Saturday News Potpourri — Judicial Ethics To ‘Bidenomics’

July 15, 2023

Hot and getting hotter this near-about-noon Saturday here in California’s Central Valley — triple-digit temperatures for this weekend and on into next week, too.
Just part-n-parcel for the entire, freaking world.

First, in keeping it cool and too cute::

A wonder in all this heat.

Anyhow, back to the heat of all that shitty, unethical goings-on at the SCOTUS and one federal judge’s straight-up view on the whole crap-shoot matter:

Michael Ponsor is a senior judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. He explains straight-forward the ethical and moral standards for a highly-influential job that could have great impact in the lives of millions of Americans — the conclusion of his op/ed in The New York Times yesterday:

All my judicial colleagues, whoever has appointed them, run into situations like these regularly, and I expect they have responded in just the same way. You don’t just stay inside the lines; you stay well inside the lines. This is not a matter of politics or judicial philosophy. It is ethics in the trenches.

The recent descriptions of the behavior of some of our justices and particularly their attempts to defend their conduct have not just raised my eyebrows; they’ve raised the whole top of my head. Lavish, no-cost vacations? Hypertechnical arguments about how a free private airplane flight is a kind of facility? A justice’s spouse prominently involved in advocating on issues before the court without the justice’s recusal? Repeated omissions in mandatory financial disclosure statements brushed under the rug as inadvertent? A justice’s taxpayer-financed staff reportedly helping to promote her books? Private school tuition for a justice’s family member covered by a wealthy benefactor? Wow.

Although the exact numbers fluctuate because of vacancies, the core of our federal judiciary comprises roughly 540 magistrate judges, 670 district judges, 180 appeals court judges and nine Supreme Court justices — fewer than 1,500 men and women in a country of more than 330 million people and 3.8 million square miles. Much depends on this small cohort’s acute sense of smell, its instinctive, uncompromising integrity and its appearance of integrity. If reports are true, some of our justices are, sadly, letting us down.

To me, this feels personal. For the country, it feels ominous. What in the world has happened to the Supreme Court’s nose?

Where else? Up the ass of the rich.

And speaking of up the ass of the cult:


Yet at the same time, the ignorant nuisance of some Americans and the economics of reality.
Maybe pay attention:

Aaron Blake at The Washington Post yesterday afternoon also goes deeper into Joe and his ‘Bidenomics‘ outcome for the country:

President Biden has in recent weeks begun embracing the term “Bidenomics,” as he begins trying to sell an economic record that has thus far proved a distinct political negative for him.

There are signs that the sales pitch is getting easier — even as we have yet to see firm evidence that it has aligned with Biden’s political fortunes.

This week brought what may be the two best pieces of economic news for Biden since his first year in office. On Wednesday came word that inflation had dropped to its lowest level since March 2021, Biden’s second full month in office. Then on Friday came the much-watched University of Michigan consumer sentiment index, which showed consumer confidence higher than at any point since September 2021. (These two things often correlate.)

The latter came in way higher than expected, registering the largest single-month increase (13 percent) since 2005. The former means wages have now risen faster than inflation for four straight months.

These data come with the appropriate caveats, including that they are a snapshot in time. Inflation isn’t falling at a very consistent clip month over month, for example, leading the Federal Reserve to remain cautious that its interest-rate decisions have truly paid off. And we continue to live in unusual economic times, when the rules often haven’t applied.

But the data does lead to the obvious question about whether this could recast views of Biden, given the long-standing preeminence of the economy in voters’ minds. If inflation, in particular, continues to be alleviated, that could erase perhaps Biden’s most significant electoral liability in a 2024 race in which he was already polling competitively with former president Donald Trump.

The short answer is that we don’t have a lot of great data on Biden and the economy from this month. But the most recent measures suggest that views of his economic stewardship have recovered somewhat, and that the news we’re seeing should be particularly heartening for him.

And for all of us.

Fiscal figures — one will be looking stupid:

Numbers and facts, or not, yet here we are once again…

(Illustration out front found here.)

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