The Week In Review

President Trump has been claiming that his communications were wiretapped by the Obama administration prior to the November election (an accusation that has some sympathy on the right). This is being denied on multiple fronts—including by FBI director Comey. While I do not believe President Trump to be a credible source of information for…well, anything…I have been lied to so often by Mr. Obama, Congresswoman Pelosi and the rest of the vile vipers in DC that their denials simply carry no weight with me. That said, until the Trump administration offers some kind of evidence, I’m going to go ahead and assume the Mr. Trump is lying.

Mr. Trump issued a new immigration EO on Monday. The new order is somewhat more carefully crafted than the last (full text here). Meanwhile, the government of Mexico continues to resist the administrations push to deport illegal immigrants. As the administration continues its efforts, the press is working to highlight every possible sob story. Regular readers of this post know that I lean toward open borders (while acknowledging the problems with that preference), but I calls ’em like I sees ’em, and the press is clearly trying to shape the narrative.

The IRS is experiencing budgeting difficulties. This is my sad face. Listen, I’ll grant that tax collectors are a necessary evil, but both the words “necessary” and “evil” apply—and the IRS has all-too-routinely abused its authority (quite famously during the Obama administration). Still, even if you were the most honest and upright employee of the agency, I wouldn’t want my daughter to date you.

There is a report that Senator Schumer intends to block Mr/ Trump’s “Great Wall” from receiving the necessary votes for appropriation. I oppose the wall, but I recognize that many of my fellow Americans do not. So I am more curious than involved in seeing how this plays out. Honestly…I think I’m good either way.

There is an interesting case going on locally in Vegas—a family that was convicted of running an illegal, off-shore gambling ring (after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor offense) claims they are listed as felons by the federal government. This is one of those cases where (had it gone to trial and I had been on the jury) I would have voted to acquit no matter what evidence the government presented. I think all citizens should educate themselves on the principle of jury nullification.

In their ongoing effort to make flying so unbearable people just stop, the TSA has introduced new pat down procedures that some folks on Twitter have called “legalized groping.” Evidently expecting a fresh font of complaints of sexual assault, the TSA has been alerting local police departments of the new procedures. For my part, between the TSA and shrinking leg room I’ve stopped flying.

We finally got a look at what the Republican party calls a “repeal” of Obamacare. It’s about as bad as you would expect from this collection of spineless cretins. Rather than simply repeal the PPACA (as I tweeted on Monday), this proposal tries to give something to everyone. Remember when the Republicans claimed to be the party of the Constitution? By replacing subsidies for health insurance with tax breaks for HSAs (and saving no real money), these idiots are trying to claim this is the conservative solution. President Trump—who is no more a conservative than I am a penguin—has been praising this monstrosity on Twitter and promising that the real reforms (e.g. eliminating prohibitions against selling policies across state lines) will come in phase 2 & 3.*

The US Supreme Court has punted on the issue of whether gender identity falls under federal aegis for discrimination cases. Even a year ago, I doubt I would have read the article. However, if you are one of the couple dozen folks your read my debut novel,** then you know this is something I follow these days. This entire case, Gloucester County School Board v. G.G., is a State issue. I’m not sure that I care who uses what bathroom, but I see where others might and I’m pretty sure no group of judges’ “one size fits all” solution will be…just. (Of course, regular readers will know that I am highly suspicious of any expansion of federal power anyway.)

Wikileaks is targeting the CIA now. The organization’s latest attack on the US includes more than 8,000 documents.

The proposed Las Vegas Raiders football stadium has secured a new backer: Bank of America. Which begs the question…why can’t the folks who want to build this thing find sufficient funding that no public monies are required? Right now, $750 million in bonds from Clark County are a key component of the stadium’s financing. I’m a property owner in Vegas and would vote against this in a heartbeat.*** Meanwhile, the governor is pushing for more tax increases so he can expand education spending (among other things).

The hunt is on for monies to pay for Mr. Trump’s promised border wall. Regular readers know that I’m not in favor of the project, but I cede that I’ve been outvoted. I have significantly less of a problem with this project than I do the Republicans’ revised health care bill.

As the Trump administration continues dismantling the Obama legacy, AG Sessions has asked for 46 US Attorneys’ resignations.

Finally, the Catholic church may be reconsidering its centuries-long practice of demanding all priests be celibate.

*I ask anyone who believes that to send me their contact information, SSAN, and complete bank account info. There are some investments I would like to make on your behalf, you kind, trusting soul you.

** Blood Debt: A Modern American Romance. Just $3.99 on Kindle!

*** Yes, I know that UNLV will use this stadium as well. I do not care.