Control over profit: Why to doubt that companies will overcome ageism

The (Supposedly) Daily Bullshit, then simply The Bullshit, is now the Irregular Bullshit

This is, I hope, an obvious progression as I have struggled with how to name this publication which should have been daily, but clearly has not been.


Updates

  1. Originally published, May 22, 1:53 pm.
  2. May 23, 9:55 pm:

Ageism

The text that was previously here has been incorporated in a new blog post.

Tyler Cowen, “Forget New Robots. Keep Your Eye on the Old People,” Bloomberg, May 17, 2018, https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/view/articles/2018-05-17/older-workers-will-help-companies-thrive


James Comey

Morgan Chalfant, “Mystery in Mueller probe: Where’s the hacking indictment?” Hill, May 22, 2018, http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/388707-mystery-in-mueller-probe-wheres-the-hacking-indictment


Can Robert Mueller compel Donald Trump to testify?

James Comey

Nelson Cunningham, a former prosecutor, writes confidently,

There is a debate, fomented by the president’s lawyers and by conservative legal commentators, over whether Trump will submit to an interview with Mueller’s team. But the legal precedent is crystal clear: He has no choice.

Presidents going back to Thomas Jefferson have submitted to court subpoenas. Presidents Grant, Ford, Carter and both Bushes provided testimony in criminal investigations or court matters. The Supreme Court in U.S. v Nixon [1974] unanimously held that a president could not resist a criminal trial subpoena to turn over the Watergate tapes. In 1998, the court ruled, again unanimously, in Clinton v. Jones that President Clinton could not claim immunity during his presidency from civil charges emerging from his private conduct. The court left it to the District Court to determine when and how the president could be called to testify, but there was no question that he could, and he was.

And if a president can be compelled to submit to a civil deposition and trial, then there is no question that he can be called in a criminal matter. Indeed, after Clinton v. Jones, President Clinton gave testimony not only in the civil case, but he spent almost six hours being grilled by independent counsel Starr’s team. In deference to the office and his schedule, Clinton testified from the White House, but the grand jury watched by live video feed from the courthouse. (I will pass over the irony that it was conservative lawyers who pressed for the unanimous Clinton v. Jones decision against Clinton, which now bites back against a Republican president.)[1]

He might be responding to, among others, Theodore Olson, a former solicitor general, who wrote,

The collective significance of the Supreme Court’s opinion in [United States v. Nixon, 1974] and Chief Justice Marshall’s conclusions in the [Aaron Burr treason case in 1807] is that in a criminal case, constitutional imperatives might require a president to submit to compulsory judicial process. A defendant in a criminal case has a constitutional right to confront the evidence against him and must be able to command production of that evidence, even if it is in the hands of the president.

On the other hand, a prosecutor also has a strong claim to evidence essential to the enforcement of criminal statutes. While the president’s presumptive privilege against compulsive testimony would be entitled to considerable deference, that claim could be overcome if the prosecutor makes a strong showing that he must have specific essential evidence that is not procurable from other sources and that he is not simply engaged in a fishing expedition.

As things currently stand, Mueller has made no application to a court for a subpoena to the president based on showing a need for specific evidence essential to his prosecution and not available from other sources. News sources have published a long list of subjects said to be of interest to the special counsel, but these subjects, if they are, indeed, coming from Mueller’s office, are in many cases vague, open-ended and highly generalized—all the earmarks of casting a very wide net to see what might be snared. He’s going to have to do better than that—the usual open-ended general subpoenas won’t work.[2]

Cunningham doesn’t fully answer[3] Olson’s claim that a subpoena on the president would require specific evidence.[4] (There is an apparent discrepancy in the citations for Clinton v. Jones. One says 1997;[5] the other, 1998.[6])

Theodore B. Olson, “Mueller v. Trump,” Weekly Standard, May 18, 2018, https://www.weeklystandard.com/theodore-b-olson/mueller-v-trump

Nelson W. Cunningham, “3 Predictions for What Mueller Will Do Next,” Politico, May 21, 2018, https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/05/21/3-predictions-for-what-mueller-will-do-next-218410


  1. [1]Nelson W. Cunningham, “3 Predictions for What Mueller Will Do Next,” Politico, May 21, 2018, https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/05/21/3-predictions-for-what-mueller-will-do-next-218410
  2. [2]Theodore B. Olson, “Mueller v. Trump,” Weekly Standard, May 18, 2018, https://www.weeklystandard.com/theodore-b-olson/mueller-v-trump
  3. [3]Nelson W. Cunningham, “3 Predictions for What Mueller Will Do Next,” Politico, May 21, 2018, https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/05/21/3-predictions-for-what-mueller-will-do-next-218410
  4. [4]Theodore B. Olson, “Mueller v. Trump,” Weekly Standard, May 18, 2018, https://www.weeklystandard.com/theodore-b-olson/mueller-v-trump
  5. [5]Theodore B. Olson, “Mueller v. Trump,” Weekly Standard, May 18, 2018, https://www.weeklystandard.com/theodore-b-olson/mueller-v-trump
  6. [6]Nelson W. Cunningham, “3 Predictions for What Mueller Will Do Next,” Politico, May 21, 2018, https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/05/21/3-predictions-for-what-mueller-will-do-next-218410

Even in the age of Donald Trump, diversity appears in conservatism

In this issue, we see some divergent views within conservatism under Eschatology and Economists. The existence of these views is interesting, and it’s worth looking to see what they are, but it’s important not to imagine this as some sort of awakening.

The point of my dissertation was that conservatism is a diverse phenomenon with multiple tendencies and occasionally radically divergent views.[1] Neither of the views featured here are authoritarian populist—the tendency of the larger part of Donald Trump’s base. The post-Evangelical (a term whose appropriateness probably, and with some legitimacy, will be disputed) critique of Donald Trump is not in any way new but represents one side of a split between those who are so appalled by Trump’s behavior and those who are desperate and see no alternative,[2] and here shows signs of broadening its focus into questions of Eschatology—“End Times” theology—which is a dagger in the heart of evangelical support for Israel—and even thereby draws in some Trump supporters. This image of social conservatism as itself non-monolithic is intriguing, to say the least. If it lasts beyond Trump’s presidency, it could portend substantial changes within the model of conservatism as I developed it.[3]

The conservative critique of economics (Economists) as politicized, probably—only probably—the most ideological of the social sciences might find roots in traditionalist conservatism at least as far back as John C. Calhoun, who (here rather ironically) was simultaneously a strident advocate for slavery.[4]

What will matter here is if these views start to gain traction more broadly. As of now, there is no sign that they will.


Eschatology

Josiah Hesse, “In US evangelical capital, a new progressiveness and differing views on Israel,” Guardian, May 19, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/19/evangelicals-israel-usa-end-times


Economists

Tunku Varadarajan, “A Conservative Economics of Dignity,” Wall Street Journal, May 18, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-conservative-economics-of-dignity-1526679960


  1. [1]David Benfell, “Conservative Views on Undocumented Migration” (doctoral dissertation, Saybrook, 2016). ProQuest (1765416126).
  2. [2]David Goldstein, “Evangelicals have qualms with Trump, but see nowhere else to turn,” McClatchy, June 10, 2016, http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/election/article82901192.html?rh=1; Bethania Palma Markus, “Christian leader: Trump reveals that progressives were right about evangelicals all along,” Raw Story, March 1, 2016, http://www.rawstory.com/2016/03/christian-leader-trump-reveals-that-progressives-were-right-about-evangelicals-all-along/ Russell Moore, “Why this election makes me hate the word ‘evangelical,’” Washington Post, February 29, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2016/02/29/russell-moore-why-this-election-makes-me-hate-the-word-evangelical/; Napp Nazworth, “Conservative Evangelical Author Matt Lewis on Trump, Evangelicals and Stupid Republicans (Interview),” Christian Post, January 26, 2016, http://www.christianpost.com/news/conservative-evangelical-author-matt-lewis-donald-trump-evangelicals-stupid-republicans-155688/; Ray Nothstine, “Who Are the Evangelicals Supporting Donald Trump?” Christian Post, August 30, 2015, http://www.christianpost.com/news/who-are-the-evangelicals-supporting-donald-trump-143997/
  3. [3]David Benfell, “Conservative Views on Undocumented Migration” (doctoral dissertation, Saybrook, 2016). ProQuest (1765416126).
  4. [4]Russell Kirk, The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot, 7th ed. (Washington, D.C.: Regnery, 2001)

Overwhelming evil

During the tenure of the Trump administration, this newsletter has become ever less ‘daily’ and so I have dropped any pretense that it is or is even meant to be. It’s not that things aren’t happening. It’s that the evil is painfully predictable evil of a most mean-spirited authoritarian populist kind with a president who certainly verges on the racist aspects of paleoconservatism (authoritarian populists are racist but deny that they are) while celebrating the destruction of our environment; leading the U.S. toward war with Iran and, still possibly, North Korea; and prosecuting even more viciously a war on the poor. Meanwhile, too many Democrats imagine that Trump can be dealt with ‘normally,’ that this is somehow politics as usual, even if a little more offensive than usual.

There’s nothing really new here except an unimaginable degree of sleaze and that somehow Donald Trump’s penis size became an issue[1] and that rather than a special prosecutor being a primary threat to his presidency,[2] that threat might come from an adult film star or a number of other pending lawsuits.[3] This that is new is only of peripheral interest to me (even if I’ll openly snicker about Trump’s penis size where, I figure, others are too embarrassed to do so). And the rest is just really, really tragic with very little hope of improvement. I knew there would be evil.[4] I am sure I underestimated it. But as this country became much too large, it was probably inevitable (which is the subject of my work in progress).


Updates

  1. May 17, 6:22 pm:
    • Exceptions to the proposed work requirement for Medicaid would disproportionately benefit whites.[5]
    • It’s difficult to keep track of all of Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt’s scandals. They are legion, but “[t]he president, and most congressional Republicans, have stuck with Pruitt, presumably because he has proven skilled at dismantling the EPA.”[6]

Donald Trump

Warren Richey, “Mueller aside, Trump now faces legal peril from a host of sources,” Christian Science Monitor, May 11, 2018, https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2018/0511/Mueller-aside-Trump-now-faces-legal-peril-from-a-host-of-sources


James Comey

Dana Bash, “Giuliani: Mueller’s team told Trump’s lawyers they can’t indict a president,” Cable News Network, May 16, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/16/politics/rudy-giuliani-robert-mueller-indictment/index.html


Polarization

Neil Gross, “Is the United States Too Big to Govern?” New York Times, May 11, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/11/opinion/sunday/united-states-too-big.html


Medicaid

Christine Emba, “The GOP is quietly crafting work requirement waivers — for white people,” Washington Post, May 16, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-gop-is-quietly-crafting-work-requirement-waivers–for-white-people/2018/05/16/fcef4eb8-5928-11e8-8836-a4a123c359ab_story.html


Scott Pruitt

Dana Milbank, “Scott Pruitt has an emergency,” Washington Post, May 16, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/at-the-epa-lights-sirens-and-lots-of-smoke/2018/05/16/9d4e885e-594e-11e8-858f-12becb4d6067_story.html


  1. [1]Marlow Stern, “Stormy Daniels’ Penthouse Revelations: On Trump’s Hair, Penis and More,” Daily Beast, May 7, 2018, https://www.thedailybeast.com/stormy-daniels-penthouse-revelations-on-trumps-hair-penis-and-more
  2. [2]Dana Bash, “Giuliani: Mueller’s team told Trump’s lawyers they can’t indict a president,” Cable News Network, May 16, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/16/politics/rudy-giuliani-robert-mueller-indictment/index.html
  3. [3]Warren Richey, “Mueller aside, Trump now faces legal peril from a host of sources,” Christian Science Monitor, May 11, 2018, https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2018/0511/Mueller-aside-Trump-now-faces-legal-peril-from-a-host-of-sources
  4. [4]David Benfell, “An apology,” Not Housebroken, January 13, 2017, https://disunitedstates.org/2017/01/13/an-apology/
  5. [5]Christine Emba, “The GOP is quietly crafting work requirement waivers — for white people,” Washington Post, May 16, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-gop-is-quietly-crafting-work-requirement-waivers–for-white-people/2018/05/16/fcef4eb8-5928-11e8-8836-a4a123c359ab_story.html
  6. [6]Dana Milbank, “Scott Pruitt has an emergency,” Washington Post, May 16, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/at-the-epa-lights-sirens-and-lots-of-smoke/2018/05/16/9d4e885e-594e-11e8-858f-12becb4d6067_story.html

It looks like someone leaked the Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) to Stormy Daniels’ lawyer that he (the lawyer) wanted made public. They would be guilty of a crime.

Donald Trump

In the last installment, Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, had released—and the New York Times had corroborated—information connecting Russian (and other) oligarchs’ payments to Donald Trump’s “fixer”/lawyer. This money was used, among other things, to pay off Daniels to the tune of $130,000.[1] The obvious question was, well, how did Avenatti get ahold of this information?

The Daily Beast reports that experts think the level of detail matches or exceeds that of Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs), the same reports that Avenatti has repeatedly called for making public. The obvious implication is that someone, either in law enforcement or at a relevant bank, leaked those reports to Avenatti. But it seems that the unauthorized disclosure of these reports is a crime.[2]

I’m on the fence here. Privacy is a human right and governments usually are on the side of breaching that very important right. On the other hand, these shadowy, sleazy financial dealings of the rich and powerful are the very sort of thing that need to be brought to light. Avenatti has made the connection that no one else, publicly at least, has been able to make.

Jonathan Turley, “Giuliani’s Firm Severs Ties With Him And Publicly Refutes His Statements On Common Legal Practices,” May 11, 2018, https://jonathanturley.org/2018/05/11/giulianis-firm-severs-ties-with-him-and-publicly-refutes-his-statements-on-common-legal-practices/

Kate Briquelet, “Experts: Leaking Michael Cohen’s Bank Records Could Be Illegal,” Daily Beast, May 10, 2018, https://www.thedailybeast.com/experts-leaking-michael-cohens-bank-records-could-be-illegal


  1. [1]Jonathan Chait, “Russian Leverage Over Trump Is Not Just a Theory. It’s Now Fact,” New York, May 8, 2018, http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/05/russian-leverage-over-trump-fact-michael-cohen-stormy-daniels-devin-nunes.html
  2. [2]Kate Briquelet, “Experts: Leaking Michael Cohen’s Bank Records Could Be Illegal,” Daily Beast, May 10, 2018, https://www.thedailybeast.com/experts-leaking-michael-cohens-bank-records-could-be-illegal

Marco Rubio guessed right: Stormy Daniels doesn’t “want to shame anyone” on Donald Trump’s penis size

Updates

  1. Originally published, May 7, 7:31 pm.
  2. May 8, 11:42 pm:

Donald Trump

Marlow Stern, “Stormy Daniels’ Penthouse Revelations: On Trump’s Hair, Penis and More,” Daily Beast, May 7, 2018, https://www.thedailybeast.com/stormy-daniels-penthouse-revelations-on-trumps-hair-penis-and-more


James Comey

Katie Bo Williams, “Judge in Manafort case pushes back on prosecutors,” Hill, May 4, 2018, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/386228-judge-in-manafort-case-pushes-back-on-prosecutors


Golden showers

Jonathan Chait, “Russian Leverage Over Trump Is Not Just a Theory. It’s Now Fact,” New York, May 8, 2018, http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/05/russian-leverage-over-trump-fact-michael-cohen-stormy-daniels-devin-nunes.html


Bullshit jobs

David Graeber, “‘I had to guard an empty room’: the rise of the pointless job,” Guardian, May 4, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/money/2018/may/04/i-had-to-guard-an-empty-room-the-rise-of-the-pointless-job


Punctuation

So this article is a lot of fun but if the claim in support of one space after a period relies on proportional-space fonts, the use of a monospace font in the experimentation really fails to address that argument.[2]

Avi Selk, “One space between each sentence, they said. Science just proved them wrong,” Washington Post, May 4, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2018/05/04/one-space-between-each-sentence-they-said-science-just-proved-them-wrong-2/


  1. [1]Jonathan Chait, “Russian Leverage Over Trump Is Not Just a Theory. It’s Now Fact,” New York, May 8, 2018, http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/05/russian-leverage-over-trump-fact-michael-cohen-stormy-daniels-devin-nunes.html
  2. [2]Avi Selk, “One space between each sentence, they said. Science just proved them wrong,” Washington Post, May 4, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2018/05/04/one-space-between-each-sentence-they-said-science-just-proved-them-wrong-2/

California Supreme Court strikes down ‘independent contractor’ scam

Updates

    1. Originally published, May 1, 11:46 pm.
    2. May 2, 2:10 pm:
      • The U.S. Department of Labor alleged that Cloudwick brought workers from India on H-1B visas, promising wages of $8,300 per month, but paid them only $800 per month.[1]
    3. May 2, 8:53 pm:
      • Rudy Giuliani, who recently joined Donald Trump’s legal team admitted that Trump had reimbursed Michael Cohen for the $130,000 paid to Stormy Daniels but claims that the payment was entirely legal.[2] I did look on Michael Avenatti’s Twitter feed for a comment. In essence, he says he told us so.
    4. May 3, 4:35 am:
      • Elie Mystal thinks that Donald Trump’s “legal team has always, always, always been more concerned with the campaign finance violations. Paying hush money to a porn star is just gross. The campaign finance violation is a crime.” This explains Rudy Giuliani’s admission that Trump repaid Michael Cohen, but Mystal doesn’t think it gets Trump off the hook.[3]

Ridesharing

A California Supreme Court ruling may force Uber, Lyft, and other ‘gig’ economy companies to treat workers in the state as employees rather than as so-called ‘independent contractors.’[4] It looks to me like it should apply even more to taxicab companies.

Lydia DePillis, “California ruling puts pressure on Uber, Lyft and other gig economy employers,” CNN, May 1, 2018,http://money.cnn.com/2018/05/01/news/economy/california-gig-employer-ruling/index.html


Donald Trump

Staci Zaretsky, “Porn Star Stormy Daniels Files New Defamation Suit Against President Donald Trump,” Above The Law, April 30, 2018, https://abovethelaw.com/2018/04/porn-star-stormy-daniels-files-new-defamation-suit-against-president-donald-trump/

Jacqueline Thomsen, “Giuliani: Trump reimbursed Cohen for $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels,” Hill, May 2, 2018, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/385965-giuliani-trump-reimbursed-cohen-for-payment-to-stormy-daniels

Elie Mystal, “It’s Giuliani Time! Rudy Ritualistically Suicides One Case To Try To Save Trump From Another,” Above The Law, May 2, 2018, https://abovethelaw.com/2018/05/its-giuliani-time-rudy-ritualistically-suicides-one-case-to-try-to-save-trump-from-another/


James Comey

Andrew C. McCarthy, “Comey Confirms: In Clinton Emails Caper, the Fix Was In,” National Review, April 28, 2018, https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/04/comey-confirms-in-clinton-emails-caper-the-fix-was-in/


Unauthorized migration

Cindy Carcamo, Alene Tchekmedyian, and Sandra Dibble, “The migrant caravan arrives at California’s doorstep, amid protests, cheers and questions,” Los Angeles Times, April 30, 2018, http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-caravan-migrants-border-20180430-story.html


Brexit

Andrew Rawnsley, “Mrs May’s attempt to muddle through Brexit is fast approaching crunch time,” Guardian, April 29, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/29/theresa-may-attempt-to-muddle-through-brexit-fast-approaching-big-crunch


H-1B visas

Jessica Mendoza, “Right to work? In Silicon Valley, visa fight as symbol of blocked American dream,” Christian Science Monitor, April 27, 2018, https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2018/0427/Right-to-work-In-Silicon-Valley-visa-fight-as-symbol-of-blocked-American-dream

Ethan Baron, “H-1B abuse: Bay Area tech workers from India paid a pittance, feds say,” East Bay Times, May 1, 2018, https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2018/05/01/h-1b-abuse-bay-area-tech-workers-from-india-paid-a-pittance-feds-say/


  1. [1]Ethan Baron, “H-1B abuse: Bay Area tech workers from India paid a pittance, feds say,” East Bay Times, May 1, 2018, https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2018/05/01/h-1b-abuse-bay-area-tech-workers-from-india-paid-a-pittance-feds-say/
  2. [2]Jacqueline Thomsen, “Giuliani: Trump reimbursed Cohen for $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels,” Hill, May 2, 2018, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/385965-giuliani-trump-reimbursed-cohen-for-payment-to-stormy-daniels
  3. [3]Elie Mystal, “It’s Giuliani Time! Rudy Ritualistically Suicides One Case To Try To Save Trump From Another,” Above The Law, May 2, 2018, https://abovethelaw.com/2018/05/its-giuliani-time-rudy-ritualistically-suicides-one-case-to-try-to-save-trump-from-another/
  4. [4]Lydia DePillis, “California ruling puts pressure on Uber, Lyft and other gig economy employers,” CNN, May 1, 2018,http://money.cnn.com/2018/05/01/news/economy/california-gig-employer-ruling/index.html