lose. But Biden will not win. Because in this election, Trumpism won. Hispanics get it. Blacks get it. The working class gets it. It is the globalists and corporatists and ideologues — who see America as a corporation, and market it as a crappy brightly-colored political religion — who oppose it. This election proved that a new political idea has arrived. Or perhaps it just proved an old political idea had not died away. It is an idea that says one may take one's own side in a debate. It is an idea that one ought to be judged by deeds and not by mere promises. It is an idea that rejects ideology and gets on to making deals, and building things, and stamping "Made in America" on something, and improving our own lives. And, yes, in that very practical, concrete way, making America great.

Trump gave America back to us. Biden may take the White House away from Trump. But he cannot take America away from us.

Sunday, November 01, 2020

This Is Why

 


[I am not the artist. I saw it on Twitter. I do not know who to give credit towhich I would like to do.]

Biden was on capitol hill for over 40 yearswhich intervention and which war did he vote against?

Which?

Seth Barrett Tillman, This Is Why, New Reform Club (Nov. 1, 2020, 4:50 AM), <https://reformclub.blogspot.com/2020/11/this-is-why.html>;