The courts just aren’t buying Donald Trump’s Muslim ban, redux: Daily Bullshit, June 12-14, 2017

Updates

  1. June 13, 12:05 pm:
    • Uber’s CEO is taking a leave of absence “to become the leader that this company needs.”[1]
  2. June 14, 3:07 am:
    • British parents, worried about school lunches and quality education, were unhappy with the Tories too.[2] (Brexit)
    • The Trump administration has requested a delay in the hearing for its allegedly urgent Muslim Ban.[3]
    • Caroline Heldman offers a harsh but plausible and probably fair analysis of Bill Cosby’s defense at trial that suggests the same old tricks to discredit victims are still in common use.[4]
  3. June 14, 10:23 am:
    • Eric Holder’s report on Uber’s “workplace culture” identified a “‘frat-boy’ culture” that is common among Silicon Valley startups.[5]
    • Uber’s problems clearly go beyond that “‘frat-boy’ culture,”[6] however, as 76-year old board member and private-equity billionaire David Bonderman resigned following disparaging remarks he made about women at an “all hands meeting” to discuss changes in that culture.[7]
    • “[Jeff] Sessions alternated between strong denials and hazy recollections, saying he couldn’t recall whether he had a passing encounter with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington or any other undisclosed interactions with Russian officials” but called “any suggestion that he colluded with them to help Donald Trump was ‘an appalling and detestable lie.’”[8] (Jeff Sessions)
    • A Financial Times analysis suggests the election outcome was due to multiple factors which I’m reluctant to characterize here for fear of oversimplification.[9] (Brexit)
  4. June 14, 3:12 pm:
    • “If there was an organizing principle in Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s [sic] testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday [June 13]—which was by turns dismissive, incoherent, evasive, and shameful—it was that certain people are owed deference, and certain others are not. This principle applied to Sessions’s [sic] unwillingness to answer some questions at all, his insistence on some courtesies and his refusal to observe others, and his ideas about whose obligation it is to follow rules. The hearing made it clear that the lodestone for Sessions is his abject deferral to what he sees as President Donald Trump’s ‘rights’ but which might better be described as Trump’s demands, desires, and whims.”[10]
  5. June 14, 6:24 pm:
    • The Senate Judiciary Committee will be investigating a range of issues surrounding the James Comey firing.[11]
    • Special Counsel Robert Mueller will be investigating whether Donald Trump obstructed justice.[12] (James Comey)
    • Now that Republicans have shed some blood in an out-of-control gun culture in the U.S., if you thought Democrats might think Gun Control a timely issue, you would be wrong.[13]
  6. June 14, 10:24 pm:
    • There have been at least 1,399 mass shootings (injuring or killing at least four people, not counting the shooter) in the U.S. since Sandy Hook.[14]
    • A UPS employee killed three coworkers at a UPS facility in San Francisco.[15]

Qatar

“The CEO of Qatar’s national airline said Monday that he would have expected President Donald Trump to be ‘more shrewd’ than to back the blockade of the Qatari government announced last week by four Middle Eastern nations.”[16] I think a lot of folks were expecting Trump to be a lot more shrewd about a lot of stuff. But even by blowhard standards, Trump is a standout for idiocy.

But of course that’s the way it’s been going in U.S. politics. I still feel that every president since Richard Nixon has been progressively worse, as each, beginning with Gerald Ford, who famously rejected a bailout for New York City,[17] has embraced the neoconservative and neoliberal policies advanced by his predecessor and extended them. With Trump, we have merely crossed a line into total incoherence.

Louis Nelson, “Qatar’s national airline CEO: I thought Trump would be more shrewd,” Politico, June 12, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/12/qatar-airline-ceo-trump-239422


Muslim Ban

My guess isn’t going to be any more reliable than anyone else’s. But I just don’t see the Supreme Court taking this up. To do so, it would 1) be taking up a preliminary injunction—not the actual merits of the case—and 2) contemplate “overruling literally every court that’s considered the ban to date.”[18] And the Supreme Court doesn’t have to say why it declines the administration’s petition. “It has the option of simply declining to hear the government’s appeals.”[19]

Josh Gerstein, “Ninth Circuit upholds block on Trump’s travel ban,” Politico, June 12, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/12/ninth-circuit-upholds-block-on-trumps-travel-ban-239433

Quinta Jurecic, “Ninth Circuit Affirms in Part Preliminary Injunction Against Travel Ban in Hawaii v. Trump,” Lawfare, June 12, 2017, https://www.lawfareblog.com/ninth-circuit-affirms-part-preliminary-injunction-against-travel-ban-hawaii-v-trump

Dara Lind, “Trump gets another travel ban defeat — and the clock is ticking,” Vox, June 12, 2017, https://www.vox.com/2017/6/12/15783448/trump-muslim-ban-ninth-circuit

Ted Hesson, “SCOTUS faces tight timeline to hear travel ban appeal this summer,” Politico, June 13, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/13/trump-travel-ban-supreme-court-appeal-239512


Uber

I suppose it’s possible to view all these high-level departures[20] as a sign that Uber is undergoing a badly needed housecleaning at the top. But then there’s the departure of those self-driving car engineers.[21] I’m seeing an awful lot of rats deserting the ship; that, combined with other seemingly intractable factors, leads me to agree the ship is sinking.[22] But on top of all that, it seems like for Travis Kalanick, as he now takes his leave of absence, Uber is some kind of personal development experience[23]—and I don’t know of any notion of capitalism or organizational development theory that really supports that.

Greg Bensinger, “Uber Faces Deeper Turmoil at Top as CEO Travis Kalanick Weighs Leave of Absence,” Wall Street Journal, June 12, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-chief-business-officer-emil-michael-to-resignmonday-1497197701

Greg Bensinger, “Uber Executive Emil Michael Leaves Company,” Wall Street Journal, June 12, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-executive-emil-michael-leaves-company-1497286089

Greg Bensinger, “David Bonderman Resigns From Uber Board in Wake of Disrespectful Comment,” Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-director-david-bonderman-apologizes-for-inappropriate-comment-about-women-1497399061

Greg Bensinger, “Uber CEO Travis Kalanick to Take Leave of Absence,” Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-to-release-findings-of-harassment-probe-on-tuesday-1497360231

Yoree Koh, “Uber’s Party Is Over: New Curbs on Alcohol, Office Flings,” Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/ubers-party-is-over-new-curbs-on-alcohol-office-flings-1497394763


Brexit

It’s the young swiping left that did it — if not, it’s the old. The story told about the election has been all about politicised youth and the outraged elderly taking their revenge. The Tories lost because they ignored struggling students and trampled over pensioners with their dementia tax and means-tested winter fuel allowances. Grandparents and grandchildren united in their dislike of Theresa May to ensure she didn’t get her majority.

No one, meanwhile, has commented on the middle-aged, yet polling shows that they were if anything more disgruntled by the last government and the Tory manifesto than the generations on either side.[24]

John Burn-Murdoch, “What cost Theresa May her majority in UK election?” Financial Times, June 13, 2017, https://www.ft.com/content/ef22d4ba-4f7b-11e7-bfb8-997009366969

Alice Thomson, “No one noticed that parents were angry too,” Times, June 14, 2017, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/comment/no-one-noticed-that-parents-were-angry-too-r9xfb87dq


Bill Cosby

Caroline Heldman, “Bill Cosby’s legal defense was a case study in rape culture,” Vox, June 13, 2017, https://www.vox.com/first-person/2017/6/13/15793220/bill-cosby-trial-rape-culture


Jeff Sessions

Aruna Viswanatha, Paul Sonne, and Del Quentin Wilber, “Jeff Sessions Calls Russian Collusion Allegation an ‘Appalling and Detestable Lie,’” Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/sessions-denies-meeting-russian-officials-at-mayflower-hotel-1497380680

Amy Davidson, “Jeff Sessions and the Trail of Unanswered Questions,” New Yorker, June 14, 2017, http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/jeff-sessions-and-the-trail-of-unanswered-questions


James Comey

Devlin Barrett, Adam Entous, Ellen Nakashima, and Sari Horwitz, “Mueller investigating Trump for potential obstruction of justice, report says,” Boston Globe, June 14, 2017, http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2017/06/14/mueller-reportedly-investigating-trump-for-potential-obstruction-justice/N7lgvI2cBDcTaxhPxrIKVI/story.html

Seung Min Kim, “Senate Judiciary Committee to investigate Comey firing, Clinton email probe,” Politico, June 14, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/14/senate-judiciary-comey-clinton-email-239567


Gun Control

“In multiple interviews, several Democratic lawmakers urged that no, today was not the day to revive the dormant gun control debate.” Therefore, the bloodshed will continue. Just so Democrats won’t “stand accused of politicizing a shooting that injured a colleague and friend.”[25] Because it’s never “the day to revive the dormant gun control debate.” The issue is always “politicized.” And no example or accumulation of examples is ever sufficient for gun nuts to accept that maybe—just maybe—enough is enough.

Paul Elias and Jocelyn Gecker, “UPS gunman had filed overtime grievance,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, June 14, 2017, http://www.startribune.com/shooting-at-san-francisco-ups-center-police-say/428449453/

Seung Min Kim, Burgess Everett, and Heather Caygle, “Democrats wary of reviving gun debate too soon,” Politico, June 14, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/14/congress-shooting-gun-control-scalise-239563

German Lopez and Soo Oh, “After Sandy Hook we said never again. And then we let 1,399 mass shootings happen,” Vox, June 14, 2017, https://www.vox.com/a/mass-shootings-sandy-hook


  1. [1]Greg Bensinger, “Uber CEO Travis Kalanick to Take Leave of Absence,” Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-to-release-findings-of-harassment-probe-on-tuesday-1497360231
  2. [2]Alice Thomson, “No one noticed that parents were angry too,” Times, June 14, 2017, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/comment/no-one-noticed-that-parents-were-angry-too-r9xfb87dq
  3. [3]Ted Hesson, “SCOTUS faces tight timeline to hear travel ban appeal this summer,” Politico, June 13, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/13/trump-travel-ban-supreme-court-appeal-239512
  4. [4]Caroline Heldman, “Bill Cosby’s legal defense was a case study in rape culture,” Vox, June 13, 2017, https://www.vox.com/first-person/2017/6/13/15793220/bill-cosby-trial-rape-culture
  5. [5]Yoree Koh, “Uber’s Party Is Over: New Curbs on Alcohol, Office Flings,” Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/ubers-party-is-over-new-curbs-on-alcohol-office-flings-1497394763
  6. [6]Yoree Koh, “Uber’s Party Is Over: New Curbs on Alcohol, Office Flings,” Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/ubers-party-is-over-new-curbs-on-alcohol-office-flings-1497394763
  7. [7]Greg Bensinger, “David Bonderman Resigns From Uber Board in Wake of Disrespectful Comment,” Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-director-david-bonderman-apologizes-for-inappropriate-comment-about-women-1497399061
  8. [8]Aruna Viswanatha, Paul Sonne, and Del Quentin Wilber, “Jeff Sessions Calls Russian Collusion Allegation an ‘Appalling and Detestable Lie,’” Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/sessions-denies-meeting-russian-officials-at-mayflower-hotel-1497380680
  9. [9]John Burn-Murdoch, “What cost Theresa May her majority in UK election?” Financial Times, June 13, 2017, https://www.ft.com/content/ef22d4ba-4f7b-11e7-bfb8-997009366969
  10. [10]Amy Davidson, “Jeff Sessions and the Trail of Unanswered Questions,” New Yorker, June 14, 2017, http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/jeff-sessions-and-the-trail-of-unanswered-questions
  11. [11]Seung Min Kim, “Senate Judiciary Committee to investigate Comey firing, Clinton email probe,” Politico, June 14, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/14/senate-judiciary-comey-clinton-email-239567
  12. [12]Devlin Barrett, Adam Entous, Ellen Nakashima, and Sari Horwitz, “Mueller investigating Trump for potential obstruction of justice, report says,” Boston Globe, June 14, 2017, http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2017/06/14/mueller-reportedly-investigating-trump-for-potential-obstruction-justice/N7lgvI2cBDcTaxhPxrIKVI/story.html
  13. [13]Seung Min Kim, Burgess Everett, and Heather Caygle, “Democrats wary of reviving gun debate too soon,” Politico, June 14, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/14/congress-shooting-gun-control-scalise-239563
  14. [14]German Lopez and Soo Oh, “After Sandy Hook we said never again. And then we let 1,399 mass shootings happen,” Vox, June 14, 2017, https://www.vox.com/a/mass-shootings-sandy-hook
  15. [15]Paul Elias and Jocelyn Gecker, “UPS gunman had filed overtime grievance,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, June 14, 2017, http://www.startribune.com/shooting-at-san-francisco-ups-center-police-say/428449453/
  16. [16]Louis Nelson, “Qatar’s national airline CEO: I thought Trump would be more shrewd,” Politico, June 12, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/12/qatar-airline-ceo-trump-239422
  17. [17]Rick Perlstein, The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2014).
  18. [18]Dara Lind, “Trump gets another travel ban defeat — and the clock is ticking,” Vox, June 12, 2017, https://www.vox.com/2017/6/12/15783448/trump-muslim-ban-ninth-circuit
  19. [19]Dara Lind, “Trump gets another travel ban defeat — and the clock is ticking,” Vox, June 12, 2017, https://www.vox.com/2017/6/12/15783448/trump-muslim-ban-ninth-circuit
  20. [20]Greg Bensinger, “Uber Posts $708 Million Loss as Finance Head Leaves,” Wall Street Journal, June 1, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-posts-708-million-loss-as-finance-head-leaves-1496272500; Greg Bensinger, “Uber Faces Deeper Turmoil at Top as CEO Travis Kalanick Weighs Leave of Absence,” Wall Street Journal, June 12, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-chief-business-officer-emil-michael-to-resignmonday-1497197701; Greg Bensinger, “Uber Executive Emil Michael Leaves Company,” Wall Street Journal, June 12, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-executive-emil-michael-leaves-company-1497286089; Greg Bensinger, “Uber CEO Travis Kalanick to Take Leave of Absence,” Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-to-release-findings-of-harassment-probe-on-tuesday-1497360231; Greg Bensinger, “David Bonderman Resigns From Uber Board in Wake of Disrespectful Comment,” Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-director-david-bonderman-apologizes-for-inappropriate-comment-about-women-1497399061; Michael Liedtke, “Uber self-driving car exec steps aside during Google lawsuit,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, April 27, 2017, http://www.startribune.com/uber-self-driving-car-exec-steps-aside-during-google-lawsuit/420676163/; Eric Newcomer, “Uber Loses Another Senior Executive Amid Turmoil,” Bloomberg, April 11, 2017, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-12/uber-loses-another-senior-executive-amid-turmoil; Jack Nicas, “Uber Fires Driverless-Car Executive at the Center of Google Legal Battle,” Wall Street Journal, May 30, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-fires-driverless-car-executive-at-the-center-of-google-legal-battle-1496172294; Sunil Rajaraman, “The on-demand economy is a bubble—and it’s about to burst,” Quartz, April 28, 2017, https://qz.com/967474/the-on-demand-economy-is-a-bubble-and-its-about-to-burst/; Reuters, “Uber’s turmoil continues as president Jeff Jones quits,” Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, March 20, 2017, http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/uber-president-jeff-jones-quits-turmoil-1.4032107
  21. [21]Ryan Felton, “Self-Driving Engineers Are Looking To Flee Uber’s Sinking Ship,” Jalopnik, May 12, 2017, http://jalopnik.com/self-driving-engineers-are-looking-to-flee-ubers-sinkin-1795162066
  22. [22]Laura Bliss, “Is Uber Over?” CityLab, March 9, 2017, https://www.citylab.com/commute/2017/03/is-uber-over/518727/; Ryan Felton, “Uber Is Doomed,” Jalopnik, February 24, 2017, http://jalopnik.com/uber-is-doomed-1792634203; Elizabeth Knight, “The death of Uber: Australian investor predicts company will be broke in 10 years,” Sydney Morning Herald, May 25, 2017, http://www.smh.com.au/business/comment-and-analysis/the-death-of-uber-australian-investor-predicts-company-will-be-broke-in-10-years-20170524-gwc8gt.html; Adrienne LaFrance, “Can Uber Survive Without Self-Driving Cars?” CityLab, March 27, 2017, https://www.citylab.com/tech/2017/03/can-uber-survive-without-self-driving-cars/520911/
  23. [23]Greg Bensinger, “Uber CEO Travis Kalanick to Take Leave of Absence,” Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-to-release-findings-of-harassment-probe-on-tuesday-1497360231
  24. [24]Alice Thomson, “No one noticed that parents were angry too,” Times, June 14, 2017, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/comment/no-one-noticed-that-parents-were-angry-too-r9xfb87dq
  25. [25]Seung Min Kim, Burgess Everett, and Heather Caygle, “Democrats wary of reviving gun debate too soon,” Politico, June 14, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/14/congress-shooting-gun-control-scalise-239563

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